February 2016 Innovations in Education

By Marianne Reid Anderson

In this, our annual Education issue, we at Northern Connection magazine are delighted to highlight some of the many diverse ways the dedicated educators in our area are making learning a fun and innovative experience. Past Innovations in the Classroom are still available on our website at www.northernconnectionmag.com and we will continue highlighting new innovations and programs in the coming months.
A.W. Beattie Career Center – “Creating NEXT STEPS To Your Future” in the medical field begins with enrollment at A. W. Beattie Career Center. A. W. Beattie offers medical industry certification and the opportunity for college credits within our Emergency Response, Dental, Health & Nursing Sciences and Intro to Pharmacy programs. Students have the opportunity to participate in clinical scenarios and authentic externships. The possible areas of certification include: CNA, EMT, HazMat, and National Entry Level Dental Assistant (NELDA) certification, to name a few. If you are considering the medical field, consider jump starting your education with A. W. Beattie Career Center. The A.W. Beattie Career Center is conveniently located at 9600 Babcock Boulevard in Alison Park To learn more, visit http://www.beattietech.com.

Holy Family Academy – Holy Family Academy is an affordable, independent Catholic high school in Pittsburgh helping students of all faiths and backgrounds achieve college and career goals. A rigorous and innovative curriculum is made possible by an experienced faculty, small classes, and a group of academic community partners that extend our campus into the city.  We are rooted in the social teachings of the Catholic Church and the legacy of our 10-acre campus where children have thrived for well over a century. While working one day each week at high profile Pittsburgh companies, students develop practical and future-ready skills like confidence, optimism, time management and business etiquette. Our students are exploring career options, building professional networks and landing summer jobs while contributing to the success of local companies. Tuition assistance and scholarships are available to those who qualify, making Holy Family Academy affordable to all. For more information or to schedule a tour, visit www.hfa-pgh.org, call 412-307-0230 ext. 1045 or email admissions@hfa-pgh.org Holy Family Academy is also having an Open House will be held noon to 3 p.m., March 5.
La Roche College – La Roche College launches a new doctorate program offering the opportunity for nurse anesthetists to prepare for leadership roles in today’s health care arena. The Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) is a practice-oriented program for advanced nurse anesthetist clinicians to elevate the quality of patient care and to prepare for leadership roles involving health care policy, administration and education. With classes offered online, the 26-credit program is designed to meet the needs of working professionals. The full-time option is offered in three consecutive semesters, beginning in early summer with an on-campus weeklong residency.  Students who successfully complete the DNAP program will be prepared to:
• Analyze current and emerging scientific knowledge and technologies to provide the highest level of nurse anesthesia practice
• Translate applicable evidence-based research findings into practice
• Initiate changes in response to social, political, economic and ethical issues in health care
• Collaborate with multidisciplinary teams in the design, implementation and evaluation of programs and policies for improvement of health care
• Develop leadership skills to meet the challenges of increasingly complex health care and educational environments affecting the practice of nurse anesthesia
To learn more about the program and to apply, visit laroche.edu/dnap. Candidates must submit all application materials by April 15 to be considered for the summer 2016 term. Applicants also may contact the For learn more, visit http://www.laroche.edu.

Greater Pittsburgh Christian Schools Network – Greater Pittsburgh Christian Schools Network is a network of fifteen, private Christian schools and they exist to support, encourage and promote Christ-centered education throughout the greater Pittsburgh area by way of collaboration of resources.  They strategically market a unified message about the benefits and value of Christian education and by directing families to pursue the Christian school in their geographic area. As partners in the advancement of a Christ-centered education, member schools collaborate to promote the collective virtues of their schools and enhance one another’s Kingdom-building visions. All of the member schools have innovative programs, here is a small sample of some of the amazing programs and activities going on at member schools in the northern area:

Eden Christian School – Eden Christian School is conveniently located in the North Hills and keeps students active in a variety of ways, for example, they just wrapped up their Winter Olympics program. They also have Lego Club, Mad Science Club, and Baking Club among Others. In addition to iPads in the classroom, they have a 3D printer from which each student has been able to create their own product. Among their service projects, the students have a Souper Bowl to collect soup and other food for the North Hills food bank. To learn more, visit http://www.edenca.org.

Penn Christian Academy – Penn Christian Academy of Butler County – Science… Inside and Out! Inquiry into authentic questions generated from student experiences is the central strategy for teaching science. Inquiry starts with observation, curiosity and exploration. It’s guided by logic, imagination, experimentation, and further illuminated by discovery, understanding and learning. Inquiry-based learning taps into how a child learns best: investigating and discovering things for themselves. Penn Christian Academy’s new indoor laboratory and outdoor eco-system facilitates best practice in the teaching of science and engineering. Students in Preschool and Elementary visit the lab twice weekly to conduct hands-on, inquiry-based experiments both indoors and outdoors. The million-dollar lab provides a means for innovative STEM programming, incorporating technology and math into the science/engineering classes. Teachers, who are enthusiastic, speak of the power and beauty of scientific understanding, instilling in their students some of those same attitudes. Science and engineering programs at Penn Christian Academy involve collaboration among teachers. Classroom teachers provide valuable science content studies through the lens of the Bible. They introduce key vocabulary words and follow-up with data collection after experiments are conducted. The science lab instructor focuses on the scientific processes by providing an environment whereby students ask questions, conduct research, construct a hypothesis, experiment with their hypothesis, analyze the data, draw a conclusion and communicate results to their peers. Teachers enthusiastically embrace the value of science learning in many cross-curricular applications. The science program extends beyond the walls of the school to the resources of the community. A strong partnership with the Audubon Society of Western PA (ASWP) provides the synergy for optimal science learning. Students at Penn Christian Academy experience the unique benefit of ASWP Conservancy teacher partnerships. Experts from the Conservancy come alongside students and teachers, providing instruction and rich content in science, engineering and environmental studies. To learn more, visit http://pennchristianacademy.org/

Rhema Christian School – Rhema Christian School is conveniently located in Moon Township. Recently students adopted a school at Tumaini in the African nation of Tanzania. The students raised funds to build a library, then sent over two thousand books to begin their collection. To learn more, visit http://www.rhemachristianschool.org.

Trinity Christian School – Trinity Christian School is located in Forest Hills and every May Day, the entire school goes out into the community to do a variety of service projects. Some visit and sing at senior centers, some do yard work at community centers, some clean headstones in a cemetery and so much more. In this one day alone, the school achieves over 1500 volunteer hours. To learn more, visit http://www.trinitychristian.net.
To learn more about this incredible network of Christian Schools, visit http://pittsburghchristianschools.net

Saint Teresa of Avila – Two of the innovative programs at St. Teresa of Avila School include, St. Teresa School’s Pre-K teachers using a brand new, hands-on, and fun curriculum this year. The Letter People DIG curriculum (DIG: Develop. Inspire. Grow™ through Abrams Learning Trends) is a comprehensive Pre-K program that combines instruction in math, literacy, early reading, science, and social students. The Pre-K students also enjoy attending specials, including iPads, library, music and gym. Enrichment centers are part of the daily program, and a favorite center is cooking. The second is St. Teresa School’s innovative computer science program. Under the direction of Mrs. Michelle Kalish, all St. Teresa School students become proficient in computer programming. Using the SmartBoard, Kindergarten students are learning programming fundamentals in a group setting and will enroll in Course 1 of Code.org next year. While using iPads, Grades 1 and 2 are working on Course 1 of Code.org, building on the fundamentals learned last year. Grades 3 and 4 are working with new Chromebooks to complete exciting projects presented through Made with Code by Google®, using a programming language called Blockly™. Grade 5 is working on keyboarding skills and will enroll in Course 2 of Code.org in the spring. Grade 6 is tackling Course 2 of Code.org. Working on laptops, Grades 7 and 8 are learning “Scratch,” a programming from MIT Media Lab. With Scratch, students program interactive stories, games, and animations and share their projects with others online.  To learn more about the innovations at Saint Teresa of Avila School, visit http://www.saintteresas.org.

Saint Ursula School – Fourth graders are using different kinds of technology to learn. Students can publish their written work by typing in Microsoft Word in the Computer Lab while saving projects on their flash drive. In one lesson the students used their knowledge of subjects and predicates in English to create “Writing Pyramids.” Mrs. Cross, fourth grade teacher, created a “Writing Pyramid” lesson on the Smartboard. The interactive whiteboard or Smartboard is used in all classes that she teaches. In Reading class students review the story of the week by touching the board to match vocabulary words with their meaning, or to perform other activities designed for students to interact with the board while learning skills. Mrs. Cross also writes her own interactive Smartboard lessons based on the stories in the reader and in social studies for the study of Pennsylvania and to review lessons on the Regions of the USA with games like “Jeopardy” and “Kooshball Review” on the Smartboard. Fourth graders at St. Ursula also create a seven slide PowerPoint Presentation on a president of the USA after researching the life of a president using the school’s Internet resources. The class enjoys watching and learning about each president when the students share the final PowerPoint Presentation with the class. The students of St. Ursula’s fourth grade enjoy using technology to learn as they develop the necessary skills in each subject. To learn more about these and their variety of fun and interesting activities, visit http://www.stursulaschool.org.

Be sure and look for more Innovations in the Classroom and at Camp in our March 2016 issue! If you are implementing an innovative program, lesson, extra-curricular activity or summer camp, be sure and let us know by emailing NorthCon@consolidated.net or calling (724) 940-2444.