Bethel Park

• Bethel Park School District is partnering with the Pennsylvania Branch of the International Dyslexia Association to bring “Experience Dyslexia, A Simulation” to the district from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 17 in the Large Group Instruction Room at Bethel Park High School, 309 Church Road.

Speaking will be Dr. Denise Morelli from PBIDA, who will talk about dyslexia, including the neurological basis, demographics, warning signs and interventions.

After the discussion, those in attendance will take part in six simulated activities that mimic experiences and processing of those with dyslexia. The activities will include various components of reading, listening, visual motor, letter-word identification, copying and auditory discrimination.

Assisting with the program will be PBIDA volunteers including psychologists, physicians, educators, school administrators, reading specialists, individuals with dyslexia, and parents of children with specific learning disabilities.

The program is free and open to all Bethel Park parents, guardians and staff, along with parents from neighboring school districts.

Anyone who plans to attend is asked to call 412-854-8735 to pre-register so that the district has enough handout materials available for everyone in attendance.

• Nine Neil Armstrong Middle School sixth-grade musicians were selected to play in the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association’s Elementary District Band Fest West, scheduled for March 14 at Hampton Middle School.

Representing Bethel Park will be Boyd Alspach (French horn), Micah Antonich (clarinet), Allison Atchison (trombone), Mia DiPaolo (percussion), Samuel Hoppe (trumpet), Holly McGough (flute), Sadie Nelson (alto saxophone), Casey Prindle (clarinet) and Julia Ratti (bassoon).

The students are taught by Neil Armstrong band directors Rachel Skilone and Jeffery Knell.

• Five Neil Armstrong Middle School sixth-graders were selected to participate in the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association’s Elementary Sing Fest, scheduled for March 27 at Elizabeth Forward Middle School.

Representing Bethel Park will be Callee DalBon, Lillie Haner, Chelsea Hudak, Holly McGough and Eliyah McPherson.

The students are taught by Neil Armstrong vocal music directors Tricia Quinque, Patricia Moury and Amy Ciuffoletti.

• Five Neil Armstrong Middle School sixth grade musicians have been selected to play in the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association’s Elementary String Fest, scheduled for May 15 at Chartiers Valley Intermediate School.

Representing Bethel Park will be Bella Coleman (violin), Lucie Pacheco (viola), Christian Tabler (cello), Katharine Tabler (cello) and Kuon Verbosky (violin).

The students are taught by Neil Armstrong strings director Marian Irwin.

• Independence Middle School eighth-grader Tyler Kramer earned a second-place award at the local Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science competition, held at Duquesne University.

His project was a comparison of the strength of different cardiac stent designs. He was prepared for the competition by Independence science teacher Jennifer Evans.

• Three Bethel Park High School students who attend the Steel Center for Career and Technical Education placed at the local Skills USA Competition.

Senior Anthony Stephon finished first in the electrical construction wiring event and will advance to the State Skills USA Competition in April in Hershey.

Senior Michela Grady participated on a team that finished second in the Health Knowledge Bowl.

Sophomore Anabel Franzmann finished third in the advertising and design event.

The SkillsUSA Championships are competitive events showcasing the best career and technical education students in the nation. Contests begin locally and continue through the state and national levels.

Upper St. Clair

• Partners in Education will host its next program at 9 a.m. March 5 in the Upper St. Clair High School large group instruction room.

The morning session provides an opportunity for families to meet the new director of student support services Cassandra Doggrell and to receive an overview of the special education department and available services.

For more information, contact Frances Scher, PIE chairperson for the Parent Teacher Council, at ffscher@yahoo.com.

Doggrell, who joined the Upper St. Clair leadership staff in late November, previously served as principal of Haine Middle School in Seneca Valley School District. Since 2010, she held the roles of assistant middle school principal and elementary autism and emotional support teacher at Seneca Valley. In addition, she served as a part-time faculty member in the graduate education program at Waynesburg University.

Upper St. Clair School District’s student support services department oversees a variety of areas that include school counseling, psychological services, health services, special education, English as a second language and homebound instruction.

Partners in Education, a committee of the Upper St. Clair School District Parent Teacher Council, provides support to families of students who receive special education services. The committee offers a variety of programming for parents of children of all ages. In addition, PIE provides an informal opportunity for parents to meet, share resources and build relationships.

• Upper St. Clair School District is scheduling kindergarten registration appointments for incoming kindergarten students and their families. Appointments, which last approximately 20 minutes, will be scheduled between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the respective elementary schools: Baker, March 24 and April 2; Eisenhower, March 25 and 31; Streams, March 26 and April 1.

To schedule a kindergarten registration appointment online, visit www.uscsd.k12.pa.us. During registration appointments, families will meet with school community members that may include the principal, teachers, school nurse, school counselor, and parent association representatives.

Registration packets, containing all of the necessary registration forms, will be available for pickup at the elementary schools beginning Feb. 18. Families are encouraged to obtain packets during school hours and return completed forms at the time of registration. When picking up packets, families will be asked for identification that includes home address in order to confirm elementary school assignment.

Students registering for kindergarten must be 5 years of age by Sept. 1, 2020, to be enrolled for the 2020-21 school year. Proof of residency within the Upper St. Clair School District is required for enrollment.

• Upper St. Clair High School’s Performing Arts Department will present “Shrek the Musical” March 6-8 and 12-14 in the school’s theater, directed by Tom Hunsberger.

The curtain rises at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Family Night, with a 6:30 show time, is March 12, and a 2 p.m. matinee is offered March 8.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for students. Adult tickets will increase to $15 starting on March 6. They are available at www.usctheater.org. The box office will open for in-person ticket sales starting Feb. 24 from 10:30 a.m. to noon Wednesdays and Saturdays, and 6:30 to 8 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, plus one hour prior to show time.

Admission for Upper St. Clair’s senior citizens is free with a USC Gold Card. Card holders must obtain their free theater tickets in person at the box office. The cards are available to residents ages 62 and older. For more information, contact Nancy Dunn at 412-833-1600, ext. 2236, or ndunn@uscsd.k12.pa.us.

• Five Upper St. Clair students will advance to the 70th Annual Western Pennsylvania Spelling Bee on March 7 at Robert Morris University’s Yorktown Hall.

The students qualified for the regional competition by finishing first in his or her school’s spelling bee. They are Raana Parchuri, Baker Elementary; Ahana Mendhi, Eisenhower Elementary; Iris Wang, Streams Elementary; Nikhil Chandran, Boyce Middle; and Rohan Mehta, Fort Couch Middle.

The school-level spelling bees, open to students in fourth through eigtht grades, were sponsored by the Upper St. Clair Parent Teacher Council.

Students through grade 8 from in a 26-county region will compete at Robert Morris University. The winner of the Western Pennsylvania Spelling Bee will receive an all-expense paid trip to compete at the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Bee Week 2020 will take place May 24-29, at Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md.

• Two Upper St. Clair High School students recently earned first-place finishes at the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science Region 7 competition, held Feb. 1 at Duquesne University. They advance to the state-level competition.

Freshman Keshav Narasimhan completed independent research and a presentation titled “A Mathematical Model to Predict Crohn’s Flare-Up.” Junior Sophia Shi, who participated in a research internship with the UPMC Aging Institute last summer, focused her research and presentation on “Regulation of Deubitiquinase Activity in Mitophagy.”

The students are sponsored by Corrine Newman, Upper St. Clair High School science teacher.

PJAS Region 7 includes Allegheny and Westmoreland counties. Within PJAS, students do not compete against each other, but rather their experiments and presentations are judged against a criteria-based rubric. Students earning a first-place award are invited to present their experiment at the state competition May 17-19 at Penn State.

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