Artwork by students in all grades will be featured starting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the middle school, 256 Josephs Lane, Ohio Township.
Fox Chapel Area
Fairview Elementary School has a vacancy for a volunteer community representative to serve a two-year term on a site-based management team that helps with decisions regarding operations of the school. The individual must reside in the Fairview attendance area and have no children attending any Fox Chapel Area school.
Applicants must write a letter of interest postmarked by June 1 to Fairview Elementary School Principal Sari McNamara, 738 Dorseyville Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15238. The individual will be selected by lottery.
• Students and staff at Dorseyville Middle School recently celebrated the school's re-designation as a 2013 PA Don Eichhorn Schools: "Schools to Watch" school. The celebration was Friday with students wearing matching T-shirts. There were student band, orchestra and choral performances.
As a Schools to Watch school, Dorseyville joins a group of 30 schools in Pennsylvania and 325 in the U.S. selected by state leaders for "academic excellence, responsiveness to the needs and interests of students and a commitment to helping students achieve at high levels. In addition, each school has strong leadership, teachers who work together to improve curriculum and instruction, and a commitment to assessment and accountability to bring about continuous improvement."
To celebrate The Goddard School's national 25th anniversary, schools through the country raised more than $185,000 to support Ronald McDonald House Charities.
The three Goddard schools in the Pittsburgh area raised more than $6,422 to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Pittsburgh.
The Cranberry Goddard School raised the most - $4,622.
School directors are scheduled to vote Monday on a proposed preliminary budget to meet state requirements. With property assessments and the number of teacher retirements still up in the air, the numbers are tentative.
The current 2013-14 budget shows a shortfall of $763,538. The amount can be reduced to $345,538 if the district uses its Public School Employees' Retirement System stabilization funds. The $345,538 shortfall equates to a property tax increase of 0.2232 mill using 2013 assessment rates.
The board has until June to adopt its final budget. Currently, there are 282 assessment appeals still outstanding with a collective 2013 assessed value of $189,763,300. One mill of real estate tax levied under the 2013 assessment values is about $1.55 million in revenue.
As of April 16, the district has received notification from 13 individuals for the early retirement incentive for those who chose to retire before June 30.
The state employee retirement fund is the biggest cost to the district, accounting for about $960,000, or 104 percent, of the increase in the general fund expenditure budget. Next year, the district contribution rate will go from 12.36 percent of payroll to 16.93 percent.
A total of 7,240 diapers were collected as part of the Primary Center's annual Stuff the Bus Diaper Drive April 15-26 to benefit The Lighthouse Foundation food bank in Middlesex.
The diapers, which were stuffed into a school bus provided by A.J. Myers & Sons bus company Friday, were transported to The Lighthouse Foundation and distributed to families in need.
• The high school will host its seventh Coffeehouse Gallery Art Showcase from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday with paintings, ceramics, sculptures and drawings created by students in seventh through 12th grades and entertainment, refreshments and other activities.
One student will be selected as the winner of the fifth annual Robinson Purchase Prize, sponsored by Robinson Family Industries. The student's work will be framed and displayed in the lobby of the high school auditorium.
Admission is free.
The senior high Student Council has been recognized, for the sixth consecutive year, by the National Association of Student Councils for its "exemplary record of leadership, service and activities that serve to improve the school and community."
The National Gold Council of Excellence is awarded to Student Councils that demonstrate the highest levels of leadership and activities.
• The senior high Honors Wind Ensemble won the Festival Grand Champion Trophy at the 2013 Fiesta-Val invitational music festival in Virginia Beach. In addition, North Allegheny's Jazz Ensemble 1 received a citation for Outstanding Contributions to Music Education.
Student pottery, paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, school publications and writing projects as well as projects from the technology education department will be featured during the 41st annual Arts Alive program from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Friday in North Hills High School, 53 Rochester Road, Ross.
The event, which also will feature choral and instrumental performances and food booths, is free. It features work by students in all grades. Some artwork, including some pottery pieces, will be available for purchase.
The North Hills' Educational Support Personnel Association will be collecting donations for the North Hills Backpack Initiative, which provides weekend food supplies to students in need.
• The high school is among six schools in Allegheny County and 28 in Pennsylvania to be ranked in the Washington Post's America's Most Challenging High Schools listing.
Rankings are based on the Challenge Index, which calculates participation in Advanced Placement exams in order to evaluate high school curriculums across the nation. This year's challenge index is calculated by dividing the total number of AP tests taken in May 2012 by the number of 2012 graduating seniors. North Hills' challenge index is 1.057.
All schools on the listing have earned an index of at least a 1.0. This year, only 9 percent of the approximately 22,000 U.S. public high schools reached that standard.
• In 2013-14, the high school technology education department will offer tuition-free welding courses as a College in High School option in a partnership with the Community College of Allegheny County.
The three, three-credit courses will be offered to sophomores, juniors and seniors. The transferred credits will allow students to join the CCAC welding certification program upon graduation with half of the credits required for program completion at no cost to the student.
Completion of the CCAC program provides students with entry-level skills to work in welding and fabrication fields in small and large companies.
• The district's communication outlets and publications recently were recognized in the 2012-13 Pennsylvania School Public Relations Association Excellence in Education Communications Contest.
The district was one of two districts to receive an Award of Excellence, the contest's highest honor, for its social media efforts. Communications coordinator Amanda Hartle maintains communications of events and photos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
The district's 2011-12 Annual Report designed by former communications coordinator Tina Vojtko, and the Online Academy @ North Hills Program of Study designed by Jeff Taylor, assistant superintendent of curriculum, assessment and special programs, each received an Award of Honor in the contest.
The Pine-Richland Opportunities Fund is joining with auto dealer Tom Henry to showcase student talents and skills for one week starting Saturday with the grand opening of the new Tom Henry Chevrolet showroom at Route 8 and Bakerstown Road.
Vintage Car Show Day is from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.
Art students will draw caricatures of visitors inside a Corvette or vintage Chevy for a donation. A silent auction will be held, and visitors can purchase hand-drawn and digital student artwork.
High school tech ed students will race their own custom-made CO2 cars from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday. A General Motors vice president will judge student-designed and created Chevy concept models on display beside each Chevy car on the showroom floor.
The high school and middle school orchestra students will perform from 6 to 7 p.m. next Thursday on the showroom floor.
All proceeds from events will benefit the Opportunities Fund.
The school is accepting student applications and registrations for most grade levels for fall 2013. Students entering kindergarten and grades seven and nine are encouraged to apply early because those grades fill up fast, officials said.
The school provides a Christian education to students in prekindergarten through grade 12. Along with a traditional curriculum, the school also gives students in grades 11 and 12 the opportunity to earn up to 15 college credits through dual credit classes.
Portersville Christian School also offers an athletics program for all grade levels, with volleyball, soccer, basketball, cheerleading and archery, and a fine arts program, band, choir, guitar and marimba ensembles, a fall drama and a spring musical.
The school board has approved a resolution that seeks changes to the charter and cyber charter school funding formula in Pennsylvania's Public School Code. The resolution was passed 8-0 April 23.
"There is significant unfairness in the way that tuition is calculated in the charter and cyber charter school funding formula," superintendent Joseph H. Clapper said in a news release. "Lawmakers need to fully address this inequity."
The district is paying approximately $500,000 in charter and cyber charter school tuition annually.
The resolution cites the following recommendations:
• Adopt a funding formula for charter and cyber charter schools that compensates school districts for costs related to maintaining capacity that cannot be reduced or transferred to charter schools on a per capita basis.
• Do not allow funding for charter schools to exceed the actual expenses needed to educate their students, as verified by an independent audit.
• Pass legislation that caps charter and cyber charter schools' unreserved, undesignated fund balances in the same way that traditional school districts' balances are capped.
• Pass legislation that will modify the current charter school funding formula so that employer pension contributions are reimbursed only once.
• Create an independent entity to determine the actual costs of education.
The high school is one of 28 schools in Pennsylvania and six in Allegheny County to be listed among America's Most Challenging High Schools by the Washington Post. The list was formerly sponsored by Newsweek magazine and known as America's Best High Schools.
Rankings are based on the Challenge Index, which calculates participation in college-level tests in order to evaluate the rigor of high school curriculums across the nation. This year's Challenge Index is calculated by dividing the total number of advanced placement tests taken in May 2012 by the number of 2012 graduating seniors. Quaker Valley's Challenge Index is 1.918. All schools on the listing have earned an index of at least a 1.0.
The senior high Student Council raised $2,364 through tickets to the annual Sadie Hawkins dance for the Victim Outreach Intervention Center, a women's shelter in Butler County.
Teachers spoke to students about domestic violence awareness, and the senior high school promoted domestic violence awareness through videos on Seneca Valley Television throughout April.
Additionally, members of Students Against Destructive Decisions joined in on the efforts, helping to collect numerous cell phones and cell phone chargers throughout the school. They were also donated to the Butler County center.
• John Motyl, middle school adviser, was named District 2 Middle Level Advisor of the Year, and Katherine Halliday, senior high school adviser, was named District 2 High School Advisor of the Year at the recent Pennsylvania Association of Student Councils Region A Conference. Both were recognized by the school directors in April.
For the first time in school history, both Sewickley Academy candidates for the WPIAL Scholar-Athlete Award were selected as winners.
Amy Kolor and Jordan Milo, both seniors, were selected out of 10 male and 10 female candidates chosen from approximately 140 WPIAL high schools.
At the end of her junior year, Amy received highest honors, the English Award and the Harvard Book Award. She was also a first-ballot selection to the Cum Laude Society. She served as a captain for the girls' soccer team.
Amy was a member of the first U.S. student delegation to visit Nepal and Sri Lanka after being accepted into the South Asia Youth Summit.
Jordan is the captain of the golf, basketball and baseball teams. He is a leader in Sewickley Academy's concert and jazz bands and a mentor to disadvantaged children in the community. He also has received President Obama's Presidential Service Award.
Amy and Jordan will receive $500 in scholarship money for college.
Shady Side Academy
Open house sessions have been scheduled on the academy's three campuses:
• 9:15 a.m. Wednesday , junior school (grades pre-K to five), 400 S. Braddock Ave., Point Breeze. Information: 412-473-4473.
• 9 a.m. today , middle school (grades six-eight), 500 Squaw Run Road East, Fox Chapel. Information: 412-968-3155.
• 11 a.m. May 11, senior school (grades nine-12), 423 Fox Chapel Road, Fox Chapel. Information: 412-968-3180.
At each session, visitors can tour the campus and meet the school head, faculty and program directors. Admissions directors will answer questions regarding the admissions process and financial aid. Reservations for open houses are encouraged but not required. RSVP: www.shadysideacademy.org/openhouse.
• Martha "Marty" T. Elkins has been named director of college counseling, succeeding Tom Rossi, who is returning to the science faculty to teach full time.
Mrs. Elkins will be one of three full-time college counselors who advise approximately 480 senior school students (grades nine-12) and their parents through the college search and admissions process, starting in ninth grade.
The Titan Spring Clean program, consisting of high school students, will take place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the middle school, May 11 in the high school and May 18 in the elementary school.
Volunteers are welcome to assist the program with donations of work gloves and garbage bags.