header logo
header logo text
MISSION: To lead an educational partnership with the Community, maintaining an environment that challenges all students to reach their potential as lifelong learners and responsible members of society.

BPSD Weekly Newsletter: Nov. 14, 2022

← Back Print This Article

November 14, 2022 

THIS WEEK’S HEADLINES
FALL BREAK: NOV. 24-28
Bethel Park School District will have its annual Fall Break, November 24-28. Classes will resume on Tuesday, Nov. 29. IMS students will have asynchronous remote learning days on Nov. 23 and 29 as their teachers prepare their classrooms for the next phase of that school’s renovation. All other district students will have in-person learning on Nov. 23 and 29.
 
GOFUNDME ESTABLISHED FOR LOCAL FAMILY RECENTLY STRICKEN BY TRAGEDY
You may have seen this tragic story in the news last week. A two year-old toddler drowned in a pond on the family’s property while her mother was in the hospital recovering from giving birth. Friends and neighbors have set up a GoFundMe to help the family with expenses.
 
IMS BREAKFAST SERVES UP GOOD FOOD AND APPRECIATION FOR AREA VETS
In conjunction with Bring a Smile to the Service, Independence Middle School recently hosted its annual Thank You Breakfast for area Veterans. The Tribune-Review was there to document it.
 
SITE WORK BEGINS AT THE PLANNED ELEMENTARY CENTER SITE
Geotechnical drilling began last week at the site of the planned new elementary center, located on what is currently the Neil Armstrong Middle School campus. The drilling, expected to last for the next few weeks, will not impact classroom learning but may impact some recess sessions.
 
STUDENT SUPPORT COUNSELING STRUCTURE K-12
The Bethel Park School District values students' emotional, behavioral, and academic well-being. Bethel Park has invested heavily in the support structure for its students with comprehensive coverage that includes social worker services, school counselor services, and site-based therapy options for students who exhibit such a need. Click here to learn more.
 
BEHAVIOR AND EMOTIONAL SCREENING SYSTEM (BESS)
The Behavior and Emotional Screening System (BESS) is a screening tool published by Pearson for schools to determine student strengths and weaknesses in their child's behavioral and emotional well-being.  This tool is short and is written in such a way that the student report form can be used by students ages 8 through 18 (3rd through 12th grade). Click here to learn more.
 
OFFICE OF VOCATIONAL AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES (OVR) 101 – VIRTUAL PARENT NIGHT: NOV. 14
Parents and guardians of high school-aged students receiving special education services are invited to attend an informative session on the Office of Vocational and Rehabilitative Services or OVR, at 7 p.m., on Monday, Nov. 14. This supportive service supports students in their transition needs into post-secondary life.  This virtual event is highly encouraged to understand how OVR can support your child's needs. Click here to secure your spot. A live meeting link will be sent to registrants before the event.
 
FAMILY ENGAGEMENT SERIES INTEREST SURVEY
The district's Student Support Services Department periodically sponsors events for Bethel Park families that it calls the Family Engagement Series. Those discussions cover various issues, including testing literacy, mental health, assistive technology, early intervention, and more. To help that department better serve the community, we ask that you take a few moments to complete the attached survey.  
 
MCGOUGH TO PERFORM WITH RIVER CITY BRASS BAND: NOV. 15
BPHS junior, Clara McGough, will perform as a featured vocal soloist with the professional brass band River City Brass at Bethel Park High School on Tuesday, Nov. 15, as part of their Les Mis n’at tour.  
 
Clara will be performing On My Own (Les Miserables), Memory (Cats), and Lullaby of Broadway (42nd Street). Tickets can be purchased on the website or at the door.
 
https://www.rivercitybrass.org/les-mis-nat
 
Clara McGough (‘24) is a member of Top 21, Concert Choir, and Chamber Orchestra and performs in the BPHS musicals — Cinderella (Ella) and 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Schwartzy).
 
BPSD TO OBSERVE CHILDREN’S GRIEF AWARENESS DAY: NOV. 17
Bethel Park will recognize Children's Grief Awareness Day on Thursday, Nov. 17. District students should wear blue to acknowledge those we have lost.
 
Also, a pair of lit remembrance trees have been placed in BPHS’s main lobby. All next week, students and staff are encouraged to hang commemorative paper butterflies on their branches, the universal symbol of hope and healing, with the names of their lost loved ones. The paper butterflies will be adjacent to the remembrance trees and remain in the lobby for the rest of the school year.
 
Children’s Grief Awareness Day is designed to help us all become more aware of the needs of grieving children and the benefits they obtain through the support of others.
 
Tune in LIVE on the Highmark Caring Place’s YouTube page (youtube.com/HighmarkCaringPlace) on Thursday, Nov. 17, to watch their virtual event. Recordings of the live sessions will also be available to watch afterward.
 
BETHEL PARK COMPETES IN HOMETOWN HIGH-Q: NOV. 19 and NOV. 26
The BPHS trio of Jesse Lester, Jeon Varghese (Captain), and Grace Skalniak recently competed virtually against Connellsville Area and Homer-Center in the first round of the KDKA Hometown High-Q quiz show competition.  The show will air on KDKA-TV at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19, and at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 26.
 

DECA & FCCLA TO HOLD ANNUAL SANTA BREAKFAST: DEC. 10
BPHS DECA & FCCLA will host a Santa Breakfast from 9-11:30 a.m., on Saturday, Dec. 10, at the Bethel Park High School cafeteria. Tickets are $10 per person (children two and under are free) and include breakfast, pictures with Santa, games, crafts and cookie decorating!
 
Reserve your spot today!  You can also register by emailing DECA sponsor Emily Smoller at [email protected].
 
BPSD RELEASES ITS “BE A HERO” SCHOOL BUS DRIVER CAMPAIGN VIDEO
Be a hero! Apply today to become a Bethel Park School District Bus driver or aide. Tell your friends and family too. Here is a recruitment video the school district has produced on it with the help of our friends at BPTV.
  • Excellent starting pay + signing bonus
  • Flexible schedule
  • Free training
  • State pension
Interested?  Call 412.854.8414, or email Transportation Director Scott Ziehler at [email protected].  Also, BPTV recently produced a full video for its “Around Town” program.
 
IMS IS LOOKING FOR A SLEIGH FOR ITS PRODUCTION OF ‘RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER JR.’ DEC. 1-3
Independence Middle School is undergoing a full-scale renovation that will render its auditorium unavailable throughout the late winter and spring as it undergoes its facelift. As they say, however, “the show must go on!”  For IMS, that means moving up their traditional spring musical to December, where they will present “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Jr.,” December 1-3, 2022.
 
The story and its songs are exceptionally familiar to local audiences. The show’s producers are also asking for community support as they search for a life-sized sleigh to place on the stage throughout the show. If you have a life-sized sleigh or know someone who does and might be willing to lend it to the production for a few weeks in late November and early December, please get in touch with Jeff Schilling, [email protected].
 
THE BETHEL PARK MINUTE
Bethel Park School District Superintendent Dr. James Walsh regularly addresses timely or hot-button issues facing BPSD during video segments he calls “The Bethel Park Minute.” The informal videos are typically brief and a way for Dr. Walsh to answer questions he’s receiving and to address or dispel some of the misconceptions that may arise. This week’s edition, which in keeping with tradition is not 60 seconds long, discusses Bethel Park High School being named a National Blue Ribbon School.
 
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
DISTRICT NEWS
BETHEL PARK IS OFFICIALLY RECOGNIZED AS NATIONAL BLUE RIBBON SCHOOL
On Nov. 4, in a celebration held in Washington, DC, by the United States Department of Education, Bethel Park High School became just the 37th Pennsylvania high school to win the National Blue Ribbon School award.
 
Earlier in the week, BPHS held a National Blue Ribbon Schools Day of Celebration that included commemorative t-shirts, group photos, and free treats for the students before the three-person delegation of BPSD Superintendent Dr. James Walsh, BPHS Principal Mr. Joseph Villani, and high school teacher Mr. Vic DiPrampero headed off to Washington, DC, to formally accept this recognition on behalf of the school and school district.    
 
CLASS OF ’23 FUNDRAISER: SARRIS CANDIES SALE

The Bethel Park High School Class of 2023 Ways and Means will sell Sarris Candies for their winter fundraiser to raise money for the Senior Prom and Senior Luncheon.  Please consider purchasing some candy for yourself or as gifts. To place an order, see a member of the Class of 2023 (senior class) or purchase online (www.sarriscandiesfundraising.com) using the Group ID: 10-3458
 
Orders must be placed no later than Nov. 18.   They will arrive on Dec. 7.  If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact Mr. Kszastowsi at [email protected] or Ms. Durco at [email protected]. The Class of 2023 would like to thank everyone for their continued support!
 
NEW CONSTRUCTION WEBSITE
Visit our new facilities microsite, http://bpsdbestinclass.org, for the latest developments and most accurate information regarding the ongoing construction projects at Independence Middle School and Bethel Park Elementary Center.
 
BETHEL PARK SCHOOL DISTRICT’S STRATEGIC PLAN
The district recently released its Strategic Plan (2021-2026), including its Comprehensive Plan (2021-2024) and its ongoing long-term Facilities Planning. You can also see the district's Professional Development Plan and Induction Plan. See Superintendent Dr. James Walsh’s explanation of the plan.
 
DISTRICT CALENDAR
For the most -up-to-date information on events happening within the Bethel Park School District, please consult this daily View All Events Calendar.
 
VOLUNTEER REQUIREMENTS
The Bethel Park School District encourages the involvement of parents and guardians in our schools. Pennsylvania State Law requires every volunteer with direct contact with students must have clearances on file with the school district. The required clearances are the Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance (Act 151), Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check (Act 34), and the FBI Federal Criminal History Record (Act 114).  PA Clearances are free to volunteers, and the FBI Clearance is $22.60. Volunteers who have resided in Pennsylvania for the past 10 years and have never been convicted of a Disqualifying Offense can sign a waiver to eliminate the need for FBI Clearance.
 
Click here for complete details on how to become a volunteer in the Bethel Park School District. Please be sure to follow the checklist in the attached link.
 
PROJECT IGNITE
Carnegie Mellon University is re-introducing Project Ignite. This interdisciplinary project-based 10-week program takes place on Sundays in the Spring on Carnegie Mellon’s campus. High School students work in groups of 5 to 9 to research, design, and build large-scale projects with Carnegie Mellon University students who support them in actualizing their wildest ideas.
 
Projects are available in tech, science, and the arts. Topics range from VR games to AI to music psychology and filmmaking. Teams can shape these projects in any direction, or they can also propose a self-designed project!
 
Click here to apply. The application window runs through Sunday, Nov. 20.
 
CAREER CONNECTIONS OPPORTUNITIES
The application for the 2022 Career Connections programs is now open.  Please note that the links for the forms are currently on the AIU website (https://www.aiu3.net/careerconnections), and Program descriptions are updated.

Career Connections programs are for students in grades 9-12.  The application fee is $100.  Some programs may have an additional fee that is noted in their description.  The programs that the AIU is currently accepting applications for are:
  • Associated Artists – Art Careers (no start date yet)
  • Future Teachers Academy (no start date yet)
  • RxPlore Pharmacy – December 8 (Please note that this program has no application fee as it is only one session.)
  • Writing for Publication (no start date yet)
  • Zoo Animal Care (no start date yet)
 
More programs will be added throughout the year.
 
A Career Connections application is complete when we receive the following:
 
 
IMS NEWS
IMS TO HAVE REMOTE ASYNCHRONOUS REMOTE LEARNING DAYS ON NOV. 23 AND 29
Independence Middle School will have asynchronous remote learning days Wednesday, Nov. 23 and Tuesday, Nov. 29, as their teachers transition their classrooms as part of the next phase of renovations at the school.
 
Please note that these calendar changes only impact IMS students and staff.  All other Bethel Park schools will conduct standard in-person instruction on those dates.
 
IMS YEARBOOK ON SALE NOW:  CLICK HERE TO ORDER
 
IMS YEARBOOK - PHOTOGRAPH SUBMISSIONS
 
The IMS Yearbook would love for you to share your images of middle school life.  We are looking for photographs from athletics, extracurricular activities, or other community events to use in the 2023 book potentially.  If you are willing to share any of your photographs throughout the school year, you can upload them to yearbookforever.com or the Yearbook SNAP app on your phone.  The access code to submit images is Hawks.
 
 IMS SPORTS:
 If your child plans to play a winter sport, please submit all paperwork before tryouts.
 
 Sign up on the REMIND APP to stay up to date.
  • WRESTLING: Practice begins Nov. 18 after school for Students in grades 7-9 in the BPHS wrestling room.
  • IMS GIRLS BASKETBALL:  Tryouts/Season begins in January 
 
SCHOOL BOARD NEWS
SCHOOL BOARD ACTION SUMMARIES
Bethel Park School District provides school board action summaries after each meeting. The summary includes a short description of the main topics and action items. These summaries are not meant to replace minutes, which are approved and posted after the next regularly scheduled meeting. We hope these summaries provide some basic information and context around the reports, presentations, and action items.  Also, you can follow the agenda for the next school board meeting here and watch the school board meetings streamed live online or on-demand on the school district's YouTube channel.
 
SCHOOL BOARD 2022 MEETING CALENDAR
The school board’s current 2022 meeting calendar, which is always subject to change, can be found here.
 
All school board meetings begin at 7 p.m. and are held in the Dr. Thomas A. Knight Memorial Community Room in the Bethel Park Administration Building unless otherwise noted. There are no school board meetings scheduled for July. If you cannot attend the school board meetings in person, know they will be live-streamed through the school district’s YouTube channel. Meeting dates and times are also available on the school district’s website.
 
ANNOUNCEMENTS & REMINDERS
BETHEL PARK PARTNERS WITH PEACHJAR E-FLIER SYSTEM
Bethel Park School District is partnering with Peachjar to provide an electronic alternative for distributing fliers.
 
Peachjar’s e-flier management system electronically approves fliers and emails them to parents’ and guardians’ inboxes. Parents can view e-fliers from their smartphones or computer. In addition, fliers are also posted on the school's website for easy viewing. More information about Peachjar can be found on their website.
 
The district is encouraging schools to use Peachjar because it saves time for school staff, it sends fliers directly to parents rather than using students as the distribution channel, and it saves paper.

EMPLOYMENT NEWS
  • Bethel Park School District is looking for bus drivers and aides. The benefits include a signing bonus, a competitive starting salary, health care coverage, and entrance into the state pension system. Interested applicants should visit the Employment section of the website or call 412.854.8414.
     
  • Metz Culinary Management is growing and is seeking Team Members for full and part-time roles in a busy Student Dining Services setting. Whether you enjoy cooking, serving, or customer relations, our Food Service Team comprises multi-talented individuals, all contributing to the Culinary and Hospitality services, ensuring our Students, Staff, and Guests enjoy a fantastic dining experience!?

    Metz Culinary Management offers flexible schedules, mostly daylight hours, competitive wages, benefits, and Career Growth in the Contract Dining Services Industry! Interested parties should reach out to John Rambo by email or by calling 412.854.8754.

 BLACK HAWKS ATHLETICS
  • For those unable to attend the games, Trib High School Sports Network often broadcasts our games live at https://tribhssn.triblive.com/broadcast-calendar/.  The games are also often broadcast live on local radio stations.
     
  • The brutal combination of a driving rain storm, injuries to key personnel, and an outstanding opponent conspired to end Bethel Park’s (10-2) outstanding football season in the WPIAL Class 5A semifinals Friday night at Big Mac Stadium in Canonsburg. It was undoubtedly a disappointing ending, but the season was an incredible success!
     
  • Baseball standouts Evan Holewinski and Ray Altmeyer each signed their college letters with Kent State and Mercyhurst, respectively.
     
  • Carly O'Mara signed her college letter to play lacrosse at Seton Hill.
     
  • Girls soccer player Eva Blatz signed her college letter to play at Buffalo, and her teammate Kristen Horgan signed to play at Pittsburgh-Johnstown.
     
SPORTS SCHEDULES
Stay updated with the latest information and changes to the BPHS sports schedules at https://bpathletics.bigteams.com/main/calendar/. Get information on all Bethel Park sports teams or those you’re interested in. Sign up on the site to have updates and schedule changes emailed to you, so you will know if something is canceled due to inclement weather. It’s a great Octoberway to stay in touch with our athletic teams, mainly when unpredictable weather necessitates postponements and rescheduling!  Go Hawks!
 
COMMUNITY NEWS
IMS HOLIDAY CRAFTS SHOW: NOV. 19
Independence Middle School will host its annual Holiday Craft Show from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19.
 
 ADOPTION CONNECTION SPEAKS AT A SCHOOL BOARD MEETING
In October, Annelise O'Neil,  Foster Family Recruiter for Adoption Connection, spoke to the Bethel Park school board about Allegheny County’s dire need for new Foster Families for youth in the Pittsburgh region. There are currently approximately 15,000 children in the Foster Care System in Pennsylvania alone. Adoption Connection, PA’s goal is to find and mentor families interested in becoming Foster Families. That agency helps families complete their required training, get licensed with the state, and support them during and after placement. Many children in Allegheny County are waiting to be placed in safe, loving homes. The current highest-need youth groups are children between the ages of 6-21 years-old, sibling groups, BIPOC youth, LGBTQIA youth, and children with medical needs.
 
For more information about Foster Parent classes or the foster adoption process, please get in touch with Foster Family Recruiter Annelise O'Neill at [email protected] or call the Adoption Connection, PA Office at (724) 371-0671.
 
IMPORTANT LINKS
·       Bethel Park School District: www.bpsd.org
·       eSchoolPlus/PowerSchool Home Access Center Login:
https://bpkhac.eschoolplus.powerschool.com/HomeAccess/Account/LogOn?ReturnUrl=%2fHomeAccess
·       Twitter: www.twitter.com/bpsdinfo
·       Facebook: www.facebook.com
·       Instagram: bethel_park_school_district
·       YouTube: BETHEL_PARK_SCHOOL_DISTRICT
·       Linked In: www.linkedin.com
 
NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY
The Bethel Park School District will not discriminate in its educational programs, activities, or employment practices based on race, color, national origin, sex, sexual preference, disability, age, religion, ancestry, union membership, or any other legally protected classification.
 
 The announcement of this policy is per state and federal laws, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  Employees and participants who have an inquiry or complaint of harassment or discrimination, or need information about accommodations, for persons with disabilities should contact:
 
 Dr. Zeb Jansante
 
Title IX Compliance Officer
 301 Church Road
 Bethel Park, PA 15102-1696
 412.854.8420
 412.854.8430 (fax)
 [email protected]
 

If you are receiving this newsletter in error, please email Mr. James Cromie at [email protected], and you will be promptly removed from the list. Also, if someone you know is not getting this newsletter but would like to receive one, please encourage them to contact Mr. Cromie. Finally, all of this year’s email newsletters are posted on the district’s website, so you can go back and look at past editions if you’d like.