February 2014

February 2014 Board Highlights

Oblock Junior High

Encouraging Females in Science
Angelica Andreoli, with a chemistry degree from the University of Pittsburgh, came to Oblock and talked with an all-female audience about the careers that are available for women in science. Andreoli discussed her job at Boron Specialties, which is a chemical company. She encouraged current female students at Oblock to look at careers in science. Both the students and teachers welcomed Andreoli and her science experiments as a positive way to influence interested female students into the science work world.

Equations Tournament
On Monday February 10, Mrs. Barker, AEO math teacher and fifteen members of the Oblock GATE program traveled to Woodland Hills for the 31st annual Equations Tournament. According to Mrs. Barker, “Equations is a game played with 24 cubes containing numbers and operators. The cubes are shuffled to reveal the resources for that round. A number goal is set and students take turns placing the cubes into 3 categories: forbidden, permitted, or required. Students are challenged to find complex solutions to average goals. The game takes a lot of forward thinking, logic, and reasoning skills.” Congratulations to Team Oblock for finishing in 4th place and to Nathan Tan, Jonathan Hiener and Frank Czura for being Oblock's top three scorers!

Reflections Competition
In the fall all 7th and 8th grade students were given the opportunity to participate and compete in the Reflections contest. Reflections is a program that is theme based and gives the students the chance to reflect with their music, art/photography or writing abilities. The theme for this year was "Believe, Dream, Inspire". The students completed their entries on their own time and submitted them to the library in October. Many students worked hard and turned in creative products, and the results are now in! In the visual arts category was Kayla Green in 1st place. In the literature category Sommer Lewis was first. Finally, in Music was David Gale in 1st place.

After the entries were judged at the school level, they went on to the Plum Council of PTA level. In the visual arts category was Kayla Green in 1st. In literature was Sommer Lewis in 2nd place. In music was David Gale in 1st place. Congratulations to all students for their time and hard work.

AEO’s Wrestling Team, coached by Oblock social studies teacher Stephen Stremple finished their season with an awesome record of 14-3. Members of the team are Tallon Auth, Sean Baird, Justin Bartley, Tyler Boehm, Anthony Capalonga, Ashton Chaffo, Tanner Conklin, Michael DelPino, Joe DelPino, Dom Dreano, Luke Foster, Patrick Goodlin, Dom Hodil, Josh Hordubay, Max Manning, Jake Manning, Brian McCloskey, Anthony Napoleon, Dennis Newton, Sam Pagano, Joey Pernice, Christopher Risher, Dylan Shovel, Keyshawn Smith, Trevor Sommer, Colin Stecik, Daniel Ulyanyuk, Antonio Williams, and Angelo Zummo.

The wrestlers placed 1st as a team at the South Fayette Invitational. Wrestlers who placed individually at the invitational in various weight classes are as follows: 1st place-Tallon Auth, 2nd place-Angelo Zummo, Anotonio Williams, and Brian McClosky, 4th-Justin Bartley, 5th-Keyshawn Smith. In the North Allegheny JV Tournament Joe DelPino placed 3rd. The record leaders for the team were Tallon Auth with the most wins, Max Manning with the most pins, Antonio Williams with the most takedowns, and Keyshawn Smith with the fastest pin. Congratulations to the all of the wrestlers on a very successful season!

GATE Chess Tournament
On February 21, Oblock Junior High hosted the GATE Junior High Chess Tournament. Sponsored by ESSPA (Eastern Suburbs Special Programs Association), the event is held annually under the direction of junior high GATE coordinator, Mr. Joe Miller. Mr. Brian Stevens, Oblock librarian, served as adjudicator, making sure that all matches were correctly scored and judged. Juniors Gionna Knauss, Cameron McCabe, and senior Lilly Stuecklen registered all the students this year. Participating school districts were Steel Valley, Springdale, Greensburg Salem, East Allegheny, and Plum. Oblock had three teams participating The Team of Ryder Springel, Jon Hiener, Nathan Tan, and Justin Bruno took second place. The team of Greg Perez, Matt Brown, Carter Campbell, and Jonah Albert took 3rd place. Frank Czura, Matt Hartley, and Brandon Horvatic also played in the tournament.

Bully Prevention Week
The week of February 10 was used to remind students that it is important to treat others with respect and think about all actions by not bullying. The week began on Monday with students watching a video clip from YouTube called “Love is Louder” in the cafeteria during lunches.


After the video on anti-bullying, the Love is Louder than.. poetry contest was announced to students, where three winners were selected by the end of the week. The students were then presented with a hand making activity, where an art table was set up with supplies for students to make a Love is Louder than… ‘hand’ which was traced, cut out, and decorated and finally displayed by Mrs. Durick in the hallway. The week ended with a presentation on Rumors.

AEO Celebrates Black History Month

To celebrate Black History Month, Mr. Fishell's February's Book Challenge was to read a book from a list of fiction and nonfiction books addressing Black History. The students that met this challenge were Jordan Braverman, Frank Czura, Aden Golebiewski, Mason McAndrew, Cassidy Schrencongost, and Jacob Walko.

In addition, the library also offered a weekly trivia challenge to students based on the books from the February Book Challenge list. Students could place their answer and name in a bucket and at the end of each week a winner would be drawn from among the correct answers to select a free book related to Black History. Cassidy Schrecongost was drawn twice. Jonah Albert and Christina Guerriero were each drawn once. From among these winners, a grand prize winner was drawn to receive a Burger King gift certificate, which went to Cassidy Schrecongost.

Reading Hall of Fame
As of February 28, 2014, 171 students had achieved Reading Hall of Fame status. Another 135 are just point away at the All-Star level. At the Varsity level are 206 students and now we have 90 students who have made the Junior Varsity level. The goal is to have all students at the Junior Varsity level or higher by the end of the year. Currently, 96.9% of the students have reached that goal.

Another milestone is that there are 5 students in the 500 Point Club and 20 in the 300 Point Club, compared to no students with 500 points and only 18 students in the 300 Point Club last year at this time. Great job students!

Professional Learning Communities
Dialogue and collaboration continue in all areas at Oblock Junior High as teachers meet in PLCs before and after school, during common open periods, in-service days, and even informally during their lunch periods. PSSA preparation, 9th grade scheduling, and Moodle were the subjects of several February meetings. The English/reading teachers met to develop open-ended questions, 4-Square open-ended questions, and other PSSA items to prepare their students for the upcoming writing and reading tests. They also discussed research papers, bringing up lower readers, strategies to help those students succeed on the PSSA tests. The seventh grade reading teachers also talked about AR results and success. The seventh and eighth grade math teachers discussed PSSA preparation, the new list of formulas, changes in the PSSAs, and warm up topics. The librarian collaborated with the English teachers regarding valid websites for research and the appropriate methods of note taking, outlining, and citing information. The science teachers adjusted their curriculum and content, discussed on-going projects, lab technology, and Moodle. The special education teachers talked about scheduling and discipline issues. The foreign language department discussed putting together language questions in the same format as the PSSA tests to ensure more practice for the upcoming tests. Across the curriculum parent phone calls and communication, discipline issues, and student failures. Other PLC activity included obtaining and incorporating online PSSA prep materials into lesson plans, and SAP follow-ups.

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