SCASD

Outside of the newly renovated Spring Creek Elementary School.
Brittany Krugel / WPSU

After a year of mixed-mode learning due to the pandemic, survey results from the State College Area School District show that nearly 98% of elementary and secondary school parents in the district want their kids back in in-person school in the fall. 

A group of State College Area School District students is calling for changes to the curriculum and training programs that they say will make them more inclusive.
Min Xian / WPSU

A group of State College Area School District students is calling for changes to the curriculum and the district’s training programs that they say will make them more inclusive.

Dozens of students and parents attended a rally outside the district office Saturday, where student organizers read their list of demands and handed it to the district’s director of equity and inclusivity, Seria Chatters.

Bryan Peasley and his mom, Debbie at a Penn State football game.
Debbie Peasley

 

  The State College Area School District will be offering three different forms of learning to its students for the coming fall semester. Families have until Tuesday to decide what form of education works for them amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

State High building
Min Xian / WPSU

All schools in the State College Area School District will stay out of session for students until March 20, 2020 because of coronavirus concerns, superintendent Bob O’Donnell informed parents in an email today. 

“At this time, we believe that is the right step to take for the health and safety of our SCASD families, employees, and the community at large — especially to protect our students and employees who are immunosuppressed or at greater risk due to age and other reasons,” O’Donnell said.

Seria Chatters is the director of diversity and inclusivity for the State College Area School District.
Cheraine Stanford / WPSU

Seria Chatters is the first-ever director of diversity and inclusivity for the State College Area School District. She draws from both her personal and professional experiences to inform her work.

Before taking her current position, she was an assistant professor in Penn State's Department of Educational Psychology, Counseling and Special Education. 

Chatters talked with WPSU about her first semester on the job and what she hopes to accomplish in the position. 

TRANSCRIPT:

Wideline Seraphin and Ana Díaz.
Jim Carlson / Penn State College of Education

 

 

Since 2014, Wideline Seraphin and Ana Díaz have been collecting narratives from members of marginalized communities about their experiences living in State College and Centre County. A few of these stories will be featured in the mini-documentary “Schooling Narratives,” which focuses on the experiences of three families in the State College Area School District.

Seraphin said the student narratives have been used at the State College Area High School to rethink inclusion in a classroom space.

What SCASD Schools Are Doing To Keep Students Safe

Jun 7, 2018
Students outside of State College Area High School on Jan. 8, 2018.
Min Xian / WPSU

As the school year draws to a close in State College, teachers and school officials are thinking about the recent school shootings in other cities, and how to keep students here safe. Cindy Simmons talked to some of them for WPSU.   

Penn State Child Study Center director Karen Bierman and SCASD superintendent Bob O’Donnell.
Sarah Khalida / WPSU

Bullying is an issue in K-12 schools across the country. Live on Facebook and armed with questions submitted ahead of time by parents, we talked with a school official and a researcher tackling the issue here in central Pennsylvania.

Bob O’Donnell is superintendent of the State College Area School District and Dr. Karen Bierman is director of the Child Study Center at Penn State and a professor whose 35 years of research focus on prevention programs that promote self-regulation and positive peer relations. 

You can watch the full Facebook Live interview here: 

The State College Area School District's board of directors has approved changes to the school day. The board voted 8-to-1 to lengthen the elementary school day by 44 minutes. The current day length is one of the shortest in the state, and the change is meant to give teachers more time for core instruction. Superintendent Bob O'Donnell called it "a monumental step forward, having a lasting impact on generations of our community’s youth."

The State College Area School District has proposed changes to the school day. The elementary school day would be longer, and middle and high school would start later.

To talk about these proposed changes and some of the research behind these recommendations, I’m joined in the studio by superintendent Bob O’Donnell, and Penn State researchers Dr. Anne-Marie Chang, who studies the effects of sleep on cognitive performance, and Dr. Ed Fuller, who’s Director of the Penn State Center for Evaluation and Education Policy Analysis.    

A white sign that says Corl Street Elementary School in front of school
Talia Cowen / WPSU

   

 There could be a shake up in State College Area School District’s elementary schools with the new District-Wide Facilities Master Plan. Under the plan, Lemont’s K-2 elementary school will likely be repurposed, while Houserville and Radio Park are being considered for renovation or new construction projects. However, the fate of Corl Street Elementary remains less clear.