Summer Assignment/Reading Information
7/27/2015. Filed under Press Releases.
Latest Elementary Capital Improvement Program updates
7/24/2015. Filed under Press Releases.
- July 6, 2015: Update from MM Architects
- June 9, 2015: Community Briefing from Monday, June 8, 2015
Note: The next briefing will take place at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, June 24, 2015, in the administration center board room.
- May 28, 2015: PDFs of construction contracts have been added to the website. click here to view
Click here for more information.
After school care program to expand
7/24/2015. Filed under Press Releases.
In order to meet the growing need for after-school care services, the Moon Area School District and the Sewickley YMCA have made modifications to the program to greatly increase the program’s capacity.
On-site after school care services will be available daily in each of the elementary schools until 6:30 p.m. through the Sewickley YMCA for students needing supervision beyond the school day. All students will be served in their respective schools. In order to operate more efficiently and to ensure student safety, students cannot be transported to a different school’s after-care program.
Three of the district’s four elementary schools had long waitlists. These efficiencies will eliminate the current waitlists and additional spots may be available – pending recruitment of additional after-school care teachers. YMCA staff members will be contacting families who were previously waitlisted.
The Sewickley YMCA is currently recruiting for the following positions within the Moon Area School District: after school site directors, after school teachers and substitute after school teachers. The hours are from 2:30-6:30 p.m. on school days. Click here for more information. If interested, send your resume and cover letter to Ron Vilseck at email@example.com or call 412-741-9622 ext. 112.
For more information regarding after school services, please contact Amee Kuzniarski at 412- 741-9622 ext. 133 at the Sewickley Valley YMCA.
Congrats to Dr. Thomas Knight, school psychologist
7/20/2015. Filed under Press Releases.
Thomas R. Knight, school psychologist for Moon Area School District, recently completed coursework and successfully defended his dissertation to earn a doctorate in school psychology from Duquesne University. He will formally participate in graduation ceremonies in December 2015.
Dr. Knight earned his master’s and education specialist degrees in school psychology from California University of Pennsylvania. He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania . In addition, he is certified as a school psychologist and in secondary student assistance.
Prior to joining the Moon Area staff in 2013, Dr. Knight served as the school psychologist at McKeesport Area School District for nearly six years.
The title of Dr. Knight’s dissertation is “A psychometric examination of prosocial behavior across cultural contexts.”
“This study examined the extent to which an assessment designed to measure prosocial behavior – positive actions that benefit others – did so similarly across states, race, community type, and socioeconomic status,” he said. “In essence, the focus was to determine how effectively the assessment was measuring prosocial behavior for different groups of people.”
A resident of Peters Township, Dr. Knight and his wife, Lisa, have a preschool aged daughter, Ella, as well as an affectionate dog, Scout.
Board of Education Meeting: Monday, July 20 | Agenda
Click here to view the School Board agenda for Monday, July 20, 2015.
The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Board Room, located within the central administrative offices.
- Monday, Aug. 10, 2015 - Regular Board Meeting
Moon holds the line on taxes
6/30/2015. Filed under Press Releases.
The Moon Area School District Board of Education approved the district’s 2015-16 budget totaling $68,258,774 without a tax increase during a special meeting on June 30, 2015. The district’s millage rate will remain 18.8461.
The ability to avoid a tax increase is largely attributed spending controls that were implemented since Superintendent Curt Baker’s arrival in November 2013. In addition, following the 2014-15 implementation of one-to-one laptops at the high school, technology costs will decrease by $700,000 in the coming year.
The district’s strategic plan, distributed in January 2015, lists three goals regarding fiscal management: ensure full fiscal transparency; ensure there are sufficient resources to sustain planned programs; and operate the district’s business operations prudently and effectively.
“As stewards of taxpayer dollars, we have an obligation to provide the residents of Moon and Crescent townships the best value for their tax dollar,” Mr. Baker said. “Throughout the last year, we have worked diligently to improve efficiencies, transparency and fiscal accountability in order to minimize the financial impact on our taxpayers. As a result, we are pleased to present the community with a zero-tax increase budget.”
The 2015-16 final budget provides funding for several new teaching positions including three elementary learning support teachers, three elementary reading specialists and one secondary guidance counselor. In addition, the budget includes appropriations for a school resource officer.
“In recent years, our district, like many in the commonwealth, sacrificed crucial academic support services during difficult budget years,” Mr. Baker said. “This budget restores some of that support for our youngest readers and our most vulnerable students in order to help ensure their academic success.”
Like all Pennsylvania public school districts, Moon Area faces the challenge of escalating state-mandated retirement contributions. Since 2000-01 the employer contribution rate has increased from 1.94 percent to 21.40 percent. For 2015-16, the rate is budgeted to increase to 25.84 percent – which represents an increase of more than $1.2 million in the Moon Area School District.
In 2014-15, Moon Area School District had the 17th lowest millage rate among Allegheny County’s 42 suburban school districts and will likely keep that ranking in 2015-16. The annual real estate tax on a $158,100 assessed home, the median home value in Moon, is $2,821.47.
Under the Taxpayer Relief Act, qualified Moon Area homeowners will receive a reduction in their property tax bill of $130.57 from gaming monies. To qualify, the property must be an owner-occupied residence and the property owner must have filed a homestead exemption application with Allegheny County. To check the homestead exemption status of your property, visit the Allegheny County website.
Moon Area School District’s 2015-16 final budget is available on the district’s website www.moonarea.net and at the district’s administrative offices, 8353 University Boulevard in Moon Township.
Fiscal Stewardship & Operational Excellence
Goal 1: Ensure full fiscal transparency
- Put strong fiscal controls in place, including position control.
- Assure that reporting provides genuine insight into the fiscal condition of the district.
- Constantly review the organization, both fiscally and operationally, for improvement opportunities.
Goal 2: Ensure there are sufficient resources to sustain planned program.
- Address fiscal challenges – like PSERS – head on.
- Don’t start a new program unless its funding source is assured over time.
- Utilize effective cost containment strategies.
- Identify and pursue a variety of funding sources.
Goal 3: Operate the district’s business operations prudently and effectively.
Board of Education: Final Budget approval set for Tuesday, June 30
6/26/2015. Filed under Press Releases.
Click here to view the School Board agenda for Tuesday, June 30, 2015. This is a Special Meeting to adopt the 2015-16 Budget & Tax Rate.
The meeting begins at 4:30 p.m. in the Board Room located within the central administrative offices.
Monday, July 20 - Regular Board Meeting
7 p.m. | Administration Center Board Room
Pre-K at Hyde - now accepting registration for fall 2015
6/26/2015. Filed under Press Releases.
Open House & Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Visit the facility and learn about the specialized curriculum from noon until 8 p.m. July 30, 2015
The Moon Early Childhood Center, located within the Richard J. Hyde Educational Resource Center, is now accepting registration for fall 2015.
A year-round, full-day pre-kindergarten program will be provided from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. weekdays. Monthly tuition is $950. After-care services until 6 p.m. are also available for an additional $160 per month.
For more information, contact David C. Fales, Executive Director of Connections at 215-280-5797 or via email at DFales@sebconnections.com or Ragan Iacullo, Program Director, at 724-600-6041 or email Ragan.Iacullo@sebconnections.com.
The Moon Early Childhood Center at Hyde
Frequently Asked Questions
“What is the ‘Moon Early Childhood Center’?”
The Moon Early Childhood Center is a Pre-K, school readiness program that is designed to meet the unique needs and learning abilities of all children 3 to 5 years of age.
“What is a ‘Pre-K’ program?”
Pre-K programs are designed to engage children who are 3 to 5 years of age in school readiness activities. This type of learning environment is driven by age-appropriate, high program standards. As such, this is not a daycare program.
“Who developed the ‘Moon Early Childhood Center’?”
The Moon Early Childhood Center is formed through a strategic partnership between the Sewickley Valley YMCA, the Robert Morris University School of Education & Social Sciences, and Special Education & Behavioral Connections (“Connections”). This program will meet Moon Area School District’s objective, set forth in its Strategic Plan, to offer quality pre-kindergarten education to the children of our community. Research indicates that students who are well-prepared for kindergarten tend to do well throughout their entire program of education.
“What makes the ‘Moon Early Childhood Center’ unique?”
The Moon Early Childhood Center provides academic readiness services that are fully aligned with the Pennsylvania Learning Standards. It uses the Creative Curriculum© for Preschool, which is based upon 38 objectives for development and learning that are fully aligned with the Headstart Child Development and Early Learning Framework. In addition to a full-day academic program, aftercare services are also available.
“Who is eligible to receive services here?”
All children between the ages of 3 and 5 years are eligible to enroll in this program.
“What is the cost?”
The full-day Pre-K readiness program is $950/month, or $237.50/week. This cost is comparable to other, similarly-structured, full-day programs in this area. (Additional costs apply to aftercare services.)
“How do I contact the ‘Moon Early Childhood Center’?”
You can contact the program by visiting the Connections website at www.sebconnections.com. You can also contact David C. Fales, Executive Director of Connections at 215-280-5797 or via email at DFales@sebconnections.com or Ragan Iacullo, Program Director, at 724-600-6041 or email Ragan.Iacullo@sebconnections.com.
Board of Education Meeting: Monday, June 22 | Agenda
Click here to view the School Board agenda for Monday, June 22, 2015.
The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Board Room located within the central administrative offices.
Tuesday, June 30 - Special Meeting to Adopt 2015-16 Budget & Tax Rate
4:30 p.m. (time change) | Administration Center Board Room
Parent meetings set to discuss elementary program
6/18/2015. Filed under Press Releases.
Moon Area School District is hosting several meetings throughout the month of July to discuss the elementary program for the upcoming 2015-16 school year. The meetings are intended for parents of students entering kindergarten through grade 4.
“We understand and appreciate the vital link between home and school,” Curt Baker, superintendent of schools, said. “We want our elementary families to be able to start the 2015-16 school year with a clear understanding of their children’s educational program.”
Led by Caroline Johns, assistant superintendent for teaching and learning, and Chris Caton, director of K-12 curriculum, families will receive an overview of the educational program and an outline of a student’s typical day. Ample time will be provided for questions and discussion. Meetings will be held in the administration center board room, 8353 University Blvd., in Moon Township, as follows:
- 11 a.m., Thursday, July 2
- 4 p.m., Monday, July 6
- 12 p.m., Friday, July 10
- 6 p.m., Monday, July 13
- 5 p.m., Monday, July 20
- 9 a.m., Tuesday, July 21
Attendees are asked to register online. Click here for the online form.
The Elementary Capital Improvement Program, approved in June 2014, reconfigures Moon’s elementary schools from five buildings, serving kindergarten through grade 4, to four buildings – two (Brooks and Bon Meade) serving kindergarten through grade 2 and two (Allard and McCormick) serving grades 3 and 4.
The reconfiguration enables the district to implement a multi-tier model of instruction for math and English language arts for all elementary students. Students will be instructed each day by their regular teacher. Following the main lesson, students will be flexibly grouped based on their academic needs in order to provide more focused remediation, continued instruction, and/or enrichment activities. Flexible groups are indeed flexible; therefore, students can/will move from one group to another as their academic needs change.
“This model enables more focused learning to occur within the classroom that better meets the individual needs of all students.” Mrs. Johns said. “We’ve previously accomplished this through pull out services for both ends of the spectrum. Now our teachers will be able to meet these needs within the classroom every day in both math and English language arts.”
The first day of school for the 2015-16 school year is set for Monday, Aug. 17, 2015.
Sample Elementary Schedules (presented during the June 8, 2015, school board meeting)