Highlighting Excellence

Highlighting Excellence

Keystone Oaks Excellence Newsletter - September 13, 2019

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Keystone Oaks Superintendent among local school leaders invited to Code.org global computer science education conference
Code.Org Conference PhotoKeystone Oaks Superintendent Dr. Stropkaj was one of six southwestern Pennsylvania superintendents invited to attend Code.org's first ever Global Computer Science Education Conference, which took place in Las Vegas this week. This group of local school leaders is part of a national focus group that is learning about the importance of computer science education for all students and is providing feedback on how schools can implement computer science curriculum at the elementary, middle and high school levels.

More than 500 representatives from nonprofit organizations, local and state education agencies, legislators, governors' offices, advocacy groups, and curriculum and professional development professionals participated in the conference. 
New Buddy Bench unveiled at Myrtle Avenue Elementary
Buddy BenchStudents at Myrtle Avenue Elementary School now have a Buddy Bench on their playground - a space where students can go if they need someone to talk to or to play with during recess, or if they simply need a few minutes of alone time. 

The Buddy Bench project was a collaboration between the Myrtle Avenue Elementary PFO and Keystone Oaks High School's Technology Education Department. Class of 2019 graduate Alex Wallace and senior Zach Branik completed a majority of the design, engineering and construction work last school year during Mr. Craig Wetzel's Research & Design class. The Parent-Faculty Organization provided input on the design and funding for the project. 

The Buddy Bench features an innovative design as the backs of the bench can move so that students can either sit side-by-side or facing away from one another, allowing students to indicate whether they are looking for a buddy or need time by themselves. 

"We are very excited to have a Buddy Bench at Myrtle to help foster friendship and eliminate loneliness on the playground," said Myrtle Elementary Principal Scott Mizikar. "I am grateful to the students for their hard work on this project and to our PFO for their support in making this possible for Myrtle students." 

 Mark your calendar for these upcoming events & activities
Activities Calendar ImageTuesday, September 17
Board of School Directors Business/Legislative Meeting
7 p.m.  | Board Room
The final Business/Legislative Agenda will be posted online by the end of the business day on Monday, September 16. 
             
Friday, September 20
Gold & White Day

Wednesday, September 25
School Picture Day at Dormont Elementary, Keystone Oaks Middle School, and Keystone Oaks High School

Thursday, September 26
School Picture Day at Aiken Elementary School and Myrtle Elementary School

Thursday, September 26
High School Future Fair
6 p.m. - 8 p.m. 
High School Gymnasium and Cafeteria
Click here to view the list of professionals and post-secondary institutions that are participating in this year's Future Fair.

Friday, September 27
Keystone Oaks goes green for our neighbor, Mt. Lebanon High School Principal Brian McFeeley. 
Sept. 27: Keystone Oaks goes green for neighboring principal battling cancer
Green KO LogoIn observance of "Be a Good Neighbor Day" on September 28, Keystone Oaks School District will go green on September 27 to show support for Mr. Brian McFeeley, a principal at Mt. Lebanon High School, who is battling inoperable pancreatic cancer. 

From September 23 through September 27, students in all buildings will have the opportunity to make get well cards, write notes of encouragement, and make a monetary donation for Mr. McFeeley and his family. On Friday, September 27, all students and staff are encouraged to wear green to show their support for an educator from our neighboring school district. 
Keystone Oaks Pool now open for recreational swimming
Swimming ImageKeystone Oaks' pool, located in Keystone Oaks High School, is now open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-8 PM and on Sundays from Noon-2 PM for recreational swimming.

The pool will be open for adults only on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8-8:45 PM and on Sundays from 2-2:45 PM.

The pool will be open through May 3, 2020 and will be closed on all school holidays. Recreational swimming may be pre-empted for swim meets and other special activities. Please see the District website for dates that the pool is CLOSED.

Recreational swimming fees for this year are as follows: 

Resident Fee  Non-Resident Fee 
Family Pass (2 adults, up to 3 children)   $60 $65
Adult Pass (18 or older)  $30 $35
Children's Pass (17 and under) $15 $20
Daily Admission (ID required for resident) $2 $4
Senior Citizen Golden Eagle Card FREE  

From the Desk of Aiken Elementary School Principal Mr. Thomas
Aiken Elementary Families,

Aiken K Ice Cream SocialAiken Students are SOARing so far this year! We have already earned 350 Eagles Eggs for our Green Tree!

I would like to the thank the Aiken PFO for hosting a wonderful Kindergarten and 5th Grade Buddy Ice Cream Social this week. It was nice to see our youngest students interact with our oldest students. The two grade levels will be doing various activities throughout the year as part of our 5th Grade buddy program.

Don't forget! You can stay up to date with everything happening at Aiken by “liking” the Fred L. Aiken Elementary School Facebook page KOAikenElementary or by following me on Twitter at @KOAikenElemMrT.

Also, check out our #AikenPBIS Website at https://sites.google.com/kosd.org/aikenpbis/home to help your student SOAR to new heights.

Coming Up at Aiken Elementary

Friday, September 20
Gold & White Day

Thursday, September 26
School Picture Day

Friday, September 27
Keystone Oaks Goes Green for our Neighbor, Mt. Lebanon High School Principal Brian McFeeley

Wednesday, October 2
Studio & Stage Kick-Off: Explore
6 p.m. - 8 p.m. | Dormont Elementary School

*This event is for all Keystone Oaks elementary families

From the Desk of Dormont Elementary Principal Mr. Werner

To our awesome Dormont Families & Faculty: 

Wonderful WednesdayWe’ve had an excellent start to our school year. Lots of smiles… lots of high fives… quite a number of fist pumps… and a great deal of learning going on in our classrooms.

Last week, our 5th grade students wrote welcome notes to the kindergarten class and they delivered them this week! We had our first school-wide Wonderful Wednesday on September 4, where students and staff wore blue or #BetheKindKid shirts to promote kindness throughout our school.

Aside from our list of upcoming events, here are a few reminders for everyone:

DQ NIGHT: Don’t forget… our DQ Night is Tuesday, September 24th from 6-9pm. Stop by for a Blizzard or chili cheese hot dog (or both!). A portion of the proceeds benefit our Dormont PFO. Hope to see you there.

Dormont 200 ClubPRINCIPAL 200 CLUB:  Our students have been exhibiting positive behavior by demonstrating one of our five school expectations (safe, responsible, respectful, kind, and/or here).  Here is our latest group of students that won our mystery motivator. Keep up the good work!

MORNING DROP: Just a reminder about morning drop-off: Due to safety concerns, please have your child exit on the curb side. If your child is in need of extra assistance, please park in the lower lot and walk him/her to the front door. Your help with this is GREATLY appreciated.

Don't forget to visit the Dormont Elementary page on the District's website for important reminders about safety in the school parking lot, sending in money to pay lunch balances, and more! That's about it from our end.  As always, if you have any questions or need any assistance, please don't hesitate to contact us.  

Have a great weekend,
Mr. Werner


Coming up at Dormont Elementary:

Monday, September 16
Wear Your Favorite Color Day

Friday, September 20
Gold & White Day

Tuesday, September 24
DQ Night |  6 pm - 9 pm at the Banksville Road Dairy Queen

Wednesday, September 25
School Picture Day

Friday, September 27
Keystone Oaks Goes Green for our Neighbor, Mt. Lebanon High School Principal Brian McFeeley

Wednesday, October 2
Wonderful Wednesday - Wear blue to stomp out bullying

Wednesday, October 2
Studio & Stage Kick-Off: Explore
6 p.m. - 8 p.m. | Dormont Elementary School

*This event is for all Keystone Oaks elementary families

From the Desk of Myrtle Elementary Principal Mr. Mizikar
Myrtle Avenue Elementary Families,

Kindergarten9-11This week, Myrtle Elementary students honored first responders from the Castle Shannon Volunteer Fire Department and the Castle Shannon Police Department during a special ceremony to remember those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. Students recognized and thanked those who serve our community as first responders. 

Several classes also took time to write thank you notes to first responders and those who serve our community and our Country. 

Homework Help Time is back at Myrtle Elementary! Homework Help Time is offered Monday-Thursday for students in second through fifth grades. Homework Help Time will end at 4:45 pm and the parent/guardian is responsible for picking up students that participate.

Register Here: Please click this link to register your student(s) for Homework Help Time. 

Myrtle PFO Meeting
The Myrtle Avenue Elementary Parent-Faculty Organization (PFO) will hold its first meeting on Monday, September 16, beginning at 7 p.m. in the Large Cafeteria. New members are always welcome and we encourage all Myrtle families to attend and learn about the events, activities, and fundraisers that are planned for this year. Please click here to download the agenda for Monday's meeting.

Coming Up at Myrtle Elementary

Monday, September 16
PFO Meeting
7 p.m. | Large Cafeteria

Friday, September 20
Gold & White Day

Thursday, September 26
School Picture Day (*Please note that Myrtle’s School Picture Day is listed on the incorrect date on the District Activities Calendar)

Friday, September 27
Keystone Oaks Goes Green for our Neighbor, Mt. Lebanon High School Principal Brian McFeeley

Wednesday, October 2
Studio & Stage Kick-Off: Explore
6 p.m. - 8 p.m. | Dormont Elementary School

*This event is for all elementary families.

From the Desk of Middle School Principal Mr. Kattan
Keystone Oaks Middle School Families, 

Middle School ArtworkWe have had a great start to the school year! The 6th grade students have settled in and are more comfortable with the Middle School, their schedules, moving around the school, and most importantly, THEIR LOCKER COMBINATIONS! Our kick-off to the new year went well and every student signed the pledge to do their best in making KOMS a NO PLACE FOR HATE. 

Thank you to all of the Middle School families who attended Open House this week. We enjoyed reconnecting with our returning families and meeting new families, too! We hope that you enjoyed learning about everything our teachers and staff are doing to provide Keystone Oaks Middle School students with the best possible education. We hope that you had a chance to check out our Middle School students' talented and creative artwork. We love that it fills our lobby with color and school pride! 

Remembering 9-11
The history teachers have been discussing aspects of events from 9-11 with students this week. In addition, Middle School students and staff dressed in red, white, and blue to commemorate the day. We also took time out of the regular day to remember the victims of 9-11 by having students read silently for 11 minutes.

Golden Eagle Athletics
Just a reminder to check out the KOSD athletic website, https://kogoldeneagles.com to keep current on all of our sports teams’ schedules and scores. We want to make sure we are cheering on our Golden Eagles to victory! 

Middle School Student Handbook & Code of Conduct
Please click here to view the Middle School Handbook & Code of Conduct for the 2019-2020 school year. We ask all families to review this with your child so that everyone knows the expectations at our school.

Please also download, print, sign, and return the Parent & Student Verification form. We ask that this form be returned to your child's homeroom teacher as soon as possible. 

From the Desk of Acting High School Principal Mr. Linnert

Keystone Oaks High School Families, 

High School Open HouseThe 2019-2020 school year is in full swing at Keystone Oaks High School! Thank you to all of the families that attended this week's Open House and learned about expectations for the school year and our new Positive Behavior Intervention & Supports (PBIS) program, in addition to meeting your students' teachers to learn more about the classes they are taking this year. 

English, Math, and Science tutoring has started at the High School and is available after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:45 until 3:45 p.m. Students who stay for tutoring may utilize the 4:30 Activity Bus. 

Please see below for more information about the upcoming Future Fair. This event is open to all High School students and families and we encourage everyone to attend to start making connections for the job shadowing requirement and to learn about post-secondary opportunities. 

We are proud to offer dozens of after school clubs and activities for Keystone Oaks High School students and we encourage every student to be involved in at least one extracurricular activity. Many of our clubs are holding their first meetings over the next two weeks (see a list below). We will hold a "Rush" event on Friday, September 27, giving all High School students the opportunity to learn about the clubs and activities that are offered at KOHS. 

Kona Ice TruckAnd, in case you missed it, the Keystone Oaks Gridiron Club held a Kona Ice Truck fundraiser last Friday, with the proceeds benefiting colorectal cancer awareness. It was great to see so many students and staff enjoying a cool treat for a great cause! 

             



Coming Up at Keystone Oaks High School:

KOHS AnnouncementsProfessionals from the following career fields will be at Keystone Oaks High School on October 9: physical therapy, sports, animal welfare, engineering, marketing, financial crime investigation, and food and beverage. Students interested in attending should sign up on Google Classroom. 

Representatives from the following post-secondary institutions will be at Keystone Oaks High School in September: 

Sept. 16: Ohio University, 3rd period
Sept. 17: West Virginia State, 3rd period
Sept. 17: 
University of Maine, 4th period
Sept. 25: Carlow University, 3rd period
Sept. 27: Washington & Jefferson, 2nd period
Sept. 27: FIDM Shirley Horn, 3rd period

Students interested in meeting with these representatives should see the Guidance Office for a pass. 

Club & Activity Announcements:
Club & Activity announcements are available on the news section of the High School's website. Recent announcements include:

  • Students interested in participating in the First High School Play, "Museum," should attend a meeting after school in Room 146 on Monday, Sept. 16.

  • Strength Club will begin Monday, Sept. 16. 

  • Academic Team will meet on Monday, Sept. 16 after school in Room 231. 

  • There is a mandatory meeting for Tech Ed/EdCorp Club on Tuesday, Sept. 17, in Room 190 (the technology lab in the art wing) at 2:30 pm.

  • The first SADD Meeting will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 17th at 2:40 in Room 104.

  • Stage Crew will hold its first meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 18 after school in Room 186.

  • Varieties Talent Show auditions will be held September 24th in the High School Auditorium. Sign-up sheet is outside Room 104.

Sept. 26 Future Fair to feature post-secondary institutions and career professionals

2019 Future FairThe 2019 Future Fair, hosted by the High School Guidance Department, will include representatives from nearly 70 universities, colleges, technical schools, and the Armed Services, as well as nearly 25 professionals, including several Keystone Oaks alumni, from a variety of career fields. Click here for an up-to-date list of participants. 

All High School students and their families are encouraged to attend to learn more about post-secondary options as well as to hear the experiences of those working in a variety of professions. This is a great opportunity for students to make connections for the new job shadowing requirement!

Among the professionals that will be participating this year:

  • Brian Brosnan – Associate Strategy Analyst at Highmark Health (Keystone Oaks alumni)
  • Matthew Buckley – Account Executive at Broker’s Settlement Services (Keystone Oaks alumni)
  • Kathy Cerminara – Educational Solutions Manager at Lincoln Learning Solutions (Keystone Oaks alumni)
  • Jason Colditz - Lead Regulatory Affairs Specialist at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (Keystone Oaks alumni)
  • Arman Dashti – Corporate Actions Representative at BNY Mellon (Keystone Oaks alumni)
  • Scott Frankert – Development Chemist at PPG Industrial Coatings (Keystone Oaks alumni)
  • Emily Goff – Self-Employed Artist, Illustrator, and Designer (Keystone Oaks alumni)
  • Ryan Haas – Service Desk Support Analyst at CCAC (Keystone Oaks alumni)
  • Mike Hazlett – Union Painter at University of Pittsburgh
  • Kathryn Jones - Asset Portal Assistant at Wondros (Keystone Oaks alumni)
  • Michael Kazalas – Mortgage Loan Officer at PA Capital Mortgage (Keystone Oaks alumni)
  • Joanna Kemp - Program Coordinator at Children's Museum of Pittsburgh (Keystone Oaks alumni)
  • Holly Kendall – Firefighter at Green Tree Fire Department (Keystone Oaks alumni)
  • Nicole Krol – Special Education Teacher at Agora Cyber Charter School
  • Cathy Lisle – Nurse at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital
  • Stefanie Shuey – Project Analyst at Work Partners (Keystone Oaks alumni)
  • Lindsey Templeton - Director of Research & Training at National Campus Leadership Council (Keystone Oaks alumni)
  • Colt Thomas – Financial Project Manager at K&L Gates
  • Maria Walker – Dental Hygienist (Keystone Oaks alumni)
  • Alexa Xenakis – Audit Analyst at PPG Industries (Keystone Oaks alumni)
Did you see these recent Peachjar flyers? 

Peachjar IconKeystone Oaks School District utilizes Peachjar, an electronic flyer delivery system, to send school and school district-approved flyers.

Peachjar keeps you informed about upcoming school activities, programs, and events. For your convenience, flyers that are sent via e-mail will also be made available on the “Peachjar” page on each school’s website.

Recent flyers include:

  • Car Wash to Support the Swimming & Diving Team
  • KO Umbrellas Fundraiser
  • Block Kids Competition for Grades 1-6
  • Middle School Joe Corbi's Fundraiser
If you are not receiving electronic flyers from Peachjar, please email Sarah Welch, Coordinator of Communications & Public Relations. 

Educational Resources for Students & Families

Recommended by Keystone Oaks administrators and educators, the following are links to curriculum, technology, counseling, mental health, safety and other resources that families may utilize to help their child (or children) succeed at school and in life.

  • Family ImageMental Health Resources - This website, Connect.Nuture.Grow., designed and maintained by Keystone Oaks' Middle & High School Mental Health Therapist, Sarah Hazlett, contains many great resources for students and families.
  • Sick Child Guidelines- As we head into cold & flu season, take a few minutes to review these guidelines from Keystone Oaks' school nurses to help determine when and if your child should stay home from school. 

 

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