Proposed KSRA Bylaws Changes

Posted by on Jan 18, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Proposed KSRA Bylaws Changes

When the Board of Directors met in September, Marcie Craig Post, IRA’s Executive Director, made a presentation to the Board about the roles and responsibilities of a Board of Directors. After the presentation, the Board broke into small groups to discuss the implications of this presentation for KSRA. A subsequent vote authorized the work on a new set of Bylaws for the Keystone State Reading Association.

Over the past several months, Jane Helman and I, with consultations from Eleanor Gensemer and others in KSRA and in discussions with Marcie Craig Post and utilizing the template provided by IRA, developed the proposed bylaws which are attached. Our goal was to develop a fiscally responsible organizational structure that will enable KSRA to function effectively and efficiently as we face the challenges of both the present and future, while maintaining what has made our organization a strong and vibrant one. We are especially proud of the close working relationship between our local councils and the state organization and are committed to maintaining this while changing our governing structure.

Though time is short, we hope you will take a few minutes to look at the following documents prior to Saturday’s meeting. On Saturday, January 24, we will present more background information and there will be much time for small group and whole group discussion. Our current bylaws require that proposed changes in the bylaws be approved by a vote of ⅔ of the Board of Directors at two consecutive meetings of the Board. Ideally, if we are to change our current governing structure, it would be helpful to have the new bylaws approved by the start of our next fiscal year, July 1, 2015.

The following documents are included for your study of the proposed new bylaws:

  • An annotated copy of the proposed bylaws providing some explanation and rationale.
  • A document highlighting the major differences between the current bylaws and the proposed bylaws.
  • A document listing the policies and procedures that should be adopted in the coming year to implement the proposed bylaws, if approved.

We look forward to sharing this with you on Saturday. If you should have any questions or comments that you would like to share prior to that meeting, please feel free to contact Eleanor, Jane, Julie, or myself.

Eleanor Gensemer –

Jane Helman –

Eric MacDonald –

Julie Wise –

Click each of the document names below to access that document:


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KSRA Is Looking for Some Great Teaching Ideas

Posted by on Jan 10, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

origin_7355459380Have you ever visited the website Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT) is a website that offers free or cheap classroom resources for K-12 teachers such as: PowerPoints, anchor charts, lesson plans, and center activities. Teachers can find resources for any grade and any subject (e.g., math, science, and social studies) but the English Language Arts category is the largest with double the resources.

KSRA is exploring this concept for our Educational Resource Committee for several reasons. First, one of our main goals for KSRA is to offer effective and relevant professional development. TpT can provide a platform for KSRA to support teachers as they look for resources to improve their instruction. Second, KSRA has 1,600 members who could provide innovative ideas for teaching reading, writing, speaking, and listening. If everyone would donate a successful lesson plan, we could populate the account quickly. Third, TpT can serve as an alternative method for providing a service that would generate income that KSRA could use to fund international advocacy campaigns, scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students, fund annual conferences, and help keep membership costs low.

TpT offers KSRA a direct link to support classroom teachers and reading specialists as they plan, teach, and assess students’ literacy! However, we need your ideas and resources. If you have created a successful lesson, PowerPoint, or worksheet that supports authentic reading, writing, speaking, and listening, we need to hear from you. At the same time, if you are a student, substitute teacher, or retired teacher who would be willing to work with other classroom teachers to create materials, we need to hear from you. Please do not pass up this opportunity to support teachers and reading specialists.  Contact Andy Morrison with suggestions and materials.


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Important Information Regarding Reading Specialist Certification in PA

Posted by on Nov 18, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Important Information Regarding Reading Specialist Certification in PA

We are contacting you regarding a recent issue that has come to our attention about an abrupt decision by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to include the Reading Specialist Certificate to the Add On By Testing certificates. An email was sent from the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Division of Professional Education and Teacher Quality dated November 5, 2014 regarding “add on by testing” to the certificates that can be added on through testing. Currently, the Pennsylvania Department of Education is trying to employ a short cut to an academic certification program rather than getting a reading specialist degree through a Master’s program.

We are requesting all members of KSRA, PRTE, educators, colleges, and universities throughout Pennsylvania to send a letter this week to Dr. Carolyn Dumaresq, acting Secretary of Education. To make this process easier, several KSRA committees (Governmental Relations, PRTE, and Technology) have drafted a letter, which you can copy and send. A sample letter which you can adapt, along with copies of two of the letter that KSRA are sending are linked here:

KSRA’s voice of 1,600 educators will be heard clearer and stronger if we all follow the same procedure and use the same language. The Governmental Relations Committee has established the current strategy:

Round One:

  1. Send alert to KSRA and PRTE
  2. KSRA President and Governmental Relations Chair send letters to PDE stating concerns and requesting reversal of policy.
  3. Post information on KSRA website and through social media.
  4. Request HEADS of literacy organizations (PRTE, Deans, etc) send letters.
  5. Request individual members of literacy organizations send letters.
  6. If PDE response is positive, process ends. If not, go on to round two.

Round Two:

  1. Request meeting with PDE.
  2. Postcard campaign to PDE.

Round Three

Prepare to contact your state governmental officials.  Contact information is available at under Find Your Legislator.

Please feel free to share this information with all the teachers, school administrators, and parents of students who have received reading support. Together we will continue to provide support to educators across PA and provide guidance for how to share our concern.

Thank you for your support,

Julie B. Wise, President, KSRA

Millie Henning, Chair, Governmental Relations, KSRA


Read the article which appeared in IRA’s Reading Today Online.

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Important Information Regarding Pennsylvania Reading Specialist Certification

Posted by on Nov 17, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

KSRA-B-YKSRA is aware of issues regarding changes in certification procedures for reading specialist certification in Pennsylvania. Our Government Relations Committee is working hard to track down the facts regarding the matter. If you are interested in helping or have some suggestions for how we should proceed, please only contact KSRA’s Governmental Relations Chair,  Millie Henning ( She is currently drafting a plan and a letter to inform all of the KSRA members.  When we have all the facts, dates, and contacts in place we will send out an email blast like we did in the past for conference information. Together we will provide support to educators across PA and provide guidance for how to share our concern. KSRA’s voice of 1,600 educators will be heard clearer and stronger if we all follow the same procedure and use the same language.

Again, thank you for all your feedback and continue to share with Millie. we only ask for your patience before reaching out beyond KSRA unless specifically assigned to contact a certain member of PDE or the state government.
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The Conference May Be Over, But…

Posted by on Oct 18, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

The Conference May Be Over, But…

Even though the 2014 Conference has ended, you can still learn from the conference (or refresh your memory if you were fortunate enough to attend). The conference wiki contains handouts and more from many of the speakers. Check them out today!

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