November 21, 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, November 29. IMS students will have asynchronous remote learning days on November 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.
IMS TO PRESENT ‘RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER JR.’ DEC. 1-3
Tickets for the IMS Drama Club’s production of Rudolph: The Red-Nosed Reindeer, Jr. are now available. To purchase tickets, please use the link below. Rudolph and his crew will perform on Dec. 1, 2, and 3 at 7:30 p.m. We hope that you can join us! Click here for tickets.
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].
INTRODUCING THE HIGH SCHOOL’S T.E.A.M.S. ROOM
BPHS has implemented a new space for students to help sort through their emotional challenges with some of our trained social workers in a room we call our T.E.A.M.S. (Therapeutic, Emotional, Avoidant, Monitoring and Support) Room. Here is a video on it.
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 the current plans for the new elementary center.
Also, Dr. Walsh has added a bonus Bethel Park Minute wishing everyone a happy, relaxing, and filling Thanksgiving.
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.
ELKINS NAMED BETHEL PARK ROTARY’S (LUNCH) NOVEMBER STUDENT OF THE MONTH
The Bethel Park Rotary Club’s November Student of the Month is Bethel Park High School senior Kiersten Elkins. She was recently recognized at a small luncheon at The Garden Restaurant.
BETHEL PARK’S CANTANA A FEATURED SOLOIST IN MENDELSSOHN CHOIR’S CONCERT
BPHS’ Maria Cantana was a featured soloist in the Junior Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh’s (JMCP) annual concert, “At the River,” Nov. 20, at Third Presbyterian Church in Shadyside.
BPSD SCHOOLS PARTICIPATE IN OPERATION FEED-A-NEIGHBOR
Over the weekend, several Bethel Park students and staff participated in Operation Feed-A-Neighbor. Also, Neil Armstrong Middle School and Memorial Elementary School each donated carloads of household supplies to the cause.
BPHS IS STILL ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR THE ALUMNI HALL OF FAME: DEADLINE: DEC. 1
BPHS is still accepting nominations for the 2023 Alumni Hall of Fame through Dec. 1, 2022. Any submission received after Dec. 1 will automatically be entered into the pool for consideration for the Class of '24 (and for five years after submission).
BETHEL PARK COMPETES IN HOMETOWN HIGH-Q: 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 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 26.
NAMS DONATES MORE THAN $2,000 TO ST. CLAIR HOSPITAL
St. Clair Hospital's Erica Koenig was recently at NAMS to accept a $2,283 check for that hospital's Breast Cancer Awareness initiative.
In October, NAMS held a series of events to help raise awareness and collected donations from students and staff each morning during homeroom.
FIVE BETHEL PARK STUDENTS NAMED STEEL CITY CTE OCTOBER SOTM
Bethel Park juniors Michael Bonuito, Katherine Clouston, Meghan Rodgers; sophomore Lily Janus; and freshman Jason Natali have each been named Steel Center CTE October Students of the Month.
“MS. PAT” TURNS 91
Last week, students and staff at Memorial Elementary celebrated the 91st birthday of long-time bus monitor, “Ms. Pat” Wasemann. The Memorial institution has been at the school since the early 70s and has greeted thousands of students as they come to and go from school each day.
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.
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.
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.
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.
BPSD CELEBRATES NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH
November is National Native American Heritage Month and Bethel Park is proud to honor indigenous peoples. Click here to learn more about some of the important contributions Native Americans have made to our country.
IN CASE YOU MISSED 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.
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.
For the most -up-to-date information on events happening within the Bethel Park School District, please consult this daily View All Events Calendar.
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.
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 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. 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.
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.
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.
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 Winter Sports Season officially began on Friday, Nov. 18.
The 2022-2023 Unified Bocce schedule is out! The brand-new Bethel Park team has home matches against South Park (1/23/23), and Upper St. Clair (2/9/23), and road tilts at Keystone Oaks (1/19/23) and Baldwin (2/2/23).
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!
TRIB FEATURE ON JUDGE ARNONI
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review recently wrote a very nice feature on Judge Ron Arnoni.
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.
EMAIL NEWSLETTER TO RETURN ON DEC. 5
Bethel Park School District will not produce an email newsletter next week, Nov. 28 through Dec. 2. The next email newsletter will come out on Monday, Dec. 5. BPSD will also not produce weekly email newsletters during winter and spring breaks.
· Bethel Park School District: www.bpsd.org
· eSchoolPlus/PowerSchool Home Access Center Login:
· Twitter: www.twitter.com/bpsdinfo
· Facebook: www.facebook.com
· Instagram: bethel_park_school_district
· YouTube: BETHEL_PARK_SCHOOL_DISTRICT
· Linked In: www.linkedin.com
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
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.