April 2013 Board Highlights
Oblock Junior High
“Kick Butts” Day
On April 4, Officer Kost, members of the PTSA, and four members of high school SADD gave a presentation to AEO students to stress the importance of “Kick Butts” Day and saying no to using tobacco. Flyers and information were presented to each of the lunch periods that explained the hazards of tobacco use. The information and statistics put those facts into perspective for the students. At the end of the lunch discussion, students were entered into a raffle and two students in each lunch won a $10 movie card.
Knitwits Field Trip
On April 19, the Knitwits and their sponsor, Mrs. Yorkshire, took a field trip to Highland Alpaca Ranch, home to over 100 alpacas. Students learned about the characteristics and management of the animals. After feeding the herd, students placed halters on yearling alpacas and took them for a walk. They were then able to visit the store on the premises, which featured alpaca fiber and yarns, as well as clothing made from alpaca. Retired teachers Fay Steving and Jen Lindsay own the ranch and they were generous enough to donate several hundred dollars worth of yarn made from their animals as a gift to the girls in the club.
GATE Propaganda Field Trip
An elite group of 8th grade GATE propaganda experts traveled to the streets of Greensburg on Thursday, April 18, 2013. The five boys, Jacob Tarosky, Ryan Loebig, Dom Defabio, Nick Frazetta, and Nolan Puhala participated in the highly competitive event. The Propaganda Game consisted of watching short video clips that utilized the various forms of media propaganda. There was also a group debate element to the seminar. The team from Oblock finished in a respectable 6th place out of 12 teams.
PTA Reflections Awards Dinner and Ceremony
On the evening of April 18, 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 Film/Video Production division Abbey Evans was awarded second place. In the Visual Arts category Marissa Beighley came in first, Hugh Donnelly was third, Ariana Papadopoulos was fourth, and Kayla Green had an honorable mention. In the Literature division Megan Mascilli was first. In the Photography category Kereanna O’Donnell was second and fourth. Finally, Abbey Evan was also Region 3 winner in Allegheny County. Congratulations to all of these students on a job well done!
Professional Learning Communities
Scheduling, curriculum, final exams, and alternative education were the subjects of ongoing professional dialogue at AEO in April. The math department met to discuss the upcoming Algebra Keystone exams and next year’s curriculum, along with specific lessons and sharing notes. The geography teachers were meeting to discuss common exams and current events. The reading/English teachers discussed the poetry unit, the writing unit for the end of this year, AR success, 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 microphones for the eighth grade lab. Teachers in the science department met to discuss Moodle, technology, content, curriculum, and ongoing projects. The art teachers discussed the art show, scheduling, and curriculum. The physical education teachers discussed the candidates for the 8th grade PE awards and began making plans for the obstacle course. The special education teachers discussed transitioning students into high school and created a schedule to distribute to teachers. Additional PLCs focused on activity period procedures, athletic eligibility, student handbook procedures, providing help for failing students, and specific curricular units.
Reading Hall of Fame
By the end of April, nearly 275 students have made it into the Reading Hall of Fame this year with another 150 at the All Star level trying to reach the top. An additional 173 students are in the Varsity level and 40 in the JV Readers levels. That is 97.1% 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. 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 7th grade reading class will be awarded a free ticket. Also, the top five 7th graders and the top five 8th graders with the most points will get free tickets.
The April book challenge theme for students this month was on animals. Students chose their books this month from a selected list of library books on animals. The following students successfully completed this challenge: Alexis Tomaro, Augustine Bravo, MacKenzie Kieffer, Mathew Ansell, Christina Guerriero, Brianna Lentz, Samantha Hyland, Thomas Hyland, Marissa Beighley, Sommer Lewis, Nicole Polakovic, Rayna Donatelli, Amanda Martin, Frank Czura, Samuel Huchber, Anthony Terrell, Amber Redburn, Max Lu, Lilianna Lalchan, Hannah Shifflett-Lersch, and Colin Lewis. These students will earn a special treat from Mr. Fishell.
For National Library week, students who correctly answered two trivia questions won a $5 Sheetz Card. Those students were Thomas Hyland, Michael Kenny and Nathan Tan.