2021 Holiday Guide

As the song goes, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!” To ensure that your holidays are the most wonderful ever, Northern Connection Magazine is happy to bring you this guide featuring holiday events and merchants to help you find that special gift or celebrate the reason for the season.

CLICK HERE to view the entire guide.

2021 Back-to-School Issues

The August and September issues of Northern Connection Magazine will feature our 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟏 𝐁𝐚𝐜𝐤-𝐭𝐨-𝐒𝐜𝐡𝐨𝐨𝐥 𝐆𝐮𝐢𝐝𝐞!
Advertise your school, program or extracurricular activity in these special issues and reach our 60,000+ readers!

Featuring K-12, private schools, cyber schools, colleges, universities and more!

Call (724)940-2444 or email info@northernconnectionmag.com for more information.

Shady Side Academy: Delivering an Exceptional Education, In Person or Remotely

This year, in the face of a global pandemic, schools faced an unprecedented challenge – and a profound opportunity – to reimagine the way they deliver an education to students.

Shady Side Academy was one of a few area schools that opened this fall with in-person instruction five days a week, welcoming 1,108 PK-12 students across four campuses. The administration worked tirelessly over the summer to craft a comprehensive reopening plan grounded in safety, flexibility and academic excellence.

“When it is safe to do so, we believe children are at their best academically and socially when they attend school in person and form close relationships with their teachers and peers,” said SSA President Bart Griffith Jr. “However, in these uncertain times, we recognize that a successful return-to-school plan must be flexible enough to adapt. Our plan not only provides a safe, in-person learning environment, but also an effective distance learning environment.”

SSA’s reopening plan fully aligns with federal, state and county public health guidelines, and was designed in consultation with infection prevention experts at UPMC. Extensive health and safety measures minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Each morning, parents complete a COVID-19 screening via mobile app, which generates a “green pass” for the child. Students and employees undergo temperature checks upon arrival and wear masks throughout the day. Classrooms were renovated to meet CDC social distancing guidelines, and outdoor learning spaces abound. Hallways and stairwells are one-way, with hand sanitizer stations everywhere. Revamped academic schedules keep students in small, consistent cohorts, and lunches are delivered to classrooms or served grab-and-go.

A live remote attendance option is available to students who are unable to learn on campus. Classrooms are equipped with Meeting Owl Pro 360-degree smart cameras that integrate with Zoom, enabling remote learners to attend classes live alongside their peers.

Throughout the fall, Shady Side’s students and teachers found creative new ways to learn, play and engage on campus safely – from a socially distant, restaurant-themed second grade “book tasting,” to a herpetologist visiting a sixth grade outdoor science class, to seniors enjoying lunch in Adirondack chairs on the quad. Fall sports teams successfully competed within new safety protocols, and music and drama classes found safe ways to rehearse and perform.

When it is not deemed safe to learn on campus, Shady Side’s plan provides for flexible toggling to distance learning. Every K-12 student has their own device, with a 1:1 iPad program in K-8 and laptops available for 9-12 students who do not have their own. During distance learning, an age-appropriate mix of synchronous Zoom classes and asynchronous lessons are presented every day in every grade, and teachers and support staff host virtual office hours. Community time is preserved through virtual assemblies and gatherings.

Whether classes are on campus or online, Shady Side Academy continues to deliver the challenging, engaging curriculum for which it is nationally renowned. 

Hemp Synergistics Making Life Better for You

Perhaps you have a nagging ache, or maybe you’re not sleeping as well as you’d like. Or maybe you’re just feeling stressed or anxious. Each of those may seem like a little thing—a part of life, just something you have to endure. But those little things can play a big part in reducing your quality and enjoyment of your life.

CLICK HERE to read the entire article on Hemp Synergistics and how they can help you!

Medical Marijuana Provides Relief for Autism

Jennifer Evashavik and her son Luke
Like any loving mother Jennifer Evashavik or Aspinwall would do anything to help her son, Luke, 17, who has cerebral palsy and autism, but sometimes it’s not doing something it’s finding what works.
“Luke is non-verbal and two years ago, he started to suffer seizures. They were pretty frequent, and I wanted to help him,” said Jen, who is married to husband, Nick, and has another son, Ben.