December, 2018
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Peer Tutors share knowledge, support

Peer tutoring at Poquessing Middle School
The fifth grade classrooms at Poquessing Middle School buzz with activity during the WIN (Whatever I Need) period at the end of each school day. This is an opportunity for students to work on a variety of group and individual projects, or seek out extra help in particular areas. That help can come from the classroom teachers, specials teachers, thanks to a renewed Peer Tutoring program, from a group of approximately 60 eighth-grade National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) students.

Under the direction of reading specialist and Poquessing NJHS adviser Jennifer Mann, the group meets each day and fans out to the fifth-grade classrooms or the library media center depending on the needs of the fifth-grade teachers. There, the eighth-grade students are paired with their younger schoolmates to assist them with math, reading, history, or anything else requested by the classroom teachers.

She started the program last year, modeling it after a similar program operated several years ago when students from Poquessing would visit classrooms next door at Joseph Ferderbar Elementary School. Mann, who is an alumnua of Poquessing, enjoyed that program and wanted to share it with her current students. She says it offers lessons not just for the fifth-graders but also life lessons for her eighth-grade tutors as well.

 “From the get-go, I told my NJHS members that it’s not simply good enough to be smart or clever; they have to use their intelligence and smarts to make the world a better place,” she said. “Especially for those of my NJHS members that might want to become teachers someday, it’s great practice ahead of time for skills they will need later in life.”

Got tech? Share it at the STEAM Expo!

STEAM Expo file photo

Technology businesses and groups wanted! The popular Neshaminy STEAM Expo will be held Tuesday, May 7 2019 from 6:30-8:30 pm. We are looking for community partners to share demonstrations and exhibitions with hundreds of students and their families during the Expo. This is a great opportunity to share your love of science, technology and art with the next generation!

Please contact David Geanette, for more information or to sign up.

Lincoln Investment donates $10K to NEF

Neshaminy Edcutation Foundation donation

The Neshaminy Education Foundation received a generous $10,000 donation from The Forst Foundation, the charitable foundation of Lincoln Investment, during a presentation this morning at the District Administration office at Maple Point. Stephen Shultz, a financial advisor with Lincoln Investment, presented a check to Neshaminy Education Foundation President Stephen Cohen along with Neshaminy School District Superintendent Joseph Jones III, District Business Administrator Barbara Markowitz, and District Community Relations Coordinator and NEF Board Member Chris Stanley. The District has a long-standing client relationship with Lincoln, and the Forst Foundation supports children and education through charitable works. The money will be used to support the NEF classroom grant program and student scholarships for graduating Neshaminy HS seniors.

Commission schedules team name hearing

Skins logo
The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) has scheduled a hearing regarding ongoing litigation over the Redskins team name and related Native American imagery. This hearing, which is open for public viewing, will be held January 7 through 11, 2019 starting at 9 am each day in the Solarium Room at Bucks County Community College, 275 Swamp Road, Newtown, PA. If necessary, additional hearing dates are scheduled for January 14 and 15, 2019 at the same location. More information and a District response to this proceeding can be found at the link below.

Link logo  PHRC hearing information and District response

School Board reorganizes

School Board group photo
Front (left-right): Bob Feather, Irene M. Boyle, Tina Hollenbach, Cyndie Bowman.
Back: David Marrington, Adam Kovitz, Stephen Pirritano, John Allen, Marty Sullivan.

At the Board reorganization meeting December 5, Marty Sullivan was, once again, appointed Board President and Stephen Pirritano was appointed Vice-President. Otherwise, the composition of the Board remains the same for the upcoming calendar year. The next scheduled meeting of the full Board is Tuesday, January 8 at 7pm in the Maple Point Board Room.

Holiday thank-you video

Neshaminy School District would like to thank the many, many friends, family members, students, staff members, business owners and neighbors who generously donated money, food, gifts and time to make a brighter holiday for many of our Neshaminy families. The ever-growing holiday drives are a testament to their necessity and the caring nature of our community.

December We Build Futures Award winners

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

Those honored during in December 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.

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, Jan. 9:
NHS Winter Band Concert, 7 pm
Friday, Jan. 11:
NHS MiniThon, Gym 3, 3:30-9:30 pm
Thursday & Friday, Jan. 17 & 18: NHS Drama 10-Minute Showcase, 7 pm
Monday, January 21: Martin Luther King Day (no school for teachers and students)
Thursday, January 31: Opening night, NHS musical Jekyll and Hyde, 7 pm
Friday, Feb. 1-Sunday, Feb. 3: NHS Musical, Jekyll and Hyde (times TBA)

Please check the District website, school websites and District Facebook page for more information and additional events throughout the year!

Neshaminy Education Foundation logo
Neshaminy Education Foundation

Alumni Committee Meeting

The next Neshaminy Alumni Committee meeting will be held Thursday, January 24, 2019 starting at 6 pm at the Irish Rover Station House in Langhorne.The meeting is open and anybody interested in participating is welcome to attend.

Among the topics to be discussed will be the Alumni Hall of Fame and Alumni of the Year award, scheduled for debut this spring.

News From Our Schools

Pearl S. Buck Elementary School

Rotating showcase highlights diversity and culture

Diversity display at Buck ES
Pearl S. Buck Elementary is now using their front lobby showcase to display various  artifacts from the different cultures represented within the building. For the past month, the staff brought in pieces such as pottery, sculptures, photos, art, and dolls to represent the parts of their heritage to which they most connect. In the future, up to eight Buck families per month will be able to share their own heritage by loaning similar items for display in the showcase.

Students make Career Connections

On November 30, the third and fourth grade students welcomed ten parent presenters to the 3rd annual Career Connections Day. The students observed and participated in presentations that included construction project manager, probation officer, auditor, veterinarian, corporate controller, special agent, data analyst, scientist and an officer in the National Guard. Following the career presentations, the students gave staff feedback using Google Docs regarding the presentations and also created thank you cards for the presenters.

Joseph Ferderbar Elementary School

Who do you think you are?

Ferderbar fourth graders started a new project-based learning activity called Immigrant Suitcase in December. They started by taking a virtual tour of Ellis Island on to experience how more than 12 million immigrants made their first stop in America between 1892 and 1954.

Walking Club wraps up the fall season

Walking Club at Ferderbar

The end of November marked the  last day of the season for the very successful Walking Club at Ferderbar Elementary School. During the fall and spring, students can participate in this voluntary activity and track their progress by scanning a QR code into iPad with help from Ferderbar recess aides.

Herbert Hoover Elementary School

Staff song turns the holiday tables

A dozen Hoover staff members took to the stage during a holiday singalong to deliver their own hilarious rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas. This one featured a few phrases commonly heard from students this time of year and was a huge hit with the crowd.

Club gathers winter necessities for donation

During the month of December, the Hoover Leadership Club collected more than two boxes of hats, gloves, mittens, scarves, and socks. These items will be donated to area shelters.
Hoover Leadership Club

Students earn Hour of Code certificates

Hour of Code at Hoover

Students in all grades across the District participated in the Hour of Code (see article below in the Neshaminy HS section), and Hoover was no exception. These students earned their participation certificates from the world-wide online technology education phenomena in early December.

Walter Miller Elementary School

Random Acts of Kindness nets $2500 in gift donations

Shopping at Target

On December 11, the entire second grade from Walter Miller Elementary School visited the Target store in Levittown to purchase holiday items for Family Services Association clients. The students raised $2,500 through "Random Acts of Kindness" to provide gifts and holiday items for sixteen children in families facing financial difficulty who otherwise would have not been able to afford them. Shopping lists in hand, they negotiated the aisles at the store with help from teachers and parent volunteers, did the math to stay within budget, and learned an important lesson about the value of giving.

Class joins online Hour of Code seminar

In early December, the International Hour of Code and Computer Science Week were celebrated supporting computer science skills in K-12 education worldwide. The students in Kathryn Alford's 4th grade class at Walter Miller ES participated with students across the nation in two live webinars put on by Seesaw (interactive online software used at Neshaminy) as part of this effort. The first one was "Jobs in Computer Science and Engineering" which included a live Q&A. The second webinar was titled "Girls and Coding." Neshaminy District Technology Coach Jim Gosser was on hand to facilitate the program.

Albert Schweitzer Elementary School

Library features bright new wall murals

Mural at Albert Schweitzer ES

The Library Media Center at Albert Schweitzer Elementary has a new colorful, child literature-themed look thanks to funds raised during recent Scholastic Book Fairs. An artist was hired to paint the murals with coordination provided by Library / Academic Enrichment specialist Yazmine Adamson.

Parents learn reading strategies at workshop

On Wednesday, December 5, families from Walter Miller Elementary, Herbert Hoover Elementary, and Albert Schweitzer Elementary joined together to learn new strategies we practice at school to improve spelling and decoding skills. The strategies are used in the Neshaminy Title I Program - Reading Horizons. This provides opportunities for students to learn how to find phonetic patterns in words. Matt Crismon, a certified Reading Horizons trainer, offered many tips to parents during this workshop. A similar workshop was held at Ferderbar Elementary School for Tawanka and Ferderbar families.

Craft show promotes C.A.R.E.S.

The staff C.A.R.E.S. (Cooperation, Attitude, Respect, Empathy, Safety) committee hosted a free craft night for families on November 29. Students and their families made a variety of holiday-themed crafts that they were able to take home and enjoyed some hot chocolate!

Tawanka Elementary School

Fourth grade delivers holiday cheer to Attleboro

Tawanka ES at Attleboro

The fourth grade from Tawanka Elementary School visited the Attleboro Community in Langhorne on December 18 to bring some holiday music to the residents there along with some crafts they made.

FBI representative promotes cyber safety

On December 6, Federal Bureau of Investigation Senior Outreach Specialist Tanya Jeter visited Tawanka ES to present important information about cyber safety on websites and social media. She presented two age-appropriate assemblies.

Kindergarten transforms into GingerbreadLand

GingerbreadLand at Tawanka

The kindergarten pod at Tawanka was once again magically transformed into a sea of red & white decorations as the staff and students celebrated the holidays with creativity. Parents and guardians were invited to school to help decorate actual Gingerbread Men and participate in other fun activities.

Maple Point Middle School

8th grade learns financial management

Maple Point students with BCIT certificates

The 8th grade BCIT students at Maple Point MS received certificates for completing the Junior Achievement course. Junior Achievement's purpose is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy. Volunteers from Wells Fargo taught students financial literacy skills necessary for the 21st century. Topics included exploring career and education options, budgeting, using credit, understanding credit score, and financial risks.

Fifth grade provides holiday cheer to over 300 seniors

Senior Soiree at Maple Point

On December 20, the fifth grade at Maple Point Middle School hosted nearly 300 grandparents and senior friends for the annual Senior Soiree. They students and their guests enjoyed tables full of donated holiday food together in the cafeteria.  They interviewed their guests -- asking them about their lives and any advice they might offer -- while recording the responses in writing. As a finale, the fifth-grade band, chorus and orchestra performed selections of holiday music in the auditorium.

Poquessing Middle School

Interact delivers holiday thanks

Poquessing delivers cookies to firefighters

The Poquessing MS Interact Club started the holiday season off right by thanking the Feasterville Fire Company and the Lower Southampton Police Department with plates of homemade cookies and treats. The students also gave treats to unsung heroes around the school like crossing guards, cafeteria workers, custodians and bus drivers.

Animal shelter representative visits

A representative from the Women's Animal Center (formerly the Women's Humane Society) visited the fifth-grade Team RT at Poquessing on December 19 to speak about their facility and mission. The students crafted toys for the shelter dogs and cats.

NHS Science Club directs rocket launch at Poquessing

Rocket making at Poquessing

Fifth-grade rocket scientists at Poquessing Middle School went to work on some high-flying air-powered creations on November 29 with help from members of the Neshaminy HS Science Club. Once they completed their rockets, they launched them in the cafeteria with enough noisy excitement to rival a real NASA launchpad.

Carl Sandburg Middle School

Students participate in Robotics Coding Competition

Students with coding certificates at Carl Sandburg MS

Over 60 students in all grades that participated in the first annual Cyber Robotics Coding Competition (CRCC) in Pennsylvania. The competition was an online event to promote STEM and coding using a gamified platform with virtual robot simulations. Students that participated were engaged in a competitive and fun environment where they got to experience technology, software development and engineering topics.

A boot camp ran from mid-October to early November to teach the platform at various levels. Students who finished boot camp were then invited to participate in the qualifier that ran from mid-October to the end of November. The following students moved onto Qualifiers and received a certificate from CRCC: Gavin McManus, Jay Gu, Landon Mitchell and Andrew Neiman. The advisors are Sandy Romberger and Caitlin Koczynski.

Starbucks displays student artworks

Starbucks art gallery

Student artists at Carl Sandburg Middle School and their families crowded into the Levittown Starbucks on Lincoln Highway December 13 for an art gallery opening. The windows and walls of the coffeehouse are filled with selected paintings and drawings courtesy of a partnership forged by art teacher Brett Wallerstein last year.

“Last year this new Starbucks opened up, and I thought this was a great opportunity to do a community partnership," he said. "With the support of Principal Kelly, I was able to arrange this display and organize a family night. This is our second year in a row at Starbucks.”

As the students sipped hot chocolate and munched on baked goodies, they admired the works of their classmates along with their family members, friends and even some former students who showed up for the opening.

Addams Family musical really was a scream

One of the most-loved and offbeat television sitcoms of all-time came to the stage at Sandburg in December. The Addams Family musical featured two casts that brought the story of this most unusual family to life in four colorful, energetic performances (and one in-school performance).

Neshaminy High School

Future Business Leaders excel at regionals

FBLA winners

Congratulations to 46 NHS Future Business Leaders of America Regional Competition winners. The competition was held at Delaware Valley University on Wednesday, December 20. Along with Neshaminy, FBLA chapters from throughout Bucks County competed in various business events. 43 Neshaminy FBLA students  qualified to compete at the state level in Hershey on April 6, 2019.

FIRST PLACE WINNERS: Individual Events -- Julia Capaldi, Insurance & Risk Management; Sophia Capecci, Intro to Financial Math; Jack Toy, Networking Concepts; Neha Shirwalker, Spreadsheets. Team Events --  Steven Muller and Andrew Schmitz, Emerging Business Issues.

Barnes & Noble hosts NHS Book Fair Night

Book Fair Night at Barnes & Noble

For the second year in a row, the Neshaminy community enjoyed a fun night at Barnes & Noble store in Neshaminy Mall for the Book Fair fundraiser on December 14. The evening featured performances by talented NHS musicians and singers, readings from NHS authors. Shoppers enjoyed Neshaminy-themed red and blue frappuccinos in the B&N Cafe and participated in raffles for great prizes.

Business classes tackle technology for the Hour of Code

Business class participating in the Hour of Code

Neshaminy once again celebrated the International Hour of Code in early December. Business, Computers and Information Technology (BCIT) students at the high school explored job opportunities in the computer science field, relative statistics for computer science college majors and career areas for computer science in sports, construction, agriculture, fashion, medicine, engineering, public safety and the arts. They practiced JavaScript coding with exercises that taught graphic positioning and design with variables.

Eighth grade BCIT students worked hard on their first Python programming experience, Toxic Jungle by Tynker, and in addition, students manipulated their Google websites using HTML code. Seventh graders explored lessons covering drag and drop coding. They worked with Illumination’s Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch and Code Monkey, as well as other interactive exercises. Fifth grade students used drag and drop visual blocks to write code to solve a series of puzzles with popular animated series. Fifth grade students also completed popular dance moves and songs as their programs responded to timed events and user input in order to create dance animations with code.

Hour of Code is an international effort designed to reach millions of students all across the globe for the purpose of demystifying computer science and showing that anybody can learn the basics.

Roadies stay busy, collect awards

Fresh from a winning weekend at the Pennsylvania Thespian Conference in November, the NHS Roadies were right back on stage December 5 with a rescheduled performance of All I Really Need to Know I Learned by Being a Bad Murder Mystery and Golf, Marriage and Other Murderous Matters on December 13 and 14. The troupe won a Superior rating for their production of James and the Giant Peach at the conference. Ricky Moyer, Olivia Andrews and Tony Mamie were all named to the Hall of Fame.

Olivia Andrews was chosen for the Individual Event Showcase. Brielle Lewandowski and Ricky Moyer were awarded theatrical scholarships. An unprecedented eleven troupe members received superior ratings for their Individual Musical Theater Events qualifying them for Internationals including Connor Watson, Haley Brennan, Adrianna Fisher, Ricky Moyer, Olivia Andrews, Maddie Galvelis, Evan Sleppy, Wyatt Brennan, Melanie Moyer, Greg Drapkin and Brielle Lewandowski.

Barkann fundraiser

NHS joins Eagles charity holiday party

A group of Neshaminy HS students were on hand at the Eagles practice facility in South Philadelphia in early December to help out with the Barkann Family Healing Hearts Foundation Holiday Hearts Party. The Barkann Family Healing Hearts Foundation provides financial aid to families who are in need due to recent adversity or tragedy. The Foundation is operated by Ellen Barkann and her husband, Philadelphia sportscaster Michael Barkann.

Holiday clinic builds football skills

Football clinic

Middle and high school football layers from over 30 area schools attended the first-ever Neshaminy Football Holiday Clinic on December 27.

Tentative graduation date announced

The 2018-2019 Neshaminy HS Commencement Ceremony has been scheduled for Wednesday, June 12 at 6 pm in Harry E. Franks Stadium. Please note that this date is subject to change due to any possible excessive weather-related closures or delays during the winter months that causes missed instructional time. The rain date for the ceremony will be each following evening at the same time.

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

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