January, 2019
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Sixth-grade class reunites after 46 years

Class photos of Harry Myrga's students

On Saturday, January 26, 17 out of 21 students from retired teacher Harry Myrga's 1972-1973 sixth-grade gifted class at Everitt Elementary School returned to the area for a reunion held at the Attleboro Community in Langhorne. They came from as far away as Washington state, Arizona, Texas and Israel.

One of the former students, Harlow Russell from Austin, Texas, started organizing the gathering after finding an decade-old message from a high school classmate living in Austin on a reunion website recently. The message referred to an Everitt classmate living in Arizona, who he also contacted. He then began researching and contacting other members of the Everitt class and their teacher, who had just moved to Attleboro. One thing led to another, and the group was back together Saturday after 46 years -- at least for one special evening -- to pay tribute to a teacher who opened their minds and enriched their lives.

Mr. Murga, who taught at Neshaminy from 1966 until he retired in 1993, has a strong interest in live theater and art. He shared those passions with his students, taking them to museums and shows in Philadelphia and New York City. He also had them perform their own 90-minute live show as a class project. Several students at the reunion credited those trips and projects with igniting their own appreciation of the arts, which remains with them to this day.

Video icon   1972-1973 Everitt ES sixth grade class reunion

Neshaminy wins $35,000 STEM grant

Student using an iPad
Neshaminy School District has been selected to receive a $35,000 PAsmart Targeted K12 Computer Science and STEM Education grant from the PA Department of Education (PDE). The grant is part of Governor Wolf’s initiative to expand high-quality computer science and STEM education across Pennsylvania.
This grant will be used in the six elementary schools to provide computer coding opportunities for students and training for Neshaminy staff to help them incorporate these skills into the elementary curriculum.

According to the PDE, seven out of ten new jobs in the Commonwealth will require computer science skills during the next decade. This curriculum (along with other STEM initiatives) will help the District to begin preparing our students even at the youngest ages.

Senior tax assistance program expands

On January 22, the Neshaminy School Board voted to increase the maximum household annual income qualification guideline for the Senior Citizen Tax Assistance Program from $19,999 to $24,999. The goal is to help qualified seniors cope with rising costs, and the money to fund this has already been budgeted so it will not affect District operations or curriculum.

Since 1977, the District has distributed over $2.6 million to our senior citizens through tax assistance programs.

School Board videos now posted online

All Neshaminy School Board Public Work Sessions & Public Meetings are now available to view on a new District YouTube channel. These meetings will continue to be aired on the NSDTV cable channel (Comcast channel 28 and Fios channel 43) at 6 pm and 11 pm each night, but will also be posted on YouTube within a day or two after each meeting. Archived Board meeting videos dating back to January 2017 are also available on this YouTube channel. The link to this channel is also available on the District web site under the "School Board" menu pull-down.

2019-2020 Proposed Preliminary Budget posted

At the January 19 School Board meeting, the 2019-2020 Proposed Preliminary Budget was approved. This is the first part of the public process which is expected to be completed in June with the approval of a final budget. Until that time, the Business Office will be working to balance expenses and revenues with input from the School Board, the Business Operations Committee, administrators and the public.

Current projected expenses are $188.4 million and projected revenue is $179.8 million. Over the next several months, this gap of $8.6 million (11 mills) will be closed by cutting expenses, seeking new sources of revenue, and considering a tax increase or draws from the reserve fund. The maximum allowable tax increase for 2019-2020 under the Pennsylvania Act 1 Index is 2.3% (3.6 mills), which would bring in approximately $2.8 million if enacted.

A Preliminary Budget is scheduled for adoption at the February 12, 2019 School Board meeting.

Summer Stock registration open

It's never too early to starting thinking about summer! The Neshaminy Summer Stock program has opened registration for their 2019 workshops at Neshaminy HS. This year, they have added a Showcase program for students entering grades 2 and 3, along with two great shows for students going into grades 4 through 12.

Registration open for May 5K & 2K race

Rooney Family Sunset Challenge 5K

#StandUp Neshaminy is hosting the Rooney Family Screen Printing & Embroidery Sunset Challenge 5K & 2K running race at Maple Point Middle School on Friday, May 10 starting at 6:45 pm. Runners, students and families are all encouraged to join this fun competition! The race course is certified and will be electronically timed by RunBucks, LLC. All pre-registrations include a race t-shirt.

Banners will be awarded for the highest participation rate and fastest average times for Neshaminy elementary schools in the 2K race and middle schools for the 5K race.

January 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 in January 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.

Select Upcoming Events

Thursday, Feb. 7: Course Information Night for 8th graders, Neshaminy HS, 6 pm
Friday, Feb. 8: PTO Forum with Superintendent Jones, Maple Point, 9:30 am
Monday-Tuesday, Feb. 18-19: Presidents Day holiday
Wednesday-Saturday, Feb. 20-23: Maple Point MS musical
Wednesday-Saturday, Feb. 20-23: Poquessing MS musical
Friday-Saturday, March 1-2: Gym Night, Gym 3, Neshaminy HS

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

The Wizards are coming!

Save the date - the Harlem Wizards are returning to Neshaminy Saturday, April 6, 2019 at 7 pm at Neshaminy HS. to take on our Dream Team of teachers, administrators and support staff!

News From Our Schools

Pearl S. Buck Elementary School

Kindness is fundamental

Buck first-grade class with kindness sign

First-graders at Pearl S. Buck ES sorted and gathered items to be donated to the Barkann Family Healing Hearts Foundation and for the Tiny Paws Organization in January. This was part of a month-long first grade project to Spread Kindness, which also included writing and performing original skits, singing songs, book reading and even kindness math word problems. The children were asked to record their thoughts about completing this project. A few of their responses:

  • "I help my neighbor. This makes me feel happy.
  • "It feels good to give and not just get."
  • "If you give, there is a feeling you get. Giving gives kindness to you and others."
  • "If someone needs help, help them."

Artmobile exhibit bridges science, creativity

The always-popular Artmobile visited Pearl S. Buck Elementary in January. Operated by Bucks County Community College, the Artmobile visits schools throughout the county. The exhibits change every two years -- the current exhibit explores the connections between art and science with an emphasis on bees and pollination.

Joseph Ferderbar Elementary School

Collaborative project is magnetic

Magnetism project at Ferderbar
Students in Denise Mednick's fourth-grade class worked together to create a magnetic train track where their "train" will hover and be able to move down the tracks. They applied their knowledge of magnets and balancing weights to create their collaborative project.

After designing and creating their projects, they then had to  then test and alter their projects to make them successful.

EarlyAct supports clean water project

The Early Act Club is building awareness of world cultures and environmental issues by raising  money to help people in Kenya to have easier access to clean water. On Thursday, January 24 and Friday, January 25, they sold blue water-colored leis for $1 outside the cafeteria. All money collected will be sent to the Eckenywa Foundation to help with building wells so they can have clean water in their villages and schools.

Herbert Hoover Elementary School

Young musicians take to the stage

Hoover Beginner Orchestra

The Beginner Orchestra held their first performance in January. We look forward to seeing them learn and grow in the Neshaminy music program!

Hoover Book Fair at Barnes & Noble February 6

On February 6 (5:30 to 8 pm), Hoover Elementary will hold a Book Fair at the Barnes and Noble store in Neshaminy Mall. Come out and meet Marnie Schneider, who is the author of Football Freddie and the Fumble Dog. She will sign copies of her book.

Walter Miller Elementary School

Book time soars thanks to Phillies reading program 

Phanatic About Reading logo

The students at Walter Miller are “Phanatic About Reading!" In January, challenge was to see which class averaged the most minutes read. Here are the winning classes and the average minutes read for the month:

  • Kindergarten- Mrs. Frisch’s class read an average of 263 minutes per student
  • Grade 1- Mrs. Betteli’s class read an average of 438 minutes per student
  • Grade 2- Mrs. Stanley’s class read an average of 400 minutes per student
  • Grade 3- Mrs. O’Rourke’s class read an average of 352 minutes per student
  • Grade 4- Mrs.Hunt’s class read an average of 526 minutes per student

Each class was awarded a “Phanatic About Reading” certificate as well as a special treat of Tastykakes (courtesy of Giant supermarket in Feasterville) for every student in the class.

Mug contest teaches business skills through art

Students in the third grade explored the business world during art class with a hot chocolate challenge. Students developed a company name, logo, and advertising posters for a fictional beverage company. The top “selling” hot cocoa companies won ceramic mugs for each company member with their logo on it and a hot chocolate mug party. Great job to everyone for their hard work and creativity!

Families enjoy an evening book fair

Barnes & Noble reading night

Walter Miller families and teachers turned out at the Barnes & Noble store January for a Book Fair. Students listened attentively to humorous tales read by their teachers and  Principal Troy Bodolus and joined in some playful poetry activities.

Albert Schweitzer Elementary School

Service Learning Club shares Valentines project

Heart wreath project

The Service Learning Club at Schweitzer is designed to enable students to use academic knowledge and skills to address genuine community needs of our school and the surrounding community. Mrs. Exner is leading the Club with fourth grade students and other staff volunteers. The Club just had its introductory meeting to brainstorm new ideas to help our school and the community. Additionally they completed their first project of providing Valentine wreaths and placements for the Senior Center. The wreaths turned out so well, that the Service Learning Club created wreaths to hang up around the building.

Penguins paintings and pizza prove popular

Paint Night at Schweitzer ES

On January 24th, Schweitzer hosted a Family Paint Night to benefit the art department and the 4th grade class. They had 50/50 raffles and raffle baskets for families to win along with pizza and snacks. Each student painted a featured penguin Beanie Boo with the art teacher, Mrs. Todd that students replicated and made their own. It was a successful fundraiser and a great way to be together and raise money for our school community!

Tawanka Elementary School

Families enjoy a night of activities

Volleyball game during Family Engagement Night at Tawanka

On Friday the 25th of January Tawanka held its annual grade 3-4 Family Engagement Night.  The night was full of fun with families participating in the Brain Show game and parents and guardians taking on staff members at volleyball. An additional Family Engagement Night for grades K-2 is coming in March.

Fly, Eagles Fly

Eagles outfits at Tawanka

By the time you read this, the Eagles will no longer be the reigning Super Bowl champions. But they advanced further in the playoffs than most of us expected, and these students celebrated by wearing their Eagles gear before the final playoff game. Of course...there's always next year!

Maple Point Middle School

MLK Day project helps Angels in Motion

MLK Day activity at Maple Point

Students from Maple Point and some from Neshaminy High School spent time on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (observed) January 21 compiling 1,600 'blessing bags' from thousands of items donated by the Maple Point and Neshaminy community for Angels in Motion. This is a charity that reaches out to addicts living on the street with the ultimate goal of steering them into treatment. The bags contain food and other items that build a bridge between the addicts and Angels in Motion volunteers to help them reach that goal. Students also made sandwiches for the charity to hand out and wove recycled plastic bags into 'plarn' which can be used to make weatherproof mats for the homeless.

The project followed several weeks of gathering thousands of food donations and contributions to make the day possible.

Can you help? Maple Point is a finalist for $25K grant

Project Fit America logo
The Physical Education Department  at Maple Point is excited to announce that the school is entered in the Project Fit America $25,000 grant competition. This grant would provide state of the art outdoor and indoor fitness equipment from the Dannon Company. Voting begins February 2 and ends February 28 on the Project Fit website below.

Basketball team wins BCL championship

Congratulations to the Maple Point 8th grade girls basketball team. They beat the William Penn team in the Bucks County League Championship. Coaches Ken Gurysh and Fred Gross led the team to an undefeated league championship.
Maple Point Girls Basketball Team

Poquessing Middle School

Poquessing celebrates MLK Day with a week of projects

Poquessing Middle School wrestling team photo

Poquessing Middle School turned the MLK Day of Service into an entire week of community-oriented activities involving classes, clubs and teams. On Friday, January 17, members of the Interact and Environmental Science clubs visited K-2 students at Ferderbar Elementary School to read stories and encourage their younger counterparts to participate in clubs and community activities when they get to middle school.

Mindful Mondays promotes focus, introspection

Middle school can be noisy and fast-paced. Poquessing Counselor Grant Passman is offering some students an opportunity to learn meditation and mindfulness techniques during a weekly half-hour visit to a math class. Passman says that meditation can help students to be less "reactionary" and more mindful to better cope with distractions and emotional challenges they encounter. He has taught meditation to a variety of groups, from martial arts classes and police officers to school bus drivers and the high school wrestling team he coaches.
Mindful Mondays at Poquessing
He plans to expand his sessions at Poquessing to include additional interested students in class or as an optional activity during their WIN (Whatever I Need) period.

Carl Sandburg Middle School

Inclusive tricycles round out MS cycling program

Every fall and spring, middle school students throughout the District participate in a mountain bicycle program, taking to the parking lots and trails around their schools. Thanks to a $3,000 Neshaminy Education Grant submitted by Sandburg MS Physical Education teachers Donna Ferro, Hank Coleman and Terry Martian, more students will be able to to participate in this fun, popular activity with the delivery of six new Schwinn Cruiser adult tricycles. Students who are not able to ride a conventional bicycle will now be able to  join their classmates. Inclusive cycle at Sandburg
Though the grant originated at Sandburg, the tricycles will be shared with the District's two other middle schools in the spring once the cycling unit is complete at Sandburg.

Chorus performs at Owls game

Sandburg Choir

The Carl Sandburg MS Chorus sang the National Anthem at a Temple basketball game at the Liacourus Center in Philadelphia on January 27.

Neshaminy High School

#FTK! MiniTHON raises over $14K

Neshaminy MiniTHON

Congratulations to Neshaminy HS MiniTHON volunteers who raised $14,674.86 to benefit Four Diamonds, fighting childhood cancer and helping young cancer patients with expenses. The amount revealed at the end of the program was an increase of over $3,000 from last year -- it's For The Kids!

Spotted lantern fly app wins accolades for NHS coders

Four Neshaminy High School students traveled to Harrisburg on January 8 with Environmental Science teacher Brian Suter to present their concept for a spotted lantern fly educational mobile app. The group won a Bucks County Intermediate Unit hackathon competition recently which earned them the trip to the state competition. In the video linked below, they describe their app, which they will have the chance to fully develop if they win. Spotted Lanternfly

Mustangs finish their season with a banquet

Bucks County Mustangs banquet

The Bucks County Mustangs capped another successful season with a banquet on January 14 at Georgine's Restaurant in Bristol. The flag football program matches high school football players, coaches and cheerleaders from Neshaminy and other nearby high schools with special needs players and cheerleaders from the area for a season of Sunday practices and games at Harry E. Franks Stadium. The program was started 12 years ago by Bob and Joan Wargo.

Grant to expand Microsoft certification at NHS

The Business Computers and Information Technology Department at Neshaminy received at $950 award from the Buxmont Chapter of the PA Society for Tax and Accounting Professionals (PSTAP) in January. PSTAP has awarded funds to schools to support business/accounting classes.

The  funds will purchase test vouchers for all current BCIT Information Technology 2 students to take the Microsoft Excel specialist exam.  Neshaminy High School has maintained a 100 percent student passing rate over the past three years.  Unfortunately, the number of students who have capitalized on the opportunity to earn this designation is small due to the cost of the exam, which is over $80.

This grant will enable all students in the course to sit for the exam in May.  The grant helps them to acquire professional certifications that validate competency and skills.

Volunteer effort a slam dunk for NHS basketball team

Girls basketball team at Ronald McDonald House

On Sunday, January 27, members of the Neshaminy High School girls basketball team and their coaches volunteered their time at the Ronald McDonald House in Philadelphia.

NHS athletes reach major milestones

Colton Jordan and Brooke Mullin

Neshaminy girls basketball team member Brooke Mullin (above, right) scored her 1000th varsity point during a game January 4. She was joined by teammate Allison Harvey (center, below), who scored her 1000th point for Neshaminy during a varsity game at William Tennant HS January 8. Wrestler Colton Jordan won his 100th varsity match on January 26. Congratulations to all three!

Basketball team

NHS presents Jekyll & Hyde

Jekyll & Hyde at NHS

Audiences were treated to a powerful show as Neshaminy presented the Broadway musical adaptation of the Robert Louis Stevenson book, Jekyll & Hyde January 31 - February 3. This musical, which made its Broadway debut in 1997, is notable for a number of intense lead performances.

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.