Armstrong School District Newsletter 3Q23


ASD Educators Present at National Autism Conference

Three Armstrong School District educators appeared this summer at the National Autism Conference at Penn State to deliver a presentation on autistic support classrooms.

Leslie Moore, who teaches life skills and autistic support to seventh and eighth graders at Armstrong Jr.-Sr. High School said the presentation showcased different teaching and organizational strategies she uses in her classroom. She was joined by paraprofessionals Madison Goldinger and Carrie Burtt, who worked in Moore's classroom last year.

Moore's thematic-based system centers on various life skill areas that help ground and focus everything she teaches. The first marking period of the school year focuses on hygiene skills, like applying deodorant and teeth brushing. The second marking period focuses on cleaning skills like vacuuming and dishwashing. The third marking period is spent working on basic cooking skills, like making sandwiches and using the microwave. The final period focuses on safety tasks like crossing the street.

"In combination with all of these things, we also work on social skills as well as academics," Moore said. "By sharing this organizational strategy, I hoped other teachers would be inspired to do something similar since it has been such a success for me." 

Moore said building and maintaining language skills is vital for student success, such as labeling objects and actions, labeling sounds, adjectives, and prepositions, and categorizing items by class or by parts, features, or function. These tasks help students develop a larger vocabulary, which improves conversational abilities.

"Knowing all of the language related to the activities of daily living we work on allows the students to understand and master the concept truly. It also teaches them how to problem-solve," she said.

Moore's presentation also addressed objects-based IT, or intensive teaching, a teaching strategy for new language skills. Students typically start this type of language programming in elementary school with picture cards. As they get older, teachers help them generalize their skills to real-life objects.

"Basically, we use the objects to teach them about various common objects they will encounter," Moore said. For example, she uses bins of hygiene items like shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and deodorant to teach the language components through intensive teaching.

The effort has produced impressive results

"Through the use of this system, I've seen incredible improvements from students in terms of their verbal behavior as well as their ability to complete tasks independently," she said. "Being more independent allows the students to feel more confident. This confidence then trickles over into their academics and social skills as well."

Moore's presentation was such a success that she was invited to present on a topic of her choosing at next year's National Autism Conference. 

Skyward Family Access gives parents Access to an Array of School-Related Information

In today's fast-paced world, staying connected and involved in your child's education is more important than ever. With Skyward family access, parents have the opportunity to easily view and access a variety of school-related information about their child. From grades and attendance to communication with teachers, this online tool is a game-changer for busy parents.

About Family Access

Maintaining open lines of communication between the school and home is vital to achieving the common goal of providing the best quality education to every student. Skyward's Family Access allows easy, open lines of communication between the school and home. Students and parents can log in to view attendance, grades, schedules, and calendars. Students can also perform their course selections online. Family Access is available anywhere with an internet connection.


How can I obtain access?

If your student is a current Armstrong School District student, and you do not already have access to Family Access, contact your child's campus. If you are new to Armstrong School District, you will be granted access to Family Access when you enroll your student through the online registration process. If you do not have access to the Family Access portal, please contact your building office to have this enabled. Visit the link below to get started!

Celebrating Excellence: Our District's High Schools Shine Bright as Two of the Best in America

We proudly announce that our district's high schools, Armstrong Junior/Senior High School and West Shamokin Junior/Senior High School, have been recognized by US NEWS & WORLD REPORT as two of the best in America. With Armstrong ranked 159th and West Shamokin ranked 143rd within Pennsylvania, these schools continue to shine bright with their commitment to excellence. Offering students the opportunity to take Advanced Placement® coursework and exams, these schools boast impressive AP® participation rates of 26% and 40%, respectively. Join us as we celebrate the outstanding achievements of these high schools and the students who make them extraordinary.

Armstrong Junior/Senior High School 2023-2024 Rankings

Armstrong Junior/Senior High School is ranked #3,817 in the National Rankings. Schools are ranked on their performance on state-required tests, graduation, and how well they prepare students for college. Read more about how we rank the Best High Schools.

All Rankings

West Shamokin Junior/Senior High School 2023-2024 Rankings

West Shamokin Junior/Senior High School is ranked #3,512 in the National Rankings. Schools are ranked on their performance on state-required tests, graduation, and how well they prepare students for college. Read more about how we rank the Best High Schools.

All Rankings

Hear The Thoughts

on our WHP

Renovation Updates

The renovation at West Hills Primary brings about a multitude of benefits that go beyond just the aesthetics. It is the investment that creates an environment that is tailored to the needs of our students and staff. The benefits of renovations specifically focus on the safety of our classrooms.

WHI Students Chosen to Represent at 2023 PMEA Districts

Congratulations to the following 6th-grade students who have been selected to represent West Hills Intermediate at the 2023 PMEA District 3 Chorus Fest! Harper Bradigan, Belle Bowser, Gabrielle Cloak, Luke Crossley, Riley Dotts, Ray Kilgore, Luna Orbin, Marie Webb, and Abigail Wingard.

These students will attend the chorus festival on November 21st at Punxsutawney High School. They are working hard on Tuesdays now to prepare their new music for the festival. We are so excited for them to get the opportunity to sing and make music with students from other schools.

Pumpkin Penny Wars Returning

to West Hills Primary School

West Hills will be holding its annual Pumpkin Penny War from October 23-28th. Teachers volunteer to buy, carve, and/or decorate a pumpkin for the students to vote on. Some of our teachers go all out and have fabulous pumpkins for the kids to admire. We do have a twist on our Penny War though: Pennies and dollar bills are credited to the good. Any silver coins are deducted from that teacher's total for the day. This event is so much fun for everyone that it's become a tradition for us to do. We announce daily which teachers are in the lead for the day and then who won overall for the week. All money is then donated to the Salvation Army in order to help them with their Thanksgiving Meal Program and/or their Christmas for Kids Program. Start saving those pennies.

Armstrong School District Welcomes New Additions to Our Faculty & Staff

We are thrilled to introduce the newest additions to our school district team! These highly qualified individuals bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to our schools and are ready to make a positive impact on the education of our students.

With a variety of backgrounds and expertise, our new hires will enhance our commitment to providing a well-rounded education that meets the needs of every child.

We are confident that their passion, dedication, and innovative ideas will contribute to the continued success and growth of our district.

Please welcome these outstanding educators into our community!

ASD’s Mental Health &

Community Resource Guide

Mental health disorders in children and adolescents are described as serious changes in how children typically learn, behave, or handle their emotions, causing distress and problems getting through the day. It is estimated that approximately 30% of school-aged children will experience a behavioral, mental, or developmental condition in any given year.

Our Mental Health & Community Resource Guide contains resources for parents, educators, and professionals serving children and youth in school and community settings. 

Source PA Department of Education


181 Heritage Park Drive, Suite 2

Kittanning, PA 16201

Phone: (724) 548-7200