Character education is a district-wide initiative based on character traits identified by the community as being important. Beginning in 2021-22, the district introduced a new social-emotional learning tool, CharacterStrong, to enhance its existing focus on character and character traits. CharacterStrong is a curriculum and professional development organization with a goal to create a better world through education. The mission is to help schools more effectively teach strong character and social-emotional skills to their students.
The district is a leader in technological innovation and infrastructure, with over 4,600 laptops, tablets, and desktop computers district-wide, including 1:1 computing in all grades (K-12). WiFi is available in all instructional areas at speeds of 600 MB for classrooms. All core classrooms are also equipped with interactive whiteboards, handheld devices such as iPads, and classroom performance systems. The district’s technology infrastructure is maintained by nine full-time employees and supports some 5,000 users.
Conestoga Valley is committed to an assessment program reflecting national, state, and local measures. Each year, CV administers the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) math and English Language Arts (ELA) exams in grades three through eight, and science in grades four and eight. High school students take the state’s end-of-course Keystone Exams in algebra, literature, and biology. CV maintains a balance of diagnostic, benchmark, formative and summative assessments at all levels, including locally-developed assessments.
Each school in the district has a quality library staffed with a certified school librarian. CVSD patrons have use of more than 80,000 print volumes that can be shared through Destiny, the online library catalog. All CV students have access to online resources, including grade-level appropriate specialty databases, ebooks and electronic tools. Online resources are available 24/7 for use at home. District libraries offer video collections and the capability to download streaming audio and video. The libraries at CV High School and Gerald G. Huesken Middle School offer extended hours for student use.
CV has excellent, modern facilities for learning. The district boasts specially-designed classrooms that feature digitial science and music equipment, 3D printing, three television studios, three 500+ seat auditoriums, synthetic turf fields (including the stadium), all-weather track, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and a 2,000-seat gymnasium. In addition, construction of a brand new middle school that will house students in grades 6-8 is well underway; the project is projected to be completed in time for the start of the 2022-23 school year.
Conestoga Valley takes a proactive approach to keep students in a safe learning environment. Emergency plans are in place at each school. CV’s School Resource Officer (SRO), a full-time officer with the East Lampeter Township Police Department, is a visible presence in all CV schools. Buildings are designed to route all visitors through secure entrances. The district’s Safety Task Force meets regularly to review plans and make further recommendations.
The district provides numerous special services to its students, including gifted education, learning support, emotional support, life skills support, Response to Instruction and Intervention (RtII), speech and language programs including English as a Second Language (ESL), Safe2Say Something program, bullying prevention programs and the Student Assistance Program (SAP). There are school counselors and psychologists in each building, two district-wide home school visitors/social workers, and nurses and/or nurse assistants in each building, as well.
All CV schools offer special education services based on a student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP). These supports could involve modification of lessons or instruction outside of the regular classroom. CV’s special education services aim to enable all students to achieve to their fullest potential.
CV Virtual Academy
An area pioneer in online learning, CV offers students in grades K-12 a cyber education with a local touch. Virtual Academy students experience self-directed learning in core subjects while enjoying access to CV field trips, on-campus elective courses, and extracurricular activities. CVVA also has three learning centers on CV campuses, including an elementary learning center at Fritz Elementary and two secondary Internet Cafes.
CV Education Foundation
The Conestoga Valley Education Foundation (CVEF) is an independent, non-profit organization that has provided more than $1 million in funding for educational initiatives since its founding in 1993. CVEF’s Board of Trustees looks to fund creative and innovative classroom projects that are not funded through the regular district budget.
CV emphasizes communication with employees, parents, community members, and students. The district’s public relations department uses multiple platforms to promote programs and accomplishments. CV administrators meet regularly with parents, employees, and students, and the school board hosts community forums biannually, typically in the fall and spring.
Volunteers in Action
CV has a tradition of strong, enthusiastic parental support. In 1975, the district initiated Volunteers in Action (VIA), an organized volunteer program that assists teachers and administrators.
CV students post some of the highest test scores regionally and are among the highest academic growth rates statewide. Many CV teachers have received honors including Outstanding Art Educator, Outstanding String Teacher Award, State MS Physical Education Teacher of the Year, State Art Supervisor of the Year, Excellence in Science Teaching, and Program Excellence Award for Technology Education. In July of 2021, the high school’s science department recently completed its first grant cycle with the Outdoor Learning Network Initiative (OLNI) in July of 2021.