•  Neshaminy Update FEB 2017
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    Leading the way in STEM

    Brian Suter

     Brian Suter with his AP Environmental Science class conducting geology research
    NHS teacher pioneering new programs statewide
     In October, Neshaminy School District's Lead Science Teacher, Brian Suter, was invited to serve on the newly formed Pennsylvania STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Advisory Committee. This team of 80 members comprised of selected STEM industry leaders, philanthropic leaders, post-secondary partners, Intermediate Unit (IU) staff, Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) leaders, superintendents, and classroom teachers, will be tasked with advancing STEM Education in the Commonwealth to address the challenges of the 21st century and meet the needs of an evolving workforce.
     Brian was invited due to his groundbreaking work helping Neshaminy's middle school science teachers adopt 3D learning in the middle school science program as well as his work to develop the Pennsylvania Science Framework.
     Over the past several months since joining the committee, Brian has been involved with several opportunities to influence STEM education statewide. In November, the committee met at State College to provide guidance to the Pennsylvania Department of Education on the Mission, Vision, and Common Language of STEM Education. The team then received an orientation on the committee's long-term project, support of a National Science Foundation grant, Advancing Coherence and Equities in Science Education, aimed at assisting states in establishing coherence and equity across science education systems. A targeted focus will be on understanding and addressing challenges to promote 3D learning and assessment models used to create equitable, and coherent systems for advancing STEM education for all.

    PSSA / Keystone dates announced 

     PSSA logo
     The annual Pennsylvania System of School Assessments (PSSA) and Keystone tests will be conducted in April and May.
     The PSSAs are administered to students in grades 3 through 8 in English Language Arts and Mathematics. Science PSSAs are administered in grades 4 and 8. The Keystone Exams are end of course assessments administered to students currently enrolled in Biology, Literature and Algebra I.  
     The testing window for PSSA is April 3 - May 5, and the window for the Keystones is May 15 - May 26. For specific information on the dates and other important information to help your children succeed with the standardized tests, please visit the district or school web sites.

     NEF grants awarded

     The Neshaminy Education Foundation approved nine classroom grants in January for a total of $6617. The purpose of these grants is to provide funding for new and innovative materials and programs throughout the district. Neshaminy staff members were encouraged to apply for the grants in December, and the awardees were able to begin ordering and using their approved materials immediately.
     The non-profit NEF was founded in 1993 and is managed by a volunteer Board of Directors. The Foundation provides grants and scholarships to benefit the students of the district. The NEF holds a number of fundraisers throughout the year, including the upcoming Wizards basketball game (see below).
     The grant recipients this year are:
    • Kerry Hammon, Neshaminy HS Biology, Anatomy & Physiology: Implementation of Neuron Modeling Kits
    • Kerry Hammon, Nancy Olivera, and Sheila Royds, Neshaminy HS Biology, Honors Biology2 and AP Biology: Implementation of Amino Acid and B-Globin Folding Kits
    • Amanda Henry, Neshaminy HS English: Immediate Feedback Assessment Technique
    • Charles Deal, Neshaminy HS BCIT: Creating and Matching Digitized and Lifted Fingerprints forensics kit
    • Kathleen Kenney, Maple Point MS Physical Education: Rebound fitness equipment
    • Brooke Lesser and Terry Martian, Poquessing and Sandburg MS Physical Education: Stand-up paddle boards
    • Kristen Hawkins and Denise Adamoyurka, Maple Point MS reading specialists: 'Increasing Classroom Libraries with Must-Read Books' 
    • Kimberly Clement and Judy Brown, Ferderbar ES: Physical education / facilitated recess equipment
    • Justin Bursk: Hoover ES art: 'Tree of Life' student to professional mura
     Video  New fitness equipment at Maple Point
     Video link  Dot and Dash robots at Schweitzer (2016 grant) 

    The Wizards are coming!

     Harlem Wizards
     Save the date! The Neshaminy Education Foundation is excited to announce the Harlem Wizards will be playing our very own 'Neshaminy Dream Team' on Saturday April 29, 2017 in Gym 3 at Neshanminy High School at 7 pm.
     The world-renowned Wizards have been entertaining kids and families since 1962 with their high-energy combination of basketball skill, tricks, alley-oops, dunks and slams. They will be playing against a team made up of teachers, administrators and other staff members from all of our schools, do you think we can compete?
     This event is a major fundraiser for the non-profit NEF, which provides classroom grants and scholarships for our district. Tickets will be sold online starting in mid-March; more information about ticket sales will be posted on the district web site, Facebook page and via email.

    Free and Reduced Lunch program 

     Neshaminy School District is committed to ensuring that every student receives nutritious meals while in school. The district has a program available to families that provides free and reduced lunches to children whose families meet income guidelines. In the past, the applications have been sent home. The district is now using a web based application process (found at the link below).
     All applications are confidential. Students receiving free and reduced lunch use a card and PIN number just like any other student who purchases their meals at school. Any questions about this program or the application process should be directed to the school nurses or Neshaminy Food Services, (215) 809-6542.

    Help Wanted!

     Interested in the field of education? Come help us 'Build Futures' at Neshaminy! The district has a number of current job openings that might be a good fit for your lifestyle and career goals. These jobs include substitute teachers, playground aides, cafeteria aides, instructional aides and more. If you are interested, please apply online at:

     If you have a college degree and are interested in teaching, Source4Teachers routinely conducts two day workshops to help you obtain your Substitute Teaching Certificate. If you are interested, please visit this link for more information: 


    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 




    Amplify representatives visit to see their program in action  

     The three district middle schools were pleased to host representatives from the Amplify science curriculum to observe their program in action today. Amplify is a cutting-edge program that Neshaminy helped to pioneer last year, which includes simulation and modeling tools that provide students an opportunity to investigate abstract scientific principles in real time. The feedback from our students and teachers will be used to improve and expand the program, which is now used by hundreds of schools nationwide.
    Amplify photo  
    Students work on a science project at Poquessing Middle School

    Staff assignments: Attend workshops, climb walls 

     While students enjoyed the second day of their winter holiday for Presidents Day, Neshaminy staff members were busy participating in a variety of projects during their in-service day. These included a workshop on the Amplify Science curriculum, another on the the Canvas platform, Habits of Mind seminars, a computer coding class, a health seminar, and planning for upcoming events such as the STEAM Expo (April 20) and the Health Fair (April 17).
     District Physical Education teachers spent their in-service day hanging around Neshaminy High School and climbing the walls...literally! They attended a training session in the Challenge Gym at Neshaminy High School as they tackled the climbing wall and other climbing elements, which you can view in the video below.


     Pearl S. Buck Elementary School

     Langhorne mailman

    Special delivery for kindergarten

    Mr. Rohne, a mail carrier from the Langhorne Post Office, visited a kindergarten class at Pearl S. Buck ES on Feburary 10. He talked about his job and, at the end of his presentation, collected letters to be mailed home just in time for Valentine's Day

    100th day of school celebrated 

    Buck celebrated the 100th day of school with a variety of activities for young students learning to count. One class celebrated by popping balloons all day to reveal a hidden activity inside that was related to the number 100. Some activities included counting to 100 by ones, fives and tens; reading 100 words; coming up with 100 rhyming words; filling in 10 ten-frames; and so much more! Students even got to work cooperatively as a team to build the tallest tower they could using 100 plastic cups. The kindergarteners had fun celebrating being '100 days smarter!'



     Joseph Ferderbar Elementary School


     Chorus members share Valentines Day fun with seniors

     The Select Chorus from Ferderbar Elementary School visited their 'pen pals' at the Attleboro Community in Langhorne February 8. The students performed at the facility in December and were delivering hand-made Valentine's Day cards this time around. The students also had a list of questions to ask their pen pals about music, such as "What was one of your favorite songs as a child?" and "How important is music in your life?"
    Ferderbar students  

    Herbert Hoover Elementary School 


    ChromeBooks encourage student engagement

     At Hoover, one of the goals for the year is to use technology to engage students in their learning. Many teachers have been using the Google Classroom program and the ChromeBook carts to engage students in lively classroom discussions. Several teachers have also used the Kahoot program and the ChromeBook carts to assess student understanding of vocabulary words, social studies concepts, math concepts, and even physical education standards. During a Kahoot activity, students receive points for every correct answer that is submitted. They receive bonus points if they submit the correct answer really fast. After every question, all of the classroom responses are posted on a chart, and the names of students who have done well are added to the Leader Board. 

     Magic show at Hoover

    PTO sponsors dance, reading magic assembly

    The PTO hosted a K-4 dance on February 11, where Hoover students and their parents enjoyed dancing the night away. The PTO also provided students with a “Reading is Magical” assembly program. Students learned that they can read non-fiction books to enhance their skills with a hobby (Magic Tricks). They also learned that fiction books can take them on all sorts of magical adventures


    Walter Miller Elementary School


    Miller celebrates 100th day with a song

     Young students celebrated the number 100 with a variety of activities, including counting games, hand-decorated t-shirts and hats, and snacks. The three kindergarten classes gathered in the gymnasium to pose for a photo arranged in the shape of the number 100 to celebrate the 100th day of school, Monday, February 13. Also to honor the occasion they sang a song that they learned together, which you can view in the video below.


    Albert Schweitzer Elementary School


    Parent Resource Center opens
      After months of work, the new Parent Resource Center at Schweitzer opened for business February 23 with an open house. The PRC is a room where Schweitzer families can come between 10 am - 2 pm each school day to research and sign up for a number of educational and community resources. The center includes a lending library of materials, computer access and other support for a variety of services.  It is designed to ensure the academic and social-emotional well-being of every student at Albert Schweitzer Elementary by providing a center for accessing those programs and help.
     The PRC was made possible by a $3000 grant from the Foundations Community Partnership, won by the School Wide Positive Behavior Intervention and Support team at Schweitzer last year. A number of local social service organizations attended the open house and donated materials that will be available to families using the PRC.
    PRC-1 PRC-2


    Tawanka Elementary School 


    100th day includes STEM activities

    Kindergarten and first-grade students at Tawanka celebrated the 100th day of school Monday February 13 with a number of activities to celebrate counting. Some dressed as 100-year-olds, they counted everything from legos to stacks of cups to miniature cars, created hecto-centric art projects, and counted by 5's, 10's and 20's to 100.
    Fourth grade visits seniors
    Tawanka fourth graders visited Attelboro Nursing Home to spread Valentine Kindness. The students prepared homemade valentines to distribute, read poems and performed magic tricks. Music was provided by a few students and their strings, along with the entire fourth grade singing some ‘good old’ favorites led by Mr. Barber and his guitar. The residents and students seemed to genuinely enjoy each other’s company.


    Maple Point Middle School 


    Students bring an epic Disney tale to the stage

    Mulan set  
     The hallway outside of Harry M. Dengler Jr. Performing Arts Center at Maple Point was filled with red and white balloons and Chinese decorations, including a 20-foot dragon hanging from the ceiling to celebrate the school's production of  'Mulan' February 22-25. The sets and costumes inside the theater were no less spectacular as students performed the musical adaption of the Disney classic animated film depicting the struggles of a young female warrior who wants to protect her home and country from an invasion.

    Annual fundraiser benefits Ronald McDonald House

     Red and white stripes were the fashion statement of the month in February as the Student Council held their annual fundraiser for the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House.
     Students and staff sold socks, hats, scarves and bracelets and wore them to school on Valentines Day, February 14. The total raised was $2,319.
     Ronald McDonald House

    Coaches vs. Cancer coming in March

    Maple Point will once again be hosting a fundraising double-header basketball game against Sandburg on Friday, March 10. A number of prizes will be raffled including major concert and sports tickets, summer camp scholarships, restaurant and store gift cards and more. More information can be found on the Maple Point website. The event benefits the American Cancer Society.


    Poquessing Middle School


    'Legally Blonde' performance a high-energy crowd-pleaser 
    Legally Blonde  
    Poquessing presented their annual production, 'Legally Blonde,' a musical based on the novel and movie of the same title on February 22-25. 

    Surprise Valentines hearts deliver a happy message

     On Valentines Day - Tuesday February 14 - students at Poquessing Middle School arrived at school to find a surprise inspirational message on each of their lockers, thanks to three clubs who stayed late after school the day before to deliver this Valentines gift. The project was part of the Rachel's Challenge school-wide positive behavior program at the school, and was praised by the national organization who posted the video below on their social media.


    Carl Sandburg Middle School 


    Tower of Power challenges young engineers

     Tower of Power  Carl Sandburg Middle School held their annual Tower of Power February 8. Over 200 students competed in this popular annual event that challenges teams to create the tallest tower possible using only drinking straws and paper clips. The towers must support 2 tennis balls when completed. Teams also get points for creative costumes and themes; winners were treated to a number of prizes donated by the PTO and local businesses.

    ESPN sports writer visits, discusses Villanova book

     ESPN National Senior Sports Writer Dana O'Neil spoke to students at Carl Sandburg Middle School February 18. Her main areas of coverage are basketball, lacrosse and horse racing, and she is the author of a new book about Villanova's champion men's basketball team titled Long Shots: Jay Wright, Villanova and College Basketball's Most Unlikely Champion. She spoke to the students about her career, her writing, and the book itself, which includes an interview with Neshaminy HS graduate Ryan Arcidiacono, a star on that Villanova team.


      Neshaminy High School


    NHS art works displayed at juried show

     Six Neshaminy HS students from Cheryl Soltis’s drawing & painting classes had works selected for the 2017 High School Imprint Juried Competition at the Wharton Esherick Museum in Paoli, PA. These talented students are: Kyle Arocho (11th grade), Michelle Zaragoza (11th), Kim Loncosky (11th), Kylee Weber (11th), Riley Turner (12th), and Matthew Palella (9th). You can view their artwork on the museum’s Facebook page below:

    Business students win regional awards

     Neshaminy High School's FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) Club recently competed in the Region 12 FBLA Competition at Delaware Valley University. Neshaminy High School's FBLA Club is proud to announce the names of 40 students who won or placed in various business and computer application events. This competition was attended by numerous Bucks County high schools. This year Neshaminy High School has 72 students participating as FBLA club members.
     A majority of the regional winners, 36 students, are now eligible to attend the FBLA State Competition at the Hershey Lodge, in Hershey, Pennsylvania in April. State winners will have the opportunity to then compete at the national level this summer in Anaheim, CA.
     FBLA is a nationally recognized organization that promotes business and technology leadership in high schools across the United States.

    Philadelphia area Student Councils gather at NHS 

     Neshaminy High School was honored to host the Pennsylvania Association of Student Councils Region F (the 5-county Philadelphia region) Conference February 21. About 650 students and mentors from area middle and high schools attended, enjoying a Disney-themed general session in the Theodore Kloos Auditorium and breakout seminars on a variety of topics throughout the school.  Student Council meeting

    Scholarship athletes honored

    Congratulations to NHS seniors that were honored February 3  for signing letters of intent to attend and play sports in college on scholarship next year, including:


    Christopher Wilson (football, Wagner)
    Devan Masciulli (softball, Millersville)
    Emily Alexis (field hockey, Sacred Heart)
    Mia Sexton (field hockey, Temple)
    Maggie Daeche (soccer, Drexel)
    Alyssa Tobin (soccer, West Chester)
    Emily Tomlinson (soccer, Millersville)
    Daniel Grindrod (soccer, West Chester)
    Dylan McDonald (soccer, Syracuse)
    Zachary Boop (baseball, Lehigh)
    Student athlete ceremony

    Gym Night is almost here!

     The 64th annual edition of Gym Night will be held Friday and Saturday, March 3 and 4, 2017. The Blue and Red teams from each grade have been working since late fall to prepare for this spectacular, and a record number of students will be participating. The theme this year is 'Imagine That,' revolving around fictional lands and characters from stories, books and movies.
     Gym Night participants will be decorating the Trevose Chick-Fil-A during the week of February 27 - March 3 as part of a fundraiser, so stop by and vote for Blue or Red! 
     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