November 2015

November 2015 Board Highlights

Oblock Junior High School

Stomp Out Bullying

On Wednesday, November 4th, all students and staff were encourages to wear BLUE to STOMP OUT BULLYING! Student Government made signs and posted them around the school to remind students the importance of not bullying and being polite to all people.

Tier Time

Tier Time is one new element at Oblock Junior High this year. Both the Math and English Language Arts teachers are preparing and teaching three extra lessons per week to both enrich and remediate their students. Their lessons come from a wide variety of topics ranging from PSSA preparation to curriculum review and content reinforcement. The students are assigned specific days with their math and ELA teachers to accommodate all students with extra practice and challenging material.

Tier Time is beneficial to all levels of students. The GATE students are given time to meet with their advisors to prepare for the upcoming GATE competitions, as well as their ELA and math teachers for enrichment and to challenge thinking. These students are given various tasks and time to discuss specific content items with other students of their caliber. On the other end, students who need more practice and tutoring are receiving extra assistance from their teachers to help them with current class work and additional support with grade level material and practice. Some teachers are coordinating lessons with others in their department to use innovative ideas to encourage and motivate students. Other teachers are teaching their own students using a variety of lesson strategies to inspire learning.

Mr. Fishell and Mr. Hadley have been working diligently to find resources in numerous places and PSSA released items to share with the ELA and math teachers. During professional learning communities (PLCs), the teachers are sharing their ideas with colleagues to best suit all the needs of the students at Oblock. Overall, Tier Time seems to be a positive element for the students and teachers alike.

Battle of the Books


The Battle of the Books wrapped up just before Thanksgiving. Teams had to earn points by answering questions from 15 books. Each team member received a certificate and their team trophy will reside at the school for the year. The first place team members were the Checkmates: Abigail Casey, Lexi Moreland, Nathan Reynolds, Kira Kiggins, Tatum Marcyjanik, and Emily Drugga. The second place team members were the Marvelous Musicians; Lily Klucinec, Audrey Lawrence, and Aamirah Hickman. The third place team members were the Word Wizards; Maria Calfo-Carroll, Carly O'Connell, Samantha Burnett, Kelly Maguire, Alana Stecker, and Paige Harris.

Oblock Cares Read-A-Thon

AEO students are raising money for local charities, including Make-a-Wish, Plum Food Bank, and many other local worthy causes. By participating in the Read-a-Thon, the students will help to make a difference in the lives of others. The goal for this year’s Read-a-Thon is to read 500 books in 2 weeks! Before the Read-A-Thon starts on November 17, students will get pledges from sponsors and set a goal for the number of books they plan to read. The students will keep track of every book they read from November 17 through December 1. After the Read-A-Thon ends on December 1 at 3 pm, the students will total their books, collect their pledges, and hopefully reach the school goal of 500 books! Prizes will be awarded to the top earners. Oblock's ELA teachers will be organizing and planning this event for the eleventh year.


On November 19th, 15 GATE students traveled to Duquesne University for the annual Calcu-Solve math competition. Calcu-Solve is a competition that tests students' abstract math knowledge and reasoning skills. Participants team up for two rounds of group problems and then continue with an individual score for an additional 7 rounds. Problems are centered on geometry, number theory, probability, algebraic concepts, and logical reasoning. This year around 90 teams and approximately 360 students gathered for this national event hosted by the AIU. Congratulations to Joe Panichella for being the top scorer from Oblock. He got 7 of the 9 questions correct for an overall score of 43 out of a possible of 55 points. The other top scorers from Oblock that answered 4 or more correct were, in order: Cole Kelly, Michael Shorr, Evan Smith, Claire Gendron, Maria Czura, and Mackenzie Linderman.

Capture the Flag

More than 110 AEO 7th and 8th graders and 15 faculty members recently enjoyed playing a fun, competitive of Capture the Flag, during the crisp, fall weather at Larry Mills Park! The students were able to participate in this activity after submitting a flag of their state or country project for their social studies classes. The students traveled to Larry Mills Park after school and enjoyed an exhausting game of defending their bases and trying to capture their opponents’ flags. The competition was exciting with the faculty battling the students. Faculty members not only helped organize and monitor the activity, but several also actively participated in the games. All of the students were winners because they had fun socializing afterwards with steaming hot chocolate and yummy cookies provided by the Oblock PTSA.

Library News / Team Read

Dr. Stevens reports that the 300 Point Club already has a 9 members (only 1 last year at this time). The Reading Hall of Fame has 49 other members (47 last year), each earning at least 126 Accelerated Reader points. At the All-Star Level, earning 76-125 points each, are 63 students (62 last year). At the Varsity level, earning 26-75 points each, are 263 students. Then 151 students have made it to the Junior Varsity level, earning 10-25 points each. So far this year, 534 students (88% of the student body) have become members of Team Read.

Veterans’ Day Observance

The Oblock Junior High Social Studies Department wanted to make sure that AEO students understand the significance of Veterans’ Day so they prepared several displays throughout the school and held an assembly for the whole school on November 11 where Sargent Dan Parsons spoke to the 7th and 8th grade students giving them pertinent information about Veterans’ Day and ended with a question and answer session.

This year’s Veterans’ Day focus was on all major battles of each branch that made a significant difference in American history. Pictures and information about the branches and the battles were on display in the school foyer. Assistant Principal, Jeff Hadley delivered a “Veterans’ Day Message” at 11:00 a.m. At the conclusion of that message, Dylan Sutton, Ty Kirkpatrick, Daniel Cocca, Garrett Lang, Ryan Wesolowski, Richie Hrivnak, Jordan Kocher, and Bud Mallard played a trumpet solo, “Taps,” that resounded through the halls of Oblock.

AEO social studies teachers, led this year’s activities and did a remarkable job. The classes participated in a brick honoring project with our students and the bricks were displayed in the main hallway.

In addition to the hard work of the Social Studies Department, the other departments that contributed were the Art Department, which helped with the design, the geography teachers who helped with the hallway displays and battle maps, the Tech Ed Department that helped with construction of materials, and the Music Department that prepared the special music.

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