Thursday, January 31, 2019

OJR School, North Coventry, on National Stage

Photo: Mrs. Kellie Bean, Mrs.  Lori Palmer, Dr. Susan Lloyd, Principal Brad Bentman, Ms. Joyce DeVol, and Mrs. Carly Youngblood

North Coventry Recognized for Exceptional Student Achievement

January 31, 2019 — North Coventry Elementary School, a designated Title I School, was honored this week by the National Association of ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act).

Title 1 provides financial assistance to schools with children coming from low-income families to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards.

North Coventry Elementary School, one of five elementary schools in the district, was one of 100 schools throughout the entire country recognized for exceptional student achievement in 2017 and 2018. Each year two schools in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania earn National Title 1 Distinction.

A leadership team from the school traveled to Kansas City, Missouri to showcase the school’s practices as part of the National Association of ESEA’s Annual Conference, where they were presented with the award.

Representing at the conference and accepting the award were Owen J. Roberts School District Superintendent, Dr. Susan Lloyd; North Coventry Principal, Brad Bentman; Instructional Support Teacher, Kellie Bean; Academic Coach, Lori Palmer; Title 1 Math Specialist, Joyce DeVol; and Title 1 Reading Specialist, Carly Youngblood.

We started the journey to turn around this school, the lowest achieving in the Owen J. Roberts School District, six years ago,” commented Dr. Lloyd, “And we did it by focusing on student growth.”

Through funding provided by the state, North Coventry is able to offer Title 1 Reading and Mathematics Programs and has strong processes in place to assure the programs work for all learners. Researched-based instructional strategies, along with a strong curriculum, are at the core of the school’s daily practices. The North Coventry staff believes it is their responsibility to minimize obstacles to effective learning.

The National ESEA Distinguished Schools Program publicly recognizes qualifying federally funded schools for the outstanding academic achievements of their students. It highlights the efforts of schools across the country that are making significant improvements for their students. 

The program has been in place since 1996, showcasing the success of hundreds of schools in one of three categories:
            Category 1: Exceptional student performance for two consecutive years
            Category 2: Closing the achievement gap between student groups
            Category 3: Excellence in serving special populations of students

The National Association of ESEA is a membership organization made up of State ESEA Program Administrators from each of the states and territories, charged with managing their state federal education program. They ensure compliance with federal regulations, but more importantly, work to see that all children– especially those living in economically disadvantaged conditions –have the opportunity to receive a high quality education.

Part of North Coventry Elementary’s success is developing strong partnerships with the parents of Title 1 students. Title 1 parents are invited and encouraged to attend events at the school that include Mathematics and Literacy Nights, Book Swaps, Read Across America, Winter Break Reading Challenge, Summer Reading Program, Jump Start and more. 

“We have a committed faculty and a very supportive community and we could not be prouder,” added Lloyd. “This is a crowning achievement, and we are so grateful for the federal funding that made this possible. Congratulations to all of the schools that received this distinction.”

More information about all National ESEA Distinguished Schools is available on the ESEA Network website:

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Generous Donation to Help Improve Safety and Security

Presenting the contribution at the Board of Directors meeting on 1/28/19
When Chief of Safety and Security Brandon Daniels came to Owen J. Roberts, he knew he wanted to upgrade the data and records system being used. He reviewed the options and felt the best and most comprehensive system was offered by a company that is actually based out of Pottstown. Cody Systems is a family-owned business with customers across the country. Chief Daniels learned that the co-owner was an Owen J. Roberts alumnus. After meeting, the company decided to give back to the district and made a very generous contribution consisting of the Cody Systems Records Management System including installation and training as well as the first year's maintenance agreement with an approximate value of $25,000.

Over 500 agencies across the country use CODY solutions to help them do their jobs. Chief Daniels is excited about how the search data will enhance safety and security at Owen J. Roberts School District and allow for better collaboration with police with the ability to share cross-crime and cross-report data in real time.

Thank you to Cody Systems!

Students Create Lock-Down Devices


Chief Daniels looks at the process while students work on the production phase.
Owen J. Roberts High School students in Mr. Crowl's Advanced Engineering Design Class have developed a lock-down device which can be used to secure classrooms during an emergency. Students worked on several prototypes during the design phase. The Engineering Design class is now in the process of building the device for each room in the High School.
Students measure for production and installation
     The design, which takes advantage of the sturdy steel framed classroom doors, was designed and tested prior to assembly. The class is now in the assembly phase. 

      Police and Security Chief Brandon Daniels said that he receives countless phone calls from vendors who want to sell the district such a device. These student-made devices will make the high school safer and save the district money. Mr. Crowl hopes to publish the design plans to a magazine so that other schools can create similar devices.


Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The Owen J. Roberts Graduate

Produced by OJRHS Senior, Gretchen Harken

Lillian Minor Selected as Widener Leadership Award Recipient

Congratulations are extended to High School student, Lillian Minor! Owen J. Roberts was notified today on behalf of President Julie Wollman of Widener University and NBC10, that Lillian has been selected to receive the High School Leadership Award.  As a recipient, Lillian will receive a $20,000 scholarship to Widener University over four years and will be named an Apogee Scholar should she enroll at Widener. As an Apogee Scholar, students participate in a leadership development program in the Oskin Leadership Institute, which will include earning a Widener Leadership Certificate and participating in a variety of on-campus leadership development activities.

This award program is designed to recognize high school students in the region, like Lillian, who embody the University’s commitment to develop and inspire leaders to affect positive change. With this award, the Widener University High School Leadership Awards Committee recognizes Lillian’s ability to demonstrate courage by standing up for what is right, finding a way to address a wrong, or making a difference in a significant way.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Student Helps Bring MS Culture to Visual Life

Olivia works on a new collaborative mural with students and Mrs. Fake. She is key in designing the mural to reflect the culture of the Middle School. This mural is "colorful and action-oriented".

Owen J. Roberts High School senior and president of the Art Cub, Olivia Kenny, has post-High School plans for art study. But while still in high school, she is putting her skill sets to work every day as a teacher’s assistant in Mrs. Ingrid Fake’s Middle School art room. During the final period of the day, Olivia takes a quick walk from the High School over to the Middle School where she applies her talents to help the teacher and assist students in creating new murals for the stair wells.

In the photo of Olivia directly above, she stands in front of a mural in which she spent hours cleaning up the design. She used her creativity to bring the black and white images together in the middle of the mural incorporating the work of a community of students to make the final image pop with power and cohesiveness of design. She was able to tie all the images from Aladdin together with a wave of sparkle--a nod to the magic of the show. (Aladdin was a major musical production at the Middle School in 2017. “Olivia has an uncanny ability to interpret ideas and have them make sense visually,” said Mrs. Fake. The mural in progress now, "is colorful and action-oriented," said Olivia.

While many high school students apply for teacher assistant positions at the High School, Olivia thought the Middle School may be able to use her skills and her application was accepted.  Her year-long service will end with concrete additions to the Middle School. Olivia is also a member of the National Art Honor Society.