The AIU and Remake Learning are offering a six-part back-to-school series for parents and caregivers. The So Now What? virtual series features the country’s leading experts in education and childhood development. The sessions will cover a range of topics designed to help parents and caregivers navigate remote learning, including social-emotional wellness, mental health, learning resources, communication, tech safety, and more. These free sessions will be held via Zoom every Wednesday evening during the month of September. Click here to register for the sessions. Click here to see the flyer and a description of each session.
The Salvation Army’s North Boroughs Worship & Service Center in Avalon is hosting a Back to School Drive-Through Event on Saturday, August 22 from Noon-2 pm. They will be providing stuffed backpacks to local children in need. This socially distant event will also include a live band and some friends from the community to build excitement for the start of the upcoming school year.
We are pleased to announce the launch of our K-12 Online Learning Academy that is designed to offer students access to a flexible and innovative learning opportunity.
All courses are taught by Northgate teachers which allows students to keep pace with the students in the brick and mortar classroom. All online courses provided to students who participate in Northgate Online Learning Academy align with the PA State Standards, ensuring that Northgate students are receiving the best in online learning.
As Allegheny County educators, we strive to ensure welcoming, inclusive, and safe learning environments for all of our students and families. We are committed to nurturing schools where each and every child is respected and valued as an individual regardless of skin color, gender, orientation, religion, ability or disability, or any other category.
We stand together in support of our students and families of color and against acts of prejudice and racism. We will continue to work to ensure education equity for all students and stand in solidarity with our black and brown students and families.
Even though we have not been at school, the garden at the front of the school is in full bloom. Thanks for our garden mentor, Redding Jackson, Mrs. Bernauer and Mrs. Gusew, seeds were planted on a chilly day in early April. While it seemed like nothing was growing, they all were just waiting below the surface for the warmer days. And now, WOW, it is in full swing. Spinach and lettuce are ready to pick. Beets, carrots and radishes are beginning to grow under the surface but won’t be ready to pick until school starts again in the fall. There are also a variety of herbs that you can pinch off. We are also grateful to a few parent volunteers who have offered to help water and weed the garden over the summer.
Our intent this year especially is to provide nutritional supplements to our community’s tables. We invite anyone in the community to come to the garden and help yourselves to the spinach and lettuce, now, and later in the summer, other fresh produce. All we ask is that you take what you can use and use what you take. Do not pull out the whole plant, just pinch off what you want.
We look forward to sharing and using our learning garden in the fall with our students. Until then, please make use of it.
The Northgate School District is pleased to announce the hiring of Mr. Camijja Williams to be the next Head Varsity Boys Basketball Coach.
Coach Cam received his Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Slippery Rock University in 2003. For the past four years, Coach Cam has served as the Assistant Coach for the Northgate Varsity Boys Basketball team. His coaching career began in 2008 with the AAU basketball circuit and he's also been training and inspiring young people as an influential speaker for several years. Coach Cam works as an Enrollment Counselor Director at South University Online.
"The most important thing I can do is to inspire young people and instill the values of hard work and dedication. I'm honored to be able to continue my work with the Northgate athletes in the position of Head Coach," stated Coach Cam.
Mr. Bryan Kyle, High School Principal and Athletics Director stated, "developing student-athletes of high character, displaying great sportsmanship, and understanding the importance of fair play are the cornerstones of Northgate Athletics Department and Coach Cam lives these values every day."
Coach Cam resides in Bellevue with his wife and two children - one is a proud Northgate alumnus.
Students noisily filing into school buildings, locker doors slamming, bells ringing; the sounds of a typical school day have gone silent across our nation. While school buildings may be closed, the business of learning has continued for teachers and students in a new format. Since the COVID-19 pandemic has shut down our schools, teachers have had to adapt quickly to the world of online instruction. For many, this is the first experience with online teaching and learning.
Every grade level poses its own challenges, and key skills and concepts need to be developed throughout. However, no skill may be more important than the ability to read. The task of teaching this skill begins in Pre K and Kindergarten. While this task is never easy, the prospect of teaching students to read online initially seemed insurmountable.
What looked like an impossible challenge just weeks ago has become a success story at the Northgate School District. On Tuesday, May 12, the Kindergarten Team from Bellevue and Avalon Elementary Buildings presented their approach for teaching the fundamental skills for reading as part of a professional development series hosted online by the Allegheny Intermediate Unit. Made up of a pre K teacher, five classroom teachers, two special education teachers, and a team of teacher assistants, this group has met daily since the close of the school buildings to plan lessons, produce videos, and discuss how to best meet the needs of each student in a virtual environment.
During the presentation each of the teachers took part in explaining not only what they are doing online, but why this is an important part of developing readers. Through technology tools like Google Classroom, SeeSaw, and Class Dojo, teachers are able to share videos and students can share videos back displaying their learning and receiving positive feedback. As they talked about their approach to delivering a structured literacy program to teachers across the region, what really shined through was the level of teamwork that was necessary to make this happen each week and how grateful the teachers are for parents who are supporting the students’ learning at home.
Two teachers from the Northgate Middle and High Schools are scheduled to present as part of the Allegheny Intermediate Unit’s series entitled “We Are In This Together.” With so many changes and challenges for education, it’s exciting to see Northgate teachers leading the way and sharing their success with educators across our region.
We are proud to announce that our very own Mrs. Karen Klicker will receive the Carnegie Science Center Elementary Educator Award. “I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this recognition than Karen Klicker. She means so much more to our community than being a great teacher,” said Avalon Elementary School Principal Dr. Joseph J. Peacock Jr.
“Her incredible humility and perseverance are an inspiration to her students and colleagues alike,” he continued. “No matter the instance, Karen always puts her students, school, and community first, as she watches them grow in the glow of the spotlight. It is wonderful to finally see her in the spotlight.”
The 24th annual Carnegie Science Awards Celebration on Sept. 17, presented by Eaton, will recognize these science and technology leaders for their achievements in 16 categories. Click here to read the article that appeared in North Hills Monthly magazine.
We are pleased to announce that our Welcome to our 2020 Kindergarten Registration has been rescheduled for Monday, June 8 from 5-8 pm. We are excited to spend Monday evening with you and your child.
Please note that your time of completing the registration will be based on the time that you arrive at Avalon Elementary. There will be several activity areas throughout the building that you can visit while you are waiting to register or after you complete the registration process.
The health and well-being of our Northgate family is our highest priority. The district will maintain frequent communication in the coming weeks as this ongoing situation evolves. We will continue to follow the guidance from the Allegheny County Health Department, Pennsylvania Department of Health, Pennsylvania Department of Education and Centers for Disease Control during the closure, and reevaluate as necessary.
We recognize that this closure is a disruption to our students, staff and families. This is a challenging time, and we thank you for your patience, understanding, and flexibility as we make responsible decisions to keep our community safe and limit the spread of COVID-19.
Northgate has added new academic programming for next year. We are adding several electives to our high school schedule including Economics (Fall), Anthropology (Spring), Entrepreneurship, Intro to Piano, Personal Finance, Special Science Topics, and a new Innovation and Design program.
The Innovation and Design courses will start with a middle school engineering elective. In 9th grade, students will be able to take Intro to Engineering and design which will be co-taught by a member of the Science faculty and a Technical Education teacher. We will also offer Innovation and Design I, II, and III for grades 10-12.
Innovation and Design is a project-based learning course that provides students with the methods and the tools to solve real-world problems in the community. Problem-solving methodologies taught in this class will include the scientific method, the Engineering Design Process, and Human-centered Design methods from the LUMA Institute and others. The types of problems that the students work on include problems from home, their school, the local community, business, and not-for-profit institutions. Students will team up with various local organizations to solve problems using engineering principles.
The middle school will also have a few new electives for students to choose during scheduling. The middle school rotations will be changed to include computer science in both 7th and 8th grade. Both courses will focus heavily on coding, but the 8th grade course will focus on using Hummingbirds while the 7th grade course focuses on using Photon robots. Art 7 and Music 8 will round out the rotations with the previously included Health and Physical Education.
We will also add a 7th grade Personal Fitness elective. The 7th grade electives include Personal Fitness, MS News, MS Industrial Arts, Chorus and Band. The 8th grade electives include MS Engineering and Design, MS Entrepreneurship, Foreign Language Rotation, Chorus, and Band.
Click here to view the entire course catalog. Any specific scheduling questions should be directed to the guidance counselor assigned to your student.
This month we had the pleasure of hosting executives from all over the Greater Pittsburgh region. We were honored to have representatives from The Grable Foundation, The Consortium for Public Education, Penn State University, Koppers, Federal Reserve Bank, and Siemens. Each company representative was paired with two different students and they shadowed those students for two periods. After a building tour, we had a lunch and learn session where students and company representatives brainstormed ways that business and education can cooperate to best prepare our students for the workforce. Each group discussed what experiences, skills, and knowledge students need to be successful in the workforce. This was a wonderful event and we are so proud of our kids, our school, and what we have planned for the future. #CompaniesintheClassroom2020
After months of preparing, our 5th grade students finally took the trip they had been looking forward to for months! They were the first students in Allegheny County to participate in the recently opened JA Biztown. This simulated community provides students an opportunity to practice many real life skills including applying for jobs, earning a paycheck, depositing money into the bank, budgeting, managing a checkbook, voting, working as a team to help their businesses succeed, purchasing products, etc. The students had been working on these skills for months and their visit to Biztown provided the opportunity to put these new skills into action. The students had a fantastic day with one student summing it up best when he said, “Best field trip ever! That was awesome!” Thank you to Junior Achievement of Western PA and all of the business sponsors for providing this amazing learning opportunity. We look forward to returning next year!
Congratulations to Northgate senior, Hailey McClain, who recently signed her letter of intent to play soccer at Thiel College. Hailey’s family were in attendance along with Avonworth Head Soccer Coach JC Mahan, Assistant Coach Lindsey Reichert and Northgate Athletic Director Bryan Kyle. Also there to celebrate her signing were coaches from her soccer club team FC Pittsburgh, Coach Paige Petroval, Coach Jason Edwards and Coach Alessandro Moreira.
Hailey plans to study Data Analytics with a minor in Sports Management. She hopes to one day analyze data on athletes and use it to help promote them to the next level. Through the Northgate College in the High School program, Hailey was able to earn 25 college credits which will give her a head start as she begins her studies at Thiel College.
We wish her the best of luck!