August, 2018
Neshaminy Update banner logo August 2018
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Ready to Build Futures!

Safeties at Albert Schweitzer Elementary School
The Safety Patrol at Albert Schweitzer Elementary School was on hand to welcome new students during a an open house August 20.
Joseph Jones III

An open letter from Superintendent Joseph Jones III to the Neshaminy community:

Dear Neshaminy families,

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you back for the 2018-2019 school year. We had a productive summer of success with the Neshaminy Summer Stock productions, learning enrichment programs, sports camps, facilities projects, and professional development for our faculty. Now it is time to turn our attention to the many exciting opportunities for learning, community service and fun waiting for each Neshaminy student.

Our commitment to the District's Strategic Plan, Education Reimagined, continues to guide us as we rise to the challenge of preparing our children for a rapidly changing world. Some of the new and expanded programs that will help us achieve that goal this year include:

  • Expanding the AVID program into both 9th and 10th grades, along with pilot programs at Poquessing and Ferderbar,
  • Opening the Neshaminy Virtual Academy to offer online learners a local educational choice,
  • Continuing and expanding our Senior Year Experience program with Bucks County Community College,
  • Growing our 1:1 Technology program by adding Chromebooks to the 9th grade this year and redistributing additional iPads to kindergarten and 1st grade,
  • Recognizing the importance of preschool education through an expansion of the state-funded Pre-K Counts program at Neshaminy for a total of 120 students,
  • Adding new courses at Neshaminy High School, including Forensic Science and Business Analytics, and
  • Continuing our Instructional Rounds program to analyze teaching methods and foster discussion directly into the process of continuous school improvement.

Our staff has worked hard over the summer to prepare buses, classrooms, school buildings, technology and other facilities for the new school year, and I thank them for their efforts. As we begin a new year full of hope and excitement, I ask you to join us by continuing to actively support your child's education and to help us fulfill the District's Mission Statement of "empowering each child to become a productive citizen and lifelong learner.”

Joseph Jones III
Superintendent of Schools

Maple Point Student Council tour guides
Maple Point student tour guides greet incoming fifth grade students during orientation August 23.

Important back-to-school dates

The following are selected dates for back-to-school activities. Please check the District and school websites for additional activities and information:

  • Wednesday, Aug. 29: First day for grades K, 5 and 9
  • Thursday, Aug. 30: First day for all other grades
  • Monday, Sept. 3: Labor Day, District closed
  • Thursday, Sept. 6: Instrumental Discovery Night, NHS, 5:30pm and 7:30pm
  • Monday-Tuesday, Sept. 10-11: Schools closed
  • Thursday, Sept.13: Elementary Back-to-School Nights (Tawanka 9/12 and 9/13)
  • Thursday, Sept. 20: Middle School Back-to-School Nights
  • Thursday, Sept. 27: Neshaminy HS Back-to School Night, 7pm

Seasons prepared!

School sign in the snow
Summer has few weeks left to go but it won’t be long until we start thinking snow. Families and District staff have numerous options for notification of schedule changes and cancellations including text alerts, emails, automated phone calls, the NSDTV cable channel, Facebook, Twitter and local broadcast media. KYW newsradio no longer reads on-air weather notices, but you can still find alerts on their website as well as those of other major stations (channels 3, 6, 10 and 29)

Please review the inclement weather policies and schedules on the website below. Families should make contingency plans now for snow or early dismissal days — the first flakes of snow will be here sooner than you think!

New attendance policy posted

In keeping with changes to Pennsylvania law, the School Board has adopted a new District attendance policy for the 2018-2019 school year. You can read about these changes at the website below.

Administrative changes for 2018-2019

Neshaminy School District welcomes some new and familiar faces to administrative positions for 2018-2019. Among the changes:

  • Andre Modica will be open the new school year as Acting Principal at Joseph Ferderbar Elementary School to replace Judy Brown, who retired in August after 36 years with Neshaminy. Neil French will be replacing Mr. Modica as Acting Assistant Principal at Maple Point Middle School.
  • Donald Palmer will serve as Acting Principal at Tawanka Elementary School to replace Robin Klaiber, who departed for a position with the Lower Merion School District. Tim Hunt will replace Mr. Palmer as Acting Assistant Principal at Poquessing Middle School.
  • Ryan Staub joins Neshaminy High School as Principal to replace Dr. Robert McGee, who has moved to district administration as the Director of Secondary Education.
  • Michelle Burkholder rejoins Neshaminy as the Director of Elementary Education.

#StandUp Neshaminy website debuts

StandUp Neshaminy logo
#StandUp Neshaminy was established last year by Neshaminy teachers, administrators, parents and numerous community partners to provide vital information and resources to fight the opioid drug abuse epidemic. The first public outreach effort can now be viewed online at This website, which will be the central source of information for the campaign, contains updated contact information for help from a variety of agencies, informational videos, a FAQ section, and will be regularly updated with news of the fight to eradicate this epidemic and offer help to our family members, friends and neighbors who are affected.

Healthy meals build great learners

Healthy food illustrations

Children need healthy meals to learn! Neshaminy School District offers these meals every school day. This year, breakfast costs $1.35 for elementary and $1.60 for secondary students. Lunch costs $2.60 for elementary and $3.10 for secondary students. Your child(ren) may qualify for free meals or for reduced-price meals. Reduced price is $0.30 for breakfast and $0.40 for lunch.

If you received Free and Reduced benefits last year, your benefits will only carry over for September of the 2018-2019 school year. Parents are encouraged to complete an online application at If you need a paper application or you need assistance completing the forms in person, please contact Suzanne Pritz in the Food Service Department at 215-809-6542. Paper applications are no longer distributed at school.

Alumni gathering planned

The Neshaminy Alumni Committee is planning a social gathering at the Irish Rover Station House in Langhorne on Tuesday, October 2 from 6-8 pm. This informal event is an opportunity to meet and network with fellow alumni in the area, learn about upcoming projects for the Alumni Committee and add your ideas for future events! All alumni are invited to attend. An RSVP is requested by emailing or by visiting the Alumni Committee website or Facebook page below.

Join us to help Build Futures!

Do you love working with kids and want to jump-start a career in education right here at Neshaminy? A number of additional opportunities throughout the District for certified and support staff can be found at the district employment site below (updated frequently). All applicants will be  required to obtain Pennsylvania clearances.

The Guest Teacher program offers individuals who hold at least a Bachelors degree (but no active PA teaching certificate) the opportunity to obtain emergency certification to substitute teach in Neshamimy schools. Jump-start a career in education and work when you want! Click the link below for more information, training dates and locations.

Summer We Build Futures Award winners

Superintendent Jones once again honored district staff who made significant contributions to fulfilling the district's mission or advancing the implementation of the Neshaminy Strategic Plan.

Those honored during the summer include (click on their names to see nominating information):
We Build Futures award pin

Congratulations to all award winners! More information about the We Build Futures Awards can be found on the District website below.

News from around the district

Summer days filled with fun and learning

Summer Football Camp group photo

Neshaminy High School was a busy place over the summer. In addition to hosting  Neshaminy Summer Stock and Summer School during July and early August the building was also the site of the 2018 Neshaminy Football Youth Camp held July 9-13, the 2018 Boys Basketball Camp held July 30-August 3 and the 2018 Elementary Cheer Clinic held August 7-10.

Parking lot work at Neshaminy High School

Summer projects bring facility improvements, upgrades

Crews were busy at several sites over the summer completing work on a number of building upgrades and maintenance projects throughout the district. Among the highlights:
  • Parking lot improvements at Neshaminy HS and Poquessing MS were completed
  • Roof work at NHS and Albert Schweitzer ES was completed
  • New air conditioning units were installed at Theodore Kloos Auditorium at NHS, and
  • Classroom improvements at the Learning Center were completed.
During the upcoming school year, other projects will be completed including:
  • Preventative maintenance on the bleachers at Harry E. Franks Stadium at NHS,
  • Security upgrades at NHS and Maple Point Middle School, and
  • Completion of a second elevator at NHS (currently 50% complete).

Teacher training supports AVID expansion

A group of Neshaminy teachers and administrators attended the Summer AVID Institute in Philadelphia during the week of July 18. This school year, the AVID program will be expanding to two grades at the high school, along with pilot programs at the middle (Poquessing) and elementary (Ferderbar) levels. Additional training was conducted at Neshaminy HS on August 20 for an additional group of 30+ Neshaminy educators.

In 8th grade and in the high school, AVID is an elective that offers multi-faceted, student-centered support for academic and social success in high school, college and beyond. In early grades, AVID supports all students to become more confident, successful learners.

NHS a finalist for $100K grant

Grant video at Neshaminy High School
In April, 2018, Neshaminy High School teachers James Maloney and Jackie Rippert applied for a $100,000 Farmers Insurance 'Dream Big' grant to build a collaborative program to study, grow and cultivate fresh produce at the school for multiple purposes. This summer, Neshaminy was named one of 15 finalists across the nation for the grant (and the ONLY school in Pennsylvania).

Two representatives from Farmers Insurance visited NHS on August 8 to meet staff and some of the students who will be involved. While here, they filmed a video to be used for the final round in the fall.

Teachers attend science workshops

Neshaminy HS science teachers Elaine Leventhal and Tim Vogel attended the annual National Science Teachers Association STEM Forum & Expo at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia in early July. They attended workshops related to a new Forensics course that will be offered at the high school this year and were even able to spend time with the authors of the textbooks that will be used for this exciting course.

Summer Stock packs the house

Summer Stock performance

Neshaminy Summer Stock staged two spectacular musicals in July at Neshaminy HS. The young performers (grades 2-5) presented The Wizard of Oz for three daytime shows, and the senior performers (grades 6-12) presented The Hunchback of Notre Dame for four evening shows and one Saturday matinee. Near sell-out crowds packed Theodore Kloos Auditorium for each show. Neshaminy Summer Stock has been a tradition in the District for over 50 years, offering students a professional-level theater experience and an opportunity to learn all aspects of live production from a highly experienced team of creative educators.

Students join Bucks County Playhouse production

In early August, a number of Neshaminy HS students performed with the Playhouse Youth Company at the Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope both onstage and in the pit orchestra for a musical version of Cinderella. Kyle Duke, a music and drama co-curricular advisor at Neshaminy HS and staff member with Neshaminy Summer Stock, was the Musical Director for the production. Student performing at Bucks County Playhouse

Poquessing fundraiser supports outdoor classroom

The Poquessing Middle School PTO is raising money for an ‘outdoor classroom’ – a space for learning outside the school. On July 23, they held a fundraiser night at Bruster’s Ice Cream in Feasterville to help the effort. The ‘classroom’ will feature outdoor tables and benches, decorative stone walls and seating areas, a gazebo, and landscaping.

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
Marty Sullivan - President
Bob Feather - Vice President
John Allen
Cyndie Bowman
Irene M. Boyle
Tina Hollenbach
Adam J. Kovitz
David Marrington
Stephen Pirritano

Mission Statement
The Neshaminy community builds futures by empowering each child to become a productive citizen and a lifelong learner.