The Administration and the School Board have been working diligently to manage the funds available to the District. We have reduced spending through measures that more comprehensively manage utilities, and where appropriate, reduce staffing. We changed medical insurance companies which greatly levels out those costs year over year, and anticipate new savings in other insurances and multi-year equipment contracts.
Unfortunately, as salaries increase and ongoing maintenance of our facilities is required, it naturally costs more to operate the District. Most significantly, the District spends over six million dollars per year to fund Ambridge students enrolled at Charter and Cyber schools. Charter and Cyber schools are not free. Every child who attends one of these schools requires Ambridge Area School District to pay between $10,000 and $20,000 per year for their attendance.
Although we remain committed to improving efficiencies and seeking additional cost savings,the District is in a situation where additional tax dollars are needed. The most important thing you can do is write your legislators and encourage them to change the funding structure of these Charter and Cyber schools. This will assist the District in not having to levy tax increases each year.
A sample letter can be downloaded here for your convenience. Please contact your legislators.
Thank you for your ongoing support.
L. Jo Welter, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
The Ambridge Area High School National Honor Society participated in the pregame salute for the May 8th Pirates vs. Rangers game. Congratulations to our Senior NHS students for all of their amazing accomplishments and good luck in the future!
On March 29, 2019 the Ambridge Area School District was pleased to announce the participation of 30 students in the “Build on Careers in Construction and Allied Industries” at the David l. Lawrence Convention Center presented by the Builders Guild of Western Pennsylvania. Alongside the Builders Guild, sponsors included Peoples and CNX, US Steel, Duquesne Light Company and Shell Chemicals of Pennsylvania. During this time, students were given the opportunity to make valuable connections to, not only community and local employers, but also the Trades and Unions including but not limited: Carpenters, Bricklayers and Allied Crafts, Ironworkers, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Boilermakers, Insulators, Plumbers, Electricians and the Laborers Union.
During their time at the trades fair, students participated in interactive activities with the regional building trade unions, industry partners, tool and product suppliers, and experienced a host of games and virtual trainings. Students also spoke first hand with apprentices, training directors, recruiters and others who provided greater insight into well-paying, sustainable careers and career avenues from apprenticeships to journeyman in Western Pennsylvania. The students also learned about educational pathways through no-cost apprenticeship programs, two and four year degree programs offered by area colleges and universities, and endorsed pre-apprenticeship programs for after high school.
All senior members were encouraged to bring copies of their resumes to hand to potential employers and for discussing career pathways with members of the industries at this time.
Mrs. Debona, Ms. Benedict and Mr. Groom with the assistance of Mrs. Brewer accompanied the students on the trades fair and received first hand instruction on the jobs the Shell plant and local unions are endorsing for future employment, and had the opportunity to hear Governor Wolf’s future plans for Western Pennsylvania. The direction for employment is high in the labor field and continues to branch out to not only college pathways but to careers in the unions and the trades for future success after high school. The educators encouraged the students to also consider pathways in the trades and to speak to recruiters, and were able to bring back a vast array of knowledge to the student body as a whole. As one of the representatives from IBEW had stated, “Four year colleges are no longer the only route…we will continue to educate the need for the unions and the trades at this time for a sustainable career."
The Community College of Beaver County is also holding an “Apprenticeship Readiness Program” where students can interact with 16 building and construction trade unions and tour several trades and unions tour sites during this time. For enrollment, students are encouraged to call CCBC at 724-480-3448 and ask to speak to an admissions counselor for the “Apprenticeship Readiness Program.” Any students wishing to pursue the trades or unions are encouraged to speak with members of the guidance team at any time for information. Please feel free to call 724-266-2833, ext. 2377 with any questions you may have.
On Tuesday, April 2, K’nex pieces “showered” the gym at PSU, Beaver.
Beaver County school districts were invited to use their amazing brain power and give power to a working crane, yes, built from K’nex. There were some amazing displays of their idea of a crane lifting 3 objects and moving them 6 inches.
Ambridge had four participating teams that worked diligently to create, analyze, engineer, and finally…….have a crane that does just that. They had to have a blueprint, as well as a journal and cost sheet. It took so much thinking and energy, but they completed the project and met the goal.
Congratulations to our K’nex crews who were part of the K’nex explosion. It was a great day! Participants were from State Street; Middle School, and Economy. Kudos to them for braving the storm and letting their creativity shine. Teacher sponsors were Mr. Price and Mrs. Petukauskas.
- State Street: Gideon Harmon, Noah Fabrizio, Emily Wissner, Fauth Aguirre, Gianna Georgakis, Lana Holcomb, Janna Rusnak, Alyssa Fodor
Middle School: Joshua Ziemkiewicz, Mark Rauenswinter, Lucas Gunther, Brayden Reeves
- Economy: Halle Pruszenski, Bailey Braund, Talmage Bell, Max Modrovich
- The students are already looking forward to next year for more K’nex designs.
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.