Lancer Letter – Bits & Pieces

Submitted by Richard Scaletta, GM School District Bits & Pieces. This week, instead of addressing one topic in the Lancer Letter, I’d like to update everyone on a few items. Planned Late Starts. In Lancer Letter #123, I outlined the tremendous amount of initiatives coming at public education from the state level. Aligning all curriculum […]

Lancer Letter – Enrollment Update

Submitted by Richard Scaletta, GM School District This is the time of year we spend some time looking at enrollment figures to see where our numbers have landed in comparison to predictions. In January or February of each year, we project the next year’s enrollment by advancing the numbers in each grade level and by […]

Lancer Letter – No Tomato Left Behind.

Submitted by Richard Scaletta, GM School District No Tomato Left Behind. Soon the state of Pennsylvania will be releasing school profile scores, based largely upon state standardized tests given to students in grades 3-12 last year. Given that fact, and the fact that I spent some time picking tomatoes this past weekend, I thought it […]

Lancer Letter – The Wheels On The Bus Go Round And Round.

Submitted by Richard Scaletta, GM School District As a K-12 certified music teacher, there’s an old song for elementary students that keeps coming into my mind these days: “The wheels on the bus go ‘round and ‘round, ‘round and ‘round, ‘round and ‘round.” With new bus routes and policies this year, we’ve had our hands […]

Lancer Letter – What’s New

Submitted by Richard Scaletta, GM School District By the time you read this, school will have opened and been in session for four days. The shine from the freshly waxed floors will have already dulled and it will feel like we never left. Summer break will be but a distant memory as the normal routine […]

Lancer Letter – Parent Like a Tomato Plant

Submitted by Richard Scaletta, GM School District This week we bring you another Lancer Letter Classic. Written last year specifically for this time of year, it offers sound advice for parents drawn from yet another garden metaphor. The words may be particularly comforting for parents sending their first child to kindergarten. If you grow tomatoes, […]

Lancer Letter – Anticipation

Submitted by Richard Scaletta, GM School District Anticipation. During this time of year, here is my picture of anticipation: I’m in the garden working when I see my wife come outside, wearing her apron and going into the herb garden. This means that her excellent culinary skills, enhanced by fresh herbs, will lead to an […]

Lancer Letter – Changing Face Of School Finances

Submitted by Richard Scaletta, GM School District This past school year, a new extensive after-school Autobiography project was launched, two new online reading programs, a career exploration curriculum, an AppleTV, A one Lego Mindstorms NXT Base Kit and NXT Intelligent Brick were purchased and more than $15,000 in scholarships were awarded to General McLane students. […]

Lancer Letter – My Lawmakers, My Choice

Submitted by Richard Scaletta, GM School District To continue to give my Lancer Letter pen a rest this week, I go into the archives for a satirical piece written in 2011. It was in 2011 that it became clear that many Pennsylvania legislators were espousing the American Legislative Exchange Council agenda which, in part, promotes […]

Lancer Letter – “Good Districts”

Submitted by Richard Scaletta, GM School District I’m taking some vacation time at the end of July so that means a break from writing Lancer Letters and the presentation of a few “Lancer Letter Classics.” What follows is a reprint of Lancer Letter #7, written in October of 2010. I think my description of what […]

Lancer Letter – Harrisburg Antics

Submitted by Richard Scaletta, GM School District This week I must digress from summer reverie to update you on some things happening in Harrisburg. I wish I could say that everyone involved in public education focuses completely on doing what’s best for students, but alas, political winds blow amok. As everyone likely knows, there is […]

Lancer Letter – A “WIN” For Local Business

Submitted by Richard Scaletta, GM School District Two summers ago in Lancer Letters #141-#143 entitled “Get a Job,” I did a three part series on the concept of College and Career Readiness. I explored what this phrase means and looked at some of the things the district was doing to help students find and prepare […]

Lancer Letter – Garden Metaphors

Submitted by Richard Scaletta, GM School District 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 huckster – he sold fruits and vegetables from door to door. He began his business with a horse and wagon and […]

School Safety Seminar

Submitted by Richard Scaletta, GM School District On Tuesday, June 16, Edinboro University hosted a day-long School Safety Seminar. In attendance were 127 emergency responders and 170 school district employees from throughout the region. The speaker for the day was Lieutenant Colonel David Grossman. Grossman’s career includes service in the U.S. Army as an officer […]

Agony

Lancer Letter submitted by Richard Scaletta, General McLane School District Agonizing. That is the only way I can describe the decision–making process with the 2015-2016 school budget. I would dearly love to utter those blessed three words: no tax increase. The board shares my desire and we have had discussions about doing that. The problem […]

Commencement 2015: Advice for the Real World

Submitted by Richard Scaletta, GM School District This week, I continue my tradition of publishing my commencement speech as the following week’s Lancer Letter: Members of the board of education. High School Administration. Distinguished faculty. Parents, friends and relatives of the graduates. Class of 2015. Tonight, I am pleased to chime in on this year’s […]

Rumination on Memorial Day

Submitted by Richard Scaletta, GM School District Memorial Day Rumination, 2015. Rumination 1: This letter is being written on Memorial Day. This holiday is one that holds special childhood memories for me. Every year growing up, my family would go to St. Anthony’s Cemetery in Johnstown for a special Mass at 10:00 a.m. At the […]

Words That Annoy

Submitted by Richard Scaletta, GM School District May is always a busy month but this year, it has been full of challenges for me. Time has been at a premium so this week, I’m recycling a Lancer Letter from my first year written right before spring break. The sentiments apply now as well: (To be […]

Property Tax Shift

Submitted by Richard Scaletta, GM School District For decades, there have been complaints that the property tax system used in this country is unfair. In light of the present movement in Harrisburg to lessen the property tax burden on homeowners, I thought I would address that topic this week. To begin our exploration of this […]

In Praise of Transportation

Submitted by Richard Scaletta, GM School District I think it is finally safe to say that the worst of winter weather is behind us. (I’ve wanted to write this for a while, but you can never be sure in Northwest PA). Given that fact, I wanted to take a moment to give a big thank […]