Volume 4, Issue 11: December 6, 2020
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.
Students Move to Full-Remote Learning
AASD students, PreK -12, made the shift to full remote learning on December 1. Students are to follow this model through February 1; however, the level of transmission will continue to be monitored throughout this time period and the learning model re-evaluated as the transmission declines.

The decision to shift to a full remote model was based on current community level of transmission that has been well beyond the substantial range limits since the week of October 30th as well as the Department of Health and the PA Department of Education’s new requirement for the District to sign an Attestation providing a 100% guarantee of meeting every COVID-19 mitigation requirement. Even with a signed attestation, the district’s level of infection and staffing concerns would have caused multiple buildings to close because of infection levels/mandatory quarantines of faculty, staff, and students.

Additional resources have been initiated to assist students and families with academic questions, technology questions as well as any mental health concerns that may arise.

These resources are located on the AASD website and can also be accessed by clicking the links below:

Elementary Virtual Learning
Announcing Elementary Virtual Learning Sessions
for Parents and Guardians

Parents and guardians are invited to join us for various virtual learning parent sessions designed to assist with remote learning!

Sessions include instruction on Google Classroom, iPad Overview, Connect Ed. Math K-5, See-Saw Overview, Studies Weekly 2-5, Raz Kids, Virtual Instruction Overview and Zoom Overview.

Parents are encouraged to register at least 24 hours prior to the session time. Upon registering, a Zoom link will be emailed to the registrant prior to the session.

Register HERE.

Parents are encouraged to note any additional sessions that would be helpful.
effects of Mindfulness
AAHS librarian Tanya Lucas introduced the concept of Mindfulness last year to students at the high school. The practice of mindfulness allows students to calm their minds and live in the present moment. The Headspace app is used to help students learn how to develop a healthy sense of perspective.

Mindfulness has been proven to reduce stress, reduce anxiety, increase attention and increase positive emotions. The response from student participation last year prompted an expansion of the grant this year. And, in the midst of COVID, this practice is even more important for students to learn.

Mrs. Lucas will be co-teaching with Mr. Sapita and Mrs. Palfey, introducing the foundation of mindfulness to their health classes through Google Meet. More than 250 students will participate.
The Thompson Family
Strength & Conditioning Center
Thompson Family Strength & Conditioning Ribbon Cutting
AASD announced the official opening of the Thompson Family Strength & Conditioning Center on Wednesday, November 25 with a ribbon cutting ceremony honoring the Thompson family.

The facility, which is part of the new AAHS Building and Renovation project, includes 14 self-contained strength areas that include a power rack, bench, pulley system, weights, dumbbells, etc.

A $100,000 gift to the AASD Foundation from the late Bill Thompson and his wife Anne helped the school district create this facility which is utilized not only by AAHS athletes but also by AAHS students through the Physical Education Department. All students will be introduced to strength and fitness training as part of the physical education curriculum. 

A special thank you to the Thompson family for their commitment to AASD students and the Altoona Area community.
Yearbook Purchase Poster
For details about ordering or additional information about senior photo submissions, click Horseshoe Information
Food Service Program Resumes
food service
The Food Service Program is back up and running and available to all children ages 18 and under. Five breakfasts and five lunches will be packaged for pickup for families who order through the online order form. Families select the pick up location that is most convenient for them: AAJHS, Juniata, Logan or Pleasant Valley Elementary.

Simply order by Friday at 10 AM for a pick-up the following Wednesday, between
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM. A new link will be posted on the AASD website and the AASD Facebook page each Monday.

Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) will be given at Altoona Area High School on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 and will cost $20. It is an important first step on the road to college. Juniors who are considering pursuing a four- year degree after high school are recommended to sign up. Exam is not offered to sophomores. The test provides students with practice and insight into testing strategies, plus invaluable information for educational and career planning. In addition, the selection index given with the individual results qualifies academically superior students for scholarships and awards.
Registration begins October 1st and ends January 15th (however $5 late fee will apply after January 8th) through Total Registration

For more details or to register click HERE

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

Substitute Teachers – For more information or to apply, please visit aasdcat.com or contact Lynn Weakland, at Lweakland@ess.com or 814-515-3894.

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