• Responding to New Challenges

    Over the years, the high school had become a favorite target of vandals, followed by Westerly Parkway and Park Forest junior highs. The district set up an Anti-Vandalism Reward Fund, allotting $1 per student per school. Any money not used to fix damage during the year would be used for student projects. The fund continued for several years, often with money available for student activities. An awareness program for fifth and sixth-graders was also set up.

    In April 1985, the American Association of University Women and Phi Delta Kappa presented to the school board the results of a survey of local residents. Of those surveyed, 70 percent said drugs and alcohol were the biggest problems in State College schools. Almost half said discipline was not strict enough.

    Also in April 1985, the board approved recommendations from a task force on “Understanding Others.” Among the recommendations were” texts and materials should be reviewed regularly to ensure they dealt fairly with problems and contributions of women, ethnic and racial minorities, and all other people; a plan should be developed to address the lack of respect for vo-tech and vo-ag students; and the board should renew efforts to recruit and employ minorities when staff vacancies occurred.

    In 1988, the board adopted a state-mandated curriculum on Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), consisting of one to three class periods at the elementary level and for eighth, ninth and eleventh-graders. Students in the two older grades already were taught about AIDS in the human sexuality unit of the health education course, but the material would be new in the other grades. Before adopting the curriculum, administrators had consulted with local clergy and health officials.

    Also in 1988, after eight months of discussion, the board voted unanimously to ban corporal punishment in State College schools. Teachers had requested the ban after the National Education Association adopted a policy opposing corporal punishment. Records showed that the use of physical punishment was rare by that time in district schools, and that some schools already had discontinued using it.

Last Modified on June 25, 2011