Avonworth School District News

February 2021

February is Black History Month

February is Black History Month but isn't the only time to study and learn about black history. However, it is a time to celebrate black history. Throughout February, Avonworth students across the District have engaged in many meaningful activities to learn about black history and many influential black Americans.

Primary GATE Students Honor Black Americans

Students in the Primary Center GATE classroom are learning how the Federal Reserve, Bureau of Engraving, and Secret Service work together to design and keep U.S. currency safe. Students chose a black American to honor on a new design of currency. Each note includes a security feature and reason the person is to be honored.

Second Grade Students Study Civil Rights Heroes

Second-grade students have been engaged in the 3rd module of Wit & Wisdom. This module focuses on Civil Rights heroes and their actions to improve the lives of people of color in the United States. Students have learned about segregation, peaceful protesting, and other major concepts that led to the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Students in second grade have also been celebrating Black History Month. Students have learned the importance of celebrating black history month and have participated in a black history month book study.

Our second-grade students thought that it was important to share our learning with our community. Please enjoy as second-grade students answer some questions they thought our community might have regarding Black History Month and the Civil Rights Movement.

A Read-Aloud for Each Day in February to Celebrate Black History Month

During February, Mrs. Osborn, Elementary School Librarian and Elementary School Assistant Principal, Mrs. Ives, collaborated to create a wonderful resource our families can utilize to learn about black history.

Through this project, they created a Black History Month Calendar with a read-aloud for each day of the month. Mrs. Ives conducted each read-aloud. Mrs. Ives stated, "Each book is wonderful and has introduced me to some fascinating people in history. However, some books discuss themes and topics that may need further explanation for context and understanding depending on your child's age. I advise you to take a close look at each book before deciding it is a good fit for your family."

Introduction Video

Black History Month Read Aloud Calendar

**After opening the calendar, click on a book to open the read-aloud link. If a book does not open a read-aloud, that read-aloud has not been completed yet. Check back soon!**

Fifth Grade Students Study Famous African Americans

Students in the fifth grade celebrated Black History Month by listening to various stories and reading many articles about famous African Americans. Students then chose one of the many people they learned about and created Interlocking word art or posters to share with the school through a display in the hallway.

Students Learn About Black Leaders in the Field of Computer Science

In computer class at Avonworth Elementary, students celebrated Black History Month by learning about past leaders who impacted the field of computer science. Students were also introduced to today's computer science leaders and engaged in discussions about future computer science careers. We also considered ways to help close the gap among today's graduates and available computing jobs by exposing students to computer science at a young age! 🎓💻🙂

Black History Month Celebrated by Creating Art

At Avonworth Elementary School, students spent time in art class celebrating Black History Month by creating art to honor important African Americans.

8th Grade ELA Civics Unit: Overcoming Adversity

During February, 8th grade ELA Civics students have studied past & present Civil Rights Movements through the theme of Overcoming Adversity.

Students have selected an individual, event, or organization representing the theme of Overcoming Adversity and will present their topic in a virtual museum exhibit next month. Mr. Robert Stakeley, Affiliates Program Manager for the Heinz History Center, led a workshop with students to develop their docent-style videos and also guided how to select interesting artifacts for the exhibit.

Students also welcomed two guest speakers to share their personal experiences with racial inequality and overcome adversity in the Pittsburgh area. Allegheny County Council Representative Mrs. Liv Bennett, and the retired University of Pittsburgh Professor, Dr. Beverly Harris-Schenz, joined students for a discussion moderated by Film Pittsburgh's Teen Screen program. As part of their program, students also viewed two award-winning short films about overcoming adversity and racial equality.

The unit has offered students the opportunity to explore many of the issues currently being discussed in our nation. Students read articles, watched video clips, and analyzed primary sources about topics such as reparations, police reform, LGBTQ rights, red-lining, white privilege, gentrification, equal pay, and racial profiling.

Eighth Graders Study The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman

Eighth graders studied the inaugural poet Amanda Gorman's poem, The Hill We Climb, for their African American Poetry unit. Students shared their takeaways on Jamboards in breakout rooms. They then developed Google slides together that showcased their analysis of Gorman's use of literary techniques to convey ideas of unity, inclusion, and hope.

Artists of Color Celebrated in High School Fine Arts

In celebration of Black History Month, students in Fine Arts focused on Artists of Color in Pittsburgh. Through discussion and hands-on activities, students had the opportunity to explore prominent Pittsburgh artists' work past and present. One of those artists is Baron Batch (pictured above), who will be meeting virtually with a small group of students in April to discuss his journey as an artist in the city. Students also learned about Homewood sculpture artist Vanessa German, Hill District photographer Charles "Teenie" Harris, and woodcarver Thaddeus Mosley, who, at 95 years old, continues to create massive works of art using only hand tools!

A Look at Other Happenings Across the District

Avonworth Elementary School Creates Cards for Meals on Wheels

The Avonworth Elementary School Game Changers organized a community service project for the entire school during February. Students shared their kindness and creativity by creating cards for Meals on Wheels. The cards will be delivered throughout the year with the meals. The students created hundreds of cards that will touch the lives of people in seven different communities.

Magic Tricks or Magnetic Forces?

All of the third graders at Avonworth Elementary have been experimenting and learning about magnetism in science class. They have learned about the magnetic force surrounding magnets, causing them to attract other magnets and paper clips without even touching them! Through experimentation, the students have learned to make a paper clip float and a magnet tilt at an angle, almost like performing a magic act! Look closely, and you will see some items defying gravity! The excitement about magnets has even led some students to try building magnetic demonstrations at home to share with their families. So proud of the hard work and excitement by all of the third graders!

Avonworth High School Mock Trial Team Scores a Win!

The Avonworth High School Mock Trial team defeated Seton LaSalle as the plaintiffs in the Pennsylvania Statewide Mock Trial Competition. This is the first year that the Avonworth High School Mock Trial team has competed in this competition. Sponsors Mrs. Maisner and Mrs. Reagle are very proud of the hard work and success of the team. Abby Kline, Michael Frank, and Catrina Raich were led by the lawyer team of Clark Bernauer, Matthew Purcell, and head lawyer Danica Raich. The team was also mentored by a community member and lawyer, David Oberdick. Everyone is looking forward to competing again next year!

Students from Genocide Studies Interview Local Holocaust Survivor

Several students from Mrs. Molly Long’s Genocide Studies elective took part in an interview of Holocaust survivor and local Pittsburgh resident, Judah Samet. Sophomores Samantha Blose and Ryan Ehmann interviewed Mr. Samet as part of a program initiated by the Pittsburgh Holocaust Center and Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, on April 8. Samantha and Ryan interviewed for Mr. Samet for 90 minutes over a Google Meet to hear his story of survival and the message he wanted to share. After spending time in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, Mr. Samet and his family lived in Paris and then Israel before finally moving to Pittsburgh.

In recalling his life’s experiences, Mr. Samet remarked that one of the most important keys to his and his family’s survival was their resilience and the fact that despite insurmountable odds, they found a way to survive. When asked about the lesson he would like to impart on today's youth, Mr. Samet, without hesitation, commented how important it is to embrace life and not grow up too quickly. As Mr. Samet told of his experiences during the Holocaust, he reflected on how his youth had been stolen and that he was deprived of a childhood due to his family’s forced relocation into a concentration camp at the age of six.

Despite his youth's traumatic circumstances, Mr. Samet has not lost his sense of humor or his love of life. Mr. Samet’s interview will be compiled together with five separate interviews from other survivors and school districts in the region to recognize Yom HaShoah and the six million Jews who were lost: six million Jews, six candles of remembrance, six answers to questions. Information related to the program can be found through the Pittsburgh Holocaust Center’s website.

Student and Staff Recognition

AES Students Take First Place in Calcu-Solve Math Competition

Congratulations to 6th graders Alannah Pavlic, Elena Van Mater, Bavly Naklah, and Manal Shafiq for their 1st Place team finish in the recent Calcu-Solve Math Competition sponsored by the Allegheny Intermediate Unit. Special congratulations to Alannah and Elena for also earning Individual First Place awards!

Honorable Mention for AES Students in Shakespeare Monologue Contest

6th graders Abe Ferguson and Kaleb Amick were awarded Honorable Mentions in the recent Shakespeare Monologue Contest sponsored by the Pittsburgh Public Theatre. Abe presented Puck's monologue from "A Midsummer Night's Dream," and Kaleb presented Trinculo's monologue from "The Tempest." Congratulations to Abe and Kaleb!

Champions Challenge

At the beginning of the month, a group of football players got together on a Saturday morning and picked up trash in the community as part of a Champions Challenge the Avonworth Football program is doing. Members of the team were placed into groups for the challenge. They earn points for either playing a winter sport or doing various activities. The activities can be football-related, community-service-related, home-related, or academic-related. At the end of this Champions Challenge, the winning group will receive a gift for their efforts. The top 10 players with the most overall points will also get a prize. The player with the most overall points will receive an Avonworth football jacket. This challenge aims to create champions on the football field, in the classroom, at home, and in the community!

Mrs. Stacy Hart and Mrs. Melissa Reagle Recognized as PSMLA Global Educators

Congratulations PSMLA Global Educators Stacy Hart and Melissa Reagle! PSMLA Global Educators have recognized Mrs. Hart and Mrs. Reagle for their commitment to furthering interculturality and global competence in their students.

Mrs. Hart and Mrs. Reagle have distinguished themselves by establishing the PSMLA Global Scholars program at Avonworth High School and inspiring and challenging students to become PSMLA Global Scholars Graduates for at least 2 consecutive years. For their efforts and dedication, PSMLA has awarded Mrs. Hart and Mrs. Reagle the PSMLA Global Educator Certificate. Mrs. Hart and Mrs. Reagle are two of seventeen educators in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to earn this recognition.

Global Scholar Program representatives Jan Hostler Stewart, D.Ed., and Karen Belcastro stated, "In the current global pandemic, the importance of the interconnectedness and interdependence of countries in the world has become ever more evident. While educators provide opportunities for students to grow academically, socially, emotionally, and personally and provide learning scenarios that inspire and challenge, they also prepare students to lead and contribute on local, state, national, and global levels. In these unusual times of alternating between face-to-face, hybrid, and remote learning, Mrs. Hart and Mrs. Reagle have accepted the additional challenge of adapting their instructional and learning strategies to guide students through the PSMLA Global Scholars program process."

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Avnworth Senior Jake Abbott Recognized as one of the Top Automotive Technology Students in the State

Avonworth's Jake Abbott teamed up with Hampton's Austin McLean to keep A.W. Beattie's streak alive of placing a team in the top five at the Skip Wagner Automotive competition the last seven years. Having placed fourth, Jake and Austin claimed their place as two of the state's top automotive technology students. Congratulations Jake!

Avonworth Students Recognized as Students of the Month at A.W. Beattie Career Center

Congratulations to Sean Boaks and Stephanie Cunningham for being recognized as January-February Students of the Month at A.W. Beattie Career Center. Sean is a member of the Emergency Response Technology program, and Stephanie is a member of the Health Science Technology program. Congratulations, Sean and Stephanie!

Avonworth Students Named 2021 National Technical Honors Society Nominees

Congratulations to the following Avonworth students for being named 2021 National Technical Honors Society Nominees.

  • Riley Carroll HNS
  • Stephanie Cunningham HNS
  • Colin McPhearson CST
  • Jermaine Woods CBC

What's Happening in Athletics

Avonworth Bowler Qualifies for Regional Championship

Max Fisher was the sole Avonworth bowler at the WPIBL Single’s Championships this past Wednesday. Max’s three-game total was good enough to earn him 18th overall out of a competitive group of 104 total bowlers. Max will continue competition at the Western PA Regional Championships on Friday, March 5th, at North Versailles Bowl. Congratulations, Max!

Girls' Varsity Basketball to Face Freedom in First Round of WPIAL Playoffs

The Avonworth Girls' Varsity Basketball Team will take on Freedom on Wednesday, March 3 at 6 PM at Freedom. The girls finished the regular season with an overall record of 8-6 and a conference record of 7-4. The girls' 7-4 conference record placed them 4th overall in the WPIAL 3A 3 Girls Basketball Standings. Good luck on Wednesday, girls!!

Boys' Varsity Basketball Prepares for WPIAL Playoffs

The Avonworth Boys' Varsity Basketball Team has finished the regular season with an overall record of 11-3 and a conference record of 4-0. The boys' 4-0 conference record placed them 1st in the WPIAL 3A 2 Basketball Standings. Ellwood City and Valley play on Monday, with the winner taking on the Avonworth boys at North Allegheny on Thursday at 6 PM. Good luck on Thursday, boys!!

Ryan Hartle Makes Swimming/Diving History

Avonworth freshman, Ryan Hartle, traveled to North Allegheny High School for day 1 of the WPIAL Swimming and Diving Championships on Friday, February 26. Hartle is the first diver in Northgate/Avonworth swimming history to compete in the diving championships. Ryan qualified for the championships with his score of 187.05 at the Riverside meet that was held earlier this month. Congratulations Ryan!!


Join us for An Evening with Candi Castleberry Singleton on Thursday, March 18 from 7 - 8 PM

The Avonworth School District Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee is excited to announce the first speaker in our new speaker series. Please join us on Thursday, March 18, from 7 - 8 PM for a conversation with Candi Castleberry Singleton. The title of this speaker event is How Dignity & Respect Build a Community of Belonging for Everyone.

Please use the link below to access more information. Information to register is also included in the link below. We hope to see you there!

2021-2022 Kindergarten Registration is Open

Kindergarten registration is open for the 2021-2022 school year. Please use the following link to access registration information.

Kindergarten Registration Information

If you have any questions, please contact the Primary Center office at 412-366-7171.

For Your Calendar

  • March 1 - Athletic Committee Meeting, 6:30 PM
  • March 1 - Buildings & Grounds Committee Meeting, 7:00 PM
  • March 1 - School Board Work Session, 7:30 PM
  • March 2 - Read Across America Day
  • March 5 - Schools Closed
  • March 8 - School Board Meeting, 7:30 PM
  • March 14 - Daylight Savings Time Begins @ 2:00 AM
  • March 29-April 2 - Spring Vacation, Schools Closed
  • April 5 - Schools in Session