northgate school district pa
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Superintendent Blog
August 20, 2018
It is my sincere pleasure to welcome you to the 2018-19 school year. This past year was a busy one as we began planning for a number of projects that are now in implementation phase. This coming year, we will have full implementation of our College in High School program. We have made changes to our high school curriculum to align with the expectations of CCAC courses. These changes will provide students with an enriched, rigorous academic experience. While College in the High School is not a new concept, what makes our program unique is that it is accessible to all students. Families may choose to purchase college credits at a significantly reduced rate, but this is not a requirement for participation in the courses. We believe this opportunity will provide students with a solid foundation for their future endeavors.

Our faculty spent last year developing a detailed plan for our new Advisory Program for our middle school students. This program is based on the most current research about the specific needs of this age group. Every middle school student will be assigned to a faculty advisor who will serve as that student’s advocate. Students will meet with their advisory group every day. During this time, the advisor will check in with each student to monitor academic progress and troubleshoot any issues that arise, the students will participate in service projects as a group, complete book discussions and engage in mindfulness activities. We are very excited about our new middle school structure as we believe it will provide our students the needed supports for a successful transition in the Middle/High School.

This year at the elementary level, we continue with our commitment to remake learning for all of our students. This past year, we celebrated the opening of the Avalon Elementary Maker Space, which was designed to engage students in learning opportunities that improve their sense of ownership over their learning. During the summer months, Bellevue Elementary has been preparing their Maker Space to welcome students this fall. We are also excited to continue our partnership with Covestro. A leading global corporation, Covestro, has partnered with Bellevue and Avalon elementary schools, to engage students in a series of project-based learning opportunities that culminated in trips for students and teachers to the Covestro campus. We look forward to the many opportunities Covestro will provide our students this coming year.

At the district level, we are revamping our technology department in order to improve our instructional technology which will benefit all students. We are partnering with the Allegheny Intermediate Unit and All Covered to meet our technology needs. This will include updates in technology infrastructure and a full assessment of our instructional technology practices. Once this review is complete, we will develop a new technology plan with a focus on providing our students with the technology skills they’ll need for success post-graduation.

As we begin the 2018-19 school year, two areas we will continue to focus on are safety and communications. With the events of last year, we know safety is on everyone’s mind. As a district, safety is always a focus area. Two years ago, we formed a district level Safety and Security Committee comprised of administrators and teachers. This committee meets multiple times throughout the year to review and revise the district’s safety plan, work with local emergency responders on crisis planning and continually refine safety training for faculty, staff and students. This coming year, students will notice changes in how they are prepared to respond to a number of different scenarios. Faculty and staff will continue their safety training through inservice programming provided by the district in partnership with local law enforcement. We have also applied for over $100,000 in Safe Schools grant money which, if received, will be used to purchase additional equipment to support our efforts.

We are continuing our efforts to improve communication with our families and community. Our focus this year will be on implementation of a new website. Work on this project has already begun, and our goal is to unveil the new website by spring.

We are looking forward to the start of another school year and are committed to helping each student be successful. We recognize that it takes a strong school-home partnership to support our students throughout their academic careers. If you have concerns or questions at any time, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We look forward to a great year, and thank you for your on-going support.

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Northgate News:
Be There Attendance Program Kickoff
On Friday, September 7th, Avalon Elementary kicked off their attendance program with an assembly for the entire school. During the assembly, Mrs. Nardone talked with students about the importance of coming to school every day, on time. In order to further acknowledge the importance of attendance, Avalon Elementary will hold an attendance challenge over 20 school days. Students who miss 2 or less days of school and are on time everyday will receive rewards such as drawstring bookbags, sunglasses, pencil cases, Northgate apparel etc…. In addition to these prizes, all students who reach this attendance goal will have their name entered in a drawing to win a gif card to a local restaurant or store.
Mrs. Monahan was able to reach out to the Pittsburgh Penguins to have Iceburgh make a guest appearance for the students. In addition to having Iceburgh spend some time with the students, 6th grade students, Mr. McFall and Miss Lipovsky completed the Kiki Challenge. Mrs. Nardone also awarded some students for improving their attendance with bags filled with Be There items such as drawstring bags, sunglasses, pencil cases, Northgate wristbands and free ice cream coupons to Scoops in Bellevue.
ESS Employment at Northgate
Northgate School District has partnered with ESS to manage our substitute program. A leader in K-12 staffing, ESS is now responsible for the hiring, training, and placement of all [daily and long-term] substitute teachers, and substitute custodians

If you’re interested in working as a substitute for our district, please visit to apply or call 412.394.5502 for more information.
New Technology Partnership
The Northgate School District is pleased to be partnering with the Allegheny Intermediate Unit and All Covered to provide our district with technology support throughout the school year.  Over the next month AIU Technology staff and All Covered will be looking at the existing technology equipment in our district.   Beginning August 6th you will be able to call or email the AIU Help Desk for support.  AIU Help Desk phone number is 412-394-5900 and email is  The hours of operations for the AIU help desk are Monday thru Friday 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM.   We are very excited to be working with the AIU and their experienced technology staff.

Thank you for the continued patience through all the transition at our school district.
Avonworth/Northgate Girls Win States in Track & Field
Over Memorial Day weekend at Shippensburg University, the Avonworth / Northgate girl’s track & field team secured the PIAA 3A Team State Championship, becoming just the 5th WPIAL program to do so since they started naming girls’ team champions in 1977. Competing in the 3A classification with the largest schools in the state, the unique co-op team was led magnificently by Avonworth senior Hunter Robinson. The Tulane recruit closed out her legendary sprinting career by winning her 4th & 5th individual state titles. She blasted off for gold in the 400-meter dash in a huge personal best time of 54.10 seconds. In the 90 degree heat of the afternoon, Hunter gutted out another gold in the 200-meter dash in 23.98 seconds, only her second time ever under 24 seconds. She also ran a leg of the 3rd place 4x100m relay, which broke a school record with a time of 47.64 seconds, making it the 5th-fastest time a WPIAL team has ever run, anywhere..........Read More
Northgate Marching Band Travels to Cedar Point!
The Northgate Flames Marching Band had an exciting trip this past weekend to Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, and to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland! The band had the opportunity to parade down the main stretch of the Cedar Point and perform for all of the guests on Saturday May 19th. On Sunday May 20th the band traveled to the Rock and Roll Hall of fame, and experienced all the museum had to offer! It was an amazing trip with a group of amazing people!
Flat Stanley 
Students read the wonderful book, Flat Stanley, about a boy who becomes flat when his bulletin board falls on him one night . Stanley has many adventures. Students chose a family member or friend to send a Stanley they created to and asked them to take them on an adventure. They then wrote a letter back and sent pictures as well. Our Stanleys traveled to Japan, Hawaii, California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, South Dakota, Virginia, New York, Florida, Bahamas, South Carolina, Colorado and Maine!
Students are also creating their own Flat Stanley book. The class has also read Stanley and the Magic Lamp, Stanley in Space, Invisible Stanley, Stanley Flat Again and a few Stanley’s Worldwide Adventures! 
Genetics Class Collaborates With University of Pittsburgh
Dr. Warren Ruder, from the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh, collaborated with the students from the Spring Genetics class to bring biotechnology to our classroom. The students learned about genetic engineering through a hands-on experiment using gel electrophoresis and DNA samples from Dr. Ruder's lab. Students were able to perform the steps involved in separating DNA fragments using this laboratory technique under the guidance of Dr. Ruder and his colleagues (Michael Behrens, Ting-Yen Wei and Dr. Zhicheng Long). This was a unique and exciting opportunity for the students to work with individuals currently working in the field of bioengineering and to learn more about the procedures and techniques used in modern genetics research.
Northgate Band Students Shine!
Congratulations to 7th grader Christian Packard and 8th grader Cheyenne Gregor for being selected to participate in the PMEA District 1 West Jr High Honors Band. This took place on March 2nd and 3rd at Mr. Lebanon High School. The students had the opportunity to perform with students from 44 school districts in the Pittsburgh/Western Pennsylvania Area. The ensemble was under the direction of Mr. Travis Weller. Mr. Weller is currently serving as the Director of Music Education at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, PA. His duties at Messiah as an Assistant Professor of Music include supervising instrumental music education students, teaching methods courses, working with graduate conducting students and conducting the Symphonic Winds. The students had a wonderful experience working with him and the event ended in a concert showcasing the students hard work over those two days.
Congratulations to Bellevue 6th grader John Carson, and Avalon 6th graders Erin King and Logan Reed for being selected to participate in the PMEA Elementary Band Festival. This took place on May 11th and 12th at the South Fayette High School. The students had the opportunity to perform with 130 5th and 6th grade students from school districts in the Pittsburgh/Western Pennsylvania Area. The ensemble was under the direction of Mr. Brian Balmages, who is an award-winning composer, conductor, producer and performer. His active schedule of commissions and premieres has incorporated groups ranging from elementary schools to professional ensembles, including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Miami Symphony Orchestra, University of Miami Wind Ensemble, Boston Brass, and the Dominion Brass Ensemble. The students performed 5 amazing pieces of music in their final concert on that Saturday, including a piece written by Mr. Balmages himself.
Avonworth/Northgate Track & Field Team Shine at The Butler Invitational
On Friday, members of the Avonworth/Northgate track & field team competed in the Butler Invitational.  With 75 school districts attending, it is one of the largest and most competitive track meets in the state.  Hunter Robinson stole the show once again, earning 1st Place gold medals in the 100, 200 and 400 meter dashes to earn the Track MVP for the meet. Megan Wisniewski snagged an 8th place medal in the 800 meter run.  Hunter, Megan, Jasmine Williams and Catherine Penrod also grabbed 3rd place medals for their collective performance in the 1600 meter relay. 
1st Place Duquesne Light Contest Winners

Congratulations to our middle school Science students and Mrs. Francis! They recently earned 1st place in a contest sponsored by Duquesne Light.
During the first semester, the seventh grade science classes participated in the Duquesne Light Company’s Community Education Energy Efficiency Program (CEEP). The students received an energy auditor kit and learned to use tools to discover how much energy lights and common appliances use both when in use and when not in use. The students learned to read an electricity bill and ways conserve energy both at home and at school. The students then created an energy campaign involving posters, daily announcements, commercials, a newsletter, a Google Slide show and a website to promote energy conservation. Twenty local schools participated in this program and were in competition for who could create the best campaign. This past week, we were notified that Northgate won first place! Duquesne Light will be donating $1000 to use in Mrs. Francis' classroom!

Accelerated Reader Contest Winners!!

The top Accelerated Readers in grade 7th and 8th had a pizza party on May 10. The top 7th grade winner is Rebecca Beattie (328 points) and the top reader in 8th grade is Savanna White (341 points).  Savanna White was our top 7th grade AR winner last year – so she has been our top AR winner for two years now.  Each winner will receive a $20.00 gift certificate to Target.  Individual Reading and English teachers in the middle school support this program and they provide additional classroom incentives.
Congratulations students!


  • Rebecca Beattie

  • Molly Heeter

  • Mykal Davis

  • Henry Trevisan

  • Brooke Spade

  • Logan McGee

  • Grace Baldauff

  • William Grinage

  • Savanna White

  • Corrine Pasko

  • Kayla Mellinger

  • Leah Burns

  • Kailey Bedison

  • Andrew Baldauff

  • Andrew Heeter

  • Cheyenne Gregor

  • Mariah Forsythe

  • Vegas Szakelyhidi

  • Isabella Uccellini

  • Emma DeSimone

Northgate/Avonworth Track Continues Successful Season
trackOn Friday, the Avonworth/Northgate track & field team competed at the Mars Invitational.  With 35 school districts competing, our girls team scored enough points to be crowned invitational champions! Leading the way was eventual meet MVP Hunter Robinson with 1st places in the 100m dash and 400m dash. trackHayden Robinson scored a 1st place in the 200m dash and a 2nd place in the 100m dash.  promHayden, Hunter, Jasmine Williams and Catherine Penrod grabbed 2nd place medals in the mile relay. Catherine, Jenna Gobrecht, Kayley Wisniewski and Anna Igims ran to 3rd place medals in the 2 mile relay.  The show-stopper, though, was the girls 400m relay, where Hayden, Hunter, Jasmine and Harris Robinson sprinted to a meet record, school record and an all-time WPIAL top-20 time.....Read More
Spanish III
In town plazas across the Spanish-speaking countries of the Caribbean, friends gather to participate in the daily games of dominoes. The clickety-clack sounds of domino tiles being played against the table, which were recently emanating from the Northgate Spanish III classroom, required a second glance to confirm that the passerby was indeed in Pittsburgh, not San Juan or Santo Domingo.
The Spanish III students recently completed a thematic unit dealing with hobbies and pastimes. After reading about the importance of the game of dominoes in the lives and culture of many native Spanish speakers, the students expressed a desire to learn how to play the game. After an online search, the teacher was able to order some authentic domino sets.  While waiting for the domino sets to arrive, the students learned about the history and rules, as well as, some strategies for competing in Latin dominoes. Once the domino sets arrived, the students formed teams and the first ever meeting of the Northgate Domino Club was underway. The only thing left to do was to wait for the victorious call of DOMINÓ.
Career Day
careerdayWe had a career day for all Bellevue and Avalon third grade students at Avalon Elementary School to educate our students of the different types of careers in the local area, entrepreneurship and how plan for different types of careers.  It was held on Wednesday March 28, 2018.  careerdayWe had professionals from Kathryn Hyslop Photograpy, Covestro, New Century Careers, Gateway Engineering, Avalon Police Department, YellowBasedGreen (Advertising and Design), and Brashear Construction Consulting. Students visited each professional and engaged in a hands-on learning activity for students to learn more about each type of career.  careerdayOverall, students, teachers and the professionals had a great time.  It was an amazing learning experience for everyone! 
Future Chef
Elementary students from Avalon and Bellevue learned the importance of healthy eating while honing their culinary skills thanks to student nutrition provider Sodexo and their Future Chefs: Healthy Asian Food Challenge. The national program, which is in its seventh year and part of Sodexo’s commitment to promoting well-being in support of achievement, was created to get students thinking about making healthy food choices. Students took on the challenge by submitting twenty eight healthy Asian food recipes that were judged on: Originality, kid appeal, ease of preparation, plate presentation, taste and healthy attributes. Of the twenty eight students, six challengers were chosen; Kara Elliot making her Sweet and Spicy Chicken, Zoe Russell making Asian Salad, Elijah Swinger and his Rice to Meet ya Sweet Pea, Charlie Tabano with Charlie’s Rolls with Awesome Sauce, Joh Wright’s Sweet and Sour Chicken and Layla Young-Taylor with Vegan Fried Rice. The six finalists had to prepare and present their creations before a panel of celebrity judges that included Mrs. Nancy Silay, and Chefs Sean Conley and Mike Cope owners of Tallulah’s Catering in Etna.

Judges talked with each finalist and tasted samples of their healthy Asian recipe. Once all the judging was completed one winner remained; Kara Elliott and her Sweet and Sour Chicken. Kara received a Fit Bit, Polaroid Camera and a 10 piece cookware set donated by Sodexo. Kara’s recipe was submitted to the regional competition. All six finalists received medals and gifts. Congratulations to all those who participated and many thanks to those who made this event a success.

Kindness Rocks at Bellevue Elementary
Students in grades 4th,5th and 6th grades have been working on designing and painting their own Kindness Rocks in Art class with Mrs. Novelli. Kindness rocks started in Cape Cod with Megan Murphy who established the Kindness Rocks Project by dropping rocks with inspirational sayings on them in different locations for other people to find. The students in 5th grade were able to view a video of Megan Murphy and how she came up with the idea. Then the pictures of the rocks started showing up in social media. There are now Kindness Rocks that show up around the world. The students have been finishing the rocks and will be placing them around the Bellevue Community. The purpose is to spread kindness and when you find a rock, it can be posted on social media. The finder of the rock can keep it or hide it in a different location to spread the inspirational messages. So keep your eyes open for Bellevue Elementary Kindness Rocks, you never know where you will find one!
Congratulations Northgate Junior Rotarians
Congratulations to this year's Junior Rotarians Miranda Asche and Martha Moser!
The Junior Rotarian Program is sponsored through the local Rotary Club. They identify students in their junior year of high school from various North Hills high schools and make them a “junior member” of the Rotary Club. They have dinner each week with adult business leaders from the community, participate in community service projects and are given opportunities to attend various educational programs. All of this is at no cost to the students. In the past, Northgate students have also received college scholarships from the Bob Williams Memorial Rotary Scholarship Program as a result of being Junior Rotarians. The Rotary Club shared that for many years Northgate has nominated superb young men and women and this year was no different with Miranda Asche and Martha Moser being outstanding young women. The Rotary also expressed their appreciation for the continued support they receive from Mrs. Winovich, Ms. Lattari and Mr. Kyle
Swimmers Earn All-State Recognition
The Boys and Girls Swim Teams concluded their most successful season in school history with impressive performances at the PIAA State Championship this weekend at Bucknell University.

The Boy’s Team earned their first top 10 finish at States scoring a team record 85 points to earn 7th place. The team was led by Senior Nick Madey, a Bloomsburg University recruit, who finished 7th in the 100 Breaststroke and 12th in the 100 Butterfly. Top performances were also delivered for the boys in the relay events. The 200 Medley Relay team of Madey, Senior Zech Boyce, Junior Aidan Sommers and Freshman Cooper Groll finished in 6th place. Boyce and Groll teamed with Sophomores Luke Tomzcak and Luke Wagner to finish 7th in the 200 Free Relay. And in the in the final event of the meet Boyce, Sommers, Groll and Tomzcak combined to finished 9th in the 400 Freestyle Relay.

The Girl’s team, led by Junior Karen Siddoway, finished the meet in 15th place. Siddoway posted new personal best times and team records in her 2nd place performances in the 100 Freestyle and 200 Freestyle events. Ranked the 9th best swimmer in the PA Class of 2019 by, Siddoway figures to be a favorite in her events at next year’s State Championship.

Based on their performance, the following swimmers were named to the All-State Swimming and Diving Team by the Pennsylvania High School Swimming Coaches Association:

Zech Boyce
Nick Madey
Karen Siddoway
Aiden Sommers
Cooper Groll
Luke Tomzcak
Luke Wagner
Middle/High School Student Council attend the District 3 Pennsylvania Association of Student Councils  
On March 1, 2018 eighteen students from the Middle School and Senior High Student Council attended the District 3 Pennsylvania Association of Student Councils conference which had over 600 attendees from different schools in Allegheny County. Northgate has served on a district leadership board with thirteen other local prestigious school districts and was selected after Student Council President Cali McWilliams gave a speech securing another term and a $400 scholarship for Northgate. The council was recognized for the second year as a Keystone Council of Excellence awarded to sixteen high schools across the state and is based off of outstanding work in leadership development, council organization, leadership activities and events, community service, and council evaluation. At the conference students enjoyed motivational speaker Kent Julian, student workshops, and networking. Ms. Hepner was honored for five years of service as the Senior High Student Council Advisor. 
Steam Field trip for Avalon 6th Grade
upmcOn Friday February 16th, the Avalon 6th grade attended a STEAM field trip to the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry. The trip was sponsored by the EverFi Hockey Scholar program, which students have been completing in class. Students received a tour of the Sports Complex, watched a Hockey Scholar video (which was mainly filmed at the Cranberry location) and learned about how the Zamboni uses hot and cold water to clear the ice. Students watched Patric Hörnqvist skate while he rehabbed from an injury in lieu of other activities which had to be cancelled due to the filming of a commercial that day. upmcLater all students were given the opportunity to try out their skills on the ice during a free skating activity. Finally students received a lunch prepared by the Pittsburgh Penguins cooking staff as they watched a Penguin practice session.
Northern Area Honors Band
Northern Area Honors BandSix Northgate Middle School students were selected to participate in the Northern Area Honors Band on Tuesday February 20th. This ensemble is made up of 7th and 8th grade students from Avonworth, Hampton, North Hills, Northgate, Pine Richland, Quaker Valley, Sewickley Academy, and Shaler. The Northern Area Honors Band has 2 rehearsals, one evening and then an entire day long rehearsal that ends in a concert. The students did an amazing job and the concert was absolutely wonderful and it showcased all of their hard work and commitment. The Northgate students that participated were: Calvin Barie, Rebecca Beattie, Cheyenne Gregor, Max Nelson, Karliann Stiegler, and James Zugai.
District Alerts:
Early Dismissal Form

CIHS Next Steps

CCAC/Northgate Partnership

Guidance Newsletter

Bellevue Boro Police Tip Line

Updated Capital Improvement Planning Document

Northgate Recognition Form

Upcoming Events:
10/15 School Board Meeting
   Admin Center @ 6:00 p.m.
10/17 Financial Aid Night
   High School @ 6:00 p.m.
10/18 Bellevue PTO Meeting @ 6:30 p.m.
10/25 Title I Turkey Dinner
   High School Cafeteria @ 6:00 p.m.
10/26 End of the 1st Grading Period
10/30 MS/HS Report Cards Issued
10/31 Elementary Halloween Parties
10/31 Elementary Early Dismissal @ 2:00 p.m.
 In The News:
CCAC partners with Northgate School District to offer College in High School program
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