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Business group is a must for borough to move ahead

It is imperative that Middletown have a downtown business association, one that is separate from the borough but collaborates with it, to achieve goals that will benefit us all. 

There are myriad issues that must be addressed for the borough to thrive business-wise that are not being addressed. A group focused solely on doing so will help. 

We need a plan to draw businesses to the downtown and to all of Middletown, and that has to include maximizing the locations where they can move if they are indeed interested. There is a lack of physical places to which they can locate. What are the options? 

We must have a group of business people speaking with one voice about the parking issues facing the borough and how to solve them. 

Business owners must work together to draw Penn State Harrisburg students to Middletown and have them spend their dollars here. 

A business organization could work toward strengthening the work force available in the borough. 

The group also, and maybe most importantly, could coherently market the attractions that the borough has going for it in a way that business couldn’t do alone. 

The momentum for such a group still exists despite a messy situation in late 2014 when the legs were cut out from underneath it at the last minute before it was to be fully formed. 

A $20,000 investment grant appears to remain intact from previous efforts to get the group started. 

Such a group has the support of many businesses, including the Press And Journal, Kuppy’s Diner, Alfred’s Victorian, Tattered Flag, Giant, Harrisburg International Airport, Penn State Harrisburg, Members 1st Federal Credit Union, the Harrisburg Regional Chamber and Capital Region Economic Development Corp. In fact, the Harrisburg Chamber would offer “in-kind” services to help launch the Middletown business association, and share its “library of best practices.” 

This organization is way overdue. It’s a must. A rising tide lifts all boats. Take advantage of what local business leaders want and get this done, and soon.

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 August 2016 16:16

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The last new high school Middletown will ever have?

We are happy and proud to see the new Middletown Area High School open and full of students. It’s a jewel that we hope several generations of our young people will use to the best of their abilities.But here’s an interesting thought to ponder as we enjoy the shiny new campus: Is this the last new high school Middletown will ever have?

The old high school lasted more than 50 years. Imagine yourself a school official in 1962 trying to look forward to what not only education but society and technology would be like in 2016. Impossible.

That was the task faced by planners of the new school, which in many ways feels like a college campus and is driven by technology and the varying ways that students learn. There is plenty of open, adaptable space. What will a school need in 2066?

It begs the question: When this building wears down decades from now, will the thought of hundreds of students gathering in a central place to learn be as antiquated as chalkboards and paddling?

The district is very proud of its Raider Academy, a cyber-program for district students who seek an alternative to the brick-and-mortar school setting. It had almost 80 full-time students last year and could grow larger this fall. One of the district’s teachers prepared an entire online biology course that will be rolled out this school year.

Technology is going to continue to advance in ways most of us have not considered. Even if you are not a proponent of cyberschools, it’s hard to deny that in a decade or so, there might not be any more benefit to learning in a classroom than there is remotely.

There are heavy costs associated with building a school (this one cost $41 million), with heating a school, with updating a school, with transporting students to school. When will we reach the tipping point when it isn’t financially or educationally beneficial to have students meet in a central location?

We certainly can debate the potential loss of social interaction that young people would miss out on if they weren’t all together each day. But what if technology provides for virtual classrooms that allow interaction as though students were all in the same room?

It’s simply not difficult to imagine a day in the not-too-distant-future when remote learning is the norm.

Students won’t be tethered to their desks in the new school as it is. As Dan Miller reported in his story last week, you will find students working independently on their own, or working together in small groups. There are four “flexible” classroom areas aimed at preparing students for a college learning atmosphere.

Ah, but even that college atmosphere is changing. Institutions such as the University of Phoenix with its mostly online curriculum used to be ridiculed. That’s not the case anymore.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves too much. Let’s enjoy the sparkling facilities and hope they are a great place to foster learning in our young people. It’s a building of which the district and its residents should be proud.We are happy and proud to see the new Middletown Area High School open and full of students. It’s a jewel that we hope several generations of our young people will use to the best of their abilities.But here’s an interesting thought to ponder as we enjoy the shiny new campus: Is this the last new high school Middletown will ever have?

The old high school lasted more than 50 years. Imagine yourself a school official in 1962 trying to look forward to what not only education but society and technology would be like in 2016. Impossible.

That was the task faced by planners of the new school, which in many ways feels like a college campus and is driven by technology and the varying ways that students learn. There is plenty of open, adaptable space. What will a school need in 2066?

It begs the question: When this building wears down decades from now, will the thought of hundreds of students gathering in a central place to learn be as antiquated as chalkboards and paddling?

The district is very proud of its Raider Academy, a cyber-program for district students who seek an alternative to the brick-and-mortar school setting. It had almost 80 full-time students last year and could grow larger this fall. One of the district’s teachers prepared an entire online biology course that will be rolled out this school year.

Technology is going to continue to advance in ways most of us have not considered. Even if you are not a proponent of cyberschools, it’s hard to deny that in a decade or so, there might not be any more benefit to learning in a classroom than there is remotely.

There are heavy costs associated with building a school (this one cost $41 million), with heating a school, with updating a school, with transporting students to school. When will we reach the tipping point when it isn’t financially or educationally beneficial to have students meet in a central location?

We certainly can debate the potential loss of social interaction that young people would miss out on if they weren’t all together each day. But what if technology provides for virtual classrooms that allow interaction as though students were all in the same room?

It’s simply not difficult to imagine a day in the not-too-distant-future when remote learning is the norm.

Students won’t be tethered to their desks in the new school as it is. As Dan Miller reported in his story last week, you will find students working independently on their own, or working together in small groups. There are four “flexible” classroom areas aimed at preparing students for a college learning atmosphere.

Ah, but even that college atmosphere is changing. Institutions such as the University of Phoenix with its mostly online curriculum used to be ridiculed. That’s not the case anymore.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves too much. Let’s enjoy the sparkling facilities and hope they are a great place to foster learning in our young people. It’s a building of which the district and its residents should be proud.

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 August 2016 16:14

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