New super brings change and opportunities to KCSD
By AVERY HEVERLY
For The Express
MILL HALL — Keystone Central School District has experienced several changes and welcomed new opportunities throughout the past year since Feb. 1, 2019 when Superintendent Jacquelyn Martin began leading the district. In just the short amount of time that she has been at KCSD, she has made it her goal to carry out the districts new vision and mission. The district’s new vision is to prepare citizens for the challenges and opportunities of the future.
The Elementary STEM Program has made a huge impact in its first year of implementation according to STEM Department Program Leader, Luke Herron. This program focuses on applying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics while completing various activities. Manda Mosier, Elementary Science District Program Leader, states, “at the elementary level we are exposing students to the foundations of future career paths, increasing their ability to persevere through challenging tasks, using failures as an opportunity to learn, and building strong collaborative skills necessary to be successful when working with others.” The Elementary STEM Program is a developing program that will improve each and every year.
A heavily praised change that is already seeing lots of success is opening Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs to ninth grade students. This change provides earlier exposure for students who are interested in any courses or careers that the CTE department provides. Additionally, the district revived Diversified Occupations program allows high school seniors to explore active employment for elective credit if the CTE does not offer a program in their area of interest. Over 250 new students have joined CTE Programs in the 2019-20 school year, which also increases funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Education by $1,000 per student.
The CTE department is also announcing two new educational programs for the 2020-21 school year. Advanced Health Professions will be offered as a Dual Enrollment Course through Lock Haven University. This program combines skill-based, interactive, and university level classroom instruction with shadowing in the healthcare setting. The program is designed to prepare students for post-secondary education by offering a college level course.
Engineering Technologies/Technicians is a program in which students will assist engineers and scientists in their own research and development, build equipment and conduct experiments themselves. This program prepares high school students with skills needed to pursue active employment in high need jobs within Clinton County and the surrounding area.
Another beneficial program change is the increased Dual Enrollment opportunities offered through various universities: Mansfield University, Lackawanna College, Clarion University, Bloomsburg University, and Lock Haven University. This is especially important for seniors who are planning on attending one of these various universities and they can obtain college credit while in high school.
The Adult and Community Education (ACE) Program is another new program that begins in Spring 2020. The ACE Program is an opportunity for adults in the community to participate in classes as well as adding some summer camps for our students. ACE Supervisor, Robert Getz is working hard to get the program off the ground. This program is designed to be self-sustaining from enrollment fees and has the potential to be a revenue generator for the district while providing programs desired by members of the community.
Superintendent Martin believes that positive change has been welcomed by many district employees who have helped to make the new programs possible. Martin stated, “At KCSD, our fundamental purpose is learning…not only for our students, but for our entire community. When making decisions about new programs, we ensure that all of our actions reflect the district’s vision and shared values, and that there is a commitment from those who are responsible for the new programs.”
These shared values are equitable access to rigorous curriculum and effective instruction, critical thinking and solution-focused learners, a safe, healthy, and inclusive culture, high expectations and support for all, engaged and empowered community and families, and policies and procedures that promote learning and leadership.
The Keystone Central School District is welcoming responsive changes to the district as they work diligently to achieve their vision to prepare citizens for the challenges and opportunities of the future, whatever that may look like for each child.