Fall Newsletter 2014-2015

 

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Fall Newsletter 2014-2015

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Forest Hills Ranger Review Vol. XXXV No 1 Fall 2014-2015 Forest Hills School District Celebrates the Groundbreaking for the New Junior-Senior High School Each and every year at this time, since the fall of 2011, my first year as superintendent of the Forest Hills School District, I send a special message to our community and staff. I utilize the fall newsletter as a vehicle to express my sincere appreciation and thanks to everyone in the district who has been instrumental in making my previous years as a superintendent a rewarding and positive experience. In addition, I take this opportunity to wish community members a hope that the 2014-2015 school year brings everyone a wealth of joy and prosperity. This year is an extra special year for me. In my 33 years in this profession, as an educator, I have never been so excited or overwhelmed. You see the day has finally arrived! On September 24, 2014 over nineteen hundred community members, school district staff, school board members, students, legislators and various dignitaries participated in a momentous event – an event that may occur every 20 or 30 years in the school district. Yes, the day had come! After years of planning, evaluating and scrutinizing every aspect associated with this endeavor it all came to fruition. The marching band played as members of the chorus led the audience in the singing of the National Anthem and the District’s alma mater. It was official! What began as the vision of a few had now become a reality. The groundbreaking ceremony for the new Forest Hills Junior Senior High School had arrived. For me this adventure began on May 21, 2008. That’s the first day that I was summoned to report to the district office as a high school principal to sit down with seven other individuals and discuss the possibility of constructing the middle school-high school complex. Yes, that’s how it started out, the building was called the middle school-high school and now has transformed into a Junior-Senior High School. Over six years ago this idea to create a building to meet the secondary needs of this district was initiated by Mr. Don Bailey, the former superintendent, and Mr. Ray Danel, former assistant superintendent. Wednesday, September 24, 2014

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Groundbreaking for the New Junior-Senior High School (continued) Actually, that day, a group of administrators sat in the board room and came up with a plan. In May 2008, the Forest Hill School District embarked on an adventurous initiative. Within a month of the meeting, a local architectural firm began the initial phases of a feasibility study to address the possibility of consolidating the existing middle school and high school. This initiative considered a number of existing factors such as the District’s declining student enrollment, replacement of antiquated infrastructure in the two buildings, consolidation of existing facilities, and construction of a multi-functional building to address the educational needs of our students. In the early summer of 2011, Mr. Bailey retired and I was fortunate enough to be selected by the Board of Directors to take over the leadership role in completing this initiative. The first order of business was to conclude an extensive two and a half year feasibility study by L. Robert Kimball. On October 11, 2011, the final feasibility presentation was presented by L. Robert Kimball. Every aspect of the educational process including transportation, curriculum, financing, and extracurricular activities were discussed. At the conclusion of the feasibility meeting, the board unanimously decided to proceed with this initiative. The next phase of construction project was a selection of an architect, which would guide us through the Plancon process and design a new building to house students in grades 7-12. The goal of this project was to create a comprehensive educational system on one campus located in Sidman. After a two-month extensive search, the board selected Eckles Architectural Firm to develop a plan and design this facility. The plan included a complex that would serve as a home for the performing arts and as a venue for all athletic teams and sporting events. Various community meetings will be scheduled in the facility as well as providing public access to the first floor library and cafeteria. Individuals and organizations will be able to use a unique Large Group Instruction (LGI) area that was designed to be flexible to accommodate the needs of both meetings and activities. The new gymnasium facility, located adjacent and connected to the existing field house, creates a comprehensive athletic complex. The gym will function as a physical education classroom, as a performance venue, and as a community resource. The gym consists of one large 1,100 seat competition gym and if financially feasible, a smaller 220 seat auxiliary gym. The second and third floors, which will serve as the heart of the building, will contain the majority of the academic classrooms, the junior high school classrooms (grades 7, 8 & 9) are organized in one wing and the senior high school classrooms (grades 10, 11 & 12) are in the other wing. The language arts and social studies departments are housed on the second floor and math is on the third. The science department, which is shared by the both the junior and senior high school students, is located on the third floor in the center section between the two wings. The center section of the second floor houses general classrooms for both groups and a satellite administrative office. So on the crisp September 24, 2014 fall afternoon, after I had successfully filled sixteen three-ring binders full of notes and documentation, after listening to some skeptics and pessimists saying this would never happen, after overcoming numerous obstacles and pitfalls along the way, the day had come! The Forest Hills School District, no, the Forest Hills community, began the actual physical construction of a new stateof-the-art educational facility that will house grades 7-12. This building will serve the educational needs of generations of children to come and also function as the epicenter of this great community. No one man, no single group of individuals, no specific organization can take credit for this achievement. Every student, every staff member, every individual in G. H. Miller Stadium was there to share in the moment. It is our time, it will be our school! What began as the vision of a few, will now, with the help of many, become a reality for this community. It was with great pleasure that I asked individuals to step forward and grab a shovel. The day had arrived for us to transform this dream and vision into a reality. Together with the symbolic turning of a shovel of dirt, the Forest Hills community officially began the final phases of this construction initiative. Sincerely, “To Edwin Bowser Superintendent of Schools accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” - Anatole France 2

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Distinguished Alumni Recognized The Forest Hills Alumni Association is proud to announce the 2014 Class of Distinguished Alumni. They are: Cynthia Danel: Forest Hills Class of 1967; Dr. Thomas Jenkins: Forest Hills Class of 1969; Catherine Peters Arnold: Forest Hills Class of 1983. These remarkable individuals were honored during a “Weekend of Recognition” on October 24 and 25, 2014. The honorees addressed the high school students and staff, on Friday, October 24, 2014, and were recognized at the Forest Hills vs. Richland football game. Plaques were presented at a banquet held on Saturday, October 25, 2014. The individuals chosen for this award have made significant contributions to mankind in the areas of business, law, and education. They are ordinary people who have accomplished extraordinary things in their careers. Attorney Cynthia Danel is a graduate of the 1967 first class of Forest Hills. She received a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts Degree in Speech Communication from Penn State University. She received her Juris Doctor degree from Duquesne University School of Law. She is licensed to practice law in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Cynthia currently is a partner with Edgar Snyder and Associates and is one of four major shareholders. She was the first lawyer hired by Edgar Snyder in 1983. Over the last 30 years, Edgar Snyder and Associates has grown from two lawyers to over 140 employees and five locations. The firm currently employs 29 lawyers. Attorney Danel has an AV® Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the highest possible rating based on legal ability and general ethical standards. She made the list of Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, an honor awarded to the top five percent of state-wide lawyers from 2005-2014. Attorney Danel has also been honored on the Super Lawyers list of Top 50 Women Attorneys in Pennsylvania from 2008-2014. In addition, she was included on the list of Top 100 attorneys in Pennsylvania for 2011-2014, and one of the Top 50 Attorneys in Pittsburgh from 2009-2014. Attorney Danel was named Best Lawyers’ 2012 Pittsburgh Lawyer of the Year for Personal Injury Litigation. She was also named a Penn State Alumni Fellow in 2009. Attorney Danel is highly respected in the legal community and has been interviewed by the media on a variety of topics related to injury law on PLNC. She is a frequent lecturer on numerous topics including changes in the law on automobile insurance, demonstrative evidence, and uninsured motorist coverage issues. She has traveled to local high schools to speak on the topics of driving danger and injury prevention. Attorney Danel also participates in the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Counsel, and the Penn State University Career Counseling Panel. She has also served as a judge participant in the Allegheny County High School Moot Court competition, and is a former chairperson of the High School Essay Contest run by the Western Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association. Attorney Danel has handled thousands of cases over the years and still treats the problems of her clients as her own. She is respected as a skillful trial lawyer and a strong advocate for her clients. She holds the highest ratings from national peer review organizations and even higher ratings from her clients. Cynthia Danel is married to Carl Frankovitch and lives in Weirton, WV. Cynthia has three step-children: Marden Munoz in Miami, Nick Frankovitch in Weirton, and Allyn Kennedy in Santa Fe, NM, and four grandchildren. Dr. Thomas Jenkins is a 1969 graduate of Forest Hills and played trumpet in the Forest Hills High School marching and jazz bands. He graduated from Penn State University in 1973 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Animal Science, and received his Masters of Science Degree from Penn State in Nutrition in 1975. He received his PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from Cornell University in 1979. Dr. Jenkins served as a postdoctoral research associate and as an assistant professor, Ohio State/Agricultural Technology Institute from 1979-1986. He served as an assistant professor at Clemson University from 1986 to 1991, and as an associate professor at Clemson from 1991 to 1994. He served as a professor at Clemson from 1994 to 2012. He is currently a retired, professor emeritus at Clemson University. 3

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Distinguished Alumni to be Recognized (continued) Dr. Jenkins is arguably the preeminent agricultural scientist currently working in the area of lipid metabolism of ruminants. His research is recognized nationally and internationally for its seminal contributions to our understanding of lipid metabolism, especially in dairy cattle. He has published six book chapters, 103 referred scientific reports, and 123 abstracts presented at National and International scientific meetings. One of the most telling testaments of the relevance of Dr. Jenkins’ research is the fact that he is continuously in demand to troubleshoot and advise farmers and their nutrition consultants. He has a unique ability to integrate complex aspects of his research and explain the general area of ruminant lipid digestion and metabolism to a broad audience. During the course of his career, he has given over 120 invited presentations in eight countries on four continents. At the same time he is highly regarded by Clemson undergraduates and graduate students for his courses in Principles of Animal Nutrition, Ruminant Nutrition, and Animal Bioenergetics. Dr. Jenkins has received several career awards for his creative teaching and research including the Clemson University Board of Trustees Award for Faculty Excellence, American Feed Industry Award, the Penn State University 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award and most recently being named a “Fellow” by the American Dairy Science Association. Dr. Jenkins currently resides in Central, South Carolina with his wife Elaine (Hufford) Jenkins, who is also a 1969 graduate of Forest Hills High School. They have two children, a daughter Carrie attending medical school at American University in St. Martin, and a son Ryan who is assistant editor for McMillian Publishing in Manhattan, NY. Catherine Peters Arnold is a 1983 graduate of Forest Hills High School. Catherine earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing in 1987 from the University of Pittsburgh. She then received her Master of Health Administration and a Master of Business Administration Degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1990. She began her professional career as a registered nurse in the Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Shadyside Hospital from 1985-1990. She also served as an intern in the Office of Strategic Planning at Johns Hopkins System in Baltimore, MD. After graduate school, Catherine joined Ernst & Young as a Senior Management Consultant in the firm’s health care practice serving hospital and biopharmaceutical clients. In a similar capacity she then joined the Health Care Management Consulting Practice of Booz Allen Hamilton, performing strategic and marketing assignments for senior level executives of global biopharmaceuticals from 1991-1995. In 1995, she joined Roche Pharmaceuticals in NJ and while there ran the Company’s U.S. Business Development Department, evaluating mergers & acquisitions opportunities and commercial partnerships, with deal valuations often over a billion dollars. In 1999 Catherine embarked on her Wall Street career, working for Sanford C. Bernstein in New York City as a Senior Analyst making investment recommendations on European Pharmaceutical stocks. In 2004, Catherine joined Credit Suisse as a Managing Director advising investors on U.S. Pharmaceutical Companies and overseeing the global equity research effort for pharmaceutical companies. Catherine became a global investor when she joined the prestigious Wellington Management Company in Boston, MA, one of the most successful and admired institutional money managers in the world, as a Portfolio Manager and Analyst with specialization in the biopharma stock universe. Catherine recommends global pharmaceutical equity investments for the firm’s many portfolios, including the Vanguard Health fund. Wellington’s current health care investments approximate $100 billion, or 20% of the firm’s total equity assets. She became Associate Partner, only 10 months after joining the firm and in her first year received the firm’s prestigious Wolf Award, symbolizing her contribution and passion for communicating investment ideas. While Catherine has projected significant energy into her career, she has been blessed and motivated by her five children, including two teenage sons and triplet daughters, age 4. She currently lives in Weston, a suburb of Boston with her husband and five children. 4

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Title I Parent Compact The Forest Hills School District’s Strategic Plan establishes the mission of the Forest Hills School District regarding its educational program, which is for all children, including Title I eligible children. The Forest Hills School District Title I Program, however, has as its primary mission, the improvement of educational opportunities for Title I eligible children in order that these students are “equally likely” to achieve advanced skills, including those established by Pennsylvania’s content and performance standards in reading, language arts and mathematics. It is within this framework that Title I students will be provided with a highly supportive and congruent learning environment specifically designed to provide appropriate developmental and/or intervention activities to enhance their capacity to learn. Teachers are committed to sharing this responsibility with you and your child by performing the following practices: Teacher’s Pledge: I will Build a relationship with the families in my class Keep families informed of their children’s progress and needs in each subject Help students get the help they need as soon as it is needed Send home learning materials in math and reading Explain my approach to teaching, expectations, and grading to students and their families Continue professional development so that we can reach the students we work with Communicate to students and or parents to help them understand assignments and their goals Parents must also share the responsibility of providing children with appropriate learning experiences. The African proverb that states, “It takes a village to raise a child,” indicates that education is the responsibility of all of us. Parents and teachers must work together as partners to provide children with a supportive learning environment. Consequently, as a parent, we ask that you share this responsibility by committing yourself to the following practices: Parent’s Pledge: I will Monitor my child’s progress and let the teacher know right away if I notice any problems Use reading and math materials the school sends home each week to help my child Read to my child 20 minutes a day and keep a list of new words Limit TV to one hour a day and talk to my child about our favorite program Help my child see how to use reading and math to pursue interests and goals Students must also take responsibility for their own learning. We ask students to commit themselves to the following practices: Student’s Pledge: I will Ask for help from my teacher and family if I am having trouble doing my work Read on my own and with my family every day Work on my math and reading skills at home, using the materials my teacher sends home Write down assignments, do my homework every day, and turn it in when it’s due Communication is the essence of a good relationship. The Forest Hills School District’s Title I Program has always and is continuing to commit itself to improving the communication between home and school. Implementation of the “PARENT PARTICIPATION PLAN,” as adopted by the Board of School Directors in conjunction with this compact, is a major step in the communication linkage. The Title I Newsletter, which we will continue to publish twice a year, is yet another forum for the sharing of ideas and practices, which helps keep the lines of communication open. 5

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Student Health Exams, Privacy, and Surveys mation for marketing, sales, or other distribution purposes. The Forest Hills School District will directly notify parents and eligible students of these policies at least annually at the start of each school year and after any substantive changes. The school district will also directly notify parents and eligible students at least annually at the start of each school year of the Consent before students are required to submit to a specific or approximate dates of the following activisurvey that concerns one or more of the following proties and provide an opportunity to opt a student out of tected areas (i.e., “protected information survey”) if participating in: the survey is funded in whole or in part by a program of the U.S. Department of Education (USDoE)...  Collection, disclosure, or use of personal infor1. Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or mation for marketing, sales, or other distribution. student’s parents;  Administration of any protected information sur2. Mental or psychological problems of the student vey not funded in whole or in part by the USDoE. or student’s family;  Any non-emergency, invasive physical exam or 3. Sex behavior or attitudes; screening described above. 4. Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demean- Parents and/or eligible students who believe their ing behavior; rights have been violated may file a complaint with 5. Critical appraisals of others with whom respond- the: Family Policy Compliance Office ents have close family relationships; U.S. Department of Education 6. Legally recognized privileged relationships, such 400 Maryland Avenue, SW as with lawyers, doctors, or ministers; Washington, DC 20202-4605 7. Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or student’s parents; 8. Income, other than as required by law to determine program eligibility. Parental Concern/Complaints Receive notice and an opportunity to opt a student out of... 1. Any other protected information survey, regardless of funding; 2. Any non-emergency, invasive physical exam or screening as a required condition of attendance, administered by the school or its agent, and not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of a student, except for hearing, vision, or scoliosis screenings, or any physical exam or screening permitted or required under state law; and 3. Activities involving collection, disclosure, or use of personal information obtained from students for marketing or to sell or otherwise distribute the information to others. Inspect, upon request and before administration and use... 1. Protected information surveys of students; 2. Instruments used to collect personal information from students for any of the above marketing, sales, or other distribution purposes; and 3. Instructional material used as part of the educational curriculum. The Forest Hills School District will develop and adopt policies, in consultation with parents, regarding these rights, as well as arrangements to protect student privacy in the administration of protected surveys and the collection, disclosure, or use of personal infor6 The Forest Hills School District is dedicated to meeting the educational needs of our students and is constantly working to ensure that your child receives the best possible education. To ensure that the educational needs of students are being met, a strong educational program and communication between school and home must be maintained for every student. In the event that a concern or complaint arises, parents/guardians should follow the chain of command listed below to have the concern/ complaint addressed: Step 1: Meet with the teacher. If the concern/ complaint is not resolved; Step 2: Meet with the principal/assistant principal. If the concern/complaint is not resolved: Step 3: Meet with the director of education. If the concern/complaint is not resolved: Step 4: Meet with the superintendent. If the concern/complaint is not resolved the parent/ guardian may then choose to address the Board of School Directors regarding the concern/ complaint. The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) affords parents and students who are 18 years old or emancipated minors (i.e., “eligible students”) certain rights regarding our conduct of surveys, collection, and use of information for marketing purposes, and certain physical exams. These include the right to:

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ESEA Title I Parent Participation Plan It is the goal of the Forest Hills School District’s Title I program to develop partnerships with the home. Parents and teachers working as partners increase student achievement and promote positive attitudes about school. It is the intent of the following plan to encourage and promote just such a relationship. In accordance with the U.S. Education Department’s regulations for ESEA Title I and the District’s Title I Parent Involvement Policy (#918), the following guidelines concerning “Consultation with Parents and Teachers” shall be effective: 1. Each child’s parents shall be notified in a timely manner that their child has been selected to participate in the Title I program and why the child has been selected. 2. Conferences, including telephone conferences, shall be established between individual parents and teachers. Parents shall also be invited to attend, at the Forest Hills School District’s Title I program expense, state and regional conferences designed to increase their knowledge regarding relevant Title I issues. 3. Timely information shall be provided concerning the Title I program, including program plans and evaluation through a minimum of at least one annual meeting. Additional meetings, as needed, may be requested by parents. 4. Parents’ suggestions shall be solicited regarding the planning, development and operation of the Title I program. 5. Consultation shall be conducted with parents about cooperation in achieving the program’s objectives. 6. An annual evaluation shall be conducted to determine the effectiveness of the Parent Participation Plan. Home Language Survey Cover Letter The Civil Rights Law of 1964, Title VI requires that school districts/charter schools identify Limited English Proficient (LEP) students. Pennsylvania has selected to use the Home Language Survey for identification of students who are English language learners. The Forest Hills School District has the responsibility under federal law to serve students who are limited English proficient and need English instructional services. Given this responsibility, the school district has the right to ask for the information it needs to identify English Language Learners (ELLs). As part of the responsibility to locate and identify ELLs, the District may conduct screenings or ask for related information about students who are already enrolled in the District, as well as from students who enroll in the District in the future. The Home Language Survey is used to determine if your child’s primary language is a language other than English. If your child’s primary language is other than English, the District will provide an instructional program appropriate to your child’s developmental and instructional level. If the answer to any of the questions on the Home Language Survey is “yes,” your child will be given an initial assessment to determine if an ESL program is appropriate. ESL is a basic curricular area, and would take the place of your child’s regular English class if the initial assessment revealed that such a program was needed. If this is the case, an in-depth assessment will be administered to your child, and the results would be used to plan a suitable program of instruction. The Forest Hills School District will monitor your child’s academic and social progress throughout his/her participation in the ESL program. Even after your child exits from the ESL program, he/she will be monitored for at least one academic year to ensure his/her continued academic success. Notice of Homeless Education Programs Each year, more than 800,000 school-age children in the United States experience homelessness. The federal McKinney-Vento Act includes a provision to make sure that homelessness does not cause these children to be left behind in school. Homeless children should have access to the education and other services that they need to meet the same challenging state academic achievement standards to which all students are held. The Forest Hills School District is required to provide activities for, and services to, homeless children, including preschool-age homeless children and youths, enabling them to enroll in, attend, and succeed in school or preschool programs. The law requires all school districts to inform parents or guardians of their rights under this federal act. Specifically, it states that, pending resolution of a dispute about school placement, a school district must immediately enroll a homeless student in the student’s school of origin or other school selected on the basis of the child’s best interest and provide a written explanation of the rights of appeal to the parent or guardian of the student. 7

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Notice to Parent of Unsafe School Choice The federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (Section 9532) requires that all children who attend a persistently dangerous school or become the victim of a violent criminal offense while at school have the opportunity to transfer to another school building within the district (including a public charter school), that is not a persistently dangerous school. According to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a “violent criminal offense” includes the following offenses set forth in Title 18 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes: kidnapping; robbery; aggravated assault (upon the student); rape; involuntary deviate sexual intercourse; sexual assault; aggravated indecent assault; indecent assault; or attempt to commit homicide, murder, or voluntary manslaughter. A “victim” is defined by the state of PA as the student against whom a violent criminal offense has been perpetrated. Under these standards, a “persistently dangerous school” means any public school that meets the following criteria in the most recent school year and in one additional year of the two years prior to the most recent school year: (1) for a school whose enrollment is 250 or less, at least 5 dangerous incidents; (2) for a school whose enrollment is 251 to 1000, a number of dangerous incidents that represents at least 2% of the school’s enrollment; and (3) for a school whose enrollment is over 1000, 20 or more dangerous incidents. All school districts that have a school building designated as persistently dangerous under these standards must submit a corrective action plan to the PA Department of Education, and they will provide assistance to those districts and monitor their progress in implementing the corrective action plans. The PA Department of Education will reassess each school building’s designation as “persistently dangerous” at the end of the school year during which the corrective action plan is completed. In Pennsylvania, if your child has been a victim of a vioYou Can Help Your Child Succeed in lent crime while in or on school grounds of the public eleSchool mentary or secondary school he or she attends, he or she must be offered the opportunity to transfer to a safe One way to help your child in school is to conpublic school building within the district, including a pub- stantly monitor their attendance and academic lic charter school. In order for a student victim to be enti- performance. Parents who communicate regtled to a transfer, the violent criminal offense first must ularly with teachers and administrators, and be reported to law enforcement authorities by the stuparents who also consistently monitor their dent, the student’s parent or guardian, or school offichild’s assignments and grades, provide their cials. children with the necessary support to inWithin ten (10) calendar days of receiving notice of the crease academic achievement. violent criminal offense, the school district will notify the The Forest Hills School District encourages all student victim that he or she has the right to transfer to a parents/guardians to access the PowerSchool safe public elementary or secondary school within the Parent Access Program. This access is being district, including a public charter school. The notificaprovided to you as another form of communition and offer to transfer shall state that no student is cation with teachers and administrators, but required to transfer to another school, but has the option more importantly, it is to help you in monitoring to do so. and supporting your child in their academic The student victim or his/her parent or guardian must endeavors. If you have internet access at apply to the district to transfer within 30 calendar days home or at work, you can view the information after the incident is reported to school authorities. Upon on your child at any time. receipt of an application to transfer, the school district It’s easy to access your child’s record. Conwill transfer the student as soon as possible, but in no tact Director of Education Mrs. Vanessa Sral more than ten (10) calendar days after receiving the apand request your parent username and passplication. word for the PowerSchool Parent Access. Go When considering a student’s request to transfer to another school, the school district will take into account to the Forest Hills School District website at http://www.fhrangers.org. Click on the Forest the particular needs of the student and the parent. To Hills PowerSchool Parent Access link on the the extent possible, the school district will allow the stubottom right side of the homepage. Type in dent to transfer to a school building that is making adeyour username and password and your child’s quate yearly progress, and one that is not identified as attendance record, current grades, and lunch being in school improvement, corrective action, or rebalance record can be viewed at your convenstructuring. ience. A charter school only has to accept a student who meets its admission criteria if space is available. If there is not another safe school within the school district to which students may transfer, the school district is encouraged, but not required, to establish an agreement with a neighboring school district to accept the transfer of students. If you have any questions regarding student transfer from a persistently dangerous school or because your child has been the victim of a violent crime, please contact Mrs. Vanessa Sral at (814) 487-7613. 8

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Parent’s Right to Request Teacher Qualifications and Notice of HQT Teacher and Paraprofessional Status As the parent of a student in the Forest Hills School District, you have the right to know the professional qualifications of the classroom teachers who instruct your child. Federal law allows you to ask for certain information about your child’s classroom teachers, and requires the District to give you the information in a timely manner if you ask for it. Specifically, you have the right to ask for the following information about each of your child’s classroom teachers:     Whether the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has licensed or qualified the teacher for the grade and subjects he or she teaches. Whether the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has decided that the teacher can teach in a classroom without being licensed or qualified under state regulations because of special circumstances. The teacher’s college major, whether the teacher has any advanced degrees, and if so, the subject of the degrees. Whether any instructional aides or similar paraprofessionals provide services to your child and, if they do, their qualifications. Federal law, specifically the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, requires the Forest Hills school District to let you know when a teacher or paraprofessional does not have a certain set of credentials, teaches or works with your child for four consecutive weeks. All teachers and paraprofessionals in the elementary school, middle school, and high school have met the highly qualified requirements for the 2014-2015 school year. The Forest Hills School District is dedicated to meeting the educational needs of our students and is working to ensure that your child receives the best possible education. The district is fully committed to the success of your child. We appreciate your partnership in our efforts. Parental Involvement Meeting Notification Title I – Part A – Migrant Education – ESL The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 requires the Forest Hills School District to develop and distribute to parents a written parent involvement policy that establishes the District’s expectations for parent involvement for Title I – Part A, Migrant Education, and English as a Second Language (ESL). Specifically, schools must hold a yearly meeting, at a convenient time, to which all parents of participating children must be invited and encouraged to attend. At this meeting, the District will provide you with information about the school district’s programs, a description and explanation of the curriculum in use at the school, the kinds of tests the school district uses to measure student learning, and the proficiency levels students are expected to meet. Administrators will also review the District’s parental concern/ complaint procedure at this meeting. This year’s meeting will be held on Thursday, November 13, 2014 at 9:30 AM at Forest Hills Elementary School. Please complete the information at the bottom of this page and return it to Elementary School Principal, Mr. Lucas Jacobs. We look forward to seeing you at this meeting. Parental Involvement Meeting Response Form Please check here: _____ Yes, I will attend the Parental Involvement meeting on November 13 th. _____ No, I do not plan to attend the Parental Involvement meeting on November 13 th. ____________________________________ Printed name of Parent/Guardian ____________________________________ Signature of Parent/Guardian ___________________________________ Printed Name(s) of Child(ren) ____________________________________ Date 9

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~ HIGH SCHOOL ~ Principal’s Corner ~ Mr. Curt Vasas Hello! Another school year is in full swing here at Forest Hills High School. As we embark on the much anticipated building project on the Sidman campus, changes outside of the high school are becoming very apparent. Blacktop and cement has been removed, ground has been relocated, and the construction fence is in place. Everyone’s patience and cooperation is asked for and appreciated as we move through the next phase of construction and education within our school and district. supplemental instruction in preparation of students taking the Biology and Algebra I Keystone exams. Our language arts department continues to refine our 10th grade curriculum to meet the requirements of the Literature Keystone exams. All the while, we continue to have a focus on a strong elective education both here and at the Career and Technology Center. As always, we encourage you to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. Please also visit our website for valuable information including the link for the “High School Years” newsletter under the Administration link within the Our School tab of the High School homepage. We continue to strive Change is occurring within the high school as well. to provide a quality education so our students deWith state graduation requirements now impacting velop into life-long learners and understand their our current sophomore class, curriculum changes importance in a democratic society. Thank you for have been instituted in math, science, and lancontinued support and assistance towards this guage arts. Additional time has been set aside for end. 2014 Distinguished Young Women On June 7, 2014 eighteen juniors from Cambria and Somerset counties competed in the Distinguished Young Women (DYW) Scholarship Program at Johnstown High School. Teresa Yuhas represented Forest Hills School District at the local program where she placed third runner up. Teresa received scholarship money to be used at the university she attends upon graduation from Forest Hills High School. The mission of the DYW Scholarship Program is to empower young women by providing scholarship opportunities, developing life skills, and encouraging positive values. DYW is a scholarship awards program open to students in their junior year of high school. 20% of the program is based on the contestant’s academic records, 25% on an interview, 25% on a 90 second talent presentation, 15% on a choreographed fitness routine and 15% on selfexpression. Contestants also volunteered their time at the Children’s Reading Festival held at the Ethnic Bottle Works in April, 2014. For Teresa’s talent portion of the competition she played Solo 4 by Ralph Martino on her clarinet. Teresa has been playing the clarinet since she was in the fifth grade. She plays for the high school concert band and competed in County, District and Regional Band during her junior year. Teresa is also a member of the area Civic Band and Community Band. Teresa hopes that her final year at Forest Hills High School brings as much success as her junior year did and encourages females from the junior class to consider participation in DYW. 10

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The 5th Quarter The home varsity football games have expanded to the 5th Quarter. The 5th Quarter, hosted by the High School Spirit Club, is an after-game party for all students in grades 9-12. Beginning immediately after the football game, students are invited to the aftergame party, which is located in the high school cafeteria. The 5th Quarter consists of music, dancing, and food. The menu changes each 5 th Quarter; although it mainly consists of nachos and cheese, walking tacos, pizza, and buffalo chicken dip. The attendance at the after-game parties has been outstanding—and growing. Approximately 150 students attended the most recent 5th Quarter. The varsity football boosters graciously contributed start-up funds for the 5th Quarter. In addition to the after-game celebrations, the High School Spirit Club members have been busy cultivating a positive school environment. Students have been making signs and decorating for all the sporting and academic activities in the school. In addition, the members of the Spirit Club have been forming a noticeable student section for sporting events in support of their RANGERS’ teams. The Spirit Club hopes to expand the 5th Quarter concept throughout the winter and spring sporting seasons as well. The Marching Rangers Every year, as the summer sun shines down and the temperature soars, you will find the Marching Rangers practicing their halftime performance. This year was no exception. However, Mother Nature took pity on our group and spared us the high heat and humidity. Maybe it was climate change, maybe it was because we are playing music by the band “Earth, Wind, and Fire.” Who knows? What we do know is that our 70 member group has been working hard to perform this year’s halftime show featuring “In the Stone,” “Let’s Groove,” “Got to Get You Into My Life,” and “September.” The Marching Rangers are also proud to debut the new Fight Song, written by Mr. Parlock and the 2014 Music Theory class, and arranged by Mr. Kearney. We encourage you to cheer along with the band, majorettes, and colorguard, every time the football team scores during a game with ‘R-A-N-G-E-R-S’. As well as performing at all the football games, you may have seen the Marching Rangers at the Richland Days Parade or the UPJ Homecoming Parade. You could also see us perform at the South Fork and Johnstown Halloween Parades, as well as the Johnstown Veteran’s Day, and Christmas Parades. We wrap up our season the first week of December at the Ebensburg Christmas Parade. Concert Band and Chorus are excited to perform two different concerts this fall and winter. Our Annual Fall Concert featuring students in grades 7—12 was held October 13. Our middle school Christmas concert is December 9th and our high school Christmas concert is December 20th. This is also a CD recording year. We plan to release a professionally recorded Christmas album of the High School Concert Band, Chorus, and Jazz Band sometime in 2015. 11

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~ MIDDLE SCHOOL ~ Principal’s Corner ~ Mr. Ed Alexander Welcome back! The 2014-2015 school year is well under way. We are excited and prepared for another successful school year at FHMS. There are a few changes this year that will hopefully impact our students in very positive ways. We have instituted an academic activity period during the Friday activity period time slot, peer tutoring for math during Wednesday and Friday activity periods, and physical education is year-long for all students this year. The Botvin Life Skills Training curriculum is now instilled in grades 7 and 8, which will impact a greater number of our students. This curriculum focuses on decision-making, peer interactions, bullying, cyber safety, self-image, communication skills, conflict resolution, and overall emotional well-being. The FHMS AIMS (Academic Intervention Model of Support) program has been utilized from day one to provide early academic interventions for any student struggling. AIMS is comprised of a teacher committee which provides support and coordination of student needs with parental involvement. A strong home-school connection is crucial to student success. We at FHMS encourage you to visit us! Have a great year! Middle School Student Teacher – Mr. Schmidt Mr. Mark Schmidt is currently teaching Social Studies in Mr. Casey Long’s classes. He is in his final year at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. He is a graduate of Central Cambria High School and lives in Jackson Township. Mark is a member of PCSS (Pennsylvania Council for the Social Studies). PCSS promotes quality social studies education from kindergarten to higher learning by advocating the social studies at all levels of education in Pennsylvania. Mr. Schmidt was a boy scout with Troup 204 in Jackson Township. After spending many years with the scouts, attending both summer and winter camps, and doing community projects he feels he came away with many life lessons. Mr. Schmidt has also attained his Eagle Scout Award. Mr. Schmidt enjoys the outdoors, including hunting, fishing and camping. He still takes at least one camping trip, near the end of summer, with many of the friends he made in scouting. He enjoys sharing his knowledge of history with our students. Every Parent Should Know…Digital Dangers On Monday, November 10, 2014, internet safety instructor Megan Augustine will be sharing a wealth of information with the students, faculty, parents and community of the Forest Hills School District. Students will experience a presentation during the school day at both the high school and the middle school with a parent night at the elementary cafeteria at 6:30pm. Ms. Augustine will be discussing the dangers students encounter online using the internet with a focus on social media. Types of social media that will be discussed in this interactive presentation are Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Vine among others. If you feel in the dark when it comes to what your child is doing online, please plan to attend on November 10, 2014. 12

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Peer Tutoring Have you ever wondered why your math problem just won’t work out, but have no one to ask? Or have a question and can’t muster the courage to ask your teacher? Students at Forest Hills Middle School no longer have to worry about situations like that when it comes to studying math, they can ask a peer tutor for help. Peer tutors are now available during activity periods on Wednesday and Friday each week. There have been many studies done about the effects of peer tutoring on learning. Peer tutoring boosts cognitive gains for both the student and the tutor, it gives students immediate feedback, and positively affects a child’s social development. Peer tutors get prepped each Monday on the types of problems they will be seeing that week and then put their skills to work during activity periods. Here is what 9th grade tutor Elizabeth Hazlett says about tutoring, “I love helping people and finding ways to help them succeed.” The following students are peer tutors at the middle school: Sarah Deibert, Elizabeth Hazlett, Brandon Houghton, Alyssa Murphy, Brock Rhodes, Gage Singer, and Kelsy Valko. Caitlin Glass and Brandon Houghton Forest Hills Middle School Teachers Analyze PSSA Testing Data This September, Forest Hills Middle School core and special education teachers received, reviewed, and analyzed last year’s PSSA test scores in reading, language arts, mathematics, and science, as well as PSSA longitudinal data from the past three years in order to track and hopefully improve current middle school students’ testing performance. During data analysis, middle school teachers considered the following questions: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. What trends do you recognize amongst your students? Are the majority of your students test scores growing, regressing, or staying stagnant? Is there a correlation between open ended scores in Reading and Math? Do any of the standards appear to directly or indirectly correlate with each other? Does the level of success with any particular standard appear to correlate with strong or weak points in the curriculum? If so, how can we capitalize on or fix it? Access to PSSA testing data enabled teachers to review last year’s PSSA scores, which were broken down by standards allowing teachers to see how each individual student scored in each PSSA testing category and subcategory. Middle school teachers analyzed this data identifying strengths and weaknesses in their curricula, and determined if their efforts were producing positive testing results. Math teachers, for example, need to change their curriculum content and/or instructional approach if a large portion of students scored poorly on the mathematics standard: Selecting and/or use appropriate statistical methods to ana- lyze. Middle school teachers also considered the weight of each PSSA testing standard. For example, 43% of the sixth grade PSSA Mathematics test was comprised of the numbers and operations standard. Since this was far greater than any other reporting category, math teachers decided that the majority of their time should be spent focusing on incorporating other mathematical processes. Another reason for analyzing Forest Hills Middle School students’ PSSA data from last year is to prepare a plan for individualized instruction in hopes of improving areas of weakness in a student’s core content knowledge. The PSSA individual and longitudinal testing data reports provide students with the opportunity to see the categorical breakdown of their scores. After reviewing their testing data with a teacher, students are given time and access to resources such as Study Island to help them improve on their areas of weakness. The PSSA longitudinal data aids in identifying trends in yearly student performance. If a student scores basic in fifth grade, basic in sixth grade, and proficient in seventh grade, it is important for teachers to know what caused this improved testing performance outcome. If a student scores advanced in fifth grade, advanced in sixth grade, and then basic in seventh grade teachers need to understand what factors led to the declined performance. With the use of PSSA individual and longitudinal testing records, Forest Hills Middle School students and teachers work together to improvement students’ content knowledge and strengthen their testing performance. 13

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~ ELEMENTARY SCHOOL ~ Principal’s Corner ~ Mr. Lucas Jacobs The Forest Hills Elementary School faculty and staff join me in welcoming you to the 2014-2015 school year. We are committed to motivating, challenging, and inspiring your child to become his or her best. As a school, we continue our commitment to excellence and our effort to build traditions and establish programs to prepare our students for the future. As a staff, we firmly believe that every child has the ability to be a successful learner and that a powerful home/school partnership creates the environment that builds success. The Forest Hills Elementary School staff is committed to excellence in education in an environment where all children will maximize their greatest potentials to reach high expectations. We value your children and we value their learning! We invite you to join us in making this a year of growth, learning and success for your child. We need your support and participation. We realize it is a busy and expansive world and your time is at a premium. However, we can’t emphasize enough how important it is for you to “build a bridge” with your child’s school. We want to be partners with you in providing the best educational experience we can for your child. We value and appreciate your input and support. With today’s technology, we are only a telephone call or e-mail away, so please stay connected. As we continue to work together, your child(ren) will receive an outstanding education at Forest Hills Elementary! I look forward to partnering with you to make this an exciting and successful year for our students. I am honored to be your principal at Forest Hills Elementary. Mr. Celmer and I thank you in advance for your support and commitment! Third Grade Patriots Third graders in Mrs. Dupnock’s class used news articles, books, and on-line resources to learn about Patriot Day this September. This information provided an excellent topic for writing practice. Students used what they learned to show the basics of writing an opinion prompt, now a requirement for the new PA Common Core standards. They responded to the prompt “What do you think about having Patriot Day in America?” Students focused on stating a clear personal opinion, including strong evidence, and writing a good conclusion. In their teacher’s opinion, this class did an “All-American” job! First Grade Patriots While September 11th brings strong feelings for many adults, it is a day to celebrate heroes in first grade. Mrs. Miller’s first graders learned the difference between super heroes and real life heroes. The students learned about police officers and fire fighters and how they are heroes to the whole community. The first graders then wrote about the police officers and fire fighters they knew and why they were heroes. After sharing their stories with each other we now have them on display for everyone to enjoy. Essay writers pictured are (front row) Emma Felix, Joshua Weinzierl, Anna Burkey, (back row) Garrett Berkhimer, and Ben Harteis. 14

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Elementary School Welcomes a New Teacher All Aboard The Color Train! Pre-K classes have had a busy first few weeks in their art classes as Mr. Edward Burda and Mrs. Kathleen Krestar led them in the construction of a six car color train. AM and PM students in Mrs. Stiffler’s and Mrs. Hunter’s classes first painted large re-purposed cardboard boxes in the three primary colors and three secondary colors. Cardboard pizza circles, painted black, became train wheels, and pretzel containers were transformed into a smokestack. Various other materials were used to complete the project. The students were enthusiastic as they used the grassy area behind the elementary school as a painting studio. The students also learned sponge printing techniques as they added new colors and designs to the boxes. As the lesson progressed, the students learned the primary and secondary colors using paint brushes and sponges. The students had a train load of fun! Ms. Kelsey Rice is from Stoystown, PA and is a 2008 graduate of North Star High School. She attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania and received her Bachelor of Science Degree in both Elementary and Special Education. Ms. Rice worked in the Conemaugh Valley School District as an elementary and high school learning support teacher prior to being hired as a 1st grade teacher at Forest Hills Elementary School. A Wire Quilt Now Hangs in the Lobby of Forest Hills Elementary School This art installation is the product of much hard (yet fun) work done by the entire 2013-14 fifth grade class. The project is part of an ongoing initiative by the elementary art department to create a work of art by the entire fifth grade class each year, which is installed in the building as a permanent gift to the school from the students. Past installations include a chandelier inspired by glass artist Dale Chihuly, a wood assemblage in the manner of Louise Nevelson, a metal sculpture which hangs in the stair tower that was created under the supervision of local artist Martha Murphy, and a ceramic mosaic located outside, in front of the building. At the end of the 2013-14 school year, each 5th grade student in Mrs. Krestar’s and Mr. Burda’s art classes designed and constructed a 6” x 6” square wire sculpture, utilizing a variety of wires, metal foil, beads and small found objects; one piece of the quilt. They learned to use wire cutting tools and were able to manipulate the materials to create various interesting forms within the original 6” square aluminum frame they were given. As they created the sculpture, they increased their manual and design skills in forming a structurally sound and artistically pleasing form. When the students’ work was completed, the individual squares were connected to form the large installation that hangs permanently in the school lobby. Look up as you enter and you will be amazed at the beauty of this art work. Using the skills they gained during the Wire Quilt project during the last school year, four 6th grade students have completed a small quilt that will be displayed at the IU8 building. Pictured with the art work are: Carlie McGough, Josi Wehner, Madeline Cecere, and Brooke Martinage. 15

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