Moon announces PSSA testing schedules
2/12/2016. Filed under Press Releases.
Annual PSSA testing for Moon Area School District students is set to begin in mid-April. As required by the Pennsylvania Education Department, English language arts and mathematics exams will be administered to students in grades 3 – 8. In addition, science exams will be given in grades 4 and 8.
Click here for the testing schedule for Allard Intermediate, McCormick Intermediate and Moon Area Middle School
It is state-mandated that tests are administered during the designated testing windows:
- English language arts (grades 3-8): April 11-15
- Mathematics (grades 3-8): April 18-22
- Science (grades 4 and 8): April 25-29
- Make-up tests: May 2-6
Keystone Exams for secondary students enrolled in Algebra I, biology and literature will be administered during the May 16-27 testing window.
Those with questions or concerns regarding the PSSA or Keystone testing schedules are encouraged to contact their respective building principal:
- Allard Intermediate: Mr. David Gallup
- McCormick Intermediate: Dr. Julie Moore
- Moon Area Middle School: Mrs. Melissa Heasley
- Moon Area High School: Mr. Barry Balaski
How can parents support children who will take high-stakes tests like the PSSA and Keystone Exams?
- Make sure to know the school's testing calendar and schedule.
- Avoid scheduling trips and appointments that would result in a student missing a testing session. All students must take the tests, so any absent students will be required to make up tests during a make-up session, possibly when other students are in class.
- Make sure test-takers are aware that the tests will include some easy questions and some hard questions.
- Arrive on time to school on testing days.
- Make sure students get a good night's sleep and eat a healthy breakfast. Rest and healthy foods increase stamina during testing periods.
- Ask your child if he/she has any concerns about taking standardized tests and try to alleviate these concerns by encouraging your child to do the best he/she can.
- Remind students to listen carefully to the directions and ask questions if they are not certain what to do.
- Encourage your child to take his/her time answering the questions. The testing procedures allow any student to have extended time to finish the test.
- Help children keep the testing in perspective and be aware that these tests are a snapshot of a student's performance at a point in time. Other measures that show student learning might include: classroom assessments, projects, research reports, writing, benchmark assessments, and portfolio.
Taken from Partners for Public Education | www.partnersforpubliced.org
MAHS students compete in Shakespeare contest
2/12/2016. Filed under Press Releases.
Ten Moon Area High School students competed in the Pittsburgh Public Theater’s 2016 Shakespeare Monologue & Scene Contest on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016, at the O’Reilly Theater in Downtown Pittsburgh.
Participating students include seniors Katrina Kudla, Olivia Lindstrom, Julia Olson, Alexis Paige, Paige Proudfit, Desiree Stribling and Amber Wesoloski; junior Alyssa Shorak; sophomore Micha Morton; and freshman Ashley Lara.
“Our club worked diligently all year long to prepare to compete against 75 other schools in the region by performing one of Shakespeare’s monologues,” Robert Michael, sponsor of the high school’s Shakespeare Club, said. “We had 10 students compete yesterday and they did a wonderful job!”
The Shakespeare contest is open to students in grades 4-12 from throughout the Pittsburgh region. Students may enter the monologue, scene or both portions of the contest in either the upper division (grades 8-12) or the lower division (grades 4-7).
Contestants present their pieces on the main stage in front of a panel of judges. Those who advance to the final round of the contest have the opportunity to perform at the Showcase of Finalists.
The preliminary round performances are scheduled from Feb. 4-12. Finalists will be announced following this Friday’s preliminary round. If the Moon Area students advance, they will perform in the Showcase of Finalists this Monday, Feb. 15.
According to the Pittsburgh Public Theater’s website, the contest has grown from 75 contestants the first year to more than 1,200 participants this past season. “The Shakespeare contest has become a much anticipated annual event. This is a wonderful opportunity for young people to experience the excitement of live performance while learning the works of William Shakespeare.”
Moon bowlers sweep section titles
2/11/2016. Filed under Press Releases.
The Moon Area boys' and girls' bowling teams have swept the section. This marks the boys' third section title in a row and the girls' second title championship. Both teams are now guaranteed spots in the WPIBL Team Championship events, which are set for Wednesday, Feb. 17 (boys) and Thursday, Feb. 18 (girls).
Good luck to those attending the MAC Invitational on Saturday, Feb. 13.
Congratulations and good luck the following bowlers who earned the chance to bowl in the WPIBL singles events on Wednesday, Feb. 24 (boys) and Thursday, Feb. 25 (girls):
- Angelique Aban
- Elizabeth Cross
- Taylor Skosnik
- Sam Copeland
- Jeremy Davidson
- Grant Egyed
- Jonathan Kleer
- Brendan Lampo
Board of Education Meeting: Monday, Feb. 8 | Agenda
Click here to view the School Board meeting agenda for Monday, Feb. 8, 2016.
The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Moon Area High School auditorium. The meeting will include a presentation regarding elementary configuration.
Additional community meetings are set for Tuesday, Feb. 16 and Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016. Both meetings begin at 7 p.m. in the Moon Area High School auditorium.
School Board meetings are open to the public.
12 student athletes sign Letters of Intent
2/3/2016. Filed under Press Releases.
A dozen Moon Area High School student athletes signed Letters of Intent to compete in their respective sports at the collegiate level beginning this fall. National Signing Day, held annually on the first Wednesday in February, was Feb. 3, 2016.
- Gina Bonura | Waynesburg University | Soccer
- Gabrielle Diamond | Westminster College | Soccer
- Noah Firmstone | Robert Morris University | Golf
- Laura Geldmaker | West Virginia Wesleyan College | Track & Field and Cross Country
- Kelsey Hall | The College of Wooster | Soccer
- Austin Hoffman | Polk State Junior College | Baseball
- Devin Jeffries | Indiana University of Pennsylvania | Track & Field
- Lauren Malcolm | St. Bonaventure University | Soccer
- Elizabeth Naugle | Ohio Northern University | Lacrosse
- Josh Nuttall | Olivet College | Volleyball
- Josh Rankin | Saginaw Valley State University | Baseball
- Natalie Spangler | St. Francis University | Soccer
Gina Bonura | Waynesburg University | Soccer
Defender Gina Bonura will join the women’s soccer team at Waynesburg University. The Yellow Jackets are members of the Division III Presidents Athletic Conference and are coached by Laura Heethuis.
Gina is a two-year letter winner in both soccer and lacrosse and has been named a Scholar Athlete, achieving Honor Roll all four years at Moon Area High School. She will major in forensic science.
Gabrielle Diamond | Westminster College | Soccer
Gabrielle Diamond, a midfielder, has selected to continue her academic and athletic career at Westminster College. A three-year letter winner, she was also named a Scholar Athlete for her high academic achievement. Gabriella will major in biology with the career goal of becoming a physical therapist.
The Westminster Titans complete in the Presidents Athletic Conference. The women’s soccer team is coached by Girish Thakak.
Noah Firmstone | Robert Morris University | Golf
Golfer Noah Firmstone will attend Division I Robert Morris University this fall. A two-year team captain, he finished his senior season as the Section 5 WPIAL Qualifying Champion and was among the top 10 in the PIAA State Championship.
Noah achieved High Honor Roll status all four years at Moon Area High School and is a member of National Honor Society and Key Club. He will major in actuarial science.
The Colonials are coached by Jerry Stone and compete in the Northeast Conference.
Laura Geldmaker | West Virginia Wesleyan College | Track & Field and Cross Country
Laura Geldmaker will compete in both track and field and cross country at West Virginia Wesleyan College. The mid-distance runner is a member of the 4x800 relay team that currently holds the Moon Area High School record.
A Scholar-Athlete, Laura is a member of the National Honor Society and has achieved High Honor Roll distinction. In addition to running, she has competed in soccer. Laura will major in exercise science and is pursuing a career in physical therapy.
Coached by Jesse Skiles, the West Virginia Wesleyan Bobcats compete in the Division II Mountain East Conference.
Kelsey Hall | The College of Wooster | Soccer
Center midfielder Kelsey Hall has selected The College of Wooster to continue her academic and soccer career. She plans to study biology/pre-med.
Kelsey earned High Honors all four years at Moon Area High School and was awarded the Academic Achievement Award in grades 10 and 12 for having the highest GPA on the soccer team.
The Fighting Scots are coached by David Brown and compete in the Division III North Coast Athletic Conference.
Austin Hoffman | Polk State Junior College | Baseball
Infielder Austin Hoffman will join the Polk State Junior College baseball team in Winter Haven, Fla., this fall. The four-year varsity letter winner was named MVP in his junior year and earned All WPIAL and All-Section First Team honors in 2014 and 2015.
The Polk State Eagles are coached by Al Corbeil and compete in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I Suncoast Conference.
Devin Jeffries | Indiana University of Pennsylvania | Track & Field
Devin Jeffries will compete in track and field for the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Crimson Hawks. He intends to major in safety, health and environmental applied sciences. A Scholar Athlete, he has earned Honors and High Honors distinction throughout his high school career.
A standout runner, Devin competed in the state championships in the 4x400 relay; in the WPIAL finals in the 4x800 relay; and is a medal winner at the Tri-State and MAC tournaments in the 4x800 relay and the 4x400 relay. A three-year letter winner in both track and cross country, Devin served as captain of both teams.
Coached by Joseph Zins, IUP competes in the Division II Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.
Lauren Malcolm | St. Bonaventure University | Soccer
Goalkeeper Lauren Malcolm will join the St. Bonaventure women’s soccer team this fall. An honor roll student, she is undecided on her major.
A standout athlete in both soccer and track, Lauren earned All WPIAL and All-Section honors in soccer and WPIAL honors in the high jump and 4x10 relay events for track and field. In addition, she has competed on the Region 1 Olympic Development Soccer Team.
Under the leadership of head coach Svetozar Brdarski, the Bonnies compete in the Division I Atlantic 10 Conference.
Elizabeth Naugle | Ohio Northern University | Lacrosse
Lacrosse standout Elizabeth Naugle will continue her education at Ohio Northern University. A Scholar Athlete, she will study biology with the hopes of being a neurologist.
A four-year letter winner, Elizabeth earned multiple honors including: All WPIAL; WPIAL All-Section; U.S. Lacrosse Academic All-American; Brine National Lacrosse, Western Pennsylvania Team; Intrepid Lacrosse, Intrepid 2016 Elite Player; and the Western Pennsylvania Scholastic Lacrosse Association Junior Official of the Year.
Elizabeth has achieved Honor Roll and High Honor Roll distinction throughout her high school career. She is a member of National Honor Society and has competed in Odyssey of the Mind – winning the regional championship and competing at the state competition in grade 9.
The Ohio Northern Polar Bears, led by head coach Beth Hemminger, compete in the Division III Ohio Athletic Conference. This spring marks the inaugural season for the women’s lacrosse program at ONU.
Josh Nuttall | Olivet College | Volleyball
Volleyball standout Josh Nuttall will continue his academic and athletic career at Olivet College in Michigan. A middle hitter, he earned multiple honors including WPIAL Third Team All-Section, Athlete of the Week and MVP of the St. Francis Volleyball Camp.
The Mt. Olivet Comets compete in the Division III Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League under the leadership of Casey Hilts. This year marks the inaugural season for the men’s volleyball program at the college.
Josh Rankin | Saginaw Valley State University | Baseball
Josh Rankin will join the Saginaw Valley State University baseball team in Michigan this fall. He will major in education with the hopes of teaching physical education or history.
Josh achieved Honor Roll and High Honor Roll distinction throughout high school and has earned three varsity letters – two for baseball and one for football.
Coached by Chris Ebright, the Cardinals compete in the Division II Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Natalie Spangler | St. Francis University | Soccer
Natalie Spangler is headed to St. Francis University to compete in women’s soccer. The Red Flash, coached by Brenda VanStralen, competes in the Division I Northeast Conference.
A midfielder and defender, Natalie is a three-year letter winner, served as team captain and was named WPIAL All-Section and MVP of the All-Section All Star game. In addition, she participated on the 2013 and 2014 Olympic Development Team. Natalie also plays lacrosse – earning two varsity letters.
She is a member of the National Honor Society and Key Club and serves as president of SADD. A Scholar Athlete, Natalie has earned High Honor Roll distinction throughout high school. She raised more than $4,500 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation through her senior project, “Kick for the Cure.”
Moon students visit with cinematographer
2/3/2016. Filed under Press Releases.
Moon Area High School students had the opportunity to delve into the life of an experienced cinematographer. John Moyer, a Steadicam operator in the motion picture industry, talked with students in drama, technology, journalism and photography classes on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016.
“John Moyer is able to answer questions about the industry that we, as teachers, cannot,” Laura Mitchell, English teacher and drama club director, said. “He provides a vision for the students and motivates them beyond we can do—academics and the need for excellence become real—and attainable.”
Mr. Moyer covered a broad range of topics relating to the movie industry – discussing common terms on movie sets, auditioning advice and that no role is too small. Behind the scenes, he reinforced the need to keep learning and to seek new challenges.
“It’s important to respect the past with an eye toward the future,” he said. “Follow your dreams and study your craft.”
Mr. Moyer began his acting career in the 5th grade when he performed in “Oliver” with Vincent Price and “Peter Pan” with Sandy Duncan for the Ohio-based Kenley Players. Later he was cast in commercials including a national spot for Diet Coke that aired during 1994 Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics.
A film class at Sewickley Academy incited his interest to study in the cinematography program at Ithaca College. The use of Steadicam in the film “Wolfen” inspired his goal to become a Steadicam operator in the motion picture industry. Following stints as grip/best boy in Alaska and Los Angeles and many local films, he began to move into his specialty with the purchase of his first Steadicam in 1989.
Invented in 1976, the Steadicam is a camera-stabilization system that is now used in almost every feature film and major television production. The Steadicam enables cinematographers to capture a smooth, fluid shot free from bumps and shakes.
Mr. Moyer honed his Steadicam skills by doing long, involved shots through warehouses, production lines and hospitals for training videos and commercials. “That experience was a solid and important foundation to build a career,” he said.
Twenty-five years later, Mr. Moyer’s resume includes more than 60 feature films and television productions including current works such as “Concussion,” “Love the Coopers,” the AMC series “Into the Badlands,” “Winter’s Tale,” “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” “Jack Reacher,” “After Earth” and “The Avengers.”
Mrs. Mitchell values the perspective that working professionals offer students and hopes that they learn many life lessons from Mr. Moyer.
“I hope the students become utterly enthused about working for a positive goal, understanding that they will have to work their way up from the bottom, learn everything they can from everyone around them, and value other people’s input and gifts,” Mrs. Mitchell said. “I hope that they learn that success is combination of hard work, commitment to excellence in everything they do, vision, planning and compassion for others.”
Moon junior selected as West Point Summer Leader
2/3/2016. Filed under Press Releases.
Isabella Montanaro, a junior at Moon Area High School, has been selected from approximately 5,000 applicants to attend West Point’s prestigious Summer Leaders Experience this June.
Summer Leaders Experience offers small groups of outstanding high school juniors the opportunity to experience life at West Point. SLE attendees live in the cadet barracks, eat in the Cadet Mess, and participate in academic, leadership, athletic and military workshops.
A High Honors student, Isabella serves as vice president of her junior class, plays volleyball, runs track and is a member of the Spanish and Key clubs. She participates annually in the Academic Games League of America Academic Games and attends the Westinghouse Science and Honors Institute.
The Summer Leaders Experience provides students, like Isabella, one-week seminars designed to help juniors with their college-selection process, while giving them an idea of the importance of leadership and sound decision-making in their education, careers and lives, in general. All SLE attendees participate in virtual-reality war simulation, and military and physical fitness training, and, in addition, each student selects three of the 15 offered workshops.
The United States Military Academy at West Point is a four-year, co-educational, federally funded undergraduate college located 50 miles north of New York City. A preeminent leader development institution, West Point was founded in 1802 as America’s first college of engineering. Since then, West Point has grown in size and stature, but remains committed to the task of producing commissioned leaders of character for America’s Army.
For information about West Point's Summer Leaders Experience, visit http://www.usma.edu/admissions/sitepages/summer.aspx.
Moon hosts collaborative music event – Beethoven’s 9th Symphony
1/29/2016. Filed under Press Releases.
The Moon Area High School Honors Choir will join musical forces with the Pittsburgh Youth Philharmonic Orchestra and the Upper St. Clair Pantheon Choir in an epic performance at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in the Moon Area High School auditorium.
The event will feature the last movement of Beethoven’s prolific Ninth Symphony (Ode to Joy), “Stomp Your Foot” from Aaron Copeland’s The Tender Land, and “Va, pensiero” from Nabucco, Giuseppe Verdi’s inspirational opera.
Joining the high school students on-stage will be Lauren Corcoran, a 2009 Moon Area High School graduate, who will sing the soprano role in the Beethoven Quartet. Miss Corcoran currently serves as a graduate assistant in the performance master’s degree program at The University of Akron. She recently participated in a master class under the tutelage of celebrated soprano, Reneé Fleming.
Tickets can be purchased at the door prior to the event. This cost is $10 for adults; $8 for students and senior citizens; and children age 5 and under are admitted free. Doors open at 6:15 p.m.
The Pittsburgh Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, directed by Dr. Roger Tabler, is a non-profit youth orchestra, comprised of musicians from grades 4 to 12 from more than 32 school districts in the Pittsburgh region.
The Pantheon Choir is a mixed choir of female students in grades 11 and 12 and male students in grades 10-12 who have been selected by audition. The Pantheon Choir is directed by Miss Lorraine Milovac.
Led by Lori Cole, director of choral activities, the Moon Area High School Honors Choir is comprised of students in grades 9-12 who have successfully auditioned for the ensemble.
“The opportunity for high school students to participate in a collaboration on this large scale is very rare,” Ms. Cole, Moon Area director of choral activities, said. “Upper St. Clair and the Pittsburgh Youth Philharmonic Orchestra program are among the region’s premier music ensembles. To share the stage with both groups is a tremendous honor and privilege.”
This event marks the second time these three groups have performed together. In 2013, the Pittsburgh Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, Upper St. Clair and Moon Area High School collaborated to perform an iconic musical work, Carmina Burana, composed by Carl Orff. Miss Corcoran was one of two professional vocalists for that event as well.
In the event of inclement weather, the program will be rescheduled for 7 p.m., Feb. 14, 2016. For more information, contact Ms. Lori Cole, Moon Area director of choral activities, at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone 412.264.9440, extension 2152.
School board approves preliminary budget
1/28/2016. Filed under Press Releases.
The Moon Area School Board approved the district’s 2016-17 preliminary budget during a special public meeting on Jan. 27, 2016. The $71,699,501 budget currently includes a millage increase of 1.0442 mills; however, administrators and school board members will be working throughout the spring to diminish the effect on taxpayers.
The preliminary budget is a non-binding component of the state-mandated budget process. In accordance with Act 1 of 2006, Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts have two options in the budgeting process — pass a preliminary budget or adopt a resolution to stay within the Act 1 Index. The passage of the preliminary budget keeps all financial options open for the Moon Area School District without committing to a tax increase at any level.
“The budget is a fluid document that will change considerably between now and June when the final budget is adopted,” Interim Superintendent of Schools Donna K. Milanovich said. “At this point in time state revenues are an unknown due to the legislature’s inability to pass a budget. Please know that we are working diligently to reduce annual operating costs and to improve efficiencies in order to minimize the burden on our taxpayers.”
The school board is seeking approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Education as required by Act 1 for an exception to exceed the index to account for excessive increases in special education costs and state-mandated pension contributions. The increase in cost over the current year for these two line items alone is projected to total $1,202,325.
Moon’s Act 1 index for 2016-17 is 2.8 percent, which allows the district to increase the millage rate by 0.5276 mills. Approved Act 1 exceptions would enable the district to increase the millage by another 0.5166 mills. The total possible millage rate increase allowed totals 1.0442 mills. At the maximum, the district’s millage rate could increase from 18.8461 to 19.8903 mills – a 5.5 percent increase.
The preliminary budget is available for review between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays at the Moon Area School District and is posted on the district’s website: www.moonarea.net.
The Moon Area School Board will take action on the proposed final budget on Monday, May 23, and is set to adopt the final 2016-17 budget on Monday, June 27, 2016.
Moon Area School District: Act 1 Referendum Exception Notice
Pursuant to Act 1, the Pennsylvania Department of Education publishes an index % applicable to the Moon Area School District. The school district real estate tax increase for the next fiscal year is limited to the index % unless the proposed tax rate is approved by voters pursuant to a referendum or the school district qualifies for an Act 1 exception. As a result of special circumstances covered by an Act 1 referendum exception, a tax rate % increase above the index might be required to balance the Moon Area School District budget for the next fiscal year. The tax to be levied is required to provide a quality education program as reflected in the Moon Area School District’s 2016-17 Preliminary Budget.
The Moon Area School District intends to seek approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Education as required by Act 1 for an exception allowing increase of the real estate tax as reflected in the district’s Preliminary Budget. The Preliminary Budget is available for public inspection at the School District offices, 8353 University Blvd, Moon Township, PA and on the district’s website: www.moonarea.net. On written request by any school district resident or taxpayer, the Moon Area School District will provide a copy of the referendum exception application.
Moon approves 2016-17 calendar
1/25/2016. Filed under Press Releases.
The Moon Area School District Board of Education approved the 2016-17 school calendar during its Jan. 25, 2016, meeting. The newly approved calendar returns to a late August start and early June finish of the school year.
The first day of school for students is Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016. Thanksgiving Break begins on Thanksgiving Day and extends through Monday, Nov. 28. Winter Break begins on Friday, Dec. 23 and continues through Monday, Jan. 2. Spring Break consists of a five-day weekend, from Thursday, April 13 through Monday, April 17.
The last day of the school for students is set for Tuesday, June 6, 2017, and graduation is set for the following Friday, June 9, 2017. If needed, three make-up days would be added on to the end of the school year – June 7, 8 and 9 – and April 13 is designated as the fourth make-up day.