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NHS Schools - East Freedom

WELCOME to NHS School EAST FREEDOM

The NHS School East Freedom provides educational programming in full-time autistic support and full-time emotional support classrooms to 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. Cognitive behavioral interventions and therapeutic instruction guided by a master's level Behavior Shaping Specialist enhance our emotional support program. The ultimate goal of our program is to help students achieve behavioral and academic milestones in order to transition to a less restrictive environment within their home school district.

We also offer a specialized transition classroom for students ages 18-21. Within this program, our students learn independent living, pre-vocational, and vocational skills to prepare them for the next stage in their lives. The transition classroom has established partnerships with the local YMCA and senior service agencies to provide unique volunteer and vocational opportunities. The students are able to gain valuable job and life skills through these collaborations. Additionally, our students have the opportunity to gain experience through volunteer work in the building's coffee shop, where they maintain inventory and take and fill drink orders. Our school works in collaboration with the local school districts and community providers to provide individualized, quality programming for each student.
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Students Take a Trip to Chick-fil-A

(11.2017) - Ms. Kim's autistic support class at NHS School East Freedom went on a field trip to Chick-fil-A in Altoona, PA on November 7. Each student ordered and paid for their own lunch with assistance from staff. After the students ate their lunches, they played in the play area which was the highlight of the trip! While there, they practiced daily living and social skills outside the school environment. All the students had a great time on the field trip.

Students Take a Trip to Chick-fil-A Students Take a Trip to Chick-fil-A Students Take a Trip to Chick-fil-A

Celebrating Halloween

(11.2017) - Students at the NHS School East Freedom had a “Spooktacular” time on October 31, celebrating Halloween. Before a party, students made spooky spiders using Styrofoam cups, pompoms, and pipe cleaners. During the party, students rotated to different classrooms in the school to decorate cookies, guess what was in the mystery boxes, and make sensory bottles. There was something for everyone to enjoy!

Our Jack-O-Lanterns

(10.2017) - On October 18, the students at NHS School East Freedom learned about pumpkins. The students were excited to make their own jack-o-lanterns in preparation for Halloween. This activity required the students to use fine motor skills to crumple orange tissue paper and glue it to a plate. They also cut out shapes for the eyes, nose and mouth. The students enjoyed this activity.

Our Jack-O-Lanterns Our Jack-O-Lanterns Our Jack-O-Lanterns

A Very Special Music Class

(10.2017) - The students in the Emotional Support classroom at NHS School East Freedom recently participated in a very special music class. Mike Ebersole, Behavioral Interventionist, brought in one of his bass guitars to show the class. He played some special requests and then let each student hold and play the guitar. The students were full of questions about how it worked and really enjoyed seeing and hearing the instrument being played.
NHS Students Busy Giving BackBrandon came to NHS from the Bedford Area School District in 2007 when he was 14 years old as one of the first students to attend the NHS School Altoona. He transferred to NHS School East Freedom when it opened in 2010. Brandon was referred to us because his behaviors often interrupted the learning of other students in his home district. His obsessions and repetitiveness were extremely distracting and would sometimes take thirty minutes to walk through the classroom door—walking in, backing out, and walking in over and over again. Brandon's behaviors were very impulsive, often putting him into dangerous or inappropriate situations.

Through hard work by Brandon and dedication from staff, Brandon has improved his behaviors tremendously. He no longer needs Therapeutic Staff Support hours in the school setting. He completes work independently at his desk with very limited prompts. Occasionally, Brandon requires a prompt to stay on task, but he is easily redirected back to task. He has volunteered at local businesses including the Salvation Army, the Bedford Library, UPMC Bedford Memorial Hospital, the Horseshoe Curve, the Altoona Railroader's Museum and Blair Senior Services.

Brandon is currently entering the last three months of his seven year enrollment at the NHS Schools. In June, he will leave NHS as a young man ready for whatever comes his way. Brandon has acquired countless job-related skills that will help him be successful with his future career. He can operate a cash register and count exact change, complete numerous cleaning tasks, and remain on task for an hour without a break. In November 2013, Brandon began his transition to Skills in Bedford by attending one day each week. He currently attends Skills two days each week with the goal of attending Skills four days each week by the end of the current school year. Brandon has expressed an interest in obtaining a job at Wal-Mart, Burger King, or the Pitt Theater in Bedford. The staff at NHS is hopeful that Brandon will earn a part-time paying job in the near future.

Take a walk around our school and in the classroom!

CONTACT INFO:
School Address: 2879 Everett Rd., East Freedom, PA 16637 (view on map)
School Phone Number: 814-696-3390
Education and Autism Services Administration Office Number: 724-532-2302

Pamela SnyderName: Pamela Snyder
Title: Educational Director
Email: Pamela.Snyder@nhsonline.org
Janelle Bowser Name: Janelle Bowser
Title: Administrative Assistant
Email: Janelle.Bowser@nhsonline.org
Archived News from School Year 2016-2017

NHS Schools Represent at Community Days Event

NHS Schools Represent at Community Days Event(07.2017) - Directors from NHS School Altoona and East Freedom set up an informational and interactive booth at Duncansville Community Days from July 20 - 22. A simple sensory craft for children to complete and information regarding the NHS School programs was provided to families.

Field Day

(06.01.2017) - NHS Schools East Freedom and Altoona came together at the East Freedom location for Field Day 2017 on May 19. Students and staff participated in an opening ceremony, similar to the Olympics, that included a parade complete with classroom flags and the release of doves! After participating in a variety of events, the two schools squared off against each other in a game of hand ball. Family members were invited to watch the events of the day and cheer the students on!

Field Day

Art is Fun

(06.01.2017) - Students in the Elementary Autistic Support classroom at NHS School East Freedom participated in their favorite art activity on May 30. The students love to color and draw unique and creative art on gigantic sheets of paper. All of the students were very engaged in the activity and made it their own.

art fun

Wii Bowling

(05.11.2017) - Students at NHS School East Freedom participated in a Wii Bowling Day on May 2. After lunch, the students took turns bowling on the Wii system that was set up in the school. This was an opportunity for the students to have a fun afternoon and as a reward for all of their hard work in the recent PSSA and PASA exams!

NHS School East Freedom Plays Wii Bowling

Fun with Friends

(05.11.2017) - Students in the full-time autistic support classroom at NHS School East Freedom earned play time with friends at the end of the school day, on May 8. The students chose to play with a model car and drive it to one another. This activity was interactive and enjoyable for all of the students as well as a great way to end the day!

Fun With Watercolors Fun With Watercolors

Studying Butterflies

Fun With Watercolors(05.05.2017) - Students in the Emotional Support classroom at NHS School East Freedom participated in a butterfly project and during their butterfly unit in science class. They got to see live caterpillars form their individual chrysalides and then hatch into beautiful Painted Lady Butterflies. Students studied the stages of life and then released the butterflies into a more natural habitat so that they can continue the life cycle.

Fun With Watercolors

Fun With WatercolorsFun With Watercolors(04.20.2017) - Students from the elementary Autistic Support Classroom at NHS School East Freedom participated in a hands-on science activity on April 18. Students chose brightly colored paper to spell out their names with liquid glue. They then sprinkled salt on top of the glue, and painted over it with watercolor paints. The mixture of glue, salt, and watercolor paint created a crystallized effect. The students enjoyed getting messy and creating their own watercolor masterpiece.

Light it up Blue 2017

(04.13.2017) - Students from the Emotional Support classroom at NHS School East Freedom participated in Light It Up Blue Day on April 3, 2017. Students learned about autism, and the differences each individual displays. Activities to celebrate LIUB were held in the afternoon.

Light it up Blue 2017

What Can Brown Do For NHS?

(04.13.2017) - Students from NHS School East Freedom recently had a community outing to their local UPS Store. During this trip, the students learned about the process of mailing packages at the UPS Store while assisting with sending out mail. The students asked many questions of the staff that worked there. This experience aligned with one of the new skills students have been practicing in school, addressing envelopes and mailing letters! Pictured, students on the trip show their excitement over what they learned during the community outing to the UPS Store! It was one of their favorite community outings to date!

What Can Brown Do For NHS?

Art Show

Fun Friday at NHS School East Freedom(04.07.2017) - Students in the NHS Emotional Support classroom at NHS School East Freedom, along with their Classroom Aide, were busy preparing for the NHS Art Show that opened April 1. The art show, entitled, "Art on the Spectrum" will be held at the Locality Gallery, a local art gallery in Bedford, PA, for the month of April. The Gallery will feature works of art made by students with autism and Emotional Support needs from both NHS Schools’ East Freedom and Altoona. Some of the artwork includes paintings, colorings, and other avenues of art. Students are very excited to present their masterpieces at the Locality Gallery.

Fun Friday

(03.30.2017) - Students from the elementary Autistic Support Classroom at NHS School East Freedom enjoyed playing the game Headbands on “Fun Friday”. This interactive game taught students how to take turns and hold a conversation. The students enjoyed guessing the pictures and having fun with their peers. They did a great job with being patient while other students took turns guessing the pictures, and also did well learning the rules of the game.

Fun Friday at NHS School East Freedom Fun Friday at NHS School East Freedom Fun Friday at NHS School East Freedom

NHS School East Freedom Goes to Sam’s Club!

(03.24.2017) - Each week, the Older Autistic Support classroom at NHS School East Freedom makes a trip to Sam's Club to shop for items for the school snack cart. Both the snack cart and the trips to Sam's Club serve as transition skill activities for the students. The students take the snack cart around the school to sell items to fellow students and to staff members. Prior to going to Sam's Club, the students must count the snack cart money, which is used to purchase the items. While at Sam's Club, students also have the opportunity to purchase drinks and socialize with each other. Students and staff greatly enjoy their trips to Sam's Club and the opportunity to participate in community outings!

NHS School East Freedom Goes to Sam’s Club!

Snack Cart Movie Trailer

(01.2017) - Students and staff at NHS School East Freedom created a short video to highlight one of their Transitional Skill development projects, The Snack Cart program. This program provides an opportunity for students to learn responsibility by bringing the cart around the school to sell snacks and other treats at a nominal cost. This project encourages social and other important life skills, including handing out the snacks, counting money, budgeting finances, managing inventory, promoting food safety, and shopping for the food. Students in the ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and ES (Emotional Support) classes take turns with the different tasks to ensure they gain and master all the skills taught in the program.


Archived News from School Year 2015-2016


Celebrating Dr. Seuss’s Birthday

(03.04.2016) - NHS School East Freedom celebrated Dr. Seuss's birthday with a theme week and special activities the week of February 29 - March 4. Classes read Dr. Seuss books and completed activities and crafts for the different books. Some of the stories read included: The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, The Lorax, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, Horton Hears a Who, and The Cat in the Hat Comes Back. As a culminating activity for the end of the week, Miss Chelsea and Ms. Pam's classes made green eggs and ham to eat. Everyone had a blast dressing up for the different themes and completing the different activities!

NHS Schools East Freedom and Altoona Participate in Autism Walk NHS Schools East Freedom and Altoona Participate in Autism Walk NHS Schools East Freedom and Altoona Participate in Autism Walk

NHS Schools East Freedom and Altoona Participate in Autism Walk NHS Schools East Freedom and Altoona Participate in Autism Walk NHS Schools East Freedom and Altoona Participate in Autism Walk

Sensory Santa for Students from NHS Schools East Freedom and Altoona

(11.25.2015) - Staff members from NHS Schools East Freedom and Altoona provided activities and crafts for Sensory Santa sponsored by the Logan Valley Mall. Sensory Santa is an opportunity for children with autism to visit with Santa in an environment that is attuned to their needs. The lights in the mall were turned down low so children were not distracted by the light and music was played softly to ease their anxiety. Children, parents, and other family members had a great time visiting Santa, taking train rides, participating in sensory activities and crafts, and enjoying cookies and drinks. Thank you to the Logan Valley Mall for hosting a great experience for everyone!

Sensory Santa for Students from NHS Schools East Freedom and Altoona

Sensory Santa for Students from NHS Schools East Freedom and Altoona Sensory Santa for Students from NHS Schools East Freedom and Altoona Sensory Santa for Students from NHS Schools East Freedom and Altoona

Autism Walk

(10.30.2015) - NHS Schools East Freedom and Altoona sponsored a table at the Central PA Autism Walk at Peoples Natural Gas Field in Altoona, PA on October 11. Staff from the Schools discussed available programs at NHS, including the Schools. Participants at the Walk were given some giveaways including cookies, candy, and bubbles. The staff at NHS Schools East Freedom and Altoona enjoyed getting out into the community to promote our programs.

NHS Schools East Freedom and Altoona Participate in Autism Walk NHS Schools East Freedom and Altoona Participate in Autism Walk NHS Schools East Freedom and Altoona Participate in Autism Walk

Supporting Breast Cancer Awareness

(10.22.2015) - Thank you to staff at NHS School East Freedom for showing their support for Breast Cancer Awareness by wearing pink on October 9!

NHS School East Freedom Supports Breast Cancer Awareness

Visiting the Old Bedford Village

(10.02.2015) - The staff and students enjoyed a nice fall day at Old Bedford Village on September 24. Students watched with wonder as the potter and the blacksmith made items like they used to in the olden days. The potter used a pottery wheel to make a mug and then added a pumpkin head to the front of it. The blacksmith made a horseshoe by heating up the metal in the fire and hitting it with a tool to shape it into a horseshoe. Everyone enjoyed their picnic lunches in the village, and is eager to visit the Village again.

Sensory Room

The staff at NHS School East Freedom worked together during their remaining In-service days to create a sensory room for the students for the new school year. Physical and occupational therapists provided input on what types of materials and equipment would be the most applicable to the students and their diverse sensory oriented needs. The room has already proven to be very beneficial for both the Autistic Support and Emotional Support classrooms as it provides various opportunities for self-regulation and exploratory learning. Research, especially recent empirical data, has demonstrated that many students with Autism Spectrum Disorder also identify with having Sensory Processing Disorder, although often times not labeled as such. The new room allows the students who exhibit these sensory needs to achieve their goal(s) whether it be stimulatory or for coping/regulation. For instance, the swing and rocker may provide a calming effect while the various tactile, or trampoline allow a student to exert any frustrations s/he may have. The sensory room serves a unique purpose for each of the students, but it has definitely had a positive impact on all of them in some way.



Archived News from School Year 2014-2015

Student Receives Confirmation

Student at NHS School East Freedom Receives Confirmation Rebecca participated in the Rite of Confirmation at Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona, PA on April 14. She has always enjoyed participating in church services and is active in her local Catholic church. Rebecca chose "Mary" as her confirmation name and her Aunt Betsy was her sponsor. The staff at NHS is very proud of Rebecca for her continued activity in her community.

Celebrating Dr. Seuss’s Birthday

NHS School East Freedom Celebrates 100 Days of School Ms. Pam's Emotional Support class celebrated Dr. Seuss's birthday by reading The Cat in the Hat and completing some activities and crafts related to the book. Everyone had a great time together learning about Dr. Seuss!

100 Days of School

Ms. Pam's Emotional Support class celebrated their 100th day of school on February 11. The afternoon was spent doing activities in groups of 100. The class came up with 100 words; counted to 100 by 1s, 2s, 5s, and 10s; jumped 100 times, clapped 100 times, counted 100 pennies, walked 100 steps around the school building, and took 100 bites. The class enjoyed counting and playing together!

NHS School East Freedom Celebrates 100 Days of School NHS School East Freedom Celebrates 100 Days of School

Music all Around

The students participate in a music class each Thursday, facilitated by one of the transition students. They listen, sing, and act out several different songs, which change each week. Students begin with a welcome song followed by several seasonal hits and classic favorites! There are finger plays and instruments to go along with all of the fun musical varieties.

Music all Around Music all Around Music all Around

Music all Around Music all Around Music all Around

Bowling Extravaganza

Despite the wintery January weather, it was time to get out and enjoy some fun and friends. The NHS School East Freedom went on a field trip to Holiday Bowl and enjoyed a delicious lunch at The Strike Zone Grill. Students had the pleasure of enjoying the game of bowling and the company of their fellow peers, with a little competitive spirit. Everyone showed good sportsmanship while cheering for their friends and making great memories!

Bowling Extravaganza Bowling Extravaganza Bowling Extravaganza

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


Archived News from School Year 2013-2014


A Day Full of Fun and Sun

On July 3, our school hosted a water day to serve as a reward for the students who have been working hard during the Extended School Year this summer. The students brought their swim attire and beach towels to participate in a day full of fun and sun. Staff brought inflatable pools, a slip n' slide, two types of sprinklers, a bubble machine, and water balloons to make it resemble the beach! A picnic lunch was prepared outdoors and the day was concluded by cooling off with lime and cherry snow cones. It was a great summer day packed with smiles, splashes, and sunshine!

A Day Full of Fun and Sun A Day Full of Fun and Sun

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.

Students Attend Altoona Curve Game

On May 21, students at NHS School East Freedom spent the day at the ballpark to watch hometown team, the Altoona Curves, take on the Akron Rubber Ducks. The stadium held an Education Day for schools in surrounding areas making it a fun-filled day for fans of all ages. Each school was announced over the loud speaker and listed on the big screen. The students purchased food and souvenirs, sang along to "All-American" classics and even got to meet Curve's mascot, Steamer!

Students Attend Altoona Curve Game Students Attend Altoona Curve Game

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.

Happy Earth Day!

To commemorate Earth Day, the autism and emotional support classrooms joined together during a group activity on Tuesday, April 22 to participate in various activities to learn about the importance of taking care of our planet! First, the students practiced social skills by asking and requesting items from adjacent classrooms regarding whether or not they had anything recyclable. The students also had a parade around the school and picked up anything that could be reused. After gathering their recyclables, they sorted them into their appropriate category of plastic, cans, or paper. Then the students listened to a story about the earth entitled "Ranger Baldy" which discussed the importance of taking care of our planet's treasures, both plants and animals alike. The students answered follow-up questions and participated in a group discussion of ways to help Mother Nature. To summarize the day's lesson, the students assisted in the making of "dirt" and were able to see and eat the layers of the earth.

Happy Earth Day! Happy Earth Day

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

Honoring Dr. Seuss

The school celebrated and honored Dr. Seuss week by participating in a weekly theme of his collected works. Each day they read one of his children's books and used the text for a cross-curricular learning experience. In math they graphed their responses to their favorite book and their spelling words for the week were taken from The Cat in the Hat. The students also decorated hats with finger paint and decorative stamps for a combined sensory and art experience. The students were also sent home with a small treat bag of pencils, erasers, stickers and an important written reminder from Dr. Seuss: "Don't give up, I believe in you all. A person's a person no matter how small."

The NHS School East Freedom Honors Dr. Seuss

Bowling

The students ventured to Holiday Bowl in Altoona on January 17 for a community event. The students had the opportunity to practice their social skills, taking turns, and waiting while they played two games of bowling. They were also able to practice their money skills when they ordered lunch. The students and staff had a great time at the bowling alley and are looking forward to returning again to improve their skills.

NHS School East Freedom Goes Bowling

Decorating the Christmas Tree

Students in Miss Chelsea's class made decorations for their classroom Christmas tree. Students used pinecones and glitter to make sparkly creations. This was a great opportunity to use their fine motor skills while having fun at the same time!

NHS School East Freedom Students Decorate a Christmas TreeNHS School East Freedom Students Decorate a Christmas TreeNHS School East Freedom Students Decorate a Christmas Tree

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

Giving Back to the Community

The NHS School East Freedom Gives Back to the CommunityThe transition and autism classrooms volunteered at Blair Senior Services in East Freedom on November 26. The students helped with the visitor registration process as they came in for a Thanksgiving luncheon. The students also helped distribute food bank boxes to community members in need, they carried and packed the boxes into the individual's cars. Both the students and staff enjoyed giving back to their local community and will be participating in more activities in the upcoming months with Blair Senior Services.

NHS Schools East Freedom and Altoona 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

We Pledge against Bullying

pledge against buullyingStudents at the NHS School East Freedom made a pledge to stamp out bullying on Thursday October 17. The students discussed bullying and ways to stop it, and then signed a Stamp Out Bullying pledge and agreed to report bullying if they see it.

The students in Miss Stef's classroom led this activity and encouraged all their friends and the staff within the school to sign the anti-bullying pledge. They are very proud of their pledge and are excited to abide by it.

Helping Individuals in Need

Students in Mr. Aaron's transition classroom volunteered their time and muscles for a great cause on September 19, by helping the church next door to the school, Through Inc., and St. Vincent DePaul organize medical supplies and equipment to be loaded onto a truck which will be shipped to Haiti. The students loaded the truck with wheelchairs, wheelchair ramps, crutches, and other medical equipment. The truck will drive the supplies to Philadelphia where they will be loaded onto a boat and shipped to Haiti to help individuals who are still suffering from the deadly earthquake several years ago. The students learned a valuable lesson of helping others while working as a team.

Great job to all the students who participated!

Our Students Take a Trip to the Post Office

Miss Chelsea's students at the NHS School East Freedom took a trip to the local post office and learned how to mail a letter. They practiced by buying stamps, learning where the stamp goes, and dropping their letter into the mailbox. The students also learned about what happens to the letter after it goes into the mysterious box. Miss Chelsea reviewed the importance of having the correct address so the letter goes to the correct person and place as well as the importance of the return address in case the post office needs to send it back. The students will continue to practice these real life skills throughout the year.

Our Students Take a Trip to the Post Office

CelebratING Independence Day

On July 3, the students and staff from the NHS School East Freedom came together on a beautiful sunny day to celebrate our nations Independence with an explosive cook out! A traditional style meal was provided, including hot dogs, hamburgers, and strawberries that were dipped in vanilla icing and blue sprinkles, to give it that red, white and blue effect. Special thanks to all who made the day a huge success!

NHS School East Freedom Celebrates Independence Day

Students Grow Skills and Vegetables

Students at NHS School East Freedom have been busy planting and maintaining a vegetable garden, including zucchini, peppers, pumpkins, onions, squash, cucumbers, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, tomatoes, and eggplant. The students started growing their plants in pots at the end of the regular school year. They then transplanted the vegetables to a garden outside the school.The students have been busy watering the garden and watching their veggies grow.Once the veggies are ready to be eaten the students will use them to prepare some healthy dishes.

Students Grow Skills and Vegetables at NHS School East Freedom

Having Fun with Water

NHS School East Freedom participated in Water Week during this year's Extended School Year program. Different activities were provided for the kids each day, including splashing around in the pools, soaking their friends with water blasters, running through the sprinkler, and throwing water balloons. The students had a blast with the water play and it was a great way for the kids to exercise during the hot summer days.

NHS School East Freedom Have Fun with WaterNHS School East Freedom Have Fun with Water


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.

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

Prom Night

Students from the autism and emotional support programs from NHS School Altoona and NHS School East Freedom attended their first annual NHS Schools Prom at the NHS School East Freedom on May 10. Before the prom the girls got their hair done at a nearby beauty salon, and the staff assisted the students with getting into their formal wear. Upon arrival, the students entered the Hollywood themed prom by walking down a red carpet were they had their pictures taken by Moments Photography, who generously donated their time to come and photograph the event.

The students enjoyed lunch, which was partly donated by Backyard Burge. After lunch the students danced the remainder of the afternoon away. Many parents came to enjoy the event as well. The prom was a huge success and everyone had a great time. Everyone is looking forward to this being an annual event for both the Altoona and East Freedom schools!

East Freedom - Prom Night

Participating in Autism Awareness and Child Abuse Prevention Awareness

Students and staff have been participating in both autism awareness and child abuse prevention awareness activities this month by decorating the entryway of their building and the windows blue for autism awareness, and created a pinwheel garden near the entryway in recognition of child abuse prevention. They also painted autism prevalence numbers, awareness symbols and slogans on the windows, to increase community awareness about these two vital issues.

The NHS School East Freedom will be hosting an Open House on Monday, April 29.
Please stop in to see their classrooms, meet the staff, and assist in continuing to raise Awareness.
Date: Monday, April 29, 2013
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Location: NHS School East Freedom, 2879 Everett Road, East Freedom, PA

NHS School East Freedom Participate in Autism Awareness and Child Abuse Prevention Awareness NHS School East Freedom Participate in Autism Awareness and Child Abuse Prevention Awareness

Students Spread Autism Awareness

Students at the NHS School East Freedom volunteered their time to decorate paper grocery bags from Martin's Grocery Store for Autism Awareness. The students painted the bags with puzzle pieces and wrote Autism Awareness on them, to be returned to Martin's Grocery Store for use throughout the month of April to spread Autism Awareness throughout the community.
Students Spread Autism Awareness Students Spread Autism Awareness

'Light It Up Blue'

The students and staff at the NHS School East Freedom spent the week lighting it up blue in recognition of World Autism Awareness Day and Autism Awareness Month. The students created a canvas art piece by gluing painted puzzle pieces with their first names on them. They finished off the art piece by attaching a puzzle piece in the corner with the phrase "Light It Up Blue" written on it. The canvas will be permanently displayed in the school and blue lights will surround the canvas throughout the month of April.

The students and staff at the NHS School East Freedom spent the week lighting it up blue The students and staff at the NHS School East Freedom spent the week lighting it up blue

The students and staff at the NHS School East Freedom spent the week lighting it up blue

Students and Staff Take a Field Trip

East Freedom field tripStudents and staff from the NHS School East Freedom took a field trip to Backyard Burgers on March 13 to have lunch and work on a variety of socialization and life skills.

The students practiced waiting in line, placing their orders from the menu, paying for their orders, and having good manners while they enjoyed lunch together.

Everyone had fun socializing and eating a good meal.

Celebrating Valentine's Day

NHS School East Freedom students participated in Valentine's Day festivities on February 14, celebrating with a party, and exchanging Valentines. They also watched a festive movie. The students enjoyed the change of pace and took advantage of the opportunity to socialize with each other.

East Freedom - Valentine's Day

Annual Bowling Trip

The NHS School East Freedom went on their annual bowling field trip to Holiday Bowl bowling alley on January 25. All of the students have shown great improvement in their bowling skills over the years.

Craig, a student who bowls for the Special Olympics, took this trip as an opportunity to help some of his friends with their bowling skills. All of the students had a great time bowling with their friends and enjoying food from the snack bar.

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

Students Create New Chore Chart

East Freedom- chore chartStudents in Miss Chelsea's class at NHS School East Freedom love to watch movies as a reward for their hard work.

In January, a new chore chart was created to coincide with the students' love for movies. On the bulletin board, the students are starring as the main characters of the movie, The Cleaning Crew.

The students can look at the board to see which character they are playing for that week which tells them which chore they should complete.

NHS School East Freedom Learns about the Sun and the Moon

Miss Jenna's Emotional Support classroom in NHS School East Freedom was busy this week learning all about the phases of the sun and moon. The students finished the lesson by making their own science project that shows each phase of the sun. Everybody enjoyed this fun, hands-on lesson.

Transition Classroom Welcomes another Student

On January 7, the 18-21 year old transition classroom in NHS School East Freedom welcomed their third student. Students in the transition classroom spend their time learning to manage budgets, plan meals, live independently in an apartment, and gain essential job related skills as they work in the coffee shop on the New Life side of the building. All the students are eager to learn life skills in the transition program, and are always excited to see new faces join the classroom.

Transition Classroom Welcomes another Student

East Freedom School Participates in Annual Holiday Shopping

Students at the NHS School East Freedom participated in their annual holiday shopping trip by traveling to the East Freedom Walmart. Many of the students had a list of people they wanted to buy gifts for. The students learned to safely push a cart down the aisles, interact with store workers, and paid for items at checkout. It was a very successful trip and many nice gifts were purchased for students' family members.

East Freedom School Participates in Annual Holiday Shopping

October - Halloween Party

Halloween PartyOn Thursday, October 25, all ASD and ES students from 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.

Fundraising

Five students from Altoona and East Freedom are participating in a fundraising and marketing opportunity at Boscov's. Staff will help support students as they greet customers, hand out marketing materials, and sell shopping passes to raise money for the schools. One student will be using his iPad to communicate with customers. This is a great opportunity for community integration for our students.

Swimming at YMCA

On September 12, the ASD and ES students from East Freedom travelled to the local YMCA to swim, then had lunch at Hoss's. Students were able to order from the menu, choose from the salad bar, and practice their manners and money skills during this community based instruction.

2012 news

July: On July 3, 2012 ASD students enjoyed a 4th of July cookout where they were able to socialize with staff and peers.
June: On June 1, 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: 5.30.12: Student from East Freedom 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 East Freedom 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.
April: Students from ASD and ES in East Freedom 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.