HARMONY: Back to School Night debuts
October 11, 2013 10:40 AM
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WESTOVER — The school year started with something new to Harmony School District: Back to School Night.

The parents and students had a chance to walk around the school to meet the teachers and talk with the cafeteria manager about new lunch prices. The district technology coordinator was available to discuss Power School, the district’s grading system.

The elementary students got to do enjoyable crafts while bonding with their new teachers.

The middle school/high school students followed their schedules and tried their new locker combinations. Everyone savored refreshments in the cafeteria.

Amie Breth, a first-grade teacher, said, “It was nice to meet the parents and students before the first day of school. I had a PowerPoint and craft that we did together, along with a special treat for them to take home.”

TEACHER TRAVELS TO FRANCE

Breth also had an exciting summer. She went to France to gain a better understanding of French culture and learned how to apply her experience to the classroom.

Breth found out about the trip to France from her cousin, Julianna, who attends La Roche College in Pittsburgh. Julianna got one free “study abroad” trip as a part of her tuition. She invited Breth to go along.

Breth filled out an application detailing why she would be a good candidate, and was chosen to go with 28 other students and adults on the trip titled “An Introduction to French Culture.”

However, there were several activities and projects that she did with her first-grade class before she left.

“We learned a few simple French phrases and words, like ‘good morning,’ ‘good-bye,’ ‘please,’ ‘thank you’ and ‘hello.’ We also completed a family engagement project where each student completed a report on a country of their choice as part of our ‘World Reports’ in social studies. I had my brother (‘Chef J’ to the kids) come in and show us how to make chocolate croissants. Each student made one and we baked them here at the school.”

During the trip, the group of 29 saw many amazing sights, such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral and the World War II cemetery at Normandy.

When she returned home, Breth was able to show her students famous artwork and landmarks that they normally would not have seen. She also showed her students pictures from a food diary that she kept of all the scrumptious pastries she was able to try.

Breth said, “I used the trip itself as more of a culminating activity for all the work and activities we completed prior to my trip.”

She added that she is in the process of applying to La Roche College to attend a trip to Italy this May.

PHOTO:  "Chef J” helped first-grade students at Harmony make chocolate croissants as a part of their unit on France.(Nicole Elli/Harmony High School)

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