Ambridge Area School District

901 Duss Avenue, Ambridge PA 15003 | 724.266.2833

  
  

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Public Relations

Parents, please be aware that in addition to our sewage issue today, a transformer blew outside the building.  This in turn, created a power outage in the building and thus hampered our dismissal.  Your children may be a few minutes late getting home.  As a precautionary measure, we also held the walkers until the police assured administration that it was safe for them to dismiss. 

Since we are unsure of when the power will be back on, we are moving the middle school presentation to the high school library this evening.  The library is on the second floor.  After entering the building over the bridge, turn right and go up the stairs.  Thank you for your understanding as we are dealing with these emergency situations.

 

 

Shari Berg

Public Relations Consultant

Communication Solutions Group

412-487-4295 - Corporate Office (Pittsburgh)

724-713-3254 - Mobile

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Ambridge Area School District works cooperatively with members of the media to provide accurate information about District events and activities. Members of the media who are interested in reporting on a story regarding the Ambridge Area School District or relevant topic, or who wish to arrange an interview with a student or faculty member, are encouraged to review the information below.

Interviewing/Photographing District Staff or Students

Upon request, the Ambridge Area School District provides access to District Administrators, Faculty and Students to discuss current issues and for photographing special events.  

Visiting District Schools/Facilities

All visitors to the Ambridge Area School District – which includes members of the media – are required to sign in and receive a visitor’s badge. The District uses the Raptor Visitor Management System, which requires visitors to present a valid state-issued ID at the time of entry. Media visiting schools and other facilities will be accompanied by either the Public Relations Consultant or an Administrative Team Member.

Communications Office Contact:

Shari Berg, Public Relations Consultant
Communications Solutions Group

412-487-4295 (office)

724-713-3254 (mobile)

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Ambridge Area Board of School Directors is accepting letters of interest to fill a vacancy on the Board.

The vacancy was created when Board member Kelly Fischer resigned at the July 18 School Board meeting. Fischer, who was not present at the meeting, provided a resignation letter to Board President Scott Angus. Fischer cited work obligations as the reason for her resignation.

“I relish the time I spent serving the school district and I will miss it in the future,” Ms. Fischer said in her resignation letter.

School Board members have 30 days to fill the vacancy per Department of Education regulations. District residents wishing to fill the seat are encouraged to submit a letter of interest and a resume for review by August 3 to: Ms. Marianne Salzman, School Board Secretary, 901 Duss Ave., Ambridge, PA 15003, or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Pennsylvania School Code outlines the following requirements for candidates wishing to fill school board vacancies:

  • Must be a citizen;

  • Must be at least 18 years old;

  • Must be of good moral character; and

  • Must be a resident of school district for at least one year prior to the date of election or appointment.

Mr. Angus said the School Board will review all applications for the position at the August 8 meeting, with interviews conducted between August 8-15. A final candidate will be selected at the August 15 meeting. The new Board member will serve the remainder of Ms. Fischer’s term, which expires in November 2019.

 

School Board member, Terry Mylan, was approved at the last School Board meeting to form a committee for Public Relations for the AASD. We will focus on goals and a strategy to increase communication, information and overall knowledge. Please email Mrs. Mylan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your name, a paragraph with your background, and an explanation of your desire to be involved. We will have monthly meetings and email meetings then formulate a strategy to increase positive happenings within the AASD, communications and knowledge throughout our District. We encourage the participation of the taxpayers, educators, and parents. Community engagement is critical to educational success. We welcome your knowledge, experience and talents.

 

 

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A unique program to recycle old fire hose is being used to help ensure the safety and security of students and staff in the Ambridge Area School District.

Thanks to a donation from the Borough of Ambridge and the Ambridge Fire Department, the recycled hose is gaining new life as a way to additionally secure hydraulic doors from being forcefully opened during an active shooter or other emergency situation in which the buildings need to be secured or locked down.

Old sections of the hose are cut down into “sleeves” that are then slipped over the hydraulic hardware of these kinds of doors, locking them in place so they do not open. Each old fire hose can be repurposed to create roughly 100 sleeves. “This is a truly unique way to recycle old fire hose that no longer has a life or service to the Borough anymore,” said Borough Manager Joseph Kauer. “The Borough and the Fire Department are pleased to be able to partner with the District to help provide this added bit of security to their facilities.”

The sleeves are just one of many things the District is doing to keep students and staff safe. Other measures already in place include, but are not limited to:

  • Two Police Officers are stationed in the District – one at Ambridge Middle School and one at Ambridge High School – throughout the school day. The officers are available for use throughout the District as needed.
  • Exterior doors for all buildings are locked during the school day; all visitors are required to enter and exit through main entrances.
  • The District employs the use of the Raptor Visitor Management System in all buildings. Visitors are required to provide state-issued identification upon arrival, which is then used to conduct a brief background check before a visitor is granted admission to District buildings.
  • Students at Ambridge Area High School are scanned by metal detectors and bags are searched prior to entry into the building each morning.
  • Additional security cameras have been placed in locations throughout the District.
  • All employees are required to wear District-issued photo identification badges during the school day.

Superintendent Dr. Jo Welter said the District is appreciative of the additional security feature and the opportunity to work closely with the Borough and Fire Department. “It truly takes a community to keep our children safe. We are appreciative of the efforts of the Borough and the Fire Department to help us with this most important responsibility.”

For more information:

Ambridge Area School District

Media Contact: Shari Berg, Public Relations Consultant

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Phone: 724-713-3254

 

Borough of Ambridge

Media Contact: Joseph Kauer, ICMA-CM

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: 724-266-4070

 

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale released a statement on Wednesday that includes one finding and one recommendation for improvement for the Ambridge Area School District for an audit covering fiscal years July 2012 through June 2016.

 

The finding involved retirement benefits for previous superintendents which included the superintendent and their immediate family members. DePasquale determined the practice posed a significant financial impact on the District and recommended the District include a minimum years of service provision in all future employment contracts.

 

“The Ambridge Area School District appreciates the recommendations provided by the Auditor General’s Office following its review of District finances and operations,” said Doug McCausland, Director of Operations for the Ambridge Area School District. “The District takes all recommendations seriously and already has begun the process of implementing corrective action for the finding contained within the report.”

 

Starting with the three-year contract for its new superintendent, which is effective July 27, 2017 through July 30, 2020, post-employment benefits are extended only to Dr. Jo Welter. Should she elect to cover her spouse, she will be responsible for paying the difference in premium cost. Benefits for Dr. Welter continue only until she reaches age 65. Due to her decades-long career in public education, a minimum years of employment provision was not included in her current contract.

 

“Retirement insurance provisions are common features of superintendents’ contracts in the Commonwealth with many being more generous than what the Ambridge Area School District agreed to provide its current Superintendent,” said Mr. McCausland. “We believe the contract with our current superintendent is not only fair to her, but also fiscally responsible and in alignment with the auditor’s recommendations.”

 

The full auditor’s report is available here

BudgetChart

 

The Ambridge Area School Board of Directors approved a 2018-2019 Operating Budget Wednesday evening that will enhance academic opportunities District-wide, while affording much-needed upgrades to infrastructure and technology. The budget was approved by a vote of 5 to 2.

 

Budget highlights include:

 

Technology

  • Upgrades to the Middle School wireless service at a cost of $38,103;
  • Four new laptop carts for the schools and a new laptop lab for the Middle School at a cost of $140,465;
  • Purchase of 30 new laptops and 200 new iPads at a cost of $166,995; and
  • New projectors purchased for $75,190 and existing projectors upgraded for $17,000.
  • Thanks to an E-Rate grant secured by District Technology Supervisor Ms. Lori Heim, 80 percent of the cost of the wireless upgrades at the Middle School will be covered.

Security

  • Upgrading the security operating system;
  • New and replacement cameras District-wide;
  • District radios to improve communication among buildings/administrators; and
  • Card access for elevators.

 

Curriculum

  • New Grade 6-8 Math Textbooks;
  • New Grade 3-12 Social Studies Textbooks;
  • New High School Physics, Honors, Chemistry, Biology and Earth Science Textbooks;
  • NMSI grant ($750,000) used to align and increase the rigor of the science, math and English curriculum District-wide. The terms of the three-year grant require the District to contribute $25,000 annually for the life of the grant to be used for staff development. Grant money through the partnership also will be used to dramatically increase the number of Ambridge students enrolled in AP courses and allow the District to provide an additional five AP courses beyond the eight already offered; and
  • Assessment to Instruction (A2i) grant that will be used to help all students in the District reading at or above grade level by the end of third grade. A2i is an instructional tool that was developed and evaluated for more than a decade with the support of the Institute of Educational Sciences and the National Institutes of Health. It combines technology and

professional development to accomplish the goal of increased literacy of children in grades K-3. Highland Elementary will be 100 percent funded and State Street Elementary will be

50 percent funded through the program. Only 174 schools in the nation were invited to participate in the grant program.

 

“Some of these textbooks date back to 1990,” said Mr. Doug McCausland, Director of District Operations. The new math series is budgeted at $95,832 and the Science textbooks total $116,000. The District is able to pay for the Social Studies textbooks, totaling $61,048, over a two-year period.

 

Facilities/Middle School

Under the direction of AASD Facilities Manager Mr. David Matzie, more than $600,000 in capital improvements are built into the new budget and include:

  • Locker replacement at Middle School - $89,720
  • Patching at Economy Elementary - $150,000

Flooring and Window Coverings at Middle School - $56,490

  • Stage Lighting at Middle School - $40,000
  • Bridge repairs at High School - $75,000
  • Bathroom replacements/upgrades at Middle School - $276,500
  • Bathroom sink sensors and mixing valves at High School - $11,500
  • Gymnasium painting, backboards and lighting at Middle School - $120,000
  • Furniture replacement at Middle School - $75,000

 

“We’re moving in the right direction. We’re attacking maintenance issues that haven’t been addressed in years,” said Dr. Jo Welter, Superintendent. “We’re making use of the staff we have and taking care of the facilities we have while being good stewards of taxpayer money.”

 

The $49.49 million budget includes a millage increase of 2.1409 mills, or 2.7 percent. With the increase, the new millage rate will be 81.435 mills. One mill in the District generates approximately $267,000 in tax revenue. The median assessed value for a home in AASD is $23,450. With the new millage rate, the increased tax liability will be $50.21 annually.

 

“No district likes to adopt a budget with a tax increase,” said Dr. Welter. “We have done a lot to reduce costs within reason but are left with the reality that a tax increase is necessary if we want to provide a quality education to our students.”

 

Among the cost-saving efforts the District made prior to presenting the final budget included:

  • Reducing, through attrition, five professional staffing positions, at a savings of $743,028;
  • Anticipated profits of the AASD Food Services Department of an estimated $150,000;
  • Savings in health insurance costs through the transition to the Allegheny School Health Consortium.

 

The 2018-2019 budget is available on the District website here.

Subcategories

This page contains press releases about events and news within the Ambridge Area School District.

Ambridge Area School District Students and the Media

 

Individual and/or group interviews, photos or videotapes of AASD students may be taken during the school year for use by the District in various publications, for use in the media, and for use on the District website and social media accounts.

 

Ambridge encourages opportunities for positive media publicity by:

 

1. Arranging for reporters or photographers to interview and/or photograph students.

2. Using photos of students on the District website and social media accounts to recognize student achievement.