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**Pennridge School District Recognized as a Top ‘Great School’ in Pennsylvania**

EAST ROCKHILL — The Pennridge School District has earned the prestigious title of a “Great Pennsylvania School.”

The designation of Great Pennsylvania Schools (GPS) is a recognition bestowed upon Pennsylvania public schools that not only offer students access to challenging academic programs but also prioritize community engagement, exhibit financial stability, and demonstrate resilience, as outlined by the Pennsylvania School Board Association. This esteemed honor is valid for a four-year period, after which the district must undergo re-evaluation to uphold its standing as one of the top-performing districts in Pennsylvania, according to a district press release.

Angelo Berrios, the superintendent of Pennridge School District, expressed his immense pride in the students and staff for achieving this remarkable milestone. He emphasized that Pennridge goes beyond the conventional definition of a school district by fostering a dynamic community dedicated to nurturing academic excellence, providing support, and instilling resilience in its members. Berrios highlighted the district’s commitment to delivering a rigorous curriculum, fostering deep-rooted community ties, and prioritizing student well-being as essential components of crafting a brighter future for every student, each day.

As part of the application procedure, the Pennridge School District showcased various student, staff, and community celebration initiatives developed over the past two years. Alongside essential information for district stakeholders, equal emphasis was placed on highlighting the day-to-day excellence delivered to Pennridge students by educators and staff through successful programs.

Dr. Kathy Scheid, the assistant superintendent of teaching, learning, and assessment, underscored the district’s dedication to providing all students with a challenging and relevant curriculum that ignites their curiosity and nurtures their love for learning. She mentioned the recent addition of another Advanced Placement (AP) course, AP Human Geography, to the course offerings, with plans for further expansion to provide creative and stimulating options for all students.

Ron Wurz, the President of the Pennridge School Board, commended the staff’s unwavering commitment to the students and the school, attributing the achievement of the Great Pennsylvania Schools designation to their hard work and willingness to go above and beyond for the students. He extended his congratulations to everyone involved in this remarkable accomplishment.

To qualify for this recognition, districts must satisfy the criteria outlined in each of the four categories:

— Districts emphasizing academically rigorous programs must ensure that all teachers are certified and that students have access to career and technical education, gifted education, Advanced Placement (AP) courses, and/or dual enrollment programs.

— To exemplify the district as the heart of the community, innovative school programs, regular celebrations of student and staff achievements, and a diverse range of academic and extracurricular offerings for student enrichment are essential.

— The criteria related to resilience and fiscal health evaluate a district’s planning efforts that contribute to successful academic programs. Resilience criteria necessitate the implementation of an emergency preparedness plan and the provision of mental health support to students. Financially healthy criteria entail an annual financial audit conducted by an elected or independent auditor, public availability of the final district budget before adoption, and adherence to School Code regulations for procurement of goods and services.

Apart from the Great Pennsylvania Schools designation and the success stories from schools statewide, the campaign website also provides insights into the roles and responsibilities of a school board, guidance on running for a local school board position, and a shared vision for the future of public education in Pennsylvania.

Representatives from “Great Schools PA” will present Pennridge School District administrators with a commemorative banner and plaque for public display and celebration. The community is encouraged to participate in the commemorative event scheduled for May 13 during the monthly Pennridge School Board Meeting, as per the release.