April 2012 Board Highlights
Oblock Junior High
The PTSA coordinated a Multi-Cultural Night at A. E. Oblock on Tuesday, April 3 from 7:00- 9:00 pm. There was a cafeteria full of food, activities, and information stations throughout Oblock. The entertainment in the auditorium consisted of Songahm Taekwondo and the instructors from Chief Master Caruso’s ATA Black Belt Academy and Irish Dancing by Erin and Meghan Barrett. There were games and crafts in the gymnasium. They included the following: Where in the World?, Name that Flag, Shove Ha’Penny (England), Quilles (France), Hit the Coin (Brazil), Bocce (Italy), Hoops (Greece), Jegi Chagi (Korea), Kulit K’rang (Indonesia), Twister and Monopoly (French Class), Japanese Fan, Mehndi Art (India), German Windmill, Native American Dream Catcher, Ukrainian Egg, and Mexican Flower. The display tables that were featured were Ireland (Rossi Family), India (Singh Family), Africa (Art Club), France (Ms. Martz’s French Class), and Quilts (Family Consumer Science). Overall, many students and families had an enjoyable evening out and a late multi-international dinner.
On April 11, Mr. Richard Shaheen, Sr. Supervisory Special Agent from the PA Attorney General’s office came to Oblock to speak to the 7thand 8thgrade students about Cyber-Bullying. Mr. Shaheen opened by asking the Oblock students the cell phone policy at our school, “off and in our lockers,” is what many students replied. He then surveyed the students to find out that roughly 75% of students have their own cell phone. He stressed the important facts to the students, “kids need to understand that they are responsible for what comes out of their devices, kids will be held accountable for what comes out of that device, and everything they do leaves cyber footprints.” Even if texts, pictures, online items, or posts are deleted, police can still recover those items if they cross the line criminally. Mr. Shaheen defined cyber bullying as anything that involves the use of information and communication technology as email, instant messaging, cell phones, or websites to support repeated hostile behavior by an individual or group. He showed two videos to the students of actual cases and their outcomes from the bullying. Finally, Mr. Shaheen warned students to never give out their home addresses, telephone numbers, school, passwords, to never send out photos, and never respond to bullying messages or people they don’t know in chat rooms. They were reminded to tell a responsible adult if they feel threatened. Overall, the students were given very important information of what to do and not do in regards to their technological devices theyuse daily. This presentation was well received by all students.
PTA Reflections Awards Dinner and Ceremony
On the evening of April 19, many Oblock students were honored for their work in the Reflections Program. These students were credited for their work in the contest earlier this year, and again last night because their work was selected to move on to the district wide competition level. There were a variety of categories in which students could have entered. The following students were acknowledged district wide through a delicious dinner and awards ceremony following. In the Dance Choreography division Brianna Allison was awarded first place, while Shannon Barr and Jasmin Singh came in second. Angela Campbell was first in the Film/Video Production section. In the Visual Arts category Allyson Donnelly came in first, Kelsey Evans was fourth, Elizabeth Young was fifth, while Nick Lawton had an honorable mention. In the Literature division Victoria Monstrola was first, Melissa Braun was second, and Elizabeth Young received an honorable mention. In the Photography category Trent Rusnak was fourth. Finally, Brianna Allison and Angela Campbell were also Region 3 winners in Allegheny County. Congratulations to all of these students on a job well done!
More than 15 AEO 7thand 8thgraders and two teachers are enjoying physical activity outdoors through the newly formed Intramural Tennis Club. The students go to the high school on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the month of May and receive skills instruction and some practice time. According to physical education teacher Ms. Ginny Quillen, who helped create the club along with Ms. Linda Innocenti, the purpose of the program is to keep kids active and help them to learn a lifetime sport.
Professional Learning Communities
Scheduling, curriculum and alternative education were the subjects of ongoing professional dialogue at AEO in April. The Math Department metto examine next year’s curriculum along with specific lessons. The geography teachers were meeting to discuss common exams, current events, and specific content within units. The reading/English teachers discussed the poetry unit, the writing unit for the end of this year, and curriculum for next school year. The foreign language teachers met to discuss final exams, awards night ideas, projects, and the importance of taking foreign language classes. The computer teachers conversed about the technology grant and the use of iPads. Teachers in the Science Department have been meeting regularly to develop units for the 2012-13 school year. They also met to match their content to the SAS and to develop labs and writing prompts. Social studies teachers discussed planning the content for the final exam. The physical education teachers discussed the candidates for the 8thgrade PE awards and began making plans for the obstacle course. Additional PLCs focused on troubleshooting computer problems, providing help for failing students, and specific curricular units.
Reading Hall of Fame
By the end of April, nearly 277 students have made it into the Reading Hall of Fame this year with another 149 at the All Star level trying to reach the top. An additional 160 students are in the Varsity level and 54 in the JV Readers levels. That is 96.8% of the students at Oblock that have achieved one of the levels! Students have until the end of the school year to become Hall of Fame members. Eighth grader, Noah Coulson has achieved the most points of all students with 2428.4, while Gabrielle Miller is in second with 2156.8points. L.T. Scheetz has made it into the 1000 point club with 1003.2 points. At the end of the year, the three students with the most points will receive $25 gift cards to Barnes and Noble.
The competition for the Kennywood Tickets will be ending soon; the students with the most points in each 7thgrade reading class will be awarded a free ticket. Also, the top five 7thgraders and the top five 8thgraders with the most points will get free tickets.
The April book challenge for students wasCatching FireorMockingjayfromThe Hunger Gamesseries bySuzanne Collins. The following students successfully completed this challenge: Donavin Armour, Noah Barosh, Charles Beegle, Matthew Bohinski, Morgan Booker, Kayla Caldwell, Rylee Carter, Alexandra Coyle, Madison Gestrich, Caleb Horner, TJ Hyland, Breana Kelly, Amy Kerchner, Sarah Kirkpatrick, Peyton Kondis, Kevin Lu, Justin McKenna, Grace Merlin, Melissa Meyers, Gabriella Miller, Marisa Panichella, Alex Pease, Kimberly Ruffner, Hailey Ryan, Alexis Savinda, LT Scheetz, Cody Spann, Taylor Vivino, Alec Zahn, Dante Bernardi, Noah Coulson, Shannon Soboslay, and Jordan Williams. These students will earn a special treat from Mr. Fishell.