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Pennridge named as one of best school districts in state by Great PA Schools

Credit: Pennridge School District

The Pennridge School District was recently designated as a Great Pennsylvania School.

The Great Pennsylvania Schools (GPS) designation recognizes Pennsylvania public schools that provide students with access to rigorous programming, are community-centric, demonstrate financial well-being, and display resilience by the Pennsylvania School Board Association. The Great PA Schools honor is a
4-year designation and requires the School District to be re-evaluated every four years to
retain the recognition as one of the best districts in Pennsylvania.

Angelo Berrios, superintendent of Pennridge School District, shared his thoughts on this recognition.

“I am beyond proud of our students and staff for attaining this remarkable achievement. At Pennridge, we transcend the  traditional definition of a school district; we embody a vibrant community committed to fostering academic excellence, support, and resilience. Through our rigorous curriculum, deep-rooted community connections, and prioritization of our students, we are actively crafting a brighter future
for each student, every single day.”

As part of the application process, the Pennridge School District shared student, staff, and community celebration programs created over the last two years. Along with vital information for our stakeholders, an equal priority has been dedicated to sharing the everyday excellence provided to Pennridge students by our Teachers and Staff through our successful programs.

“We work to provide all students with a rigorous and relevant curriculum that sparks their interest and fuels their passion for learning. We recently added another AP course—AP Human Geography to
our course selection and will continue to expand on creative and stimulating options for all students,” said Dr. Kathy Scheid, assistant superintendent of Teaching, Learning, and Assessment.

Ron Wurz, Pennridge School Board president celebrated by stating, “Achieving the Great Pennsylvania Schools designation is a testament to our staff’s dedication to our students and our school. It is through their hard work and willingness to go the extra mile for our students that help our students reach their maximum potential. I congratulate everyone on this amazing accomplishment!”
To receive this designation, districts must meet the criteria established in each of the four categories.

Districts that provide students with academically rigorous programming must confirm that 100% of their teachers are certified and that students have access to career and technical education, gifted education, advanced placement, and/or dual enrollment baccalaureate courses and programming.

To demonstrate a district’s position as the centerpiece of the community, it must exemplify innovation in school programming, regularly celebrate the successes of students and staff, and provide academic and extracurricular offerings for the benefit of students. Through the district website, district communication, social media, newsletters, original “local news” style YouTube and Cable Channel programming, and internal initiatives like “Share Your PSD Great” and “S.A.I.L.” Pennridge has set a goal to show the great events happening inside our 11 schools and several support buildings.

The final criteria – resilience and fiscal health – measure a district’s planning efforts that ultimately lead to successful academic programming.

To meet the resilience criteria, a district must implement an emergency preparedness plan and provide mental health support to students.

A district meets the financially healthy criteria by having an elected or independent auditor conduct a financial audit annually, making the final district budget available for public review before adoption, and following School Code requirements for bids and quotations when purchasing goods and services.

In addition to the Great Pennsylvania Schools designation and success stories from schools across the state, the campaign website also houses information about the role and responsibilities of a school board, how to run for a position on a local school board and a collective vision for the future of public education in Pennsylvania.

Officials from “Great Schools PA” will be presenting Pennridge School District administrators with a large commemorative banner and plaque for display and celebration on Monday May 13 during the monthly Pennridge School Board Meeting.