Friday, January 29, 2016

Watch OJR on PHL 17

Above: Owen J. Roberts School Psychologist, Dr. Brian Schneider, and Director of Technology, Mr. Paul Sanfrancesco, on the set with News Anchor Jennifer Lewis-Hall of PHL 17.

Scheduled to air on PHL 17's IN FOCUS, Saturday, February 6, 2016, is a 30 minute segment highlighting Owen J. Roberts' efforts to keep children safe online. The show airs at 6:30 and 11:30 a.m.

The Owen J. Roberts Parent Technology Series is featured as a way to help parents navigate the safekeeping of students when they are using digital media. Mr. Sanfrancesco explains why it’s so important for the school district to partner with parents. He defines sexting and cyberbullying and talks a bit about the problems. He explains that many of us, students included, are naive. We need to educate ourselves to guide children as we are really learning together. Ms. Lewis-Hall asks about hidden traps, Apps, and what parents need to know. 

Dr. Schneider addresses social media and tools like computers and cellphones that make many aspects of life easier, but also carry risks for which we all need to manage. He talks about who is vulnerable for cyber-bullying and provides strategies to safeguard children.

There are 2 more Parent Sessions to mark on your calendar:

  • March 9 – Social Media hands on instruction for parents by our own high school students.
  • May 16 – Student Tech Showcase
All sessions will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will be held in the Middle School Auditorium

Owen J. Roberts is noted for taking a proactive approach to informing students and parents about online safety

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Kindness Counts

East Vincent 6th grade student do a skit demonstrating kind behavior

East Vincent Elementary kicked off the Great Kindness Challenge on February 22

 West Vincent Elementary created a lip sync video

In the upcoming weeks, many of our elementary schools are focusing on being kind.

Friday, January 22, 2016

District Activities Cancelled for Weekend

Due to the impending winter storm the following schedule will be in place this weekend:
  • As of Friday, 6:00 p.m., all OJRSD activities are cancelled and the campuses are closed. 
  • All Saturday and Sunday school and community events are cancelled.
  • SAT’s scheduled for Saturday are postponed until Saturday February 20, 2016 at OJRHS.
  • Cars should not be parked in school lots as of Friday evening and through the weekend.  Our facilities and maintenance staff will be working Saturday and Sunday to clear snow.  
Presently, the storm is slated to impact us all day Saturday.  Our goal is to have everything cleared for a full day of school on Monday.  Any updates about the school schedule for Monday will be posted on our website by early Sunday evening.  Parents will also be notified via phone, Skylert and social media.  Please have a safe weekend and enjoy time with your families. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

DNA Experiements at Middle School

An Open House at the middle school on Wednesday, January 20, highlighted 315 student science research projects. Science teachers provided hands on opportunities for attendees with physics demonstrations, strawberry DNA extractions, preserved specimen companions, and a DNA double helix edible candy model.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Students Make District Orchestra

Congratulations to the following talented Owen J. Roberts Orchestra members who qualified for PMEA Region 6 Orchestra as a result of successful re-auditions at PMEA District 12 Orchestra Festival: 

Daniel DiMarino, 2nd place, Violin I
Leigh Magness, 7th place, Cello

EC Teacher Featured

Check out teacher in Reading Eagle

Friday, January 15, 2016

Help Keep Kids Safe Online

Owen J. Roberts School District is working to lower the risk of students getting into trouble with technology. As part of an ongoing effort to partner with families in raising safe digital citizens, Owen J. Roberts invites parents to attend a K-12 Technology Series. The series is not meant to create fear over topics such as privacy abuse, cyberbullying or texting, but rather to empower parents and guardians. The next session is titled Kids & Technology: Psychological Impacts and will be held on Thursday, January 21, 6:30 p.m. at Owen J. Roberts Middle School, 881 Ridge Road, Pottstown. “Our kids are developing alongside technology,” said school psychologist, Dr. Brian Schneider, who will be co-presenting. “Just as we do with driver education, we need to give digital learners the guidelines to navigate the digital highway safely,” he added. 

There are many elements to a coordinated, proactive approach to responsible technology use. At Owen J. Roberts, digital citizenship is part of the curriculum. In addition, administrators, teachers, guidance, and support personnel are all active in helping students understand and commit to practices which safeguard against online victimization of all kinds. The district has been strategic in offering teacher training to increase technology comfort levels and to build awareness about online risks which have potential negative consequences for youth. Students are encouraged to speak openly with trusted adults about what they see online or anything which they may question. Developmentally-appropriate guidance and role play opportunities are provided to students in classrooms and through special presentations by technology experts. As students reach an age where they may be more independent online communicators, more interventions are provided.

“The education of all stakeholders must be pervasive, ongoing work,” offered Owen J. Roberts Technology Director Paul Sanfrancesco. Mr. Sanfrancesco does not believe in one-size-fits-all safety nets or solutions, but works diligently with all stakeholders to find options that fit. He was motivated to provide the parent series because he feels that parents need to commit to keeping current.

The district hopes that parents and guardians take advantage of the series. Upcoming sessions are on March 9 – Social Media Hands-on (facilitated by high school students) and May 16 – Student Tech Showcase. 

Technology offers powerful tools which may enhance learning and life. Working together, parents and schools can cultivate a culture which supports safe use of those opportunities.