April 2015

April 2015 Board Highlights

Oblock Junior High

Girls’ Volleyball Team

Both the 7th and 8th grade volleyball teams had a tremendous season. Eighth grade members include Kelsi Zik, Zoe Nonnenberg, Zoe Sommer, Jadyn Hill, Molly McDade, Sam Casile, Miranda Depkon, Jessica Frew, Chloey Pilston, Caitlyn Broscius, Aly Bryner, Marissa Lamanna, Melissa Reynolds, Alexa Seigh, and Sydney Kunkel. Seventh grade members of the team are Reagan Bartley, Maria Czura, Jamie Ham, Maleena Myers, Lauren Pernice, Corinne Phillips, Grace Podobnik, Marissa Salerno, Annamaria Scampone, Melanie Schultz, Natalie Stickel, and Michaela Verrico.

6th Grade Parent Orientation

Approximately 310 parents of sixth grade students attended the orientation program on Thursday, April 2nd 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 and Principal, Mr. Joe Fishell. 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 at the beginning of May 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.

GATE Art Competition

On Wednesday, April 8, 2015, GATE students competed at Gateway High School in an Art Competition with the theme of pop art. Students participated in individual art category, art history quiz, and made a group project. GATE students who participated were Abigail Casey and Jade Vrabel. There were 5 teams from 5 school districts in the middle school section.


Seven members of the AEO gifted program traveled to Duquesne University for the annual K’Nex/STEM tournament on April 8, 2015. Students were challenged to build a contraption made completely from K’Nex that would move a ping pong ball a total distance of four feet. Carter Campbell, Dom Dedola, and Brandon Horvatic made up Team 1, while, Liza Loebig, Kali Minick, Madeline Monick, and Devan Taylor 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 an all-terrain vehicle that was capable of moving the ping pong ball four feet. Team 2 designed a flip forward robot that used the motor as its main movement piece. Both teams did a great job with the competition. Both teams had to answer questions from professors from the University and top engineers from the Pittsburgh region. Congratulations to both teams!

Pittsburgh Glass Center Field Trip

Nineteen GATE students recently traveled to the Pittsburgh Glass Center to get a first-hand look at glass making. Accompanied by art teacher, Amanda Durick and technology education teacher, Phil Beatty, the students viewed a hot glass demonstration and were assisted by the glass center artists and apprentices to create their own paperweight out of hot glass. This was the sixth year for this very interesting field trip. Students attending were Jonah Albert, Emily Bolton, Justin Bruno, Carter Campbell, Abigail Casey, Jarrod Citrano, Maria Czura, Dominic Dedola, Aidan Doyle, Angelo Giunta, Brandon Horvatic, Liza Loebig, Kali Minick, Madeline Monick, Katie Mozelewski, Kacie Persia, Rachel Parente, Devan Taylor and Jack Troy.

Mars Track Invitational

On April 23, thirty schools participated in the Mars Invitational Track Meet. The following students from Oblock placed in the meet: Madeline Monick--2nd place 100m hurdles, Hunter Linhart--2nd place discus, Conrad Hankinson--4th place 1600m, Alyson Bryner--6th place 1600m, Girls' 4X400 relay--5th place (Madeline Monick, Alyson Bryner, Claire Gendron, and Devan Taylor), Boys' 4X400 relay--5th place (Xavier Lyons, Cole Kelly, Miles Tush, and Conrad Hankinson). Congratulations to all of these athletes!

Professional Learning Communities

Scheduling, curriculum, Student Learning Objectives, and alternative education were the subjects of ongoing professional dialogue at Oblock in April. The math department met to discuss the upcoming Algebra Keystone exams by using daily bell work and next year’s curriculum, along with specific lessons, sharing notes, and topics that still need to be covered. The history teachers were meeting to discuss SLO evidence, current events, and curriculum. The reading/English teachers discussed the research process, the review unit for the end of this year, nightly reading and AR success, and curriculum changes for next school year. The librarian collaborated with the English teachers regarding valid websites for research and the appropriate methods of note taking, outlining, and citing information. The foreign language teachers met to discuss awards night ideas, projects, and the importance of taking foreign language classes. The computer teachers conversed about the Kindle labs, Gmail, and the computer labs. Teachers in the science department met to discuss content, curriculum, labs, PSSAs, and ongoing projects. The art teachers discussed the art show, scheduling, and curriculum. The physical education teachers discussed the candidates for the 8th grade PE awards and began making plans and changes for the obstacle course. The special education teachers discussed transitioning students into high school. Additional PLCs focused on activity period procedures, athletic eligibility, student handbook procedures, providing help for failing students, and specific curricular units.

Reading Hall of Fame

By the end of April, 191 students have made it into the Reading Hall of Fame with another 120 at the All Star level trying to reach the top. An additional 190 students are in the Varsity level and 86 in the JV Readers levels. That is 96% of the students at Oblock that have achieved 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.

The competition for the Kennywood Tickets will be ending May 12; 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. These tickets are paid for by the PTSA and library profits.

Library News

April's book challenge was all about animals. Students chose their books from a selected list of library books. The following students successfully completed this challenge: Hunter Dzikiy, Krista Hydock, and Cassidy Schrecongost. These students will earn a special treat from Mr. Fishell.

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