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NHS Schools - Altoona


The NHS School Altoona provides educational programming in full-time autistic support and full-time emotional support classrooms for students ages 5 through 21. A low student-to-staff ratio is maintained at all times to maximize learning. Applied behavior analysis, individualized programming, and outstanding speech therapy services make our autism program unique. The ultimate goal of the autism program is to help students achieve behavioral and academic milestones in order to transition to a less restrictive environment within their home school district.

Cognitive behavioral interventions and therapeutic instruction guided by a master's level Behavior Shaping Specialist enhance our emotional support program. Additionally, within our emotional support program we offer the Building Bridges School-Based Program for female students who are between 12 and 18 years of age. The Building Bridges programming includes integration of the six domains of healthy development (physical, intellectual, sexual, spiritual, emotional, and relational) throughout the educational day. The goal of the emotional support and Building Bridges program is to improve students' self-esteem and self-regulation skills in order to make healthy life choices while continuing to meet academic goals. Our school works in collaboration with the local school districts and community providers to offer individualized, quality programming for each student.
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Valentine’s Day Experiment

The students in Ms. Lori's Emotional Support classroom did science experiments with mini roses. They are making rainbow roses for Valentine's Day, but they are experimenting to see if the food coloring will be absorbed into the roses to show the color. The students are documenting each day till Friday, February 13 to see if their roses change. They will be completing a lab report, to include a hypothesis about what will happen as a result of the experiment.


Students at NHS School Altoona participate in ABC Yoga once a week to learn movement in a tactile way. Students really enjoy participating in this activity along with their peers!


Jeans for Teams

On January 23, the staff from NHS School Altoona partnered with the United Way and participated in Jeans for Teams. Each staff who wore jeans made a $5 donation to provide scholarships, grants, and other funding to those who might need assistance.

Jeans for Teams

Cooking for Classmates

The students in Ms. Lori's Emotional Support Class at NHS School Altoona cooked a family style lunch for their classmates. With help from their teacher while using the oven, the students baked a lasagna. They also made a salad, homemade lemonade, and baked cupcakes for dessert. To monitor their caloric intake, they looked up the calories for the meal. When finished, they washed the dishes and cleaned the kitchen. This lesson helped the students with their social skills, following directions, math and measuring, teamwork, and reading.

Cooking for Classmates Cooking for Classmates Cooking for Classmates

NHS Schools Give Back

During the month of November, NHS Schools Altoona and East Freedom participated in a food drive to benefit St. Vincent DePaul's Food Pantry in Altoona, PA. On Monday November 24, representatives from St. Vincent DePaul's came to the school to receive the donations from some of our students. NHS Altoona and East Freedom enjoy participating in community events and hope to build lasting relationships with their community agencies!

NHS Schools Give Back
Jake - success My name is J.P Earhart, and I am a student at NHS School Altoona. I enjoy the fact that NHS moves at a slower pace. The teachers give us help when we need it. When I was in public school, math was my weakest subject. I was consistently failing because of the fast pace of the class. Now because of NHS and Ms. Lori, my math grade is at an all time high. Also because of NHS I have completed my first research paper on a career choice I have been interested in. I now realize through this paper that I have many options ahead of me. I have found that English is my favorite subject, and I might want to go into the English field someday. I am learning healthy ways to express myself and I am crafting my writing skills.

Ms. Lori has helped me learn transition skills, like cooking and helping out in the community that I can take with me in life. I have come from failing most of my classes and no idea where my future lies to being on the honor roll! I can see viable options for a future career thanks to NHS.

Jake - successMy name is Jake and I am a student at NHS School Altoona. There are a few things that I enjoy here. Miss Lori does a very good job at teaching and she is willing to help with many things. She has helped me pursue engineering by giving me the link to a website that I can use to continue to improve my math skills. This school has helped me improve my behavior in ways that I honestly cannot see. I have improved socially because of this school.

My classmates are easy to get along with when they are not acting up, and sometimes I wind up actually looking forward to being here because of my classmates. To put it in a few words, I like this school because of the improvements I have made here and how my class operates. I also like the smaller classes because I cannot survive in a class with a lot of students.

Xavier - success storyXavier enrolled in the autism support program at the NHS School in Altoona in February of 2012. He made great strides and achievements while at the Altoona School. When he first came to us he demonstrated problem behaviors in the form of physical aggression, property destruction and non-compliance. These problem behaviors usually occurred when Xavier was told "no" or a preferred activity or item was taken away from him. Xavier made significant improvement in these areas in a short amount of time by being able to appropriately respond to directives from staff.

Using his self-regulation skills, he also learned how to ask for help, request a break when needed and used more appropriate ways to gain attention from staff and peers! Xavier is a very helpful, thoughtful and well mannered boy. He loves to go on field trips, play sports and be competitive with his peers. Xavier returned back to his home school district in November of 2013! We are very proud of all of the progress Xavier has made will continue to make in a less restrictive environment with his typically developing peers.

JeffreyJeffrey is currently a 13-year old 7th grade student at NHS Schools Altoona. Jeffrey started at the Altoona school in 2009. When he started with us, Jeffrey struggled with managing his behaviors and emotions, often engaging in high-risk behaviors. Jeffrey also struggled academically and was far below grade level in the primary areas of math and reading.  At that time Jeffrey did not enjoy school and would often refuse to complete academic tasks. He could only read five words when he started at NHS and struggled in math as well. 

One of the first things we worked on with Jeffrey was identifying coping strategies that he could use when he became upset, frustrated, or angry.  Jeffrey was able to identify some of his strengths and interests, especially cooking. Over time, Jeffrey gained the ability to use his coping skills with prompting and at times independently. He started to open up to staff about his anger and frustrations and was able to appropriately process many of his feelings. Jeffrey also began to enjoy school as he started to learn new things. Now, as a 7th grader Jeffrey has substantially increased his reading ability and is now independently reading chapter books. He is proud of his ability to read and enjoys reading to his niece at home.  Jeffrey has also increased his math ability by four grade levels since 2009.

Jeffrey wants to be a chef after graduation from school and is working very hard to achieve this goal. The local vocational-technical school has a culinary arts program, and Jeffrey is working toward being able to attend that program in a few years.
Take a walk around our school and in the classroom!

Melanie Shildt - Director AltoonaCONTACT INFO:

Name: Kelly Brennan
Title: Director
Email: KABrennan@nhsonline.org
Phone: 724-301-4080
School Address: 1012 8th Avenue, Altoona, PA 16602 (view on map)
School Phone Number: 814-944-3733
Archived News from School Year 2013-2014

Learning about Kitchen Safety

During the week of June 30, the students in the Emotional Support classroom at NHS School Altoona learned about kitchen safety and how to follow directions. The students learned the step-by-step process of making a complete breakfast. Under careful guidance of their teacher, students cooked bacon and eggs and then enjoyed their self-made breakfast. The students were very proud of their delicious dishes and enjoyed their experience in the kitchen.

Learning about Kitchen Safety at NHS School Altoona Learning about Kitchen Safety at NHS School Altoona Learning about Kitchen Safety at NHS School Altoona

Nature Week

As part of nature week, Miss Paige's classroom spent the day at Canoe Creek State Park in Hollidaysburg, PA. The students were greeted by a doe standing along the road as soon as they entered the park. They also learned about cabin life and were able to see cabins along the main road of the park. The students swam, played in the sand, and ate a nice picnic lunch while enjoying the beautiful outdoors.

Flowers Bloom

Flowers Bloom at NHS School Altoona Miss Lori's Extended School Year class is learning about how plants grow from seeds. They planted flower seeds and will be taking care of them during the summer program. The flower pots were even painted with chalk board paint so that the students can personalize them. They are excited to see the seeds sprout and grow into beautiful flowers.

Field Day at NHS Schools Altoona and East Freedom

NHS School Altoona and East Freedom students had their annual field day on Friday, May 30. The students from Altoona traveled to the NHS East Freedom School for the event. The students began their day with the annual talent show in which students performed a variety of acts including singing, dancing, comedy and magic. Many families attended and enjoyed the show. Everyone then enjoyed lunch followed by games including an IM for Matty Scooter Relay Race event. Students participated in the scooter relays and had tons of fun. To finish out the day, they honored the graduates, gave out medals, and presented the IM for Matty awards. Everyone had a great time and can't wait until next year.

Picnic in the Park

The students enjoyed a picnic at Valley View Park on May 15. While at the park, some students from YTI Career Institute, a local community college, spent some time with the staff and students to learn about autism and how important it is to take sensory and communication needs into consideration when working with students who have autism. The students and staff then enjoyed a picnic lunch followed by an afternoon full of games and social activities. The students and staff had a great time on their picnic and enjoyed the nice weather.

Picnic in the Park for NHS School Altoona Picnic in the Park for NHS School Altoona Picnic in the Park for NHS School Altoona

Candyland Prom Welcomes Students

The students from the NHS Schools Altoona and East Freedom had their Second Annual Prom on Friday, May 9. The students and staff from East Freedom have been busy for the last few months making the Candyland themed decorations. The students in the transition class assisted the staff in preparing the gym with decorations. The decorations were modeled off the game Candyland and the students loved the decorations and the candy that covered the tables. After entering the prom students could navigate through Peppermint Forest, Gumdrop Mountains, Peanut Acres, Lollipop Woods, Snow Flake Lake and the Chocolate Swamp before being greeted by King Candy at Candy Castle. The students had their pictures taken and danced the day away while enjoying a great lunch with hamburgers donated from Backyard Burger and chicken nuggets along with many different sides and desserts. The NHS Schools' own Mr. Mike DJed the prom and did a great job. The students enjoyed having the opportunity to see all their friends dress up and dance. Finally, a big congratulations goes out to our Prom King Brandon and Prom Queen Marabeth.

101 Dalmatians

The Autistic Support classrooms went to see 101 Dalmatians at the Cresson Lake Playhouse on Friday May 2, performed by local children. The students were able to read the book prior to going to see the play. One of the students got picked out of the audience to act out a scene with Cruella Deville. Everyone had a great time with this unique experience.

The Circus comes to Altoona

The Circus comes to Altoona

The students enjoyed their annual trip to the Jaffa Shrine Circus on Wednesday, April 16th. The students were able to meet the clowns if they chose to do so, shop for souvenirs and watch a great show of acrobatics, animal acts, motorcycle stunts and clown fun. The students look forward to this trip every year and are then excited to show off their souvenirs. Pictured are Miss Paige's students with their crazy wigs and other souvenirs after returning from their fun-filled trip.

The Circus comes to AltoonaThe Circus comes to Altoona

NHS Schools Altoona and East Freedom Spread Autism Awareness

The students and staff celebrated Autism Awareness and Light It Up Blue on April 2 by making autism fact tags, attaching them to blue balloons and releasing them into the air. The students also had puzzle pieces painted on their faces and had blue snacks. The windows and hallways of both schools were decorated with puzzle pieces and blue lights as well. The students plan to continue autism awareness activities throughout the month of April.

NHS School Altoona and East Freedom Spread Autism AwarenessNHS School Altoona and East Freedom Spread Autism AwarenessNHS School Altoona and East Freedom Spread Autism Awareness

Learning About Volcanoes

Miss Lori's emotional support classroom spent last week learning about the three different types of volcanic eruptions. They conducted experiments with various materials to demonstrate how different materials and liquids can cause different reactions. The students had a great time with the experiments and it was a great way to make science fun.

NHS School Altoona Learns About VolcanoesNHS School Altoona Learns About VolcanoesNHS School Altoona Learns About Volcanoes

A trip to Holiday Bowl

Miss Nicole's Autism Support classroom at the NHS School Altoona took a trip to Holiday Bowl on February 11. The students got to practice social while playing two games of bowling. They were able to take turns and socialize with each other and the staff. They also practiced sportsmanship skills by congratulating each other when they did well.

NHS School Altoona Takes a Trip BowlingNHS School Altoona Takes a Trip Bowling

Learning about Pirates

Miss Lori's high school emotional support classroom has been learning about the many different types of pirates and what types of weapons they used. Additionally, they have learned about the different types of flags pirates used and what all the colors of the flags meant. Finally, they learned about the lives and lifestyles of famous pirates. They wrapped up their lessons by creating a pirate bulletin board.

NHS School Altoona Learns about Pirates

Celebrating the Holidays

Miss Nicole's class held their traditional Polar Express holiday party the week before Christmas break. The students wore their pajamas to school, Miss Nicole read the Polar Express, and the kids enjoyed cookies and hot chocolate. Santa Claus visited the classroom and delivered silver bells to all the kids. After all the excitement the students cuddled up in blankets and read Christmas books and watched the movie the Polar Express.

NHS School Altoona Students Celebrate the HolidaysNHS School Altoona Students Celebrate the HolidaysNHS School Altoona Students Celebrate the Holidays

Students Raise Money for Local Family

The staff and students at the NHS Schools in East Freedom and Altoona continued their giving and generous spirit this week to help a long-time colleague and teacher whose husband is currently battling cancer. The staff arranged a theme week in which they each paid $1 per day to dress according to the theme. The students also participated in the themes throughout the week and many of the students' families sent in donations. Starting Monday, December 9 everyone wished for warm weather as they had beach day while the snow and sleet rolled in. Tuesday brought super powers to the schools with super hero day. Camo day was Wednesday. It was a battle of pirates versus ninjas on Thursday at the schools, and on Friday everyone "Elfed" themselves as they dressed in their best Christmas gear. All money raised was used to purchase gas cards to help with transportation costs for the weekly trips to Pittsburgh for treatment. We couldn't be more proud of our students and staff for their generosity during this season of giving.

Students Raise Money for Local Family


The staff and students of the NHS School Altoona celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday on November 26 with a delicious feast. The students enjoyed a meal donated by various businesses and local supporters of the NHS Schools. Each classroom provided a dessert, which allowed many of the students to work on their life skills. The students also completed a variety of activities in their classroom to show how they give thanks during this time of the year. Everyone had a great time!

The NHS School Altoona Celebrates ThanksgivingThe NHS School Altoona Celebrates Thanksgiving

Supporting Bullying Prevention

The NHS School Altoona dedicated the week of October 28 to support bully prevention by writing one thing they will do to prevent and stop bullying on an orange piece of paper. Some of the things listed were showing respect to others, be a good friend, be nice to others, and tell an adult. The students then linked all their anti-bullying strips together and stood united in a stance against bullying. The students and staff are currently working together and modeling these positive behaviors to help put a stop to bullying.

Altoona supports bullying prevention

We Volunteer!

Students from the autism and emotional support programs volunteered with the Mountain Lion Backpack Program on October 25. The program provides weekend meals for students in need within the Altoona School District. The backpacks are filled with meals for the weekend for students who otherwise might not have healthy meals when they leave school. The students helped by cutting Box Tops for Education and stocking shelves. The students enjoy volunteering for this program and will be doing so each month throughout the school year.

Altoona students volunteerAltoona students volunteerAltoona students volunteer

Spirit Week

The students and staff from the NHS School Altoona participated in Spirit Week. Each day of the week was represented by a theme, including crazy hat day, favorite team apparel day and pajama day. The students and staff also went pink for a day to show support for breast cancer awareness. All of the students and staff had a great time and raised $100. The school then chose to donate the money to two great causes, Miss Meredith's Race for Hope team who walked in honor of her mother and Miss Onda's local Relay for Life team.

Altoona-spirit weekAltoona-spirit week

NHS Schools Altoona and East Freedom Participate in a Food and Goods Drive

NHS School Altoona and East Freedom Participate in a Food and Goods DriveNHS School Altoona and East Freedom Schools students and staff participated in a food and goods drive to benefit Kreative Kupboards located in the East Freedom School as part of their community service initiative.

The staff and students brought in canned food items and personal hygiene items for two weeks to donate to benefit those who are less fortunate in the Bedford County area.

Great job students and staff!

Students Visit the Pittsburgh Zoo

On October 21, the students from the NHS Schools Altoona and East Freedom had the opportunity to take a field trip to the Pittsburgh Zoo. Students and staff were able to tour all areas of the zoo including the aquarium and gift shops. They saw many different types of animals, including lions, tigers, gorillas, sharks, jellyfish, giraffes, elephants, and flamingos. Our students were even able to touch live sting rays. This was a great opportunity for all the students and they all had a great time learning about many different kinds of animals.

Altoona and East Freedom go to the Zoo Altoona and East Freedom go to the Zoo
Altoona and East Freedom go to the ZooAltoona and East Freedom go to the Zoo

A Trip to Valewood Farms

Miss Nicole's autism support classroom at the NHS School Altoona enjoyed a trip to Valewood Farms on October 15. The students got the opportunity to pet some of the animals they learned about earlier in the year. They also enjoyed a hayride, corn maze and pumpkin patch while visiting the farm. The students had a great time spending the day outdoors.

NHS School Altoona Students Visit a Farm NHS School Altoona Students Visit a Farm NHS School Altoona Students Visit a Farm

Archived News from School Year 2012-2013

NHS Students Busy Giving Back

NHS Students Busy Giving BackThe students at NHS Schools in Altoona and East Freedom have been busy this school year learning about their communities and about the importance of giving back to their communities. Students at both locations have been learning about different ways to give back or donate to their communities since the school year began in September. Students and staff have participated in a variety of theme days to collect monetary donations for various community organizations. In September, students and staff kicked off the school year with a jersey day and raised $50 that was donated to the Central PA Humane Society.

NHS Students Busy Giving BackIn October, students and staff celebrated wacky hat and wear pink day to collect donations for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. Students were able to collect and donate $90 to this worthy cause. Throughout October and November, students and staff participated in Operation Support Our Soldiers. Donations were made from a provided list of needs and monetary donations were collected in the amount of $165 to help our troops. Also, in November, students and staff organized a two-week long food drive to benefit the St. Vincent de Paul Assumption Chapel Food Pantry. Collection boxes were placed at both the Altoona and East Freedom School locations, as well as several different businesses throughout the local communities.

Students from the Altoona School location also set up a collection table at Sam's Club on November 10 to collect non-perishable and monetary donations. To encourage participation within the schools, students and staff participated in a variety of theme days. They had fun wearing their favorite hats, pajamas, and mixed-up clothes while providing non-perishable food donations for the pantry. In total, NHS students and staff were able to collect $262 and non-perishable food items valued at $700 to donate to the food pantry.

To continue their community outreach into the holiday season, several students and staff from both Altoona and East Freedom will be heading to Walmart in Altoona to help the Salvation Army with their Kettle Drive. Students and staff will be ringing the bell on December 21st outside the Altoona Walmart to celebrate the season of giving. Students and staff at NHS Schools Altoona and East Freedom are very excited about their various opportunities to give back to their local communities.

Look for more community outreach activities from NHS Schools students and staff after the new year.

EMTs Visit Our School

On Monday, July 8, students at the NHS School Altoona were visited by the local emergency service personnel. The EMTs brought an ambulance to the school and talked with the students about what to do in an emergency and answered several questions that the students had for them. The students were given the opportunity to go inside the back of the ambulance and see all the equipment. They tested the siren and one of the students was given a ride on the stretcher. The students fully enjoyed the educational experience that they were given and were truly inspired by their community's helpers.

 EMTs Visit NHS School Altoona  EMTs Visit NHS School Altoona

 EMTs Visit NHS School Altoona  EMTs Visit NHS School Altoona

Students Attend Annual Field Day Event

Students from NHS Schools Altoona and East Freedom participated in their Annual NHS Field Day event on May 31 with a School House Rock theme. The students enjoyed games of kickball and basketball and also had the opportunity to get their faces painted. The students also got the chance to learn about one of their peer's homing pigeons. The student's family brought the pigeons to the event and all the students were able to watch as the pigeons were released to fly home. Everyone enjoyed the presentation and loved seeing all the pigeons fly away together. The students also enjoyed a pizza lunch followed by a talent show. The day ended with an awards ceremony, giving medals to all of the students and honoring the three graduates Brennan D., Jessica S., and James S.

Everyone had a great time and are already looking forward to next year's event.

Students from NHS Schools Altoona and East Freedom Take a Field Trip

The students from NHS Altoona and East Freedom Schools attended a field trip to DelGrosso Park, a local family owned amusement park, on May 22. The students enjoyed the rides, games and a pizza lunch. Many of the students enjoyed the thrill of rides, while others just enjoyed watching with their friends. Everyone had a great time and look forward to returning next year.

Students from NHS Schools Altoona and East Freedom Take a Field Trip Students from NHS Schools Altoona and East Freedom Take a Field Trip

Students Take a Field Trip

NHS School Altoona Students Take a Field TriThe students from the autism and emotional support classrooms at the NHS School Altoona took a walking field trip to a local park, Gospel Hill. Everybody participated in a clean-up project at the park by cleaning up litter and weeds.

The students were able to enjoy a picnic lunch and played games together before returning to the school. It was nice to see both classrooms working together, with many of the emotional support students being role models to the autism students. The students took a lot of pride in helping to clean up their community.

To the Circus...

Students and staff of the Autism and Emotional Support programs watched an exciting show of animal acts, clowns, and stunts at the Jaffa Shrine Circus on Tuesday, April 16. The students were able to purchase snacks and souvenirs during intermission and had the opportunity to get autographs from the clowns. The students also wore autism awareness tee-shirts they made to spread autism awareness.

NHS School Altoona Goes to the Circus

Recognizing Child Abuse Awareness Month

Classrooms at the NHS School Altoona participated in an activity to support Child Abuse Awareness Month. The classes chose to plant Forget-Me-Not flowers in memory of those who were abused. The flowers represent the children who have been forgotten, and are blue for the color of child abuse awareness.

In the United States, nearly four children die every day as a result of child abuse and neglect. More than three quarters of these children are under the age of five and more than 40 percent of young victims won't live to see their first birthday. Over 15 million children witness violence and abuse in their homes each year.

NHS School Altoona Recognizes Child Abuse Awareness Month NHS School Altoona Recognizes Child Abuse Awareness Month

Getting Crafty to Recognize Autism Awareness

Miss Paige's class at the NHS School Altoona made puzzle piece tee-shirts to recognize Autism Awareness on April 10. The students used puzzle piece templates and spray fabric paint to design their tee-shirts, with the assistance of staff. The students wore their shirts on Tuesday, April 16 when they took a field trip to the Jaffa Shrine Circus.

A class at the NHS School Altoona Gets Crafty to Recognize Autism Awareness A class at the NHS School Altoona Gets Crafty to Recognize Autism Awareness A class at the NHS School Altoona Gets Crafty to Recognize Autism Awareness

Light It Up Blue 2013

The Autism Support classroom at the NHS School Altoona celebrated World Autism Awareness day on April 2 by displaying "Light It Up Blue" and "Autism Awareness" in the front windows of the school. They made blue handprints to surround the window display and outlined the windows with blue lights. The students also created puzzle pieces to add onto their puzzle piece tree on the inside of the classroom windows.

NHS School Altoona celebrated World Autism Awareness NHS School Altoona celebrated World Autism Awareness

Our Students Volunteer...

Students from Miss Brooke's Altoona Emotional Support classroom volunteered with the Mountain Lion Backpack Program on Friday, March 25. This program provides weekend meals for Altoona Area School District children in need. Their mission is to provide food for school students on the weekends for families in need when other resources are not available. Each backpack is filled with meals for the weekends and then distributed to students within the Altoona Area School District.

Miss Brooke's students volunteered to help fill the backpacks and will be doing so on a regular basis. The students had a great time and felt good about the opportunity to help others in need.

Altoona Students volunteer Altoona Students volunteer

Altoona Students volunteer

A Classroom Takes a Field Trip

Ms. Nicole's classroom at the NHS School Altoona took a field trip to the Slinky Action Zone, a local indoor play park with ball pits, tunnels, slides, games, bounce houseson March 5. A student from Miss Brooke's emotional support class accompanied Miss Nicole's class to serve as a peer mentor and role model during the trip. This student helped to model positive social interactions and play skills. Miss Nicole's students had a blast playing in the play areas, having lunch, and working on their manners and social skills as well as waiting in line and taking turns. It was also a very positive experience for the emotional support student who was able to serve as a positive role model.

Altoona - Slinky Action Zone1 Altoona - Slinky Action Zone2

Celebrating Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss - One Fish, Two Fish... In honor of Dr. Seuss' Birthday, the students and staff at NHS School Somerset had a weeklong celebration filled with fun and educational activities. The teachers created activities to go along with the book of the day and the students participated in wearing fun clothing.

Some of the highlights included Fox in Sox Day where the students wore the craziest, silliest socks they could find, and Green Eggs and Ham Day where the students and staff wore their favorite pair of comfy pajamas and everyone ate green eggs and ham for lunch!

On the last day, the students read One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, where they wore blue and red and made a delicious birthday cake for their favorite author. The students and staff had a great time!

Altoona students celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday

Two Students Visit a Local Resource Center

Two Students from NHS School Altoona Visit a Local Resource CenterTwo students from the Autism Support Classroom at NHS School Altoona visited Contact Altoona, a local resource center, on February 25, as part of the Altoona Transition Program.

The students participated in daily living activities like cleaning the bathroom, wiping down tables, dusting, and vacuuming.

The students will be going to Contact Altoona weekly and will spend between a half hour to an hour there participating in these valuable daily living tasks.

Penn State Students visit NHS School Altoona

>A few students from Penn State Altoona came to the NHS School Altoona on February 27 to read to the Autism and Emotional Support students. The Penn State students read two books about children with autism and how they overcame their challenges. After the stories, they engaged the students in a coloring activity related to the message they learned in the books. The students enjoyed the visit and staff hope that the Penn State students come back again.

Penn state Altoona students

Safety Skills

NHS School Altoona Practice Safety SkillsMiss Paige's classroom from the NHS School Altoona took advantage of the nice weather last week by spending some time outside.

The students used this time not only to exercise, but also to practice safety skills, such as, looking both ways before crossing the street, and reading and identifying street signs.

The students also enjoyed watching some of the trains at the nearby railroad station and museum.

Golf Lessons

starting New at GolfStudents have been enjoying participating in SNAG® (Starting New at Golf) activities with their classmates, a program to teach the game of golf to individuals of all ages and ability levels by using age appropriate equipment and programming.

The students are enthusiastic about their experiences each week and look forward to improving their skills.

Valentine's Day Festivities

celebrating Valentine's Day at AltoonaThe students celebrated Valentine's Day by sharing snacks and Valentines with each other, and playing Minute to Win It games and Bingo to earn prizes.

The day was filled with lots of laughter and fun for both the Autism and Emotional Support students.

Field Trip

Miss Paige's class at the NHS School Altoona took a field trip to the Holiday Bowl bowling alley on January 29. The students participated in two games of bowling and ate lunch. The students were able to work on improving their social skills, taking turns, and manners. The students and staff had a great time and all were able to transition successfully!

A field trip to the Holiday Bowl bowling alley A field trip to the Holiday Bowl bowling alley2

Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Miss Laylee's class at NHS School Altoona discussed dreams similar to Martin Luther King, Jr.'s speech, what it means to have hope, and learned why we celebrate the holiday. The students watched two videos about African American children during the time of segregation. The children enjoyed the videos and compared and contrasted what school and society is like now versus then. The students had great time learning about Martin Luther King. Jr.'s dream, as well as discussing their own.

Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Fundraiser for Local Family

The students and staff at the NHS Schools in Altoona and East Freedom recently learned about a former NHS employee, who still lives in the community, who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. She is a stay-at-home mom with two young boys, one of whom is diagnosed with Down Syndrome.

To show their support, all the students and staff at both schools raised money by participating in a variety of theme day activities including Wacky Wednesday, Hat Day, Pajama Day, and Team Apparel Day. The students and staff donated an item or $1 to participate in the activities. With the money raised and items collected, they will donate a Family Movie Night basket to a raffle at a benefit dinner being held on February 9 for the former employee.

All students and staff were happy to have the opportunity to help this local family.

Fundraiser for Local Family Fundraiser for Local Family

A Trip to Walmart

Three students from NHS School Altoona traveled to the Walmart Distribution Center on January 17 to accept a check for a donation to the NHS School Altoona's Autism Support Program. The employees at the distribution center held a basket raffle and raised $729 to donate to the school. The Walmart Distribution Center chose the school for the donation because some of the members of their team are personally touched by those affected by autism. The students enjoyed lunch, sitting inside the cab of one of the big rigs, and getting their picture taken while being presented the check.

Thank you Walmart Distribution Center of Altoona for your generous donation and support!

A Trip to Walmart

Students Learn Life Skill Lessons

Students Learn Life Skill LessonsMiss Ronda's Autism Spectrum Disorder class started to learn valuable life skills. The students prepared a grocery list of items needed to make cinnamon buns and chocolate milkshakes, took a trip to the store, and shopped for items on the list. They then spent a Friday afternoon in the kitchen preparing the cinnamon buns and milkshakes.

After all their hard work, following directions, and preparing the food, they were able to enjoy what they made!

New Year's Resolutions Made at NHS School Altoona

New Year's Resolution New Year's Resolution New Year's Resolution New Year's Resolution Students at NHS School Altoona began the New Year by learning about resolutions. After a student defined a resolution as a goal, Miss Kaylee's class chose attainable goals for each of them to work towards in the New Year.

As positive reminders, the students made pictures of themselves flexing their muscles to highlight their determination and strength.

Their motto for the New Year is "I CAN DO IT!"

Altoona Classroom Gets in the Holiday Spirit

Altoona-Holiday SpiritMiss Michelle's classroom in Altoona has been busy getting ready for the holiday season by making decorations for the classroom and gifts for their families. The students have decorated two bulletin boards for the classroom with snowflakes, penguins and wreaths.

The students incorporated autism awareness by painting old puzzle pieces to hang on the wreaths. The students will also be making snowmen out of recycled materials, such as plastic bags and baby food jars.

A Visit to Lincoln Caverns

Loncoln Caverns - Altoona SchoolOn November 5, students from the NHS School in Altoona were visited by a representative from Lincoln Caverns for a speleological presentation (study of caves). Students participated in various, hands-on activities and a question and answer session with the representative.

On November 6, the students traveled to Lincoln Caverns and toured two caves, discovered sink holes, had lunch, and shopped in the gift shop.

Thank you Lincoln Caverns for an educational and fun experience!

Learning about Pottery

The students in Miss Kaylee's Autism classroom at NHS School Altoona took a trip to Playtime Pottery where they decorated Christmas ornaments for their families. While they were there, the students also learned how pottery is made, including the kiln, and how the paint on the pottery changes inside the kiln.


Five students from Altoona and East Freedom participated in a fundraising and marketing opportunity at Boscov's in November. Staff supported students as they greeted customers, handed out marketing materials, and sold shopping passes to raise money for the schools. This was a great opportunity for community integration for our students.

Halloween Party

halloween partyOn Thursday, October 25, all students from the NHS School in Altoona traveled to the East Freedom School for our annual Halloween party. Our ghosts and ghouls dressed in their best costumes and entered the party through the haunted forest, had a pizza party lunch, enjoyed some outdoor play and socialization on the playground and basketball court, then came back inside for some "ice scream" and finished the day with a dance party.

The students enjoyed the opportunity to use their social skills and interact with each other.

Valewood Farms

Students from the NHS School in Altoona attended a field trip to Valewood Farms on Friday, October 12. Students participated in a sensory activity with a corn box, a hay maze, a hay ride, a petting zoo, and they were given milk and ice cream. All students and staff enjoyed the trip.

June 2012

On June 1st, students from the Altoona School travelled to East Freedom for our annual field day. Families and school districts were invited as well. The students enjoyed lunch and games, then participated in a talent show. Many students had the opportunity to show their talents to the audience during this annual end of year celebration.

may 2012

5.30.12: Student from Altoona ASD and ES took a trip to DelGrosso's Amusement Park to enjoy a day of socialization and recreation. Students ate lunch at the park, rode rides, and played games.

5.23.12: Students from Altoona ASD and ES took a trip to the People's Natural Gas Field to enjoy lunch at the ballpark and to watch the Altoona Curve baseball team take on their opponent. 

Early May: ASD and ES students walked to Contact Altoona, a local resource and outreach center for the community, and completed a clean-up and beautification project outside their building.  Students cleaned up the outside of the building and did some planting/gardening, then were provided with a pizza party for all their hard work.  This was a great volunteer opportunity for the students to give back to their community.

April 2012

Students from ASD and ES in Altoona attended the Jaffa Shrine Circus. Students ate lunch there and enjoyed the show. They were able to shop for souvenirs and watched the performers. All had a great time.