Falcon FeedbackPosted by William Ziegler at 12/12/2016
Falcon Feedback is a student forum to provide feedback to the Principal Team and to hear Student Voice. Falcon Feedback meets every Friday during Period 3. The principal team meets with 16 random students (4 from each grade) to hear their feedback on four questions:
1. What makes Pottsgrove HS great?
2. How does Pottsgrove HS need to improve?
3. What do you dream Pottsgrove HS could be/do?
4. What can you do to make Pottsgrove HS a better place?
Below are the results from our Falcon Feedback Session from Friday, December 9, 2016.
What makes Pottsgrove great?
- Close knit relationships, teachers, and school programs to give students an opportunity to bond with one another
- School activities to give chance to meet new people
- Strong music program
- The sports program
- Like new library and what it offers
- The laptops have been an overall positive
- iPads not as user friendly due to it being only touch screen
- All the different branches of the subjects - wide variety to choose from
- Forensic Science - Going in depth on different ways that investigators use to solve crime
- Athletics department
- The technology such as the laptops and 3D printers
- How easy it is to get help from teachers and different pride periods
- Hour of Code
- Pride period
- Allows for extra rehearsal time
- Extra study hall
- Quiz Bowl
- Extra class for independent
- Laptops and how even if you cannot afford one, you still have that accessibility
- 1 to 1 allows students to do work on home
What can Pottsgrove improve upon?
- SWPBIS - More enforcement needed
- Lightspeed of computers
- Constantly have to log in
- Going to put out some kind of block on computers, make sure to work beforehand
- Blocked websites on computers
- Wants Netflix
- Headphones during specific times
- Majority believes that it is not useful
- Lot of glitches and very frustrating
- Students fail quarters because they don’t do Carnegie
- Not as much learning as just trying to get it done
- Backpack policy was brought up multiple times
- Is it stopping anything in regards to safety?
- Girls can carry purses but what about guys?
- Time management with teachers
- For example, when you go on break, teachers try to cram 6 tests in
- Need locks for gym lockers
- Better food quality and portion size for lunch along with high cost
- Students to meet with food director? Ryan Flannery, Nik Curnew + possibly pull students from prior student forum
- Improving grading system for AP classes
- 90% for tests versus 10% for homework
- Depending on a person, creates a mindset that they can slack off on homework but just do well on tests
- Why can’t we wear hats?
What do you dream Pottsgrove could be?
- More involved in the community - school wide
- All around PAC 10 champions for every sport
- More people should have School Spirit
- Better days such as tie die day
- Such as Spring Ford where everyone goes all out
- Communicate messages and spirit week better
- Falcon feedback spirit day?
- School where people get some sleep
- Later start times
- Student likes how we start earlier
- Half Wednesdays
- Collaborate more
- More sleep
- More diversity, specifically in the music program
- More fun such as assemblies
- Need a club that does spirit and better preparation
What can you do to make Pottsgrove a better place?
- Get more involved
- Be a representative
- Help out underclassmen
- Help other people learn
- Get more involved such as school representative
- Be a tutor
- Get better grades
- Try some new things in school
No Place for Hate at PGHSPosted by Dr. Bill Ziegler, Principal of Pottsgrove High School at 11/9/2015It is more important than ever that schools are committed to ensuring the safety, respect, and well being of every student. This includes an unwavering responsibility to protect all students so they can celebrate their differences and their individual traits in a safe learning environment. Pottsgrove High School is committed to teaching students to respect one another and to be a community where students long to attend.Recently, PGHS was awarded "No Place for Hate" certification through the Anti-Defamation League. This is an honor that Pottsgrove has worked very hard to attain. This certifiation requires schools to have a team that oversees anti-bias activities in the school, the school needs to sign the No Place for Hate Promise, and lead three activities in the school which celebrate diversity and respect for all students.Last year, Pottsgrove High School hosted the Rachel's Challenge Assembly, promoted the Styx and Stones Marching Band's Anti-Bullying theme, led a student directed and student performed play called Hit the Road Jess about cyber-bullying, trained students in the Ophelia Project (a program that promotes respect of all students), and had an assembly by Josh Ochs on respecting one another online.In addition, the PGHS Unite group was designed by students to combat a social media app that anonymously spread rumors about students in the school. The Unite group joined together to find positive ways to promote the school and to send a message of unity, respect, and acceptacnce to all students.As we move into earning No Place for Hate Certification this year, we are working now to plan activities which promote a message of unity, respect, and a celebration of diversity. I commend our teachers, students, and community on coming together to earn the No Place for Hate certification.Bullying and disrespect is present in schools throughout America at an alarming rate. Researchers tell us that some of the students that are most harassed or bullied in school are students of the LGBT community. As a principal, I met with members of this school community last week to reinforce the message that I want these students to come to school without the fear of harassment for who they are or what they believe. Regardless of one's personal beliefs on the topic of sexual orientation, it's our responsibility as school members to protect all students and provide an environment where they can freely learn in a safe, respectful, and orderly manner.On another note, one of the best qualities of Pottsgrove High School is our diversity. I often say that Pottsgrove represents the "melting pot" of America. This is one of the things that makes our school unique. The diversity, sense of unity, and abilitiy to unite together is one of many things that makes this school so great.If at anytime you believe that your son or daughter is being harassed or disrepected, please contact me, our School Counseling Team, or any member of Faculty/Staff. We are here to support you and your son/daughter as they learn and grow at Pottsgrove High School.
PRIDE Period Comes to PGHS This YearPosted by Dr. Bill Ziegler at 8/11/2015 8:20:00 PMThere is an important schedule change that all parents and students need to be aware of this school year. In the past, students were released on Wednesdays at 1:44 p.m. to provide tutoring for students who needed it. However, this schedule did not meet our goal of providing interventions/enrichment to all students as we thought. As a result, we are returning Wednesday dismissal time to 2:17 p.m. and implementing a PRIDE Period once a week to support students with interventions, enrichment opportunities, and School Life connections.This 45 minute period, every Thursday during the school day, will allow students to get the support they need both for Keystone exams and course failures/jeopardy of failing. Furthermore, students will have opportunities for enrichment in all subject areas, test prep (SAT, ACT, ASVAB, etc), Music/Art, and much more. Moreover, students will be able to connect with School Life groups such as clubs, Class meetings, and grade level assemblies which will not disrupt from the regularly scheduled class/learning time. The PRIDE Period will protect instructional time by holding class and other meetings during this time. Plus, it will give every student time to get the interventions/enrichment they need or connect with a school activity.Students who attend the Western Center will participate in the PRIDE Period. Below is the bell schedule that will take place every Thursday.Our faculty and staff are excited about another year of partnering with you to make this a year of growth and learning. If we can support you or your student in anyway, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The 3 "R's" to Course Selection Every Parent Needs to KnowPosted by Dr. Bill Ziegler, Principal of Pottsgrove High School at 2/11/2015It is hard to believe that we are planning for next school year and it is only February. February is course selection month at Pottsgrove High School. This is the time where our school counselors meet with students to review their path toward graduation and to select courses for next school year. Over this month, counselors will be meeting with students in small groups to highlight the various course options that students have for next school year.Course selection is an important decision for every student and their parent. It is important that students select courses after having a discussion with their parents about course opportunities, graduation progress, and future goals. Students should select courses that align with their future goals. For example, if a student is focused on attending a four year private university, they should be taking at least two years of a World Language.As a parent of a sophomore myself, I use the three"R's" when talking to my son about course selection:Requirements for Graduation - The first thing to make sure of is that your child is taking courses that meets the graduation requirements. At Pottsgrove, we require students to earn a total of 23 credits to be graduate. Parents can check their child's academic progress toward graduation in the Parent Portal information system.Rigor - I want to make sure that my son is taking courses that will challenge him academically. By challenging my son to take courses that are rigorous, he is more prepared for college level work. A good way to do this is to enroll in AP or Dual Enrollment courses. Both of these courses can earn a student college credit while still in high school.Relevance - Students need to select courses that will be relevant to their lives. It's important that they select courses that interest them and ones that can help to guide their decision in regards to careers. For instance, a student who is interested in a music career may want to enroll in Music Theory 1. Or, if a student has a career focus for engineering, any of the Project Lead the Way courses would be helpful to give them a taste of engineering.Below are some courses that you may consider speaking with your son or daughter about.
- Advanced Placement - These courses are a standardized curriculum created by the College Board. AP courses allow a student the opportunity to earn three college credits if they earn a 3 or higher on the AP Exam.
- Dual Enrollment - Dual Enrollment courses are courses that are approved by Montgomery County Community College and they are either taught on the high school or MCCC West campus. Students can earn three credits from MCCC for completing these courses.
- STEM- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math courses focus on the rigorous courses that support careers in STEM. Plus, our Engineering courses are part of the Project Lead the Way program.
- Western Montgomery Career and Technology Center - These courses, taught at the Western Center, are also highly rigorous courses that prepare students for university work or career entrance. Students earn certifications and expertise in areas such as Protective Services, Cosmetology, HVAC, Bio-Medical, and several more. Visit the WMTC website to learn more and to enroll: Click Here for the website
- Air Force ROTC - This course teaches students citizenship, pride, character, leadership, pride, and team building in a course that honors the teachings of the Air Force. This course also looks at space programs, technology, and all about space flight.
- Encore These courses provide students with the opportunities to learn career and life skills such as Foods, Personal Finance, Career Explorations, World Language, Art, Music, Physical Education, and Health.
- Advanced Placement - These courses are a standardized curriculum created by the College Board. AP courses allow a student the opportunity to earn three college credits if they earn a 3 or higher on the AP Exam.
Winter Keystone Testing SchedulePosted by Dr. Bill Ziegler at 11/16/2014The Winter Keystones are right around the corner as the first set of exams begins the first week of December.Keystone Exams - The Keystone Exams are end-of-course assessments designed to assess proficiency in the subject areas of Algebra I, Biology, and Literature. Plus, the Keystone exams are one part of the graduation requirements for students. Furthermore, these exams are high stakes standardized exams which is one data point in determining our school's School Performance Profile. Please encourage your child to do their best and to take their time as there is no time limit. Only students who already took a Keystone and did not score proficient or advanced will be required to take the Keystones for the Winter session. Students will be notified if they need to take a Keystone exam.Winter Keystone Testing Dates
Biology: December 3 and 4 (Wednesday & Thursday)
Literature: December 9 and 11 (Tuesday & Thursday)
Algebra: January 8 and 13 (Thursday and Tuesday) - 2 Hour DelayFor the Algebra 2 Hour Delay, only students who are scheduled to take the Algebra Keystone exam are to report at regular time. All other students are on a 2 Hour Delay. Busing will be provided for the Keystone students arriving at regular time and for those on the 2 Hour Delay.Students who do not achieve proficiency on the Keystone exams will receive remediation and interventions in their subject throughout the spring semester. Plus, teachers will differentiate instruction to help these students earn proficiency. Scores are expected back to the school around March.
Using Technology for Formative AssessmentsPosted by William Ziegler at 10/13/2014Formative Assessment is a range of formal and informal assessment procedures employed by teachers during the learning process in order to modify teaching and learning activities to improve student attainment/achievement.Today's meet is a back channeling website that allows students to ask questions or respond to class discussions. Today's Meet will be releasing a Teacher version of Today's Meet which allows for more monitoring and control of responses.Kahtoot's website to create and log in: https://getkahoot.com/Kahoot is a fun and interactive way to use formative assessments in the classroom.Tutorial on Kahoot to learn more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFFv6_6was4Tutorial on Socrative: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGr53IA91MUPoll Everywhere: http://www.polleverywhere.com/Enter My Formative Assessment: https://www.polleverywhere.com/multiple_choice_polls/MPmduHkSVR9fXMx/webPoll Everywhere Tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfgkN2zZIlALino: This website allows students to have post Post-It notes in various colors.My Lino on Formative Assessments: http://linoit.com/users/billziegler/canvases/Formative%20Assessments%20PGSDForAllRubrics is a website that allows you to create rubrics, checklists, and badges. Badging is a component of the gamification of learning. Students earn badges and cannot lose them similar to video games. This encourages students to strive for levels just like they do while playing Xbox.
Career Exploration - Keys for Parents and A New Focus for Graduation ProjectsPosted by Dr. Bill Ziegler, Principal of Pottsgrove High School at 9/18/2014
The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires students in grades 11-12 to complete a graduation project that is established by their school district. PGHS has identified a need to provide students with a clear focus on career exploration; thus, we have modified our graduation project requirements for sophomores and juniors. Career exploration is so important as students begin to identify universities that support their career goals and as they prepare for the workplace. Students will, therefore, build a career portfolio.Juniors will complete a Career Interest Profile, a Junior Career Evaluation Survey, a resume, and a Recommendation Brag Sheet. These components are online at the Naviance Family Connection website. If you are not familiar with Naviance Family Connection, our school counselors will gladly assist you in gaining access. Please reach out to your son/daughter's school counselor to attain a parent account for Naviance Family Connection.It is important that we begin to support students as they explore careers and select areas of focus in post secondary education. As a school, we will be doing this through the revised graduation project career portfolio. We also added a course this year on Career Exploration, and we will embed career centered learning throughout a variety of our courses. Parental support is needed as students begin to evaluate their career choices.As a parent, you can support your teen's career exploration by:
Communication - Talking with them about various careers and finding their interests and strengths
Build on Strengths - My father always told me, "If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life." It's so important that students search for careers that align with their interests and strengths.
Explore - Allow your teen to explore various career paths. Help them to set up a job shadowing day, connect them with people in the career path of their interest, and allow them to explore various universities that specialize in their career path.
Guidance - Reach out to your son/daughter's school counselor for help in guiding them in exploring careers. Our school counselors are trained professionals who are experienced in guiding parents and students through career exploration and college selection.
Support - It is important that you support your son/daughter's career exploration. Guide them but don't discourage them if they explore a career that may be unfamiliar to you.
Navigating through career exploration is an exciting time for a high school student. But, it will require the unwavering support and guidance from parents, grandparents, family, and school personnel. I want you to know that we are here to support you and your teen through this process. If we can assist you in any way, please don't hesitate to contact me.
The Basics of Back to School NightPosted by Dr. Bill Ziegler, Principal of Pottsgrove High School at 9/5/2014As Back to School Night approaches, it is important that parents take full advantage of this opportunity to meet and greet with their child's teachers. Whether your child is in 9th or 12th grade, parents need to attend Back to School night. This year's Back to School Night is scheduled for Wednesday, September 10, 2014 from 7:00-8:30 p.m.Check out these Basics for Back to School Night:
- Be sure to greet your child's teacher and connect a face with a name
- Be sure to check out the teacher's syllabus and expectations for the course
- Be sure to get the teacher's contact information such as email and website
- Visit the School Counseling Office to learn about Parent Connection and the college application process
- This is the perfect time to ask questions about the course and the teacher
- This is NOT the time to ask specific questions about your child's grades, performance, or latest test score.
Please be sure to stop in the main lobby to learn about the Western Montgomery Career and Technical Center, Dual Enrollment opportunities, Air Force Junior ROTC, and much more. This is an ideal time to learn about the numerous opportunities that we provide for students at PGHS.Parking for Back to School Night - Parents may park in all lots. If you park in the south parking lot, you will need to enter through the 400 entrance (which is on the southwest corner of the building).
We will be providing transportation for any parent that needs a ride to Back to School Night. If you are in need of transportation, please contact our school office at 610-326-5105 to reserve your spot. A school van will pick you up and take you home from this most informative evening. A huge kudos goes out to our PTSA (Parent/Teacher/Student Association) for funding the transportation.Below is the Back to School Schedule:
DAY "A" SCHEDULE
7:00 - 7:09 (1st Period Class)
7:12 - 7:24 (2nd Period Class) (An announcement from the Principal will be made in the last 3 minutes of this period)
7:27 - 7:36 (3rd Period Class)
7:39 - 7:48 (4th Period Class)
7:51 - 8:00 (5th Period Class)
8:03 - 8:12 (6th Period Class)
8:15 - 8:24 (7th Period Class)
8:24 – 8:30 Open time to visit a teacher that you didn't get to meet or to visit the Main Lobby for the informational tables are set up.
4 Keys to Success in High SchoolPosted by Dr. William T. Ziegler, Ed.D. at 8/22/2014The start of a new school is an exciting time as it brings a chance for a new beginning, a fresh start, and an opportunity to achieve great things. I frequently get asked "What are the keys to success in high school?" and I always share the same four keys to success: get Involved, find a positive peer group, work hard, and parental involvement. I find the students that are achieving success and doing well in high school hold these four key traits.1. Get Involved: Research shows us that students who are involved in extra-curricular activities are more likely to be successful in school and post high school. Whether it's music, athletics, clubs, drama, robotics, or service groups students that are in these groups often find success in school. You may ask why, I believe it's because these groups help students to feel part of a team that builds a sense of community and belonging for students. Plus, it's all about relationships! These after school groups are often focal points for rich relationships that build life lasting friendships. These groups are led by high quality coaches, teachers, and mentors who lead with the intent of investing in the lives of students. I was involved in the music and athletic programs growing up as a student and it's through these programs that I learned life skills such as teamwork, grit, perseverance, hard word, resilience, and communication. If your student is not involved in an extra-curricular activity, please share with them the many opportunities that PGHS has to offer. Mr. DeRenzo, our Athletic Director and Director of Co-Curricular Activites, and I would be happy to meet with you and your student to review all that we have to offer.2. Positive Peer Groups - The old cliche of "you become who you hang around" can be so true. I see everyday how students are influenced by their peers both positively and negatively. It's important to encourage your child to find a peer group that reflects similar values as your family. When students select friends that have a focus on learning, good grades, treating people kindly, respecting one another, and working hard, many times that influence spreads throughout the entire group of friends. As school begins, this is a perfect opportunity for your child to select a new peer group that will help them to achieve their goals of success in school.3. Work Hard - I know this may sound easy but working hard is one of the greatest keys to success not just in school but in life. It's always great to watch that student who never gives up and keeps working to find success. Grit, perseverance, resilience, and determination are all parts of working hard. This reminds me of an AP Calculus student from last year. The student started off the AP Calculus course falling behind, frustrated, and earning a close to failing grade at the mid point of the first quarter. The student wanted out but the student's parents encouraged the student to stay in the course, go for tutoring, and persevere through the hardship. Well, it paid off! The student ended the course with an A and earned the highest score on the AP Calculus exam which will get her three credits in college. Success doesn't come to the talented but those who work hard, never give up, and move beyond the failures and obstacles.4. Parental Involvement - Parents often think that their high school student wants them to check out during the high school years. I believe this is far from the truth. Yes, we do need to give high school students more freedoms and opportunities to be responsible and on their own. But it's also critical that parents are involved in the life of their children in the high school years. During high school parents should play the role of cheerleader, coach, and teacher. It's important to celebrate your student's accomplishments and to cheer them onto success. Parents need to attend their performances, games, and competitions cheering them on. A note of caution, don't live your own high school career through your student, let them be who they are and celebrate their own accomplishments. It's important to also come along side your student during losses, struggles, and failures. Coach and teacher is an important role for parents. Using every opportunity to speak into your student's life is essential to their success. Plus, you are the number one influence in your student's life so use that influence to speak words of wisdom and encouragement into their life.Finally, as a school, our teachers, counselors, principals, and staff are here to support you and your student however you need. We work for the success of every student and strive to differentiate instruction to meet the various learning needs of each and every student. The mission of the Pottsgrove School District is to educate and inspire all students to excel as productive, responsible citizens, and lifelong learners. If I can help you or your student in anyway, please don't hesitate to contact me.
PGHS Testing Schedule for Spring 2014Posted by Dr. Bill Ziegler, Principal of Pottsgrove High School at 5/19/2014The flowers aren't the only thing sprouting this spring, it's testing time at PGHS. Over the next two months, our students will be taking multiple exams as we prepare for the close of an amazing school year. Students will be taking the PA State Keystone exams, course level Final Exams, and AP Exams.Keystone Exams - The Keystone Exams are end-of-course assessments designed to assess proficiency in the subject areas of Algebra I, Biology, and Literature. Plus, the Keystone exams are one part of the graduation requirements for students. Furthermore, these exams are high stakes standardized exams which is one data point in determining our school's School Performance Profile. Please encourage your child to do their best and to take their time as there is no time limit. A student needs to take the Keystone exam if they completed Algebra 1, Biology, and/or 10th grade English, and if they have taken a Keystone exam in the past and did not reach proficiency. Students will be notified if they need to take a Keystone exam. There will be a 2-Hour Delay on the days of Keystone testing. Students who are taking the Keystone exam need to report to school on time; whereas, students not assigned to a Keystone exam will report on a 2-Hour Delay. Busing will be provided for Keystone test takers and for the 2-Hour Delay. The state permitted schools to extend the Keystone testing window due to all the days of school missed because of the harsh winter.Students who do not achieve proficiency on the Keystone exams will receive remediation and interventions in their subject area next school year. Plus, teachers will differentiate instruction to help these students earn proficiency. Scores are expected back to the school during the middle of July. Parents can expect their child's report, that is given by state, in late summer or early fall.
Final Exams - Final exams are end of the year comprehensive assessments for each course. Final exams count for 10% of a student's final grade in that class. It is important that students focus on doing well in their course final exams. Students may leave once they completed their final exams for the day. Buses will run in the morning and then again after the second exam.AP Exams - AP exams begin on Monday, May 5, 2014. AP Exams are administered to students who have taken an Advanced Placement Course. Passing this assessment with a score of 4 o 5 can earn a student 3 credits at the collegiate level. If you would like to see the AP Exam schedule, please visit Click Here for AP Testing CalendarBelow is the PGHS 2014 Spring Testing Schedule