Pursuant to the Open Public Meetings Act, notice is hereby given that the Ambridge Area School District Board of Education has changed its regular Meet and Discuss session location for Wednesday, November 8, 2017. The meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m. in the Junior High School Media Center located at 401 First Street, Freedom, PA 15042. The Board may take legislative action on matters that come before the Board at the Meet and Discuss Board Meeting.
BY ORDER OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION
I believe that STEAM is an educational powerhouse. STEAM places 21st century skills in the hands of students. I am privileged to be teaching these skills to students at Highland and State Street Elementary Schools.
Highland: A, C, D, E days State Street: B day
STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics. In the STEAM lab, students will connect their learning from all subject areas through cross-curricular projects. Our projects will be aligned to the PA Core Standards and will draw on inspiration from our reading and math series. We will strive to make real-world connections and provide authentic learning experiences for students.
The STEAM lab will be a place where students are encouraged to make mistakes so they can learn and grow.
Full STEAM Ahead!
Below is an overview of our first nine weeks projects!
Kindergarten: Students are completing nursery rhyme STEAM challenges. We have completed challenges from Little Red Riding Hood, Henny Penny, and Hey Diddle, Diddle.
These kindergarten students created a zip line. The students were given the task of transporting a basket of goodies safely from Little Red Riding Hood’s house to grandma’s house.
1st Grade: Students are designing and building houses for the 3 Little Pigs. The structures should be strong enough to withstand a puff of air from Big Bad Wolf. In our experiments, we used a blow dryer to imitate the Big Bad Wolf.
These first grade boys constructed a house out of bricks to keep their pigs safe from the Big Bad Wolf.
2nd Grade: Students are creating pet rocks and designing playground equipment that can hold their pet rocks. Students will work as a team to design and create a twisty slide, jungle gym, and other playground equipment.
These second graders are designing a jungle gym for their pet rocks.
3rd Grade: Students are learning about aerodynamics. The students will use this knowledge to fly their airplane using Power Up 3.0. Power Up 3.0 is an app controlled paper airplane.
These third grade students are learning about aerodynamics.
4th Grade: Students are learning about forces and motion through the Hot Wheels Speedometry curriculum.
These fourth grade students are using Hot Wheels to study kinetic and potential energy.
5th Grade: Students are researching Native Americans. They are engineering models of Native American dwellings.
These fifth graders worked as a team to complete the Native American dwelling challenge.
6th Grade: Students are completing a water rocket unit. Students are using water and air pressure to propel a rocket. Students are learning how to calculate the height of something using a clinometer.
These sixth grade students are using a clinometer to measure the height of the flag pole.
“USE OF TRACK BY PUBLIC: The public is welcome to utilize the track during daylight hours Monday through Friday when school is not in session or when students are not using the field for games, practices, events or competitions. These restrictions are in place for the safety and protection of our students as well as any public using the facility.”
The public is welcome to walk the sidewalks outside the stadium and in front of the High School during non-school hours. This area is lit and distance markers will be placed around the loop as a courtesy to the public. We hope this will provide a good alternative for the public when the stadium track is unavailable.
Ambridge Area School District Re-Open Library Media Centers
September, 21, 2017
The Ambridge Area School District has re-opened the school libraries. At State Street, Economy and Highland Elementary Schools, the libraries will be open for weekly circulation of books. All students will have access to library reading materials and will be able to check books out each week. At the high school, computer stations are being added and a projector and screen are available for student use. The space is being customized for individuals, small groups or classes to engage with resource materials and technology. Additional planning to improve the space will include high school students and teachers.
The Junior High is finalizing a new Media Center that will be completed in early October. This Media Center includes 30 new computers, an interactive board and student work stations. The room has fresh, colorful paint, carpeting, and all new furniture. We are delighted to be able to provide these very important resources and working spaces for our students!
The Ambridge Area School District is pleased to announce that teachers have voted to accept a decision issued by the Act 88 arbitration panel on Aug. 11.
During a special vote late this afternoon, the teachers voted on and approved the arbitrators’ ruling. The Ambridge School Board approved the decision at its Aug. 16 voting meeting.
The agreement, which is retroactive to the start of the 2015-2016 school year, includes a fair salary and health insurance package. Savings achieved through the healthcare plan will be used to support well-deserved teacher salary increases without an impact to taxpayers. Details of the deal are available on the District website here.
Following the vote, Dr. Jo Welter, Superintendent, expressed her appreciation to both sides of the negotiating table for their diligence and dedication to working out a deal that was fair to all parties involved.
“We are pleased the teachers have voted to accept the arbitrators’ ruling, and thank them for their willingness to thoroughly review the offer before casting their votes,” she said. “We know our teachers truly care about the education of our students, and we are thrilled to be able to announce the start of the new school year without the threat of a strike looming.”
Mr. Scott Angus, School Board President, thanked both sides of the aisle for their steadfast determination to reach a deal. “We are appreciative that we were able to reach a fair agreement that addresses the needs of the District, the teachers, the students and the community as a whole,” said Angus.
Students return to the classroom on Monday, Aug. 21.
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Posted bus routes and pick-up and drop-off times are posted on the district's webpage. Postcards were also placed in the mail with your child's bus information. The posted routes online do not include any personal information. Please remember that traffic, weather and other unforeseen circumstances may cause some routes to be early or delayed. Also, as students choose not to ride or to ride the bus during the school year, pick-up and drop-off times are adjusted. For example, the elimination of just one bus stop (because students no longer ride or are absent from stop on a particular day) can affect a route by 2-3 minutes. It is recommended that parents and students arrive at their bus stops at least five 10 minutes prior to the published times.
It is our district’s practice that kindergartners will not be let off the bus unless the student’s parent (or designated adult) is at the bus stop at the time of student drop-off. Kindergartners whose parent is not at the bus stop will be returned to the student’s elementary school where the parent (or emergency contact) will be called for student pick-up.
Ambridge Area School District
Bus Routes by School:
The Ambridge Area School District is pleased to announce the Act 88 arbitration panel has returned a majority decision in favor of the District’s final, best offer to the Ambridge Area Education Association (AAEA). The decision, issued Aug. 11, determined the District’s offer is the most reasonable and feasible option for all parties involved.
The arbitration team consists of the District’s appointed representative, a Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) representative and a neutral third-party representative selected by the District and PSEA arbitrators. All three arbitrators possess extensive experience in labor negotiations.
“In a good faith effort, the District worked diligently and met frequently to develop an offer that the neutral arbitrator would find acceptable and fair, considering the state of the District and the restraints of the budget,” said Dr. Jo Welter, Superintendent. “The District is satisfied with the decision and is hopeful that the teachers will have faith in the arbitrators making the decision.”
The Ambridge Area School District is pleased to announce that we will begin using the Raptor Visitor Management System in all of our district schools to build on the district’s program of campus safety for students and faculty. Part of keeping students and faculty safe is knowing who is in our building at all times and the Raptor system will allow us to do that. The Raptor system will better allow us to track visitors, contractors, and volunteers in our schools and provide us with a safer environment for our students and staff.
Upon entering a district building, visitors will be asked to present a valid state-issued ID, which will be scanned into the system. The Raptor system will check to ensure that registered sexual offenders are not entering our buildings. It is important to note that the Raptor system only scans the visitor's name, date of birth and photo for comparison with a national database of registered sex offenders. Additional visitor data from the driver's license is not gathered nor is the system connected to any other system such as the Department of Motor Vehicles. Therefore, any other information on the ID is not scanned by the system and is not accessible to any of the users. Once entry is approved, Raptor will issue a badge that identifies the visitor, the date, and the purpose of his/her visit.
A visitor’s badge will not be necessary for those who visit our schools simply to drop off an item in the office or pick up paperwork. In the event that a person does not have identification, the campus administrator on duty will be called to assess the situation.
If you are interested in learning more about the Raptor visitor management system, please visit the Raptor Technologies website (www.raptortech.com). If you have any questions for the district personnel, please contact the school office.
The safety of our students is our highest priority and the Raptor visitor management system provides a consistent way to aid in keeping away people who may present a danger to our students. Therefore, all visitors to the school must be scanned into the system and obtain a visitor badge. Thank you, in advance, for your understanding and support of enhancing school safety protocols in our district.
L. Joan Welter, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Dear Residents of the Ambridge Area School District,
As a 20 year resident of the community and a parent of two children who were educated in this District, I am honored to be the Superintendent of the Ambridge Area School District. From first- hand experience, I assure you that your children will be engaged in a variety of educational and extracurricular opportunities that will successfully prepare them for their future. This school community is filled with caring adults who work hard every day to support our students and create an environment that is conducive to learning and growing. As parents, we too must be committed to helping our children learn and grow.
Upon visiting any of our schools you will find that they were all built or renovated in the past few years. They are clean, updated and functional for the needs of our students. Teachers make our schools welcoming and I have personally witnessed the support by many professional educators going above and beyond to create a positive experience for students. A recently added STEAM initiative provides integrated technology experiences for all students and all ninth graders will have the opportunity to complete a coding class for the first time this year. The professional staff is proud of what they do and work hard to help students be successful every day.
Students have a wide variety of extracurricular opportunities from which to choose. Athletics, the arts, and technology challenges all await them in our schools. The District’s High School Steel Drum Band tours the local area to entertain and perform at numerous venues. Most of their time is spent outside school hours. This is a testimony of how great our students really are. The District provides opportunities for athletic competition and a large number of students take advantage of these challenges as well. You will quickly find that when your child is involved in any of these activities, parent involvement also becomes a huge aspect of the experience. This is a tribute to our entire school community.
Our schools pull our community together. My closest acquaintances and friendships have been made through the school environment. As it should be, Ambridge Area School District remains a strong catalyst for bringing our community together. I invite you to engage and stay involved with our schools. It is a great place!
Jo Welter, Ed. D.
UPDATE – Ambridge Area Education Association Contract Negotiations
All three Arbitrators (District Arbitrator, Association Arbitrator and Neutral Arbitrator) met on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 and are scheduled to meet again on Tuesday, June 13, 2017. The District is hopeful that this process will bring about a resolution to the contract negotiations.