School Board Members Visit High School

By Becca Frankford

Dr. Mike Leichliter and four other school board members visited Penn Manor this Thursday for a  perspective on what Penn Manor students are thinking.

Penn Manor's school board members visit the high school

The meeting took place in the chorus room,  with the nine school board members. After being introduced, the board members split up to talk with members from the various clubs that meet throughout the school. Every club was represented by at least one person, whether it was the president of the club or just a member. Some clubs there included NHS, student council, Do-Something club, journalism, chorus, band, FFA, and more.

“What are some strengths of Penn Manor?” Rich Frerichs, the head of the school board asked the students.

“I like the amount of diversity… there is so much to offer,” one senior said.

“Our school has so much to offer, and when the middle schoolers come in, there is something for them,” another junior added.

A question was directed by Frerichs toward sophomores to find out if Penn Manor did well getting them ready for high school and how the school can better prepare them for their future.

The students in the group said they really enjoyed the opportunity of being able to be in a club of their choice and meeting every week.

“Do more to advertise the clubs,” one sophomore suggested.

They all agreed that when the eighth graders come to the high school orientation they are told how they are going to be prepared for the 21st century, the dress code, teachers, core classes, and sports teams, but there is hardly any information on clubs they can join.

The students also thought that if they had a representative from every club go to the middle schools and inform middle schoolers on what different clubs are offered that can benefit their high school experience. Suggestions were made to include the lists of clubs and activities that are offered and include contact person, email, blogs, etc. in the course selection books that are given out each year.

Underclassmen take a benchmark test which decides whether or not they must go into remediation or enrichment based on their scores. The issue of our school failing and not making adequate yearly progress struck a debate on whether or not the school should get rid of enrichment.

“I am really strong on academics. It really breaks my heart to not make AYP,” Frerichs said.

“The reason our school is failing is because of the various sub groups that are held to the same standards as the rest of the student body and when they fail the PSSAs everyone is affected,” students said.

“It wasn’t taken seriously… seniors are losing time doing enrichment,” a Penn Manor junior commented on enrichment schedule and classes.

A student council member mentioned that all the enrichment schedules are messing up with the chances to meet for student council. Other comments were made that when students are in a club but have enrichment, they can’t go to club. More concerns were directed to the loss of homeroom and the benefits it had to completing make up work and homework.

“There’s people all over the place.. its ridiculous,” a student commented on how math teachers are covering English classes and vice versa.

“A lot of flaws in the current system… a lot of flaws,” one junior said.

In the attempt to understand and connect with Penn Manor students, Frerichs asked, “If you’re running the schools, how do I make it better?”

Students suggested that there needed to be more consequences for their actions.

“Remediation should be a consequence,” a girl said.

Suggestions varied from having teacher evaluations, to having designated enrichment and club days. When voting on the teacher evaluation, there were 11 yes and 1 no.

The chance of cutting down classes for a dwindling budget was considered. Cutting out classes from each area of academics was thought to be a good consideration so no one area is cut more then another. No classes have been cut as of yet.