Pennsylvania Association for Middle Level Education

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PAMLE Summer Institute

The annual PAMLE Summer Institute will be July 17 – 18, 2018 from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. The theme for the conference is “STEM for Success: Creating 21st Century College and Career Ready Schools” and will be held at Mt. Nittany Middle School, in State College, PA. Visit our Summer Institute home page to register today!

Twin Valley Celebrates Schools to Watch!

On May 11, 2018, Twin Valley Middle School celebrated its 2018 Don Eichborn Schools "Schools to Watch®" designation with a school wide pep rally, followed by a reception with artistic and musical performances, and recognition given to its students, staff and leadership by Board President Gary McEwen, Superintendent Robert Pleis, Senator Judith Schwank and Senator John Rafferty Jr. Bruce Vosburgh, the State Director of Pennsylvania Association for Middle Level Education, presented the certificate and spoke to the audiences at both gatherings.

Twin Valley Middle School joins 35 other Pennsylvania middle-grades schools recognized previously. Twin Valley Middle School will be recognized nationally with all the other recognized Schools to Watch® schools across the country in Washington, DC at the National Forum’s National Schools to Watch® conference on June 28-30, 2018.

The Schools to Watch® selection process is based on a written application that required schools to show how they met criteria developed by the National Forum. TVMS was visited by state teams, which observed classrooms, interviewed administrators, teachers, students, and parents, and looked at achievement data, suspension rates, quality of lessons, and student work. TVMS is initially recognized for a three-year period, and at the end of three years, they must demonstrate progress on specific goals in order to be re-designated. Unlike the Blue Ribbon recognition program, “Schools to Watch®" requires TVMS to not just identify strengths, but to also focus on areas for continuous improvement; thus the three year re-designation.

Launched in 1999, Schools to Watch® began as a national program to identify middle-grades schools across the country that were meeting or exceeding 37 researched based criteria developed by the National Forum. The Forum developed a web site ( that features online tours of schools, as well as detailed information about the selection criteria used in the recognition program. There are now 18 states across the country, which have trained Schools to Watch® State Teams, with more than 450 schools recognized across the country. The National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform began as an alliance of 65 educators, researchers, national associations, and officers of professional organizations and foundations dedicated to improving education in the middle grades.

Visit the National Schools to Watch® website at www.middlegradesforum.orgMore information about Twin Valley Middle School's School Characteristics and Replicable Practices can be found here. Schools to Watch® contact: Bruce Vosburgh,

Collaborative Advocacy

Dr. Carol Watson and Dr. Priya Poehner accompanied Middle Level teacher education students from Kutztown and Lock Haven Universities tothe Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg on February 16, 2018. Middle Level Education students at these two PASSHE sister schools planned and created "talking points" to counter the House Bill (HB1386) in the Senate Education Committee that proposes changes to current teacher certification with guidance from Dr. Watson and Dr. Poehner. Students met with Mr. Lee Derr, and administrative representatives of Senators Scavello and Eichelberger. The students focused on addressing the need for teachers to be prepared to teach research based, developmentally responsive curriculum specific to the unique needs of young adolescents. The collaborative team was treated to a VIP tour of the House and Senate floors at the end of the visit.

Upcoming events

horace Mann offers

PAMLE is proud to share this news with our members as part of our Member Benefit Program. Horace Mann, a long time sponsor of PAMLE has a new and special offer to PAMLE members.

When you switch your auto insurance to Horace Mann, you receive preferred educator rates, multiline discounts (if you have other Horace Mann products) and a school payroll discount (where available). Take advantage of this money saving opportunity.

Click here for more information.

EDucational Leadership Summit

The 2018 Pennsylvania Educational Leadership Summit will be held at The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in State College from July 29-31, 2018. We had an excellent turnout of district teams and individuals last year and we look forward to growing even more this year. The conference hopes to attract district teams and we are limiting attendees to the first 400 participants. The format of the conference will include: keynote speakers; breakout sessions; table talks on hot topics; team planning and job alike sessions. Click here to register!

The conference committee is currently seeking requests for proposals for the small group sessions that will be held on Monday, July 30, 2018. Click here for the call for presenters form. The deadline to submit a form is Friday, February 23, 2018!

PAMLE Members-Only Section

Interested in handouts from past conferences, videos, and examples of Best Practices for middle level, as well as additional information? Log into the MEMBERS section of the website. Click on the “Members” menu at the top left-hand side of the page. If you don't know your login information, email to get your username and password. Building administrators - to give website access to members contact Paul Meck at


Member Schools


Tell Your Story!

PAMLE Keynote Speaker, Mark Brown, wants you to "Tell Your Story" - check out his newsletter right here!

Information about Act 45

Here's an important message for all members, especially our principals and other administrators about your Act 45 Hours.

SE Region Proposals needed

PAMLE Southeast Region is seeking proposals to present at our regional conference, "Innovative Instruction at the Middle Level" at Springton Lake Middle School - November 6, 2018. All information must be completed in order for your application to be considered. Proposals are due May 31, You can submit your proposal online here.


The U.S. Department of Education had approved Pennsylvania’s ESSA Consolidated State Plan as revised. Approval of Pennsylvania’s Consolidated State Plan is a significant moment for public education in Pennsylvania. The plan is shaped by the guiding principles of transparency, equity, and innovation, and underscores the commonwealth’s commitment to creating more balanced and comprehensive school progress measures, reducing testing time, and supporting Pennsylvania’s educators and school leaders. Read this letter from PA Secretary of Education, Pedro Rivera.

The attached Locally Selected On-Track Assessment Guidance Document is the second of several communications that will offer guidance on the indicators included in the Future Ready PA Index. This document, in conjunction with the PIMS technical manual, is intended to provide administrators with the information necessary to select and report a local assessment if they choose to do so. LEAs in need of technical assistance with on-track or proficiency assessment should contact the Bureau of Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction at or 717-525-5057. For PIMS application support, please call 1-800-661-2423. Thank you for your dedication to shaping the futures of Pennsylvania’s students.

Change In Certification Bands

Give us your feedback on the proposed teacher certification (HB1386). Read all about it here.

Great Advisory Programs

According to This We Believe by the Association of Middle Level Education, “Everyday, millions of diverse, rapidly changing 10- to 15-year-olds make critical and complex life choices and form the attitudes, values, and dispositions that will direct their behavior as adults. Check out these great examples of Advisory Programs from PAMLE's Northwest Region. Want more middle level strategies? Join PAMLE to access our Members’ Only section.

AMLE Legacy Videos

The Middle Level Legacy video series documents the history of a major educational reform in American Education: the Middle School Movement. Check out these videos from AMLE.

PAMLE is a proud affiliate of the Association for Middle Level Education

William Alexander Award

Bruce Vosburgh was recognized by the Pennsylvania Association for Middle Level Education (PAMLE) as the William Alexander Award: Outstanding PAMLE Member. The award is named after, William Alexander was a leader in the middle school movement beginning in the early 1960s. The William Alexander Award from PAMLE is meant to honor a leader in Pennsylvania who is actively involved in promoting the middle school movement. Bruce has been a leader in PAMLE and Schools to Watch for many years. His influence can be felt in middle schools throughout the state. We are proud to announce Bruce Vosburgh as PAMLEs William Alexander Award winner.

Schools to watch 2018

Three more exemplary Middle Grades Schools in Pennsylvania have been named PA Don Eichhorn Schools: “Schools to Watch” (PA STW) as part of a recognition program developed by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform. These three schools join 35 other Pennsylvania middle-grades schools recognized previously. The three newest schools as well as the eight re-designated schools will be recognized at the PAMLE State Conference at the Penn Stater Conference Center in State College on February 25, 2018. Read more here...

This Month From GenerationOn!

Check February is Black History Month, and serves as a time to honor and reflect on the expansive history, culture, struggles, accomplishments and contributions of the African American community. Check out these great resources from generationOn.


PAMLE’s mission is to promote best practices for middle level education. To accomplish this mission, PAMLE believes sharing best practices with one another is a road map to achieve this goal. As a result, we encourage you to share the great things happening in your school, programs and activities that make a difference in middle level instruction. There is no doubt that your practices will help other schools and teachers to better meet the developmental needs of our young adolescents. So, please fill out this Google Form to join us in our mission to promote best practices for middle level education! The submissions can be found under Best Practices in the Members Only section of our website. We hope many schools can implement these practices in order to improve, constantly grow, become "A Schools To Watch" and retain this prestigious recognition.

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