From the Desk of Dr. Phillips

  • Welcome to the Start of the 2018-19 year!

    Posted by Joseph Calamita on 8/22/2018 10:00:00 AM

    Dr Phillips Welcome Back! I hope everyone had a restful and enjoyable summer.

    I want to touch on some district updates but first I want to commend all the incredible hard work done over the summer by the teachers and administrators.  

    We as a district have pivoted to utilizing data to inform us.  We are going to utilize assessments quarterly through the use of STAR Reading and STAR Math to provide data to our teachers to drive more targeted instruction.  

    A group of teachers did some tremendous work over the summer to align our curriculum to the state standards. This helped them to identify gaps in our current math resources.  They looked at PSSA tests and identified the percentage of test questions that are asked for each area of standards covered in instruction for that grade.  Using these insights, grade level teams created aligned units of instruction.   Each K-6 teacher will be receiving a grade level binder that will guide instruction because of this powerful work.  With regard to the math instruction work. We will continue to collaborate with each other, utilizing the teachers that worked so hard over the summer to be team leaders with respect to questions about the binders they developed. 

    Department Chairs continue to provide leadership in the area of ongoing curriculum writing in every content area.  Along with this work, we will continue to have a strong emphasis on student’s reading and writing inclusive of all content areas.  

    A continued emphasis on Type I and Type II writings in all classrooms will remain an expectation.   Special recognition to those teachers that were involved in the text-dependent analysis work this summer. This will greatly enhance our students writing and analysis skills.

    Construction has taken place in some form big or small in all the buildings this summer but I want to highlight the secure vestibules in Lorane, Jacksonwald, and the Junior High. Roof work took place at the High School, Junior High, Lorane, and Jacksonwald. New HVAC systems were built in Jacksonwald and Lorane, and work will begin in the fall to remediate the area behind Reiffton that will eliminate the concerns of ice when the students exit the building to go to the recess area.  These changes are all positive for the district and our students. While these are changes, we are all taking on these changes together.

    Many changes have taken place this summer, in all departments, buildings, and staffing. It has been an exciting time in the district and I am confident that the dedicated educators, administrators and support staff members have the ability and passion to do what it takes to continue to provide an excellent experience for our students. 

    Finally, our athletes have returned and the Fall sports season is well under way.  Support our student athletes and show your school spirit by purchasing items from the Exeter High School Athletics Webstore.  The store is only open until September 3rd and items will be delivered on October 1st.  Check it out at https://kellyssports.com/exeter_high_school_athletics/shop/home.  

    I look forward to a wonderful 2018-19 school year.  Go Eagles!

    You can follow Dr Phillips during the schoo year on Twitter @ETSDDrPhillips.

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  • Summer Blog

    Posted by Robert Phillips on 8/9/2017 8:00:00 AM
    Hi and I hope you are all having a great summer!
     
    We have been busy getting everything ready for the 2017-2018 School Year.
    The summer has absolutely flown by... It seems like it was only a few days ago the graduates were walking across the stage getting their diplomas. 
     
    I wanted to provide some information to you that may be useful. Below is a Public Safety Emergency Alert System that is new for Berks County residents. Follow below to sign up if you wish to have alerts sent to your cell phone or e-mail. 
     
     
    Berks Alert

     

    Find Out First.
     
    Get local alerts about emergencies, severe weather, and road closures on your cell or email.
     
    Emergencies, Severe Weather, Traffic Alerts.
     
    When situations arise in Berks County that may affect you and your family, Berks Alert lets local officials notify you quickly. Be among the first to find out and stay informed during an emergency.
     
    Berks Alert – Important Changes
     
    As you may or may not be aware we were recently notified by our current mass notification vendor Eaton would no longer support the BerksAlert system and would assist us to migrate our system to a new vendor at the end of our current contract which is end of August 2016.
     
    After reviewing other mass notification products that include public safety modules, we decided to go with SwiftReach as it offered a diverse platform that provided additional features and system support access.
     
    Here are some additional key points related to this transition.
     
    Important, all current users will be required to re-register in the new system below.
     
    The mass notification system will still be called BerksAlert.
     
     
    On-line Registration 
     
    Many of you have already begun to register your students on our new on-line registration site. 
    The site went live on August 4th. We continue to monitor and adjust as needed. Over 2,000 students have been registered as of today.     This site gives you the ability to verify and update demographic info, emergency and health information. You may also fill out health services information, medication, and custody forms on-line.  You can review AUP, 1 to 1, and student handbook policies on-line. You may review and apply for free and reduced programs, review immunization changes, and check for compliance. You can use the electronic sign off for the above policies. Once you have completed the process and sign off you will be able to view your students schedule and busing information.
     
    One final reminder, please be mindful of the new immunization regulations that I spoke about in the spring and you have heard about on our web-site, in e-mail/phone blasts, and letters that have been sent home. All students who don't have the proper immunizations by September 5th will be excluded from school. This is a change in the regulations from last year. Check and see if your child is up to date with the needed shots so we are not faced with the unfortunate task of excluding your student.  
     
    I look forward to seeing all the students back in the buildings this year and seeing all the parents at all our events this school year. I wish you all a restful end of the summer. 
     
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  • May Days

    Posted by Robert Phillips on 4/25/2017

    Hi and welcome to May!

    We certainly have had enough "April Showers" to bring about "May Flowers". 

    May Days weekend will be here May 19th to the 21st. I am looking forward to the event.

    School is in the last quarter and the students have been working hard. I have been in the classrooms and what the staff and students are doing is amazing! 

    At every Board Voting Meeting I have an opportunity to announce all the great things the students have done during that month.  Some months it takes more than a few minutes to read all the accomplishments. From Sports, to Music, to STEM, to Art, to Academics and more our students are achieving at a high level. That is a result of the great teachers and coaches who work daily with our students. Great job by all...

    Below you will see a video announcing the opening of our Central Registration Program. This will make things easier for all when registering new students as well as students who are currently enrolled. Updating information will only be done once no matter how many students or buildings they are in. We will continue to look to make things easier and more efficient for all. 

    Exeter Township School District is thrilled to announce the implementation of a centralized registration system.   We have partnered with Registration Gateway to create a quick, efficient and easy enrollment system.  With our new centralized registration, we have eliminated the need to fill out the abundance of paper forms.  Instead you will enter your child’s information online and submit it before you arrive for your registration appointment.  Our hope is to make the registration process more effortless and less stressful for you the parent!

     

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  • March came in like a lion

    Posted by Robert Phillips on 3/28/2017 4:00:00 PM

    Hi and welcome to the end of winter! 

    While we look to the Spring and warmer days there are two important pieces of information I want to share with our community.

    The first is the new School Vaccination Requirements. Below is a detailed explanation as to what the new requirements are. I want to highlight that the requirements involve exclusion from school within the first five days. Please plan accordingly to get the necessary shots to meet the requirements.

     

     

    The second new regulation is the newly approved Act 138 that deals with truancy. It was written in 2016 and schools now are to follow the regulation. The highlight here is that only 3 days is the extent of absence before a letter will be sent home. No more days of absent without excuse are allowed. The 4th day of absent without excuse would require a "school attendance improvement conference." Below is a flow chart of steps the District must follow.

     

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  • February has come and gone

    Posted by Robert Phillips on 2/28/2017 8:00:00 AM

    This month has quickly passed. Our students have done particularly well in their competitions. From athletics to the arts, our students have excelled in competition. We had contest winners in Art, STEM team placed higher than ever, BCTC students recognized in their chosen field, and our Wrestling Team and Cheerleading Squad just won 2017 Berks County Championships. 

    I would like to take this time to congratulate our staff and students on the tremendous effort shown in our various school buildings during the Scripps Spelling Bee competitions. Many proud family and friends witnessed the knowledge displayed by our students spelling such words as factorial, prestidigitation, and pterodactyl. Another source of pride was the support and comradery displayed by the competitors and the students who were watching the competition.

    March 2nd is Dr. Seuss Day in the School District. Students will have special guests reading to them. I am not sure if the reader or the students enjoy it more. I truly enjoy reading to the students. I wish you all an early Happy Dr. Seuss Day!

     

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  • We begin the second half of the school year

    Posted by Robert Phillips on 1/27/2017 3:00:00 PM

    Hi and welcome to the second half of the school year,

    The holidays are behind us and we now begin the winter season (I think?)

    We will eventually get snow and I want to make sure we all are prepared.

    I will make every effort to notify you of the delays and closings asap but that is dependent on the weather. The most recent school delay happened when after some rain our temperature actually dropped around 5 am when in most areas the temperature was rising and there were no ice issues. Please check messages, texts received from the district on days that involve weather.

    Please keep up to date on things happening in the District by checking out our web page. There are sections on the Ready Rosie program, updates to athletics, board meeting minutes just to mention a few things. Keep checking back for updates to our on-line registration. This will improve student  registration as well the ability to update information of students in real-time.

    I would like to congratulate the staff and students on a tremendous first half of the school year and I look forward to an even better second half. I am always amazed at the academic and extra-curricular accomplishments of our students, which is an outcome of efforts of our staff.

    I want to acknowledge the passing of Don Thomas. While I never met the man, I have heard nothing but great things about him and the fact the stadium bears his name is a testament to his contributions to the district and the community. My thoughts and prayers as well as those of the school district go out to his family and friends.

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  • Happy Holidays

    Posted by Robert Phillips on 12/23/2016 8:00:00 AM

    Happy Holidays to all!

    I want to congratulate all our Fall Athletes on the great effort they showed as well as all the success during the past season. They represented Exeter Township in fine fashion. 

    I want to extend thanks to all the fine organizations in the community that helped support our students during the Holidays. 

    I want to let the community know that we are asking for your input and involvement in our Facilities Study. This process is onging and the Board is asking for your input. Committments will be made for potentially large sums of money and your invovlement and voice is needed. Our next meeting is January 9 at 6:30 pm in the Administration Building. As always you can check our web site for meetings and updates.

    I want to wish everyone a Happy Holiday Season and a Great New Year!

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  • Changing Seasons

    Posted by Robert Phillips on 11/30/2016 1:00:00 PM

    Welcome to the Holiday Season!

    While the leaves are falling and the seasons are changing I wanted to update you on some of the changes happening in the Exeter School District.

    Starting in December, parents will be given access to The Ready Rosie Program. It is an early education tool that helps schools and communities across the nation deepen and increase parent engagement by leveraging video modeling and mobile technology to meet and equip parents where they are. Ready Rosie has hundreds of brief videos in English and Spanish that model everyday interactions in familiar environments with real parents. E-mails will be sent to parents one time per week that include several links to activities to do with their children ages three to five as well as kindergarten students.  

    At the beginning of this school year we partnered with Penn State Berks to offer a program called Homework Hotline in Math for our grades 6-12. Subjects such as General Math, Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, and Calculus are covered in this program. This is a tutoring program (provided free of charge to our students and their parents) that provides access to tutors who will assist students with their math homework. Hours of operation are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 6 - 9 PM. The phone number to call is 610-396-6767.

    One big change coming this Spring is Central Registration. Exeter Township School District has entered into a partnership with SRC Solutions of Center Valley Pa for the purpose of improving our student registration process. Exeter will use Registration Gateway to support a shift to central registration. This will allow our district to improve the student registration process and offer an online tool to simplify the task. Registration Gateway will also remove the tedious yearly hurdles of sifting through mountains of emergency cards to update our student information. This new process will allow us to focus less on the paperwork and more on what matters, meeting the educational needs of our students. Look for more information about Registration Gateway this spring.  

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  • Team Work

    Posted by Robert Phillips on 10/19/2016 9:00:00 AM

    Welcome to October in the Exeter Township School District!

    First off let me apologize for my accent. It has come to my attention that I have not been pronouncing E-X-E-T-E-R correctly. When I say it, it sounds like E-G-G-S-E-T-E-R. I will try to do better.

    Now on to my topic for this month: Team Work. I was waiting to post this since I was already writing an article on team work for the Reading Eagle that will be out later this month. But something has happened in the last few days that is an example of what team work truly is. I was notified on Wednesday October 12th that the Homecoming Parade was going to be canceled. By the next day it was back on but that left only 7 days to bring it all together. In a true example of team work; administrators, parents, students, community members, civic organizations, local businesses all have come together to organize what will truly be one amazing parade. The parade will begin at the High School at 6:00 pm on Thursday, October 20th and end at the field between the JR High and Reiffton School. There will be a DJ, food tents, and of course the bonfire. I can't say enough about the pure team spirit shown by the community. It only took one call and everyone went into action. The parade will include the band, sports teams, floats, mascots, cars of all types, different organizations, and don't forget the homecoming court. All are thrilled to participate. Everyone is to be commended for their hard work and eagerness to pitch in to make this a special event. This is one example that when we work together we can do great things for our students. We need to apply this same mindset in everything we do together to make this the district standard.

    Don't forget the School Board Community Forum is scheduled for Tuesday October 25th. It begins at 7:00 pm at Reiffton School. 

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  • Opening of the 2016-2017 School Year

    Posted by Robert Phillips on 9/15/2016 7:00:00 AM

    Picture of Superintendent     

     Welcome to the opening of the 2016-2017 School Year at Exeter Township School District.

    All the team members at Exeter have been great at doing their part to make the opening successful. Everyone has a part in providing a welcoming environment that is safe and supportive for our children and we are all striving to be THE district (more on "THE" later). While the beginning of the school year can be difficult (new students, new schedules, new routines) all staff and students performed to their best. I visited each building throughout the first week and the excitement from the students, teachers, and staff was evident each day. It was nice to hear so many students express the feeling that they were glad to be back in school. I will admit this was stated by the elementary school students but overall all the students seemed happy to be back in school. It is important to note that the first step in getting the students to learn is to have them in school. We will do our part to make learning fun and provide an inviting educational environment for the students and I ask that as a community we reinforce the importance of school attendance. While June may seem a long way off, remember time flies when you are having fun and "Learning is Fun"! 

    Now for more on "THE". Over the summer I attended a conference at Penn State Berks and heard a speaker discuss a concept called A and THE. The meaning behind the presentation was not to be satisfied to be A something but strive to be THE something. In our situation it was not to be just A district but to be THE District. I challenged our team at the first staff day to not be A teacher, aide, bus driver, food service staff etc. but to be THE Teacher, Aide, Bus Driver, Food Service Staff etc. I spoke to the 9th grade class when they had their orientation at the High School this summer to not be A student but to be THE Student. I will now challenge our community to be part of our team in making Exeter Township THE District and THE Community for our students. 

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