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Merakey Schools - Apollo

WELCOME to Merakey Education Center LEECHBURG (Armstrong County | 724-845-1101)

Welcome to the Merakey Education Center Leechburg (previously known as Apollo), a licensed Private Academic school, located in Leechburg, PA. We opened our doors in October 2012 and currently serve 30 students within our Autism and Emotional Support programs. At the start of the 2013-2014 school year, we also opened an in-district classroom for students with autism support needs within Highlands Middle School. We have three Autistic Support classrooms and three Emotional Support classrooms in our building. Our teachers use a strengths-based approach for all students, building upon their success to develop an individualized program. We partner with families, school districts, and the surrounding community to provide a quality educational environment for our students. We also utilize positive behavior support to develop a behavior plan for each student based on their needs. Students begin working on transition goals the moment they begin their program here and enter the transition program at age 14. The transition program partners with community employers and organizations to provide volunteer experiences, internships, and employment to our students. This program provides the opportunity for students to reach their maximum potential along with helping the community.

Our goal is to teach necessary skills for success in the general education setting and to transition students back to a less restrictive environment, their home school district. We are excited to continue to grow and serve families within the nearby communities. The Merakey Education Center Leechburg is able to provide a variety of educational services listed below:

  • Autism and Emotional Support programming for students ages 5-21 and Building Bridges Emotional Support Program for female students ages 12-18
  • Transition Services, such as our simulated work environments, volunteer placements, and community work experience for students ages 14-21
  • Community Job Placements paired with a job coach for students ages 18-21
  • District Functional Behavioral Assessments (FBAs) and Positive Behavioral Support Plan (PBSP) implementation
  • Consultation for a student attending a local school district 
  • District trainings such as Behavior Modification, Autism Overview, Positive Behavioral Supports, Emotional Support Overview, etc.
  • In-district classrooms run by Merakey to promote least restrictive environment opportunities
  • Extended School Year (ESY) Services at our Merakey School sites and/or in-district ESY programs run by Merakey within your own district classroom.
  • News & Events
  • Success Stories
  • Pictures
  • School Calendar
  • Contact Us
  • News Archive

Celebrating Thanksgiving

(12.02.2016) - Students at NHS School Apollo worked very hard cooking and prepping for our school-wide Thanksgiving Feast on Wednesday, November 23. Everything turned out perfect and the delicious meal was enjoyed by all!
NHS School Apollo CelebratesThanksgiving NHS School Apollo CelebratesThanksgiving

NHS School Apollo CelebratesThanksgiving NHS School Apollo CelebratesThanksgiving NHS School Apollo CelebratesThanksgiving

Honoring Veterans Day

(11.11.2016) - Students at NHS School Apollo wore camouflage on November 11 to honor the men and women that fought and are still fighting for our country! Happy Veterans Day and thank you so much for your service!

NHS School Apollo Honors Veterans Day
Andrew - successAndrew - success "My name is Andrew, I came from Apollo Ridge. Now I am at NHS Apollo because my mom thought it would be better for me. You might mess up here and there, but the teachers will help you through the day. The teachers do not talk rude to you. You get more recess and social development time. And it has been better for me because they give me breaks and they don't argue with me."

Evan - success storyEvan - success story"My name is Evan. I am 10 years old. My home school is Apollo Ridge. I like our 7 minute breaks. The teachers help us with our anger. This is my favorite school."

Dominic - success storyDominic - success story"My name is Dominic. I came from Burrell. I like it here. It is a lot of fun. We like to play football. I have learned a lot of coping skills, like deep breathing and taking a walk."

Garren - success storyGarren - success story"My name is Garren and I came NHS Apollo from Apollo Ridge. I think that NHS Apollo is better because my behaviour and grades improved. There is less stress and no bullying, positive teachers and smaller class sizes. It is quieter at lunch. I have learned better manners. I am taught how I best cand learn with hands-on activities. I don't fight at home. I clean my room at home. I do my chores at home; I am nicer at home. The teachers are nicer at NHS Apollo. I get along at home and school. My grades improved and I think I'm doing better with doing work. The work is fun and you get to do fun Fridays. You can take a break when you get frustrated.

Hayden - success storyHayden - success story"Hello, my name is Hayden. I like animals. I came here so they could help me behave. I'm doing better because I'm drawing and screaming into a pillow. I like the teachers and I could talk to Mr. Michael when I get mad. I am learning a lot in school and I want to learn more about states and countries. "
Take a walk around our school and in the classroom!

School Address: 1 Kiski Ave, Ste 100, Leechburg, PA 15656
School Phone Number: 724-845-1101
Education and Autism Services Administration Office Number: 724-532-2302

Jamie McGeeName: Jamie McGee
Title: Educational Director
Email: Jamie.McGee@merakey.org
Name: Nicole Ramsey
Title: Administrative Assistant
Email: NRamsey@merakey.org

Archived News from School Year 2015-2016

NHS School Apollo is Hooked on Books

(10.30.2015) - Our students are enjoying the new Reading Corner in Miss Bethany's classroom! The Reading Corner was created to encourage students to utilize a quiet area to practice their reading skills and get hooked on a good book! Miss Bethany's classroom thanks Miss Joyce from the Apollo library for donating so many wonderful books!

NHS School Apollo is Hooked on Books

Archived News from School Year 2014-2015

Pen Pals

Pizza Franchise is a HitThe students in Mrs. C's classroom have a new pen pal. They wrote to Mrs. C's former 4th grade teacher to thank her for a box of items she sent to them to add to their classroom store. Each student learned how to write a letter using appropriate formatting and addressing each envelope. The students received another package filled with Pop Rocks, a post card from Oregon for each student, and three books on Oregon. In response, the students created drawings that represented Pittsburgh and sent her a set of Penguin earmuffs to thank her for her generosity. The students are learning about the state of Oregon and what life is like on the western coast of the United States.

A visit from the Fire Department

On October 10, the local Fire Department from Apollo, PA stopped by the school to educate students about fire safety. The students got a chance to tour both fire trucks and try on the firemen's gear!

A visit from the Fire DepartmentA visit from the Fire Department

NHS Schools Movie Night Under the Stars

The NHS Schools held their second annual Movie Night Under the Stars at Lynch Field in Greensburg on Saturday, August 9. Over 200 community members gathered, with blankets and chairs, on a beautiful summer evening to enjoy a big screen viewing of The LEGO Movie. The kids enjoyed hanging out with Chuck E. Cheese and the Therapy Dogs from Musico's K-9 Academy. Once the movie started and the sun began to set, many of the guests could be seen wearing glow sticks and enjoying some quality time with their families and friends. In addition, many of the adults enjoyed visiting vendor tables and participating in the 50/50 raffle, along with winning prizes donated from local businesses. The NHS Schools are already looking forward to next year's event!

Special thanks go to Advanced Visual Solutions for donating the screen for the event and additional thanks goes to The Texas Roadhouse, Sheetz, Mario Lemieux Foundation, Arnold Palmer, Chuck E Cheese, Ford Business Machine Inc., Wash World Express, Walmart, Westmoreland Federal Credit Union, Pennsylvania Association for Marriage and Family Therapists, Saint Vincent College Prevention Projects, Westmoreland Community Action, Value Behavioral Health of PA, Boy Scouts of America – Westmoreland Fayette Council, Metal Photo Service, Inc., Epiphany Counseling and Wellness Center, Parent to Parent of Pennsylvania, PA Connecting Communities, Eat N Park, Signarama, Classic Hits 107.1 WHJB Radio Station, 1480 WCNS Radio Station and The Meadows Original Frozen Custard.

Archived News from School Year 2013-2014

Movie Night Under the Stars - 08.09.2014

Movie Night Under the Stars - 08.09.2014

Saturday, August 9th | Rain Date Sunday, August 10th - Showtime 8–10pm at the Lynch Field in Greensburg
Admission is FREE – however - DONATIONS are welcome at entry
All funds received will benefit enrolled students at the NHS Schools Herminie, Greensburg, Apollo, Latrobe, Somerset, and Ellsworth.

IM for Matty Honored with Fruit Car Race

The NHS School Apollo honored Matty by creating race cars out of fruit and healthy smiley apples. The winners were Andrew B. and Julia K., who were awarded medals for their healthy creations!

IM for Matty Honored with Fruit Car Race IM for Matty Honored with Fruit Car Race IM for Matty Honored with Fruit Car Race

IM for Matty Honored with Fruit Car Race

Light It Up Blue 2014

Mrs. C's classroom decorated blue shirts for Autism Awareness Month. Each student was able to put their own special touch to the shirt to signify how exceptionally different they all are. They all participated and wore them on April 2 for Light it Up Blue!

NHS School Apollo Participates in Light It Up Blue

Local Therapy Dog Visits Our Students

The students welcomed therapy dog Bella, and her caregiver Eric on March 21, who are members of Therapy Dogs International. The students participated in Tail Waggin' Readers by reading a book of their choice to literary enthusiast Bella, a beautiful and gentle black Labrador retriever. Thank you to everyone who helped this event take place and we hope to have many more visits from "man's best friend" in the future.

Local Therapy Dog Visits Students at NHS School Apollo

Celebrating Dr. Seuss's Birthday

The NHS School Apollo celebrated the legacy of Dr. Seuss in honor of his birthday. They had a themed day for each day of the week, including crazy hair day and crazy sock day. Each day the school selected a book to read to the group and the teacher designed fun learning lessons around the theme of the book. The students had a fun time celebrating Dr. Seuss's birthday!

NHS School Apollo Celebrates Dr. Seuss's BirthdayNHS School Apollo Celebrates Dr. Seuss's Birthday

Winter Wonderland

Ms. Sammie's and Ms. Angela's classrooms teamed up for an art class inspired by all the snow fall. The students created their own winter wonderland picture using shaving cream and glue to create a 3D effect that is now displayed on the new bulletin board in the Sensory Room.

NHS School Apollo Make Their Own Winter Wonderland

Under Construction...

The students from Mr. Chamberlain's classroom have been putting their engineering skills to the test. They have been constructing a cardboard castle, which is now located in the sensory room for all the students to enjoy.

NHS School Apollo is Under Construction

Fine Tuning The Workplace Skills

NHS School Apollo Fine Tunes Their Workplace SkillsThe transition age students in the autism support classroom are focusing on their skills for the workplace by completing available jobs around the school. They earn classroom money for completing each job during the school days as part of a token economy.

The students have opportunities to earn money through the completion of good deeds, but also may lose money for not following rules or making poor choices. It is great way for them to be active around the school and have the opportunity to be positive role models for the other students in the building.

Celebrating Thanksgiving

The students at the NHS School Apollo celebrate Thanksgiving with a potluck turkey dinner. The families of the school donated the items that the staff and students used to create the Thanksgiving menu. The students were also able to practice their table manners, interact with peers, and celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday.

Apollo Celebrates Thanksgiving 2013

Volcanoes Erupt at NHS School Apollo

Volcanoes Erupt at NHS School ApolloMs. Amber's class at the NHS School Apollo has been learning about volcanoes in Science by making a live volcano model using newspaper and duct tape to create the volcanoes peak.

The students also enjoyed painting their models to mimic the real thing. The students were then able to see it in action and simulated a live eruption. The class was very excited to discover how lava flows from a volcano and is looking forward to other hands-on projects in the future.

Pop Tab Recycling Program Comes to NHS Schools

All of the NHS Schools worked together to collect pop tabs to be a part of the Pop Tab Recycling Program. The program, through the Ronald McDonald House, generated money from the pop tabs to keep the Ronald McDonald House open, lights on, and heat running! Our Schools collected 46 pounds of pop tabs (1,267 pop tabs per pound), and it was exchanged at .50 cents per pound to receive $23.00. The NHS Schools will donate this money to the Ronald McDonald House and will continue to collect pop tabs throughout the rest of this school year.

recycling program

Celebrating Fall

The NHS Apollo School welcomes the season of fall by working together and creating a handmade beautiful tree in the school. The students in Ms. Angela's class have been adding colorful handprints to the trunk throughout the week. The students and staff are excited to see what it will look like when complete!

celebrating fall

Anti-Bullying Activities

bullying The students in Mrs. C's classroom at the NHS School Apollo participated in several anti-bullying activities last week for Unity Day. They watched two short videos created by students at elementary schools discussing the problems of bullying.

Students also created posters showing the roles played when bullying occurs and posted them in the school for all the students to see. The students were aware of the problems and were able to discuss and respond to classmates in a positive manner about the effects of bullying.

NHS School Apollo Teams up with the Westmoreland County Food Bank

apollo food The students at NHS School Apollo volunteer with the Westmoreland County Food Bank sponsored by the St. Joseph Society on the first Friday of each month. They assist customers with their carts filled with food, sorting and stacking donations, and providing customer service with a smile. The volunteers have had very positive feedback on the students' involvement and are happy to have the extra assistance.

Archived News from School Year 2012-2013

First Annual Movie Night Under the Stars

On Sunday, August 4, the NHS Schools celebrated their first annual "Movie Night Under the Stars" at Lynch Field in Greensburg, PA. The community gathered together with chairs and blankets for a big screen viewing of Madagascar 3. Our guests enjoyed FREE popcorn donated by the Courtyard Marriot in Greensburg, PA and purchased delicious treats from our snack booth.

Special thanks go to Advanced Visual Solutions for donating the screen for the event. Additional thanks goes to the Texas Roadhouse, Manor Grille, Progressive Dental Studio, Aw Else Boutique, A Plus Affordable, Superior Caulking, Five to Nine Refrigeration, and Sheetz for sponsoring our event.

We look forward to bringing the community together again next year for another "Movie Night Under the Stars."

Movie Night Under the Stars

Movie Night Under the Stars 2013Please join us for the BIG SCREEN viewing of 'Madagascar 3'
Sunday, August 4th - Rain Date, August 11th
Showtime 8:00 -10:00 p.m. at Lynch Field in Greensburg, PA
Admission is FREE - however - DONATIONS are welcome at entry!
All funds received will benefit enrolled students at the NHS Schools.


Apollo Students Assist a Local Food Bank

Earlier this month, students from NHS School Apollo assisted the St. James Food Bank. The food bank provides food for about 300 families within Armstrong County. The students have been learning the purpose of the food bank and how individuals qualify for food bank supplies. They are also learning the value of volunteer work and the emotional impact it has on them as they move through the process. This week the students assisted in packaging food and delivering it to families in need.

Apollo School Teachers participate in Community Event

On November 24, Teachers from the NHS School in Apollo participated in the Apollo Business Associate's Light Up Night, for the annual Christmas Tree lighting celebration. The Apollo School set up a table with informational brochures and activates for the children. Children were provided with the opportunity to write letters to Santa and place them in Santa's mailbox. Reindeer food was also included at the table for purchase to set out on Christmas Eve for the reindeer.

Thank you to the teachers at the NHS School in Apollo for your efforts!

NHS Open House

The NHS School Apollo hosted an Open House on October 3. The school was open to families and community members who were interested in learning more about the program. We welcomed community members, school districts, families, and service providers into the school and talked with them about the goals of the program, curriculum, and other specialized services that are offered. The event was a success and furthered excitement in the community about the new school.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

The NHS School Apollo hosted a grand opening ribbon-cutting ceremony on September 11. Karen Markle, corporate vice president of children's services, spoke about NHS Schools and their offerings, including classrooms for students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or emotional support need. Community members, staff and local businesses were in attendance and were able to tour the facility and speak to staff about the program after the ceremony.

Partnering with the Community

The NHS School Apollo joined the Strongland Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber has approximately 350 members and is the largest chamber in the Alle-Kiski region. The Strongland Chamber of Commerce sponsors community outreach programs, educational programs, and economic development initiatives that help the communities that comprise the region. The NHS School Apollo staff participated in the educational committee, which strives to provide programs and services that will enhance the work of the region's educational institutions. This committee also works to build an active link between business and education to reinforce meaningful workforce development.