Saturday, September 28, 2019

2019 Homecoming Court

2018 Homecoming Queen, Katrina Bobo, and Escort

Thursday, September 26, 2019

West Vincent is National Blue Ribbon School

West Vincent Elementary Announced as a 2019 National Blue Ribbon School
West Vincent Elementary School, in the Owen J. Roberts School District, has been deemed a National Blue Ribbon School. On September 26, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos recognized 362 schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2019. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance.

“We recognize and honor your important work in preparing students for successful careers and meaningful lives” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in a video message to the honorees. “As a National Blue Ribbon School, your school demonstrates what is possible when committed educators hold all students and staff to high standards and create vibrant, innovative cultures of teaching and learning.”

The coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. 

Mr. Edward J. Smith, Principal of West Vincent Elementary School, offered, “I am blessed and honored to be a small part of the West Vincent school community.  The National Blue-Ribbon Award is a well-deserved recognition to our staff, students, and every family that has been a part of West Vincent Elementary School. Additionally, the National Blue-Ribbon Award is recognizing not just West Vincent, but the entire Owen J. Roberts School District.”

Now in its 37th year, the program allows up to 420 schools to be nominated each year. The Department invites National Blue Ribbon School nominations from the top education official in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education. Private schools are nominated by The Council for American Private Education (CAPE). West Vincent is the second Owen J. Roberts School to be selected as a National Blue Ribbon School. East Coventry Elementary School had the honor in 1993-94.

On November 14 and 15, the Secretary and the Department of Education will celebrate with 312 public and 50 non-public school honorees at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

National Merit Commended Students

L to R: High School Principal Mr. Ken Napaver with Elizabeth Amstutz, Anya Winemiller, Mackenzie Hale, Jeevan Bandi
Congratulations to Elizabeth Amstutz, Anya Winemiller, Mackenzie Hale, and Jeevan Bandi, for receiving the designation of National Merit Commended Students.

A Letter of Commendation from the school and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), which conducts the program, will be presented to these scholastically talented seniors.
These four Owen J. Roberts High School students are part of a group of about 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. They have proven to be among the highest scorers on the PSAT/NMSQT® and will receive Letters of Commendation in recognition of their outstanding academic promise. Commended Students are named on the basis of a nationally applied Selection Index score that may vary from year to year and is typically below the level required for participants to be named Semifinalists in their respective states. Although Commended Students do not continue in the competition for National Merit® Scholarships, some of these students do become candidates for Special Scholarships sponsored by corporations and businesses.

Meet the 2019 Homecoming Court

Congratulations to the 2019 Owen J. Roberts High School Homecoming Court!
Trinity Flores
Abbey Hannis
Rylie Hannis
Corrine Hofmann
Emma Kircher
Haley O'Donnell
Angelie Rodriguez
Kara Schwenk
Meet the Court in this preview prepared by Mr. Sponagle's Video Production team:

Monday, September 23, 2019

Dr. Recess Makes Playtime Fun

On Friday, September 20, 2019, East Coventry Elementary School brought back Dr. Recess for the second year. East Coventry PTA sponsored and paid for the program which had been very popular in the past. 

Dr. Curt Hinson’s (Dr. Recess) workshop is an interactive and dynamic experience that provides participants with actual games, activities and cooperation strategies they can implement immediately on the playground. 

Students learned about 6-8 hands-on games and activities that encourage fitness, manipulative skills, motor skills and social/emotional skills. Dr. Recess's workshop was filled with fun, easy-to-implement games and activities to help offer success to all children, regardless of ability. After the assemblies, Dr. Recess set up games and facilitated play on the playground that very day! He offered plenty of tips to make playtime conflict-free and FUN!

Start with Hello Campaign

This week, schools all over the country are focusing on inclusion.

Social isolation is the overwhelming feeling of being left out, lonely or treated like you are invisible. Young people who are isolated can become victims of bullying, violence and depression. As a result, many further pull away from society, struggle with learning and social development or choose to hurt themselves or others.

We can change this!

Students are greeted as they enter the East Coventry School

Start With Hello Week is September 23–27. 2019. Start With Hello Week brings attention to the  epidemic of social isolation and empowers young people to create a culture of inclusion and connectedness within their school.

Start With Hello Week is organized by Sandy Hook Promise, a national nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. Sandy Hook Promise is led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that claimed the lives of 20 first-graders and 6 educators. They are focused on preventing gun violence (and other forms of violence and victimization) BEFORE it happens by educating and mobilizing youth and adults on mental health and wellness programs that identify, intervene and help at-risk individuals.

North Coventry Elementary School to Host Empowering Families Series

Image result for capable kids imagesNorth Coventry Elementary School (NCES) was the first school in Pennsylvania to apply for, and receive, a grant for a research-based 13-week curriculum by RezilientKidz that is grounded on the Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets. According to their website, Search Institute has undertaken decades of research with more than 5 million children and found that there are 40 building blocks, or assets, every child needs to grow and mature. According to research, the more assets a child has in her life, the more likely she is to engage in healthy behaviors, avoid risky behaviors, and thrive.

The RezilientKidz program, which NCES is calling Empowering Families, provides both parents and their children interactive lessons over the course of 13 weeks. Through relevant stories and exercises, parents and children will learn essential building blocks to empower the entire family.

According to Principal Brad Bentman and Instructional Support Teacher Kellie Bean, North Coventry Elementary, a National ESEA Distinguished Title I School, was thrilled to be deemed as motivated, ready, and equipped to serve families well and receive a grant to facilitate the Empowering Families program. Mr. Bentman said, “Our teachers and staff, as well as supportive parents, have done a fantastic job putting a concrete infrastructure together. The Empowering Families program will solidify school, family and community connections to help each student find success and a path toward continuous growth.”

The Empowering Families program was tailored to meet the needs of the NCES community. Approximately 50 families have signed up to participate. With training as part of the award, the Program Director from RezilientKidz came on site in February, 2019, to implement a train-the-trainer model. Trained parents and school personnel have been working for months to plan a customized and engaging program. Throughout the sessions, families can expect to be strengthened with tools and skills needed to raise healthy, caring, responsible children.

The 13 sessions are 1.5 hours in length. Parents work in groups while students attend their own skill-based learning activities that reinforce what the adults are learning. Families attending 10 of the 13 sessions will “graduate” from the program, hopefully with new friends and a stronger support system.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Ed Foundation Farm Fest Always a Blast

If you need another reason to come to the Family Farm Fest this Saturday at the Olszanowski Farm from 4-9, then the AWESOME basket raffle is it! Over $2500 worth of donated items will be raffled off, and each school is making a basket to raffle off as well! The school that receives the most tickets in their raffle basket entry will win a prize for the faculty and staff that created it! We can’t wait to see you all this weekend!

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Spanish Exchange

Greenheart International is a non-profit organization that facilitates foreign exchange, international work and travel, and does extensive volunteer work all around the world. One of the programs in which Owen J. Roberts High School is participating is a School to School Exchange for the Spanish Department whereby 15 students and two teachers have come to the US from September 14 to 28, to stay with host families. In June, the OJR children of those host families will have the opportunity to go stay with their host families in Madrid, Spain. While the students are here, they have been participating in volunteer projects around our community with their host siblings. 

Today, the students from Spain helped AP Spanish students prepare for the AP Exam. With the native Spanish speakers, Owen J. Roberts students prepared to give an oral presentation comparing their community with the community of origin for the Spanish visitors. Students needed to demonstrate an understanding of cultural features of the Spanish-speaking world.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Make Your Mark

What kind of mark will you make?

That is the question students are pondering many elementary students who have read The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds.Dot Day celebrations were held in many of our schools.

During Art class, all West Vincent students have been creating artwork based on The Dot. This book encourages self-expression, creativity, and bravery, as well as a Growth Mindset and the awesome Power of “Yet”. Today, Mrs. Greet greeted students when they entered the building, providing book markers to mark their spot!

Friday, September 13, 2019

Suicide Awareness--Seize the Awkward

As suicide Awareness Week comes to a close, we hope to carry forward what we learned. The following morning announcement at the Middle School is a perfect example of what to keep on our minds:

In continuing to recognize suicide awareness week, it's important to understand the facts and statistics associated with teen depression-- only 33% of teens ask for help when they are feeling down; while over 80% of teens respond positively to treatment once they ask for help.
Seize the awkward, when you notice a friend is posting comments that indicate he is down; ask him if everything is ok?

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Arianna Arditi is National Merit Semi-Finalist

Congratulations to Arianna Arditi for achieving the status of National Merit Semi-Finalist.
The National Merit® Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and college scholarships for high school students in the United States. Every year, high school students across the country enter the program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, better known as the PSAT/NMSC (and commonly just referred to as the PSAT). The test measures reading, mathematics, language and writing abilities.  The focus of the test is on ability rather than memorized knowledge.  About 3.5 million students from about 22,000 high schools take the test each year, and of those, about 1.6 million meet requirements to enter the program.
Approximately 16,000 of the 50,000 who received top scores are designated as Semi-finalists. This is done on a state-representational basis to ensure a cross-section of students from across the United States. In other words, they are the highest scorers from each state.