The Mountain Lion's Pulse

Altoona Area School District Summer 2022


Dear Parents, Guardians, and Students,

“Summertime and the livin’ is easy.” George Gershwin

But as every parent knows, that easy takes a whole lot of planning and preparation to make it a reality. The same truth holds true for all of us getting ready for the upcoming school year. It’s a busy time. The upgrades to Mansion Park Stadium are well underway and the window project at Juniata Elementary School is just getting started. Whether it is ordering next year’s supplies, cleaning the buildings, or working on curriculum, summer is the time where the labor is put in to create a smooth start to the next school year.

One of the biggest focuses of the summer is hiring new teachers and support personnel. If you know any recent graduates with educational backgrounds, send them our way. We are well into the interviewing process and looking for strong candidates. Also, we have openings in all aspects of our program, custodians, maintenance, Educational paraprofessionals, and office staff. If you know someone or may be interested in yourself, please go to our website for more information,

One last item, this newsletter has a lot of dates and times for events like the Summer Food Service Program, AASD Feeling Fit day, Meet the Teacher Nights, and Sports Physicals. If we missed something (and I’m sure we did), just call/email the sponsor, coach, or building administrator to get the more/updated information.

Enjoy your summer and we’ll see you back on campus in the fall.


Dr. "P"

Charles A. Prijatelj, Ed.D.


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Cafeteria Updates Coming In July

The 2022-2023 School Year will bring some changes to the Cafeteria program

  • New food options served by the awesome cafeteria team
  • Families will need to complete a Free & Reduced Lunch Application (unless directly certified)
  • Breakfast service will look a little different
  • Meals are no longer free to all students

Watch your mailbox for details!


I hope that everyone is enjoying a safe, healthy, and fun Summer! The AASD Elementary Team has had the opportunity to have many children participate in the various Summer programs offered. Thank you to everyone that participated in year two of Summer Vacation Voyage and the Summer Book Pass Program! Teachers and students have been having so much fun learning and reading! Camps for Kids will begin the week of July 11th for children that are already registered! If you missed these opportunities this Summer, keep an eye out for registration next school year!

Looking for something for your child to do this Summer? Don’t forget that First In Math online accounts are available to your child through July 31st! Check out Summer Book Pass at Pleasant Valley, McAuliffe Heights, Altoona Area Junior High School, and Washington Jefferson (Learning Express) from 11:30-1:00 each day in the month of July. You can borrow a book to read and even enter to win prizes!


I encourage all families to attend the upcoming Meet the Teacher nights for the 2022-2023 school year! You’ll have the opportunity to meet your child’s teacher, hear what your child will be learning this year, and learn about the exciting opportunities that will be available for your child. Parent and family engagement is vital to the success of each child! We need your help to best assist your child. Join us to learn more about how you can best support your child this school year!

Baker: 8/23/22 3:30-5:30

Ebner: 8/23/22 3:30-5:30

Juniata: 8/22/22 3:30 - 5:30

Juniata Gap: 8/23/22 4:00-6:00

Logan: 8/23/22 4:00-6:00

MHI: 8/23/22 3:30-5:30

Penn Lincoln: 8/23/22 3:30-5:30

Pleasant Valley: 8/23/22 4:00-6:00


Do you have a child or know of a child that will turn 5 on or before September 1st? If so, it’s time to register for Kindergarten! Reach out to AASD District Registration at (814)381-7585 to make an appointment or register online at to ensure your child is at their home school for Kindergarten. ABC Camp starts on August 1st. This is a great opportunity for your child to learn about their new school, meet teachers, and have fun with their friends! You must be fully registered to attend. Information will be provided when completing your registration.
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Friday, June 3, Altoona Area High School celebrated the graduation of the class of 2022. A beautiful evening welcomed thousands of family and friends to Mansion Park to recognize the accomplishments of 510 Altoona graduates. A huge thank you goes out to the entire Altoona Area High School staff, especially Principal Neely, Assistant Principals McGinnis and Nedimyer, and their support staff for all of their hard work in making sure that this evening was perfect for our graduates and their families. Best of luck goes out to our Class of 2022! We know that you will make us proud.

June and July have been very busy at both the high school and junior high school with summer school programming and enrichment camps. Hundreds of students have taken advantage of summer school course offerings and additional learning opportunities. Students, advisors and coaches are busy preparing for the upcoming fall seasons.

As an advanced planner, Meet the Teacher Nights are scheduled for the junior high school on Monday, August 22 and the high school on Tuesday, August 23. Freshman Orientation at the high school will be held Thursday, August 18 (A-F at 7:30am, G-M at 10:00am, M-Z at 1:00pm). Additional information will be mailed home in the coming weeks.

Students and families choosing to enroll in the Altoona Cyber Academy for the upcoming school year should contact Principal Jeff Guyer at the Stevens Building. If you have questions or need more information, please call 814-941-6131.

Building principals will be sending home important communications throughout the summer. Please check your mail and contact the appropriate building with any questions or concerns.

Have a great rest of your summer!

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The school counselors are hoping everyone is having an enjoyable summer. Below is some information we hope is helpful.

The AASD school counseling department wants to wish AAJHS school counselor Damon Luciano a wonderful retirement and thank him for his years of service and dedication to our students. We also want to welcome Isabella Frucella who will be joining the AAJHS counseling staff and Emily Baker who will be joining the Stevens counseling staff. Congratulations Damon! Welcome Isabella and Emily!

The summer is an excellent time for students to think about what they may like to do after graduating high school. If students want some assistance in what path they would like to choose after high school the information found here may help.

As students head out for summer break, it’s not too late for your graduating seniors to apply for scholarships for college, and for your juniors to jumpstart their college financing. You can find a list of scholarships with summer deadlines by going to this website.

If students are looking for a summer job, Career Link can assist. Please contact them by clicking here or call 814-940-6200.

Looking for some activity for your student this summer. Consider Team Builders: Blair County students in grades 3 through 12 are invited to participate in this unique program that incorporates physical wellness with Bullying prevention. Young people gather in this activity time at Dorman’s Sport Performance Gym and enjoy a workout under the direction of certified physical trainers. For more information and to register, call 814-949-1905.

The R.K. Agarwal M.D. & Family Teen Center and Shelter are also having summer programs. The Teen Center is located just across 17th Street from the Altoona Public Library.

Here are a couple of upcoming dates for SAT and ACT registration. More test dates and information about the SAT can be learned by going to for more ACT test dates and information please go to


Test Date: August 27, 2022

Regular Registration Deadline: July 29, 2022 Late Registration Deadline: August 16, 2022 (Late Fee Applies)


Test Date: September 10, 2022

Regulate Registration Deadline: August 5, 2022

Late Registration Deadline: August 19, 2022 (Late Fee Applies)

School counselors have a limited number of summer days when they will be in their offices. Please contact your student’s school for specific days and times when the counselor will be there.

Hope you are having a great summer!

For additional information please visit the Counselor page on the AAHS website.

Fall Sport Season

  • The official start of the fall sports season for most fall teams begins on August 15, 2022.
  • Boys and girls golf starts on August 8.
  • Football Heat Acclimatization will also begin on August 8.
  • Please contact either the coach, AAJHS Main Office or AAHS Athletic Office for more information.

Fall Physicals

  • AASD sponsored fall sports physicals are July 14, 2022 at the AAHS FieldHouse beginning at 2PM.


  • Football season tickets will go sale in the AAHS Athletic Office on August 8, 2022 from 8am to 3pm.
  • Season ticket packs for the 6 home football games are $30.
  • ALL SPORT passes will also go on sale August 8. Adult passes are $50, Student passes are $20.

The Big A Booster Club is looking for Volunteers

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We are very excited to announce our two AAHS mainstage shows for next year: Puffs and 42nd Street! We'll post more information and a link for tickets as we get closer to the performance dates! Any students interested in participating should come to the first AAHS Drama Club meeting on Thursday, September 1st from 3-4 in the AAHS Auditorium.

Fall Play: Puffs - November 11-12, 2022

The New York Times proclaims Puffs “A fast-paced romp through the ‘Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic.’ For Potterphiliacs who grew up alongside Potter and are eager to revisit that world, Puffs exudes a jovial, winking fondness for all things Harry!” This clever and inventive play “never goes more than a minute without a laugh” (Nerdist) giving you a new look at a familiar adventure from the perspective of three potential heroes just trying to make it through a magic school that proves to be very dangerous for children. Alongside them are the Puffs, a group of well-meaning, loyal outsiders with a thing for badgers “who are so lovable and relatable, you’ll leave the theater wishing they were in the stories all along” (Hollywood Life). Their “hilariously heartfelt!” (Metro) and epic journey takes the classic story to new places and reimagines what a boy wizard hero can be.

Spring Musical: 42nd Street - April 13-15, 2023

Come along and listen to the lullaby of Broadway! 42nd Street celebrates Broadway, Times Square and the magic of show biz with wit, humor and pizzazz. At the height of the Great Depression, aspiring chorus girl Peggy Sawyer comes to the big city from Allentown PA, and soon lands her first big job in the ensemble of a glitzy new Broadway show. But just before opening night, the leading lady breaks her ankle. Will Peggy be able to step in and become a star? The score is chock-full of Broadway standards, including "You're Getting To Be A Habit With Me,” "Dames," "We're In the Money," "Lullaby of Broadway," "Shuffle Off to Buffalo" and "Forty-Second Street."

Summer Projects

While summer is a time to relax, have fun, and take a breather from the busy school year, it is actually the busiest time of year for the Tech Department staff.

Student devices that were used last school year were collected and now it’s time to get them ready for next year. We appreciate the effort that students and parents made to ensure that the devices were turned in on time and fully charged for the summer. Our staff will now make any necessary repairs and prepare the devices for use this fall, including new devices for 6th and 9th graders.

Other projects our staff are undertaking over the summer include a phone system refresh and an upgrade to the AAJHS infrastructure and access points to increase WiFi capability to meet the ever increasing number of devices being used in the classrooms.

The secondary buildings will get a hardware refresh with the purchase of desktops for the Business Education and Technology Education labs.

New iPads and iPad carts have been purchased for each elementary school building library. The iPads will be used to expand the availability of interactive Robo kits which are a part of Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) learning.

Updates to the phone system will also be done over the summer in several District buildings. Buildings are updated on a rotation each summer to avoid down time during the school year.

The summer months are busy for our Building & Grounds Department. Some of our projects include:

  • New field lights are being installed at Mansion Park
  • Contractors are making repairs to both the home and visitor grandstands at Mansion Park
  • A major piece of HVAC equipment is being replaced at Ebner
  • Maintenance is refreshing the landscaping around AAJHS
  • LED lights are being installed at PV
  • The gym floors at AAJHS are being sanded down, new graphics applied, and new floor finish put down

AASD has an opening for a City of Altoona Master Plumber.

We are also looking to hire substitute custodians. First, second, and third shifts available starting at $12 per hour with possibility of advancement when regular positions arise. Strong consideration is given to substitute employees demonstrating superior work ethic.

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Click to be directed to the AASD calendar of events

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