Given before the PDE, December 16, 2002
As one of the board members of Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School (PALCS), I want to thank you for this time you have given to us to share, for a few minutes, our vision for PALCS.
In my resume, I have 29 years with UNISYS Corporation doing various hardware and software design and support jobs, but my most challenging and rewarding job that my wife and I have, is raising and training our 6 children.
We have spent 5 of the past 7 years training our children using home school material. We have enjoyed the challenges and rewards of home schooling our children.
Last year we enrolled our 6 children in a PA charter school, which started last year. Despite numerous setbacks the charter school went through last year, our family found the cyber school experience a great success. My children enjoyed the following things from the cyber school experience:
- Broader school courses for the students
- Interaction between the student, teacher, and base facilitator
- Use of computers and Internet access (in addition to regular school books and reading material) in cyber school training experiences and
- The ability to monitor children’s course material and grade
We want PA Leadership to build on our current cyber school experiences by implementing some of the following ideas:
- PA Leadership will offer a fully contained, fully interactive online classroom / teacher experience for students throughout Pennsylvania.
- PA Leadership will provide challenging complete courses. Many of our courses will be more rigorous than a normal school course and all of our courses will provide extra curricular opportunities. These extra opportunities may provide Advanced Placement credit.
- Live teachers will host live classrooms, breakout chatrooms, individual instruction and daily e-mail interaction in all course work.
- All course work will be instantly graded. Grades will be electronically recorded in a continuous grade book that will be accessible to student and parent at all times.
- We will be seeking teachers with life experience in the subject taught. Seventy-five percent of teachers will have a PA Teacher’s Certification, as required by law.
- Many courses will have guest lecturers who are experts in their field.
- PA Leadership teachers will help design their own courses drawing upon the best resources available.
- PA Leadership teachers will partner with the finest online curriculum resource companies in the nation.
We will seek to build on the uniqueness of the school through:
- Expanded training and preparation in using the Internet, computers, and emerging technologies for the home facilitator, student, and teachers.
- Individual adapting of courses and training for each student at his or her ability level with an individual program of instruction for each student.
- An expanded school culture through camps or conferences and regional network groups. In our case, based on a desire to grow leaders, and
- Increased interaction between teachers, students, and Home Facilitator.
I believe PA Leadership has the vision and desire to grow excellent students and leaders for Pennsylvania and the world.