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School leaders traveled to the Penn State Berks campus on Thursday, August 2, 2018, to attend the Berks County Schools Administrators’ Conference. Coordinated by the BCIU Office of Professional Development and Curriculum and the Office of the Executive Director, this annual event serves as a kick off to the new school year. Close to 300 administrators from all 18 school districts, the Berks Career and Technology Center, and the Reading Muhlenberg Career Center attended.
Speaking on “Lessons Learned in the Pursuit of Excellence,” Former Navy SEAL David Cooper delivered the keynote presentation. His presentation was engaging and impactful, and participants commented they had several take-aways to put into practice when they returned to their schools. In addition, it helped them reflect on what they can do as leaders to pursue excellence in their professional and personal lives. The common theme that resonated was that school administrators, as leaders, must create conditions for others to succeed.
Mr. Cooper will return to Berks County on Tuesday, August 21, to deliver the keynote presentation at the 2018 Start of the Year State of the Unit for BCIU employees. Again, based on his experiences and lessons learned during his 25-year career as a Navy SEAL, his message will focus on Creating a Culture of Excellence.
After the keynote presentation, Senator Judy Schwank announced the wonderful news that a safety grant application with the Department of Human Services had been successful, providing $100,000 to Berks County schools. The grant will provide the needed funding to assist in emergency preparedness efforts, enabling the purchase and implementation of CrisisGo, an emergency app that can be accessed with a smartphone or tablet. The app provides information to and communication between staff, parents, and first responders during an emergency. The Berks County Intermediate Unit will coordinate the initiative, in collaboration and partnership with school officials and first responders. We are honored that Senator Schwank attended the conference to share the news and are thankful for her continued collaboration and advocacy efforts on behalf of our schools and the greater community.
In the afternoon, after networking in job-alike groups, a legal session was held on the topic of employee investigations for those who wished to attend. During this session, Attorney Michael Levin addressed how to conduct a lawful and effective investigation by reviewing best practices to ensure that the investigation is legally defensible and complete, and to ensure that issues of confidentiality and potential retaliation are properly addressed.
We are thankful to our Gold Sponsors, Capital Blue Cross and Tompkins VIST Bank | Insurance, and our Bronze Sponsor, Imagine Learning, who made the Administrators’ Conference possible at no cost to participants.