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Supporting All Students

Pennsylvania’s public education system serves more than 1.7 million students in early childhood and K-12 education, who live and learn in diverse communities. Whether in rural, urban, or suburban settings, public schools must provide each student with a high-quality education that helps them prepare for meaningful engagement in postsecondary education, in workforce training, in career pathways, and as responsible, involved community members.

Pennsylvania has developed a number of resources and initiatives focused on promoting smooth transitions during critical points in a student’s pre-K to postsecondary education and career – such as the transition from early childhood to elementary school, middle to high school, and high school to postsecondary. The Department has also invested in programs that enhance the capacity of LEAs and schools to identify and assist at-risk students through academic, social, behavioral, emotional, and other interventions and supports. Finally, PDE has developed resources and technical assistance to help promote a safe, inclusive, and positive school climate.

Pennsylvania believes that all students deserve equitable access to a well-rounded, rigorous, and personalized education that sparks curiosity, builds confidence, and helps them prepare for long-term success.

As part of its broader efforts to promote equitable access to a high-quality, well-rounded education for all students in Pennsylvania, the Department intends to prioritize existing state and federal funding sources, such as Title IV, Part A, Title I, Part A, Title IV, Part B (21st Century Community Learning Centers), and Title IV, Part F funds (Promise Neighborhoods and Full-Service Community School Programs), to support the following four priorities:

  1. Ensuring Well-Rounded, Rigorous, and Personalized Learning Experiences for All Students
    1. Increasing Participation in Advanced Coursework for All Students
    2. Promoting Equitable Access to STEM Education
    3. Supporting Meaningful College and Career Pathways
  2. Addressing the Needs of Students through School-based Supports and Community Partnerships
  3. Promoting Successful Transitions in Early Childhood through Postsecondary Education
  4. Promoting Positive School Climate and Social-Emotional Learning
Revisions to the final proposed plan: 
  • Clarified the meaning of well-rounded education opportunities and emphasized well-rounded opportunities as a priority especially for the use of Title IV, Part A funding
  • Added text noting that the use of chronic absenteeism as an ESSA accountability indicator and in the Future Ready PA Index emphasizes the importance of student and parent/family engagement to improve attendance and learning outcomes
  • Added descriptions of initiatives that support students and communities including the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs and the role of public libraries
  • Added language describing the Department’s strategies to emphasize students reading on grade level by third grade
  • Added description of the Department’s Office of Safe Schools and its work to identify and address disproportionate and exclusionary discipline practices
  • Clarified language regarding the manner in which the Department will award Title IV, Part A, Subpart 1 funds
  • Added language describing the Department’s support for LEAs regarding progress of English Learners and how the Department monitors progress of English Learners in schools

Read more about Supporting All Students in Section 6 of the Pennsylvania ESSA Consolidated State Plan.