Educational Programs


Elementary Education

The elementary program (K-6) provides classroom instruction in reading, language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, library media skills, informational technology, fine arts, health, safety, and physical education.
Students are provided with high standards, a curriculum framework that enhances learning, and fair assessments aligned to Pennsylvania Core standards. An intervention system addresses learning needs.
Grade-level technology standards are demonstrated by students as they complete a variety of projects each semester. All classrooms have access to mobile laptop computer carts.
Hands-on activities and problem-solving are a major focus of the science program which includes integrated activities related to STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).
Full-day kindergarten sessions are offered district-wide. Kid Writing gets children writing on the first day of kindergarten. Teachers create a joyful, risk-free environment with high levels of challenge and support.
Specialists and classroom teachers provide instruction in choral and instrumental music, art, and physical education. Instructional coaches, speech clinicians, and counselors work with individual students and/or small groups.

Click on a department below for further information
The goals identified within these pages represent curriculum expectations for students
who have completed their studies in the Altoona Area School District's elementary (K-5) program.

Secondary Education


Junior High School Program

Students attending the state-of-the-art junior high school (grades 6-8) are challenged by a rigorous curriculum that is aligned with state and national standards.
Since the school opened in 2008, students have enjoyed larger classrooms, updated classroom equipment and furniture, a comfortable learning environment, and outstanding facilities for athletics, music, and fine arts.
Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth grade students are clustered in small learning communities where they work with teams of teachers in the core subjects of science, math, reading, English, and social studies.
Courses are offered at the honors, academic, core academic, and co-teaching levels. Co-taught courses provide a maximum level of instructional support and differentiated interventions.
An eighth class period enables teachers to develop a curriculum that addresses individual intervention and enrichment and is vital to student success.
Teachers supplement classroom activities through "anytime/anywhere" wireless Internet and network access. There are 27 mobile laptop computer carts available throughout the school creating an impressive 3:1 student-to-computer ratio. Mobile iPad carts are also bringing 21st-century learning to students.
Extracurricular and co-curricular activities are plentiful. Athletics, Student Council, journalism, numerous clubs, and music are just a few opportunities offered.

Altoona Area High School

A U.S. News & World Report Bronze School recipient, Altoona High is one of the state's best-equipped high schools with a comprehensive curriculum to match.
Honors and academic curriculum clusters provide students with a rigorous education that has been designed to meet individual needs. The core academics curriculum cluster combines the rigor and theory of an academic program with hands-on learning activities, career exploration, and occupational experiences for grades 9-12.
College credits can be earned by taking any of 19 Advanced Placement courses which include English, calculus, statistics, biology, chemistry, physics, computer science, American history, European history, comparative government, American government, music theory and harmony, French, German and Spanish, studio art as well as micro and macroeconomics.
Many of these AP courses are partnered with three post-secondary institutions through dual enrollment giving students another way to earn college credits.
A Career Education Center, an extensive School-to-Work program, and a Service Learning program help students make important post-high school choices.
A CLIP program creates small learning communities that integrate learning in the core subject areas.
An extensive list of extracurricular activities is available to all students with a focus on service to the community.
Superlative indoor and outdoor facilities are used by students for physical education and interscholastic sports.
An alternative education program meets basic educational, developmental, and societal needs not currently being met in the regular school setting for identified grade 7-12 students in at-risk situations.

Special Programs
Special education programs meet the needs of gifted children as well as those with a variety of disabilities. The AASD provides services to identified gifted learners in all eight elementary schools as well as at Altoona Area Junior High School and at Altoona Area High School.
  • Learners have many opportunities to excel through participation in programs like Mock Trial, MATHCOUNTS, Speech League, Scholastic Scrimmage, FBLA, and the Junior Academy of Science.

  • The AAHS School-to-Career program prepares students for the workforce with hands-on experience.

  • The AAJHS positive behavior support program knows an ROAR has improved student attendance and decreased disciplinary infractions.

  • Specialized programs meet the needs of at-risk students enrolled throughout the district. On-site human service coordinators are available to work with students.

  • Character education is a significant focus in all elementary and secondary schools. Appreciation of diversity is fostered at all grade levels.

  • Team Altoona, a collaborative partnership with the Gloria Gates Foundation allows AAHS and AAJHS student groups to assist with elementary after-school programs.

  • The AASD Student Assistance program, one of the first of its kind in Pennsylvania, has received national recognition for its work with at-risk students.

  • AASD students are involved with the Mountain Lion BackPack Program, a program that provides food for students each weekend.