School District Of The City Of York

Cornerstone

Mission: As a tier III intervention, the mission of the Cornerstone program is to meet the individual academic and behavioral/social-emotional needs of students in order to prepare them for a successful journey as a learner, and to assist in the acquisition of positive skills and confidence to allow for a successful transition back to home buildings.

Vision: The vision of the Cornerstone program, through the cultivation of home and family partnerships, is to improve the school and life outcomes of its students through the integration of highly effective and engaging individualized instruction, positive behavior interventions and supports, and therapeutic approaches for all students.

Cornerstone Referrals: Students are referred to Cornerstone from their home buildings through the CSST process. Referrals and placements are approved by the district’s Pupil Personnel Services office.

Cornerstone IS…

  • An intervention program to support students in grades 1-9 who were not able to make progress despite tier I and II interventions
  • A positive and therapeutic-based program designed to teach students the skills to be successful in both the academic and behavioral realms

Cornerstone IS NOT…

  • Alternative education
  • A punishment
  • A “forever” placement

Programming and Structure: As a tier III intervention, the Cornerstone program provides a unique tiered and teambased structure to support the collective and individual needs of students. Once students have met their CSST goals, they will have the opportunity to start a transition back to their home buildings.

Students in grades 1-8 will begin the transition process by attending their home buildings on Fridays. A Cornerstone staff member will be available for support and to provide assistance as needed in home buildings on these days. Students in 9th grade will have the opportunity to either transition slowly by course, or by day depending on individual needs. Full transition timelines/plans for each student will be team-based decisions that are made on a case-by-case basis.

Please refer to the graphic below for additional information about the programming and structure provided by the Cornerstone program. Please note that the tiered structure applies to students in the elementary part of the program (grades 1-6). Secondary students (7th-9th) also receive small group and individualized instruction as well as daily Character Education classes in a more age-appropriate setting.

For more information or questions about the Cornerstone program, please contact the administrator, George Fitch, at fitchgeo@ycs.k12.pa.us or at (717) 849-1218 ext. 1246.

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See the calendar below for important Cornerstone dates during the 2017-18 school year!

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George Fitch

Cornerstone Principal

Mr. George E. Fitch, Jr., who is currently pursuing a Doctoral degree in Leadership, holds two Master of Education degrees from Point Park University in Educational Leadership and Curriculum and Instruction. He also earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C. Mr. Fitch holds a Superintendent Letter of Eligibility as well as certifications in Administration (K-12) and an Instructional II Elementary Education (K-6).

After graduating from Howard University, Mr. Fitch taught 3rd – 5th grades in the Washington D.C. public school system, serving a high-poverty and transient population for three years.  He then moved to Samuel Chase Elementary in Prince Georges County Public School System as the Math Curriculum Chairman and Grade Level Chairman.  In his role as Math Curriculum and Grade Level Chairman, 5th grade test scores improved more than 45 percent in one year. During his time at Samuel Chase Elementary School, Mr. Fitch was recognized as Teacher of the Year.

Mr. Fitch then moved back to his home town of Pittsburgh to become a founding teacher of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh Charter School and served as the Program Coordinator and Lead Teacher. He also became the founding principal of Propel Schools–Homestead, in which he was responsible for more than 400 students grades K–8, increasing the school’s enrollment more than 75 percent and supervising a staff of more than 50 adults.  Mr. Fitch continued to serve inner-city students when he returned to the Urban League of Pittsburgh Charter Schools, serving as the Assistant Principal for Instruction and Facilities. In that role, he supervised all building projects, expansions and funding that helped the school operate for 2 years.  Mr. Fitch then moved to York to serve as the Principal and CEO of the only conversion charter school in Pennsylvania, Lincoln Charter School. While there, the school raised academic scores, increased student enrollment and was recognized as the top performing school in York City.

In 2014, Mr. Fitch received the Red Cross Hero Award for creating and developing the Teen’s Fourth Friday program in the City of York. He serves as a member of Big Brother Big Sisters and is a past member of the Centro Hispano Center of York.  On a personal note, Mr. Fitch is married and also the father of three remarkable children, one who is a proud graduate of William Penn Senior High School.

Cornerstone students take initiative with ‘homework club’

A group of students recently formed their own “homework club” in Cornerstone. This fall, three students spontaneously decided to stay after school in order to complete class assignments and daily homework. They also stayed to get clarification on the concepts taught in their classes that day.

Now the group fluctuates in number, between and 4 and 7 students on a daily basis. They push each other to complete assignments, help each other when they are stuck, and stay until the job is done. These students have been known to stay past 5 p.m. with their teachers.

What’s interesting for the teachers to see is that this had a totally organic start. The students took the lead, and now have taken the responsibility of cultivating a culture of positive peer pressure. By their mutual ownership in this club, none of them are allowed to just sit there and wait for a friend. If you stay after school, you better be working!

 

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