Saturday, May 11, 2013
Dr. Patrick O'Toole is set to speak to the graduates this month.
Upper St. Clair's Superintendent Patrick O’Toole, a graduate of 1979, will return to Clarion University May 18 to deliver both the 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. commencement addresses. In his address, “Leadership, Learning and Opportunity,” O’Toole will encourage graduates to seek the opportunities that come through personal leadership and learning. "My selection (as commencement speaker) is an example to students that we are not finished products on graduation day," O’Toole said. One of the most inspiring moments in his education, and one that has guided his career as an educator, happened in a Clarion University classroom. "A college professor once gave me feedback that I could be a ‘good teacher’ by being technically sound, but if I wanted to be a…
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Any changes you would like to see?
The proposed 2013-14 school calendar is available for viewing. In the proposal, school will begin Monday, Aug. 26 and end Thursday, June 12. Superintendent Patrick O'Toole said the district has the most school days compared to other districts—183 days. Spring break is scheduled later next year, commencing at the close of school on Friday, April 11. "We always struggle to make everyone happy," O'Toole said. "We tried to keep things fairly consistent (for next year)." O'Toole said he welcomes comments. Email your thoughts about the 2013-14 calendar to firstname.lastname@example.org before Friday, March 8. Do you like the proposed school calendar? Why or why not? Tell us in the comments below.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
The staff members include some secretaries and employees in technology and security.
The Upper St. Clair School Board approved a $14,000 raise Monday night to be split among 25 non-represented district employees. Also included in the approval is a $10,000 in market adjustments, which means more money for the employees whose jobs have expanded or changed. Superintendent Patrick O'Toole said he recommended the action to the board so the district could keep the salaries competitive and it wouldn't lose the employees to the private sector. The non-represented staff members include employees in technology, security and those who are confidential secretaries. The employees did not receive a raise last year.
Friday, January 25, 2013
The Upper St. Clair School District ran on a two-hour delay Tuesday and Wednesday.
Upper St. Clair Superintendent Patrick O'Toole ordered a two-hour delay on Tuesday and Wednesday this week because of the wind chill factor. Some Patch readers questioned whether the temperature would increase much in a two-hour span. "The temperature usually rises after sunrise. There is greater safety in general in daylight. We sometimes need more time to get all the buses started when there are extended periods of cold weather," O'Toole responded. The National Weather Service in Pittsburgh issued a wind chill advisory for Upper St. Clair on Tuesday and Wednesday. O'Toole said class is not always canceled or postponed when there is an advisory in effect, however, parents "should expect the possibility of a delay." When the two-hour …
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
'Should we have armed security in any or all of the buildings?' asked Upper St. Clair School Director Harry Kunselman.
Upper St. Clair Superintendent Patrick O'Toole discussed security measures and changes in the school district on the one-month anniversary of the Newtown massacre. "There are some really difficult decisions on what school environment we will have. Obviously, we want a safe environment," O'Toole told school directors on Monday night. Currently the school district has two school police officers that "basically have the authority of municipal officers," according to O'Toole. There are also two additional part-time security officers. They have been "working more full-time recently." "We've had a bigger and expanded presence at the three elementary schools and two middle schools (than before)," O'Toole said. Plans have sped up to bring …
Friday, December 21, 2012
'The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,' the NRA's Wayne LaPierre said.
In an amazing Friday morning press conference in Washington DC, the National Rifle Association broke its weeklong silence following the horrific shooting of 26 people at a school in Newtown, CT and called for a surge of gun-carrying "good guys" around American schools. NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre called for a new kind of American domestic security revolving around armed civilians, arguing that "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." "We care about our president, so we protect him with armed Secret Service agents," LaPierre said. "Members of Congress work in offices surrounded by Capitol Police officers. Yet, when it comes to our most beloved, innocent, and vulnerable members of the …
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Teachers met before class began.
The Upper St. Clair School District reviewed its security procedures and added layers of security following the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. "Every educator in America was uneasy today," Superintendent Patrick O'Toole said Monday. "We all feel somewhat vulnerable." The staff in each district building met before class on Monday morning to review safety measures and help the teachers prepare for questions students may ask them. O'Toole sent out two emails to parents after the massacre on Friday. He said he sent out the information that he would want to know as a parent, including information about how to talk to your children about the incident. "The tips we send out are the same tips I have to employ as a parent," he said…
Sunday, December 16, 2012
The school district has reviewed safety protocols.
Upper St. Clair Superintendent Patrick O'Toole emailed another letter to local parents and guardians on Sunday: Dear Parents and Guardians: Before we return to school on Monday, I want you to know that the school staff will have met to discuss plans for addressing the needs of students and staff resulting from the horrific event in Connecticut on Friday. We will have also reviewed with the staff how best to address questions or concerns of students in a developmentally appropriate manner. It is important to remember that despite this recent tragedy, schools remain very safe places for children. The district has also reviewed security protocols. At USC, we have dedicated a great deal of resources toward student and staff safety. In …
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Murphy shares 10 suggestions to help adults reassure and comfort children during this difficult and confusing time.
U.S. Rep. Murphy (R-Upper St. Clair) released the following statement on the violent shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. "(Friday's) senseless tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School leaves us all shocked. We don’t have words to explain our grief, and we cannot begin to understand what would cause an individual to inflict this kind of pain on fellow human beings, let alone defenseless children. To the grieving families, our deepest condolences go out to you all. For the many teachers, first responders, police officers and emergency personnel who were focused on returning the students to safety, we thank you for putting yourself in harm's way to save a child's life. We hold you all close in our prayers.” Prior to …
Friday, December 14, 2012
Dr. Patrick O'Toole sent the e-alert out Friday afternoon.
As people around the country try to make sense of the tragic elementary school shooting in Connecticut, Upper St. Clair Superintendent Patrick O'Toole sent out an e-alert Friday afternoon to parents and the community: Dear Parents and Community Members, We are all deeply saddened by today's tragic event in Newtown, Connecticut. The USC District staff did not formally present this news to students. We will struggle to explain such a senseless tragedy to our children. To offer some assistance, I am sending to you the following document from the National Association of School Psychologists, "Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers." Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers As we learn more…