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Dickson Elementary News

Rotarians Gives 3rd Graders Gift

Dickson Students Journey Around the World

PSSA Incentive Program -- THANKS


Dickson Elementary

7301 Schoyer Avenue
Swissvale, PA 15218
(get directions)

Principal's Message

During this summer break the pace may slow down, but the work never stops. Planning for the 2010-11 school year is well under way, but it is also a good time to reflect on the previous year. Dickson staff and students worked very hard over the year to achieve proficiency as measured by the PSSAs. But school is much more than tests and I want to highlight some of the important events of the year. First, the transition from an intermediate building to a K-6 elementary building went very smoothly with a few bumps concerning furniture, books, and supplies. We maneuvered through those quickly. Second, the year was filled with special fun and learning events -- "Journey Around the World," assemblies, field trips, fun day, socials, bingo nights and PSSA night, conferences, Open House, etc. -- many of these events you can read about on this web site. Third, there have been many achievements by students from perfect attendance to honor roll to the fitness awards. Most importantly, there have been countless stories of personal milestones being reached by students in the classroom -- academically, emotionally, and socially. These are the stories that most teachers hold close to the heart and that make all the hard work worthwhile.

As we begin to analyze the PSSA data and plan for next year's instructional schedule, you can be a very big part of the success of Dickson students by encouraging your child to remain academically engaged by reading, practicing math problems, using educational web sites, etc. Please use the summer package that was sent home with your child to ensure that he or she retains the learning and is ready for the next grade level. Click here if you need a new package: K-2 Summer Package or 3-6 Summer Package. One of the most things you can do to help your child is to read -- read to the children and have them read to you --EVERY DAY!

Have a safe and relaxing summer.

Ms. Allison A. Kline

June 2010


Career Day 2010 Slideshow

Third graders celebrate Halloween (left). The Student Leadership Club helped decorate the Swissvale Christmas tree in December.

The Orchestra, Band, and Choral Concert in December.


Kindergarten students enjoying the Recycling Magician in February. All Dickson students got to see the performance in two shows geared for their grade levels. Magician Dan Kuniak was both entertaining and informative as he made glass disappear, created a tree from newspaper, and recycled a live bird! The show was brought to Dickson courtesy of Swissvale Borough through the Pennsylvania Resources Council, Inc. PRC also sent a guest presenter for 5th and 6th grade science classes in March for the Schoolyard Composting Program.


Fun Day 2009 Slide Show click here











The PTO did an outstanding job during the 2009-10 school year, and the organization is much more than a fund raising group. Led by President Heidy Garth the PTO was instrumental in bringing a rich variety of fun and learning activities to the Dickson students. Everyone knows about Fun Day in June, but did you also realize that the PTO sponsors the monthly Dickson Dollar Store, the Book Fair each semester, the three RIF book give-aways, the Bingo for Books evenings for families, the 6th grade social and dance! Every Dickson student goes on a field trip and/or attends assemblies brought to them through the PTO fund raising efforts. The PTO also organizes the Boxtops for School and Apples for Students programs. Through these programs Dickson received much needed PE equipment, recess play balls, and math manipulatives for classes. During the 2010-11 school year, when the PTO asks for volunteers and your participation in fund raising events again, remember that they are asking you to help make the academic lives of students much richer! Special thank you to all the PTO volunteers throughout the year, especially, Mrs. Garth, Mrs. Amos, Mr. & Mrs. Kilpatrick, Mrs. Vaughn, Ms. Burns, Mrs. Edwards, Ms. McGee, Mrs. Lampenfeld, Mrs. Davenport, and Mr. & Mrs. Osterle.


Olweus Bullying Program

Dickson Elementary School along with the entire district is implementing the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program this year. Bullying is not acceptable behavior!

OVERVIEW: The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP) is the most well-researched and internationally-known program available today. OBPP has been successfully implemented in many countries and is a school-wide program that has been proven to prevent bullying throughout the school. School administrators, teachers, and staff are primarily responsible for introducing and implementing the program. The program relies heavily on classroom meetings to improve peer relations and make the school a more positive and safer place for all students.



1. We will not bully others.

2. We will help students who are bullied.

3. We will include students who are left out.

4. If we know that somebody is being bullied, we will tell an adult at school and an adult at home.

Parent involvement is essential to make this program successful at Dickson Elementary. Please reinforce the same anti-bullying messages and social rules about caring for others that we are teaching at school. Talk to your children about the program and their day and the events at school. With your help we can improve student peer relations and reduce bullying problems. Stop Bullying Now.




The doors at Dickson Elementary open at 8:20 am and breakfast is served free to any student who wants it. If a bus arrives late, students will still have the opportunity to eat breakfast if they would like and it is an excused tardy. Walkers and students who are dropped off by car should arrive by 8:30 am if they want breakfast in order to ensure that they have enough time to eat and arrive to class on time. Students must be in the homeroom by 8:40 am for morning announcements. First period starts promptly at 8:45 am.


Dismissal begins at 3:15 pm. Kindergarten students are escorted first. Then riders are dismissed out the back and walkers are dismissed out the front. By approximately 3:22 pm, the homeroom teachers escort the bus riders to their respective buses.




The Dickson Elementary 2009 Wolverine Spirit Award winners: Rodney Dennard, 4th grade, nominated by Mrs. Del Rosso, and Angela Foster, 6th grade, nominated by Mrs. King and Ms. Pricener. These two students represent the many Dickson students who are hardworking, kind, respectful, and willing to give their best!




"A Day Made Better"

Ms. Carol Groat was selected by Office Max to be a recipient of their annual "A Day Made Better" for teachers. Nominated by Ms. Kline for her outstanding dedication to students and her involvement with school-community events, Ms. Groat received over $1,000 worth of classroom supplies, including a digital camera and a deluxe desk chair. Office Max sponsors this event all over the country annually to make the day better for teachers. Ms. Groat makes many days better for her students and the entire Dickson staff is proud she was selected for this honor.


Dickson Elementary School

Dickson Elementary is a kindergarten through sixth grade school with approximately 400 students. There are 20 homeroom classrooms, one Autistic Support class, two Learning Support classes, two Emotional Support classes, Gifted classes, and Speech and Hearing Support classes. In addition to core academic subjects, the children receive physical education, art, music and library. This is a benefit for our children that enhances our program to promote lifelong learning.



Our Core Beliefs

Through the use of research based instructional practices we believe the students will learn and make adequate progress toward meeting or exceeding state standards as evaluated through a variety of assessments. Students must be held accountable to high standards of learning, appropriate behavior and making positive choices.

Quality Professional Development will enhance learning, instruction and assessment.

Each student can become a lifelong learner reaching their full potential through research based instructional practices and encouragement by their teachers.

We believe that parental support is an integral part of the student's academic success and essential to creating a home/school partnership.

We believe through continuous professional development, our staff will enhance their instructional practices to continue to meet our students' educational needs.

Our Mission

Building Mission Statement

We will provide Dickson students with a creative and safe environment, excellent educational experiences that increase intellectual skills, collegiality, and respect for diversity, which will promote resilient and independent lifelong learners. We will promote a positive school culture through communication and collaboration among all key stakeholders.


We envision the Dickson Elementary School as a nurturing and challenging learning community which: