Thursday, December 31, 2015

Great Schools calls it an opportunity for parents, students, and teachers in Pittsburgh to speak about PPS Superintendent Search

Unique opportunity to provide input for superintendent search...
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Superintendent Search: Community Forums

5pm - Registration
6pm - Forum Begins

Dates and Locations of Meetings:
- Barack Obama (January 7)
- Oliver High School (January 13)
- Brashear High School (January 19)
- Carrick High School (January 21)
- Board of Education Public Session (January 25)
- Langley School (January 26)
- University Preparatory at Milliones (January 28)

Pittsburgh parents, students, teachers and community members are being presented with a unique opportunity to provide input and contribute to the job description of Pittsburgh's next superintendent. For that reason, it is vital that we commit, to the best of our abilities, to participating in the upcoming community forums and search process.


The Pittsburgh School Board has committed to an open search process with input from the community. In order to gather this input, the School Board will host seven community forums in January. The format will be similar to the School Board Public Hearings with 3 minutes allotted to each registered speaker to talk. Registration to speak will begin at 5 pm the day of each event at each of the seven locations, and the forums will begin at 6 pm sharp. Feedback can also be submitted through a toll-free phone number, 888-839-5445, or emailed to More details are posted at


During the first Community Engagement meeting, hosted by Great Public Schools, on October 22, 2015, input was received from parents, teachers, students and community members on what they were looking for in the next superintendent. This information was compiled and is presented below by category and order of importance (as ranked by participants). Speakers may use any or all of this information when speaking at one of the seven community forums to directly share with the School Board and Perkins Consulting group their priorities for the next superintendent.


Transformative Parent/Guardian & Student Engagement

  • Community Schools with community input
  • Leaning on student strength - empowering students
  • A student union
  • Parents involved in policy/decision making
  • More support for students and families
  • Meetings in different neighborhoods
  • Better communication & PPS website


Healthy Living & Learning Environments

  • More recess and gym
  • Schools open 24/7
  • A Nurse in Every School Every day
  • Many more guidance counselors in every school every day
  • Mental health services
  • Physical activity integrated into everyday learning in every classroom
  • Transportation issues - safety, timing
  • Flexible school day schedules


Equity & Racial Justice

  • Superintendent engaged in city's development. Strategies and awareness of neighborhood makeup and housing diversity - can relate to feeder patterns
  • Poverty needs to be addressed
  • Recruit and retain more teachers of color
  • Support for teachers to learn cultural competency
  • Student and teacher voice captured through exit interviews (moving, graduating, etc).
  • Teach and make opportunities for all kids, not just gifted.
  • Challenge - Magnet schools can drive resources from neighborhood schools


Restorative Justice and Discipline

  • No zero to tolerance
  • Racial injustice lens
  • Teachers cannot do it alone - need other professionals/caring adults to support
  • Superintendent needs to be FULLY invested in restorative justice and restorative practices.
  • Individualized attention to students
  • Relationship building emphasized


Transparency and Accessibility of Administrators

  • More support for principals
  • Budget transparency
  • Accessibility of central office administration (close the fortress mentality)


What's Missing/Miscellaneous (red=more highly selected than any other area)

  • Expand sports programs (builds community)
  • Expand arts and music
  • A teaching philosophy rather than teaching to test
  • Superintendent needs a clear vision (i.e. more project-based learning, universal gifted testing)
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Saturday, December 26, 2015

What if.... 2016 was a happy New Year.

Judge Napolitano got fired from Fox News after this 5-minute video, so says some post on the internet. Regardless, it is must see video.

The greatest hour of danger is now!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Summer Learning -- even after 3 pm.

In Taking Summer Seriously, the Packard Foundation examines a growing trend in California to improve access to high-quality learning after 3 p.m. and in the summer.

As part of the Summer Matters campaign, schools across California are building new models of summer enrichment programs designed to engage kids in a more hands-on way. Advocates say these expanded learning options are vital for low-income children at risk of falling further behind. 

Learn about the latest research and hear from school administrators, educators, parents and the students themselves about how these new models are making a difference for California's children on the Packard Foundation's website.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Fwd: We're not making this up

Update from Public Citizen

The World Trade Organization (WTO) just authorized up to $1 billion a year in trade sanctions against the U.S. if we don't get rid of the country-of-origin meat labels (COOL) that we rely on to make informed choices about our food.

The only good news about this outrageous ruling is that it might help kill the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) by sending a clear warning about what's at stake — and at steak too!

And it follows just two weeks after the WTO ordered the U.S. to roll back the dolphin-safe tuna labeling policies that allow us to make sure the tuna we buy is caught in ways that do not kill dolphins.

These are just two more reasons why you should urge your members of Congress to reject the TPP.

Remember when President Barack Obama delivered that speech at Nike headquarters? He said critics' warnings that the TPP or any trade pact could "undermine American regulation — food safety, worker safety, even financial regulations" was "just not true ... they're making this stuff up. No trade agreement is going to force us to change our laws."

These WTO rulings prove yet again that trade agreements can undermine even the most popular U.S. consumer and environmental safeguards.

And the TPP would open us up to more of these threats and even empower foreign corporations to directly attack our laws.

The COOL case isn't the first trade pact attack on our laws. After losing past trade challenges, the U.S. rolled back gasoline cleanliness standards, protections for sea turtles and vehicle fuel efficiency requirements.

Tell your members of Congress to say "no!" to the TPP and its sneak attacks on our laws.

Nine out of 10 Americans support COOL. It is why meat in our grocery stores has labels that inform us where it comes from.

But the popular labeling policy has been under attack by Mexican and Canadian cattle and pork producers and the U.S. meat processing industry. When they could not stop Congress from passing the policy, they shifted to Plan B: deregulation by trade pact attack.

While you and I see this as an anti-democratic attack on a popular consumer policy, the corporate interests behind the TPP see only dollar signs.

That's because the TPP would expand the opportunities for such challenges, empowering corporations to roll back the consumer and environmental safeguards on which we all rely.

Take action now to stop the TPP.

Thanks for all you do.

In solidarity,

Melanie Foley
Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch

Public Citizen employees are members of SEIU Local 500. We support the right of workers in the United States and around the world to organize freely. Union Yes!

© 2015 Public Citizen • 215 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, 3rd Floor / Washington, D.C. 20003

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Fwd: Funding for drowning prevention programs

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Rebecca Wear Robinson" <>
Date: Dec 2, 2015 8:01 PM
Subject: Funding for drowning prevention programs
To: <>

If we work together we can attract major funding for drowning prevention programs globally.
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$45 billion has been donated to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.  I have created a petition requesting that drowning prevention be one of their targeted causes.  Please click here to sign the petition, and remember to share the link on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  The petition reads as follows:  

Dear Ms. Chan and Mr. Zuckerberg,

Congratulations on the birth of your daughter and thank you for celebrating her birth with your generous gift to the world.  We in the global drowning prevention field would like to respectfully request that drowning be one of the targeted causes of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.  

Drowning has recently been identified by both the World Health Organization and UNICEF as a hidden global epidemic and leading killer of children.  Just as Facebook cuts across geographic, socio-economic, and cultural lines globally, so does drowning.  Unfortunately, children and those with the fewest resources are most at risk.

With your help, drowning could be virtually eradicated.  Just as guinea worm has been almost eradicated through education and change in behavior, so too can drowning be drastically reduced through cost-effective education and change in behavior.  

With your help, all the world's children could learn the skills to successfully navigate the water that covers 70% of the Earth's surface.

With your help, one of the leading causes of death and injury for children could be transformed into skills that also improve health, physical coordination, and school performance.

With your help, we could end a global epidemic in one generation.  As water safety skills become internalized and sustainable, they will be passed down from one generation to the next, permanently reducing injuries and death by drowning.

Please, we need your help.


The Global Drowning Prevention Community

Click here to go directly to the petition, and remember to share the link on social media.
Copyright © 2015 Lioness Protects LLC, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because we work together on ending drowning.
Our mailing address is:
Lioness Protects LLC
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Clarendon Hills, IL 60514-0084

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