Schools Dismissing Early – March 3, 2015

March 3, 2015 in weather_alert by John Brougher

Due to the forecast for icy road conditions this afternoon, all schools in the Middletown Area School District will be dismissing two hours early today, March 3, 2015. All evening activities have been canceled. We regret that a power failure and weather have affected both our morning and afternoon schedules today. Thank you for your understanding as we seek to ensure the safety of our students.

Dismissal Times

  • MAHS:  12:30pm
  • MAMS: 12:40pm
  • Fink/Reid: 1:15pm
  • Kunkel: 1:45pm

MASD Technology Department Thanked by PSU

February 27, 2015 in News by Zorbaugh Jody

Mr. Darren DiCello, Director of Instructional Technology, and Mr. John Brougher, Director of Information Technology, were recently invited by Penn State Harrisburg to share with PSU student teachers Middletown Area School District’s best practices in integrating technology in the classroom. Their presentation was well received by PSU students and greatly appreciated by the professors. DiCello and Brougher were congratulated by PSU for their forward thinking and effective use of technology for MASD students.

PSU Letter - MASD Tech

What’s Happening in March

February 27, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

2015.03 Happs POST BANNMarch 4, 2015
8th Grade Parent Night, 6:00 p.m.

March 5, 2015
MAHS Musical, Damn Yankees, 7:30 p.m.

March 6, 2015
MAHS Musical, Damn Yankees, 7:30 p.m.
8th Grade Orientation

March 7, 2015
MAHS Musical, Damn Yankees, 7:30 p.m.

March 9-13, 2015
Fink Spring Book Fair Week
Fink Book Fair Family Night, March 10, 6:00 p.m.

March 13, 2015
Reid Spring Picture Day

March 16-20, 2015
Kunkel Spring Book Fair Week
Kunkel Spring Book Fair Family Night, March 17, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

March 16, 2015
Elementary Family Math Night
Held at Reid Elementary for families of elementary students from all three schools
K-2 Families: 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
3-5 Families: 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.

March 19, 2015
Evening in Paris, 6:00 p.m.

March 23, 2015
Kunkel Spring Picture Day
School Board Meeting, 7:00 p.m.

March 26, 2015
MAHS Career Expo
Dual Enrollment Night, 6:30 p.m.

March 27, 2015
End of 3rd Marking Period
Mr. Middletown Pageant – Mini-Thon Fundraiser, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Mayor Curry’s Basketball Challenge – 8:15 p.m.

March 31, 2015
Fink Spring Picture Day

Career and Technical Education Forum – 02/19/15

February 19, 2015 in News by Zorbaugh Jody

Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 9.16.31 AM

MAHS Welcomes Exchange Students

February 11, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

Exchange students POSTBANN
At the start of the 2014-2015 school year, Middletown Area High School welcomed two foreign exchange students. Rebecca Niccolai and Chalisa Nonthacoupt left their homes thousands of miles away to spend their junior year of high school as Blue Raiders. Middletown Area School District would like to introduce you our two new friends from the other side of the globe.

Niccolai.Rebecca PHOTO

Rebecca Niccolai

In the town of La Spezia, Northern Italy, Rebecca Niccolai lives with her two younger sisters, mother and stepfather. But Rebecca’s dream is to someday live in the United States. So to prepare for that desired future, Rebecca decided to spend a year in the States as a Foreign Exchange Student in hopes of improving her English. Italian students begin learning English at age six so Rebecca had a great foundation. But her transition to an English speaking country wasn’t without its challenges.

In the summer of 2014, Steve and Jody Koncar, and their daughter Bailee, a MAHS Senior, welcomed Rebecca into their home. Rebecca entered Middletown Area High School as a junior and started her first day of school totally overwhelmed and lonely. “I was miserable at the start of school because I couldn’t understand anything. Everything was so different,” she said. The idea of moving from room to room was completely foreign to her. In Italy, students stay in one classroom and the teachers do the rotating. “I was so confused trying to find my way around!” Rebecca said. Lockers, eating lunch at school, sports and the long school day were also new to her. Back home, school days are from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and students are home in time for lunch. They also attend school on Saturdays and have about three hours of homework per day. The Italian school system is also a year longer than the American system which means students don’t graduated until they are 19 years old.

The American testing style was another adjustment for Rebecca. “In Italy every two weeks we meet one on one with a teacher and spend an hour discussing what we’ve learned. Here we have to write out all our answers for our tests. I’m not used to that.” Rebecca also had to adjust to the letter grading scale since she is accustomed to receiving a 1 through 10 as her grade.

But now that the difficult transition is five months behind her, Rebecca has settled in very successfully. “I love it here! I love being in a different school, I love my new friends, I love my host family, I love my sister, Bailee! It is so much better than I ever expected.” Having only movies to form her impression of the American lifestyle, specifically the party atmosphere, Rebecca was relieved to discover that what she saw on the big screen wasn’t reality. “America isn’t at all like that. I love it here so much.” But of course, there are things that are left behind which are sorely missed. “In my town, we have these beautiful outdoor areas that people gather just to hang out and be with their friends. I really miss that. There’s nothing like that here.”

During her time in the states, Rebecca has had the opportunity to visit some of the major cities along the East Coast such as Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City. She hopes to get to see Boston, Washington D.C. and Niagra Falls before she returns home. Rebecca aspires to attend college to major in international business and she would like to learn Russian and Chinese.

Chalisa "Fon" Nonthacoupt

Chalisa “Fon” Nonthacoupt

Sixteen year old Chalisa Nonthacoupt lives in Thailand with her parents, older sister and five dogs. Chalisa was born during a rain storm so her parents call her “Fon” which is the word rain in her language. When Fon was accepted as a foreign exchange student she was first assigned to Japan. But when her location was changed to the United States, her parents were overjoyed. The English language is very important in Thailand, so opportunities to improve her English would equip Fon to find a better career in her home country. Fon had not had any formal training in English so she entered the States with very little English experience.

As expected, the language barrier was Fon’s biggest challenge. She predicted that she would cry on her first day of school. And she did. “I didn’t understand anything and I couldn’t talk or answer anyone.” All of that has drastically changed and Fon is now capable of having conversations with her friends and teachers. “Ms. Layne has really helped me and my friends help me with my homework when I don’t understand. I am more comfortable now.”

This is Fon’s first visit to the United States. Apart from the language, Fon says her culture is very similar to what she has experienced in the States so far. The most unusual thing she has seen in our country is the grocery carts with attached wheelchairs which she’s seen in action at Walmart. Of course, food is always a huge difference for cross-cultural students and Fon is no exception. She greatly misses her father’s cooking.

Fon says it hasn’t been too difficult to adjust to the American style of education. The greatest difference is that she’s accustomed to moving between buildings for different subjects similar to our American college campuses. Fon is a junior at MAHS but since Thailand won’t give her credit for her year of study in America, she will have to repeat 11th grade when she returns home. Fon decided to take advantage of the entire American high school experience by jumping in and participating in extra-curricular activities. Fon joined chorus, keyboarding class, Pride Club and the bowling team. Her Raider friends describe her as helpful and very kind to others. It was evident that they highly respect her as they talked about how well she gets along with others and how sensitive she is to people’s feelings. Fon and her new Middletown friends are proof that genuine friendships can break through any barriers…including language.

Closings, Delays & Early Dismissals

February 10, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

Winter Prep Ann POST BANNAs we enter the winter season, it is important to be prepared for changes in school schedules due to inclement weather. Announcements concerning school closings, delayed openings and early dismissals will be communicated on the District website, through our Schoolmessenger system, on Facebook and Twitter, and on the following media outlets:

WDAC FM 94.5
WCAT FM 106.7
WITF FM 89.5
HOT 93.5

If parents/guardians are unable to be home at the time of an early dismissal, prior arrangements must be made with family, friends or neighbors for the care of young children. Bus riders will be taken to their regular designated bus stops. A parent or authorized designee must be present at the bus stop before a kindergarten student is released from the school bus.

The after school programs at Kunkel and Reid Elementary Schools will continue to operate in the event of an early dismissal, but parents are asked to pick up their children within two hours after students are dismissed.

If you have opted to be notified of MASD announcements via Schoolmessenger, please log in to your PowerSchool Parent Portal and follow the provided instructions to verify your contact information and preferences for this year.


PPL Utility Work By School Campus

February 3, 2015 in News, Updates by Zorbaugh Jody

PPL Electric Utilities Undergoes Reliability Work in Lower Swatara Township

Work to affect traffic on Oberlin Road and N. Union Street

PPL Electric Utilities recently began work to upgrade a substation to improve the safe, reliable delivery of electricity to schools, homes and businesses in Lower Swatara Township. As part of the project, PPL Electric Utilities is removing old equipment, poles and power lines, and installing new poles and wires connecting to the substation. Work will affect traffic flow on Oberlin Road and N. Union Street from late January through March, assuming no weather delays.

Crews will typically be on-site for 10 hours a day, four days a week, usually Monday through Thursday. The work is being planned to minimize effects on traffic. School buses will receive priority to ensure there are no schedule delays.

Athletic Revisions – Basketball 2/3/15

February 2, 2015 in News, Updates by Zorbaugh Jody

The basketball games scheduled for Tuesday, February 3, 2015 versus Steel-High will be held at the High School gym and will follow the schedule below:

Girls’ Junior Varsity – CANCELLED
4:15 p.m. – Boys Junior Varsity
6:00 p.m. –  Boys’ Varsity
7:30 p.m. – Girls’ Varsity

2015-2016 Kindergarten Registration

January 29, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

2015 Kind POST BANNIt’s time to get your little one registered for school! What an exciting time in the journey of every five year old. We trust that our Kindergarten Registration process will help you and your child prepare for their big debut at a Middletown Area School District Elementary School.

Kindergarten Registration opens on Monday, February 2, 2015. Click here to register.

What’s Happening in February

January 28, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

Feb What Happ POST BANNFebruary 6, 2015
Fink Jump Rope for Heart
MAMS Play, “Backstage” @ 7:00 p.m.

February 7, 2015
MAMS Play, “Backstage” @ 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

February 8, 2015
MAMS Play, “Backstage” @ 2:00 p.m.

February 12, 2015
Half Day for Elementary Students
Parent Conferences in PM

February 13, 2015
No School for Students
Staff Development/Parent Conferences

February 16, 2015
MAKE-UP DAY - School will be in session

February 20, 2015
Kunkel Jump Rope for Heart
Reid Jump Rope for Heart

February 23, 2015
School Board Meeting, 7:00 p.m.

February 23-27, 2015
Reid Spring Book Fair Week

February 24, 2015
Reid Spring Book Fair Family Night – @ 6:00pm

February 25, 2015
Guest Author, Kathy Miller @ Fink

February 26, 2015
Guest Author, Kathy Miller @ Kunkel

February 27, 2015
Guest Author, Kathy Miller @ Reid
Senior Career Action Plan Presentations

Signing Day – February 4, 2015

January 27, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

On Wednesday, February 4, 2015, three Middletown Area High School athletes participated in National Signing Day. Coaches, Administrators, parents and family members gathered to support the athletes as they publicly announced their commitments to play a sport at the college of their choice. Congratulations to the following Blue Raiders and their families.

Jordan Flowers with Coach Shuleski

Sydney Alexanderwith Coach Huber

Sydney Alexander with Coach Huber

Brent Newton with Coach Myers

Jordan Flowers, son of Ed and Deb Flowers of Middletown, is committing to play baseball at York College of Pennsylvania. Flowers has been involved in baseball and football all four years of his high school career, lettering in three of the four years. Mr. Flowers was named as a Mid Penn Honorable Mention and was selected for the Keystone State Baseball Games. Flowers has also been a member of PRIDE Club and National Honors Society as well as being on the Distinguished Honor Roll. Jordan plans to major in nursing because of his interest in medicine and love for helping others. Sydney Alexander, daughter of Penny Alexander of Middletown, participated in chorus, band and volleyball for all four years of her high school career. During her senior year, Sydney was named a Mid Penn All Star for Volleyball. Miss Alexander was also a member of the Link Crew and the National Honor Society and was named to the Distinguished Honor Roll throughout her high school career. Sydney is committing to play volleyball at Elizabethtown College. She plans to major in Biology because of her interest in Science and her passion for helping others. Brent Newton, son of Bob Newton of Middletown and Beth Newton of Pittsburgh, is committing to play football at Millersville University. Newton has been a part of the gifted program all four years of his high school career, as well as a member of the TV Production class and the basketball and baseball teams. Mr. Newton was a member of the football team all four years and earned an All-Conference Offensive Linemen Award. Brent was unanimously voted captain of the football team his senior year. Newton plans to major in Early Elementary Education because he enjoys teaching children. Brent would someday like to coach in high school.

Spr 15 Signing COLL

2013-2014 Annual Report to the Community

January 27, 2015 in News, Updates by Zorbaugh Jody

The 2013-2014 Annual Report to the Community was distributed by mail to all residents within the Middletown Area School District during the third week of January, 2015. The Annual Report can be found here.

Back Cover Photos

Athletic Revisions – Basketball

January 26, 2015 in News, Updates by Zorbaugh Jody

The Freshman Basketball home game versus Mifflin County previously scheduled for Monday, January 26, 2015 has been postponed to Friday, February 6, 2015 at 4:00 p.m.

The Junior High Boys’ and Girls’ Basketball games versus Central Dauphin previously scheduled for Monday, January 26, 2015 have been cancelled and will not be made up.

The JV and Varsity Basketball games scheduled at home versus Steel-High on February 3, 2015 have modified start times.

4:15 p.m. – JV Boys in the MAHS gym
4:15 p.m. – JV Girls in the MAMS gym
6:00 p.m. – Varsity Boys in the MAHS gym
7:30 p.m. – Varsity Girls in the MAHS gym

Snowball Fight Support Mini-Thon

January 23, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

An all out snowball fight was launched at Reid Elementary to encourage students to support their fourth annual Mini-Thon. From January 7, 2015 through January 16, 2015, students had the opportunity to “throw snowballs” at classroom doors of their same grade. Each Wednesday and Friday, students brought in their nickels, dimes, quarters and dollars to place in their classrooms can. For every five dollars the class collected, the classroom received a “snowball” to place on the door of another class in their grade. Snowballs would unexpectedly appear on doors at anytime throughout the day as students secretly planned out their strategies to be the room with the LEAST amount of snowballs by the end of the snowball fight.

The Reid students and staff had so much fun participating in this cool competition to support their Mini-Thon for Four Diamonds Fund. The Four Diamonds Fund assists children being treated for cancer at Penn State’s Children Hospital. The ultimate goal is to cure childhood cancer. Reid’s goal for the entire year is to raise $2,000 for the kids. The snowball fight was so motivating for the students that they raised $1,071 in this single event…and had a blast doing it! Awesome job, Reid!

Reid MT Snowball COLL

Local Tax Returns Due April 15, 2015

January 23, 2015 in News by Zorbaugh Jody

Notice Regarding Local Tax Returns

It’s that time of year again. Your 2014 local earned income tax return is due on April 15, 2015.

Did you know the quickest way to get your refund is to file online? If you live and work in Pennsylvania, you can e-file on our tax administrator’s secure website, which is available 24/7 at

Keystone Collections Group’s e-file is the easy, fast and secure way to file your 2014 tax return. It let’s you file your tax return when it is most convenient for you. You will need your W-2, your Social Security Number and any other income documents that may apply (such as a PA-UE or a Schedule C).

Please note that the forms changed this year. If you will be claiming an out-of-state tax credit or if you work in Philadelphia, you may be eligible for a local earned income tax credit up to the amount you owe to your resident municipality. The worksheet on the back of the form will help you calculate your out-of-state tax credit (attach a copy of your out-of-state filing).

If you have questions regarding local tax filing, call Keystone’s Taxpayer Helpline at 1-888-328-0565 to speak with a local, knowledgeable Taxpayer Service Agent. You can also email your questions to “Taxpayer Support” at

Taxpayers with earned income in 2014 are required to file a tax return by Wednesday, April 15, 2015.