Winter Newsletter 2014-2015

 

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Winter Newsletter 2014-2015

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Forest Hills Ranger Review Vol. XXXV No 2 Winter 2014-2015 FOREST HILLS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL HONORS LAW ENFORCEMENT APPRECIATION DAY “It is polished and shiny and looks so fine. Once you earn it you have to tow the line. The minute you wear it upon your chest it becomes a symbol that you are the best. It means honesty, integrity, and fairness to all,” said Elementary Principal Lucas Jacobs, as he read the poem “The Badge.” Mr. Jacobs, along with Superintendent Edwin Bowser, school counselor Diane Pcola, school nurse Michele Varner, and Pre-K teacher Jody Summits, created the Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (LEAD) program to honor our local law enforcement officers. The program was held on Friday, January 9, 2015 in the elementary school multi-purpose room. Mr. Bowser and Mr. Jacobs began the program with a few words of gratitude and appreciation for the ongoing work of our local law enforcement officers. Officers from Adams, Croyle, and Summerhill Townships, South Fork Borough, Cambria County Sherriff’s Office, and the Pennsylvania State Police were honored during the program. Senator John Wozniak, Representative Bryan Barbin, District Attorney Kelly Callihan, Cambria County Commissioner Tom Chernisky, and Charlie Vizzini from Representative Frank Burns’ office also attended the program. In addition, two students from grades Pre-K through six participated in the officer presentation. The program included an opportunity for the grade level student representatives to explain why the local officers were important to them. After sharing their appreciation, the students distributed more than 1,000 hand-made thank you cards. After the students distributed their cards and talked to the officers oneon-one, refreshments were served.

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~ SUPERINTENDENT’S MESSAGE ~ Greetings everyone and Happy New Year. Another year has come and gone. Every year at this time, my first order of business is to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt appreciation to the Forest Hills community for their continued support and express my sincere thanks to the students and school board members for making my three and a half years as your superintendent a positive experience. In addition, my wish to all individuals living in our community and surrounding communities is that the 2015 New Year brings an abundance of joy, prosperity and good health. individuals the opportunity to attain new skills and knowledge, gain increasing levels of competence, and grow professionally. Various resources are investigated by the district office to ensure that each in-service day provides our staff the opportunity to grow as an individual. The process may include such programs as orientation and continuing education with the majority of the time focusing on education topics. Experts from the Appalachia Intermediate Unit 08, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, or other individuals possessing knowledge in a particular educational area are secured by the district office to provide training and enhance instructional skills. Infusing technology into all curriculum areas continues to be a focus for the Forest Hills School District. I am excited to announce that the Forest Hills School Teachers and administrators became immersed in District has exceeded the Pennsylvania Department the most up-to-date web applications available during of Education’s expectations. The district's demoa recent in-service program. The teachers became graphic information, statistical data, and student test the students as Mrs. Laura Miller, Middle School Dean results indicate that the School Performance Profile of Students, led the group into the world of Kahoot, for all three schools shows evidence that each buildToday’s Meet, Tagxedo, Aurasma, Remind, Animoto, ing met the standards for Pennsylvania growth and Quizlet, and Touch Cast. These technology tools students accomplished the academic success at all motivate teachers and students alike with their enlevels and in each category. I am proud to say that, gaging formats and ease of use. Many teachers after reviewing the Forest Hills School District’s applied their new knowledge immediately creating school performance profile data, the middle school engaging activities for students in many curricular ranked as one of the top 2 middle schools in Cambria areas. In Language Arts class, Mrs. Melissa Shrift’s County. Not to be outdone, the elementary school’s Grade 8 students used Today’s Meet to enhance their school performance profile score indicates a 10 point debating skills. Mrs. Christine Stiffler launched her improvement over last year’s score. The Forest Hills Pre-K students into the world of Kahoot to improve Elementary School’s 10 point gain was the most their phonics skills. Mr. Gary Miller regularly creates significant improvement of any elementary school in formative assessments with Quizlet to provide a Appalachia Intermediate Unit 08 which covers the 4 quick picture of student achievement in Spanish. county area of Somerset, Bedford, Cambria and Blair These and other web applications provide our counties. I would like to publicly commend our students with valuable technology experiences that administration, professional staff, parents, and will continue to move our students into career and students for the effort they put forth in the PSSA and college-ready status. Keystone testing initiatives. We will continue to strive to be the very best in all we do each school year in an In addition to adding new technology skills to our effort to meet the testing requirements and mandates teachers’ instructional practices, on January 12, of the Pennsylvania Department of Education. 2015, Mrs. Sral and I decided to vacillate from a typical in-service day agenda as well. Because we believe the safety and security of staff and students is PERCENTAGE OF STUDENTS our number one priority, the January 12th in-service sessions for our teachers and administrators provided two unique training opportunities. The first SUBJECT DISTRICT STATE training instructed by Mr. Eric Miller supplied the staff MATHEMATICS 77.3 73.3 with important first aid, CPR, and AED protocols and procedures in an emergency situation. An emergenREADING 78.3 69.4 cy situation can occur at school, at home, at work, SCIENCE 78.1 69.7 anywhere. The procedures shared in this training prepared the participants to execute the recommendWRITING 76.2 67.6 ed first aid, CPR, AED procedures wherever and whenever an emergency situation happens. By Each year, the Forest Hills School District builds into knowing how to respond and what procedures to its school calendar several teacher in-service days. utilize, the staff is better prepared to react positively The district office administration systematically plans to an emergency medical situation. (Continued on page 3.) activities for all staff members, which provide 2

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~ SUPERINTENDENT’S MESSAGE ~ Continued from page 2 School violence continues to make national headlines. In an effort to be prepared for the unthinkable, the second training opportunity for our staff on January 12 th equipped the teachers and administration with critical incident training if an intruder with a gun breaches building security and enters a classroom. Mr. Sam Rosenberg from INPAX, a Pittsburgh-based personal protection academy, instructed the hands-on workshop where every participant practiced disarming an intruder who possessed a handgun or rifle. All participants, male and female alike, felt empowered by the training. If the unthinkable happens and an intruder invades a classroom, teachers and administrators now possess a practiced strategy to disarm and protect our students. Mrs. Sral and I believe that providing staff members these specific programs will help them grow as an individual and provide each one of them hands-on skills that someday may be lifesaving. As I have stated in every newsletter for the past three and half years, as your superintendent, my goal remains to open doors of opportunity so that all students may realize a bright future of success enabling them to be successful, productive citizens and reach their potential throughout their years at Forest Hills. It is an exciting time to be a part of the Forest Hills School District and the community. Sincerely, Edwin Bowser Superintendent of Schools Never take a persoN’s digNity: it’s worth everythiNg to them, and nothing to you -Frank Barron 3

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PA SCHOOL PERFORMANCE PROFILE WHAT IT MEANS FOR THE FOREST HILLS SCHOOL DISTRICT The Pennsylvania Department of Education recently released the Pennsylvania School Performance Profile. This public site (www.paschoolperformance.org) provides an academic performance score for public schools in the state. This performance score is designed with several purposes in mind: To inform the public of school performance; To provide a building level score for educators as part of their evaluation system; To allow the public to compare schools across the state; To give schools a methodology to analyze their strengths and needs. performance score based upon many data points. Test scores, progress in closing achievement gaps, and degree of student growth over time are factored into the scoring while other identifiers of high achieving schools are also considered: graduation, promotion, and attendance rates, as well as, evidence of offering rigorous courses factor into the calculation. Schools may also earn extra points beyond the 100 point scoring system for those students who have earned advanced scores on the state, industry, and Advanced Placement Exams. In addition to the scoring aspect of the site, the public can compare schools within and across the state. For schools, the site also offers supports for schools to consider as they identify needs in the academic profile. For an overview of the Forest Hills School District’s School Performance Profile, go to www.fhrangers.org and click on the School Performance tab on the homepage to link to Pennsylvania’s School Performance Portal. While public schools across the state have previous- Forest Hills School District’s School Performance ly received designations under No Child Left Behind Profile Scores: (i.e., Made Adequate Yearly Progress, Making Forest Hills Elementary School score – 78.3 Progress, Warning, School Improvement, Corrective Forest Hills Middle School score – 81.2 Action), schools will now receive an academic Forest Hills High School score – 72.4 Score Key: >100 Significant evidence that the school exceeded the standard for PA Academic Growth 90-100 Significant evidence that the school exceeded the standard for PA Academic Growth 80-80.9 Moderate evidence that the school exceeded the standard for PA Academic Growth 70-70.9 Evidence that the school met the standard for PA Academic Growth 60-60.9 Moderate evidence that the school did not meet the standard for PA Academic Growth <60 Significant evidence that the school did not meet the standard for PA Academic Growth Pictured below are officers honored during the LEAD program from Adams, Croyle, and Summerhill Townships, South Fork Borough, the Cambria County Sherriff’s Office, and the Pennsylvania State Police. Also attending were Senator John Wozniak, Representative Bryan Barbin, District Attorney Kelly Callihan, Cambria County Commissioner Tom Chernisky, Charlie Vizzini from Representative Frank Burns’ office, and elementary student representatives from grades Pre-K through 6. 4

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~ SCHOOL DIRECTORS RECOGNIZED ~ Long-term school directors are being honored across the state by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association at local school board meetings. School directors are recognized for years of service ranging from 8 to 52 years. Mr. Fred Russell, President of the Forest Hills School District School Board, received recognition for 16 years of service. He was presented a certificate and plaque adding him to the PSBA “Honor Roll of School Board Service.” Mr. Russell has served numerous terms on the Joint Operating Committee at the Greater Johnstown Career and Technology Center, as well as the Budget, Negotiations, Capital Projects, Extra-Curricular, and Budget & Finance Committees. Superintendent Edwin Bowser describes Mr. Russell as a man of honor and principle who sees a need to serve his community and never takes that responsibility lightly. He is a man who works tirelessly to ensure that our students’ needs are his top priority. Dr. Timothy Ondrejik was also honored as a member of the Forest Hills School District School Board for his 8 years of service. He was presented a certificate and plaque adding him to the PSBA “Honor Roll of School Board Service.” Dr. Ondrejik serves on several committees including the Budget Committee and Negotiations Committee. He is Co-Chair of the Awards and Extra-Curricular Committees as well. Superintendent Edwin Bowser describes Dr. Ondrejik as a man of integrity who listens and evaluates each situation and bases his decisions on their merits and how it affects the district. Mr. Bowser stated, “School directors continually spend more of their personal time on school -related activities. Fifty-four percent of school board members devote 16 hours or more a month to school board business which shows a real commitment on their part.” Pictured are (left to right) Mr. Fred Russell, 16 years of Service, Mr. Lin Carpenter, Assistant Executive Director of Member Services, Public School Boards Association, and Dr. Timothy Ondrejik, 8 years of service. 5

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~ DISTRICT RETIREMENTS ~ The Forest Hills School District recognizes Language Arts teacher Mrs. Valerie Pringle who retired on January 9, 2015 with 24 1/2 years of service in the Forest Hills School District. Mrs. Pringle is recognized as an exemplary teacher in the classroom. She has dedicated her life to the students at the Forest Hills School District. The District appreciates Mrs. Pringle’s many years of service and will miss her uncanny ability to motivate students and staff. Good luck in your retirement!! Mrs. Valerie Pringle with School Board President Mr. Fred Russell You Can Help Your Child Succeed in School One way to help your child in school is to constantly monitor their attendance and academic performance. Parents who communicate regularly with teachers and administrators, and parents who also consistently monitor their child’s assignments and grades, provide their children with the necessary support to increase academic achievement. The Forest Hills School District encourages all parents/guardians to access the PowerSchool Parent Access Program. This access is being provided to you as another form of communication with teachers and administrators, but more importantly, it is to help you in monitoring and supporting your child in their academic endeavors. If you have internet access at home or at work, you can view the information on your child at any time. It’s easy to access your child’s record. Contact Director of Education Mrs. Vanessa Sral and request your parent username and password for the PowerSchool Parent Access. Go to the Forest Hills School District website at http://www.fhrangers.org. Click on the Forest Hills PowerSchool Parent Access link on the bottom right side of the homepage. Type in your username and password and your child’s attendance record, current grades, and lunch balance record can be viewed at your convenience. 6 PSSA / KEYSTONE EXAM TESTING WINDOWS Parents/Guardians: Please refrain from scheduling vacations, student appointments, etc. during these testing windows. Research shows that students perform better when testing occurs with their peers instead of in make-up sessions. Grades 3-8 students: PSSA Language Arts April 13—17, 2015 Grades 3-8 students: PSSA Math April 20—24, 2015 Grades 4 and 8 students: PSSA Science – April 27 – May 1, 2015 Make –up exams: May 4—8, 2015 Keystone Exams Spring— (Algebra I, Biology, Literature): May 13 – 27, 2015 Keystone Exams Summer— (Algebra I, Biology, Literature): July 27 – 31, 2015 Please contact Mrs. Vanessa Sral, Director of Education at (814) 487-7613 Ext. 3249 if you have any questions.

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~ HIGH SCHOOL ~ Principal’s Corner ~ Mr. Curt Vasas Hello! It may be hard to believe, but the course scheduling process for the 2015-2016 school year will soon be underway. Course selection is one of the most important events for a high school student. As students begin to form ideas about future endeavors and aspirations, the classes they take in high school can help pave the way for future success. Many options exist for our students. Courses in core subject areas (Math, Science, Social Studies, and Language Arts), elective areas such as the arts and technology, and vocational options are all available for our students. Students have the ability to earn college credit through dual enrollment courses with local universities as well as through our Advanced Placement curriculum. AP courses exist in all core subject areas. The scheduling process will begin with our guidance counselors meeting with groups of students in their Language Arts classes. Information will be discussed and course selection sheets along with a course description booklet will be distributed. Students will review courses and, with the help of their parents or guardians, select classes that meet our graduation requirements and allow them to further explore a variety of interests. Counselors will review course selections with students individually and verification sheets will be sent home. Again, scheduling is a very important aspect of our students’ academic career. If you, as a parent or guardian, have any questions please do not hesitate to contact your child’s guidance counselor or the high school administration. The scheduling process requires input from all parties involved so our students can be in the best position for future success. Thank you. KAYLA MAKIN CROWNED 2014 HOMECOMING QUEEN This year’s Homecoming Queen was announced at the October 3, 2014 football game against Bishop Guilfoyle. Kayla Makin was crowned Homecoming Queen at the football game. Homecoming court members were Brooklyn Abrams, Makayla Hornbake, Ashley May, Bethany Leer, Kristin Kundrod, Kayla Gabany, and Calli Smith. The Court was presented during half-time by their fathers. This year’s charity choice was the RANGER Good Samaritan Outreach. The Court has been raising money from donations, chances, and a dress-down/hat day. 7

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FIRST LADY RANGER TEAM DISTRICT VI CHAMPS HONORED The Lady Rangers hosted the 5 year anniversary of the 2009-2010 Lady Ranger basketball team which was the first girls’ basketball team in school history to attain the honor of a District Championship. This team entered the playoffs as the underdog, first defeating Philipsburg – Osceola in the first round then defeating the number one seed, Bellefonte, in the championship game at the Altoona fieldhouse. The team moved on to the state tournament and finished in the sweet sixteen of the PIAA AAA division. Since then, the Lady Rangers have raised the standard of FH girls’ basketball which has become a perennial powerhouse in the Laurel Highlands and District VI. The honoring of the team occurred at the Central Cambria game held on December 22, 2014. Ten of the 15 players were in attendance and were introduced individually at halftime of the varsity game. Pictured from L to R: Teddi Burkett, Jess Diflauro, Briana Kostan, Kelly Beyer, Megan Gould, Becky Bard, Amy Wiesheier, Ashley Lucas, Julie Marks, and Casey Gallaher ~ HIGH SCHOOL – MIDDLE SCHOOL MUSIC~ This year Forest Hills sent 18 students to County Band, held at Portage School District on December 3 and 4, 2014. Seven students represented the Middle School. They are: Shaila Stormer Flute, Mandi Bearjar - Clarinet, Alexus Bobak - Trumpet, Sidney Kakabar - French Horn, Alyssa Murphy - Flute, Phillip Yuhas - Saxophone, and Reno Facciani - Tuba. Eleven students represented the High School. They are: Eva Golden - French Horn, Nikki St. Clair Saxophone, Shannon Stains - Saxophone, Cheyenne Helsel - Baritone, Alexis Edwards - Clarinet, Vince Units - Percussion, Garrett Bunn - Percussion, Steven Dusack - Tuba, Teresa Yuhas - Clarinet, and Courtney Cecere - French Horn. Members of the Middle School and High School Band traveled to Pittsburgh on December 7, 2014 to hear the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra perform Beethoven’s 5th and 7th Symphonies. There will be two more trips to hear the PSO perform in the spring. The first will be to hear the Symphony perform the music to Walt Disney’s Fantasia, and the second will be to hear Beethoven’s Concerto in D Major for Violin and Orchestra, and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. The students are very excited for both trips. The Choruses sang in the community this semester with performances in nursing homes, the elementary school, the Festival of the Nativity in Johnstown, and a Men’s Barbershop Chorus show in Somerset. 8

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~ HIGH SCHOOL – MIDDLE SCHOOL MUSIC~ This year, the high school music ensembles recorded a Christmas album. High School Chorus, and the girls vocal quartet, “Big Treble,” met after school on Friday, December 12, 2014 for 2 hours to professionally record some of the music they sang at the Christmas concert. Rick Golden, of Golden Records and a teacher at the high school, provided the equipment required to do a professional recording of this magnitude. The High School Band and Jazz Band recorded on a Saturday morning. All the groups received commentary from the sound booth set up in an adjacent room. The CD project takes place once every three years, so every high school student gets the opportunity to take part. The CD will hopefully be ready for release by the Spring Concert in late April. High School Chorus High School Band 9

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~ HIGH SCHOOL – MIDDLE SCHOOL MUSIC~ The Middle School Band and Chorus’s presented their annual Christmas Concert on December 9, 2014 at the Middle School. The concert was very well attended and the audience was treated to music by the 7 th Grade Chorus, 8/9th Grade Chorus, and the girls vocal quartet, “Sharp Harmonies.” 7th G R A D E C H O R U S 8th/9th G R A D E C H O R U S VOCAL QUARTET, SHARP HARMONIES 10

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There has been a change to our spring schedule. Our concert, as well as the Art Gala, will be on Wednesday, May 6, 2015 at the Middle School, not on April 25, 2015 as previously scheduled. MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN COUNTY CHORUS FOREST HILLS STUDENT RECEIVES TWO SOLOS The Cambria County Junior High Chorus was held at Portage High School on Thursday, November 13 and involved 220 singers in grades 6-9. Forest Hills Middle School was represented by 18 students. The photo above is of the 8-9th grade county ensemble. Back row: Winter Ehrhart, Sara Zatek, Mandi Bearjar, Shelby Hostetler, Sidney Kakabar, Victoria Russic, Alexandria Block, Desirae Wherry, Jacklyn Nanna. Front row: Ethan Buchkovich, Seth Johns, Tim Croyle. The photo to the right shows the students in the 6-7th grade county ensemble Standing: Autumn Holdsworth, Natalya Teno, Skyler Hostetler, Rebecca Williamson. Kneeling: Daniel Velasquez, Dara Edwards. During the event, one student, Mandi Bearjar, auditioned for, and performed both a challenging clarinet solo in “Ni ška Banja,” a Serbian dance tune, as well as a vocal solo in “Listen to the Music.” About 30 County Chorus singers auditioned for vocal solos, but only four were awarded. 11

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~ MIDDLE SCHOOL ~ Principal’s Corner ~ Mr. Ed Alexander Happy New Year from Forest Hills Middle School! As we enter the second semester, and approach state testing season, I want to inform you of some great opportunities we have available. This semester we are expanding our peer tutoring initiative beyond math class. Students will be available to tutor their fellow students during study hall and activities period. In addition, we will have several UPJ students with us to serve as tutors. Combining the tutoring opportunities with the individualized plan of action each student is receiving in his/her core classes should result in tremendous growth for the students! I encourage you to work with your child at home to ensure he/she is getting adequate sleep and good nutrition (a real challenge for teenagers!), and is coming to school prepared to learn with all homework completed and supplies in hand. As always, I encourage you to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns. Thanks for all you do! MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENT COUNCIL – MIX-IT-UP DAY Once again, the Forest Hills Middle School students participated in the National Mix-it-Up day on October 31, 2014. The purpose of this day is to help students better interact with their peers, talking to those that they may not necessarily talk to on a regular basis. This is a part of our anti-bullying campaign. If a child takes the time to talk to another and realize they have similar interests or hobbies, they will be more open to include them with others, talk to them in the hallway, or speak up if others have negative things to say. Our theme revolved around our favorite Pittsburgh sports team. Students were encouraged to wear their Pirates, Penguins, or Steelers garb. Then, at lunch, students were “mixed up” by sitting with others who had the same favorite team. 9TH GRADE DEBUTS DRONE Heads Up! The 9th grade Problem Solving class has debuted a first-in-the-area Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), more commonly known as a drone. “Gladys,” as she has been named by her student pilots, is a DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ and is fully outfitted with a GoPro Black Edition high definition camera mounted on a Zenmuse 3-D gimbal. She has the capability to take high definition video and provides a live color view via Bluetooth downlink to a mobile LCD screen. The student pilots have been trained to fly Gladys live via remote control or to preprogram flight paths based on GPS data and her wi-fi capabilities from an iPad app. Part of the training included emergency procedures and flying within FAA guidelines for hobby flight. Gladys recently provided aerial shots of the Groundbreaking Ceremony and will provide the community with flyovers of the construction site in Sidman. Several high school students have had the opportunity to pilot missions over the construction site and many more are planned. 12

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ART PROGRAM COMMUNITY OUTREACH During the Fall semester, Forest Hills Middle School’s Art program maintained significant partnerships and increased their community outreach efforts. Through public display, thoughtful gestures and tokens, and forming new relationships, Forest Hills Middle School Art aimed to help beautify the local community and gain support for the arts. Forest Hills Middle School Art partnered with or contributed to the following: Friends of the Steeples Project, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Conemaugh Regional Hospice, Penn State University, a Forest Hills School District Brownie troop, and Community Arts Center of Cambria County. Seasonal Decorations - In December, Forest Hills Middle School Art participated in the Friends of the Steeples Project Wintergarden Event by creating ornaments based on the story How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Using 21st century skills including creativity, problem solving, and innovation, students created unique themebased designs using materials of their choice. The ornaments were then used to decorate a tree on display at Grand Halle in Cambria City. Empowering Postcards - Art has the potential to send powerful positive messages. In a continued effort to use art as a vehicle for uplifting others, Forest Hills Middle School students created thoughtful and inspiring postcards with positive messages and visuals to send to the children at The Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and clients of Conemaugh Regional Hospice. Web Quests - Again, Forest Hills Middle School art classes collaborated with Dr. Karen Keifer-Boyd’s Penn State, University Park A ED 322: Visual Culture & Educational Technologies course. A ED 322 students developed web quests for seventh and ninth grade art students to experience. Fall 2014 web quest themes were: Collecting (7th grade), Around the World in 80 Minutes (7th grade), Self Exploration (9th grade), Memory (9th grade), and Water: Environmental and Social Issues (9th grade). Professional Service - Outside of school, Dr. Motter also engaged in community outreach. During the fall semester, Dr. Motter spoke to a Forest Hills School District Brownie troop about what inspires her in the art world. In November, Dr. Motter was invited to join the Community Arts Center of Cambria County Board of Directors. Art-Tech Club - In the future, Dr. Motter plans to expand community outreach efforts, with the official approval and establishment of the Forest Hills Middle School Art-Tech Club. The club is currently open to eighth and ninth grade Forest Hills Middle School students who are interested in contributing to the local community and traveling to arts venues. MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENT COUNCIL - DONATIONS TO CHARITY Each year, the Middle School Student Council holds a Halloween dance. Besides being a fun event for our students to enjoy, the dance was a spring board to allow the MS Council to help others in need. First, as a reduction in admission fee, students could bring in canned goods and nonperishable food items. These collected items were then donated to the Forest Hills Food Pantry in Salix. This organization is in operation to specifically address the needs of families right here in our Forest Hills community. Secondly, student council took all of the proceeds from the dance, totaling $1000, and donated it to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The donation to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals was part of a Student Council state wide donation drive culminating in our 78th annual Pennsylvania Student Council Conference (PASC). Six student council members from the middle school attended the state conference in Altoona during the first week in November. At the conference, members were able to attend seminars where ideas from different councils were shared, partake in networking with other members from around the state, and hear special guest speakers. Included is a brief recounting of the conference from one of our members who attended, Madison Leventry. “The speakers at the conference were very inspiring and I loved listening to every minute of their speeches. Ed Gerretty was the first to speak and talked about self-confidence and selfworth to show how important it is to have them. Another speaker was Jackie Jeros who spoke about how, no matter how famous or non-famous we become, we can still make a huge difference in the world. The most inspiring speaker for me was Alvin Law. This man was born with no arms and taught us that you have to see past the outside of people to really know their personality. He also told us that no matter how hard the obstacle is, you need to overcome it and not be bothered by it. The last speaker was Jason Hewlett who taught us that we each have a special talent and that whatever it is, we need to embrace it…. I had an amazing experience at PASC and I can’t wait to go next year.” Students who attended the conference were: Madison Leventry, Mandi Bearjar, Sidney Kakabar, Phillip Yuhas, and Connor Freidhoff. 13

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FELLOWSHIP OF CHRISTIAN ATHLETES (FCA) VISITS FOREST HILLS PERSONAL CARE HOME Middle school students involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) joined together to bring Christmas cheer to the elderly at Forest Hills Personal Care Home. Abbey Swanson, a ninth grade student, volunteers at the home and organized the event. She planned a Christmas party for the residents. The group of students took time out of their holiday break to hand out homemade cards and gifts. They played B-I-N-G-O, sang karaoke, and fellowshipped with the elderly. It is encouraging to see a student plan an event to volunteer in the community. It is even more encouraging to see the amount of students who took time out of their break to attend the event and share the holiday cheer. The residents reported that it was one of the best parties they have ever attended. The students did an excellent job and gained insights into the true meaning of the holiday season. FCA will continue to look for opportunities to serve in the community. 14

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~ ELEMENTARY SCHOOL ~ Principal’s Corner ~ Mr. Lucas Jacobs Hello! I am sure that you are aware of the changes made by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to implement more rigorous standards for public education in the state of Pennsylvania. The new Pennsylvania Core Standards are certainly changing the face of education in Pennsylvania. As educators, we are charged with making sure every student is college and/or career ready once they complete K12 public education. As part of the new regulations, Pennsylvania’s Core Standards offer a set of rigorous, highquality academic expectations in English Language Arts and Mathematics that all students should master by the end of each grade level. The PA Core Standards are robust and relevant to the real world and reflect the knowledge and skills our young people need to succeed in life after high school, in both post-secondary education and a globally competitive workforce. At Forest Hills Elementary, we follow a set of shared values that guide our beliefs about teaching and learning as we transition to the new Pennsylvania Core Standards. We believe that all children can learn and deserve a safe, satisfying, and successful school experience. We know that high expectations for student achievement combined with adequate support and intervention will result in academic proficiency and growth. At Forest Hills Elementary, our focus is to help children learn and grow. To do this, our teaching and professional development must be intentional and purposeful. Cooperation, collaboration, and communication are an important part of our educational success. At Forest Hills Elementary, we strive to be life-long learners. We believe it is important to model respect and foster a caring school culture where students feel valued and appreciated. Finally, we believe in building partnerships between school, home, and community. Through these shared values and beliefs, students experience an education that is meaningful and lasting. As always, we encourage you to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. Thanks for your support! 15 WE REMEMBER!! The students at the elementary school remembered September 11th. This day was a patriotic “Red, White, and Blue” Day. The children in Mrs. Lewis’s class made patriotic hats for this special day. The children learned about the events from that day and discussed patriotism. The children are shown at the flag pole. We will never forget!! MOLLY THE MANNERS MOUSE Molly Mouse came to Forest Hills Elementary on September 10th and 11th to visit with Pre-K and Kindergarten students to help them learn and remember manners through discussion, student participation, a game and a poem. Molly presented each class with a poster to display in the classroom to reinforce the manners lesson. The children enjoyed this interactive program!

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