Elementary and Middle School students will have additional opportunities to engage in hands-on, project-based activities while high school students have more electives and college credit options to choose from. Districtwide, curriculum mapping, comprehensive planning, strengthening student remediation and enrichment programs, and continuing “safe schools” efforts, highlight initiatives that will be spearheaded by staff.
 
Middle School and Elementary students will engage in farm-to-school activities through lessons utilizing a greenhouse erected this summer (pictured to the left). The students will also tend to crops in their own raised-bed school garden located in the elementary school's playground area. The HIgh School’s garden-based learning project will expand with the addition of a greenhouse of their own, also constructed this summer. Both greenhouses were made possible through funding provided by a Merck Charitable grant.
 
Computer Technology will return to the Elementary School's curriculum with K-4 students learning foundational computer skills, including keyboarding. Lessons on digital citizenship- how to be safe and appropriate using when using technology- will be incorporated in this curriculum, and that delivered to middle and high school students.
 
The Elementary School will also be making curriculum adjustments in Language Arts and Math to better address individual student’s learning needs. To assist in this effort, the Michael Heggerty Phonemic Awareness program will be introduced in grades K-2 and the iReady Diagnostic Screener in grades 2-4. year. Multi-Tier System of Support (MTSS) will be reintroduced in the District’s schools to better address students’ strengths and needs in Language Arts and Math.
 
Effective this year, the Elementary School will transition to paperless report cards. Principal John Fetterman encourages all parents to sign up for a Sapphire Parent Portal account in order to access their child’s grades. Those parents who do not have internet access, or who wish to have a paper copy of the report card, should notify the Elementary School Office. The High School and Middle School made this transition in previous years in an ongoing District effort to move toward a paperless solution.
 
Sixth Grade students will have plenty of opportunities to build, design, and explore, as a STEM course has been added to their curriculum. They will also have a weather-station for use in Science classes thanks to this donation by the Southern Columbia Community Foundation. All students in grades 6-8 will now have a STEM or Technology Education class on their schedules, with most 8th grade students having both. To support the expansion of technology-based courses, sixteen Lego Mindstorms Education EV3 Core Sets have been purchased. The kits will be used to teach students how to build and program robots and motors. The District's 1:1 initiative will be expanded to 6th grade, with each student being issued a laptop.
 
Sports Medicine has been introduced as a new High School elective course. The course will focus on basic emergency care, first aide, CPR, functional anatomy, common athletic injuries, injury assessment and management. Students will work directly with Athletic Trainer Tim Jurnak in an academic and clinical setting. A dual enrollment agreement entered into with Lackawanna College will allow students enrolled in the school’s Accounting II, AP Calculus, Statistics, Honors Anatomy and Physiology, AP English, AP Biology with lab, AP Chemistry with lab, AP Physics with lab, Honor Pre-Calculus/Trig, AP Spanish, and AP European History to earn either 3 or 4 college credits per course. Additional courses are also available at the Lackawanna College Sunbury Center as well as on online.
 
The High School will continue to partner with community groups to bring resources and learning opportunities to its students. The PA National Guard, for example, is scheduled to bring activities such as a climbing wall and physical fitness training to the secondary students and teach lessons that will foster character and leadership development. Speakers from PA Career Link and the Women’s Center will also work with High School and Middle School students throughout the year. To further assist in career readiness, all K-12 students will be given a Career Cruising account. The web-based portal contains tools that allow students to assess their strengths and interests, helping to point them on potential career and post-secondary education paths. The SCCF will also sponsor its second Alumni Career Day for all High School students in November.
 
Director of Technology Brian Davis and his IT staff were busy this summer overseeing various infrastructure and instructional technology enhancements. Their work included upgrading the Moodle Server which hosts the online course platforms used by most District teachers; adding new Wireless Access Points, switches, and fiber runs; replacing 85 desktop computers in the High School Multimedia Lab, Middle School Computer Lab, and Cad Lab; replacing 20 faculty laptops and 25 elementary laptops in a mobile cart; extending the 1:1 program to 6th grade with 117 new laptops; replacing 113 1:1 laptops in 9th grade; and replacing 6 projectors and whiteboards replacements in the High School and 3 Elementary School. The IT staff also provided technology training to clerical staff on a variety of topics including Office 365 and Windows 10. All District computers were upgraded from Windows 7 this summer.
 
A number of facility projects were completed this summer including upgrades to the District’s wastewater treatment plant, the installation of playground fencing, and paint and repair of the High School’s EIFS. Studies in urban, suburban and rural communities have demonstrated the condition of the facility students attend affects their academic achievement, thus the District is committed to ensuring its facilities are clean and well-maintained. Research shows that conditions that create a sense of ‘well-being’ and send a ‘caring message’ contribute directly to positive attitudes and elevated performance as measured by fewer health complaints, improved student attendance, teacher retention, and higher test scores. Pictures of the summer projects are posted on the Sway presentation embedded on the District’s website and found directly at the following link: https://sway.office.com/H6gDqSnDY3td9hvG?ref=Link&loc=play
 
Keeping its schools safe will also be a goal of District infrastructure upgrades and professional development efforts. Nine IP cameras were added to the District’s video surveillance network this summer. Twenty-four trauma kits purchased through generous monetary donations from community and civic groups, have also been placed throughout the District’s buildings in support of its Stop the Bleed campaign. On August 22nd all District staff received Stop the Bleed training with similar training
planned for High School students this year. The training was provided by Geisinger staff as a free, community service.
 
 

Special Features

Southern Columbia Area High School earned lifetime status as National Blue Ribbon School in 2016, being named a National Blue Ribbon School for Exemplary High Performing School. Click the links below to read more about the school's National Blue Ribbon Schools award recognition. Learn More

An information and resource page pertaining to issues which influence the school budgeting process can be found by clicking on this link.Learn More