Helpful Resources

Please refer to this page often in order to find information in relation to our district initiatives that can support you in the classroom.

Effective Character Education

Comprehensive character education addresses many tough issues in education while developing a positive school climate. It can be effective in any school setting, as our National Schools of Character demonstrate. Educators from this diverse array of schools have transformed their school cultures, reduced discipline referrals, increased academic achievement for all learners, developed global citizens, and improved job satisfaction and retention among teachers.

The Pennsbury School District, as well as each of its schools within the district, is proud to be a National District of Character with all 10 Schools of Character.

11 Principles of Effective Character Education

Excellence and Equity

Cultural Proficiency. A Manual for School Leaders (Corwin)

"This book is a phenomenal resource for school districts and groups interested in improving the culture of their organizations. Cultural Proficiency provides a solid foundation for understanding equity, embracing diversity, and adapting to differences. Moreover, the protocols and activities in this edition serve as a road map for school and district leaders on the journey toward cultural proficiency." - Lynne Rosen, Director of Language and Cultural Equity, Albuquerque Public Schools, NM

Promoting Racial Literacy in Schools by Dr. Howard C. Stevenson

Dr. Stevenson’s recently published book, Promoting Racial Literacy in Schools: Differences that Make a Difference (Teachers College Press) focuses on how educators, community leaders, and parents can emotionally resolve face-to-face racially stressful encounters that reflect racial profiling in public spaces, fuel social conflicts in neighborhoods, and undermine student emotional well-being and academic achievement in the classroom.

Assistance with teaching about Charlottesville:

Formative Assessment vs. Summative Assessment

What is the difference between formative and summative assessment?

Formative assessment

The goal of formative assessment is to monitor student learning to provide ongoing feedback that can be used by teachers to improve their teaching and by students to improve their learning. More specifically, formative assessments:

  • help students identify their strengths and weaknesses and target areas that need work
  • help teachers recognize where students are struggling and address problems immediately

Formative assessments are generally low stakes, which means that they have low or no point value. Examples of formative assessments include asking students to:

  • draw a concept map in class to represent their understanding of a topic
  • submit one or two sentences identifying the main point of a lesson
  • turn in a draft for early feedback

Summative assessment

The goal of summative assessment is to evaluate student learning at the end of an instructional unit by comparing it against some standard or benchmark.

Summative assessments are often high stakes, which means that they have a high point value. Examples of summative assessments include:

  • a unit exam
  • a final project
  • a research paper

Information from summative assessments can be used formatively when students or teachers use it to guide their efforts and activities in subsequent courses.

Who are my formative assessment gurus?

Robert Marzano

Dylan Wiliam

Rick Wormeli

Framework for Teaching

The Framework for Teaching is a research-based set of components of instruction, aligned to the INTASC standards, and grounded in a constructivist view of learning and teaching. The complex activity of teaching is divided into 22 components (and 76 smaller elements) clustered into four domains of teaching responsibility:

  • Domain 1: Planning and Preparation
  • Domain 2: The Classroom Environment
  • Domain 3: Instruction
  • Domain 4: Professional Responsibilities

Who is the Frameworks for Teaching guru?

Charlotte Danielson

Grading for Learning

What is Grading for Learning?

Grading for Learning refers to systems of instruction, assessment, grading, and academic reporting that are based on students demonstrating understanding or mastery of the knowledge and skills they are expected to learn as they progress through their education.

Who are the Grading for Learning gurus?

Robert Marzano

Ken O'Connor

Rick Wormeli

Based on the work of Stanford University psychologist, Carol Dweck, the idea of mindset is related to our understanding of where ability comes from. It has recently been seized upon by educators as a tool to explore our knowledge of student achievement, and ways that such achievement might be improved.

What is a Fixed Mindset vs. a Growth Mindset?

In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. They’re wrong.

In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities.

Teaching a growth mindset creates motivation and productivity in the worlds of business, education, and sports. It enhances relationships.

Who are the Growth Mindset gurus?

Carol Dweck

Mary Cay Ricci


What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

How can mindfulness be useful in education?

Research over the past few decades has found that mindfulness training develops:

  • Increased attention
  • Increased executive function (working memory, planning, organization, and impulse control)
  • Decreased ADHD behaviors—specifically hyperactivity and impulsivity
  • Fewer conduct and anger management problems
  • Increased emotional regulation
  • Increased self-calming
  • Increased social skills and social compliance
  • Increased care for others
  • Decreased negative affect, or emotions
  • Decreased anxiety in general and text anxiety in particular
  • Decreased depression
  • Increased sense of calmness, relaxation, and self-acceptance
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Increased quality of sleep

As such, mindfulness is a foundation for education; mindfulness provides the optimal conditions for learning and teaching and also supports all pedagogical approaches.

Who are some of the Mindfulness gurus?

Tara Brach

Brene Brown


Jenny Mills