Newsroom

Northgate Attends AMLE 2019

Press Release

On November 7th, 8th, and 9th, Northgate sent a team of teachers and administrators to the Association for Middle Level Education’s National Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. This conference offers more than 300 sessions addressing issues vital to middle school educators.  Featuring two keynote speakers, each day of the conference kicked off with the thoughts and expertise of Baruti Kafele and Jessica Lahey. Baruti Kafele engaged the audience of more than 4,000 middle level educators as he talked about instructional leadership and how to “walk your why” every day. Both captivating and realistic, Mr. Kafele gave advice on how to strive for continuous improvement in our schools and focused on ensuring that everyone in leadership is perceived as someone who can make everyone around him or her better. Mrs. Lahey, author of the book “The Gift of Failure,” spoke about the mistakes we make as parents and educators in an effort to help our students succeed. According to Mrs. Lahey, by motivating students using extrinsic rewards and encouraging students to focus on things such as points and grades, we are undermining motivation and long-term learning. While both speakers presented well-researched and essential perspectives to consider, these two sessions were just the beginning of a lot of critical lessons to learn about students in the middle grades. The Northgate team was also able to learn from expert educators in important areas such as trauma based teaching and learning, culture building, safety and learning, technology in the classroom, and formative assessment. 

In addition to learning new ways to improve the experience for Northgate students, the team from Northgate presented a 60 minute session on how our advisory program has positively impacted our middle school students over the past year. The focus of the presentation was centered on finding ways to connect with students and provide advocacy for them as they navigate the sometimes treacherous middle grades. At Northgate, students are “drafted” into an advisory based on an interest survey completed in 6th grade. Teachers spend a lot of time considering which faculty advisor will best fit the needs of each incoming 7th and 8th grader. Once in an advisory, the group becomes somewhat of a family at school. Students and their advisors work to check in each Monday to discuss the weekend happenings and review current events. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, each team works together to develop the essential social and emotional skills our students will need to navigate successful futures. Wednesdays are dedicated to goal setting, peer tutoring, and grade monitoring, and Fridays are full of fun! In addition to all of these important tasks, the middle school team works to improve school culture by embarking on multiple school wide projects such as service learning, door and hallway decorating, mindfulness, spreading positivity, and kindness.

The faculty at Northgate understands that a well rounded education consists of much more than general subjects such as Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic. Teaching students vital soft skills to prepare them for a global society is an important piece of the Northgate curriculum, and the middle level team is proud to have been invited to speak on behalf of the amazing things that are happening every day at Northgate.

 

 

New Five Year Teacher Contract Approved

The Northgate Board of School Directors and the leadership of the Northgate Education Association are pleased to announce that both sides have agreed to a new five-year contract, effective July 1, 2020. 


The new contract results in a median salary increase of 3.5% over five years. The percentage increase is not evenly divided across the bargaining unit because the actual pay increase for each teacher is dependent on their years of service and educational level. A  retirement incentive has been built into this contract and the median salary increase takes into consideration the four committed retirements at the end of the 2019-20 school year.  Any future retirements would result in additional savings for the District across the life of the contract.  
 

Under the current contract (at the time of negotiation), the median salary increase was 4.5%. The median increase in the new contract is 1.0% less than the previous contract, which recognizes the importance of financial responsibility for the District while retaining our ability to attract and retain the best teachers.

 
An additional benefit of the contract is the conversion of professional development hours previously divided across multiple days into a full day. This will allow the teachers and administrators additional time to work on educational initiatives that will directly impact student outcomes.  


The contract recognizes and rewards the excellence of our teachers and is attentive to the fiscal realities of the District and its taxpayers. The preliminary audit for the 2018-19 school year indicates our projected deficit to be lower than expected. This agreement facilitates the District's ability to accurately forecast budgetary needs for compensation and provides peace of mind for staff, as our District continues to provide exemplary educational opportunities to our students. 

Click here to read the full press release.

Go Red Go Stem 2019

Northgate attended the 2019 Go Red Go Stem event at the Carnegie Museum on November 8th.  They had break out sessions to expose our girls to see what a career in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math could look like.    This day long event empowered a group of young women from local schools - grade 6 thru 8 to explore STEM outside the classroom.  The young students gained first-hand experience through hands-on exhibits, panel discussions, break-out sessions, and table mentoring with women in the Pittsburgh community's STEM fields.
 

"Make-it" A Happy Halloween

The kids at the Middle/High School welcomed their younger peers from both elementary schools for the annual "Make-it" a Happy Halloween event! Students plan activities, dress in costume, and everyone makes different Halloween themed activities. The high school students were awesome as they worked with the younger students and guided them through activities. The elementary students had a blast and were sporting all types of cool costumes. A lot of gratitude and thanks to the faculty members who went the extra mile and put in the extra time to make this event a success. We are so excited to see this tradition grow!

Cross Country Success

This past Thursday, the Northgate Cross Country teams traveled to Cal U to preview the WPIAL Championship course at the Tri-State Coaches Association Invitational.

Grace Baldauff and Lydia Valeriano put the rest of the WPIAL class A girls on notice that they will be in contention to challenge for a WPIAL title. Running in the last race of the day after the already muddy course had been beaten up, Grace finished 4th among class A runners and Lydia finished 7th, earning top finisher trophies.

Not to be outdone, Paul Baldauff ran a strong race and finished 10th among class A runners, and will be in contention to grab a state qualifying spot in the WPIAL Championship race.

The teams will compete in the WPIAL Championships this Thursday. Wish them luck!

Partner UP at Northgate

PartnerUp is a pre-employment training program that empowers high school graduates build the skills they need to be successful in the job market. Participating businesses include PNC, People’s Gas, Comcast, and Allegheny Health Network.

In addition to helping students develop the soft, transferrable skills that all employers demand, PartnerUp also prepares them for job searches. They learn to identify their skills and discuss how they’d be applicable in the workplace; engage in mock interviews and get support for writing resumes.

About 2,100 students participated in PartnerUp during last school year, and the number is expected to increase this year. Participating students will come together for eight sessions throughout the year when representatives from participating businesses will join the group to support the student’s growth toward entering the job market. The experience culminates with an interview process that could yield a job offer for the students as they graduate from high school

Bellevue Kindness Day

This past year, Bellevue Elementary launched Kindness Stations Day, and it was a huge success! Students made a variety of kindness items to be distributed throughout our community. Each student was able to pick a station to create a special piece. The stations included:

  • Decorating Muddy Cup holders and Khun's grocery bags and making bookmarks for Bayne Library.
  • Making dog toys for Animal Friends.
  • Making cards for Operation Troop Appreciation and Bellevue Police and Firefighters.
  • Decorating puzzles and making Tic Tac Toe boards for Bellevue Pediatrics.
  • Making tissue paper flowers with kindness sayings for seniors at Lutheran Service Center.
  • Making welcome bags with key chains for new families at Bellevue Elementary School.

The message of kindness was embraced by the students and we thank everyone who participated and volunteered that day!