Welcome back Bridgers!
The first day of school for the 2018-2019 School Year is Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018. Back-to-school supply lists are posted on the website here.
Instructional times for each of the grade levels is as follows:
- Elementary Schools: 8:35 a.m. to 3:05 p.m.
- Middle School: 7:25 a.m. to 2:20 p.m.
- High School: 7:30 a.m. to 2:25 p.m.
In July, 27 Ambridge Area School District teachers participated in academic training provided by the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI). The trainings are in support of the NMSI program, which is designed to improve students’ growth in the areas of English, Math and Science through participation in the Advanced Placement (AP) program.
The training is part of the NMSI three-year grant the District secured in January 2018. The grant covers the cost of the professional development for teachers, including the accompanying course materials. Ambridge is the only school district in Beaver County to receive a NMSI grant.
During the first two weeks of training, teachers from grades 3-10 received lessons in NMSI’s Laying the Foundation program. The program provides supportive instruction for students that will build skills and higher-level thinking, allowing more students to participate in the AP program.
Ambridge High School AP teachers received training in their specific course during the second week through the College Readiness Program. The training they received has been proven to help students score higher on the AP tests, allowing students to receive college credit for high scores, which will in turn help to lower the cost of tuition. The NMSI program also has permitted the High School to offer the following additional AP courses: Chemistry, Computer Science, English Language and Composition and Statistics. The new AP courses will be added to the English, Math and Science AP courses Ambridge High School already offered.
Throughout the year, the English, Math and Science teachers will continue training in the NMSI model, and our students will have the opportunity to participate in regional study sessions with students from other schools within the Pittsburgh area. At the end of the year, the students participating in the AP classes will be able to take the corresponding AP exams at no additional cost.
Additional information on NMSI’s Laying the Foundation and College Readiness Programs can be found here.
A unique program to recycle old fire hose is being used to help ensure the safety and security of students and staff in the Ambridge Area School District.
Thanks to a donation from the Borough of Ambridge and the Ambridge Fire Department, the recycled hose is gaining new life as a way to additionally secure hydraulic doors from being forcefully opened during an active shooter or other emergency situation in which the buildings need to be secured or locked down.
Old sections of the hose are cut down into “sleeves” that are then slipped over the hydraulic hardware of these kinds of doors, locking them in place so they do not open. Each old fire hose can be repurposed to create roughly 100 sleeves. “This is a truly unique way to recycle old fire hose that no longer has a life or service to the Borough anymore,” said Borough Manager Joseph Kauer. “The Borough and the Fire Department are pleased to be able to partner with the District to help provide this added bit of security to their facilities.”
The sleeves are just one of many things the District is doing to keep students and staff safe. Other measures already in place include, but are not limited to:
- Two Police Officers are stationed in the District – one at Ambridge Middle School and one at Ambridge High School – throughout the school day. The officers are available for use throughout the District as needed.
- Exterior doors for all buildings are locked during the school day; all visitors are required to enter and exit through main entrances.
- The District employs the use of the Raptor Visitor Management System in all buildings. Visitors are required to provide state-issued identification upon arrival, which is then used to conduct a brief background check before a visitor is granted admission to District buildings.
- Students at Ambridge Area High School are scanned by metal detectors and bags are searched prior to entry into the building each morning.
- Additional security cameras have been placed in locations throughout the District.
- All employees are required to wear District-issued photo identification badges during the school day.
Superintendent Dr. Jo Welter said the District is appreciative of the additional security feature and the opportunity to work closely with the Borough and Fire Department. “It truly takes a community to keep our children safe. We are appreciative of the efforts of the Borough and the Fire Department to help us with this most important responsibility.”
For more information:
Ambridge Area School District
Media Contact: Shari Berg, Public Relations Consultant
Borough of Ambridge
Media Contact: Joseph Kauer, ICMA-CM
Advanced Course testing for all incoming 6th, 7th and 8th grade students will be administered on several dates in June and July. Sixth graders who score well on the tests will be eligible to participate in an accelerated 7 class. Students who qualify for the accelerated course will be required to complete an online sixth grade course this summer.
Tests will be administered under the guidance of two middle school teachers. Testing dates are as follows:
Tests will be administered at the Ambridge Area High School between 9 and 11 a.m.
Seventh, eighth, and ninth grade students attended the annual forensics competition at Riverside High School on Tuesday, February 6th. Six school districts competed, but overall, Ambridge placed in the highest number of categories! Our students’ results are as follows:
Duo News Broadcast – Junior High
Third Place Hazel Bell and Meghan Kinkade
Duo News Broadcast – Senior High
Second Place Maura Devine and Sammy Farah
Third Place Rhiannon Bosh and Kyla Fitzgibbons
Poetry – Junior High
First Place Madison Mihalic
Second Place Leah Fritsch
Third Place Lydia Mycyk
Poetry – Senior High
First Place Dinah Bailey
Second Place John Barnhart
Third Place Kyla Fitzgibbons
Extemporaneous – Junior High
First Place Lanaya Pharr
Extemporaneous – Senior High
Second Place John Barnhart
Duo Impromptu – Junior High
First Place Lydia Mycyk and her Central Valley partner
Second Place (tie) Madison Mihalic and her Central Valley partner
Lanaya Pharr and Zoe Maurer
Third Place (tie) Jaina Ilko and Luke Sovich
Leah Fritsch and her partner.
Duo Impromptu – Senior High
First Place (tie) Maura Devine and her Blackhawk partner
Gabby Milcoff and her Blackhawk partner
Second Place Dinah Bailey and her Riverside partner
Third Place Sammy Farah her Blackhawk partner
Congratulations to all who participated!
Auditor General Eugene DePasquale released a statement on Wednesday that includes one finding and one recommendation for improvement for the Ambridge Area School District for an audit covering fiscal years July 2012 through June 2016.
The finding involved retirement benefits for previous superintendents which included the superintendent and their immediate family members. DePasquale determined the practice posed a significant financial impact on the District and recommended the District include a minimum years of service provision in all future employment contracts.
“The Ambridge Area School District appreciates the recommendations provided by the Auditor General’s Office following its review of District finances and operations,” said Doug McCausland, Director of Operations for the Ambridge Area School District. “The District takes all recommendations seriously and already has begun the process of implementing corrective action for the finding contained within the report.”
Starting with the three-year contract for its new superintendent, which is effective July 27, 2017 through July 30, 2020, post-employment benefits are extended only to Dr. Jo Welter. Should she elect to cover her spouse, she will be responsible for paying the difference in premium cost. Benefits for Dr. Welter continue only until she reaches age 65. Due to her decades-long career in public education, a minimum years of employment provision was not included in her current contract.
“Retirement insurance provisions are common features of superintendents’ contracts in the Commonwealth with many being more generous than what the Ambridge Area School District agreed to provide its current Superintendent,” said Mr. McCausland. “We believe the contract with our current superintendent is not only fair to her, but also fiscally responsible and in alignment with the auditor’s recommendations.”
The full auditor’s report is available here.
Sports Physicals will now only be held on July 27th at 12pm (all Junior high and High school student athletes). Phycials are $20 and athletes must have their physical packet and money (cash) on the day of the physical.
To view a printable version of the Physical Form plese Click Here.
For more information about physicals please visit the Ambridge Athletcs Webpage by Clicking Here.
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.
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 (a blowdryer)!
These first grade girls constructed a house out of bricks to keep their pigs safe from the Big Bad Wolf.
Kindergarten: Students will be completing nursery rhyme STEAM challenges! We have completed challenges from Humpty Dumpty and Hey Diddle, Diddle.
These kindergarten students created an egg protector for their Humpty Dumpty egg drop.