Winter Round-Up

School of Professional Studies Fall 2014 Review

SPS Happy Holidays

In School Activities

Junior Achievement

SPS Live has formed a partnership with Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania. Junior Achievement is a non-profit organization that helps students understand the responsibilities and roles in adulthood using fun and approachable curriculum. The curriculum is taught by volunteers who work in the local community, giving students the opportunity to learn something new while growing their professional network.

JA Personal Finance

During the fall, students participated in JA Personal Finance. The volunteer who taught this program was Mrs. Janine Adams, a licensed banker at First Commonwealth Bank (and our neighbor at The Landings). Using the JA Personal Finance curriculum and her own professional experience, Mrs. Adams taught students about the importance of planning and saving money, the responsibility that goes along with spending money, using credit responsibly, and making a budget. The students' feedback to the program was positive, with many of them commenting that they now understand the importance of budgeting and saving. I am happy to report that many already knew about the advantages and disadvantages of credit. It seems like these students are well on their way to being financially responsible and secure adults!

JA Titan

JA Titan Business Challenge is a business strategy tournament that uses an online business simulation for students. During the fall, SPS Live students with the guidance of Mrs. Fulton, Business/Technology teacher, learned about effective business practices to bringing a product to market including making decisions about price, productions, marketing, capital investment, and research and development. On Wednesday, December 17, SPS Live students will use these new skills to compete against other high school students in the Pittsburgh area to see who is the ultimate Titan of Business! Ask your student about the Shark Tank presentation they had at the last round of Titan lessons.

Digital Citizenship

Mr. Greiser, one of our Business/Technology teachers at PALCS, visited the SPS Live classroom for a 4 part unit on Digital Citizenship. To coincide with October's Bullying Prevention Month, Mr. Greiser taught a lesson on cyber bullying. Students created cyberbullying prevention posters for the Student Drop-In Center and the SPS classroom. In other meetings, Mr. Greiser talked about the importance of being mindful of what gets put on the internet. With the danger of identity theft and internet predators, students learned about who you should trust online (answer: people that you know in real life). Students also learned about the impact social media can have on the college admissions and hiring process. We have one more meeting before Winter Break. Ask your student what topic was discussed on December 18.


In October, Madame Crisafio, one of our French teachers, visited the SPS Live classroom to run a cultural exchange simulation called BAFA BAFA. As our students continue to develop into global citizens, it is important to have an awareness of interacting with people from different cultures. BAFA BAFA helped students begin to develop this awareness by asking students to understand the meaning and impact of culture. The activity helped student see how socialization in one's own culture can lead to a tendency to judge other culture based on that socialized perspective. It demonstrated the potential for misinterpretation that can arise when one evaluates another culture from one's own cultural perspective. The activity debrief helped students come to appreciate culture diversity and have an awareness of attitudes and behaviors towards others who may be "different" than themselves. Ask your student whether he or she was an Alpha or a Beta and what the culture was all about.

Field Trips

SciTech Days

On November 6, students took a trip to the Carnegie Science Center for their annual SciTech Days. Students were able to engage in 3-D Printing and Medical Technologies hands-on workshops and tour the Science Center and SportsWorks. This field trip was also a career exploration event. Local and national STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) companies and colleges/universities set up booths all over the Science Center for students to discover careers and college majors in STEM fields. Notable institutions with whom students were able to network included Carnegie Mellon University, CCAC, FedEx, US Steel, and PPG Industries. The SPS Live assignment for the day was to speak with at least 5 different companies or schools to gain information and a stamp in the student passport. Many of the students collected above and beyond their 5 stamps and continued speaking with company representatives right up until it was time to move on to the next activity. And of course, there was a pretty intense competition at the Worm Game!

Art Club

With the support of Mrs. Siger and Mrs. Humbert, students have learned calligraphy and have entered their gingerbread house into the 12th Annual Gingerbread House Display/Competition at the PPG Building Wintergarden. The students' gingerbread house will be on display through January 7, 2015. Details can be found here:
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Coding Club

This club came about after a student proposal last year. In its second year, the Coding Club is going strong! Mrs. Gross, Business/Technology teacher, is the club's advisor this year. Each month, students collaborate and solve problems together as they learn various coding languages through Codecademy. If your student has not already participated, they also have the opportunity to earn SPS Live Extra Credit by participating in the Hour of Code.

Fun with Friends!

Looking Ahead - A Selection of Spring 2015 Events

Monday, January 19, 2015 - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service (activity TBA)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015 - No SPS Live

Thursday, February 5, 2015 - Pittsburgh National College Fair

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - SPS Live Mini-Science Fair

Friday, March 27, 2015 - Pittsburgh Regional Science and Engineering Fair

Happy New Year!

SPS Live Resumes

Tuesday, Jan. 6th 2015 at 8:45am-2pm

55 Alpha Dr W

Pittsburgh, PA