Lancer Letter — A Fix for Insolvency

Lancer Letter — A Fix for Insolvency

Submitted by Richard Scaletta, GM School District Two weeks ago in Lancer Letter #300, School Funding Predicament, I traced some historical elements that have led to the current mess we face in Pennsylvania regarding public school funding. Many locally are aware of Erie’s funding shortfall, but I am finding more and more people that don’t […]

Lancer Letter — Not Your Mother’s Kindergarten!

Lancer Letter — Not Your Mother’s Kindergarten!

Submitted by Richard Scaletta, GM School District This week’s Lancer Letter comes from veteran teacher, Marie Troyer. Marie teaches kindergarten in McKean and gives us a glimpse into how much kindergarten has changed. It’s not your mother’s kindergarten – or even what you experienced in kindergarten! As Kindergarten teachers, we always forget what the beginning […]

Lancer Letter – School Funding Predicament

Lancer Letter – School Funding Predicament

Submitted by Richard Scaletta, GM School District The issue of school funding has been in the news recently and I wanted this week to address it. I printed a complete history of Pennsylvania school funding in Lancer Letter #199 which is available on our website. To fully comprehend what is currently happening, though, I will […]

Lancer Letter – Welcome To Our World

Lancer Letter – Welcome To Our World

Submitted by Richard Scaletta, GM School District I have noticed some things in the news headlines that makes me want to say to society, “welcome to our world.” Some items have garnered the ire of the general public while we educators have dealt with similar situations for quite some time. Colin Kaepernick is the San […]

Lancer Letter – Parent Like a Tomato Plant

Lancer Letter – Parent Like a Tomato Plant

Submitted by Richard Scaletta, GM School District Last week weekend, one of the regular readers of this column requested I print “the tomato one.” I’ve actually used tomatoes as a theme three times so I thought I should write a fourth. Alas, I was too busy this weekend picking and processing tomatoes to write a […]

Lancer Letter – And So It Begins

Lancer Letter – And So It Begins

Submitted by Richard Scaletta, GM School District And so it begins. Day 1. The children are at their bus stops early in their newest back-to-school clothes with book bags and school supplies in tow. Everyone reports to work early, eager to have everything in order to start the day. Parents stay with their young children […]

Lancer Letter – Bits ‘n’ Pieces

Lancer Letter – Bits ‘n’ Pieces

Submitted by Richard Scaletta, GM School District Summer break is over. Teachers will be back in the district August 25-29 and students return August 30. The amazing thing is that on September 1, it will seem as though we never left. Buildings will be running normally, bugs will be worked out of most situations and […]

Lancer Letter – Eat To Learn

Lancer Letter – Eat To Learn

Submitted by Richard Scaletta, GM School District This week I feature another summer rerun from 2011. The longer I am in education, the more convinced I become of the importance of nutrition to learning. Everyone is very busy these days and it is a challenge for families to eat right. I hope my suggestions help. […]

Lancer Letter – Garden Metaphors

Lancer Letter – Garden Metaphors

Submitted by Richard Scaletta, GM School District This week’s Lancer Letter was first written last year at the beginning of the summer and is this week’s summer rerun. I grew up in a house where my family lived on the first floor and my grandparents on the second floor. My grandfather was self-employed as a […]

Lancer Letter – Zucchini

Lancer Letter – Zucchini

Submitted by Richard Scaletta, GM School District (Note: It’s summer rerun season so I’m rerunning this summer classic first written in 2011.) This evening at dinner, my wife asked me what my Lancer Letter was about this week. I told her I was going to write about the questionable things that have been and are […]

Lancer Letter – More Summer Work

Lancer Letter – More Summer Work

Submitted by Richard Scaletta, GM School District Last week I addressed the myth that no one works in a school district over the summer. I addressed what happens to prepare for the educational year. Some people are surprised that principals and their office staff work all summer but probably fewer are surprised to know that […]

Lancer Letter – What? You Work In The Summer!

Lancer Letter – What? You Work In The Summer!

Submitted by Richard Scaletta, GM School District “What! You work in the summer?” Even though I’ve been a school administrator for 29 years, I still run into people who assume that school administrators do not work in the summer. If school administrators and their office staffs did not work in the summer, the first day […]

Lancer Letter – Summer Recreation

Lancer Letter – Summer Recreation

Submitted by Richard Scaletta, GM School District Its’ summer time! Summer is a time of year we all feel healthier. Likely the opportunity for recreation and the abundant availability of fresh produce fuels a healthier lifestyle, not to mention the fact that just being outside gives us a sense of energy. we are part of […]

Lancer Letter – In Praise of Taxpayers

Lancer Letter – In Praise of Taxpayers

Submitted by Richard Scaletta, GM School District A few weeks ago in Lancer Letter #285, Five Year Finances, I outlined how for the five fiscal years from 2012 through 2017, our pension and charter school costs have increased by 1.78 million dollars. I also outlined how the past four year’s tax increases and the increase […]

Lancer Letter – Erie/State Budget

Lancer Letter – Erie/State Budget

Submitted by Richard Scaletta, GM School District The financial outlook for the Erie School District remains bleak. The current approach is to try to get financial assistance to them for the 16-17 school year to allow time for what would hopefully be a longer term solution. A longer term solution could involve reigning in costs […]

Lancer Letter – Five Year Finances

Lancer Letter – Five Year Finances

Submitted by Richard Scaletta, GM School District I still remember taking my first school finance class. My major take-away was this: When a school district DOES NOT raise taxes to balance a budget, there should a parade, fireworks and celebration. Learning the inside workings of a school budget made me realize how difficult it is […]

Lancer Letter – A Tale of Two Districts

Lancer Letter – A Tale of Two Districts

ubmitted by Richard Scaletta, GM School District In 2010, I became the “new” superintendent of the General McLane School District. That same year, Dr. Jay Badams became the superintendent of the Erie School District. We each inherited very different districts. I was the beneficiary of a district that, under the leadership of a long-tenured superintendent, […]

Lancer Letter – Oral Tradition of the Lancer

Lancer Letter – Oral Tradition of the Lancer

Submitted by Richard Scaletta, GM School District It was around this time about six years ago I was preparing to transition from the high school principalship to the superintendency. One day, I was cleaning out my desk and found something I hadn’t used in decades placed far in the back end of a drawer. It […]

Lancer Letter – Now Is The Time

Lancer Letter – Now Is The Time

Submitted by Richard Scaletta, GM School District This is the time. Today is the day. Now is the moment. Many residents of the General McLane School District have been impacted by the district’s music program in some way. Perhaps you’ve had a child or grandchild in the band or choir or perhaps you yourself participated. […]