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     Neshaminy Update January 2017
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     Drawing Inspiration

    Art on the Move  
    Bucks County masterpieces visit Neshaminy schools
    Walter Miller Elementary School art teacher Stacy Potter was busy during the summer of 2016 helping design curriculum for a unique program sponsored by the Bucks County Intermediate Unit. Art on the Move brings well-known Bucks County art works donated by internationally-known artists to schools throughout the county. The BCIU has approximately 350 works in its collection to draw from for this project, which was created in 1949 by Dr. Charles H. Boehm, a past superintendent of Bucks County Schools, and Walter Emerson Baum, a prominent artist. The collection includes works by world-renowned artists such as Daniel Garber, Harry Leith-Ross, Alice Sotter, Edward Redfield, and Baum himself.
    Through the program, each school receives a collection of six original pieces of art for 8 – 10 weeks in the fall or spring. With each collection is curriculum that allows the artwork to be used as a springboard for learning and to create work related to the collection. The curriculum is available to each grade level and consists of lesson ideas connected to the standards for Math, Social Studies, Science, Art, Language Art, Cultural Connections, and Technology.
     Santa Margherita, 1930 Santa Margherita, 2017
    Students at Sandburg Middle School and Walter Miller Elementary School participated in Art on the Move during the fall of 2016. Works of art were produced by the students in response to collaborative discussions, historical connections to Bucks County, and by examining the creative techniques the original artist's utilized. Students explored the curriculum components of landscape, perspective, composition, and color theory.
    The student artwork will be on display during the Spring Art Shows at each building. Sandburg’s art show will be held on May 11 fro 7-9 pm; Miller’s art show is held on March 30 from 6-7:30 pm. 

    Time to register for kindergarten! 

     Registration ladybug!
    Students entering kindergarten in the 2017-2018 school year can now be registered through the online Central Registration site, found here. First-grade students new to the district can also be registered at this time. New students in grades 2-12 can begin online registration on April 3, 2017.

     Budget Update

     At the January 24 School Board Public Meeting, a proposed preliminary 2017-2018 budget was accepted by a vote of 7-0. This budget is still a work in progress, but each year the Pennsylvania Department of Education requires the district to present a prelimninary version of next year’s budget by February 15. With this procedural vote, the public can now view the proposed budget (available for download at the link below) and the School Board will vote on submitting the Preliminary Budget to the state at their February 14, 2017 meeting.
     The work of balancing the budget will continue into the spring, and a final version must be approved by June 30, 2017 for the fiscal year which starts on July 1, 2017.
     The current version includes approximately $184.0 million in expenses with projected revenues of $174.8 million. That figure includes the possibility of a 2.5% tax increase, the maximum allowed under the Pennsylvania Act 1 index for 2017-2018. The total gap between expenditures and revenues is approximately $12.2 million without any tax increase.
    Neshaminy taxpayers have not had a school tax increase for 8 years, and Business Administrator Barbara Markowitz said a budget gap at this stage in the budget process is typical. Her staff is working hard to reduce that gap over the next several months by reducing expenses and seeking efficiencies in all areas. The major cause of budget increases is the rising cost of employee health care and benefit costs affecting districts across the state, including the funding of the Pennsylvania School Employees Retirement System (PSERS).
     A final Proposed Budget is expected to be accepted at the May 17 School Board meeting and posted for public viewing shortly after.

    Security, HVAC upgrades on tap for Miller, Buck 

     The final phase of building projects that have focused on energy upgrades and modernizations throughout the District are scheduled for consideration by the School Board in February. The plan includes security vestibules at Walter Miller Elementary School and Pearl S. Buck Elementary School, as well as HVAC upgrades at Miller.
     These improvements follow similar projects at Poquessing MS and Ferderbar ES last summer, and major upgrades at Schweitzer ES, Hoover ES and Sandburg MS the summer before that. The various projects included the addition of air conditioning to those buildings that did not have any, the installation of energy-efficient windows, walls and roofing, electrical and plumbing upgrades, and new security features. The energy efficiency projects were covered under the Pennsylvania Guaranteed Energy Saving Act (GESA), which also will provide assured energy savings over the next 20 years.
     If approved, the work at Miller and Buck will be completed over the summer.

    Good-bye 752!

     KYW newsradio recently announced that they will no longer be broadcasting weather-related messages from schools using their identification numbers during emergencies. Technology and social media have rendered this information redundant, since it is available in many other forms, and they wanted to increase the amount of time devoted to other stories.
     Not to worry, Neshaminy has you covered - click here to find out about the many ways you can receive vital information directly from the district on whatever device you might have handy. 

    Hello new web site!

    The Neshaminy web sites will be undergoing a makeover during the next few weeks. The new design will improve functionality on all devices (smartphones, tablets and desktop computers), simplify menu selections to make finding information easier for users, and highlight the programs and activities at each school through better presentation of photos, stories and videos. The new design is scheduled to go live in mid-March.

    Help us Build Futures

    The School Board of Directors approved adoption of a new Strategic Plan covering the years 2017-2021 for the district at their meeting January 24. This plan is a part of the Comprehensive Plan the district is required to submit every three years to the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). 
    You can read a copy of the plan by navigating to this web page:
    Neshaminy School District will be immediately moving forward the aspects of this plan outlined in the Strategic Plan above, and is looking for members of the community to help us with the efforts as part of one of three implementation teams. Each of these teams will meet approximately monthly, and focus on one of the three strands outlined in the Strategic Plan.
     If you would like to be part of this vital effort, please contact the Director of Administration, Paul Meehan (pmeehan@neshaminy.org, 215-809-6510). You can identify which team you are interested in joining -
    - Student Achievement/Curriculum & Instruction
    - Student-centered and Community-focused
    - Financial Responsibility and Fiscal Resiliency
    – or indicate that you do not have a preference, and you will be assigned to a team. More information about meeting dates and responsibilities will be provided to those interested as soon as it is available.

    News from our Schools 




    Reading program honored 

     Neshaminy School District was nominated for the Charlotte Lockart Award for Excellence in Literary Education in January by the Reading Horizons program in January. The award is named after the founder of the program, which is used by Title 1 reading teachers at Neshaminy. The award is granted to "institutions or individuals who exemplify the characteristics and core values Lockhart embodied and embraced." Reading teachers Joan Brooks (Hoover ES) and Kim Maurizi (Schweitzer ES) have been leaders in ensuring that the Title 1 teachers have the understanding needed to use Reading Horizons as a resource for teaching early literacy skills. 

    NSD musicians honored with festival invites

     Neshaminy music students in pursuit of excellence have been selected to participate in the 2017 Pennsylvania Music Education Association Festivals and the Bucks County Music Education Association Festival in January and February. The full list of those honored:
    Pennsylvania Music Education Association Regional Festival and District 11 Festival
    PMEA Region Chorus: Tyler Ebinger, Adrianna Fisher, Francesca Marren, Joey Rippert
    PMEA District 11 Band: Tyler Ebinger, Stephen Hopkins Schuyler Janzen, Jarod Mellus, Kaitlyn Sibre
    PMEA District 11 Chorus: Ben Dean, Tyler Ebinger, Andrianna Fisher, Francesca Marren, Ricky Moyer, Alaina O’Neill, Mitchell Range, Joey Rippert, Trevor Tu
    PMEA District 11 Orchestra: Vincent Angeline, Stephen Hopkins, Elizabeth McGonagle, Jarod Melluus, Aaron Morrison, Kaitlyn Sibre

    Bucks County Music Education Association Festival
    BCMEA High School Band: Sam Ackerman, Daniel Aungst, Kayla Davidson, Jacklyn Campos, Tyler Ebinger, Sansakaar Gupta, Justin Harnishfeger, Olivia Hayn, Kevin Hoffner, Wesley Hoffner, Stephen Hopkins, Payton Kelly, Emily Kirsch, Eimly Kuehnle, Mackenzie Lawson, Ainsley Lederer, Emily Makarewicz, Skyla Martz, Emily McCormick, Connor Menzel, Dorthy O’Connor, Becky Raffin, Annalyn Runquist, Courtney Saxton, Julianna Schwab, Amanda Shafer, Claire Shipley, Kaitlyn Sibre, Joseph Stanford, Elizabeth Tuttle
    BCMEA High School Chorus: Mackenzie Anderson Bella Brennan, Wyatt Brennan, Kierstyn Brooks, Sofia Carrasquillo, Molly Coughlin, Ben Dean, Greg Drapkin, Madison Galvelis, Francesca Marren, Melanie Moyer, Ricky Moyer, Alaina O’Neill, Mitchell Range, Gwen Reckus, Joey Rippert, Casey Shoemaker, Trevor Tu, Connor Watson, Regan Yates
    BCMEA High School Orchestra: Vinny Angeline, Tiera Fogg, Schuyler Janzen, Daniel Mandolesi, Elizabeth Mcgonagle, Jarod Mellus, Wyatt Mellus, Aaron Morrison


     Pearl S. Buck Elementary School

     Postcard collectors

    Postcard collection grows

    Students in Beth Boyle’s first grade class have been collecting postcards from each state in the United States. So far, they have received 68 postcards from 27 states. 

    Race for Education

     Students at Pearl S. Buck Elementary kicked off the Race for Education in January with a lunchtime pep rally and a visit from Pearl, the school's dragon mascot. Race for Education is the biggest fundraiser of the year, and proceeds from this year's campaign will be used for resurfacing and safety upgrades for the playground, as well as assemblies, field trips, and school equipment. Each participant will raise funds by asking sponsors via mailed flyer to make a donation to Pearl S. Buck PTO, and then on race day in May, students have fun walking or jogging around the school as many times as they are able in one hour's time. 


     Joseph Ferderbar Elementary School


     Positive behavior program earns a state banner

     The School Wide Positive Behavior Supports program (SWPBS) at Ferderbar is teaching behavioral expectations in the same manner as any core curriculum subject. The Ferderbar program was evaluated to determine if use of SWPBS procedures is related to valued change in the safety, social culture, and violent behavior in schools. Ferderbar passed with flying colors. and the team will be recognized this spring in Hershey at the annual State conference on SWPBS. 


    Herbert Hoover Elementary School 


    Hoover accepts Title 1 award

     Hoover Elementary School was recently named a Title 1 School of Distinction by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. During the last week in January principal Dr. David Glennon and Title 1 teacher Joan Brooks picked up a plaque marking this achievement during a conference in Pittsburgh. Hoover Elementary is among the top five percent of Title 1 Schools in Pennsylvania, based on our aggregate math and reading PSSA scores, and was the recipient of a $48,915 educational grant last year after winning a similar award last year.  Hoover-award
     Family painting night

    Creativity is a family affair

     The Hoover PTO sponsored a Paint Night on January 27. This annual event is a chance for parents and their children to display their creativity together.


    Walter Miller Elementary School


    Local author / illustrator shares her craft

     Children’s author and illustrator Jennifer Hansen Rolli delighted the students in grades K-2 at Miller Miller ES Thursday with an assembly on writing and illustrating books. The boys and girls were excited to listen to Ms. Rolli read her book, Just One More, and watched her draw Ruby, the main character in her book.
     Later in the day the author and illustrator, who resides in Newtown, joined the Walter Miller community at their annual Barnes & Noble Night. She read the book one more time and signed copies.
     While Jennifer Rolli was the highlight of the evening, other fun events took place at B&N night. Principal Troy Bodolus and many teachers read their favorite stories to the children. Students in grade three and four were busy testing the scientific method by partaking in various science activities, and many used their creative skills by participating in a cupcake decorating party. 
    Jennifer Rolli  


    Albert Schweitzer Elementary School


    Parent Resource Center plans a grand opening 
     The Schweitzer community is planning to celebrate the opening of the school's new Parent Resource Center (PRC) on February 23. The center was developed with funds from two grants received by the school over the past two years and has been under development since then. 
     The mission of the PRC is to empower children and their families, the school and the community. The Parent Resource Center is designed to ensure the academic and social-emotional well-being of every student at Albert Schweitzer Elementary, and includes a number of resources including computer stations to conduct research, a conference area, and the support of staff members to ensure the success of each student and their family.


    Tawanka Elementary School 

    New mascot makes a debut on Spirit Day 
     Students and staff at Tawanka welcomed a new mascot to their school during a Spirit Day Friday January 26. The Tawanka Eagle greeted students as they arrived, and made the rounds through the various pods. Students wore their Tawanka t-shirts which feature a different color for each grade.
    Tawanka Eagle


    Maple Point Middle School 


    Students win history essay contest

     Three Maple Point students were notified that they won an essay contest sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution in January. The American History Essay Contest was established to encourage young people to think creatively about our nation's great history and learn about history in a new light. 
     Laura Chorba (7th grade) and Bailey Tweedie (5th grade) were both winners, and 7th-grader Owen Flynn was named a runner-up in the annual contest.

    Fifth-grader to represent USA on baseball team

     Matthew Brooks, a Maple Point 5th grade student, was selected to represent the United States in the Dominican Republic this summer to play baseball.  There were over 5000 kids in 33 locations through out the US who tried out, and Matthew was notified in January of his acceptance. He is not just representing the United States but Maple Point Middle school as well!


    Poquessing Middle School


    Students honor MLK with community projects 
     A number of students at Poquessing were involved with various community service projects the week before Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day this year.
     On Monday, the Student Council and the Friends of Rachel Club visited the Attleboro Comnunity in Langhorne to play board games and bingo with the some of the residents there. One resident was a retired third-grade teacher from Tawanka Elementary School, Marilyn Deibler.
     The Interact Club started creating hand-made joke books that will be donated to children at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).
     On Wednesday, the Wrestling Team made cards and breakfast bags for Aid for Friends, with help from members of the Debate Club.
     On Thursday, Tri-M (Honors Music) worked on creating 'no-sew' fleece blankets for CHOP.
    On Friday the Environmental Club visited Ferderbar Elementary School to spend time with kindergarten and first grade students reading books to them.
     On the Tuesday following the holiday, the Poquessing Cheerleaders made home-made chocolate-covered pretzels, which were donated to a homeless shelter.


    Carl Sandburg Middle School 


    Live TV show surprises Sandburg staff member

     Good Day Philadelphia visited Carl Sandburg Middle School on January 20 to deliver a surprise to Donna Jackson, the schools ISS aide on live TV as part of their 'You Go There' segment. Host Jenn Frederick started the segment next door at Albert Schweitzer ES and walked with a group of students, Principal Dawn Kelly and Assistant Principal Derek Albarran to Donna's office where they presented balloons, Good Day branded items, and a certificate. The purpose of the segment is to recognize those in the community that go above and beyond to help others, and Donna certainly fits that description with her involvement in multiple projects at the school. 
    Good Day Philadelphia  

    National spotlight shines on art project

     The art program at Sandburg was in the national spotlight in January with the publication of an article by art teacher Brett Wallerstein in 'Arts and Activities', the nation's leading art education magazine. The article describes biomorphic clay sculptures created by the students - modeled after patterns found in nature and living organisms. 


      Neshaminy High School


    NHS art works on display

     Eight Neshaminy HS artists have their work on display at the annual Phillips' Mill Youth Art Exhibition in New Hope. The show includes works from 14 area high schools, and will be open to the public on weekends from January 21 to February 12. The artists are: Cassidy Buser, Angela Tamogurskaya, Shelby Bishop, Rachel Vass, Sophie Laurence, Hannah Stonkus, Jane Rusevych, and Valerie Brodnyan.
     The following Neshaminy High School students are exhibiting  artwork in "Emergence" Exhibit being hosted by the Bristol Borough Centre for the Arts in Bristol: Isabella Mazzoni, Nicholas Bennett, Chase Stanley, Brittany Kelly, Grace Sangmeister, Alexa Piker, Annie Noe, Jodi Reich, Gabby Vasquez, Dennis Farnin.
     The exhibit, which runs from January 19 - February 2, features seventy works from student artists representing Bensalem, Bristol, Harry S. Truman, Conwell-Egan, Holy Ghost Prep, Nazareth Academy and Neshaminy High School.

    The Sound of Music on tap at Neshaminy

     The hills around Neshaminy might be alive with music in February as the school presents the beloved musical The Sound of Music for five performances in Theodore Kloos Auditorium. The production features two casts alternating performances, as well as live music from the Neshaminy HS pit orchestra. Performances will be held on the following dates and times:
    Thursday February 2, 7pm
    Friday February 3, 7pm
    Saturday February 4, 1pm and 7pm
    Sunday February 5, 1pm
     Tickets are $10 for evening shows. $7 for matinees, and are available at the Neshaminy High School Main Office during regular school hours or at the theater door subject to availability.
    Sound of Music  

    Temple coach visits NHS 

     Neshaminy High School welcomed new Temple University Head Football coach Geoff Collins for an informal visit on January 12. Collins and assistant coach Chris Weisehan made the rounds of selected Philadelphia area high schools to meet the staffs and introduce themselves. Accompanied by NHS Head Football Coach Steve Wilmot, Principal Dr. Rob McGee and Athletic Director Tom Magdelinskas, the two walked down the school's Main Street during a class change and visited Harry E. Franks Stadium, where Coach Collins photographed the Wall of Fame tile for fellow coach and NHS graduate James Franklin, currently the head football coach at Penn State. 

    Notable NHS alumni in the news

     Two Neshaminy High School alumni have been in the news recently:
     Dr. Christopher M. Fiorentino, 63, was selected as the new President of West Chester University in January. Dr. Fiorentino grew up in Langhorne and Levittown and been at the university in various positions for 33 years, most recently as Interim President since April.
    Claire Smith  
     Claire Smith, 63, an editor for ESPN, is the 2017 winner of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award from the Baseball Writer's Association of America. Smith has been a pioneer within the baseball community as one of the first women to cover Major League Baseball extensively as a writer for outlets including The Bucks County Courier, The Bulletin, The New York Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer. She will receive the award during induction weekend at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY and a bus trip is planned from the Langhorne area for the event. For more information contact Art Mayhew at inkperson@aol.com by February 20.

    11 inducted into the All-Sports Hall of Fame 

     Ten former Neshaminy High School athletes and one coach were inducted into the All Sports Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the Black Box Theater January 6. Those in attendance and/or their families were introduced during the varsity basketball game vs. Truman HS and the names of the honorees have been added to the Hall of Fame wall across from Gym 3 at the high school. 
    Soccer coach Rachel Clemens (coached soccer 2001-2013)
    Ashley Fisher (soccer, class of 2007)
    Mark Ozoroski (baseball, class of 1985)
    Odell Jones (basketball, class of 2004)
    Amy Pine McQuibben (field hockey, class of 1991)
    Bill Vergantino (football, class of 1988)
    Jackie Andreozzi (indoor track, class of 2005)
    Jeff Baun (soccer, class of 1982)
    Allison Nemeth Wunsch (softball, class of 2003)
    Kimberly Rubin Hammond (track, class of 2002)
    Eric Bristow* ( (track, class of 1982)
    * in memorium 
     Neshaminy Update is published monthly during the school year and distributed to the Neshaminy community via email and web. To submit comments, suggestions or news items for consideration, please email Chris Stanley, Community Relations Coordinator.
    Neshaminy School District
    2250 Langhorne-Yardley Road
    Langhorne, PA 19047
    Joseph Jones III
    (215) 809-6000
    Neshaminy School Board
    of Directors
    Scott E. Congdon - President 
    Irene M. Boyle - Vice President 
    Bob Feather
    Tina Hollenbach  
    Mike Morris
    Stephen Pirritano  
    Ron Rudy
    Robert Sanna 
    Marty Sullivan