Let’s replicate the model deployed for the district’s Athletic Trainers and apply it to AQUATICS.

All high schools with scholastic-sports teams within Pittsburgh Public Schools have athletic trainers that help to care for the health and wellness of the PPS student-athletes. These athletic trainers are present for practices and competitions. They serve boys-and-girls and work among various venues.

Presently, the existing model for the Athletic Trainers deployed at Pittsburgh Public Schools is great. I love it. It works well. I’ve always been grateful of the support received from the Athletic Trainers. The model for the service delivery provides a huge assets and support for the athletes, coaches, guardians and administrators.

The athletic trainers, with the initials, A.T.C., after their names, are professionals, academically trained and certified. They get continuing education and are hired, managed and evaluated from a central office. The division head for athletics in Pittsburgh Public Schools, Mr. Mike Gavlik. He supervises the service contract for athletic training with UPMC Sports Medicine. The contract details the services rendered so that the school principals and coaches do not need to worry about coverage from the athletic trainers. A well executed, district-wide approach makes great sense. It is efficient and effective. Bravo to you all for such wonderful results.

Meanwhile, in Pittsburgh Public Schools, in AQUATICS, a much different model and resulting outcomes are unfolding.

With our swim teams and with our programs at the various PPS swim pools in after-school hours programs, everything is site-based. Site-based aquatic programming isn’t working, IMNSHO (in my not so humble opinion).

Pittsburgh Public Schools (and taxpayers) have 15, indoor, swim pools within our schools. My audit and experiences show that we are lucky to get two-percent of the value in community benefits of our paid-for facilities in OUT-OF-SCHOOL TIME activities.

I am worried about activities, programs, leadership and opportunities offered our kids and the communities at the pools in afternoons, evenings, nights, weekends, holidays, vacations and throughout the weeks of summer.

Most of the time, the pools sit idle. They are closed.

To be clear, what happens in Physical Education in the normal school day is not a concern of this suggested proposal.

Just as UPMC Sports Medicine handles system-wide needs for athletic training, PPS needs a system-wide approach to what happens in the swimming pools beyond the school day.

The engagement for the students, the competitive swimmers, and the communities is suffering and an overhaul of purpose, methods, programming, hiring responsibilities and mission in AQUATICS is needed and can be delivered with an AQUATICS DIRECTOR.

Take these tasks off the backs of the school principals.

Let’s deploy a system and thrive. Let’s train lifeguards, compete around the region, and deliver serious health and wellness benefits.

One of the most simple and direct paths for implementation of this suggestion is to attach AQUATICS to the budding PPS Community Schools network. The new PPS Community Schools program began in the fall of 2017. This trailblazing program that was championed by the PPS School Board before the arrival of the existing superintendent, Dr. Anthony Hamlet, aims to form a model for increased engagement and cooperation among community agencies, school staff, students and families. The first five designated community schools in PPS include three schools with under-utilized swimming pools: Westinghouse, Arsenal, Langley. The PPS Board made a dramatic step to embrace the concept of PPS Community Schools, as a pilot, among five of its schools. These suggestions for AQUATICS go hand-in-hand with the efforts of PPS Community Schools. Let’s make a splash with AQUATICS with PPS Community Schools.

Let’s coordinate human resources among lifeguards, swim instructors, coaches, rec organizations and have an aquatic mission that fits the various facilities and interests of the kids and grows as they improve.

Our students need to know that their devotion and investment into swimming is supported. The un-tapped potential within Pittsburgh’s kids in aquatics is phenomenal. But, we as coaches and administrators, we need to be nimble at the pools and offer excellent programs. Aquatics can be a vital cornerstone for PPS Community Schools.

These programs can pull their own weight financially. Creative and inspiring leadership coupled with important partnerships can make the AQUATICS programs sustainable.

To implement the vision, the Administration and PPS Board negotiators should carve out AQUATICS from the realm of the PFT Contract. Assigning coaching duties, instructors and lifeguards need to be fluid and flexible, coordinated and well deployed. Accountability, certifications, and alignments to systems, squads and developmental pathways need to make sense.

Go figure: Last year, a swim meet between Obama and Allderdice as impossible to schedule.

A four-fold increase in both quantity and quality is expected as a first-year bump.

In 2017, PPS has about 250 kids who swim. With the pools we have, PPS could have 1,000+ kids calling themselves swimmers.

Going swimming and being a swimmer are different.

We want to turn around the opportunities so our kids become:

  1. scholarship student-athletes,
  2. employed at the pools,
  3. competitors with anyone, and
  4. know how to play well with others.

Progress should happen in 2018. Let’s make it happen. Your reactions in the comments below are welcome.

Looking for kids to come out for some Swim & Water Polo fun on Tuesdays and Fridays

Pittsburgh Invite!

Join new Swim & Water Polo practices.

From: Mark Rauterkus, Swim & Water Polo Coach
Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation & Pittsburgh Public Schools’ Summer Dreamers Academy
Obama Academy, Sci-Tech and U-Prep Varsity Swim Team

To: Students at PPS, Teachers, Parents, Guardians and any possible summer-time employees wishing for jobs as a lifeguard and/or swim instructor

Let’s go to the swim pool for a new, city-wide water polo program.

Learning to swim and then getting a job in the summers as a lifeguard and swim instructor is a big deal and something to celebrate! We are calling for all swimmers and non-swimmers to consider joining us for practices for a new activity. Learn to swim or swim better, stay in shape, grow stronger. You’re encourage to consider these opportunities to make continued progress, new friends and learn new skills in the weeks and months to come with me in some BRAND NEW AQUATIC PROGRAMS just being announced.

All the city’s middle school and high-school students, boys and girls, are invited to Swim & Water Polo practices. We will swim, work a bit on fitness, strokes, and then play and introduce everyone to water games such as water polo and SKWIM. Rookies are welcome. Bring your friends.

Tuesdays from 6 to 7:30 pm at PPS Obama Academy.

Corner of East Liberty Blvd and Highland Ave, in East Liberty / Highland Park

Fridays from 5:30 to 7:00 pm – Thelma Lovette YMCA.

2114 Centre Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 – YMCA phone = 412-315-0990

First practices on February 2, 2016. An adult needs to sign in the student on the first first practice with the coach and with the YMCA on your first visit there. No charge to join. Bring your suit, goggles if you have them, towel and enthusiasm.

We are also looking for students to sign up for Summer Dreamers in Swim & Water Polo for 2016. Plus, we like to engage junior captains and junior lifeguards for service jobs in the summer with these activities with the BGC.

Mark Rauterkus, 412-298-3432 = cell

Mark@Bloomfield-Garfield.org Mrauterkus@PghBoe.Net Mark@Rauterkus.com

Feel free to forward elsewhere.

Goals, Level 1

Digital Badges, Goals, Level 1, is ready for your participation. Being a goal setter and thinking about goals, is an important function for achievement in life, with youngsters and adults. All are encouraged to take some time and do the activities and earn our Level 1 accomplishment.

There is no charge for the entire process. This can be shared far and wide. Our staff is working on this now and in the days to come, those in Swim & Water Polo Camp as part of Summer Dreamers Academy get to give it a whirl too.

First: You’re going to need to go to the CLOH wiki and log in with a username.

Second: Read about the process on the wiki page: http://cloh.wikia.com/wiki/Digital_Badges/Goals/Level_1.

Third: At the bottom of the Digital_Badges/Goals/Level 1 page is a “button” that takes you to a new wiki page. On that new page you edit and post four of your goals. A few other questions are asked. Keep reading. Keep following the directions.

Goals, Level 2
Goals, Level 2 is about the GOI.

Fourth: You ask for the site administrators and coaches to deliver you the digital badge.

Fifth: Stay tuned for the next level of the Digital Badges/Goals. That is much different and includes the GOI, the goal orientation index.

Nine steps for getting involved with Digital Badges

1. Explore the options. Decide for yourself.

Not much in life is mandatory. You can rise up to the challenge and strive to get a grip on the Digital Badges, or you can ignore them. Some individuals are going to want to learn and grow by wrestling with these challenges and opportunities. Care to engage, show initiative and try hard.

Some of the Digital Badges are going to be easy for you to get. Others are going to be out of reach for you this summer.

2. Sign in.

The youth of Pittsburgh are getting their Digital Badges with the Pgh City of Learning and adults are able to log into http://Play.CLOH.org.

3. Learn the details of what to do.

All digital badges have criteria. Some are built for skills while others are for knowledge and dispositions. Badges are earned. Take the test, be it physical, mental or of one’s character.

    • Read, study, and ask questions when confused or stuck. Seek assistance.
    • Take it all in by surfing around at category:Digital Badges.
    • Work it. Have fun. Discover. Write. Be independent too.

4. Prove it.

    • You can do it. You did it. Make sure a camera is close.
    • Prove it to others. Show off your efforts. Be a positive social force.
    • Add to the collection. Put yourself into the outcomes.
    • Improve the ebooks, the exercise collections and teach others the routines.
    • Get into the details of the documentation and share with your witnesses on this wiki.

5. Ask for your badge by posting the code snip, “Please Bestow.”

      • When the time is right, ask for your badges.
    • See /Bestowing

6. Delivery of the Digital Badges

    • Expect an email from the badge platform that delivers the badge to you.
    • Do a dance of accomplishment.

7. After their arrival, do some housekeeping.

Bits of digital dust need to be scrubbed so that different staff members don’t re-send you the same badges. Wipe that badge off of the to-do list.

    • Remove the Category: Please Bestow from the wiki page.
    • Remove the Template: Please Bestow from the wiki page.

8. The network can fuel your growth.

Being socially responsible, connected, and friendly includes outreach.

    • Tell your friends.
    • Thanks those that helped you along the way.
    • Update your resume.
    • Ping social media sites.
    • Attack again on another accomplishment.
    • Plan the next steps and sharing with others.

9. Celebrate, rinse and repeat.

    • Be involved for the long-haul.
    • Don’t change. Grow. Be mighty.

Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation and Summer Dreamers Swim & Water Polo Lead the Way in Digital Badges

by Adam Majewski, staff member and recent Pitt graduate

Head photo of Adam
Adam, Badge Champion

The Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, with support from the Sprout Fund through their City of Learning initiative, is bringing tablet technology into the classroom for the Summer Dreamer Swim & Water Polo and Mindful Eating camps this summer. This development is part of an effort to improve learning outcomes in and out of the classroom and to improve technology literacy. Digital badges are set to provide the incentive, direction, and visibility for students to improve their knowledge, skills, and character. The classroom tablets are a means to both connect the summer dreamers with these badges and to provide a learning environment that teaches the precepts of technology literacy.

Digital badges provide a means of rewarding and showcasing students’ learning achievements outside of the traditional classroom setting. They are a showcase for student knowledge and skill that can be displayed across the internet as a means of demonstrating students’ career readiness or aptitude to collaborate in multi-media projects, for instance. The Pittsburgh City of Learning effort is encouraging groups like Summer Dreamers, the Carnegie Library, and Learn and Earn Summer Youth Employment Program to develop badges to showcase the skills, knowledge, and abilities that participants develop through city-wide programs. This is because preparation for the future is a task that requires the whole community, not just one institution, to achieve for the youth of the city.

The Summer Dreamers Swim & Water Polo program, with the help of the Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, is one of the programs leading the way in this City of Learning initiative. By showcasing the knowledge and skills that prepare learners for future fitness health and employment opportunity, the digital badges for the Swim & Water Polo camp are set to dynamically improve the visibility of Pittsburgh Public School students’ learning and achievement outside the schoolroom. Coupled with the availability of tablets through the program, students will be able to display their talents better than ever before, through the internet and other digital media. These digital badges provide one more resource for students to diversify their skills and knowledge and display their talent to the rest of the community.

Kay Atman gives a lesson on goal-setting steps, part of Digital Badges / Goals / Masters Level

Kay Atman, Ph.D., retired professor from the School of Education at University of Pittsburgh, talks with Swim & Water Polo staff member about the 12 steps to goal setting.

“My viewpoint is that human beings are goal-seeking, teleological organisms. That is, human beings do things for a reason or goal and strive to make meanings of their lives. The process of learning in a particular domain or content area is complex. Individuals develop a knowledge base through conditioning by the environment; they also actively construct a knowledge base through their seeking information and thinking about the subject based on their maturation and prior knowledge. When knowledge (which may be either cognitively- or affectively-based) is purposely put into practice through an exercise of volition, conation, and will, it leads to behavioral competence and, through reflection, to wisdom.“[1] Huitt, W. (2001).

Read more at the wiki: