CASD Educator in the Workplace - First Quarter Activities
On August 1, 2018, Catasauqua Area School District utilized social media and public school board and committee meetings to publicize the news that the district received the Department of Labor and Industry Educator in the Workplace grant award. District representatives then attended the August 13th CareerLink Lehigh Valley event with Secretary Oleksiak to celebrate Lehigh Valley partnerships and highlight regional job training initiatives. Following the announcement of the grant award and the visit to CareerLink, Catasauqua Area School District educators were invited to submit applications to participate in the CASD Educator in the Workplace project. Sixteen educators (11 teachers, 3 counselors, 1 building principal, and 1 district level administrator) representing elementary, middle and high school levels were selected to participate.
In September, the district secured partnerships with education, industry, and business partners. More specifically, the CASD Director of Curriculum & Assessment worked with individuals from Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit, Lehigh Career & Technical Institute, Lehigh Carbon Community College, Workforce Board Lehigh Valley, PPL, and Lehigh Valley Hospital to draft a schedule of 2018-19 CASD Educator in the Workplace activities. The CASD Educator in the Workplace Kick Off Event is scheduled to take place on Thursday, October 4th with a morning college and career readiness workshop in the district followed by an afternoon visit to CareerLink Lehigh Valley.
CASD Educator in the Workplace - Second Quarter Activities
In the month of October, we had 1 teacher participate in the Fall College and Career Networking Meeting which took place at the Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit on Wednesday, October 3rd. This meeting provided an opportunity to network with other schools and to learn about the college and career readiness activities taking place within other schools and across the region.
Additionally, we held our Catasauqua Area School District Educator in the Workplace Kick Off Event on Thursday, Oct. 4th. We began in our district with an AM Session including the following topics: ESSA, Future Ready PA Index, Chapter 339 and our district plan, and sharing/discussion related to our district college and career readiness activities. We then visited CareerLink LV for the afternoon session during which we learned about workforce trends/demands and their impact on K-12 career education and also participated in a CareerLink tour.
Furthermore, we had a team of 12 educators participate in the Guardian Insurance Inservice that took place on Monday, October 8th. During this visit, Guardian presented an overview of Guardian Life Insurance. We took a deep dive into a variety of careers at Guardian, participated in a building tour, listened to career path stories, and learned about the Guardian Internship and Technology programs.
Finally, on October 19th, Superintendent Mr. Robert Spengler and Director of Curriculum and Assessment Dr. Christina Lutz-Doemling attended the CareerLink LV Employability Skills Curriculum Roll-Out Event.
In November, Dr. Christina Lutz-Doemling shared the Employability Skills Curriculum with Mrs. Ashley Schmidt, CHS Career Awareness/Education Teacher. A review of the curriculum revealed that the curriculum is well-organized making it very easy to connect the well-written lesson plans with the materials & resources needed to teach each lesson. We noted that the units and lessons have a clearly planned, natural flow and sequence with lessons focused on teamwork, customer service skills, leadership, conflict resolution, and verbal communication - to name a few. This curriculum will complement our current Career Skills curriculum and will be helpful should we decided to require Career Skills full-credit course in the future.
Additionally, on Nov. 6th, 2018, Dr. Christina Lutz-Doemling attended the 2019 Educator in the Workplace grant application meeting with Cindy Evans, Workforce Board Lehigh Valley Director of Youth Initiatives, to discuss plans for another project application.
Furthermore, on Nov. 7th, 2018, our Catasauqua High School team (1 administrator, 1 school counselor, and 1 teacher) attended the Souderton High School Study Visit - Exploring Career Pathways and Internship Programs and brought back some creative ideas on how to integrate career awareness and career experiences into our high school educational program.
Also, nine of our district's Educator in the Workplace teachers attended the DaVinci Science Center Made in America Career Connection workshop on Nov. 7, 2018 to learn more about ways to enhance our educational program using information pertaining to STEM and healthcare. The highlight was learning about the Manufacturers Resource Center (MFC) Dream Team, a group of young professionals who encourage students to explore manufacturing careers through interactive classroom presentations.
Finally, Nate Snyder, a member of the Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC) Dream Team and Apprentice Moldmaker at B. Braun Medical, visited with freshman students and discussed how STEM applies to his position at B. Braun.
On December 4, 2018, our Educator in the Workplace Team visited B.Braun and participated in a morning workplace visit with tour, career discussion, and functional onboarding activity. The team then spend the afternoon at the PPL Training Facility discussing career opportunities, the future of energy, cybersecurity, IT transformation, and environmental management. The afternoon concluded with a tour of the training yard.
In addition, a team of district and building administrators attended the PA Department of Education 2018 SAS Conference: Future Ready PA - Transforming Student Pathways Dec. 9 - 11, 2018. While attending the conference our conference team attended various sessions related to college and career awareness.
Finally, CASD completed the 2019-2020 Teacher in the Workplace Grant application and sent it to Workforce Board Lehigh Valley for review and submission to PDE.
On the morning of January 23, 2019, the Catasauqua Area School District Educator in the Workplace Team visited Lehigh Carbon Community College. While at LCCC, our team heard a general overview of LCCC academic programs and learned about workforce training and non-credit opportunities. Additionally, our team toured the campus and heard from the deans in Computers & Technology, Manufacturing, and Medical & Allied Health Programs. The morning concluded with a presentation sharing data from employers and highlighting key employability skills. The team then spent the afternoon participating in learning walks through six different labs at Lehigh Career and Technical Institute. The objectives of the learning walks were as follows:
- To observe and gain knowledge of the high expectations and rigor of the career and technical education program curriculum in order for students to be successful
- Witness high level of student engagement and evidence of academic integration in the career and technical education programs
- Gain new insights and understanding related to career and technical education
- Facilitate discussion and reflection on professional practices
CASD Educator in the Workplace - Third Quarter Activities
Catasauqua Area School District received notification from PDE that we received the PA Smart Targeted Grant to receive funds for Computer Science training and materials and resources. We believe this grant will support our district’s efforts to focus on STEM and to better prepare our students for careers in STEM
CASD contacted eMediaWorks to schedule the filming of our Catasauqua Area School District partnership with B. Braun for the Best Practices in Education project. The filming was scheduled to take place at B.Braun on March 7th.
CASD Educator in the Workplace teacher participants attended the Women in Science/Engineering Career Connection taking place at DaVinci Science Center on Feb. 27. Teachers heard from a panel of STEM professionals who described their career pathways, advised teachers on what skills students will need to succeed in careers like theirs, and answered questions. Additionally, the panel shared some example activities to build employability skills, and provided a snapshot of employment needs in health-related fields in the area.
March 2019 Update
Our district filmed the Catasauqua Area School District partnership with B. Braun for the Best Practices in Education project. The filming took place at B.Braun on March 7th.
Christina Lutz-Doemling, Director of Curriculum & Assessment, attended the CLIU21 College and Career Networking meeting on March 12th along with Shannon-Van Spanje and Amy-Dymond Jones, School Counselors, and Ashley Schmidt, Career Education teacher. We shared our use of SmartFutures as a tool to provide students opportunities and experiences addressing the four Career Education and Work Standards areas and to collect artifacts/evidence of student work. Additionally, we learned about the Career Ready Berks initiative developed by the Career Ready Berks Alliance.
CASD Educator in the Workplace teacher participants attended the March 13 DaVinci Health Care Career Connection Day during which DaVinci showcased some of their health related resources -- the SynDaver (synthetic cadaver) and MEGA Brain. Teachers interacted with these resources while learning some science during the PD workshop. Additionally, a neuroscience professor from Cedar Crest College talked about brain research and brought some human brains for the teachers to examine. Finally, some folks from Allentown SD presented on the MindUp curriculum they are using at Ramos Elementary and other schools. It is based on neuroscience, social-emotional learning, and mindfulness, and teaches kids how their brains work and how to use that knowledge to manage stress and emotions.
On March 13th, Superintendent Bob Spengler and Director of Curriculum & Assessment Christina Lutz-Doemling attended the Lehigh University School Study Council Session presented by Dr. Scott McLeod, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Colorado Denver. He shared "How to Talk With Your Community about Societal Changes and College and Career Readiness".
Our team of educators participated in our final grant related workplace visit to Lehigh Valley Hospital on Thursday, March 28th. During our visit to Lehigh Valley Hospital, we heard about the many career opportunities and volunteer opportunities available at Lehigh Valley Hospital and through the Lehigh Valley Health Network. We also learned about educational opportunities provided by LVH that could serve to enhance our curriculum. Furthermore we heard career presentations from an LVH Rehabilitation Manager and Sterile Processing Manager. Finally, we toured the Lehigh Valley Hospital facility.
During our Culminating Educator in the Workplace Meeting which took place in the District Administration Office on the afternoon of Thursday, March 28 we:
- Conducted a review of our district’s 2018-19 Educator in the Workplace activities
- Shared favorite moments of the CASD Educator in the Workplace project
- Shared action steps taken/planned to take in the future to incorporate what participants have learned into their practice
- Discussed employability skills and the creation of employability skills posters for display in all K-12 classrooms
- Reviewed resources:
- Lehigh Valley Education Talent and Supply Report Summary
- 2018 High Priority Occupations
- Department of Labor & Industry Workforce Info & Analysis
- STEM Research
- PA Career Guide
- Middle School Career Guide
- Discussed Summer Educator in the Workplace Opportunities
- Completed Educator in the Workplace Final Evaluation/Grant Reporting Google Form
Additionally our district created a video compiling participants’ comments and feedback related to their experiences this year - please check it out by clicking the link below:
CASD Educator in the Workplace - 4th Quarter Activities
In May 2019, Catasauqua Area School District publicized the 2018-19 Educator in the Workplace Project at the May 1, 2019 Academics School Board Committee Meeting and at the May 7, 2019 School Board Meeting while sharing the CASD Educator in the Workplace Flyer highlighting the key elements of the project and project video highlighting the workplace visits and participant feedback.
CASD ordered and received the Employability Skills Posters. The posters have been distributed to the buildings and building principals will provide direction related to hanging the posters in all classrooms K-12 across the district.
CASD asked all educator participants and employer participants to complete the final grant feedback survey. We received feedback from 100% of the educator participants. Additionally, we received feedback from 4 of the 6 employers who participated in our Educator in the Workplace project. The feedback was compiled and reported on the PDE Final Participant Data Excel Spreadshet.