Wednesday, July 31, 2013

School-wide Behavior Programs Recognized

Congratulations to East Coventry and North Coventry Elementary Schools for state recognition at the 2013 PAPBS Network Implementers’ Forum for meeting the criteria for implementing School-Wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS) with fidelity at the universal systems level (Tier 1) during the 2012-2013 school year. Each school was recognized at the Forum and received a banner to display in their schools.

North Coventry's Guidance Counselor, Suzanne Grashof and the CCIU Behavior's Consultant, Charlie Robey were instrumental in the development of Wally’s Way in order to establish a culture of respect for self, others, the school, and the environment. Mr. Robey has provided the staff with critical guidance and professional development on positive behavior support for the past two years. Sue serves as the leader for the School Wide Positive Behavior Support Task Force that is composed of Dr. Lloyd and 15 teachers (one from each grade level, learning support, and special areas). Their leadership and commitment to creating a pervasive culture of respect help to earn North Coventry this distinction.

East Coventry's Sandy Fondren was instrumental in working alongside Principal Todd Oswald to create a team of East Coventry staff members who designed the positive behavior program WildCat Way, which is a program that encourages students to be respectful, be safe and be responsible. Under the leadership of Fondren, the team meets periodically to review behavior data and modify the approach as needed. It is because of her dedication and leadership to the program that East Coventry was a recipient of this recognition. Charlie Robey was also instrumental in the development of this program at East Coventry.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Mr. Randy Loughin Honored


Owen J. Roberts Athletic Director Mr. Dave Strock presented Randy Loughin with a certificate for his years of service and dedication to youth sports. 

At the Owen J. Roberts Board of School Directors Regular Business Meeting on Monday, July 29, 2013, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Christian recognized Randy Loughin, a 1969 alumnus of Owen J. Roberts High School who has been involved with sports at the youth, middle school and high school levels in the Owen J. Roberts School District for over 30 years.  
For the past 20 years, Mr. Loughin has been President of the Roberts Athletic Association (RAA) and has dedicated his efforts and the Roberts Athletic Association’s efforts to supporting the student athletes, coaches, athletic department and School District. One of the many things that RAA has provided under his leadership are championship jackets for all championship teams.  
During his 20 years of service, OJR teams have won 67 PAC-10 championships in 18 sports, five District 1 championships in four sports, two state-runner-up teams and one state championship. Dr. Christian, the School Board and the audience applauded Mr. Loughin for the impact on the district. Dr. Christian stated, "The impact of his leadership will be felt for many generations to come."

Monday, July 29, 2013

Girls Lacrosse Coach of the Year

Congratulations to Mrs. Amy Stone for being selected as the Pottstown Mercury Girls Lacrosse Coach of the Year.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Best Practices in Cleaning

Several years ago Owen J. Roberts School District implemented a new training program for our housekeeping department.  Wanting to provide a high level of training to best benefit the consistent standards already established, a program that stressed “Cleaning best practices for healthy environments” was begun.    With the help of CMI instructors, the department’s monthly in-service meetings were conducted with a primary focus on the “Custodial Technician” program sponsored through Cleaning Management Institute.  Program topics such as “The Chemistry of Cleaning”, basic and advanced cleaning of all types of surfaces along with various safety and green cleaning courses and testing were all provided through the modules in the CMI program.  

The CMI training program covers vast amounts of information that relates to proper green cleaning.  Some examples:
             Reduction and proper use of chemicals
             Improved techniques to save resources and supplies
             Understanding correct chemistry to avoid potentially dangerous misuse and to instill the importance of safety.
             Proper portion allocation and the math required for it.

We are also carefully and systematically changing certain types of chemicals to more green-friendly products.

In May 2013, twenty-three members of our Housekeeping Department were acknowledged for completing their training and received their certifications.  Because of varying hire dates of newer employees, many more in the department will soon achieve completion status as well.  The ultimate goal of a 100% trained staff will continue to be worked on by all, but our current 50% success level is the highest achieved by any one department of this size, that our trainers are aware of at this time.

We set our goals high to get everyone trained and to achieve the highest quality in our department.  As the training progressed, our staff began accepting it as a way to self-improve and become more knowledgeable and comfortable with the proper ways to execute their duties.  We are well on our way to reaching that 100% trained staff level.  And most importantly, we’ve definitely shown our staff that “working smarter not harder” makes sense.
Congratulations to members of Housekeeping Department who completed training and became certified through the Cleaning Management Institute.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

School Gardens Serve Many Purposes

Middle School students in the Extended School Year program maintain gardens at their school; watering, weeding and harvesting. Students recently made carrot cake with carrots which they harvested. They also tried beets in various forms; sliced, diced and grated. It may come as a surprise to anyone who has placed beets on the family dinner table, but when students grow and harvest foods--even beets--the trend is that they often enjoy eating them. Teachers were surprised when students asked for seconds of beets! The Middle School gardens are among other district gardens which produce as part of the Chester County Food Bank Raised Bed Program. These raised bed gardens are inspiring a new generation of vegetable lovers!

Today's harvest from North Coventry Elementary School will be delivered to South Coventry Township, who teams with the North Coventry Food Bank to manage a list of families who have need for food. Owen J. Roberts schools partner with South Coventry Township to make sure garden produce gets into the hands of those who may be food insecure.

Many volunteers help maintain gardens at our school locations during the summer; teachers, parents, students and staff.

In June, South Coventry Township reported:

"This year we received our first contribution on May 6th and have been distributing in the weeks since then. So far we have been able to provide fresh produce for 9 families, feeding 31 people! During the month of May we also provided produce for a number of residents at Hopewell Manor in Elverson. Produce items have already included a variety of lettuces, kale, spinach, radishes, beets and greens, snap/ snow peas, swiss chard, rainbow chard, beets, zucchini, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. We also distributed baby carrots, apples, potatoes, and sweet corn on the days that were heavy on the lettuce!

 We are very excited to see the large amounts of produce come in and are excited to continue distributing the food to some very grateful families. Our first few weeks have been successful and we hope that the weeks to come will be as well!"

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Recent Graduate Named Young Hero

Molly Girard, a 2013 graduate of Owen J. Roberts High School, is a recipient of The National Liberty Museum and TD Bank 2013 Young Hero Award. Ms. Girard is one of fourteen young people in the Delaware Valley region to be recognized for her actions, which champion liberty for all.  

As a student at Owen J. Roberts High School, Ms. Girard worked to promote diversity through civic engagement, conflict resolution, and awareness. She was nominated for the award for her efforts toward equality and understanding for all students no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity.  She and other students started an annual Ally week where students and staff pledged to end all forms of bullying. The official definition of an Ally is anyone who speaks out and stands up for a person or group that is targeted and/or discriminated against. She was also an integral member of a student committee who educated administration and staff at all Owen J. schools about hurtful LGBTQ language and what it means to students to keep schools safe for all.

All winners of the Young Hero Award receive recognition at an awards ceremony at the Museum in Philadelphia on Thursday, August 8; a certificate of recognition, medallion and gifts; and a plaque featuring their story in the Museum’s Young Heroes Exhibit, where the story of our Young Heroes’ accomplishments will be seen by over 60,000 visitors a year.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

News Blog Celebrates One Year

The Owen J. Roberts News Blog is an opportunity to share the good news in our schools. It has evolved into a weekday blog which lets families and the public take pride in the commitment of our schools in preparing children for future.

In the past year, 145 news stories were posted and followed with increasing popularity. As of June 24, 2013, there were 8,209 all-time page views with a record 1,579 in May. In contrast, June 2011 recorded 94 page views. On any given day, there is a waiting list of worthy triumphs and accomplishments of which to publicize. The most popular stories of 2013 have been “Student Serves by Helping Dog’s Special Destiny” published on January 9 and “Mock Crash” published on April 19.

The news blog is a digital media presence used in conjunction with other social media. The blog serves as another reason for families to “check in” on the website to keep current. Facebook has a wide reach, but is used primarily for news not related to individuals. Facebook seems to be successful in engaging the public for events, such as the Digital Citizenship speaker. The Facebook photo of the buses pulling out on main campus the last day of school reached 1,042 people and received 89 “likes”. Twitter, Facebook and the news blog generate cross traffic which help keep our publics informed.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Wildcats Field Three Players to All-State Team

Three Owen J. Roberts High School Softball team members have been named to the PIAA Class AAAA All- State Softball Team.  Sarah Dowd, named First Team Outfielder, is the third person in school history to be named first team all-state. Shannon Clemens was named Second Team Designated Player/Utility and Sam Garritano was honored as Second Team Outfield.

PAC-10 Conference MVP Sarah Dowd was a 2013 senior who played center field, she hit .563 with 27 runs scored, 25 RBI and was 19/19 in stolen bases.  She finished her career with the highest career batting average (.439) in school history.  She also has the two highest single season batting averages in school history, .564 in 2012 and .563 in 2013.  Sara has accepted a Division 1 Scholarship to play at Youngstown State University. 

Shannon  Clemens was also a 2013 senior and an outstanding pitcher who filled in at other positions including first base, catcher and designated player. She hit .473 with a school record 32 runs batted in this year.  She also went 16-4 as Owen J. Roberts' number one pitcher; she had a 0.74 ERA with 87 strikeouts and 7 shutouts.  She finished her career with the second highest career batting average (.418) in school history.

Sam Garritano, only a sophomore,  played right field and center field and was the Wildcat primary lead off hitter.  She hit .360 with 27 runs scored, while going 15-16 in stolen base attempts.

Sarah Dowd's first team award is followed by Wildcat First Team All-State players Jen Beaver in 2008 & 2009 and Kelly Schymanski in 2009.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Fishing Camps Catch On

In true outdoor spirit, Owen J. Roberts students fish area waterways while participating in various Fishing Camps offered this summer. Campers receive personalized instruction on fishing techniques including casting, tackle selection, fish identification, safety and regulations. Campers also learn about basic entomology, knots, catch & release, leave-no-trace and other lifetime outdoor skills. Wildcat Summer Fly-fishing Camp is also offered where campers learn fly-casting technique and fly-tying. Fishing camps are among the most popular camps in the Owen J. Roberts Summer Learning Series. Camps are self-supporting. The fly-fishing camp was awarded an L.L. Bean Outdoor Experience Mini-grant, awarded through the Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation. The grant allowed for more fly fishing equipment and practice casting rods for students to access.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Modified Summer Hours

As part of our energy conservation measures, Owen J. Roberts School District operates on modified business hours for the summer. The modification results in thousands of dollars saved and helps reduce our carbon footprint.

School and district offices are open for extended hours throughout the week. The main district office is open from 7:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday most weeks in the summer. All district offices are closed on the following days:
Thursday, July 4th (holiday)
Friday, July 12
Friday, July 19
Friday, July 26
Friday, August 2
Friday, August 9