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Back to School: What's New at North Hills This Year?

Parents and students, time to find out what new programs will be offered in North Hills classrooms for the upcoming school year.

The first day of class for students in the is Monday, Aug. 27. The estimated enrollment is more than 4,200 students. Lunch prices will be $2.50 and breakfast prices will be $1.25 for all students.

Here's a rundown of what's new this year.

New Courses and Curriculum Additions
Throughout North Hills School District, new curriculum initiatives will be underway. At the elementary level, a new elementary math curriculum called Math in Focus will be implemented in kindergarten and first and second grades. The new curriculum uses a highly visual and topic-intensive approach to teach math concepts. 

In grades nine through 12, three new courses will be offered to students including Flash Game Design, Forensic Science and Interior Design. Additionally, six new twelfth-grade English courses Adventure and Quest Literature, Survey of Classic to Modern Literature, Female Perspectives, Questioning the Self, War of the Classes and Apocalyptic Literature have been added to the offerings at .

The Online Academy Expands

For the first time, The Online Academy @ North Hills will offer courses to elementary students through Waterfront Learning. With this addition, all North Hills School District students from kindergarteners through seniors can enroll in the unique academy that was launched by the district in 2008 and offers more than 105 courses for secondary students. In the academy, students have the opportunity to create their own school experience through traditional classroom courses, online study or a blended approach that combines traditional and online opportunities. All Online Academy students earn a North Hills School District diploma and can participate in all athletics and activities offered by the district.

Academic Academies
North Hills Senior High students may enroll in one of six new academic academies that will provide students with an opportunity to explore a career choice and develop skills for their future college or workplace endeavors. The academies are arts and communications, business and finance, engineering, law and government, medicine and world affairs. Academy students may participate in shadowing programs field trips and possibly earn college credit and academy-specific scholarships. 

New Assessment Tool
North Hills School District will utilize a new online benchmarking and diagnostic assessment tool for students in grades three to eight. The STAR Reading and Math assessments will allow district educators to gain invaluable data to better analyze and individualize instruction for each student.

New Administrators

Nicole Bezila will serve as director of pupil services, Eileen Watkins will serve as director of food services and Amanda Hartle will serve as communications coordinator.

Bezila comes to North Hills from the Slippery Rock Area School District where she was the director of special education and coordinator of special services. She replaced Dr. Rita Neu, who retired in June after 21 years. 

Eileen Watkins previously served in the same position at Gateway School District and two other area districts. She has nearly 25 years of school district food service experience and replaced George Zappas, who retired in June after 21years at North Hills. 

Amanda Hartle will serve as communications coordinator. Hartle comes to the district from North Hills Community Outreach where she was the director of communications after serving as Moon Area School District’s public relations officer. She replaced Tina Vojtko, who accepted a position in another area school district.

For more back to school information from the North Hills School District, click here.

- Submitted by Amanda S.F. Hartle on behalf of the North Hills School District. Have news you'd like to share with Patch readers? Email information and photos to Richard Cook at richinpgh@gmail.com.

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mlzjcm06 August 08, 2012 at 02:16 PM
I would have preferred for the district to have communicated this information directly to families prior to reading about it on the Patch. I don't think that's too much to ask considering the number of e-mails I get from them normally.
Stephanie Davis August 08, 2012 at 09:10 PM
What's not new is the lack of air conditioning at the Jr. High. Thanks n.h. school board for your (continued) absence of empathy!!

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