Huntingdon Area School District took the opportunity on an Act 80 day to educate their staff Jan. 20. While students were not in school, all staff was trained on current needs within the district. The morning began with the showing of a movie about trauma-informed care and mental health through the eyes of a child.

The movie was shown by two community resources, psychologist Doctor Kristen Hennessy along with Megan Neugebauer from Juniata Behavioral and Developmental Services. The second part of the morning was to review information in regards to special education best practices led by Doctor David Bateman, a professor and author from Shippensburg University. Both morning activities included information and training that will be followed up in future meetings and training. Secondary Principal, Travis Lee, stated: “I felt that this day drew attention to the needs and experiences that our children are going through so we can continue to plan for the future.”

The afternoon for the secondary schools consisted of learning about a small group of staff that attended the SAS Institute located in Hershey in December. The SAS Institute is a software company that develops and markets a suite of analytics software. This helps access, manage, analyze and report on data to aid in decision making.

The institute facilitated small group sessions for secondary staff members including project-based learning, community connections, essential skills, and additional information.

Lee said, “This helps us continue to put a focus on instruction and community engagement to further develop well-rounded learners.” The use of this training day, along with other training and information sessions to come, will continue to improve Huntingdon’s School district and help staff to prepare for events in the future.



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