Latest News

Moon implements new online cafeteria payment system

12/16/2014. Filed under Press Releases.

The Moon Area School District is upgrading its online cafeteria payment system for students and their families. The system will change from the current system to during the winter break.

The last day to make online payments using is this Wednesday, Dec. 17. Parents may continue to send in cash or checks made payable to Moon Area Food Service Fund. No action is required for those for choose not to use the online payment service.  

Account balances will automatically transfer from the old system to on Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014. Parents who wish to continue making online payments to their student’s lunch account must create an account at Beginning Dec. 23, parents can deposit funds electronically and will be able to view account balances to date.

Student PIN numbers, which students enter in the cafeteria line, will remain the same.

“Other than the lunch line being able to move more quickly, our students will not notice a difference,” Christie Leininger, food service director, said.  

ParentOnline enables parents to view their student’s cafeteria balance and purchases; make secure online payments; and receive low balance email notifications. In addition, the new system allows parents the opportunity to make notations or restrictions on the child’s account. For instance, parents can stipulate that snacks cannot be purchased or can limit snacks to a specific day only. The new system also enables parents with children in multiple schools to link and manage one account.

There is no fee to enroll or to view cafeteria account balances/statements. A $1.95 convenience fee is charged for each online payment made via Fees can be avoided by sending payment (cash or checks made payable to Moon Area Food Service Fund) to the school to be deposited in the student’s account.

For those who are unable to access, balance inquiries and account statements are available by contacting Christie Leininger at or calling 412-264-9440 ext. 1129.


McCormick raises $1,000 for children’s research hospital

12/16/2014. Filed under Press Releases.

Students and staff from McCormick Elementary School raised $1,000 to support the lifesaving mission of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

On Nov. 22, many participated in the St. Jude Give Thanks Walk. In addition, the school held a Green Out; sold items in the school store; competed in quarter wars; and held other events to benefit St. Jude and its patients.

According to its website, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is unlike any other pediatric treatment and research facility. Discoveries made here have completely changed how the world treats children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. With research and patient care under one roof, St. Jude is where some of today's most gifted researchers are able to do science more quickly.


Wax Museum brings history to life

12/12/2014. Filed under Press Releases.

Third graders at Brooks Elementary School recently presented a Wax Museum, featuring famous Pennsylvanians. The event, held on Nov. 21, was visited by students and teachers from all grade levels.

Throughout a six-week period, each third grade student researched and wrote a biography about a prominent person in Pennsylvania’s history. Dressed as their character, students presented interesting facts about their person to visitors at the Wax Museum.

The museum featured historical exhibits including Roberto Clemente, Benjamin Franklin, Betsy Ross, Robert Fulton, Nellie Bly, William Penn, Fred Rogers and many more.



Second grader forgoes birthday gifts for charity

12/12/2014. Filed under Press Releases.

A second grader at Bon Meade Elementary School recently demonstrated an act of kindness well beyond his years. With his eighth birthday within reach, Brendan Allison’s wish list was not filled with video games, Legos, Skylanders or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. His only request was to help those in need.

Rather than receive gifts at his birthday party, Brendan asked his friends and family to make a contribution to the Children Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation.

“It was such a kind, generous, and remarkable deed,” Tony Difiore, Brendan’s teacher, said. “He asked his classmates to do this because he was at Children's Hospital for visits this past year (everything is ok with him, thankfully) and saw all of the sick children and wanted to help those kids.”

In total, Brendan’s “birthday gifts” raised $1,717.60 for the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.  

“When I went to Children’s Hospital, I saw all the sick children there,” Brendan said. “When my mom told me about the Free Care Fund, I wanted to help.”

Brendan said that he’s enjoyed receiving compliments from others. However, the best part is knowing that he’s made the holidays a little brighter for others.

“I am so proud of Brendan for thinking of others and for being so compassionate,” Mr. Difiore said. “Being that the holidays are right around the corner, this reminds us that there is no greater feeling than to give to others, particularly those that are sick or in need. His act of kindness shows remarkable character, especially at such a young age.”

Brendan’s birthday was Nov. 21 and he and his friends celebrated his special day at Paradise Island Bowling. Although he’s not yet decided – after all his ninth birthday is a long way off – Brendan is considering helping others again next year. 

“Brendan is the best example of selfless giving,” Molly Vogel, development coordinator for Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation, said. “To recognize the impact his support will make to our patients and families around the holiday and forgo any birthday gifts is remarkable.”


Moon teacher earns national certification

12/10/2014. Filed under Press Releases.

A Moon Area School District teacher recently earned National Board Certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Julie Briggs, high school mathematics teacher, was among the 64 teachers in Pennsylvania and 4,158 in the nation to successfully complete the assessment process this year.

“National Board Certification is the gold standard for the teaching profession. The process is extremely rigorous and requires an enormous commitment to self-analysis and self-improvement,” Caroline Johns, assistant superintendent for teacher and learning, said. “This is an outstanding accomplishment for Julie and, more importantly, a tremendous benefit to her current and future students.”

Mrs. Briggs joined the Moon Area High School teaching staff in 2010. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, she earned her undergraduate degree in mathematics and a master’s in secondary mathematics. Mrs. Briggs earned National Board Certification in Adolescence and Young Adulthood Mathematics.

“The certification process gave me the opportunity to reflect on my practice in a conscientious and deliberate manner.  It helped me to fine tune my teaching methods in both small group and whole class settings as well as develop sequential learning experiences to build upon and further individual student learning,” Mrs. Briggs said. “Additionally, the certification process gave me the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues and community members to improve the already outstanding quality of education for our students here at Moon.  I hope more teachers in our district will achieve certification to enhance these ongoing collaborative efforts.”

Mrs. Briggs joins Beth Lynn Carter, third grade teacher at Brooks Elementary, as Moon Area School District’s two National Board Certified Teachers. Mrs. Carter earned her national certification in Generalist/Middle Childhood in 2007.

Mrs. Briggs and her husband, Andy, are the parents of an infant daughter, Reagan.

National Board Certification is a voluntary assessment program designed to recognize and reward great teachers—and make them better. While state licensing systems set basic requirements to teach in each state, National Board Certified Teachers have successfully demonstrated advanced teaching knowledge, skills and practices. The performance-based, peer-review process—created by teachers, for teachers— defines what teachers should know and be able to do to advance student learning.

"National Board Certification is a challenging process that allows good teachers to reflect on their practices—what works and what they can improve upon,” Lily Eskelsen García, president of the National Education Association, said. “We salute our members who have invested themselves in this rigorous process and are excited about what it means for the students they serve.”

There are currently 1,211 National Board Certified Teachers in Pennsylvania and more than 110,447 nationally. Pennsylvania ranks 16th nationwide in the number of teachers achieving board certification this year and 18th in the total number of National Board Certified Teachers.

"Today, only a small fraction of America’s teachers are board certified,” Ronald Thorpe, president and CEO of the National Board, said. “We owe it to our students and our future to make them a majority.”

According to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, certified teachers, known as NBCTs, are leading both in and outside of the classroom. A recent survey of NBCTs showed that 54 percent have served or are currently working as team leaders, 36 percent as department chairs and 15 percent as staff developers or instructional coaches. Forty-three percent of NBCTs have led efforts to implement the Common Core State Standards in their schools, districts and states, while the same percentage have been involved in leading the implementation of teacher evaluation systems through peer review or observation. More than three out of four NBCTs have led professional development efforts in their schools.

National Board Certification is available in 25 certificate areas from Pre-K−12th grades. For more information about the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and National Board Certification, visit


Middle school supports backpack initiative

12/10/2014. Filed under Press Releases.

Moon Area Middle School students and staff collected 142 backpacks to benefit the Backpacks for Kids program at the West Hills Food Pantry.

The middle school held a contest among the advisor bases.  Mrs. Fuller’s advisor base won the Lower House contest, bringing in 21 backpacks, while Mrs. Slater’s advisor base won the Upper House contest by bringing in 11 backpacks.

The West Hills Food Pantry backpack initiative, which began in 2003, provides backpacks filled with school supplies to those in need.  According to the organization’s website, “the goal of the program is to allow every child to walk into our schools with his/her head held high, ready for the first day of school.”

More than 200 backpacks are distributed each year.  Visit to learn more.

PNC Bank senior vice president visits MAHS

12/10/2014. Filed under Press Releases.

Personal finance and business math classes at Moon Area High School were recently enhanced by a visit from a local finance professional. PNC Bank Senior Vice President Dan Taylor talked with students on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014.

Mr. Taylor presented his background, talked about personal finance topics and concluded with a question and answer session. Students had the opportunity to explore personal finance topics including money management, credit management, wealth management and career development.

“The event provided an enhancement to the curriculum by allowing our students to understand the importance of their studies as it relates to the real world,” Bill Bacu, business education teacher,” said.

Proposed 2015-16 calendar set for approval

12/5/2014. Filed under Press Releases.

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

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

The last day of the school for students would be Friday, May 27, and graduation is tentatively 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.

The Board of Education meets at 7 p.m. in the district’s administration center. All meetings are open to the public.

Proposed 2015-16 School Calendar

Hyde staff to be re-assigned in June

12/5/2014. Filed under Press Releases.

The closing of Hyde Elementary School necessitates several procedural steps that must be taken to comply with state law and the school code. According to the district’s solicitor, one such step includes issuing notice to all building staff that indicates their position at Hyde will be eliminated effective at the close of the fiscal year. Although the letters are a necessary step in the closing of the elementary school, there is no intent to furlough Hyde staff members.

Curt Baker, superintendent of schools, met with Hyde Elementary staff on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014, to present the letters and to assure staff members that their employment was not being terminated at the end of the year. In fact, the closing of Hyde and the renovation of Allard and Brooks will result in the same number of elementary classrooms. Therefore, a reduction in staffing is not planned.

The teaching staff and support staff are both represented by their respective labor unions. Both teachers and support staff will have the opportunity to bid into positions throughout the district as stipulated by their respective union contract, which will guide that process.

Ironically, the same day that Mr. Baker met with the Hyde Elementary staff, Moon Area School District announced its Holiday Teacher Recruitment Festival. The purpose of the recruitment festival is to identify and recruit top teaching prospects for the 2015-16 school year – before the typical hiring season in order to secure the very best teachers for Moon Area School District. Not only is the district not planning to furlough staff, it is moving forward with a hiring strategy to ensure continued quality.

Teacher recruitment festival set for Dec. 30 – register online

12/4/2014. Filed under Press Releases.

*****Nearly 275 teacher candidates have registered for the Holiday Teacher Recruitment Festival!!!!  We are no longer accepting appointments at this time. *****

The Moon Area School District will host a Holiday Teacher Recruitment Festival from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014, at the district’s administrative offices. Interviews are by appointment only, first come-first served. Click here to begin the registration process.

Administrators will conduct 20-minute interviews with potential teacher candidates for the 2015-16 school year as well as day-to-day and long-term substitutes, which could begin as early as January.

“Research consistently cites teacher quality as the single biggest influence on student achievement. As such, it is crucial that we recruit, retain and continue to nurture and develop the highest quality teachers for our classrooms,” Superintendent Curt Baker said. “The Holiday Teacher Recruitment Festival allows us the opportunity to identify and hire the very best new and emerging teachers – in advance of the typical hiring season.”

The recruitment festival is geared toward December graduates, education students who will graduate in May 2015, as well as experienced teachers who would like to opportunity to teach in the Moon Area School District.

“While we anticipate that most teacher candidates will be recent graduates and college seniors, we certainly welcome experienced teachers,” Mr. Baker said.

Specific teaching position openings for the 2015-16 school year are not yet known. Administrators will be interviewing for all grade levels and certification areas. 

For more information, contact the district’s human resources staff:  Bill Addy at 412-264-9440 ext. 1153 or via email or Shandra Peelman at 412-264-9440 ext. 1133 or via email

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