The Ambridge Area School Board of Directors approved a 2018-2019 Operating Budget Wednesday evening that will enhance academic opportunities District-wide, while affording much-needed upgrades to infrastructure and technology. The budget was approved by a vote of 5 to 2.
Budget highlights include:
- Upgrades to the Middle School wireless service at a cost of $38,103;
- Four new laptop carts for the schools and a new laptop lab for the Middle School at a cost of $140,465;
- Purchase of 30 new laptops and 200 new iPads at a cost of $166,995; and
- New projectors purchased for $75,190 and existing projectors upgraded for $17,000.
- Thanks to an E-Rate grant secured by District Technology Supervisor Ms. Lori Heim, 80 percent of the cost of the wireless upgrades at the Middle School will be covered.
- Upgrading the security operating system;
- New and replacement cameras District-wide;
- District radios to improve communication among buildings/administrators; and
- Card access for elevators.
- New Grade 6-8 Math Textbooks;
- New Grade 3-12 Social Studies Textbooks;
- New High School Physics, Honors, Chemistry, Biology and Earth Science Textbooks;
- NMSI grant ($750,000) used to align and increase the rigor of the science, math and English curriculum District-wide. The terms of the three-year grant require the District to contribute $25,000 annually for the life of the grant to be used for staff development. Grant money through the partnership also will be used to dramatically increase the number of Ambridge students enrolled in AP courses and allow the District to provide an additional five AP courses beyond the eight already offered; and
- Assessment to Instruction (A2i) grant that will be used to help all students in the District reading at or above grade level by the end of third grade. A2i is an instructional tool that was developed and evaluated for more than a decade with the support of the Institute of Educational Sciences and the National Institutes of Health. It combines technology and
professional development to accomplish the goal of increased literacy of children in grades K-3. Highland Elementary will be 100 percent funded and State Street Elementary will be
50 percent funded through the program. Only 174 schools in the nation were invited to participate in the grant program.
“Some of these textbooks date back to 1990,” said Mr. Doug McCausland, Director of District Operations. The new math series is budgeted at $95,832 and the Science textbooks total $116,000. The District is able to pay for the Social Studies textbooks, totaling $61,048, over a two-year period.
Under the direction of AASD Facilities Manager Mr. David Matzie, more than $600,000 in capital improvements are built into the new budget and include:
- Locker replacement at Middle School - $89,720
- Patching at Economy Elementary - $150,000
Flooring and Window Coverings at Middle School - $56,490
- Stage Lighting at Middle School - $40,000
- Bridge repairs at High School - $75,000
- Bathroom replacements/upgrades at Middle School - $276,500
- Bathroom sink sensors and mixing valves at High School - $11,500
- Gymnasium painting, backboards and lighting at Middle School - $120,000
- Furniture replacement at Middle School - $75,000
“We’re moving in the right direction. We’re attacking maintenance issues that haven’t been addressed in years,” said Dr. Jo Welter, Superintendent. “We’re making use of the staff we have and taking care of the facilities we have while being good stewards of taxpayer money.”
The $49.49 million budget includes a millage increase of 2.1409 mills, or 2.7 percent. With the increase, the new millage rate will be 81.435 mills. One mill in the District generates approximately $267,000 in tax revenue. The median assessed value for a home in AASD is $23,450. With the new millage rate, the increased tax liability will be $50.21 annually.
“No district likes to adopt a budget with a tax increase,” said Dr. Welter. “We have done a lot to reduce costs within reason but are left with the reality that a tax increase is necessary if we want to provide a quality education to our students.”
Among the cost-saving efforts the District made prior to presenting the final budget included:
- Reducing, through attrition, five professional staffing positions, at a savings of $743,028;
- Anticipated profits of the AASD Food Services Department of an estimated $150,000;
- Savings in health insurance costs through the transition to the Allegheny School Health Consortium.
The 2018-2019 budget is available on the District website here.
For Girls & Boys Entering Grades K-7
Ambridge High School
June 4th - June 8th, 2018
(9am - 12 noon)
Camp Registration to Begins Monday at 8:15am
|CAMP FEATURES||CAMPERS RECEIVE|
|Fundamentals Emphasized||Camp T-shirt|
|Great Individual Attention||Great Instruction|
Shooting/Passing/Dribbling/Ball Handling/Rebounding/Free Throw/Full Court Drills
Camp Director: Coach Nikki Santiago
Student Camp Directors: Dasha Jackson & Jordan Swartz
During the 2018 Commencement Ceremony, held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 31, 2018 at Ambridge High School, four new members of the Ambridge Hall of Honor were inducted.
Superintendent Dr. Jo Welter introduced the four new inductees. They are:
Dr. Ken Cirka-1989 Graduate
Dr. Cirka is a 1989 graduate of the AASD. Dr. Cirka received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Grove City College and a Master of Arts degree from Slippery Rock University. He attended the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, where he received his Doctorate of Dental Medicine. Dr. Cirka is a cosmetic dentist who was named "Best of Philadelphia," America's Best Dentist,Life MagazineTop Dentist and a six-year recipient of Consumer Research Council's Top Dentist award he is the senior dentist and owner of Philadelphia Dentistry.
In addition, Dr. Cirka is a philanthropist and is active with the Muscular Dystrophy Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, American Cancer Society, Feeding America and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Additional volunteerism and charity include Mom and PA dental, Purses Full of Hope, AIDSWalk, Have a Heart, Feeding America and Share Food Program.
Mrs. Karen Larrimer-1980 Graduate
Mrs. Karen (Petcash) Larrimer, a 1980 AASD graduate, received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Point Park University. She is currently the executive vice president, head of retail banking and chief customer officer of The PNC Financial Services Group. Mrs. Larrimer is the first female chairwoman of the board for the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, and a board and executive committee member of the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh.
Mrs. Larrimer has been recognized as one of the Most Powerful Women in Banking byAmerican BankerMagazine (2017, 2016, ,2015); was selected to receive a Most Powerful and Influential Woman Award by the National Diversity Council's Pennsylvania Awards Committee (2014); and was a finalist for the 2014 Athena Award. She received the Girl Scouts of America Award of Distinction in Business (2013) and was named "Mother of the Year" (2010) by the national publicationWorking Mother.She also was named a"Women Worth Watching"byDiversity Journalin 2009 and was one of the Best 50 Women in Business in Pennsylvania in 2003.
Capt. Charles D. Rowley-1952 Graduate
Capt. Charles D. Rowley is receiving this honor posthumously. A 1952 graduate, Capt. Rowley retired after 30 years of service in the United States Navy. After graduating from the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School, he completed seven deployments, including two tours of duty and more than 160 missions during the Vietnam War. The Commanding Officer of the Naval Training Center from 1985 to 1990, Capt. Rowley was responsible for 1,300 people. He also was the Director of Computer Resources and Avionics with the Navy as well as the principal and chairman of the Joint Services Review Committee for Avionics.
Capt. Rowley's personal service awards include: the Distinguished Flying Cross; Meritorious Service Medal; National Defense Medal; Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross; Armed Services Expeditionary Medal; and 12 Air Medal Strike/Flight Awards.
Ms. Rhonda Wozniak-1979 Graduate
Ms. Rhonda Wozniak is a 1979 AASD graduate. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Art History from the University of Colorado at Denver; her Master of Arts Degree in Art Conservation from the State University of New York, College at Buffalo; and her Certificate of Advanced Studies in the Conservation of Marine Archaeological Objects at the Western Australian Maritime Museum. Ms. Wozniak was the objects conservator and only female crew member aboard the 1994 RMS Titanic expedition that recovered over 400 artifacts from the shipwreck under the direction of IFREMER, the French Oceanographic Institute. The expedition was featured as a National Geographic documentary. Ms. Wozniak lived and worked in France for two years as the primary conservator to prepare the Titanic objects for world-wide exhibit. Rhonda also held the post of Objects Conservator at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh for ten years, and now owns and operates her own MWBE certified art conservation laboratory in Pittsburgh.
The Hall of Honor was established to commend outstanding Ambridge Area School District alumni for their accomplishments, successes, service to others and state or national awards. In order to be eligible for nomination, alumni must meet the following criteria: they must have made a significant community contribution and/or career-related accomplishment. One-time distinctions or awards may be appropriate if they were given at a state or national level. The primary goal of the Hall of Honor is to have our current students aspire to the greatness that other Ambridge Area graduates have achieved," said Dr. Welter. "Those successful graduates add to our greatness and allow us to encourage and motivate current students toward future aspirations."
Information about the Hall of Honor is available here.
Every student deserves an opportunity to better his or her future, but not every student has the tools to make this possible.
The Give Pack program exists to equip the leaders of tomorrow. Through Give Pack, students are provided with a new backpack and essential supplies for the school year. The program benefits students in the Seneca Valley, Ambridge and Ellwood City School Districts, as well as the residents of Glade Run, Mars Home for Youth, and the Pittsburgh youth connected to mission-based organizations, including Light of Life and Urban Impact.
The Give Pack program will be in the Ambridge Area School District for distributions of the backpacks on the following date:
Thursday, July 26, 2018 at the High School between 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Saturday, July 28, 2018 at the High School between 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Vouchers will be mailed home with the free and reduced lunch information.
Field day fun at Ambridge Area Middle School! Fifth, sixth and seventh grade students had the opportunity to mingle at the newly-named middle school while getting familiar with each other and the building.
A special thank you to School Resource Officer Jason Woods for being such a good sport at the dunk tank!
Our gratitude to the following businesses who helped to make the event great:
Bruster’s Ice Cream
D9 Beats, Music Services – Robert J. Bires
Stuvach Printing & Graphics – Tim Kovach
Ambridge Senior High Interact Club
Ambridge Senior High Art Club
Students in Kindergarten through Sixth Grade were awarded a certificate for being chosen as April Physical Education Star Students of the month. Mrs. Parisi has dedicated a bulletin board in the gym to honor her students. Mrs. Parisi has established the following criteria for the award. Not absent on a Gym Day, do an excellent job calling out the warm-ups, a good role model in class, extra effort, and encouraging fellow classmates to do their best. Along with Mrs. Parisi in the picture are: NINA JEVSJUKOVA, MEADOW HERNANDEZ, CAROLINE DOBICH, NOAH FABRIZIO, CHARLOTTE SPEC & DOMINIC BROOKS. No one qualified from the sixth grade.
Congratulations to all!
Along with Mrs. Parisi the Economy Elementary Physical Education Teacher and Bradley Cavanagh the Youth Market Director for the American Heart Association are the Top Three students from Economy who collected the most money for the American Heart Association, when they participated in the Jump Rope for Heart/ Hoops for Heart Fund Raiser in their gym class. We are proud to announce that we raised $ 4,773.00 for the American Heart Association. In doing so, we also received $200.00 in much needed physical education equipment.
Kennedy Hummert was the top fundraiser in the school. She raised $530.00.
KENNEDY HUMMERT, HAVANNA HAZELWOOD & COOPER WAGNER
* Art shows begin at 6pm and band/choral concerts begin at 7pm
Tuesday, April 24 – HS Chorus Concert
Tuesday, May 1 - Jr. High Art Show and Band Concert
Wednesday, May 2 – HS Art Show and Band Concert
Thursday, May 3 – Jr. High Art Show and Chorus Concert
Tuesday, May 8 – HS Steel Band Concert
Thursday, May 10 – State St. Elementary Chorus & Recorder Concert
Monday, May 14 – Highland Elementary Art Show and Band Concert
Thursday, May 17 – Highland Elementary Chorus & Recorder Concert @ HS Auditorium
Tuesday, May 22 – Economy Elementary Band Concert
Wednesday, May 23 – State St. Elementary Art Show and Band Concert
Thursday, May 24 – Economy Elementary Art Show and Chorus & Recorder Concert
Monday, May 28 – Jr. High Band in Baden Memorial Day Parade
Monday, May 28 – HS Band and Chorus at Ambridge Memorial Day Service