A Banner Year for SWPBISSeven schools honored for positive behavior programsFive Neshaminy schools earned banners for their School Wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (SWPBIS) programs after a recent series of outside evaluations by a team of educators. Two more were honored for their continuing implementation.Joseph Ferderbar ES, Pearl S. Buck ES, Herbert Hoover ES, Walter Miller ES and Poquessing MS earned banners for the first time. Carl Sandburg MS and Albert Schweitzer ES earned badges for 'Sustained Fidelity' to add to their banners already earned in previous years. Maple Point MS and Tawanka ES are also launching their own SWPBIS programs this year.SWPBIS programs, which are customized for each school, promote empathy, responsibility, respect and other core character traits through a variety of activities throughout the year and as part of the daily routine. The banners indicate that the school has implemented the program 'With Fidelity.'SWPBIS is an initiative supported by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The goal is to support schools, families and communities with comprehensive, school-based behavioral health support systems that promote the academic, social and emotional well-being of our students. Implementations include school-wide team-building activities, a universally understood code of conduct, respect and responsibility for each school, community-based volunteer activities, and the provision of emotional and behavioral support resources for students and their families.According to Denise Distel, the outside liaison and coach for SWPBIS programs from the Bucks County Intermediate Unit, Neshaminy has the most schools earning SWPBIS banners and badges of any district in Bucks County. The evaluation process, which was completed in March, included classroom observation; student, teacher and administration interviews; resource evaluation, and written reports.The banners and badges will be presented in May at the Pennsylvania Positive Behavior Support forum held in Hershey. The SWPBIS teams from Tawanka, Schweitzer and Sandburg will deliver a formal presentation on the implementation of their programs to over 1,000 attendees at the forum.
site premieresThe district web sites have a brand new clean, modern look after completion of a makeover during the weekend of March 19-20.The goal of the change is to make information easier to find on the site and highlight the programs and activities in the district through the bold use of photography, video and articles. Menus were simplified to make finding inside pages faster with fewer 'clicks'. Vital information such as activity calendars, lunch menus, Home Access and school announcements are centrally located in a clean, simple layout that is consistent across the district. Teacher pages are now found under 'Academics' in the channel menu at the top of the page and are arranged by grade (grades K-5) or by academic team and subject (6-12).The new design is mobile-friendly and will dynamically size itself to be correctly formatted on any device, from the largest desktop monitor to the smallest smart phone screen. Updates to site areas such as activity pages, teacher pages and parent resources will be continuously applied in response to the needs of our students, parents, staff and the community.LINK: www.neshaminy.org
District calendar updatedAt the March 28 Public Board Meeting, the 2016-2017 district calendar was updated to reflect any possible changes due to inclement weather days.The good news for students is that no changes will be required. School will finish for the year on Friday June 16. The commencement ceremony at Neshaminy High School is scheduled for Wednesday June 14 with a rain date of Thursday June 15.Two extra days were added in June for certified staff, which will be used for professional development activities.Both the 2016-2017 and the 2017-2018 calendars are posted on the district web site.
Summer program registration openSummer will be here before we know it, and Neshaminy School District is once again offering a number of opportunities for educational enrichment in our schools in July and August:
- Secondary Summer School (now in its 60th year!)
- Summer STEM Academy (including a new CSI forensics unit)
- Summer Stock theater program (now in its 53rd year!)
- Instrumental music programs
- Elementary summer tutoring program
- English Language Learner Lab
NSD pilots AVID support programAdvancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) is a global nonprofit organization that operates with one guiding principle: Hold students accountable to the highest standards, provide academic and social support, and they will rise to the challenge.In November, the Neshaminy secondary site team visited Plymouth Whitemarsh High School to see AVID in action. The district elementary site team visited Woodbury School District in New Jersey on March 21. Woodbury is a national demonstration site district for the program.The AVID elective supports students in their efforts to reach the highest academic standards; provides them with academic and social supports, and facilitates success in high school, college and a career. AVID is especially designed for students traditionally underrepresented in higher education.Next school year (2017-2018), Neshaminy High School will pilot the district's first AVID elective course with 9th grade students. In order to begin implementation of AVID, the district is now in the process of identifying teachers and students to voluntarily participate in the program. Poquessing Middle School and Ferderber Elementary School will serve as our middle and elementary models. They will use the 2017-18 school year for planning and will begin implementation of AVID during the 2018-19 school year.
Miller, Buck upgrade projects approvedAt the March 28 School Board meeting, a representative from Reynolds Construction presented details of renovation projects proposed for Walter Miller and Pearl S. Buck Elementary Schools this summer. Following a discussion, the Board approved the $3.06 million project, which is the third and final phase of the District's Road Map project to provide upgrades throughout the district and match building usage with current needs.Some of the work at Miller and Buck will come under GESA (Guaranteed Energy Savings Act), a program that ensures savings for projects that increase energy efficiency.Walter Miller Elementary will be getting air conditioning in each classroom, upgrades to existing AC units, a new heating system, automated controls that are compatible with similar systems in other district buildings, and electrical panel upgrades.New security vestibules will be installed at both Miller and Buck. These feature an double door entry system, intrusion resistant glass, an online ID access system and LED lighting.Two other smaller projects are also scheduled for spring and summer. The pool at Carl Sandburg Middle School will be re-grouted in June and July, and Poquessing Middle School will get a new boiler unit by the end of this school year.
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 bus drivers, 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:
District April Highlights
- April 20: STEAM Expo at Neshaminy HS
- April 25: District Jazz Festival (MS & HS) at NHS
- April 26-29: 'Godspell' at Neshaminy HS (Black Box Theater)
- April 27: District Health Fair at Ferderbar ES
- April 29: Harlem Wizards at Neshaminy HS
- April 30: #HoldOnYouMatter suicide prevention walk at Bucks County Technical HS
News from our Schools
Harlem Wizards tour NeshaminyTwo players from the Harlem Wizards show basketball team delighted students during a whirlwind afternoon tour of the district on March 30. The assemblies were a chance to show off some of the basketball tricks and skill that will be on display when they will be playing at Neshaminy High School on Saturday April 29, 7pm at Neshaminy High School. The game is a benefit for the Neshaminy Education Foundation. Tickets are $10 in advance and can be purchased at the web site linked below.The first player, Tojo, visited Buck, Sandburg (including Schweitzer students), Miller and Hoover. The second, Blackjack, visited Tawanka, Poquessing and Ferderbar. Both visited the 5th and 6th grade lunch period at Maple Point. Both will be part of the team playing at Neshaminy.The Wizards have been performing since 1962, visiting schools, arenas and stadiums throughout the world with their high-energy antics.They will be playing a team made up of teachers, administrators and support staff from throughout the district. Maple Point physical education teacher Skip Mason will be coaching the 'Neshaminy Dream Team.'
Elementary reading program wins national awardOn Tuesday February 28 a group of visitors from the Reading Horizons program, based in Salt Lake City Utah, visited Neshaminy to deliver the Charlotte F. Lockhart Award for Excellence in Literacy Excellence. Reading Horizons CEO Tyson Smith presented the award at a School Board meeting after visiting Ferderbar Elementary School earlier in the day.Neshaminy implemented the Reading Horizons program for elementary school students with a pilot program five years ago. The program was an immediate success and was rolled out to all the Title 1 schools in the district for reading support students in kindergarten through third grade. The program builds phonics, vocabulary, spelling, grammar, pronunciation, fluency and comprehension skills using a combination of materials from books to computer applications."It's just remarkable what the educators at Neshaminy have accomplished," said Smith in a press release about the award. "We see a lot of success stories, but Neshaminy has gone above and beyond in their dedication to creating a culture of literacy in their district. It was their passion for student success that warranted receiving this award."Link: Award article and video
Pearl S. Buck Elementary School
First grade is a zoo, and that's OKThe first grade at Buck presented animal projects to parents and special guests in March. After researching a wild animal, each student created a book and a diorama based upon the animal. The first grade team skillfully decorated the A-wing alcove to look like a jungle-themed zoo. After receiving an entrance stamp, the zoo visitors enjoyed each child's presentation, including information about their animal's habitat, food source, and other interesting facts.
SuperKid Cass visits BuckOne of the stars of the SuperKids reading program visited a number of Neshaminy elementary schools in March, including Buck. SuperKids is the program used in grades K-2 that introduces children to a cast of characters each about their own age and with a different interest that the students can relate to.Cass is the very first character the students meet by reading about her in kindergarten, and she loves to cook.Wearing her trademark toque and apron, she spent time with each class talking about her interests and answering students' questions. Many of the student dressed as their favorite SuperKids character and brought in props such as sports awards and stuffed animals.Link: Cass visits Neshaminy
Joseph Ferderbar Elementary School
Special delivery across the gradesThe younger students at Ferderbar surprised the third and fourth grade students with letters and treats in late March as a way to send their congratulations for their hard work getting ready for the upcoming PSSA tests.
Herbert Hoover Elementary School
Choir shines at Globetrotters gameThe Hoover Elementary Choir attended a Harlem Globetrotters game at the Sun National Bank Center in Trenton on March 4 and performed the National Anthem before the game.
Walter Miller Elementary School
Science Fair showcases student research, creativityStudents at Walter Miller Elementary had an opportunity to show off their talents at the school's Science Fair on February 28. Teachers and volunteers helped the children find tables to set up their displays and answered questions. Projects included everything from hands-on demonstrations about tornadoes to displays of animals and plants, human anatomy/physiology and new ways for charging iPods and cell phones. Those attending the event on Tuesday, March 1 were able to learn which drinks have more sugar, what melts snow the best, how to get electricity from fruits and even to eat or NOT to eat the snow…. it was a fun day!
Albert Schweitzer Elementary School
Lucky leprechauns celebrate St. Patrick's DaySchweitzer celebrated St. Patrick's Day on Friday March 17 with their annual Lucky Charms breakfast celebration. The event included arts and crafts along with a Leprechaun Breakfast for all.
Tawanka Elementary School
Young author inspires future writersOn March 29, Tawanka was treated to a presentation by author Olivia Millevoi, the daughter of third-grade teacher Monica Millevoi. The eighth-grader from Newtown wrote a book based on the true story of a dog that survived a house fire in Olivia's neighborhood several years ago. The book, called Do you believe in Magic? is available for purchase through Amazon and other online outlets.During the presentation Olivia spoke of how she got the idea for the book, the process of turning it into something ready for publication, and working with a professional illustrator. She encouraged Tawanka students to try their own hand at writing. She signed copies of her book, of which a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross.
Maple Point Middle School
Coaches vs. Cancer raises the bar once againOn Friday March Maple Point held the 4th Annual Student Council 'Coaches vs. Cancer event. The night featured a 7th and 8th grade basketball doubleheader against Carl Sandburg MS. The event was a complete sell out with over 800 people in attendance. In addition to the games, an extensive lineup of prizes featuring tickets to amusement parks, sporting events and concerts; scholarships to camps; gift cards to restaurants, fitness centers and salons; and various sports memorabilia were raffled off.The game raised $11,500 for the American Cancer Society Coaches vs. Cancer School Initiative, which is a $4,000 increase from the previous year. The event is one of the largest in the Delaware Valley, raising more than many high schools.
Poquessing Middle School
Teacher of the Year!Brooke Lesser, health and physical education teacher and department chair at Poquessing, was named Teacher of the Year for the Middle School Southeastern Division by the Pennsylvania Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance! Brooke has been with Neshaminy School District full-time since 2004, first at Carl Sandburg Middle School and then at Poquessing since 2006. She has also coached field hockey and track at the middle and high school level.
Mosaic project unveiledEvery student at Poquessing Middle School had a part over three months in preparing tiles for a large mosaic in the front lobby that was completed March 6 and unveiled the following day. The art staff at Poquessing worked with the Bucks County Artists in Residence program (Bucks AIR) to bring the project to life. It is an amazing art work that Poquessing students, staff and the community will be enjoying for years to come!VIDEO LINK: Evolution of the Poquessing tile mosaic project
Carl Sandburg Middle School
'Madagascar, The Musical' delights audiencesAfter months of preparation the students at Carl Sandburg presented a musical version of the hit movie, Madagascar from March 8-11. In addition to the shows the cast appeared at the traditional Saturday morning breakfast in costume on March 11.VIDEO LINK: Highlights of Madagascar at Sandburg
Composer works with student musicians in personHow often do student musicians get to learn directly from the composer who created their music? On March 13, the Junior Honors Chorus at Sandburg was honored to welcome Dr. Rollo A. Dilworth to Neshaminy. During rehearsal, the 4th and 5th grade students were able to interact with and receive guidance from a composer of one of their pieces. Dr. Dilworth is a professor at Temple University and a prominent composer of spirituals and folk songs. This experience was made possible by their directors, Brian Barber and Paul Tosti. The music department is looking forward to a wonderful working relationship with one of America’s finest modern composers and arrangers.
Neshaminy High School
Imagine That! Gym Night goes down to the wireAfter three elaborate shows, the finale of Gym Night 2017 proved to be as spectacular as the dances and competitions themselves, ending with a record-close score of 37-36 in favor of Red over Blue. The theme for the 64th annual edition of this Neshaminy tradition was 'Imagine That,' and featured a wide range of characters and stories ranging from Batman and The Hunger Games to Amelia Earhart and Looney Tunes. A record number of students participated in this year's show, a testament to the continuing popularity of Gym Night as a centerpiece of the Neshaminy High School experience.A video crew from NHS captured all three shows, which will be broadcast on NSDTV (Comcast channel 28 and Fios channel 43) including a marathon each Sunday during the month of April.
Business student selected for summer internshipCongratulations to Ruben Christie for being selected to the Accounting Career Awareness Program sponsored by the National Association of Black Accountants, Inc. (NABA). This is a summer residency program at La Salle University for a week in June and is fully funded by the NABA. Ruben interviewed with administrators from the Accounting Career Awareness Program in Philadelphia and submitted his application with letters of recommendation. Only twenty-four students were selected from Philadelphia and surrounding area high schools.
International Dinner brings the world to Neshaminy's cafeteriaScores of foreign language students and their families filled the cafeteria at NHS with dozens of homemade dishes from around the world during the annual International Dinner March 15. The event was a chance for the students to share their culinary heritage from countries including Italy, Russia, Greece, Vietnam, Mexico, Egypt, Pakistan, India and many more.VIDEO LINK: International Dinner at NHS
Drama students see 'Miss Saigon'On March 11 a group of Neshaminy HS Drama students enjoyed a performance of 'Miss Saigon' on Broadway in New York City. One of the cast members, Dan Horn, is a Neshaminy graduate and came out to speak with the group.
5th Annual Collabaret celebrates musical theaterThe Neshaminy High School Choir and Roadies presented their annual Collaboret on March 23 and 24. The show is a collection of highlights from top Broadway shows including Hamilton, Finding Neverland, 1776, Matilda and West Side Story.VIDEO LINK: Highlights of 2017 Collabaret
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 District2250 Langhorne-Yardley RoadLanghorne, PA 19047Joseph Jones IIISuperintendent(215) 809-6000Neshaminy School Boardof DirectorsScott E. Congdon - PresidentIrene M. Boyle - Vice PresidentBob FeatherTina HollenbachMike MorrisStephen PirritanoRon RudyRobert SannaMarty Sullivan