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Senior Spotlight 2021

R WatkinsThough students in the Burrell High School class of 2021 faced their fair share of challenges with the pandemic, they made it to graduation on June 10.

Two students in particular — Ian Oswalt and Reid Watkins — achieved much success in their senior year.

Three FBLA Members Headed to Nationals

FBLA kidsDespite the tribulations of a virtual event, several Burrell High School students excelled at this year’s state Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) competition.

A team of Jordyn Kowalkowski, Jessica Kowalkowski, and Sydney Horvat took second place in Sports and Entertainment Management. Their performance qualified them to compete at the FBLA National Leadership Conference, which will also take place virtually from June 29 to July 2.

Student Ellie Jarrett Reaches New Heights With USA Hockey Feature

Ellie JarrettFor Ellie Jarrett, 8th grader at Huston Middle School, playing hockey is life. She’s been on the ice since she was two years old and suited up for her first game around five years old.

How Students, Parents, and Teachers Are Facing COVID-19

Covid successThe 2020-2021 school year has been challenging for everyone, including students, parents, and teachers.

“The most challenging part of the year for me has been trying to focus when I go virtual for the day,” said John Lindgren, senior at Burrell High School. “It's just very difficult to go to class after class while sitting in the same spot all day.”

Burrell Stays the Course With COVID-19 Guidelines

COVID safety

Burrell School District hasn’t changed much from its original Health and Safety Plan at the beginning of the year and that’s because it’s working.

“The mitigation efforts that we put into place are serving us very well,” said Angela Dastolfo, RN, BSN, NCSN, MS, Coordinator of Health Services.

Burrell Named an Outstanding Visual Arts Community

Outstanding Award stickerBurrell School District takes art education seriously, and it shows. The district has recently been named as an Outstanding Visual Arts Community by the Pennsylvania Art Education Association (PAEA). Only 27 districts across the state received this prestigious recognition.

Burrell Welcomes Two New Teachers for the 2020-2021 School Year

Elizabeth HartmanChange is the name of the game at Burrell this year, but not only because of the pandemic. The district has also added two new teachers, Elizabeth Hartman and Alli Oberdorf, to the roster.

Burrell Welcomes New Resource Officer Robert Acquaviva

Rob SROThis year, Burrell School District has a new resource officer on campus — patrolman Robert Acquaviva from the Lower Burrell Police Department.

Acquaviva is filling the role vacated by John Marhefka, who left last year to become the chief of police for Lower Burrell.

Burrell Teachers Are Prepared for Teaching Through the Pandemic

Back to SchoolBurrell School District’s 2020-2021 Health and Safety Plan is requiring teachers to offer lessons both in the classroom and virtually, and many teachers, like Mr. Bryan Mike, have spent the summer getting ready.

Mr. Mike, a biology teacher who is celebrating his 25th year with the district, calls this upcoming year “very different.”

“In other years, I had a pretty good idea what I was going to do,” said Mr. Mike. “My preparations were just to get my room ready. This year, I have had to create different documents, change documents to fit the virtual model, and will have to prepare my Google Classrooms (I have 6 classes, so 6 Classrooms).”

Three Instruction Options Give Students & Families Flexibility During 2020-2021 School Year

Back to schoolAfter much discussion and planning, Burrell School District has created a Health and Safety Plan for the upcoming 2020-2021 year.

The plan consists of three options families and students can choose from before the school year begins.

BSD Choral Director Reflects on Challenging Final Year

Ms. CorsiFrancine Corsi, choral director at Burrell School District, never imagined that after her 38 ½-year career, her final lesson in the classroom would come so suddenly.

“It’s sad,” said Corsi. “I never thought that March 13th would be the last day I would see everyone.”

While Corsi had planned to retire this year, the school shutdown limited her chances to say goodbye to students and faculty.

Burrell Seniors Excel During a Challenging Year

Tanner SThis year has been difficult for the Burrell High School class of 2020, but Principal Dr. John C. Boylan believes the seniors handled the challenging situation with ease.

“Life throws you curveballs, and the class of 2020 exhibited patience and gratitude,” said Dr. Boylan. “The class always modeled positive leadership for our underclassmen [and they] got a head start on the challenges of everyday life.”

In particular, three seniors – Emma Kobelenske, Jacob Strenkowski, and Tanner Spohn – all achieved great things.

 

 

Remote Learning During Coronavirus: How Burrell Is Changing Course

Remote LearningBecause of COVID-19, students at Burrell School District haven’t been to school since March 13.  Amidst the chaos, the district worked hard to create a remote learning program that was implemented on March 30.

 

Students and teachers now log into Google Classroom for lessons, which are either pre-recorded or live sessions. The school day runs from 8:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., and teachers are available for questions through chat or email. While students still have assignments, they don’t need to be done in real-time like a typical school day.

Putting Life Skills' Students to Work

Taking orderStaff at Burrell Middle and High Schools have access to an exclusive coffee shop every Friday. But this is no ordinary café. This one is run by students with special needs.

A Message from Dr. Wagner

Education CollageThe calendar may read 2020, but in many ways, the Burrell School District is already focused on 2030. As educators, we have an obligation to prepare students not just for the world we are living in, but the world that awaits.

 

Students Enjoy Nutritious Breakfasts and Lunches Thanks to Food Service Initiatives

BSD Healthy Lunch As the Food Service Director for Burrell School District, Andrew Klipple is using his previous experience as a chef to provide healthier and tastier options for students throughout the district.

One of his biggest challenges is following the guidelines set by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which restricts the use of sodium, mandates increases in whole grain, and governs how many calories, vegetables, fruits, and protein each grade should have per meal.

Burrell Students Engage in Stop the Bleed Training

Stop the Bleed BSDOn October 7 and 8, Burrell High School students were among the first students in Westmoreland County to get training on how to stop life-threatening bleeding.

The training was a part of the Stop the Bleed campaign, a national effort led by the American College of Surgeons Committee that teaches people how to treat wounds that occur in everyday emergencies and man-made and natural disasters.

Burrell Partners With WCCC to Provide College Credits for Students

BSD/WCCC Articulation agreementBeginning this year, Burrell High School students will have the chance to get a head start on their college career.

The school has partnered with Westmoreland County Community College (WCCC) to offer 18 courses that will transfer to college credits if the student passes with a C or higher. Classes are available in a wide variety of subjects, including computer information technology, web design, language arts, and more. Two AP classes also qualify for the program, meaning students can earn dual college credit.

New Safety Initiatives Help Students and Staff Know How to React

choose loveSocial-emotional learning (SEL) is an important new methodology backed by 30 years of research that reduces anxiety and aggression in students while also increasing focus and attendance. When educators are well-versed in SEL, this creates a loving and safe environment in the classroom to foster students' abilities to learn.

Three New Faculty Members Excited to Join Burrell

For the 2019-2020 school year, Burrell School District is proud to welcome three new faculty members to the team: Michael Fantuzzo, Kelly Keibler, and Frank Nesko.

Music Award iconMichael Fantuzzo — Varsity Boys’ Basketball Coach

Fantuzzo graduated from Burrell High School in 2004, so he’s no stranger to the district. Currently, he works as an occupational therapist in geriatric rehab at Fox Rehabilitation.

In his role as Varsity Boys’ Basketball Coach, he will oversee players 7th grade and up as well as the Biddy Ball program in elementary school.