Thursday, March 27, 2014

Student Safety: A Letter from the Superintendent of Quaker Valley School District

Dear Quaker Valley Families:

The district was informed of an incident that occurred yesterday involving a student who was approached by an adult in a vehicle. The student is safe and the incident was reported to the police, who are investigating. It is unknown whether the individual posed a threat to our student. Regardless, this is an opportunity to remind our parents and students about personal safety.

I strongly urge you to talk with your child about this important topic. Allegheny County's Safe Start program offers the following tips for staying aware and safe:
  • Always "CHECK FIRST" before you go anywhere with anyone at any time for any reason. This includes going with relatives and people you know. You should always check first with the person who is caring for you at that time. If it is impossible to check with your caregiver, then the answer is "NO! You may not go."
  • Always have at least one other person with you when you are out walking. If you are in a group, make sure everyone stays with the group and no one is left behind.
  • When outside your house, do not wear clothing or a backpack or other articles with your name visible on it. A person could read it and call you by name, hoping you'll believe that they are to be trusted.
  • If someone tries to talk to you from inside his/her car, stay more than an adult arm's length away from a car so that you cannot be reached by the person inside the car.
  • If someone encourages you to get into a car to help find a lost pet, or to leave with them for any reason, you should yell "NO" as loudly as possible and run to the closest adult whom you know and trust. Yelling "No," also called the POWER NO, indicates you are prepared for the situation.
  • Run in the opposite direction from the one that the car is facing. It is harder to drive in reverse than straight ahead.
  • If an adult tries to convince you he/she is not a stranger and that you can trust her/him, do not be fooled if you are not sure. You are right to yell "NO" and run away.
  • Learn your full address and, if possible, your primary caregiver's "best" phone number.
  • Once you are in a safe place, write down as much as you remember about the car. What color was it? Was it a car, truck or van? How many doors did it have? Do you remember the license plate? Also, write down what you remember about how the person in the car looked and where you were when this happened.
  • Remember you can call 911 for help or to report any attempted luring.
For more tips and helpful safety information, contact Safe Start at or visit As always, please report any safety concerns to the local police and/or to the school district.

Please help us reinforce the philosophy that school safety is everyone's business by talking with your child about the importance of informing an adult anytime something is said or done that makes him/her feel unsafe - this includes verbal and physical threats as well as bullying. If you or your child are not comfortable talking with a teacher or other staff member, reports may be made anonymously on the district's tip-line 412-749-3633 or from our district website (look for QV Tipline under the Quick Links drop down menu). I assure you that each report is investigated fully.

Thank you in advance for your assistance in keeping our schools, our students and our community safe.

Sincerely yours,

Dr. Joseph H. Clapper

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Village of Sewickley STANDS FIRM Against Partner Violence

From our friends at the Sewickley Valley Chamber of Commerce:

On Tuesday,April 8th, 2014, The Sewickley Valley Chamber of Commerce will kickoff its 2014 Professional Development Speaker Series with an Awareness-and-Response Training on the workplace effects of partner violence,facilitated by STANDING FIRM, a Pittsburgh non-profit that presents the business case to end partner violence. The presentation will take place in the Sewickley Public Library’s Community Room, with registration and breakfast at 8:30 am.

According to Susan Nitzberg, Sewickley resident and Associate Director of STANDING FIRM,partner violence happens at home, but it also walks through the doors of many workplaces, whether employers realize it or not.  Partner violence causes absenteeism; impaired performance; workplace-violence events; potential liability; and safety concerns for employees and customers.

Thanks in part to generous support from Esmark, there is no charge for this training as long as the employer is a member of STANDING FIRM. For more information on joining STANDING FIRM, log on to and click on “Join Us”. Although it is FREE to join, advanced registration is required no later than April 3, 2014 by emailing:

The following local businesses and organizations are keeping our community safe by being STANDING FIRM members: Angel Event Productions, Borough of Sewickley, Clearly Pilates,Eat ‘n Park Hospitality Group, Giant Eagle, Heritage Valley Health System,Laughlin Children’s Center, Liz Murphy Design, McFadden Wellness and Chiropractic Center, Orr’s Jewelers, Quaker Valley School District, Safran's Supermarket, Sewickley Confectionery, Sewickley Valley Chamber of Commerce, Sewickley YMCA, Schenley Capital, Sweetwater Center for the Arts, Sewickley Spa, Spoiled Chics the Boutique, Two Men and a Truck, Village Green Partners, Village Theater Company, and Yoga in Sewickley To learn more about the organization, check out this YouTube video featuring

To learn moreabout the Sewickley Valley Chamber of Commerce, including the other topics inthe 2014 Professional Development Speaker Series, visit and click “Chamber of Commerce”.


The Sewickley Valley Chamber of Commerce (SVCC) strives to educate, motivate, and connect local merchants, professional services, and nonprofits, and works hand in hand with Village Green Partners to promote the area as a destination for shopping ,dining, and living.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


(SEWICKLEY, PA) – Sewickley Academy is excited to welcome nationally-recognized speaker, activist, writer, and educator Wade Davis on Wednesday, April 16, at 7:00PM in Rea Auditorium.

A former NFL football player for the Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins, and Seattle Seahawks, as well as two different teams within the NFL Europe league, Davis is now the executive director of the You Can Play project, an organization dedicated to ending discrimination and homophobia in sports. He is also co-founder of the You Belong sports initiative for LGBTQ youth and a visiting professor at Rutgers University.

His writing and interviews have appeared in The New York Times, Out Sports,, and other media outlets, such as President Obama’s Whitehouse blog. He has appeared on NPR, CNN, and BET. His forthcoming memoir — Interference chronicles his struggles from growing up in a strict religious household to working and advocating for GLBTQ youth.

Through his work and talks, he tackles issues of bullying, race, coming out, and other forms of discrimination in schools and communities. Wade's message encourages and inspires his audience to excel in all of their endeavors - athletic, personal, and professional.

For more information and to register for this event, please visit
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Founded in 1838, Sewickley Academy is Pittsburgh’s oldest independent school. A premier coeducational, college-preparatory day school, Sewickley Academy enrolls 800 students in prekindergarten through grade 12. For more information, visit

An announcement from our friends at QVSD:

Superintendent Search: School Board solicits community input

The Quaker Valley School District’s Board of Directors is seeking community input as it begins its search for the district’s next superintendent. 

“We value community and staff involvement as we analyze the district’s long-term needs and the attributes needed to successfully lead our district,” Sarah Heres, school board president, said.

The school board is working in collaboration with the Allegheny Intermediate Unit and the Pennsylvania School Boards Association as it proceeds through the search process.

Community members can provide feedback online at or by visiting the district’s website and selecting Superintendent Search (the first item listed under the News heading). Input will be collected through Sunday, March 23, 2014.

In addition, community members are encouraged to participate in focus group discussions with members of the Allegheny Intermediate Unit’s Executive Search Committee. Sessions will be held between 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 19, in the Quaker Valley Middle School auditorium, 618 Harbaugh Street in Sewickley. No RSVP is needed – community members may drop in at any time during the evening session.

The focus group discussions provide community members with the opportunity to provide input regarding the qualities, characteristics and skills desired in Quaker Valley’s next superintendent of schools.

For more information, please contact Tina Vojtko, director of communications and development, at 412-749-3623 or