•  Neshaminy Update April 2017
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    Programs expand Pre-K access

    Pre-L Lab  
     Neshaminy HS Laboratory Preschool
    Research clearly demonstrates the importance of pre-kindergarten education to success in elementary school and beyond. Finding quality preschool programs can be a challenge for many families due to the expense and other challenges such as the timing of classes and transportation issues.
    Neshaminy can help by directing families to programs within the district and in the community. While some are subsidized programs based on financial need, parents and guardians may be surprised to find out the guidelines vary quite a bit and programs may  be available even if they thought they might not qualify. Counselors and social workers at each district elementary school can direct families to these resources and provide qualification information.
    Plans are under way to expand access to these programs, and add new classes to meet the growing needs of the community.
    Parents and guardians are encouraged to find out and register for classes in the spring, as space is often limited. Neshaminy offers support of four programs:
    • Early HeadStart: A support service free to qualified low income pregnant women and families with children ages birth to 3. Families receive weekly home visits, monthly support groups, health and wellness services, community activities and more. For information call the Bucks County Intermediate Unit at 215-348-2940, extension 8800
    • HeadStart: A pre-kindergarten program for families whose income is below federal poverty guidelines, families that are homeless or fostering may qualify. It is a free program for students age 3-5 and follows a traditional school calendar. The Bucks County Intermediate Unit operates a Head Start program at the former Lower Southampton Elementary School in Feasterville. For information contact Mary Pfender at 267-406-2344.
    • Neshaminy Pre-K Counts: Free to families whose income is up to 300% of federal low-income guidelines may qualify for this program. This district program is designed for children between 3 and 4 years of age, and will also be operated by the Bucks County Intermediate Unit at Lower Southampton. For information contact PKC Coordinator Dr. Christine McKee, cmckee@neshaminy.org.
    • Neshaminy High School Laboratory Preschool: In operation for over 30 years, this program is part-time day care provided in a structured environment held at Neshaminy High School. Students in the Family and Consumer Science program assist qualified staff members with curriculum in literacy, math, art, science and music. Classes meet approximately two hours a day in two sessions, morning and afternoon. This is not a needs-based program and has a fee. For information contact Head Instructor Myrna DeAngelis, mldeangelis@neshaminy.org.

     Neshaminy music program honored

    NAMM award  
    Neshaminy has been recognized as one of 527 districts across the United States for being a 'Best Community for Music Education' by the National Association of Music Marketers (NAMM) Foundation. This award recognizes outstanding efforts by our teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education such a strong part of our curriculum. According to NAMM, designations are made to districts and schools that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and access to music education.

    District joins Youth Coalition efforts

    Coalition meeting  
    A diverse group of community leaders met at the Maple Point Administration Board Room on April 24 to work on solutions to deal with a growing epidemic of social problems affecting the Neshaminy community and the nation including opioid and drug abuse, teen suicide, and risky behaviors.
    The group heard from guest speaker Bucks County Commissioner Diane Ellis-Marseglia, who lost her teenage daughter to suicide in 2005.
    The Neshaminy Coalition for Youth was formed to bring together a number of agencies including the district, local government officials, police, rehabilitation groups, and other medical and social support agencies. The goal is to organize and combine the efforts of each of these groups to offer comprehensive, easy-to-find  information and support resources to educate the community and provide help for those who need it.
    Among the members is the Bucks County Children and Youth Social Services Agency, the Family Service Association of Bucks County, St. Mary Medical Center, the Choice One Pregnancy Center, the Bucks County Drug and Alcohol Commission and Woods Services in Middletown. The Coalition normally meets at the Middletown Township Building.
    The public is invited to join this important effort and can do so by emailing:

    Chromebook deployment begins

    A group of Neshaminy High School students joined district IT staff and administrators in April as they rolled out the first classroom carts of Chromebooks at Buck and Hoover Elementary Schools. Students in grades 3 and 4 throughout the district are each getting a Chromebook to use in school, and the high school students have been helping our IT staff prepare them for deployment and will be assisting with setting them up in the schools. The Chromebooks open a world of opportunities for differentiated instruction, group projects, and easy access to an ever-expanding list of educational applications and resources online.
    Plans are under way to expand the program to other grades with the eventual goal of every student in the district having their own Chromebook or Ipad for everyday use. Parent and family support resources will also be unveiled as the program expands.

    Renovation projects celebrated

    Renovation plaque  
    As the three-year renovation projects at several district schools enter their final phase this summer, plaques are being placed in the buildings to recognize the School Board members and administrators who made it possible. A group including some of those members gathered at Hoover Elementary School on April 27 to mark the occasion.   Plaque
    Current Board Vice-President Irene Boyle and former Board members John Allen and Anthony Sposato joined current Superintendent Joseph Jones III, Business Administrator Barbara Markowitz and Hoover principal Dr. David Glennon for a photo with the new plaque, which was mounted between the office and new security vestibule. Much of the project was completed under the direction of former Superintendent Robert Copeland and retired Facilities Director Paul Minotti.
    The wide-ranging renovations were part of the district's Road Map plan to modernize several schools while matching the number of those buildings to current and future student needs. The extensive renovations included HVAC upgrades, the addition of air conditioning to classrooms, new energy-efficient windows, walls, roofing, and lighting systems, electrical upgrades, and modern security features. 
    Most of the cost of the project was covered under the Guaranteed Energy Savings Act (GESA), a federal program that ensures that cost will be covered by expected energy savings in future years. 
    Phase I covered renovations at Hoover, Sandburg, and Schweitzer and was completed in the summer of 2015. Phase II covered renovations at Ferderbar and Poquessing and was completed in the summer of 2016. The final phase includes upgrades at Miller and Buck and will be completed this summer. 

    Summer program registration open

    Summer is almost here 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


    News from our Schools



     STEAM Expo builds high-tech excitement

    STEAM Expo STEAM Expo
    Hundreds of students and their families attended the third annual STEAM Expo at Neshaminy High School on April 20. The Expo is a showcase of technology programs in the district, including everything from robotics clubs and science projects from the elementary schools to high school science and engineering labs, computer science, graphic arts, engineering programs and more. A number of outside groups attended including the James Michener Art Museum, Churchville Nature Center, Bucks County Community College and Silver Lake Nature Center.


    Health Fair brings the community together
     Health Fair
    The Neshaminy Certified School Nurses held their 2nd Annual Health Fair at Ferderbar Elementary School on April 27, in conjunction with an Art Show being held the same night at the school. Families were treated to a variety of community exhibitions including local and county service agencies, Kids Club, Aramark, the American Red Cross, Family Services Association, the Autism Cares Foundation, and more.   Volunteer firefighters from Feasterville Fire Company brought a fire truck and firefighting gear for demonstrations.

    Pearl S. Buck Elementary School

    Local officials visit Buck

    Middletown Police  
    Local township officials and police officers visited Second grade to teach about local government! Students identified important places in Middletown Township as well as the many service jobs necessary to keep our community safe.


    Joseph Ferderbar Elementary School


    Singers attend Choral Festival

    Ferderbar was well-represented at the 2017 Bux/Mont Choral Festival, which took place on April 1. Eight of Ferderbar’s finest singers met at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church on Street Road, joining members of the Pennsylvania Youth Chorale Senior Choir as well as other singers from Bucks and Montgomery Counties. The students received and learned their music, then performed in concert. Representing Ferderbar were Anastasia Koutsouradis, Swasti Shinde, Sofia Jordao, Julianna Silvano, Rachel Rubbo, Norah Saloky, Claire Saloky, and Kimberly Fecca.  
    Ferderbar chorus


    Student serenaders motivate test takers
    Each morning during the PSSA tests in April, Ferderbar students were serenaded by third and fourth grade students who motivated our test takers by singing the "Rock the PSSA" song over the public address system. 


    Herbert Hoover Elementary School

    Autism group  

    Autism Awareness Day marked

    The staff and students at Hoover marked Autism Awareness Day on April 21. 57 staff members purchased and wore special shirts to bring attention and understanding to issues surrounding autism. The students watched videos about autism and worked on several projects during the day.

    Walter Miller Elementary School


    Middle school students return as mentors

    Every Wednesday after school, from the beginning of February to the end of March, fifth and sixth grade students from Sandburg mentored fourth grade students at Miller Elementary School. All of the mentors were former Miller students. They helped the fourth graders strengthen their math skills using the Moby Max software program to build and practice areas of need. The program is not only beneficial to solidify math skills for the mentors and their students, but new friendships were formed as well.  

    Autism Day marked with donation

    Jessica Frisch's kindergarten class won the Miller Coins for Autism contest in April by collecting 36 pounds of coins for a donation to support autism research.  Overall, Miller raised over $1,300 for the cause.


    Albert Schweitzer Elementary School

    Super Hero Day

    Super Hero salute for a former student

    On Friday, March 3, Schweitzer Super Heros dressed up in their favorite costume or t-shirt to support one of their own. Over $300 was collected and donated to the Children's Oncology Group in memory of a true Super Hero - Mason Allen. Mason was a Sandburg and Schweitzer student who recently lost his battle with cancer.


    Tawanka Elementary  School


     Spring Projects

    Joanne Sheridan from Home Depot visited kindergarten students to help them create and decorate planters at Tawanka Elementary School today. Thanks to Home Depot for providing all the materials and Joanne's time to work with our students on this fun spring project! 
     Home Depot project


    Maple Point Middle School 


    Instructional assistant honored

    Congratulations to Linda Gaul, a Maple Point instructional assistant who has been working with the district since 1984. She will be honored on May 11 at the annual YWCA Salute to Women Who Make A difference Awards in Ivyland. The goal of the award is to "honor women who have been recognized by their companies, organizations or community groups for their outstanding achievements in serving their organizations and/or the community at large." 

    Maple Point journalist covers the NFL Draft 

    7th grade student Dominic Cosenza served as a student journalist at the NFL Draft festivities in Philadelphia on April 28.  As the only middle school journalist invited to the massive event on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Dom got the opportunity to interview NFL legends and witness behind-the-scenes action during a tour of the Theater and the Media Pavilion, and explored the NFL Draft experience. He will be sharing his observations in the Maple Point student newspaper.


    Poquessing Middle School


    Jazz Band goes to college

    Poquesing Jazz Band  
     The Poquessing Middle School Jazz Band traveled to the College of New Jersey to attend a Master Class with the school's Director of Jazz Studies, Dr. Gary Fineburg. As well as receiving coaching, the young musicians played for a Jazz Pedagogy Class. The TCNJ Jazz Band then took the stage and performed for the students. This new partnership was formed by Jazz Band Director Lisa Boccuti and supported by the Poquessing Music Boosters. 

    Teacher of the Year

    Congratulations to Poquessing Physical Education teacher Brooke Lesser, who was honored as the Middle School Southeastern Division Teacher of the Year by the Pennsylvania State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance in April.

    Environmental Club cleans up

    To help celebrate Earth Day 2017, the Environmental Club at Poquessing helped with a spring clean-up at Playwicki Farm on Bridgetown Pike. The group then was given a tour of the woods behind the farm, including the limestone quarry and limekiln. The guide discussed the Native American history of the site dating back thousands of years.


    Carl Sandburg Middle School


    Pasta for Pennies helps fight cancer

    Sandburg participated in Pasta for Pennies and the National Junior Honor Society collected and donated $1,812 to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The money raised funds life-saving research and supports local patient services. The homeroom that raised the most money (Mrs. Sanchez, $537) will be going to the Olive Garden for lunch in May. 


     Neshaminy High School


    Musicians perform in Hawaii

    Pearl Harbor performance  
    After many months of intense preparation and fundraising, 125 Neshaminy High School musicians boarded a plane at Newark Airport for a memorable 5-day trip to Hawaii on April 6. While there, members of the marching, symphonic and jazz bands, jazz and wind ensembles, and string orchestra participated in the 11th annual Hawaii Music Festival which included clinics and performances. Another highlight was a performance for a Remember the Heroes ceremony at the Pearl Harbor Memorial. There the band played the National Anthem, Armed Forces Medley, and other selections.
    The students also toured historic and recreational sites, learned to Hula, and enjoyed the natural beauty of the islands.

    Envirothon team wins Bucks County competition

    Congratulations to Neshaminy’s Envirothon team of Caroline Angerer, Ashley Alexander, Madeleine Mueller, Jake Cautilli,  Jason Faccenda and advisor Brian Sutor who placed first in the Bucks County Envirothon. They will move on to compete against the winner of each of the other 66 counties at the Pennsylvania Envirothon on May 23 and 24.

    Business students accepted to summer enterprise program

     25 Business, Computer and Information Technology students were accepted to the Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week (PFEW) program taking place this summer. PFEW is a unique and challenging educational experience designed for high school sophomores and juniors to learn about career opportunities while taking an active role in operating a simulated business. PFEW is open to students from all across the state and offers a college campus experience for one week at Lycoming College and Penn College.
    Each student received a scholarship valued at $1,500 through the PFEW organization. The Lower Bucks County Chamber of Commerce takes a very active role in supporting this effort.

    Neshamimy Drama stages a sellout

    Neshaminy Drama sold out five performances of the Broadway musical Godspell in the Black Box Theater at the end of April.  

    MiniTHON is back!

    The Neshaminy MiniTHON, a local version of the wildly popular Penn State University fundraiser to fight childhood cancer, will be held Saturday May 6 from 11 am - 5 pm in Gym 3 at Neshaminy HS. Last year the event raised over $15,000 #FTK (For The Kids).


    Suicide Prevention Walk raises money, awareness
    Neshaminy High School has two teams raising money in the annual #HoldOnYouMatter Suicide Prevention Walk on Sunday April 30. Both the Neshaminy HS Spectrum Club and Neshaminy Friends Helping Friends are participating in the walk, which involves several local school districts and is held at the Bucks County Technical High School. The goal is to let students know they have options for emergency and long-term support, and to fund programs that promote those options.

    Graduation date set

    The commencement ceremony for the Neshaminy High School Class of 2017 will be held Wednedsay June 14 in Harry E. Franks Stadium starting at 6:30 pm. The rain date is Thursday June 15 at the same time. Plans are under way to livestream the ceremony over the internet; details will be posted on the district and high school web site and social media.
     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