Franklin Regional recognized as model for education excellence by national association

May 20—The Franklin Regional School District was among six in the U.S. to be chosen by the School Superintendents Association as a model of positive change in public education.

The association recognized Franklin Regional as a 2023 spring "Lighthouse System," adding it to the 120-member Learning 2025 Network, a group of school districts that exemplify how engaged learning, networking and collaboration can help drive education policy and improve the ways students learn.

The River Valley School District in Indiana County also was among the group chosen this year.

"I think part of what helped earn that designation is our focus on the 'five C's': creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, communication and being good citizens," said Franklin Regional Superintendent Gennaro Piraino. "What we've done over the years builds toward preparing kids, not for the world that I grew up in, but for the world of tomorrow."

Piraino said that starting at the elementary level, "We're building a system of support, and we're changing our focus in learning to ensure that kids in K through 12 are engaged in hands-on activities, working on real-world problems."

The Lighthouse System designation means Franklin Regional, according to the superintendents association, serves "as a national model of excellence in education and innovative practices."

School officials will be able to measure that model of excellence against others at the Learning 2025 National Summit, set for late June in Washington, D.C.

"We're sending a team to the summit," Piraino said. "It's about being able to benchmark what we do against some other great school systems throughout the nation, and

also to collaborate, see what has worked for others and really change what education looks like."

Piraino also credited Pittsburgh's Grable Foundation for its support over the years.

"Their support has allowed a lot of districts, not just Franklin Regional, to expand what they're able to do," he said. "It's really removed barriers and now some of the best conferences in the country can be attended by smaller districts that might not otherwise be able to go."

The Learning 2025 National Summit is hosted by the superintendents association along with nonprofits Battelle for Kids and the Successful Practices Network.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick by email at pvarine@triblive.com or via Twitter .