Volume 4, Issue 15: January 31, 2021
Welcome to The Mt. Lion Roar where you can read about some of the things happening in the Altoona Area School District. With nearly 8,000 students, AASD is the area's top choice for Academics, Arts and Athletics.
Revised Re-Opening Plan Approved
The AASD Board of Directors held a special Board meeting on Tuesday, January 26 for the purpose of discussing and acting on a Revised Instructional Re-Opening Plan.

Blair County Emergency Management Director Mark Taylor, Altoona City Emergency Management Coordinator Tim Hileman and Dr. Zane Gates each spoke to the board providing information regarding the current COVID conditions within Blair county as well as anticipated availability of vaccines.

After much deliberation and hearing from citizens, the Board approved a plan to transition students back to school.

Beginning February 8, elementary students, K-5, will return to school in a hybrid model. Secondary students, 6-12, will return to school in a hybrid model beginning February 16. Special populations, PreK-12, will return to school in-person, five days per week beginning February 8. A return to a full traditional model for all students may occur when the county is in the Low transmission rate category for two consecutive weeks.

Students will be assigned to one of two groups, A or B and will follow a weekly A-B schedule attending in person either Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday and every other Friday. Students will attend class virtually on the days they are not in person.

Families will have the option for students to return to school in the hybrid model, remain in the virtual instruction model, or attend cyber instruction.

Detailed information will be sent to families from building principals. Anyone with specific questions should call their building principal.
AAEA Plans Food Drive
The Altoona Area Education Association (AAEA) will be holding a food drive to benefit the Mountain Lion BackPack Program on Saturday, February 6 from 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM. Donations can be dropped off in the AAHS B-Building parking lot.

A list of items needed can be found at:
Junior, senior class committee plans for prom

Ben Blackie, Editor In Chief
January 28, 2021

On Jan. 11 the Junior and Senior Executive Committees held a meeting to discuss possible prom themes and colors. After brainstorming possible ideas, the committees voted in a Google form on Jan. 24. The themes listed were Masquerade, The Secret Garden and multiple others. 

To read the full story, click HERE
Art in Public Places
Bee Positive
This semester proved to be anything but “normal,” especially in the Art classrooms that rely so heavily on art materials and collaboration. AAHS Art teacher Kathryn Curry was challenged to develop a final project in the Art for Public Places course that typically creates a final collaborative painted mural for someone in the community. Knowing in the fall this probably could not happen, she reached out to the AASD Foundation for support for her idea: sidewalk chalk. Instead of one collaborative piece, students chose to create a piece of artwork within the theme of positivity and moving forward. The students decided on this theme with everything going on in the world, amidst a global pandemic and presidential election.
           In order to stay socially distanced, students chose locations around the community to draw their artwork. Some chose to draw in their driveways, while others chose locations like the high school. Regardless of where they drew, students wanted to make sure the public could see, relate and react to the artwork. One student created a mural with the theme, “Bee Positive.” Another student recreated “The Creation of Adam” from the Sistine Chapel into two hands in medical gloves, reflecting on frontline workers. Two other students wrote positive messages in front of the high school so staff could be uplifted as they entered the building.
           While this was not the final project that was imagined, the students displayed artwork that put a smile on the faces of the public!
Team Spirit Days at Learning Express Preschool
On January 13 and January 14, AASD Learning Express students and staff participated in team spirit days. Students and staff wore their favorite team jerseys or sports attire to their virtual learning lessons. Staff who participated in this event donated a pet supply to participate.  The AASD LEX staff collected over 65 supplies for the local Blair County Humane Society.  

The Altoona Area School District is looking to fill the following positions:

Bus Drivers – For more information or to apply, please visit aasdcat.com or call 946-8220