-When: School board meeting, Jan. 6
-What happened: Superintendent Mike Leichliter, with help from executive leadership members Jerry Egan and Philip Gale, presented a comprehensive districtwide electronic assessment system called “Linkit,” which enables teachers to use data analysis to compare how students performed on various assessments. LinkIt is a software program that will attach to the current grading system, Sapphire, for use in various assessment observations.
The proposed program would allow for the analysis of grades from all district schools in Penn Manor’s local assessments.
-Importance: Currently, student letter grades are comparable only among individual schools. If Linkit is approved, teachers will spend less time grading and more time analyzing the deficits of students around the district in order to improve education methods. The program would also allow Penn Manor to analyze students’ development with extensive data-gathering software.
-Use: After the meeting, Egan said that Linkit will allow the district to efficiently measure themselves against the educational standards provided by the state, benefiting not only the students but teachers as well.
-Other business: Faculty and students from Penn Manor High School presented to the board the progression of their esports program. For the past year, students have been playing League of Legends as a part of Penn Manor’s esports varsity and junior varsity teams. Twenty-one students have participated, allowing them to explore their interest in professional video gaming. With various ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, students have been playing in sanctioned online lobbies around the country, and soon, around the world. Students are not only taught dexterous gaming techniques but also broadcasting, multimedia production and graphic arts on top of communication and leadership skills. The program opens the door to future scholarship opportunities from various in-state universities. Penn Manor hopes to expand this program year-round to welcome in more students who are interested in esports.