Fox Chapel Area students return to school next week
The countdown is on.
Just one more week of sleeping in and swimming all day.
Classes begin at Fox Chapel Area School District on Aug. 22, with nearly 4,300 students on the roster.
District administrators have seen a busy summer with many changes, including at least four new faces in top positions.
Rachel Fischbaugh is the new principal at Hartwood Elementary and said she can't wait for the first day of school.
“I'm ready to jump in,” said Fischbaugh, who comes to the Saxonburg Boulevard school from the North Allegheny School District.
There's also a new principal at Fairview Elementary. Rebecca Stephan, formerly with the Pine-Richland School District, began her duties shortly before the school bells let out for summer.
She also said she is anxious to become more familiar with all of the students and their families.
Matthew Harris, former principal at Dorseyville Middle School, is now the district's coordinator of instruction, staff development and secondary curriculum.
“The biggest difference will be the focus, it will be narrowed,” said Harris, who served as principal for six years and has been with the district for 20 years.
He'll set his sights on new ways to help middle school students learn, Harris said.
Taking his place in the hallways at the middle school is Jonathan Nauhaus, who moves up from assistant principal.
Having worked at the middle school since 2007, Nauhaus was named acting principal earlier this summer.
Students at Dorseyville this year will participate in a new project-based learning program using iPads, provided by the district, said Bonnie Berzonski, coordinator of communications.
It won't begin until January, but the 1:1 pilot program is aimed at enhancing the curriculum through lessons that focus on inquiry, discovery and collaboration, she said.
“This project seeks to transform instruction to best meet the needs of the 21st Century learner as well as prepare learners for collegiate and workplace expectations,” Berzonski said.
“The iPads help fully recognize the vision of project-based learning where students are engaged with and inspired by the learning.”
At the high school, there are several new science and music courses on tap for the school year.
Berzonski said the high school is implementing a science course that is expected to help students earn more success on the Biology Keystone Exam. The tests will be administered across the state this year.
“Existing courses such as molecular biology and Biology I have also been modified to better align with both the New Generation Science standards and the state Department of Education Science standards,” Berzonski said.
A committee of parents, teachers and science professionals recommended the changes after a study of the secondary science curriculum.
New to the high school music department are courses on world music and the history of rock and roll.
Both were added to meet the interests of the students, Berzonski said.
At the elementary level, a new language arts program will be used called Benchmark Literacy and Writing.
The district also has upgraded the online access to progress and grade information for students and parents.
“PowerSchool” portal provides real-time progress in a user-friendly delivery, Berzonski said.
Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.