January 2015 Board Highlights
Oblock Junior High School
Oblock’s newspaper, Mustang Moments, has provided students, staff, and parents with two big issues packed with news, sports, features, and exciting photographs so far this year. This important public relations tool for the school is sponsored by AEO English/Reading teachers, Mrs. Karen Mienke and Mrs. Melissa Urso, and staffed by a dedicated group of 7th and 8th graders who have an interest in writing and/or photography, as well as journalism and reporting. It functions as a positive communication tool for Oblock students, faculty, parents, and the Plum community, by recognizing the achievements and notable events of Oblock Junior High School. Mrs. Urso stated: “The newspaper is a wonderful opportunity for students who have an interest in writing to practice their skills and a great tool to highlight the people and events that make Oblock a unique and wonderful school.” Mrs. Mienke added: “The newspaper staff is a unique, hardworking group of individuals who do an excellent job of getting the Oblock news out to the students, parents, and faculty. They show enthusiasm for writing, and their efforts are evident in the two issues that have been circulated.” The staff consists of the following: News and Feature Editors— Zainab Hassan, Jonah Babusci, Katie Mozelewski, Gabriella Elliot, Melanie Schultz, Carly Chandler, Arik Ankers, Rachel Parente, Cameron Corrigan, Wiame Elbantaoui, and Emily Druga; Sports and Activity/Club Editors— Maria Nieser, Jonah Albert, Vanessa Wright, Michael Gasdick, Emily Beyer, Ross Betar, Kali Minick, Tyler Gallagher, Jack Troy, and Mark Glover; and Photographers—Jonah Babusci, Jordan Braverman, Maura Chaffo, and Sarah Oehling
On January 29th, eight 7th and 8th grade GATE students from Oblock Junior High competed in the Science Bowl 2015 at the Carnegie Science Center. Oblock participants included: Jonah Albert, Matt Brown, Abigail Casey, Aidan Doyle, Ian Dryburgh, Mackenzie Linderman, Madeline Monick, and Devan Taylor. Mrs. Trenz and the GATE students were joined by students from Plum elementary schools and Angelo Giunta (from St. Bernadette's).
Students participated in a variety of science-related challenges, including the creation of a skyscraper from only 10 index cards within a time limit. Students also competed in Design a Bot, Calorie Count, and Pop Fly events in the Science Center and Sports Works buildings. GATE students finished very competitively in all the event challenges.
On January 15th, Mr. Kalanja led the 7th and 8th grade band students in their winter band concert. Both ensembles played a wide variety of music which the audience very much enjoyed. The 8th grade band, having 22 members, played pieces such as “African Sketches” by James Curnow, an exciting piece called “Asturias”, and their favorite “Along the Beaches of Normandy”. The 7th grade ensemble, having close to 50 members played, “Camptown Capers,” a popular song written by Stephen Foster, and their favorite "Dark Adventure." The bands were excited about their performance and look forward to their spring concert on May 14th.
Eighth Grade Boys’ Basketball
The AEO 8th Grade Boys’ Basketball Team, coached by Mr. Chris Sovich, has had a competitive first half of the season. Members of the team include the following: Anthony DelMastro, Richard Driscoll, Ian Dryburgh, Chase Fink, Anthony Frazetta, Rahmon Hart, Brady Hereda, Hunter Linhart, Stanford Lyons, Evan Sante, Ben Tishko, Lamar Whiting, and Chandler Yocca.
Seventh Grade Boys’ Basketball
The 7th grade boys’ basketball team has performed well so far this season. To date the record is 4-4, the team has been improving tremendously beating the undefeated Penn Hills team. Member of the team include: Tony Simboli, Logan Schlegel, Nick Nardo, Tyler Kolankowski, Justin Mascilli, Ryan Billings, Dom Chapkis, Brandon Lane, Matt McKinley, Nick Flinko, Luke Pupilli, Tyler Brown, Mark Glover, Nic Sluka, Quin Beattie and Jared Hoener.
Professional Learning Communities
Teachers at AEO continue to meet in PLCs to discuss curriculum, plan common lessons, and dialogue about technology and common core standards. Math teachers met to discuss quarterly assessments, lining up curriculum, and common core standards. The social studies teachers discussed curriculum, and Student Learning Objectives. The science teachers convened to talk about on-going labs, common core standards, writing prompts aligning to standards, and aligning curriculum. The tech ed teachers discussed curriculum, common core standards, and STEM. Across the curriculum the librarian, art, and music teachers talked about curriculum and common core changes and upcoming concerts. The computer teachers conversed about EdInsight and curriculum. The language teachers met to discuss transitioning from the exploring classes, curriculum, and planned activities for the language club. The learning support reading and English teachers focused behaving plans, and students with modified tests. Finally, the reading and English teachers planned common core lessons, writing prompts for third nine weeks, and ELA PSSA tests.
Team Read is making good progress. We have 1 student in the 500 Point Club, 12 more in the 300 Point Club, and 84 more in the Hall of Fame (126 points). There are 108 more at the All-Star level (76), 245 at Varsity (26), and 118 at JV (10). That's 568 total students or 93% of the student body.
To start the New Year, the theme for Mr. Fishell's challenge this month was Award Winners from the American Library Association. The students who read and passed one of those books on the list were Cassidy Schrecongost, Emily Beyer, and Wiame Elbahtoaoui.