expands, incorporates literacy strategies
work on a modeling project at Maple Point Middle School
Amplify Science was introduced to the middle schools last year when it
was rolled out in the 6th and 7th grades. This revolutionary program is
now expanding to the 8th grade this year, and will help
our educators create
the next generation of scientific innovators and citizens who
skeptical, curious, and evidence-based thinkers. The program's
instructional strategy is designed to allow students to explore
phenomena with the purpose of solving authentic problems. In addition,
Amplify Science incorporates many of the Pennsylvania core
standards in math and literacy as students solve problems and
This innovative program incorporates a great deal of reading and
writing in the content area. Students are being taught how to think
about what they have observed, read, and experienced and to speak and
write about it in a way that provides insight into their scientific
students are asked to state their claim, report their evidence, and
reasoning. This is known as CER (Claim, Evidence, and Reasoning).
A claim is a statement of what a student has come to know. It is
supported by the evidence gathered from reading, observation, or an
experiment. Reasoning ties together the claim and evidence to explain
why the evidence supports the claim.
This type of writing bears a strong resemblance to Text Dependent
Analysis (TDA) which is found in literacy classes. In science
students must support their claim by citing evidence in their research
then explaining why this evidence supports their claim. In TDA,
asked to synthesize answers based on the evidence in their reading
then to interpret the meaning behind the evidence.
Our middle school science and literacy teachers have begun to
collaborate on how
to support students in making this connection.
'Tis the Season!
The holidays are upon us and once again our Neshaminy community is
working hard to make sure that every family has enough food to enjoy
them. With help from school counselors, nurses, social workers and
other staff members, families who could use some extra assistance are
identified and provided with necessities and holiday extras thanks to
the generosity of individual donors, community members, service clubs
and local businesses. In addition a number of schools also provided
donations to area food pantries.
These efforts (details of some can be found in school news below) will
through the holidays and beyond. Neshaminy High School sponsors an
extensive holiday donation program, and donations from the community
are welcome. In addition, a new year-round food pantry operated at the
high school provides needed assistance to students and their families.
Two district grant programs recently announced winners in their annual
classroom grant programs:
The first is the Superintendent Mini-Grant program, which approved two
The second is the Neshaminy Education Foundation grant program. This
year the NEF is pleased to announce funding of nine proposals for a
total of $12,407:
- Jackie Rippert and
at Neshaminy HS -
Snipes Farm collaboration for Life Skills students
- Kimberley Maurizi
at Schweitzer ES - Inquiry-based
literacy program across different curricular disciplines
Congratulations to all!
- Leanne Raab
at Buck ES, Primary STEM Challenges
- Justin Bursk at
Hoover ES, Art Rocks - Rocks of
- Susan Wendling and
Tawanka ES -
- Kate Irizarry
and John McFadden, Maple Point
Sensory room materials supporting an inclusive school environment
- Jackie Rippert and
at Neshaminy HS - supplies for a student craft fair
- Brian Walter,
Elliott and Brian Suter,
Neshaminy HS - Code Red STEAM education
- Dana Puskas,
Neshaminy HS - Inorganic / organic
chemistry student model kits
- Siri Sammartino,
Neshaminy HS - Special Q-Ball
microphone for Philosophical Chairs Debate activity in law classes
- Melissa Bauerle,
Neshaminy HS - NearPod Premium
licenses providing digital access to thousands of lessons, content and
District honors outgoing Board members
new members of the Neshaminy School Board of Directors will be sworn in
during a reorganization meeting on Monday, December 4, 7pm at
At the Public Board Meeting on Tuesday November 28,
Superintendent Joseph Jones III honored outgoing Board members,
thanking them for their years of volunteer service to Neshaminy
and commemorating the occasion by giving each a decorative plate
featuring the District seal. Departing members are Scott Congdon, the
current School Board President (8 years); Mike Morris (8
years); Ron Rudy (4 years)
and Bob Burnett, who replaced
Board Member Robert Sanna after
he passed away in June.
Newn Incoming Board members include Adam
Kovitz, David Marrington,
Bowman and John Allen.
They will join five current members -- Stephen
Pirritano, Bob Feather,
Tina Hollenbach, Marty Sullivan and Irene Boyle. Ms. Boyle was
re-elected to a new four-year term.
supports multiple initiatives
is pleased to announce that the district will once again be receiving
funding through the Pennsylvania Ready to Learn grant allocation. These
funds will continue to provide support for a full time Literacy
Academic Coach servicing our elementary schools; project based learning
support in 172 elementary classrooms and specialty areas; support for
the continuation of the AVID and Bucks County Community College
programs; development of an opioid addiction curriculum; a Forensics
course at the high school; biology, environmental science and chemistry
STEM labs; an online
course for academic enrichment in all three middle schools and the high
school; a college and career online program for middle school
students; expansion of IXL supplemental math program licenses; and the
expansion of the Imagine Learning and Rosetta Stone
for English Language Development Students.
enjoys a big light show for one final year
Many Neshaminy staff members have hobbies and passions that
they share with students and the community. But none may be as bright
or draw as much of a crowd as the annual holiday light show at the
Levittown home of Neil DiSpirito, Mr. DiSpirito has been dazzling
the past 25 years with a collection that has grown to include over
300,000 lights. Neil, an electrician with the Neshaminy Facilities
Department for 26 years, said this will be the final year for the show.
The show lights up every night until December 25
from 6-10 pm at 1 White Spruce Lane in the Willow Wood development of
Levittown (Falls Township). Stop by and say hello!
November We Build Futures award winners
Joseph Jones III once again honored District staff members who made
contributions to fulfilling the district's mission or advancing
implementation of the Neshaminy Strategic Plan. Nominees for this award
can come from
all departments and areas throughout the district and are nominated by
administrators, their colleagues, or even members of the Neshaminy
community. Those honored this
Congratulations to all award winners! More information about the We
Build Futures Awards can be found on the district website link below.
- Steve Simons,
social studies teacher at Sandburg MS
- Colleen Stahl,
K-5 literacy coach for Neshaminy SD
- Kimberly Clement,
physical education teacher at Ferderbar ES
- Ryan Gregory,
Coordinator of Student Affairs at Tawanka ES
- Leanne Raab,
teacher at Buck ES
- Penny Meller,
custodian at Buck ES
- Tara Ring,
physical education teacher at Hoover ES
- Amy Petrillo,
special education supervisor at Hoover ES and Neshaminy SD
Build Futures award winners
district calendar for the 2018-2019 school year was approved at the
November 28 Board meeting and is now posted on the district website
Personal finance program expands, seeks
Junior Achievement will be conducting a six-week personal
finance seminar for 8th grade students in each middle school. A pilot
version was tested with success in business classes at Maple Point
Middle School last year. Now Junior Achievement is looking for
volunteers to help conduct the lessons once a week -- training is
provided and all volunteers must pass volunteer background checks. For
more information, please download their flyer from the link below.
Staff receives opioid abuse update,
Opioid abuse has increased sharply in Bucks County and
throughout the country over the past few years. On November 7, district
health & physical education
teachers gathered at Carl Sandburg MS for an important seminar on drug
trends in the county, especially the sharp rise in opioid abuse. They
were also trained in the use of Narcan, which can reverse the effects
of an opiate overdose in an emergency situation and has saved many
lives. Narcan is now available without a prescription, administered as
a nasal spray, and is carried by police officers, EMTs, schools,
community groups and anybody else who wants to be prepared in case they
ever need to deal with an overdose emergency. Plans for additional
training and provision of resources for
staff, students and families to face the opioid epidemic are also being
implemented this year.
from our Schools
Pearl S. Buck ES
Rotarians deliver dictionaries
the tradition...the Rotary Clubs of Langhorne and Feasterville
distributed printed dictionaries to every third-grade student in the
district in November. The effort started at Buck where Rotary members
spent time in each class talking with the students about the Four-Way
Test - Is it the TRUTH, is it FAIR to all concerned, will it build
GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS, and will it be BENEFICIAL to all
concerned? This donation certainly qualified for all four.
Buck welcomes authors
Buck welcomed two local authors, Jennifer Hansen Rolli and Olivia
Millevoi in November. The students were honored to listen to both share
their individual writing process as well as learn who and what inspires
them to write. Also, the students in grades Kindergarten through second
privileged to be among the first to read Jennifer’s new book, Claudia
and Moth, which just came out.
First grade writes letters to veterans
The first grade team wrote letters to veterans and sent them Maple
Middle School. They were then shared with the veterans attending the
Maple Point Veterans Day Ceremony. After the program, each veteran
received a gift bag with the letters, a "Flag Your Bag" tag made by 8th
grade students at Maple Point, a flag car magnet, and a patriotic
pocket tissue pack made by the MPMS craft club students.
Joseph Ferderbar ES
Author reads Rosie the Hippo
at Ferderbar Elementary enjoyed a visit from author Helen Hipp, author
of Rosie the Hippo and other
children's books. She read one of her
to students in grades K-2, who had each made a cutout of one of the
characters in the book which they held up as she read. The visit to
Ferderbar was the first in the author's One-of-a-Kindness Book Tour to
schools. She also
appeared at the Ferderbar Book Fair held at at Barnes & Noble on
Elf Fund Dinner creates happier holidays
The annual Elf Fund Dinner raised $2,775 this year, $1,700 from staff
donations. Fourth-grade students served 260 pasta dinners to guests
during the evening of November 16. The money goes to provide
holiday assistance to families at Ferderbar and Poquessing.
Herbert Hoover ES
Artmobile explores connections across subject areas
The Bucks County Artmobile visited Hoover on October 31. The Artmobile
is a project of Bucks County Community College, housed in a 48-foot
trailer. The goal is to bring access to fine works of original art to
schools, and this year the emphasis was on exploring the relation
between art and other disciplines such as science, reading and math.
Walter Miller ES
Opera group visits music classes
students at Miller were treated to an unusual presentation -- a member
of Opera Philadelphia visited their music class to sing for them, talk
about the elements of opera and even let them perform in a
mini-production using a few props and a silly song they all knew. This
free program is new to the suburbs, and Miller was one of the first
schools to invite them to Bucks County.
Walter Miller ES welcomed author David Adler in November. Adler has
written over 200 books for children and young adults, including many
historical biographies and the Cam Jensen mystery series. Adler
delivered presentations on the writing process, editing and publishing.
The entire school has been preparing for the visit with a number of
projects related to his books, including writing and art projects that
filled the walls of the school.
Adler also visited Herbert Herbert Hoover Elementary school on November
Poetry on the menu for Thanksgiving feast
Students in Stacey Flynn's first grade class enjoyed sharing
Thanksgiving poems they were working on together as a class. The class
had been working on their fluency and choral reading as they shared
poems in small groups. Parents were invited in to listen to the poetry
and then everyone enjoyed homemade apple and pumpkin pie students made
by hand earlier in the day. It was a feast for all!
The parking lot is here!
An expansion parking lot has been completed and lined, replacing the
dirt pile next to Brownsville Road left over from building construction
last year. The paving project added 59 much-needed spaces. In
addition a water retention basin was completed behind the school.
Food drive brightens the holidays
The Tawanka holiday food drive made it possible to provide 15
Thanksgiving baskets as well as additional goods for future meals for
Maple Point MS
Food drive nets record donations
a slow start, the annual Maple Point MS Holiday Food Drive roared to
life on Thanksgiving week with record donations. Thirty families
complete holiday meals and in addition, 3,450 pounds of food were
collected for the ERA Food Pantry in Levittown. Congratulations Student
Council and the entire Maple Point family!
Veterans honored during annual ceremony
The 8th grade was honored to host over 80 area veterans, including
three WWII veterans, and their families for the annual Veterans Day
Ceremony. Thanks to all the students, staff, PTO volunteers and
community members that supported this wonderful, moving tribute.
Old crayons needed for recycling program
If you're a parent (or grandparent, teacher, Scout leader, etc) you
probably have a box of used crayons somewhere. Maple Point and other
district schools are involved with a recycling project that collects
them to be
recycled into new crayons that will be donated to art therapy programs
at pediatric hospitals. It is estimated that 60 million crayons are
currently sitting in landfills, and since they are made of wax, they
will not break down. Donations can be dropped off during normal
Essay contest winners honored
Several Maple Point students were honored for their winning entries in
the annual Bucks County VFW Patriot's Pen Contest. Lauren
Fetzer took second place and Aaron Lewis took third place in the
competition; the others received an Honorable Mention. Front row (l-r):
Lauren Fetzer, Maggie Knight and Sophia Capecci. Back row (l-r): Aaron
Lewis, Khalil Anderson, Casey Foley, Alexa Miller, Firdous Popal and
Zephan Joseph. Congratulations to all for a job well-done!
Big month for Select Choir
Poquessing Middle School Select Choir was honored to perform at the
American Choral Directors Association (PA) Conference at Susquehanna
University in November. The group, under the direction of Jason Leigh,
was chosen following a blind competitive audition among choirs from
around the state. They were one of only four groups invited to perform,
and the ONLY middle school group (the other three were Lebanon Valley
and Boyertown High Schools and a group from the University of
Pittsburgh). Their performance was enjoyed by the music educators from
around the state as well as the members of the other groups, who gave
them a standing ovation for their efforts.
In addition the Choir competed in the 101 More FM Christmas Choir
Competition, making it to the final round with a version of Auld Lang Syne. They won a $2,000
prize as runner-up in the annual region-wide contest.
Band joins community concert
On November 17, fifteen members of the Poquessing Band performed with
the Tri-County Band during their Annual Fall Concert. Retired Neshaminy
music teacher Roy Nelson is the director for the Tri-County Band.
Carl Sandburg MS
Food drive brings in big donations
their annual holiday food drive, Carl Sandburg Middle School delivered
meals to 30 families during Thanksgiving week and had enough leftovers
to donate to a food to a local food pantry.
No Shave November benefits pediatric hospital
Carl Sandburg Middle School sponsored an ambitious fund raiser for St.
Jude Children's Research Hospital by...not shaving. The project was led
by a group of
male staff members, anyway. The school held a "No Shave November," and
the public was invited to sponsor the grizzly group online by clicking
photos to a donate for a very worthy cause. So far the effort has
raised over $3,000.
SPIRIT Club visits seniors
Members of the Carl Sandburg MS SPIRIT Club visited the Attleboro
Community in November to spend time with residents there, sharing some
holiday music and making crafts with them.
Kujdych makes Neshaminy history
Rusty Kujdych became the first-ever Neshaminy state
cross-country champion ever after winning the PIAA Class AAA race at
Hershey on November 4. He finished the race with a time of 15:47,
capping a two-year climb to the top of his game. On the following
Monday morning, he was honored by his classmates with a mini-parade,
riding into school on top of a firetruck with a police escort.
Soccer team competes in state championship
The Neshaminy HS Girls Soccer team battled their way through the PIAA
state playoffs to make it all the way to the championship round in
Hershey in November. Though they came up on the short end of a 1-0
victory by Norwin High School, the team had an incredible season,
having won 12 out of their final 14 games competing against some
very strong teams.
Representative for a
Day comes to NHS
On November 30 a group of 45 students from Neshaminy High School and
William Tennent High School participated in a unique Representative for a Day
event at NHS hosted by Pennsylvania Representative Frank Farry. The
students first heard from Rep. Farry and former Lieutenant Governor Jim
Cawley about the legislative process, then broke into 'committees' to
draft mock legislation which they debated over and ultimately voted on.
A number of legislative aides joined the project to guide the students
through the process.
Talent show benefits Sunshine Foundation
Neshaminy High School's Dance Team and Interact Club presented Neshaminy's Got Talent on
November 29. Twenty diverse student acts entertained as they raised
money for Sunshine Foundation and 'adopted little brother' Rakim. He is
a three-year-old with spastic cerebral palsy who dreams of going to
Walt Disney World and attended the event with his family. All ticket
sales benefited the Sunshine Foundation, a national children's charity
that answers the dreams of chronically ill, seriously ill, physically
challenged and abused children ages three to eighteen, whose families
are unable to fulfill their requests due to the financial strain the
child's illness may cause.
Drama season opens with a laugh
Neshaminy High School Drama opened their season at the Black Box
Theater with a presentation of the comedy Let's Murder Marsha.
The show ran for four nights. Their next production will be a
cabaret-style collection of musical numbers and their one-act play Mirrors on December 19 and 20 also
at the Black Box Theater.
Temple Engineering students share their experiences
Students in Timothy Vogel's chemistry classes at NHS had the
opportunity to hear from four senior engineering students from Temple
University on November 21 about their experiences and the opportunities
available in engineering fields, especially for women.
Marching Band competes in championship
Congratulations to the Neshaminy HS Marching Band who took third place
in the Patriot Open division of the Cavalcade of Bands Championship in
Allentown on November 12, earning the Most Improved award!
Business students get career advice at Temple
October 24th, forty-one students from Neshaminy High School’s Business,
Computers and Information Technology (BCIT) program traveled to Temple
University to benefit from the PICPA
(Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants) Accounting
Career Day. This was a free program offered to students for the purpose
of learning more about diverse career opportunities in the accounting
profession, to discovering the advantages of the CPA designation, and
gaining exposure to a college environment. Students received valuable
information from senior Temple accounting students (one being a
Neshaminy HS alumnus) and interacted with
professionals working in the field who shared life experiences and
current career opportunities. The BCIT Department at Neshaminy High
School offers three levels of accounting instruction to high school
FBLA hosts first benefit Walk & Run
On November 18, the Neshaminy High School Future Business Leaders of
America (FBLA) club hosted their first annual 5K Run/Walk for
Alzheimer’s Association. NHS chapter officers and members planned,
organized and worked the event, solicited donations and encouraged
family and friends to participate. When the Alzheimer’s Association
became aware of our students’ efforts, they sent a representative who
spoke to the participants and kicked off the run.
The goal was to raise $1,500 to donate for this very worthy cause.
Because of the members’ enthusiasm and genuine desire to help the
community, donations came pouring in and as of November 30, $3,100 was
raised. Donations can be accepted through March.
Tech students get a behind-the-scenes tour
Seniors in the HVAC Technology program at Bucks County Technical High
School were given a behind-the-scenes tour of Neshaminy High School
heating and cooling facilities by mechanic Mike Coyne on November 13.
purpose was to let them see real-world applications of the skills they
have been learning. Their teacher, Roger Smith, is a
former Neshaminy employee.
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
E. Congdon - President
M. Boyle - Vice President
The Neshaminy community builds
futures by empowering each child to become a productive citizen
and a lifelong learner.