August-September 2016 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 310 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 2100 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 return the sign-off pages in the front of the handbook referring to FERPA, computer and iPad usage, random drug testing, and school policies.
Fall sports are in full swing at Oblock Junior High School with over 125 students competing as either players or managers. Forty-five young boys (7th and 8th graders) are playing on the Mustangs Football Team, coached by Mr. Adam Szarmach, and assisted by Mr. Rich Bernardi, Mr. Nathan Rebovich, and Mr. Kyle Cline. Holiday Park’s Mr. Wade Campbell and his assistant coach, Mrs. Karen Mienke are getting around 35 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 24 young women. Go, Mustangs!
During the week of September 12, the iPads were successfully rolled out at Oblock. All students and teachers are enthusiastic about this new 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.
Team Read/Library News
Oblock is working hard again with reading this year as more incentives and programs challenge the students to read more than they ever have. Students are listening to excerpts from books during their lunch period, they are already being rewarded by getting in the lunch line first when they reach the Reading Hall of Fame, and teams are already preparing for the Battle of the Books.
Many students have already earned numerous AR points to guarantee their place in the Reading Hall of Fame as part of the library’s Team Read competition. All students may participate in Team Read by accumulating Accelerated Reader points in order to reach one of the four levels of the program: Junior Varsity, Varsity, All-Star, or Hall of Fame. There are 14 students at the Hall of Fame level already. 21 students are at the All-Star level. 144 are at the Varsity level and 237 have made it into the JV reader level! That’s a total of 416 students who have made it into one of the levels!
The library recently hosted the Scholastic Book Fair for students and also gave parents the opportunity to purchase books at Open House.
Currently, with a maximum of six students per team, teams are already preparing for the annual AEO Battle of the Books competition. The students have until October 10 to sign up. Books from the Pennsylvania Young Readers Choice list are circulating among the team members as they prepare for the first day of competition in November.
An exhilarating and informative evening of meeting teachers and learning about the curriculum was enjoyed by 510 parents and family at Oblock’s September 14, 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. PSSA scores were distributed and guidance counselors were available to answer parent questions.