State Street donates to Children's Hospital and The Caring Place
The State Street Student Council and 6th graders who made the Children's Hospital Gingerbread House went to Pittsburgh yesterday to donate the money we have raised for the Caring Place and Children's Hospital. The total of $4,179.75 was split between both organizations. Thank you for all of your support of our fundraisers for these worthwhile causes.
December 7th at State Street Elementary
December 8th at the Junior High School
December 9th at the High School
December 12th at Economy Elementary
December 12th at Highland Elementary (in the High School Auditorium)
All concerts begin at 7:00 PM
Holiday Music Schedule
Congratulations to the Ambridge Girls' Cross Country Team! The members of the team are Mica Hanish, Elyssa Penson, Leuca Hanish, Julianna Detrick, Samantha Giordani, Nadine Bosh, and Hannah Doncevic. For the first time in over three decades, they were undefeated the entire season, they won section championships, and they qualified for PIAA State Championships. At WPIAL Qualifiers, Mica and Leuca Hanish both qualified for States as individuals. Mica placed third in 19:50, and Leuca placed fifteenth in 21:07. The entire team placed third. At States, Mica Hanish placed eighth in 19:21. The seniors on the team are Mica Hanish, Elyssa Penson, Julianna Detrick, and Nadine Bosh. Congratulations on a great season!
Ambridge Area Education Association Pending Strike
Parent and Student Resources and Information
The Ambridge Area School Board and District leadership stand united in ensuring that any teachers' contract reflects the District's financial means. We understand that many students, parents, caregivers – and even teachers – are frustrated and confused about why this negotiating impasse occurred. We are committed to providing transparent communication during any strike that suspends school.
Many of you will ask how this affects classwork and school programs for your child. Below you will find information to answer frequently asked questions.
To further inform parents and stakeholders, the District also is preparing comparative statistics regarding wages, health care benefits and other key issues that are in dispute. We will remain collaborative yet resolute in our effort to be responsible stewards of District taxpayer dollars. Our best teachers share this belief and mission.
Acting Superintendent, Dr. Joseph Dimperio
School Board President, Mr. Scott Angus
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is this happening? How does it affect my child’s education?
The District’s contract with Ambridge Area Education Association expired June 30, 2015, and after months of bargaining we have reached an impasse. We earnestly sought to reach agreement with the union. However, the teachers’ union notified the District of their intent to walk off on the job beginning Tuesday, December 13th, if we cannot resolve our impasse during Monday’s negotiating session.
Many parents have contacted the District with questions related to the potential teacher strike. Although we are committed to working with the union to prevent a strike from taking place, here is a guide for parents and caregivers on what to expect:
Q: Are negotiation sessions continuing to take place prior to a work stoppage?
A. Meetings are currently scheduled for Monday, December 12, 2016. The District is committed to meeting as often as is necessary to reach an agreement.
Q: What will happen to the school calendar in the event of a strike?
A: We are required to complete 180 days of instruction by June 15, 2017. If a strike would occur, the calendar will be modified by taking away vacation days and extending the school year to complete the required number of days. If there is a work stoppage, previously approved Act 80 days will be rescinded and will need to be made up prior to June 15.
By law, days the District cannot use as school days are Saturdays, Sundays, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. The District will try to keep graduation on June 9, 2017, if possible, by using available days to make up for lost instructional time.
Q: How long could a strike go on?
A: The number of days that a strike can last is ultimately up to the Pennsylvania Department of Education. State law allows for 180 days of instruction by June 15 for an initial strike and it is the PDE’s responsibility to determine how many days will need to be made up in the calendar once a work stoppage has commenced.
Q: Will my child continue to receive special education and related services during a work stoppage?
A: No. School will be closed for all students in grades Pre-K through 12 and no educational services will be provided until the teachers return to work. In the case of an extended work stoppage (e.g., beyond 10 school days), when school reopens, the effect that the work stoppage may have had on a student’s special education program will be considered on an individual basis.
Q: Will my child continue to receive gifted education services during a work stoppage?
A: No. School will be closed for all students in grades Pre-K through 12 and no educational services will be provided until the teachers return to work. In the case of an extended work stoppage (e.g., beyond 10 school days), when school reopens, the effect that the work stoppage may have had on a student’s gifted education program will be considered on an individual basis.
Q: How would we address the needs of our seniors?
A: In the event of a prolonged strike, we are making plans that would allow our seniors to graduate on June 9, 2017. We understand that many of these students need to graduate on time for various reasons, including starting college in the summer, military obligations, needing to get to summer jobs to help pay for college expenses, etc.
Q: Who would be teaching the seniors?
A: Principals and administrators in the District (elementary, middle, high school and central office) would be teaching classes. They are certified to teach and have kept up with their certifications. Although these efforts would not replicate the efforts of the staff members of Ambridge Area High School, the instruction students would receive would enable them to graduate on time. Seniors who receive special education and related services would continue to receive required services by properly certificated staff. Seniors who wish to complete AP course work may be required to attend additional days in June if the course instruction is not available during the work stoppage.
Q: Would athletics and activities continue?
A: Athletic events would continue as scheduled. All activities not associated with athletic events, such as class sponsors and student government, likely would be cancelled during the work stoppage. All field trips would be cancelled. PTA events and activities would be held at the discretion of the PTA and we will share that information with you as changes occur to the schedule.
Q: What would the schedule be for students who attend Beaver County Career and Technology Center?
A: Beaver County CTC students would attend BCCTC at their regular time.
Q: Would transportation continue for students who attend private/parochial schools or outplaced students?
A: Yes, transportation would continue for students who attend schools outside of our District.
Q: Would Wise Little Owls child care services still operate in our schools during a strike?
A: Yes, Wise Little Owls will continue to operate in our buildings during a strike.
Q: Would Pre-Kindergarten still operate in our schools during a strike?
A: No, Pre-Kindergarten will not continue to operate in our buildings during a strike.
Q: Would Prevention Network services still operate in our schools during a strike?
A: Yes, Prevention Network will continue to operate in our buildings during a strike.
Q: Would Head Start still operate in our schools during a strike?
A: Yes, Head Start will continue to operate in our buildings during a strike.
Q: Would WPPC Highland Positive Steps Program still operate in our schools during a strike?
A: Yes, WPPC Highland Positive Steps Program will continue to operate in our buildings during a strike.
Q: Will there still be food services provided?
A: Yes. Food service will continue for Wise Little Owls (a bagged lunch and breakfast) and for students enrolled in the Prevention Network and Head Start. If seniors are required to attend, we will arrange for seniors to have lunch.
Q: Will the Mistletoe Dance still be held?
A: Yes, the Mistletoe Dance will continue as scheduled.
Q: Will other Holiday events be cancelled?
A: The District has made every effort to adjust Holiday concerts and activities in anticipation of a strike so that our students’ talents and hard work can continue to be highlighted. But, some events may be cancelled as a result of a strike.
Statement from School Board President Scott Angus
Delivered at the School Board Meeting on 12/7/16
Good evening –
I want to take this opportunity to briefly divert from our agenda to address head-on a matter that soon will affect all students, parents, teachers and taxpayers in this District – that is, our bargaining with the Ambridge Area Education Association. Until now, this Board took care not to discuss contract talks publicly as we agreed to with the union. We earnestly sought to reach agreement with the teachers’ union.
However, as you may know, the union last week notified the Board of their intent to walk off on the job beginning this Tuesday, December 13th, if we cannot resolve our impasse during Monday’s negotiating session. On behalf of my colleagues on this Board, let me be clear – the Ambridge Area School District leaders and entire School Board stand united: this contract must reflect the financial realities of this District.
We are disappointed in the union’s demands which, if enacted, would set a dangerous precedent and put severe financial strain on our District and its taxpayers. Their bargaining position ignores financial realities and casts aside short- and long-term responsible financial planning. And perhaps most importantly, their bargaining position does not reflect a commitment to principled actions – the kind of actions that all parents expect from their children’s teachers. Our best teachers – and there are many in this District – share this sentiment.
The key issues of dispute involve wage increases and benefits. Despite our effort to put forth creative solutions, months of collaborative talks have come to a standstill. We began negotiating with the teachers’ union before the contract expired on June 30th, 2015. We reached tentative agreements on smaller issues, but could not agree on those that significantly impact the District’s budget.
Let’s stop a minute and put this into perspective. The state’s highest performing and wealthiest districts are not granting increases even close to the level requested by the teachers union. Under their current contract, teachers got some of the largest raises in Beaver County. And let’s look in the mirror. We have declining enrollment. Last year alone, the District lost over $1 million dollars as students left our District for charter schools. Although the District could have called for furloughs, we kept teacher staffing levels constant.
We have a flat tax base and our taxpayers already are burdened with the highest millage rate in the County. Our benefits, namely health insurance, are some of the best deals in the world. Today, our teachers pay only $25 a month for full family coverage. Just as we balance our own family checkbooks, each of us on this Board believes we must stand as responsible stewards and make sure the District operates within its means. The Board cannot and will not bend to the union’s outrageous demands. We stand united. And we urge all of you to stand united with us.
A strike will affect families in our communities as the holiday season approaches, bringing them difficulties and undue stress. The District will do its part to keep everyone informed through its website and social media sites as this situation unfolds.
With your support, we remain hopeful that union leadership will do what is right. And I want to remind them all tonight of this: our children are watching.
Thank you all – your support of the District matters to us.
Center for Hope
fundraiser will take place on
December 3, 2016 in the Ambridge Area
High School Gym. Do your Christmas shopping or
just shop for yourself. Doors open at 10 a.m. Luncheon
at noon. Music by our very own Steel Drums.Live auction to follow.
Over 100 baskets and a live auction. For tickets call ext. 2405
Benefits the Center For Hope
We celebrated Thanksgiving with a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving theme. We had the traditional Charlie Brown food; popcorn, toast, jelly beans, pretzel sticks. My students decorated the table with a fall theme; acorns, leaves, and pine cones. They also did an amazing job making pilgrim hats and Native American headbands.
The Ambridge Area High School Marching Band, under the direction of Marie Dewar, has accepted the invitation to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor and represent Ambridge, PA in the Waikiki Holiday Parade.
Each year the Waikiki Holiday Parade is held on the Friday after Thanksgiving in Honolulu, Hawaii, honoring Pearl Harbor Survivors and American military. To date, hundreds of mainland and Hawaiian bands have marched the parade since its inaugural year in 1998. Thousands of spectators, residents and visitors gather to watch this parade which hosts marching bands, Pearl Harbor Survivors, service bands, military units, local officials, dignitaries and entertainers. The parade begins at 7:00pm at Fort DeRussy and ends at Kapiolani Park. The scenic parade route travels approximately 1.5 miles through Waikiki along the oceanfront of beautiful, torch-lit Kalakaua Avenue. Bands who participate in the parade also provide a wreath laying ceremony at the USS Arizona Memorial and a commemorative performance at the USS Battleship Missouri in Pearl Harbor.
While in Hawaii, the group will tour the island of Oahu, and include a visit to the Dole Pineapple Plantation and Polynesian Cultural Center on the North Shore and hike the Diamond Head crater. In preparation for the trip, the band has been practicing several patriotic songs and has been discussing the history of Pearl Harbor in class.
“We are thrilled to be working with Marie Dewar and the Ambridge band on their trip,” said Parade Founder Jake Peppers. The student’s experiences at Pearl Harbor and meeting survivors will be something they will remember for a lifetime. We are honored to help create this memory.”
Ambridge students partook in the annual Senior Pride Day at Penn State Beaver where students competed in special challenges designed to teach them about balance, leadership, time-management and communication; skills that are necessary for success in college! This year our students came in second place on the day of competition and 3rd overall out of 8 schools that participated. Great job guys!
Highland students learned about honoring our Veterans through an assembly on November 9. Highland was honored to host Chief Master Sergeant Charles Wiley and Sergeant Jeffrey Harper of the 171st Air Refueling Wing Air National Guard. These men outlined the history of our flag and our country for our students. They explained how to show respect and honor to our country's Veterans. This interactive assembly included a lesson in how to salute and a lesson in basic marching steps and facing. Chief Master Sergeant Wiley and Sergeant Harper’s love and devotion to the USA was inspiring! We thank them for their time at Highland and their service to our country. Thank you also to Mrs. Croach, Highland music teacher, who opened the assembly with the playing of the National Anthem on the trumpet.
Hello Ambridge Junior High Families,
In accordance to the Act 71 guidelines of the Pennsylvania Department of Education we will be hosting our yearly Signs of Suicide Program. This program is tailored to educate students on the signs of suicide and help them report their concerns to a responsible adult. The 8th grade program will be held the morning of November 10th and the 7th grade program will be held on the morning of November 14th. Please see the attached document for more details. I have also included a link to more information on Act 71 if you would like more details. Thank you and Have a great day.
Students in Kindergarten through Sixth Grade were awarded a certificate for being chosen as Sept. 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, a good role model in class, extra effort, and encouraging fellow classmates to do their best. Along with Mrs. Parisi in the picture are: GARY SCHNEIDER, KATELYN MCPHERSON, KYLIE O’LARE, JOSIE NOULLET, JOHN SEIFER, TRISTAN WALKER, MAX REDINGER, TALMAGE BELL, BAILEY PROTULIPAC, MAX MODROVICH, DELANEY WELLING MACKENZIE REEVES, NICKOLAS LITTLE, ROCCO VENTURELLA, LINCOLN TRIMBUR, EMILY SMITH, MIA SUMPTER, BRAYDEN REEVES, PIETRO PUCCI, NICHOLAS WASCHAK, JOSHUA HOHMAN, JAZMIN SCHNEIDER, & ZAPPULA LEWIS.
Congratulations to all!
Students in Kindergarten through Sixth Grade were awarded a certificate for being chosen as October 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, a good role model in class, extra effort, and encouraging fellow classmates to do their best. Along with Mrs. Parisi, in the picture are the following students.
KALINA HERNANDEZ, ALAYNA GAZDA, ANNA KWOLEK, ELI VANDERMALLIE, COLE MAROVICH, MADISON HOLCOMB, & ELIZABETH NDWANYI.
Congratulations to all!
6th grade: Students are researching earthquakes. They are designing an earthquake-proof structure. Students will work in teams and assume the role of architect, treasurer, or project manager.
5th Grade: Students are researching Native Americans and they are engineering models of Native American dwellings.
These girls are constructing a Native American dwelling called a Chickee.
4th Grade: Students are learning about Forces and Motion through the Hotwheels Speedometry curriculum.
These fourth grade boys are using Hot Wheels cars and tracks to learn about potential and kinetic energy.
3rd Grade: Students are learning about circuitry using Little Bits. Little Bits are electronic building blocks.
These third grade boys collaborate as they work with Little Bits.
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.