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The Nighthawks

The Nighthawks are members of the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, based out of Seneca High School in Wattsburg, Pennsylvania. We have two other schools with students who are members of the Nighthawks -- Harbor Creek and Iroquois High Schools. The mission of the AFJROTC program is to build better citizens for America. The goals of the program are to instill values of citizenship, give service to the United States, develop personal responsibility, and to instill a sense of accomplishment in high school students.
Lt Col Plaza can be reached at 814-824-3400 extension 5545 or  john.plaza@wattsburg.org
SMSgt Oshop can be reached at 814-824-3400 x 5569 or Raymond.oshop@wattsburg.org
Instructor Schedule
0715 - 0805    Homeroom
0805 - 0935    Period 1/2  JROTC
0935 - 1105    Period 3     JROTC
1105 - 1230    Period 4     Lunch and Lunch Duty
1230 - 2:35     Period 5     JROTC
After school hours are by appointment only.
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Course Syllabus





Course TitleAFJROTC 1, 2, 3, and 4. Students are not required to serve in the military if they take this class.  Sufficient AFJROTC credit will result in students entering the military at a higher rank and pay grade.

Credit Hours:  1 elective credit for per semester. 


Senior Aerospace Science Instructor (SASI):  Lt Col Plaza

Phone:  (814) 824-3400, ext. 5545

Cell:  (719) 229-5189

E-mail:  john.plaza@wattsburg.org

Aerospace Science Instructor (ASI):  SMSgt Oshop

Phone:  (814) 824-3400, ext. 5545

E-mail:  raymond.oshop@wattsburg.org

Website addresshttp://www.wattsburg.org/ROTC.aspx

Facebook pageAfjrotc Pa-20051 Nighthawks


Texts:  The Science of Flight: A Gateway to New Horizons and Leadership Education 400: Life Skills & Career Opportunities

Course Description:  The curriculum is divided into 40% aerospace science, 40% leadership studies, uniform wear, and drill, and 20% health and wellness.. 

Aerospace Science (AS).  AS acquaints students with the elements of aerospace and the aerospace environment.  It introduces them to the principles of aircraft flight and navigation, the history of aviation, development of air power, contemporary aviation, human requirements of flight, cultural and global awareness, the space environment, space programs, space technology, rocketry, propulsion, the aerospace industry, astronomy, survival, and policy and organization.

In 2018-2019 the AS course is AS 200 The Science of Flight: A Gateway to New Horizons is an introductory course and customized textbook that focuses on how planes fly, how weather conditions affect flight, flight, flight and the human body, and flight navigation.  The course is designed to complement materials taught in math, physics, and other science – related courses and is aligned with the National Science Education Standards, the Math Standards and Expectations, and ISTE National Educational Technology Standards for Students. In this course, every lesson includes a Quick Write” and a short story related to the lesson; a lesson; a “Learn About” that tells students what they’ll learn from the lesson; a list of vocabulary words in the lesson; “Wing Tips” that highlight specific and interesting facts; and facts; and many biographies and profiles.  Each lesson closes with “Checkpoints”that will allow students to review what they have learned. An “Applying Your Learning” section at the end of each lesson presents discussion questions that will give them a chance to chance to use what they have learned and provides  another way to reinforce their understanding of the lesson’s content.  The text has four chapters, each of which contains contains a number of lessons.  Chapters 1 and 2 will be accomplished the 1st semester and 3 and 4 the 2nd semester.

The course outcomes are:

1.  Analyze the elements of  flight.

2.  Evaluate how atmospheric conditions affect flight.

3.  Evaluate how flight affects the human body.

4.  Analyze flight navigation and the purpose of aerial navigation aids.


Leadership Education (LE). LE is the portion of the AFJROTC curriculum that develops leadership skills and acquaints students with the practical application of life skills.  The leadership education curriculum emphasizes discipline, responsibility, leadership, followership, citizenship, customs and courtesies, cadet corps activities, study habits, time management, communication skills, and drill and ceremonies.  Our classes are composed of students from 9th through 12th grade so a “blended” LE course is taught in a “1-room school house” environment.

In 2018-2019 the LE course is Leadership Education 400: Principles of Management This is the fourth textbook in the Leadership Education series.  This course provides exposure to the fundamentals of management.  The text contains many leadership topics that will benefit students as well as provide them with some of the necessary skills needed to put into practice what they have learned during their time in AFJROTC.  We are confident this course, coupled with what cadets have already learned during their time in AFJROTC, will equip them with the qualities needed to serve in leadership positions within the corps. Throughout the text are many ethical dilemmas, case studies, and role play activities built into the lessons.  These activities are based on real life experiences and will allow students the opportunity to practice what they learn by getting involved in discussions and expressing their opinions.

Course Objectives: After successfully completing the Leadership Education 400:  Principles of Management course the student will:

1.  Know the history and the importance of management.

2.  Know the techniques and skills involved in planning and decision making.

3.  Know the importance of managing change, stress, and innovation.

4. Know the key elements of individual and group behavior, the importance of the communication process, and the characteristics of a good leader.

Wellness Program. Wellness consists of an exercise program focused upon individual base line improvements with the goal of achieving a national standard as calculated by age and gender.  The President’s Fitness Test will be administered once every quarter.  Combined with the wellness concepts taught in LE students are taught the importance of a healthy lifestyle to their long term success and happiness.  The Wellness curriculum is instrumental in developing citizens of character dedicated to serving our nation and communities.


The Wellness course objective is:

1. To motivate JROTC cadets to lead active, healthy lifestyles beyond program requirements and into their adult lives.

Grading Procedures/Assessment:


AFJROTC is a performance class similar to art, music, woodshop, and physical education.  As in the “real” World performance assessment is based largely on subjective evaluation by the instructor team on whether or not a student has met the standards expected for their experience level.  Assessment of performance and feedback is continuous and includes the student’s behavior outside the class.  Students will receive numerous formative assessments and be provided feedback on their performance by other cadets and the instructors on a regular basis.  We stress the importance of failure in the learning process.  The only way to learn is through failure.  We fear failure and thus fear the learning process.  Students must have the courage to fail.  In AFJROTC the more you fail the higher your grade will be and the more you will learn and accomplish……just don’t make the same mistakes over and over again.

ROTC’s curriculum is experiential and it is critical that students attend as their grade will result from assessment of daily performance.  Unexcused absences will result in a 0 score for the day.  Students will drop one letter grade for every 4 unexcused absences during the quarter.  Excused absences are not held against the student but missing significant amounts of curriculum will require removal from the class.

Aerospace Science standards:  Student will remain engaged in class, respond to tasks presented to them, make an attempt to answer questions asked by the teacher, volunteer ideas without being called on and pay attention during class presentations. Student will demonstrate knowledge of the covered academic material by success on various assessment tools

Leadership standards:  Student will remain engaged in class, respond to tasks presented to them, make an attempt to answer questions asked by the teacher, volunteer ideas without being called on and pay attention during class presentations.  Student will demonstrate knowledge of the covered academic material by success on various assessment tools

Student will correctly wear their uniform and comply with grooming standards on uniform day (Wednesday).  If unable to wear their uniform they must let the instructor know in advance to coordinate a makeup day.  Student will wear their uniform the entire school day with the exception of PE class or a class situation that could result in damage to the uniform.  Upper class cadets will perform a weekly uniform inspection and hold cadets accountable for proper uniform wear and grooming standards. Cadets who choose not to wear a uniform will receive a failing grade and be removed from the program. 

First year students will be required to perform drill.  Second year students will be required to command drill.  Third year students will be required to instruct drill.  Fourth year students will be required to evaluate drill.  These are the minimum standards and students are encouraged to progress at a faster rate.

Health and Wellness standards:  student will actively participate in physical training and sports events.  During physical training they will give their best effort and strive to improve their level of physical fitness.  Effort is the key to successful performance, not athletic ability.  Students with documented physical limitations will not be penalized for events they are unable to participate in.  Students will wear the required physical training uniform.


Summary:     Aerospace Science             40 points

Leadership                            40 points

Health and Wellness           20 points

Total:                                      100 points

Grading/Assessment Scale:

Progress indicator: used in teacher grade book for individual assignments/assessments.


Conversion of grade book body of evidence to letter grades.


Used for grade reports and transcripts.

Superior Work

93% and above


In a variety of assessments, the student consistently and independently demonstrates proficiency in grade level concepts and skills and demonstrates advanced application/analysis when the opportunity exists.




Good Work


In a variety of assessments, the student achieves proficiency  

in grade level concepts and skills with minimal assistance.



Average Work


With teacher or peer support, the student is able to demonstrate proficiency in grade level concepts and skills.

Or, in a variety of assessments, the student inconsistently demonstrates proficiency.



Passing Work



The student demonstrates limited understanding and application of grade level skills and content but is making progress toward proficiency. 





The student has shown insufficient evidence to gauge progress.


Make up policyWe do not allow work missed due to an unexcused absence to be made up.  Allowing students to do so runs counter to the values we are working to instill.  There are no make ups in the real world.  Work missed as a result of an excused absence will be allowed to be made up. 


Required/recommended suppliesStudents will be provided all the required supplies.  Students may want to purchase black shoe polish and a shoe shine kit.  Polish and a shine kit will be available in the JROTC room for students to use before and during home room.  Students will be required to keep uniforms clean which may involve dry cleaning, or purchasing commercial cleaning products such as Dryel to clean the pants and service jacket. 

Course feesWe attempt to minimize student costs.  Students will be required to turn in their uniforms at the end of the 1st or 2nd semester fully dry cleaned.  This will cost approximately $30.  Failure to turn in the uniform or to turn it in without being dry cleaned will result in a debt sheet being issued.  Male cadets will require haircuts at least monthly to meet grooming standards which may incur extra costs.  Haircuts can be provided free of cost by the instructor.  Students may be required to pay a fee for various events such as the military ball or meals on a field trip.

If a student’s family is in economic distress alternative payment methods can be arranged such as cleaning or organizing the classroom. 

AFJROTC Mission, Goals, and Objectives

The mission of the AFJROTC program is to develop citizens of character dedicated to serving their nation and community.

The goals of the program are to instill values of citizenship, give service to the United States, develop a personal responsibility, and instill a sense of accomplishment in high school students.

The objectives of AFJROTC are to educate and train high school cadets in citizenship; promote community service; instill responsibility, character, and self-discipline; and provide instruction in air and space fundamentals.


With these objectives the cadets will develop:


1. An appreciation of the basic elements and requirements for national security.

2. Respect for and an understanding of the need for constituted authority in a democratic society.

3. Patriotism and an understanding of their personal obligation to contribute to national security.

4. Habits of orderliness and precision.

5. A high degree of personal honor, self-reliance, and leadership.

6. A broad-based knowledge of the aerospace age and fundamental aerospace doctrine.

7. Basic military skills.

8. A knowledge of and appreciation for the traditions of the Air Force.

9. An interest in completing high school and pursuing higher educational goals or skills.

10. An understanding of the Air Force and military as a possible career path.

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