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Allard students to study air quality

1/30/2015. Filed under Press Releases.

Allard Elementary is teaming up with Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP) and the Southwest Pennsylvania Air Quality Partnership, Inc. (SPAQP) to implement the School Flag program, designed to teach students, parents and teachers about outdoor air quality conditions.

The School Flag program focuses on two main air pollutants – ground-level ozone and fine particulate matter. Southwestern Pennsylvania experiences many days when one or both of these pollutants are at high levels.

As part of the School Flag Program, each day Allard students will use an app on iPads to check the Air Quality Index forecast, a national guide for reporting air quality, and raise a colored flag outside their school that represents the day’s expected air pollution level. Based on the flag color, teachers, school personnel and parents can take actions, if necessary, to help safeguard students from exposure to unhealthy levels of air pollutants.

A green flag indicates air quality is good and poses little or no risk to health. The yellow flag signals moderate health concern, and orange means unhealthy for sensitive groups such as children, the elderly and people with asthma. A red flag announces unhealthy air for everyone. A purple flag means the air quality is very unhealthy and everyone should avoid all outdoor activity – most commonly used in the event of a forest fire.

In addition, Allard students will make an announcement over the PA system each morning and graph the air quality index over a period of time through the use of a visual in the front of the school.

“This hands-on project will build awareness among our students about air quality. This awareness will help students complete the activities that will be available during the Math and Science Olympics that Allard hosts annually at the end of the school year,” Dana Bauer, fourth grade teacher and Allard’s service learning coordinator, said. “The Math and Science Olympics will act as a culminating activity for this project, where the entire student population will be studying and participating in events related to air pollution and environmental awareness.”

In addition to preparing Allard students for the Math and Science Olympics, the project helps support the fourth grade science curriculum, which contains a unit on the environment and ecology.

“Children take in more air per pound of body weight, than adults, and as a result, are at a greater risk from air pollution, because their lungs are still developing,” Rachel Fillippini, executive director of GASP said. “By participating in this program, schools can better arm themselves and their students with air quality information.”

The School Flag program, available to schools through southwest Pennsylvania, is funded by the SPAQP and administered by GASP. Participating schools receive a free set of air quality flags, banner, grade and age appropriate lessons on air pollution, and assistance with school specific programs. Interested school administrators or teachers, should contact, or call 412-924-0604.

Moon students compete in STEM competition

1/30/2015. Filed under Press Releases.

A team of five Moon Area High School students will compete in the regional Governor’s JOBS1st STEM Competition on Feb. 18, 2015, at the Allegheny Intermediate Unit with the hopes of advancing to the state level.  STEM education stands for science, technology, engineering and math.

The competition, open to Pennsylvania students in grades 9-12, tasks students with selecting a real-world problem, conducting research and designing and building a prototype device that can improve the quality of life for residents. Each student team receives a $500 stipend to cover project costs at the regional level and an additional $750 stipend if the team advances to the state finals.

The Moon team is comprised of sophomore Ryan Finnegan and freshmen Leah Eberts, Olivia Fernau, Kate Naugle and Nick Ulven. They are working under the supervision of Director of Guidance, School Counseling and Gifted Education Neil English and Superintendent of Schools Curt Baker.

The regional competition is comprised of three phases designed to have students showcase their solution and approach to a real-life Pennsylvania STEM challenge, demonstrate an understanding of STEM needs and opportunities, and show the ability to work as a team. 

Winners of the regional competitions held at Pennsylvania’s 27 intermediate units will advance to the statewide contest on May 29, 2015, at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology in Lancaster. Top finishers will receive monetary awards to be used for post-secondary education. First place team members will each receive $2,000; second place winners will receive $1,000 apiece, and for third place, each student will receive $500. If the winning students enroll in a state-owned university, they will receive an additional $1,000 for first place and an extra $500 each for second and third place winners.

As part of the competition, students must engage with the local community to learn about STEM related careers and the skills necessary to be successful. To accomplish this objective, the team of Moon students recently visited EverPower, a wind turbine company headquartered in Pittsburgh. The students presented their innovation and had the opportunity to brainstorm with engineers, designers and other professionals in order to gather feedback and suggestions for improvement.

“EverPower gave us access to many employees who spent a lot of time with us,” Mr. English said. “In addition to touring the facility, our team had the opportunity to run their project ideas by the engineers and gather some great design principles.”

According to the competition guidelines, “Pennsylvania is home to some of the most technologically diverse and scientifically sophisticated companies in the world. With these avenues for employment existing in our communities, it is important that students develop an understanding of STEM concepts and gain STEM competencies.”

EverPower is a developer, owner and operator of utility grade wind projects. Since its founding in 2002, the company has used a unique approach to wind power development by partnering with landowners and communities to establish itself as premier developer, owner, and operator of wind projects in the U.S. The team of Moon students may return to EverPower in March to tour a wind turbine.

Special Board Meeting: Monday, Feb. 2


The Moon Area School District Board of Education will conduct a special board meeting on Monday, February 2, 2015, at 6 p.m. in the Moon Area School Board meeting room, 8353 University Blvd., Moon Township, PA 15108. The Board will discuss the nomination of an individual to serve as a director for the Moon Transportation Authority and will consider any other business that may come before the board. The meeting is open to the public.

view the agenda

Junior Parents’ Seminar set for Feb. 11

1/26/2015. Filed under Press Releases.

The Junior Parents’ Seminar, titled “Preparing for the Next Step,” will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, in the Moon Area High School’s LGI room.

Topics covered include the following:

  • What choices do students have for “Life after High School”
  • Student and school assessments
  • Time line for selection process
  • Naviance
  • School and scholarship searches
  • College visits and interviews
  • Using the summer wisely

The event is sponsored by the Moon Area High School Counseling Center and all parents are welcome. For more information, please contact a school counselor:

Elementary students to complete 100 acts of kindness

1/26/2015. Filed under Press Releases.

Students at Brooks and McCormick elementary schools are demonstrating the character education trait of kindness in celebration of the upcoming 100th day of school – Jan. 27, 2015.

During computer classes, students are writing about an act of kindness that they did at home, at school or within their neighborhood/community. Each act of kindness is printed and glued to a paper hand, which is then added to a banner that reads, “I Had a Hand in 100 Acts of Kindness.”

“Our goal is to collect 100 acts of kindness at both Brooks and McCormick by the 100th day of school,” Mrs. Susan McKenna, computer science teacher, said.

Below are some of the acts of kindness that students have demonstrated:

  • “I helped a kindergartener clean up his water that he spilled.”  - Megan, grade 4
  • “My act of kindness is when I helped a new student find his way around McCormick.” – Ethan, grade 4
  • “I helped someone at reading, and it helped them. I was happy that it made more sense to them.” – Skylar, grade 4
  • “I feed the dog every morning without being asked to do it.” – Troy, grade 4
  • “I helped my sister study for a vocabulary test.”  – Seanna, grade 4
  • “I cleaned up all my toys, I fed my cat, I took out the garbage, and I did the dishes without anyone asking.” – Jack, grade 4
  • “I got my brother cereal when I didn't have to do it.” – Ava, grade 4
  • “I cleaned my room without my parents asking me.” – Austin, grade 3
  • “I helped my neighbor by shoveling his driveway.” – JJ, grade 3
  • “I did the dishes without my parents asking.”  – Kendell, grade 3
  • “I made my bed without anybody asking me to.” – Caden, grade 3 
  • “I helped my mom make my bed without her asking me.” – Hannah, grade 3
  • “I showed an act of kindness by doing my laundry and putting it in the washer without being asked.” – Niko, grade 3
  • “I walked the dogs without my dad telling me to walk them.” – Edwin, grade 2
  • “I made my bed without my parents asking.” – Lydia, grade 2
  • “I went to play piano without my mom telling me.” – Ankita, grade 2
  • “I cleaned my room when I wasn't told to do it.” – Hannah, grade 2


Board of Education Meeting: Monday, Jan. 26, 2015 | Agenda


Click here to view the School Board agenda for Monday, Jan. 26, 2015. 

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Board Room located within the central administrative offices.

MASD Strategic Plan published in the Allegheny West magazine

1/16/2015. Filed under Press Releases.

Moon Area School District’s Strategic Plan is being shared with the Moon and Crescent township communities via the Allegheny West magazine. The publication began arriving in homes Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015.

The magazine is mailed to every home and business within the school district – a circulation of 12,965 – six times each year. In addition, Allegheny West is available in magazine racks located in the Moon Township Public Library, grocery stores, restaurants and other locations within the community.

“Our partnership with Allegheny West magazine provided us an efficient and cost effective solution to communicate with our entire school community – especially our residents who don’t have children in our schools,” Superintendent Curt Baker said.

The Strategic Plan spans across 20 pages of the magazine in a format that includes articles, charts, graphs and photos.

“In numerous meetings and conversations with parents and community members, we heard loud and clear that our community wanted this important information delivered in a format and style that’s reader-friendly,” Mr. Baker said.

Click here to view the Strategic Plan.

Class of 1975 to celebrate 40th reunion

1/16/2015. Filed under Press Releases.

The Moon High School Class of 1975 will celebrate its 40th reunion July 31-Aug. 2, 2015. Information about the weekend is shared below and classmates can connect on Facebook or email with any questions or concerns.

Friday Evening Informal Gathering:
An informal, pay-as-you-go gathering will begin at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 31 at Paradise Island Bowl, located just across the Neville Island bridge and across from the RMU Sports Complex, at 7601 Grand Avenue. The phone number is 412-264-6570.

Saturday Reunion Dinner
The reunion dinner is set from 6 – 11 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 1 at the Robert Morris University Sewall Center Executive Dining Rooms.  The cost is $50/person with a cash bar.  Checks should be made payable to “MSH1975 Reunion” and sent to:  Moon High School Class of 1975, PO Box 730, Moon Township, PA 15108.

The Sewall Center is located just inside the University Boulevard entrance to Robert Morris University, across from the Ground Round and the Giant Eagle plaza.  The phone number is 412-397-4445.

The DoubleTree by Hilton on University Boulevard is the official hotel for the MHS1975 40th Reunion. A special $114+tax/per night rate has been negotiated for a block of 20 rooms, which will go quickly. This rate is available for Friday, July 31 and/or Saturday, Aug. 1. Please contact the hotel directly at 412-329-1400 and ask for the "Moon Class of 1975 Reunion.”  A Sunday, Aug. 2, get away brunch at the hotel is being discussed.

For more information, connect with classmates on Facebook or email with any questions or concerns.

Elementary Capital Improvement Program advances

1/16/2015. Filed under Press Releases.

The Moon Area School District Board of Education advanced the elementary renovation project by approving PlanCon Part D and Part E during its meeting on Monday, Jan. 12, 2015.

PlanCon Part D addresses estimated project costs and includes various tests of a district's financial ability to make future debt payments. PlanCon Part E is comprised of a conference to review the architectural aspects of a project when the design is fully developed.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, “when a school district undertakes a major construction project and seeks reimbursement from the commonwealth, a process known as PlanCon is initiated. PlanCon, an acronym for Planning and Construction Workbook, is a set of forms and procedures used to apply for Commonwealth reimbursement.”  Click here to learn more about the PlanCon process.

The renovations, estimated at $26.2 million, are scheduled to be finished in time for the start of the 2015-16 school year.

The Elementary Capital Improvement Program, approved in June 2014, reconfigures the current elementary schools from five buildings, serving kindergarten through grade 4, to four buildings – two (Brooks and Bon Meade) serving kindergarten through grade 2 and two (Allard and McCormick) serving grades 3 and 4.

Hyde Elementary will close at the end of the current school year and will be re-purposed as Fern Hollow Learning Center, offering pre-kindergarten programming, credit recovery for middle and high school students, professional development and a maker-space for discovery and enrichment.

view the architect's presentation

Moon approves 2015-16 calendar

1/16/2015. Filed under Press Releases.

The Moon Area School District Board of Education approved the 2015-16 school calendar during its Jan. 12, 2015, meeting. The newly approved calendar is similar to the current 2014-15 calendar with a pre-Labor Day start and a late-May finish to the school year.

The first day of school for students is Monday, Aug. 17, 2015. Thanksgiving Break for students and teachers begins on Thanksgiving Day and extends through Monday, Nov. 30. Winter Break encompass two full weeks and a one-week Spring Break is scheduled in late March, the week prior to Easter.

The last day of the school for students is set for Friday, May 27, 2016, and graduation is set for the following Friday, June 3, 2016. If needed, snow make-up days would be added on to the end of the school year – during the week of Tuesday, May 31 through Friday, June 3.

view the 2015-16 calendar

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