April 2016

April 2016 Board Highlights

Oblock Junior High

Academic Endeavors

Fifteen GATE students traveled to South Allegheny Middle School on April 7 to participate in the Academic Endeavors Competition. The Academic Endeavors is a competition in which students are challenged to compete against other schools in the following strategic/logic games: Quiddler, Boggle, Scrabble, Blokus, and Othello. Oblock entered three teams of five students and saw fantastic competitive results with Joey Panichella ranking 1st and Jordan Westbrook ranking 3rd in individual scores. Oblock captured first and second place team scores. The 1st place overall team award went to Olivia Rivett, Kali Minick, Maria Czura, Gavin Monick, and Joey Panichella. The 2nd place overall team award went to Alexis Anderson, Christian Jones, Liza Loebig, Jack Troy, and Jordan Westbrook. This is the 6th year in a row Oblock has won this competition.

6th Grade Parent Orientation

Approximately 275 parents of sixth grade students attended the orientation program on Tuesday, April 5, 2106 at A. E. Oblock Junior High to learn about the junior high’s academic program and to ease the transition from elementary to junior high. The program was led by guidance counselor, Mr. Joe Miller along with Principal, Mr. Joe Fishell and Assistant Principal, Jeff Hadley. All parents received information about athletics, activities, medication policies, transportation, additional orientations, and the dress code. Parents were also able to have individual concerns and questions addressed one-on-one following the scheduled program. The entire 6th grade class will attend their first student orientation on Monday, May 2, 2016 at the junior high. The guidance counselors will attend each elementary building beginning Mid-May to begin scheduling the 6th graders for their course selections for next year.

STEM Design Challenge

Eight members of the AEO gifted program traveled to the Galleria in Mt. Lebanon for the annual STEM tournament on April 6, 2016. Students were challenged to build a skyscraper made completely from K’Nex that would hold weight, be eco-friendly to the environment, and fit within a budget of cost per piece. Michael Schorr, Nico Ricciardi, Maria Czura, and Natalee Calfo-Carroll made up Team 1, while, Liza Loebig, Kali Minick, Christian Jones, and Claire Gendron were Team 2. Both teams had 2 hours to assemble the project from scratch and it was accompanied by technical drawings that were generated by Google SketchUp. Team 1 designed a structurally sound skyscraper with a built-in greenhouse and solar panels. Team 2 designed a building with a water catch and a pulley system to recycle and purify water. Both teams had to answer questions from ThermoFisher Scientific. Team 1 impressed the judges with their MineCraft presentation of the tower brought to life and received high praise and strong consideration for an award. Congratulations to both teams!

Mars Track Invitational

On April 28, 2016 about thirty schools participated in the Mars Junior High Track Meet. The following students from Oblock placed in the meet: Claire Gendron--1st place 100m hurdles, Cole Kelly--3rd place 100m dash, 4x100m boys relay--2nd place: (Cole Kelly, Miles Tush, Luke Gildea, and Ta'Rasi Means), and the 4x400m boys relay--1st place: (Cole Kelly, Miles Tush, Luke Gildea, and Robert Hankinson). The 4X400 boys relay now hold the school record with 3:52:09. Congratulations to all of these athletes!

Reading Hall of Fame

By the end of April, 189 students have made it into the Reading Hall of Fame with another 117 at the All Star level trying to reach the top. An additional 207 students are in the Varsity level and 80 in the JV levels. That's a total of 593 of the students at Oblock achieving 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 from library profits. There are 16 in the 500 Club already. The others will receive $15 to Barnes and Noble. There are 40 in the 300 Point Club who will get to go on a field trip to see a documentary and a Pirate game this month.

The competition for the Kennywood Tickets will be ends today (May 1). The students with the most points in each 7th grade reading class will be awarded a free ticket. Also, the top five 7th graders (not already top in their class) and the top five 8th graders with the most points will get free tickets. All of these tickets were paid for by the PTSA this year.

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