Avonworth School District News

March 2020

A School Community With A Lot to Celebrate

As we all deal with adjusting to this new normal that has taken hold this month and will now take us through April at a minimum, we certainly have a lot to be proud of as a school community. In just a few short days, we were able to make the adjustments needed to launch our virtual learning program. Teachers, paraprofessionals, principals, food service, technology, secretaries, and central office have worked very hard to ensure the needs of our students and families are met and the delivery of a quality virtual learning program for our students could get up and running smoothly and quickly. Parents and guardians have done an amazing job supporting their children as they have adjusted to this new mode of learning.


We are thankful for the over 1000 responses to our virtual learning survey. In addition to the overwhelming amount of positive feedback and messages of appreciation, the survey provided valuable input and suggestions. Our principals have taken this feedback to teachers and will work collaboratively to continue improving our virtual instruction program to best meet the needs of our students and families. Thank you for your continued support!

A Message from Dr. Ralston

A Message from Dr. Ralston

Successful Shift to Virtual Learning

It has truly been incredible seeing and hearing about the amazing learning that is taking place virtually. Our teachers and students have been doing an incredible job. Please enjoy these examples of learning and school spirt that have been taking place in our new virtual learning world. Great job teachers! Great job students!

ASD School Spirit, Pride, and Kindness Continue Virtually!

ASD Virtual Spirit, Pride, & Kindness
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Virtual Art Class

Avonworth School District has an abundance of artistic talent and moving to a virtual learning environment has not slowed down our youngest artists from creating. Mrs. Croft has kept our young learners engaged in creating amazing pieces of art each week. APC artists used objects found around their homes to create color wheels for one of their virtual art assignments! Students were super creative using toys, clothes, food, and other random objects in their homes to create their own color wheel. Students have also been creating and submitting some amazing art projects. Check out some of their amazing work below!

Virtual Field Trips

Entering the world of virtual learning wasn't going to stop Mr. Zuppe from taking his third-graders on a field trip. Mr. Zuppe took his kids on a virtual field trip to the local chiropractor. His students learned about three different types of machines used on patients to improve their well-being. Using the you-tube application, Mr. Zuppe got a lot of positive comments regarding this virtual learning experience for his students.
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Virtual Library Class

Elementary librarian, Mrs. Sara Osborn, has kept our young readers engaged and motivated to read. As part of Avonworth's Virtual Spirit Week's students were encouraged to participate in Whatcha Reading Wednesday. Here are some of our elementary students that participated in this fun and educational virtual spirit day!

Looking for a Good Book?

One of the virtual library assignments for Avonworth Elementary 5th and 6th-grade students was to provide a review and recommendation of a book they have enjoyed reading. Check out these awesome recommendations (linked below) as our 5th and 6th-graders provide thoughtful synopses and justifications for their book recommendations. Great work students!

A Look Inside Our Schools Before We Went Virtual

Read Across America Week at Avonworth Elementary School

The week of March 2 kicked off an incredible week of school spirit as the Avonworth Elementary School celebrated Read Across America. The week started off with a special presentation by Avonworth graduate and community member, Tim Hartman. The week continued with a bookmark competition, school-wide bingo, teacher swap, free books donated from PTA, and many theme dress days. As the week progressed, students collected change for our annual change challenge. The students collected over $900 in change. A large donation was given to help JAM raise money for The Children's Home of Pittsburgh. The grand finale was a teacher talent show in which every staff member participated in one way or another. It was a week the students will remember for years to come! Way to go Avonworth Elementary!!!

Enjoy This Incredible Video Created for the AES Teacher Talent Show - Video Created by Mindy Weinzierl

Avonworth 2020 Music Mash Up

5th Graders Work on Storytelling by Learning from Pixar in a Box

Pixar in a Box is a curriculum created in collaboration between Pixar and Khan Academy. A group of 5th-grade students has been diligently learning each week about the storytelling process at Pixar, through videos by Pixar directors and story artists. The groups of students have collaborated since October to create their own stories and storyboards. They used the "Story Spine" structure that Pixar stories are based upon to organize their stories while also drawing various angles and shots to visually show the sequence of the story. The next step will be combining their pictures and narrations of their stories into iMovie to create a finished product.

The Kindness and Giving Never Stop for JAM!

Before the school closure occurred, JAM had been working on a project with a new partner, The Children's Home of Pittsburgh. Established in 1893, The Children's Home is an independent, non-profit licensed organization whose purpose is to promote the health and well-being of infants and children through services which establish and strengthen the family. The Children's Home has three programs: Adoption, Child’s Way®, and the Pediatric Specialty Hospital. JAM has partnered with Child's Way, which is a daycare for medically fragile children. JAM is raising money to provide supplies and items that will bring kindness and smiles to these children! Before this month could even come to a close, JAM had already made its first delivery to The Children's Home (see below). This is another amazing display of kindness and generosity by our amazing JAM students! Way to go!

Items Delivered to The Children's Home from JAM

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College in High School Latin Class Completes Aeneid Project

The college high school Latin class finished book two of the Aeneid. They also completed the column project-based learning project, where the class was split into groups. Each group was responsible for a section of the text. The groups created a four-foot column to depict the story for their section and taught this section of the text to the class. This is a great project that the class had been looking forward to for the past four years! Mrs. Reagle was very grateful the students were able to finish this project the week before the school closure!
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Avonworth Band Visits the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame

The Avonworth Band took a trip to Cleveland, Ohio to visit the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame. Not only did they visit this iconic venue, but they also had the opportunity to perform. Check out these amazing photos of our talented students performing outside the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame on a beautiful day in Cleveland!

PAsmart Computer Science Grant In Action

Last month, we let you know about a grant the District received for computer science. This goal of this grant is to help the district grow and expand our already thriving computer science pathway. One of our goals is to see computer science integrated into other areas of our curriculum. As a result of the grant, our computer science teachers and a couple of elementary classroom teachers have been engaging in training. In typical fashion, our teachers immediately put into action the learning and planning they have engaged in through the grant.


Below are some photos from Mrs. Dzadovsky's math class in which she had her students learning coordinates by programming a shape to draw in Scratch. We can't wait to see how this grant helps to grow computer science integration like this in other areas of our curriculum.

Recognition, Celebration, and Congratulations!

Avonworth's Chris Keast a Member of Best Automotive Technician Team in the State

Every year, Avonworth students that attend A.W. Beattie Career Center are rising to the top of their respective fields. This year, Avonworth senior Chris Keast is one of those students. Chris and his teammate from Pine Richland, Jimmy Yockel, competed in the Pennsylvania Automotive Association competition and outperformed some of the best automotive technician students in the state. Congratulations to Chris on this wonderful accomplishment!


Read more on the A.W. Beattie Career Center Website!

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Avonworth Drama Department Earns Recognition

The current school closure has caused the cancellation of so many of our favorite spring events and activities. The spring musical is one of those events we all look forward to each year. Our drama students and Mrs. Frauenholz had been working very hard on the production of this year's spring musical, Young Frankenstein.


Although this new normal put a stop to the spring musical, it couldn't stop our drama department and students from having a spotlight shine on them. Prime Stage Theater recently announced its 2020 High School Drama Award Winners. Our fall play production of A Midwinter Night's Dream won three awards! Congratulations to Mike Frank, Fabian Vasquez-Ramos, and the entire cast and crew on the following awards!


Best Production Manager: Mike Frank

Best Supporting Actor: Fabian Vasquez-Ramos

Best Production! AHS


This is a phenomenal feat for the debut year of these awards and an incredible testament to our talented Avonworth students and our drama department's willingness to push the boundaries of high school drama!

2020 High School Drama Awards

Avonworth's Goetz Excels on the Basketball Court

We are very happy to announce that Avonworth's Kat Goetz was named to the PG AAA fab 5 for girls basketball. Congratulations Kat on this well-deserved recognition! Your Avonworth family is very proud of you!
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2020 Key Club Scholarships Awarded to Avonworth's Alexie Auth

We are thrilled to share a recent announcement from Bob Bagans, President of the Kiwanis Club of Sewickley. Mr. Bagans informed Key Club sponsors, Mrs. Maisner and Mrs. Reagle that Avonworth Senior and Key Club President, Alexie Auth, is one of two recipients of its 2020 Key Club Scholarships.


Mr. Bagans stated, "These young ladies have served ably as their club's president, and have been great examples of leadership to their members. We are mighty proud of their successes."



Congratulations Alexie! Your Avonworth family is very proud of you!

Mrs. Galecki Selected as Holocaust Educator of the Year

Avonworth Middle School teachers, Mrs. Kathy Galecki, has been selected as this year's Holocaust Educator of the Year by the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh! Mrs. Galecki will receive an award of $2000 to help support the continuation of her efforts, as well as an additional $1000 to help further the Holocaust Education programming and curriculum in our District.


Unfortunately, Mrs. Galecki was to formally receive this award at the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh's annual Awards and Recognition Ceremony on April 21. Due to the current closure and stay-at-home order by our Governor, this event has been cancelled and will hopefully be rescheduled at a later date.


Congratulations on your achievement Mrs. Galecki!

Avonworth Athletic Director Earns Coach of the Year Recognition

We are pleased to announce that Avonworth's Athletic Director, Mr. Tim Giel, was recognized by the WPIAL for 10 years of service. Mr. Giel was also recognized by the WPIAL Wrestling Coaches Association as the WPIAL AA Coach of the Year! Congratulations Mr. Giel on both of these very worthy recognitions!

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First Annual Hope Night Postponed

The first annual Hope Night scheduled for Thursday, April 23 has been postponed. Please stay tuned for rescheduling information.

Middle School Yearbook Information

The staff of the yearbook and literary magazine made their publication deadline despite the school closure. The staff of both the yearbook and literary magazine worked up to the last day getting the book ready for our publisher. All group photos were taken prior to the school closure. The yearbook will be delivered in mid-May.

There are still 50 copies available for pre-order! Purchases can be made online through the yearbook company with a credit card. The cost is $20 and a small credit card processing fee. Online pre-orders end on April 24, 2020. Please use the link below to order.

Chase the Antelopes 5K & One-Mile Walk Cancelled

On behalf of the Avonworth Class of 2024, we would like to thank you for registering for this year’s Chase the Antelopes 5k & One-Mile Walk. Unfortunately, due to the guidelines issued by the Center for Disease Control and to ensure the safety of our community, this year’s event had to be cancelled.


While this year’s event will not take place, the hard work that our 8th-grade students put into this event should not go without recognition. Prior to our school closing in early March, students had achieved the following:


  • Secured twenty local business sponsors

  • Registered over 130 participants

  • Acquired more than a dozen online donations

  • Designed their own website, t-shirt, medals, trophies, and flyers

  • Recruited volunteers, called local businesses, and wrote letters to past participants

  • Learned to work together as a team, problem-solve, and plan an event that brings together a community for a great cause.


We are certain that if students would have had the opportunity to finish the project in school, it would have been a huge success and memorable experience for the entire class.


The Chase the Antelopes 5k & One-Mile Walk will return next year on Saturday, April 24, 2021. All current 8th-grade students will be invited to return as a participant or volunteer so that they can join next year’s 8th graders in this annual event.


Your registration fee of $15 can be held until next year and we will automatically register you for next year’s event. Remember, your registration fee is a donation to the Hannah Milbert Memorial Fund, a scholarship opportunity for Avonworth High School students.


If you prefer, you can contact Miles of Smiles Timing Service at bonnherb@yahoo.com to arrange for a refund.


We hope to see you at the starting line in 2021!

ASD and Blessings in a Backpack Provide Meals For Avonworth Families

The pandemic that has paralyzed our Nation has led many to face a furlough from work. These furloughs, as well as other hardships, may create a challenge for some with regard to getting meals to their families.


We are pleased to inform you that our Food Service Director, Ms. Melissa Schad, has filed a waiver that has been granted and Avonworth School District is now able to provide meals for any family in need. Please stay tuned for an announcement early next week regarding how to sign up for meals and where to pick up these meals.


We also want to inform you that Blessings in a Backpack is able to take on new families at this time and will run every Friday. Please reach out to Rhodora Huffmyer for this information. She can be contacted at: r.d.huffmyer@gmail.com

JAM to Provide Support to Food Bank During this Challenging Time

JAM would like to help our community in any small way we can. Since we can’t get together to make items to help our current situation, we are selling limited edition t-shirts. Profits from this sale will go directly to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.


Please click on the link below to order:

COVID-19 School Closure Information

The Avonworth School District is dedicated to keeping you informed during this school closure. We have created a website dedicated to posting District announcements, as well as links to information that you may find helpful during this challenging time. This webpage can be accessed here: ASD Coronavirus Information Page


Please use this link to access our updated FAQ regarding the current school closure: ASD COVID-19 FAQ Update


We are all thrilled to see the weather starting to turn warmer. With the warmer weather comes the desire to be outside to play and exercise. We need to remind you that the District must follow the guidelines outlined by Governor Wolf and therefore we have closed our District's playgrounds, Lenzner field, and school grounds. We ask for your support in adhering to these guidelines and remain off of school grounds, Lenzner field/track, and all school playgrounds.

April's Virtual School Schedule

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We miss you and hope to see you soon! Stay safe and be well Avonworth!