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August - September 2017

August-September 2017 Board Highlights Oblock Junior High School

7th Grade Orientation

Seventh grade AEO students were given a positive beginning to the new school year through the opportunity to visit the school prior to opening day. On August 17, seventh graders became familiar with their bus stops and were given pertinent information in the auditorium about their schedules, the curriculum, the dress code and other school policies by Principal Joe Fishell, and guidance counselors, Mr. Joe Miller and Ms. Markiewicz. Approximately 320 students took advantage of this orientation program.

Oblock Junior High Walk Through

Seventh and 8th graders, along with their parents and siblings, had an opportunity to visit the school on August 21 and walk through their schedules in order to become familiar with room locations. Approximately 2200 people circulated through AEO between 1-7 p.m. One of the biggest benefits of this walk-through, especially for the 7th graders and students new to the school, was being able to locate their lockers and practice their combinations. Several Oblock parents were also present to distribute PTSA enrollment forms and answer questions. This special day made the transition from summer to school more comfortable for both students and parents.

Student Handbook Orientation

A review of the Student Handbook was presented in the auditorium to the 7th graders on August 30 and the 8th graders on August 31. Important policies and procedures were explained to each group, focusing on the dress code, weapons policy, drug and alcohol policies, cell phone policy, and discipline procedures. Students were directed to read more comprehensively all aspects of the handbook and to discuss the information with their parents in order to understand important policies and avoid any infractions. They were reminded to sign-off pages in Sapphire referring to FERPA, computer and iPad usage, random drug testing, and school policies.

Fall Sports

Fall sports are in full swing at Oblock Junior High School with almost 125 students competing as either players or managers. Twenty-five young boys (7th and 8th graders) are playing on the Mustangs Football Team, coached by Mr. Rich Bernardi, and assisted by Mr. Bill Depew, Mr. Vince Russo, and by Kyle Cline. Holiday Park’s Mr. Wade Campbell and his assistant coach, Mrs. Karen Mienke are getting 48 Oblock boys and girls in shape through cross country. Mr. Joe Paradise is coaching 24 young boys in soccer, and Mrs. Courtney Mendenhall is back and now coaching the girls’ soccer team, overseeing an enthusiastic team of 25 young women. Go, Mustangs!

iPad Rollout

During the week of September 5, the iPads were successfully rolled out at Oblock. All students and teachers are enthusiastic about having this continued technology available to them. Teachers are using a variety of programs to enhance learning. The students are participating in programs such iTunes U, Nearpod, and Google Classroom.

Open House

An exhilarating and informative evening of meeting teachers and learning about the curriculum was enjoyed by 530 parents and family at Oblock’s September 12, Open House. In addition to meeting their children’s teachers, parents had an opportunity to purchase candy grams for their children, shop at the Scholastic Book Fair, and support the PTA by purchasing tickets for the Chinese Auction. Guidance counselors were available to answer parent questions.

Academic Endeavors



GATE students traveled to South Allegheny Middle School on September 25 to participate in the Academic Endeavors Competition. The Academic Endeavors is a competition in which students are challenged to compete against other schools in the following strategic/logic games: Quiddler, Boggle, Scrabble, Blokus, and Othello. Oblock entered two teams of five students and saw fantastic competitive results with Ellie Tongel ranking 1st, Annabelle Bunce 2nd, Alex Beiter 3rd, and Leila Durham 4th in individual scores. Oblock captured first and second place team scores. The 1st place overall team award went to Cameron Wickline, Dylan Piel, Ellie Tongel, Rachel Bunce, and Alex Beiter. The 2nd place overall team award went to Rudra Thakkar, Connor Domke, Alex George, Leila Durham, and Annabelle Bunce. This is the 7th year in a row Oblock has won this competition.

Team Read/Library News

Team Read is off to a great start at Oblock. Each Accelerated Reader point corresponds to about an hour of engaged reading. In the first month, we have 2 students in the 300 point club, 8 more in the Hall of Fame (126 points), 17 more with 76 points (All-Star), 134 more with 26 points (Varsity), and 220 with 10 points (JV).

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