March 2016

March 2016 Board Highlights

Oblock Junior High

PSSA Preparation
Classrooms were busy practicing PSSA vocabulary and graphic organizers in March in preparation for the ELA, math, and science PSSAs which will begin April 12 and run into May. The ELA PSSAs are the week of April 11, the math PSSAs begin the week of April 18, and the science the week of April 25. In addition to reading, English, math, and science classes, all teachers, including art, civics, and health, were practicing graphic organizers, prompts, and writing topic sentences and conclusions. Jeopardy, Concentration, crossword puzzles, and other games were developed by teachers in all curricula to reinforce and practice the eligible content and anchor glossaries. Internet websites, computer games, and Smart Boards were also utilized to provide varied and creative ways to prepare for the testing. AEO students will go into the tests feeling confident and competent!

March Art Expo
On March 17, students Zoe Sallinger, Khyliah Horne, Julia DeFabio, Rachel Parente, and Chloe Brown took a trip to compete in the Gateway School District Art Expo. With the guidance of Mrs. Durick, the five girls were able to create surrealistic art pieces. Throughout the day, they judged others’ artwork, completed a surrealism artist quiz, and created a storybook-inspired collage. Overall, the girls placed 3rd as a team. They are very proud of their achievements and are excited to return next year!

9th Grade Student Orientation
On Tuesday, March 22, 2016, high school principal, Ryan Kociela, visited AEO to talk to the 8th grade students about courses offered at the high school. The presentation explained the three main tracks students can pursue: honors, academic, supported. As part of the transition program, the presentation emphasized the importance of selecting courses that would appropriately challenge the student, along with which electives the students can choose. Mr. Kociela finished his presentation by explaining the rigor of 9th grade and emphasized that each student should talk to their parents and their guidance counselors about scheduling their classes for next year. Mr. Kociela presented information to the eighth grade parents Tuesday evening to reinforce the information discussed with students. He also emphasized the students will be taking three Keystone exams during their time at the high school. Eighth to 9th grade scheduling will begin the week of April 4.

Team Read
The 500-Point Club (14 students v. 3 last year) and the 300-Point Club (22 more students) have kept the English and reading teachers at AEO smiling all of March. By the end of the month, 125 more students had made it into the highest level of Team Read, the Reading Hall of Fame. Another 122 students are in the All-Star level and could achieve Hall of Fame status by the end of the year, along with 221 Varsity, and 84 Junior Varsity! Students who achieve 300 points receive a treat from the library each month. Last month they won tickets to a movie, which they will go to see in May. This month they earned tickets to a Pirate game in May. Students striving for the 300-Point Club read a lot on their own outside of school. Mr. Fishell is extremely proud of the reading the students are doing. The success of Team Read is in part to the elementary teachers who first turn the students on to reading, but also to the AEO principals and teachers, particularly the reading and English teachers, who offer constant encouragement and reinforcement to make reading a life-long skill for AEO students.

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