In March, high school students Nadia and Bree Mycyk, Emma Van Dyke, and Alois Watkins, along with Highland 6th grader Allison Wintersgill, volunteered to face paint at the State Street indoor carnival. The face paint booth was a hit. I was filled with elementary students from start till finish. The painters worked hard putting smiles on many colorful faces.
Registration Procedures for New or Returning Students
Welcome to the Ambridge Area School District. All new students in grades K-12 are required to complete the registration process at the Central Administration Office before attendance in the District can begin. Additional kindergarten registration dates are held each spring.
Who determines the requirements for enrollment?
Requirements to register for enrollment in any Pennsylvania school district are determined by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and not the individual school district of application. Proof of residency is among the required documents, as funding and taxation are directly tied to school residency in the Commonwealth. Ambridge Area School District is required to adhere to all aspects of the registration process.
Can my child attend the Ambridge Area School District?
Children who reside in Ambridge Borough, Baden Borough, Economy Borough, Harmony Township and South Heights are eligible to attend the Ambridge Area School District. Children are eligible for registration for kindergarten if they have attained the age of 5 years on or before September 1 of the school year. New residents or returning students can apply for registration throughout the year.
How do I begin the registration process?
To begin the registration process, please visit the AASD website’s registration information page, which includes instructions and forms required to register children in the District. Enrollment is available by appointment only. Information on how to schedule an appointment is included in this FAQ.
What documents are required for the enrollment process?
We understand that everyone is busy; however, to save time during the enrollment process, please have the following documents available at the time of your enrollment appointment:
Evidence of the child’s age. This must be presented in the form of a legal document such as a birth certificate or passport. Parents or legal guardians who need to obtain a copy of their child’s passport can find instructions on how to do so here.
Two current proofs of residency. The first proof must be the rental/lease or deed/mortgage agreement or a copy of the tax bill from the municipality in which they reside. The second proof can consist of a driver’s license, current insurance policy or utility bill. Residents who do not have lease or utility agreements in their name are required to complete and notarize this form.
Immunization records that include dates from your child’s doctor’s office or former school, or an international health certificate.
Discipline records from the most previous school of attendance is required for students enrolling at the High School level.
Which immunizations are required for attendance?
The Pennsylvania Department of Health requires each child entering school for the first time to have the following immunizations before school begins:
Four (4) doses of tetanus (usually given as DTP or DTaP or DT or Td) (1dose on or after the 4th birthday);
Four (4) doses of diphtheria (usually given as DTP or DTaP or DT or Td) (1 dose on or after the 4th birthday);
Three (3) doses of polio;
Two (2) doses of measles (Usually given as MMR);
Two (2) doses of mumps (Usually given as MMR);
One (1) dose of rubella (German Measles) (Usually given as MMR);
Three (3) doses of hepatitis B; and
Two (2) doses of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine or history of disease.
Additional immunization requirements, by age, are available through the Pennsylvania Department of Health or from your child’s pediatrician. The immunization requirements are a condition of attendance at any public, private, or parochial school in Pennsylvania. Parents will be expected to produce evidence of the immunizations or their child will be denied entrance to school until the requirements are met.
What additional documentation may be useful at the time of registration?
While these documents are not required as a condition of enrollment, the District requests that all new or returning students also provide copies of the following:
Student records from the child’s previous school;
Health/Physical exam records; and
Academic, attendance and special education records (such as IEPs and 504s).
What happens if I don’t have the required documents at the time of registration?
Failure to provide the required documentation at the time of registration will delay the registration process. The District is not permitted to complete the registration process and allow the child(ren) to begin attending classes until registration is complete.
How soon can my child begin attending classes following registration?
There is typically a 3-to-5 day waiting period from the time enrollment is completed and registration of the student(s) is finalized. Children will be unable to attend until the registration process is completed. The District will notify the parent/legal guardian of the child’s start date, transportation assignment and schedule once the process is finalized.
What are the hours for the enrollment office?
Kindergarten Registration Information
Ambridge Area School District
Act 1 Referendum
Pursuant to Act 1, the Pennsylvania Department of Education publishes an index % applicable to the School District. The Ambridge Area School District’s real estate tax increase for the 2016/2017 fiscal year is limited to the index of 3.3%. As a result of special circumstances covered by an Act 1 referendum exception, a tax rate % increase above 3.3% might be required to balance the Ambridge Area School District’s budget for the 2016/2017 fiscal year. The Ambridge Area School District intends to seek approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Education as required by Act 1 for an exception allowing an increase of the real estate tax as reflected in the Ambridge Area School District’s Preliminary Budget.
A copy of the proposed preliminary budget will be available for public inspection by December 30, 2015 in the Ambridge Area School District Business Office which is located at the Ambridge Area High School, 909 Duss Avenue, Ambridge, PA, and on the District’s website at www.ambridge.k12.pa.us. Final adoption of the preliminary budget will be taken at the scheduled voting meeting of the Board of School Directors to be held on January 20, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. in the High School auditorium.
Meet and Discuss Regular Meeting
Tuesday afternoon, Ambridge High School students and their guests celebrated the grand opening of the “lab,” a dedicated space at the school for providing students with hands-on work experience.
Guests also had the opportunity to visit the co-op room to learn more about the school’s recent partnership with PittMoss, an Ambridge-based company that manufactures an organic, recycled, natural cellulosic fiber replacement for peat moss. PittMoss is partnering with the high school to provide workforce training opportunities to students in the Life Skills program.
Special Education teacher Mrs. Teresa Brewer said three Ambridge students participate in a school-to-work program, spending their afternoons at PittMoss learning valuable employment skills from the production line. Additionally, students are able to work in the lab at the High School, building boxes, placing labels and thank you cards and packaging the PittMoss product in the boxes, and then sealing and labeling the boxes for shipping. Students also learn how to inventory supplies needed for each delivery of product, as well as the products they are exporting. To date, students have packaged 200, 10-quart bags of PittMoss.
Special Education teacher Mr. David Bobak said 15 students are participating in the co-op on site at the new lab. Students have the option of selecting from one of five tasks when in the lab:
Students will rotate in groups of five in the lab throughout the day. When in the lab, they will practice the procedures involves with their selected task. Each student has a work record that will be used to clock them in and out and keep track of which tasks they performed in the lab.
Following the grand opening of the lab, PittMoss General Manager, Mr. BJ Rankin, said he was pleased to be working with the school as part of the co-op program. He said the students who are participating on site have a great work ethic and he is pleased to be helping them to learn the skills needed to enter the workforce. Students who participate in a co-op with PittMoss or any other businesses in the region are paid by the Beaver County Job Training Center for their work. Representatives from the center were present at the event today.
Mr. Rankin presented the school with a check for $1,605. The money was raised through the generosity of local business and industry. He said he received a huge response from the community when he put out the call to donate to the co-op program. “The community really came together on this one. I had set a goal of raising $1,000 and was able to exceed it. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the school and we’re hoping to develop something even bigger in the future.”
The Ambridge Area Board of School Directors has a new member. On Wednesday, Aug. 15, the Board appointed Cathy Fischer to fill the vacancy left when former Board member Kelly Fischer resigned her seat at the July 18 School Board meeting.
The Board received three applications from individuals interested in serving the remainder of Kelly Fisher’s term, which runs through November 2019. Candidate interviews were conducted by the Board prior to the decision to select Cathy Fischer to fill the vacancy.
Cathy Fischer is a parent in the District who has been active in the schools and community. She successfully spearheaded the Highland Elementary School PTO for several years and has established meaningful relationships with local and elected officials to positively benefit the Ambridge Area School District and its students.
“I am a forward-thinking individual who takes initiative to identify challenges,” she said. “My strong passion for our District, my love of public education and my keen ability to build quality relationships within the community will serve as valuable assets to the School Board.”
Mrs. Fischer said she is capable of and willing to “. . . work closely with other Board members and Administrators to create a shared vision for the best possible solutions for a successful District.”
Ambridge School Board President Scott Angus said the Board is fortunate to have someone as dedicated to public education as Mrs. Fischer joining their ranks. “We would like to thank the three individuals who expressed interest in filling the seat,” he said. “We feel confident moving forward that Mrs. Fischer will work diligently to fulfill the best interests of our District and our community.”
Superintendent Dr. Jo Welter said she looks forward to working with Mrs. Fischer in her new role. “Mrs. Fischer is well known in the community as a strong supporter of public education and an advocate for our children,” she said. “As a parent with children in the District, I know she is dedicated to the success of not only her own children, but that of every child in our schools.”
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.
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.
Yesterday the JH and SH teams competed in the BC Envirothon at Brady's Run Park. The teams did well. The SH earned a 6th place our of 23 teams and the JH won a 1st and 4th place. The girls first place team missed 1st last year by 3 points.