Annual School Board Reorganization Meeting Held at North AlleghenyPosted by Emily Schaffer on 12/6/2017 8:00:00 PM
Newly-elected School Board Members Andrew Chomos and Allyson Minton were sworn-in this evening alongside re-elected Members Richard McClure and Scott Russell. The Oath of Office was issued by Judge William Wagner at the Board’s annual Reorganization Meeting.
Mr. Chomos and Mrs. Minton replace Tara Fisher, who moved out-of-state in July, and Suzanne Filiaggi, who did not seek re-election.
Mr. Chomos resides in Franklin Park with his family and is CEO of GE Healthcare’s Omnyx digital pathology modality. Mrs. Minton resides in McCandless Township with her family and has served as a full-time volunteer for North Allegheny for the past four years.
The Board also selected Mr. Kevin Mahler and Mr. Scott Russell to serve as President and Vice President for a one-year term.
Middle Schools Named Apple Distinguished SchoolsPosted by Emily Schaffer on 10/17/2017 10:35:00 AM
The North Allegheny School District (NASD) is pleased to announce that Carson, Ingomar, and Marshall Middle Schools have each been recognized as Apple Distinguished Schools for 2017-2019 for the implementation of iPads in grades six through eight through FOCUS 2020.
Apple Distinguished Schools are centers of innovation, leadership, and educational excellence that use Apple products to inspire creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking. They showcase innovative uses of technology in learning, teaching, and the school environment and have documented results of academic accomplishment.
“It’s an honor that our three middle schools have been selected as Apple Distinguished Schools,” shared Superintendent Dr. Robert Scherrer. “As we continue to prepare our students for success in a changing world, we strive to successfully provide innovative learning environments that are engaging and challenging for both students and teachers. We’re fortunate and excited to continue integrating Apple technology in our classrooms through the FOCUS 2020 initiative.”
Year three of FOCUS 2020 kicked off at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year at NASD, which included the expansion of the iPad program to include grades four and five. NASD teachers continue to be energized by the addition of iPads as tools to transform their daily lessons, and provide students opportunities for collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and communication. By fall of 2018, all students in grades 1-12 will have a device.
Franklin Elementary Recognized as a 2017 National Blue Ribbon SchoolPosted by Emily Schaffer on 9/29/2017 9:00:00 AM
U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, announced on Thursday, September 28, that Franklin Elementary School has been named a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School. Franklin is one among 292 public and 50 private schools receiving this honor, and one of only 18 schools in Pennsylvania.
Franklin Elementary is home to approximately 380 students in grades K-5, and was previously named a Blue Ribbon School in 1985.
National Blue Ribbon Schools are on the education’s cutting edge, pioneering innovative education practices from professional learning communities and project-based learning to social and emotional learning and positive behavior systems. Schools are nominated by the state department of education and then complete a comprehensive application about school practices. Franklin was nominated as an “Exemplary High Performing” school, which are among the top schools in the state.
“We are proud to accept this esteemed honor that serves as a testament to the collaborative efforts of a talented and dedicated staff, hardworking and persistent students, and an involved and supportive community that is committed to doing good things for kids in a positive and healthy school environment,” shared Franklin Elementary Principal Jeff Anderchak.
Carson Middle, Ingomar Middle, Marshall Middle, NA Intermediate High, and NA Senior High have also been named Blue Ribbon Schools in the past.
The District plans to send representatives to attend the National Blue Ribbon Schools awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. in early November.
North Allegheny Ranks High in the Niche 2018 K-12 School & District RankingsPosted by NASD on 8/8/2017 3:05:00 PM
For the fourth consecutive year, North Allegheny is ranked as one of the best school districts in the Nation by Niche.com.
Niche released its annual 2018 K-12 School & District rankings on Monday, August 7. Among the 10,574 school districts analyzed nationwide, North Allegheny was ranked as one of the Best Districts in the Nation (#15), Best Districts in Pennsylvania (#3), Best District in the Pittsburgh area (#1), and Best District in Allegheny County (#1). North Allegheny was the only school district in Western Pennsylvania to be ranked in the top 40 of the national Best School Districts list.
“It’s a true honor to be recognized once again as a top school district by our students and parents,” shared Dr. Robert Scherrer, Superintendent of North Allegheny. “We are not only fortunate to have an immense amount of support from the community, but also to have an incredible team of teachers and staff who are dedicated to providing superior educational and extracurricular experiences to our students.”
The District also ranked nationally in the top 15 in subcategories for District with the Best Teachers (#6) and Best Place to Teach (#13), and secured top rankings in Pennsylvania for District with the Best Teachers (#2) and Best Place to Teach (#3).
On the District’s Niche Report Card, North Allegheny received an “A+” as its Overall Niche Grade. Areas such as sports, clubs and activities, health and safety, and administration also each received an “A+”.
North Allegheny earned this ranking by scoring highly on a variety of factors including SAT/ACT scores, student-teacher ratio, the quality of colleges student consider, and reviews from students and parents. The statistical data used in this ranking was obtained by the U.S. Department of Education and then analyzed by Niche’s team of data scientists to create the ranking.
“School climate, future preparation, achievement and growth, and student and staff wellness are things we emphasize equally at North Allegheny,” Dr. Scherrer added. “We are especially proud of the Niche rankings because they measure our successes beyond standardized tests and evaluations.”
See a full list of the District’s rankings here. Rankings for individual schools can be viewed by searching the name of the school on the Niche website. For more information on Niche’s methodology for determining their rankings, visit https://about.niche.com/methodology/best-school-districts/.
Update Provided to School Board Regarding Possible Renovations at Five NA Elementary SchoolsPosted by NASD on 7/19/2017
At the Wednesday, July 19 Combined Meeting, the North Allegheny School Board received an update regarding possible upcoming renovations at Franklin, Hosack, Ingomar, McKnight and Peebles Elementary Schools.
Ms. Cassi Renninger of VEBH Architects presented findings from Facilities Assessments of the five Elementary Schools, a process that began in December 2016. Several common issues and recommendations were found among the five buildings including partial roof replacements, window and door replacements, and energy and Food Service Equipment upgrades. Additionally, each building was found to have its own unique issues that warrant upgrades to meet the needs of the growing District.
The plans also recommend a reconfiguration of McKnight Elementary, which would utilize unoccupied areas and improve the overall flow of the building. The two-story wing of the building would potentially be demolished and specialized classrooms would be added where appropriate, ultimately reducing the building footprint and reduce ongoing costs. This recommendation would not increase the student capacity of the building.
Expanding Franklin Elementary is also a possibility for the renovation plan. This scenario is contingent upon the demographic study that is currently being conducted to determine if student enrollment is projected to continue to increase.
Renovations to all five buildings are estimated to cost between $59.6 to $65.9 million; however, if the District opts to expand Franklin Elementary, the projected cost range for all five buildings would be approximately $76.2 to $84.3 million.
Ms. Renninger also presented several potential phasing scenarios for construction, all of which have start dates in 2019 and last two to four years. A copy of the presentation is available on the District’s website in BoardDocs.
North Allegheny School Board Accepts Resignation of Tara FisherPosted by NASD on 7/19/2017
On Wednesday, July 19, 2017 the North Allegheny School Board announced and accepted the resignation of Board Member Tara Fisher.
Ms. Fisher began her term with the School Board in December 2013 and served in board leadership positions for three years. She cited relocating to Washington, D.C. prior to the end of her four-year term as reason for resigning.
“We are fortunate to have a School Board comprised of devoted community members who anticipate and prioritize the needs of our students,” shared Dr. Robert Scherrer, District Superintendent. “We sincerely appreciate Ms. Fisher’s service, dedication, and energy invested in NA during her time with the School Board.”
The Board of Directors will now seek a candidate to fill the vacant position until its December 2017 expiration date. A candidate will be interviewed, selected, and sworn-in after the August 16 School Board Work Session. Interested candidates may visit www.northallegheny.org for more information.
North Allegheny Hires New Director of Human ResourcesPosted by NASD on 6/28/2017
On Wednesday, June 28, 2017, the North Allegheny School District Board of School Directors voted to approve Ms. Mary Hawley to the position of Director of Human Resources. The effective date of this appointment is August 7, 2017.
Ms. Hawley is currently serving as the Vice President of Workforce Services for Westminster Canterbury Richmond in Richmond, Virginia. Throughout the past decade, Ms. Hawley has led and directed all aspects of Human Resources for over 700 employees, including recruitment and retention programs, compensation, benefits, employee relations, policy and procedure development, workers’ compensation, unemployment, and related risk management. In addition to her duties as Vice President, she holds the position of Division Executive for the award-winning Licensed Child Development Center at Westminster Canterbury. Ms. Hawley also serves as a liaison to the Board of Trustees and the Organization and Compensation Committee, member of the Health Services Committee, participant at the Finance and Property Committee, and member of the Strategic Planning Committee.
Prior to moving to Virginia, Ms. Hawley held Human Resources Management positions with the City of Flagstaff, Arizona and Grand Prairie Services in Tinley Park, Illinois. She also possesses experience in collective bargaining negotiations, benefit renewals, and labor management.
Ms. Hawley has been a member of the Society for Human Resource Management since 1999. She recently received her certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SHRM-SCP), an exam that yields an average pass rate of 57% among candidates.
North Allegheny School Board Adopts 2017-2018 BudgetPosted by NASD on 6/28/2017
At the June 28, 2017 North Allegheny School Board Regular Meeting, members approved a 2017-2018 final budget that calls for $157.5 million in total expenditures. The millage rate will remain constant for the 2017-2018 school year at 18.0011 mills.
The North Allegheny School District is committed to developing a strategic budget which balances the needs of students and taxpayers. “Each year, our goal in developing the budget is to identify opportunities for additional revenues and minimize expenditures in a way that does not diminish the world-class education and experiences that we provide our students,” shared Dr. Robert Scherrer, Superintendent of North Allegheny School District.
“We are pleased to present a balanced budget that does not raise taxes,” reflected Dr. Scherrer. The District has only raised taxes once in the past five years.
Similar to many Pennsylvania school districts, North Allegheny has worked diligently to accommodate financial mandates in its yearly budget. Increased required payments into the Pennsylvania School Employee Retirement System (PSERS) will cost the district an additional $2.7 million in the new school year, a 13% increase.
“The economic challenges we face in K-12 education, exacerbated by the rising costs of PSERS, make balancing a budget much more difficult. We are fortunate that there is continued residential and commercial growth within our borders,” added Dr. Scherrer.
North Allegheny Senior Among Top 20 Chemistry Students in United StatesPosted by NASD on 6/1/2017
Gunasheil Mandava, a North Allegheny Senior High School student, has been recognized as one of the top 20 high school chemistry students in the United States as determined by the results of the National Chemistry Olympiad Exam.
Gunasheil is the only student from Pennsylvania who has been honored with this distinction, and will compete for one of four spots on the team representing the United States at the 49th International Chemistry Olympiad in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand, from July 6-15.
Sponsored by the American Chemical Society, the U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad is a multi-tiered competition designed to stimulate and promote achievement in high school chemistry.
In March, more than 16,000 students from around the country participated in the Local Chemistry Olympiad Exams, the first step in the U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad. Based on performance at the local level, 1,000 students were invited to participate in the National Chemistry Olympiad Exams, a three-part, five-hour exam administered in April.
The students who placed in the top 20 on the National Chemistry Olympiad Exam have been invited to the Chemistry Olympiad Study Camp at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, from June 6-21. During the camp, students will receive intensive coaching in all branches of chemistry from three mentors and faculty of the U.S. Air Force Academy Department of Chemistry. They will undergo rigorous college-level training through a series of lectures, problem-solving exercises, lab work, and testing. At the conclusion of the camp, the top four students will be named members of the U.S. International Chemistry Olympiad Team.
North Allegheny Senior Named U.S. Presidential ScholarPosted by NASD on 5/11/2017
North Allegheny Senior High School student Julie Chen has been named a 2017 United States Presidential Scholar by the U.S. Department of Education. She is one of just 161 American high school seniors selected for this prestigious honor.
The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects honored scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals.
Of the 3.5 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 5,100 candidates qualified for the 2017 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT and ACT exams, and through nominations made by Chief State School Officers, other partner recognition organizations or the National YoungArts Foundation’s nationwide YoungArts™ competition.
The 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholars are comprised of one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and from U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large, 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, and 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in Career and Technical Education. These individuals will be honored for their accomplishments in Washington, D.C., from June 18-20.
Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored more than 7,000 of the nation’s top-performing students with the prestigious award given to honorees during the annual ceremony in D.C. The program was expanded in 1979 to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, literary and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.
Since 1983, each U.S. Presidential Scholar has been offered the opportunity to name his or her most influential teacher. Each distinguished teacher is honored with a personal letter from the Secretary of Education. Julie chose to recognize Mr. David Morris, an AP English Language and Composition teacher at NA Senior High School.