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GMHS Mrs. Thompson to present Master’s Thesis

Wed, 2018-09-26 13:37

GMHS Art Teacher Katie Thompson will be presenting her Master’s Thesis at the Pennsylvania Art Education Association Conference next month.

Her talk is titled “Let’s Think about Growth Mindset.” During the talk she will be explaining how effective the growth mindset program was in improving students’ work ethic in her classroom. Thompson will discuss the unsuccessful and successful assessment strategies used to influence students mindsets and will provide time for a think tank in which the session’s participants will develop ideas on how they could implement growth mindset teaching strategies into their own classrooms.

A year of research in her art classroom culminated in a master’s thesis on how to form growth mindset by using specific language in assessment. She will explain growth mindset, give specific assessment strategies that promote it, and share the results of the strategies.

This mindset not only affects the students in a positive way, but gives teachers a new lens through which to view students and their work. It is also useful for handling student misbehavior and disengagement in the classroom.

Congratulations, Katie!


Mon, 2018-09-24 08:54

Congratulations to last week’s PRIDE students:

Kenna Shaut (5th)
Kiley Brawn (5th)
Ava Decker (5th)
Ethan Pifer (5th)
Gabe Dorman (5th)

James W. Parker Middle School’s Parker PRIDE program is a new program that launched from the school’s PBIS initiatives. Each week, five students will be recognized for exhibiting the positive behavioral expectations set. Students will be selected randomly from those who have earned “tickets” throughout the week. Students selected will choose an incentive from a list of five choices. This is only for grades 5 and 6.

For more information on the PBIS program, check out this story from the summer.

Trip to Vietnam Memorial Moving Wall

Fri, 2018-09-21 14:34

This Friday 8 buses filled with 300 Juniors and Seniors from GMHS went on a field trip to see the Vietnam Memorial Moving Wall in Meadville.

The Moving Wall is a half size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. that has been traveling across the country for those who can’t make the trip to Washington since 1984.

The trip was set up by GM’s Patriotism Professional Learning Community.  The Patriotism PLC is a group of GMHS teachers tasked with increasing patriotism among the student body.

The PLC hit the ball out of the park with this trip.  GMHS Principal Dan Mennow had this to say, “Today’s trip to the Moving Wall in Meadville was a success. There aren’t many schools that can take eight buses equaling 300 kids on a trip and not have one issue. Today’s trip was flawless, educational and rewarding in many ways.”

Faculty Feature Friday

Fri, 2018-09-21 13:59

Each Friday, we will feature an employee in the District so you can get to know the amazing individuals that work for General McLane School District!

This week, we are featuring General McLane High School music teacher Bruce Yates, who has worked for the District for 31 years!

Outside of school, Mr. Yates is still very involved with music.  Yates and his wife have been Director’s of Music at St. Jude the Apostle Church for over 25 years, he sometimes steps in as a guest conductor for the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association and he’s been involved with the Erie Playhouse for over 30 years!

What is your favorite thing about your job?

Since I teach all grades…I enjoy seeing the progress and development of students from 9th grade until they graduate.  The progress that some students make is very impressive.

Why do you enjoy being part of the GM family?

We have tremendous administrative, board and community  support and a student body that is accepting and supportive of the diversity in student’s interests whether it be music, art, sports, academics.

What is your favorite work-related memory?

I have so many, however, my favorite memories are centered around when the students take ownership and leadership in their work.  It really brings a smile to my face when I walk into my room and there are a group of students rehearsing without any prompting from me.

Did you know ….

Mr. Yates makes an awesome Brisket!


McKean Elementary students get ready for guided reading

Wed, 2018-09-19 14:44

Mrs. Grossett’s first grade class rotated through different workshop centers on Wednesday. Students cycled through sorting paper leaves, doing ST Math on their iPads and writing activities with Play-Doh.

Throughout the year students will complete tasks in different workshops during guided reading.

Guided reading is a part of GMSD’s commitment to balanced literacy which allows teachers to differentiate and focus their instruction based on a students individual needs.

This balanced approach to literacy allows the district to “meet students where they are and empower them to be all they are capable of being”, which makes this District one of the best in Erie County, PA.












JWPMS students create art for Edinboro Market

Wed, 2018-09-19 09:18

James W. Parker Middle School students will soon be able to see their artwork on display in the community.

Mrs. Christina Martin launched a new project for fifth graders last week that will serve as a unique way to show off student work. JWPMS partnered up with the Edinboro Market to show off the talents from students within our community.

Edinboro Market president Marti Martz  visited the fifth grade art classes last week to talk about the local shop and presented some of the items they carry. Students then started creating art in response to her presentation. Their work will rotate on display in her shop every few weeks, tentatively starting October 1 through November 9. There will be an opening reception for students and parents, with information coming in the near future.

“I’m very excited about this unique opportunity that my students have,” Martin said. “After seeing the preliminary drawings, I am so excited to see how the finished works of art turn out as these young fifth grade artists are very talented! At the same time, it allows them to share their work with the larger audience. The market provides so much inspiration. We all loved having Ms. Martz as a visitor in our classroom. ”

The Edinboro Market opened within the last year and features foods grown and produced within 200 miles of the borough. The Market is also home to Boro Sweet Spot, a for-profit bakery located in the store.

This is not the first time General McLane students have had their artwork displayed within the community. General McLane High School students have their work displayed and for sale at Light in the Woods. Students have also designed logos for a variety of community events, including McKean Community Day and the Erie BayHawks’ Green Game.  This past summer, incoming freshmen designed a mural for John’s Wildwood Pizza. In 2016, JWPMS seventh grade students created an exhibit for the 12th Annual Erie Art Museum Kids As Curators event.



October Sky Rocket Launch

Wed, 2018-09-19 09:14

General McLane High School students in Ms. Mumau’s Literature and Film class have been watching the movie, October Sky. Yesterday, students engaged in their own rocket launch to correspond with the movie! A big shoutout to the Eagle Scouts Zach Hart, Jake Lewin, Brandon Dedrick, and Jarod Peyton who volunteered their time!

Literature and Film is elective course that examines a variety of topics in both film and literary studies. In teaching both literary and filmmaking techniques, this course uses a variety of carefully chosen films as a medium for understanding the relationship between film and literature.

McKean Elementary student raises more than $300 for autistic support students

Tue, 2018-09-18 13:04

McKean Elementary student Zander Reilly had a birthday party over the weekend.  But unlike most kids his age, Zander didn’t ask for any gifts.

Instead, he asked for donations to the Autistic Support students at McKean Elementary School.  Zander ended up raising more than $300!

Since Zander is a swimmer, the students will be using the donation to go swimming throughout the year.

Thank you Zander!

GMHS students complete Hands-On Friday Challenge

Mon, 2018-09-17 14:39

Students in General McLane’s Engineering Design I class are putting their studies into practice.

Each Friday, students reach a Hand-On Friday Challenge. For this specific task, students needed to move a balloon across a fishing line using only a handful of items.

Engineering Design 1 provides an introduction to computer aided drafting, CNC machining and the engineering design process. Student use CAD software to compete multi-view projections with dimensions as well as 3-D models. Students are also introduced to the engineering design process.

Parker PRIDE students of the Week

Fri, 2018-09-14 15:03

Congratulations to this week’s PRIDE students:

Ella Sturgess (5th)
Aidan Egloff (5th)
Jacob Zietz (6th)
Mackenzie Lotz (6th)
Ellie Fisher (6th)

James W. Parker Middle School’s Parker PRIDE program is a new program that launched from the school’s PBIS initiatives. Each week, five students will be recognized for exhibiting the positive behavioral expectations set. Students will be selected randomly from those who have earned “tickets” throughout the week. Students selected will choose an incentive from a list of five choices. This is only for grades 5 and 6.

Designing ROVs for mission and rescues

Fri, 2018-09-14 14:32

James W. Parker Middle School students are learning what it takes to engineer a device for areas considered dangerous or inaccessible to humans.

Sixth grade students in Mr. Triola’s STEM class designed Remote Operated Vehicles to be used in search and rescue missions after learning the statistics related to critical response time and the uses of ROVs during dangerous missions. Students designed them so that they would be able to carry their iPads and then tested them out under small spaces, such as cars, tables and shelves!

Faculty Feature Friday

Fri, 2018-09-14 10:13

Each Friday, we will feature an employee in the District so you can get to know the amazing individuals that work for General McLane School District!

This week, we are featuring James Parker Middle School Personal Care Aide Dawn Johnson, who has worked for the District for 7 years.

Outside of school, Mrs. Johnson works part time as an Administrator for the Association of Fundraising Professionals Northwestern PA Chapter. She also volunteers at the McLane Church with the High School Youth Group as a small group leader.

What is your favorite thing about your job?

I love working with the kids!

Why do you enjoy being part of the GM family?

I enjoy being a part of the GM family because we have so many truly caring coworkers in all of the GM buildings.

What is your favorite work-related memory?

One of my favorite work related memories is our first LSS/AS Candy Gram Sale. We ran out of M & M’s and Mrs. Plouse sent me to Wal-Mart to buy 90 packs of M&M’s. I literally had to go from check out isle to check out isle and take all that they had in their boxes until I had 90. Our Candy Gram Sales at Parker Middle School get pretty intense – it’s unbelievable how many M&M’s and Hershey bars kids buy and have us deliver to their friends and teachers.

Did you know ….

Most people don’t know that I have five kids: Grace, Hannah, Rachel, Shane & Grady. The girls graduated from GM in ’10, ’13, ’14 and Shane graduated in ’18. Grady is a junior.

Week 1 Photo of Week Winners

Thu, 2018-09-13 15:06

Senior Debbie Fiscus, sophomore Kennedy Kosienski and junior Sydney Patterson were the first winners of the Photo of the Week Assignment for General McLane High School’s Photography 1 Class.

This was the very first photo shoot assignment for students, who learned how to manage their camera’s settings and how to focus the camera. They also began looking at the difference between a photography & a snapshot.

Each week throughout the course, there will be a Photo of the Week Assignment for each class period. Their peers will vote for their favorite.

Photography I is an introduction to digital photography. Students learn to take well-composed photographs and post process them in Adobe Photoshop.

Congratulations to our students!

HS students ‘make’ math: curve stitching

Thu, 2018-09-13 09:18

Many individuals may not naturally associate mathematics with art, but that’s exactly what General McLane High School students have been doing this week.

Applied Algebra students have been working on curve stitching — a form of string art where smooth curves (parabolas) are created through the use of straight lines. Through this project, students have created and produced an accurate curve stitching design displaying symmetry and strengthening their skills in angles and geometry, graphing and coordinates and critical thinking. This lesson also develops students’ awareness that straight line segments can produce the illusion of a curve and their ability to recognize and describe number patterns.

Students first create the design on a grid on graph paper and then stitch the pattern with poster board and embroidery thread. Part two of the project required the students to take the basic design and extend it to a more complex figure containing two or more angles. Each student had to determine how to extend the pattern and choose colors that would make the design “pop”.



Bringing 9/11 into GM classrooms

Tue, 2018-09-11 15:35

Some General McLane teachers found different ways to incorporate September 11 into the classroom.

Edinboro Elementary third graders completed an activity after listening to two different books about the historic event. Students then wrote about both their heroes from 9/11, their everyday heroes and their reasons why.

James W. Parker Middle School fifth graders interviewed individuals who lived through 9/11 and then presented their interviews to the class. They also performed research using the 9/11 Memorial website to complete a timeline activity.

General McLane High School students in Mr. Jenkins’ classroom watched a series of videos showing the early morning confusion on 9/11 up to the collapse of the first tower.


JWPMS receives recognition for Creative Arts Expo

Tue, 2018-09-11 10:07

James W. Parker Middle School’s Creative Arts Expo was selected to be featured in the National Network of Partnership Schools’ 2018 book, Promising Partnership Practices.

This year’s collection features 70 activities from schools, districts, organizations, and states, representing 11 states, 17 districts, as well as the countries of Ireland and Scotland.

The Creative Arts Expo was created three years ago as a collaborative effort of the middle school’s arts programs. The night offers students and parents the opportunity to create projects together through the school’s Makerspace while also engaging in a variety of activities that come straight from the classroom. Some examples include original poetry readings and performances, classic recitations, art displays, a cookie-war, creations from the Hearts and Hands Sewing Club, technology education, collaborative art work, creative group and line dance and STEAM K’Nex Amusement Park Rides.

Prior to last year’s event, the District emphasized a goal to engage at least thirty percent (30%) of the district’s middle school families. Due to targeted efforts, attendance at the 2017 Creative Arts Expo doubled from 225 to 550.

Creating higher engagement from families at District events was one of the three goals that General McLane’s Parent Engagement Action Team established during the 2017-2018 school year.

General McLane formed a Parent Engagement Action Team during the 2016-2017 school year, thanks to two grants from the National Network of Partnership Schools at Johns Hopkins University. The District, which is a member of the National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS) at Johns Hopkins University, created the team to help facilitate improved family and community involvement, a component of a 2016-2017 Strategic Plan initiative. The team consists of school personnel, parents and community members.

This year’s Creative Arts Expo is scheduled for April 4, 2019.


Operation Safe Stop

Tue, 2018-09-11 09:30

Did you know that passing a stopped school bus when the red lights are activated, and the stop bar is extended earns you a 60-day driver’s license suspension, 5 points on your driving record and even a $250 fine plus court costs?

On Wednesday, October 24 General McLane School District will be participating in a special event that will spread awareness of just that.

Operation Safe Stop is a proactive approach to educate the public that passing a stopped school bus, when children are loading or unloading, is both dangerous and illegal. Law enforcement agencies, school transportation providers and PennDOT have combined their efforts to raise awareness about the potential consequences and reduce the occurrences of illegal school bus passes.

During Operation Safe Stop, bus drivers will be asked to document any illegal passes occurring on their routes that day. Information will be gathered on these illegal passes and filed with local authorities.

If you have any questions regarding Operation Safe Stop, please call Linda Kerstetter at (717) 705-6799.



Mon, 2018-09-10 16:04

James W. Parker Middle School students have been recognized for exhibiting positive behavior.

The Parker PRIDE program is a new program that launched from the school’s PBIS initiatives. Each week, five students will be recognized for exhibiting the positive behavioral expectations set. Students will be selected randomly from those who have earned “tickets” throughout the week. Students selected will choose an incentive from a list of five choices. This is only for grades 5 and 6.

September 7, 2018 Pride Students
Gracie Gallagher (6th)
Dominic Panighetti (5th)
Corey Weber (5th)
Aubrey Harman (5th)
Skylar Spencer (6th)

August 31, 2018 Pride Students

Harper Rilling (6th grade)
Cohen Beachly (5th)
Jayda Judson (6th)
Zoey Delaney (5th)
Jaela Moir (5th)

This Fall, JWPMS rolled out a new Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program for 5th and 6th graders. PBIS is a national model to promote positive behavior growth. The building now displays a cast bronze shield in the main lobby to serve as a visual reminder for students that, “You are in charge of your own success.”

For more information on the program, read the PBIS press release.

Congratulations to our first and second week winners!


Author speaks to Edinboro Elementary students

Fri, 2018-09-07 16:00

Scottish author, Joanie Murray, visited Edinboro Elementary School fourth graders on Friday.

During the visit, she read a chapter of her book, Molly McBean and the Secret Cave. Students also had the chance to ask her a variety of questions about her publications, inspiration and career.

Murray’s visit was part of Edinboro University’s Highland Games & Scottish Festival, which takes place this weekend.

Highland Games Schedule of Events


Faculty Feature Friday

Fri, 2018-09-07 09:55

Each Friday, we will feature an employee in the District so you can get to know the amazing individuals that work for General McLane School District!

This week, we are featuring General McLane High School’s Charlie Haise, who has worked for the District for 5 years.

Outside of school, Mr. Haise has been involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters for about 7 years now!  There isn’t really a “before teaching” section for Mr. Haise because he got his first teaching job right out of Grad School.

What is your favorite thing about your job?

My favorite thing about my job is that it requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and commitment…but I enjoy every moment of it.

Why do you enjoy being part of the GM family?

I am still impressed with the invisible clique barriers. For example, kids aren’t labeled with “geek” for being part of theater, athletes enroll in challenging courses, and the “popular” students don’t “run” the school like in other high schools. Either things are changing or we just have some really great kids here.

What is your favorite work-related memory?

I don’t have a favorite specific work-related memory. It’s just an amazing feeling to have accomplished my dream of being a teacher and to be in such a great district. My life feels so much more fulfilled because of this. This is what I am born to do.

Did you know ….

Most people that know me know that I’ve always wanted to teach. But I think most people don’t know that in first grade I decided  that I wanted to grow up to be a  “states and capitals and cursive handwriting teacher”. Somewhere between 3rd and 6th grade I figured out that wasn’t an actually thing. So,  I decided I was going to learn and teach Spanish.