August 2013 Board Highlights
Oblock Junior High School
Principal Joe Fishell
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 14, 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 305 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 20 and walk through their schedules in order to become familiar with room locations. Approximately 2000 people circulated through AEO between 12-4 p.m. and 6-8 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 27 and the 8th graders on August 28. 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 return the sign-off pages in the front of the handbook referring to FERPA, computer usage, random drug testing, and school policies.
Fall sports are in full swing at Oblock Junior High School with over 150 students competing as either players or managers. Seventy young boys (36 8th graders and 24 7th graders) are playing on the Mustangs Football Team, coached by AEO teacher, Mr. Ryan Silvis, and assisted by Mr. Steve Stremple, Mr. Phil Beatty, and Mr. Adam Szarmach. Holiday Park’s Mr. Wade Campbell and his assistant coach, Mr. Joe Fishell are getting around 45 Oblock boys and girls in shape through cross country. Mr. Chris Allen is coaching 22 young boys in soccer, and Mrs. Courtney Mendenhall is back and now coaching the girls’ soccer team, overseeing an enthusiastic team of 22 young women. Mrs. Cubarney is coaching the 8th grade girls’ basketball, while is Mr. Bernie Pucka is coaching the 7th grade girls’ team. Go, Mustangs!
Oblock students have been encouraged to begin their expedition to the Reading Hall of Fame. Soon, a monthly book challenge will begin. The idea behind the monthly challenge books is to encourage students of all reading levels to explore both the great classics and modern literature and to begin their climb to the top in the Team Read program. Last year 348 AEO students made it into the Reading Hall of Fame and the teachers hope to increase that number this year.
Professional Learning Communities
AEO teachers have already begun to collaborate with their colleagues in professional learning communities. The reading and English teachers determined nightly reading policies, evaluated the summer reading requirement and began collecting data, determined how to set goal books in the AR program, and discussed how to incorporate more nonfiction into the curriculum. All subject areas are working to align their curricula to the common core standards.