April, 2019
Neshaminy Update banner April 2019
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STEAM Expo celebrates all things science, technology and art

Collection of photos from the STEAM Expo

Once again proving that science, technology art and kids are a natural match, the annual Neshaminy STEAM Expo  filled hallways and classrooms at Neshaminy HS April 30 with a wide variety of exhibits, projects and activities. Hundereds of students and their families were greeted by a robot at the entrance, then made their way to dozens of stations where they engaged with virtual reality labs, science exeriments, art projects, computer stations, digital animation, a mobile forensics lab, and even tried their hand at making cheese. New this year is a greenhouse in the art courtyard. Obtained through a grant and donated supplies, this will provide growing space for Environmental Science students and other projects.

Many thanks to the Neshaminy teachers and suport staff, community presenters, Neshaminy HS students and middle school students who made this a great night of learning and fun.

 Safe2Say Something rolled out at Neshaminy

Safe2Say app banner logo

Just before spring break, students at the three middle schools and Neshaminy HS school were introduced to Safe2Say Something, a system designed to improve school safety. Safe2Say Something is a youth violence prevention program run by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General. The program teaches youth and adults how to recognize warning signs and signals, especially within social media, from individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others and to “say something” BEFORE it is too late.

The centerpiece of the program is a mobile phone app and website that allows students -- or anybody -- to anonymously report threats or dangers either to themselves, other students or the entire school. The reports are monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and information received is shared with appropriate school and law enforcement authorities. The authorities can communicate with the sender through the app without divulging their identity to get further information or provide feedback.

The goal is help prevent violence and tragedies by providing a means to report threats when students are uncomfortable doing so in person. The system does not replace emergency communications, and student are encouraged to use the app only as a last resort when they do not feel safe reaching out to teachers, school administrators or counselors.

Prior to the Neshaminy launch, a team of administrators and counselors at each school were assembled to respond to reports. Students in grades 5-12 were shown the video below and instructed on the proper use of this safety tool.

Video icon  Safe2Say Something Neshaminy video

Link icon  Letter to parents and guardians about Safe2Say Something

Student artwork featured on billboard

M sign at Oxford Valley Road at Old Lincoln Highway displaying student artwork
Have you seen our student's artwork on the 'M' sign? Catalyst Experiential has donated time on their new LED billboard at the corner of Old Lincoln Highway and Oxford Valley Road in Middletown Township to highlight selected artworks from a different Neshaminy school each month. In April, five artworks from Maple Point were featured and during the month of May, artworks from Herbert Hoover will be displayed. This schedule also coincides with the artworks on display each month in the District Board Room at Maple Point.

School Board approves mall tax reduction

At their April 23 public meeting, the Neshaminy School Board voted to accept a reassessment settlement following an appeal by McStome-Kravco, Inc., the owners of Oxford Valley Mall. This agreement will reduce their tax bill by just under $800,000 for 2019, and includes retroactive refunds of $512,000 for 2018 and $251,000 for 2017. Under the agreement, the District will be able to pay back the retroactive refunds in two payments spread over a two-year period. Also as part of this agreement, additional tax appeals for ancillary office and retail properties surrounding the mall were withdrawn.

The District conducted its own assessment of the mall property and found that it has been reduced in value due to multiple empty storefronts and office space. The mall, like many across the nation, has struggled to find new tenants in a difficult retail climate, challenged by online sales and the rise of standalone "big box" retail stores.

Raise Them Strong comes to Neshaminy

Brooks Gibbs
Brooks Gibbs is an award winning social skills educator who teaches students, parents, and teachers how to build emotional resilience and live by the Golden Rule. He will be visiting Neshaminy for a presentation for parents and guardians on Tuesday, May 14 at 7 pm in the auditorium at Maple Point Middle School.

Brooks is the author of Raise Them Strong and is a featured speaker for the 2018-19 Global School Assembly.
Over 2,500 schools have invited him to speak, allowing him to reach 2 million students face-to-face. His viral videos have amassed more than 200 million views worldwide. For additional information regarding this presentation,  please review at the website below.

PKC logo

Registration open for free preschool program

Neshaminy is pleased to once again offer Pre-K Counts within the District for the 2019-2020 school year. Pre-K Counts offers an opportunity for families that might have household incomes too high to qualify for a program such as Head Start but are still struggling to afford a quality preschool.  As an example, a family of four can earn up to $77,250 and still qualify for Pre-K Counts!
Neshaminy Pre-K Counts is a grant-funded program for children who are three or four years of age by September 1. Classes will meet five days a week during the 2019-2020 school year, 6 hours-a-day, at three locations -- Joseph Ferderbar Elementary School (Feasterville), the Lower Southampton Early Learning Center also in Feasterville (the former Lower Southampton Elementary School), and Albert Schweitzer Elementary School in Levittown.

Art Show t-shirts on sale until May 12

Art Show t-shirts

The Neshaminy Art Department is proud to offer 3 student-designed t-shirts to celebrate the 31st Annual District Art Show. Orders must be placed by Sunday, May 12, 2019 at 11:59 pm EDT at the online store linked below.

The District Art Show will be held Wednesday & Thursday, May 22 & 23 from 7-9 pm each night at Neshaminy HS. Each of the three designs is from a different level (elementary, middle and high school).

Sunset Challenge is almost here

Sunset Challenge banner

Hundreds of runners have already signed up for the #StandUp Neshaminy / Rooney Family Screen Printing & Embroidery Sunset Challenge! This 5K & 2K running race will be held 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. The deadline for guaranteed t-shirts has passed but some will be available for late registrations subject to availability.

April 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 April 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.

Selected Upcoming Events

Wednesday-Friday, May 8-10: Almost, Maine, Black Box Theater, NHS, 7 pm
Saturday, May 11: Almost, Maine, Black Box Theater, NHS, 1 pm & 7 pm
Friday, May 10: Sunset Challenge 2K/5K, Maple Point MS, 6pm
Friday, May 10: Sports Block Party, Middletown Community Park, 5 pm
Saturday, May 11: Jazz at the Farm (NHS, Poquessing jazz bands), Heritage Farm in Langhorne, 4:30 pm
May 13-24: Keystone Test window
Tuesday, May 14: Raise Them Strong presentation at Maple Point, 7 pm
Monday, May 20: Recupido Scholarship Food Truck event, Maple Point, 5-9 pm
Wednesday, May 22 & Friday, May 23: District Art Show, 6:30 - 8:30 pm
Thursday, May 30: Neshaminy HS Senior Awards, 6:30 pm

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

Neshaminy Education Foundation logo

Celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Neshaminy Education Foundation!
The non-profit Neshaminy Education Foundation was formed as part of the Neshaminy District Strategic Plan in 1993. Since then, the NEF has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars which is used to support innovative classroom grants and student scholarships for graduating seniors.
The NEF will hold a celebratory gathering before the District Art Show at Neshaminy High School on Wednesday, April 22 from 5:30-7 pm in the Art Gallery Conference across from the Main Office at NHS. All those involved with the NEF are invited to join this informal social then enjoy the Art Show and Orchestra Concert starting at 7 pm. Light refreshments will be served.

News From Our Schools

Pearl S. Buck Elementary School

Sliming is a messy way to promote math

Student with teachers and principal covered in slime
In early April, Principal Brian Kern and first grade teacher Randy Nesbitt were "slimed" as the reward for a March math challenge. The student with the highest number of minutes in each homeroom was afforded the opportunity to slime Mr. Kern or Mr. Nesbitt. A second participating student from each homeroom was randomly selected for the slime dump. From the chants and cheers, it was obvious the sliming was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Students help clean the neighborhood for Earth Week

The 2nd Grade helped keep the neighborhood and school grounds clean during Earth Week by participating in a Neighborhood Clean Up Walk through Twin Oaks. Everyone enjoyed the walk, and many neighbors came out to thank the students for their efforts in keeping their community looking beautiful.

They also finished out their Earth Savers (Project Based Learning) unit with an earth-friendly picnic and a “trash to treasure” creative activity. Students were asked to bring in a trash-free lunch, using reusable or recyclable containers. They ate outside, enjoyed the beautiful school grounds, and counted the number of trash items they had in their lunches.

Joseph Ferderbar Elementary School

Heart Association challenges raise over $3,000

Students participating in the Kids Heart Challenge at Ferderbar raised $3,374 for the American Heart Association. This fun activity, formerly called the Jump Rope for Heart, is designed to promote positive healthy lifestyles through awareness of heart-healthy living while raising money for life-saving scientific research.

EarlyAct presentation highlights student service

Ferderbar studens at a Neshaminy Board meeting

A group of Ferderbar students spoke at the Neshaminy School Board Public Meeting on April 23 as part of a series of presentations highlighting activities at each elementary school this year. The students talked about the service learning projects they are participating in as part of the EarlyAct Club, which is sponsored by Feasterville Rotary.

Among the projects they shared with the Board was the Elf Fund (which provides holiday help for families in need), the Ekenywa project (supporting a worldwide organization that helps fund clean water projects in Kenya), and the Broken Crayons project which collects and recycles used crayons and donates them to hospitals.

Herbert Hoover Elementary School

Middletown Township hosts 2nd grade for Government Day

Hoover Elementary students pose next to a front end loader

On April 9, the 2nd grade from Herbert Hoover Elementary School visited the Middletown Township building to celebrate Local Government day with help from the staff there, firefighters and police officers including Neshaminy School Resource Officer Melissa Robison. The students participated in several fun activities and tours that increased their understanding of municipal government, public works and public safety agencies.

Walter Miller Elementary School

Phanatic recognizes prolific readers at Miller

Phillie Phanatic poses with a class at Walter Miller Elementary School

On April 12, students at Walter Miller Elementary School enjoyed a visit from a very special green guest as a reward for being one of the top schools in the Philadelphia region in the 2018-2019 Phanatic About Reading contest. The students won the visit by accumulating hundreds of hours of time spent reading at school and home. The class with the most minutes -- Kerry Bettelli's 1st grade -- got to pose for a photo with the Phanatic and Mrs. Bettelli read the Phanatic's book, The Best Rain Delay Ever, to the entire school during the assembly.

NHS grad, Army Specialist visits

Army Specialist Macey Smith, a 2017 Neshaminy graduate, surprised Janet Loftus' kindergarten class with a visit at Walter Miller in late March. The students have been writing her all year while she was stationed in Afghanistan. They were so excited when she came in their class for a visit. She was also honored at a Phillies game as a "Hometown Hero" on March 31.
Macey Smith with a class at Walter Miller Elementary School

Albert Schweitzer Elementary School

Fundraiser puts a spring in their steps

Students walking around the Carl Sandburg track

On April 12, students in each grade at Albert Schweitzer Elementary School took turns walking around the track near their school for their 7th annual Tech Trot. The students gathered pledges leading up to this fundraiser, which provides money for technology purchases for the school.

Special Olympians from Albert Schweitzer and their helpers

Special Olympians compete

On Saturday, April 27, students from Albert Schweitzer Elementary School took part in the Bucks County Special Olympics. Along with their teacher Joellen Exner and student volunteers Julianna and Maddie Exner they participated in various throwing and running events.

Tawanka Elementary School

Tawanka welcomes guest readers 

Lower Southamton librarians do an excercise with children at Tawanka

The Township Library of Lower Southampton Librarians visited Tawanka in April to read to kindergarten and first grade students and share some activities. The students were excited to welcome them!

Rock project is one for the ages

Tawanka student holds up a rock next to trays of dirt

Third graders had hands on fun exploring fossils during a rock assembly. They dug up rocks and minerals to experience what a paleontologist might find.

Maple Point Middle School

Debate Competition tests research, presentation skills

Debate teams at Maple Point Middle School competition

On April 24, Debate Teams from all three middle schools competed during the annual Neshaminy District Debate Competition at Maple Point Middle School. About 60 students participated and the MP Student Council was also on hand to help move the teams between different rooms as they tackled different issues. The students moved to several different stations to present their positions on various topics, then had to respond to alternate points of view by members of their opposing teams.

Mothers Day Walk to support the Barkann Foundation

Maple Point MS is once again partnering with the Barkann Healing Hearts Foundation for their 2nd Annual Mother’s Day in-school Walkathon. The proceeds from this event will support a luncheon for mothers who are battling through personal and family hardships. The Walkathon takes place May 9 and 10. Students or and their family members can join the Walkathon with a $5 donation.

The entire community is invited to visit the website below to purchase raffle tickets for 3 great prizes: Phillies Tickets in the Diamond Club Section, tickets to see Ariana Grande, or tickets to see Shawn Mendes in concert. Raffle tickets are $2 or 3 for $5 and can be purchased online. Please support this great cause!

Workshop aims to prevent bullying, violence

On April 3, students at Maple Point MS heard a powerful message about violence prevention and conflict resolution from representatives from the Tariq Khamisa Foundation (TKF). A follow-up presentation was held for parents and guardians that evening.

TKF was founded in 1995 after college student Tariq Khamisa was killed by a 14-year-old gang member, Tony Hicks. Tony was tried as an adult and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Tariq’s father, Azim Khamisa, felt this tragedy created victims on both ends of the gun. Azim, in an act of extraordinary grace and forgiveness, reached out to Tony’s grandfather, Ples Felix. The two men came together in the spirit of healing to end youth violence.

Poquessing Middle School

Interact, EarlyAct clubs help Rotary celebrate their 40th 

Poquessing student at Rotary Easter breakfast

Members of the Neshaminy HS and Poquessing MS Interact Clubs along with the Ferderbar ES EarlyAct Club volunteered at the 40th Annual Feasterville Rotary Club Pancake Breakfast April 14 at Twining Hall in Trevose. Students painted faces, played games and did crafts with kids and even helped with the day’s guest of honor, the Easter Bunny.

Second mural involves five grades

Tile mural at Poquessing Middle School

A group of volunteer parents, friends and Poquessing staff members were busy during early April putting the finishing touches on a wall-sized mural outside the auditorium at Poquessing. Starting last year under the direction of art teachers Katie Storck and Heidi Goodhart-Rufe, the music-themed mural includes tile pieces created by every student in the school, including last year's 8th-grade who have since moved on to the high school and this year's 5th grade. The tiles include everything from song lyrics to cutouts of musical notes and instruments. The mural is now on full display, but an official 'unveiling' is planned for the near future. This is the second such mural at Poquessing; the first is in the vestibule entrance at the front of the building.

Carl Sandburg Middle School

Students learn games to last a lifetime

Sandburg 7th grade students play shuffleboard

Seventh-graders at Carl Sandburg Middle School learned some new games as part of a "Lifetime Recreational Games" unit in their physical education classes in April. The goal is to have them try out games that might be enjoyed at a family picnic or neighborhood BBQ. The games included four square, ladderball, pickleball, bocce, "can jam" (a Frisbee accuracy challenge), paddleball, and a new game called "Ramp Shot" that can be described as a cross between cornhole and cricket.

Neshaminy High School

K-Hall Kraft Fair promotes entrepreneurship

K-Hall Craft Fair view from above.

Students in Jackie Rippert and Cheryl Kornicki's classes have been busy creating items to sell at their annual K-Hall Kraft Fair, which opened for a day for students and staff at Neshaminy HS. Among the items they created and sold are plants, spa products, painted jars, pet treats, flavored oils and decorative items. Some of the proceeds will go to charity, some to the SILO food pantry at NHS and some toward future field trips for these entrepreneurial students.

NHS FBLA Club honored at state competition

Future Business Leaders of America group photo

The Business, Computer and Information Technology Department is proud to recognize the Neshaminy Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) members. The club raised funds for the 2018-19 state project, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, with several activities earlier this year including a 5K walk and t-shirt sales. Neshaminy received top honors placing 10th out of 299 total state chapters in total funds raised. The NHS chapter also earned the Gold Seal Chapter and the Outstanding Chapter awards.

Thirty two Neshaminy HS FBLA members attended the State Leadership Competition on April 8-10, 2019 in Hershey. The students competed against the top winners in their events from across the state of Pennsylvania. Freshman Ohenmaa Ofosu-Mensah placed first in Introduction to Financial Math. The NHS Entrepreneurship Team of Joey Nolan & Dan Gutman placed 4th and Aaron Lewis took home 5th place in Banking & Financial Systems. These four students will be heading to the National FBLA Leadership Conference and Competition in San Antonio, Texas in June where they will compete against the top finishers in the United States, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam. The Emerging Business Issues team of Andrew Schmitz and Steven Muller placed tenth.

Aaron Lewis placed 5th in Investments and Stock Markets, and Steven Muller placed 8th in Social Media Marketing in Open Events Competitions.

Workshop promotes safe driving

On Tuesday, April 9, NJM Insurance Group held a safe driving workshop called, Share the Keys. This workshop was intended for both new drivers and their parents or guardians together to help reduce the risk of crashes & better understand the rules of the road. Several prizes were given away to those attending including NHS parking permits for 2019-2020, Wawa gift cards, free driver education course tuition (which can help with insurance costs), and an emergency roadside kit.

Basketball team reaches new heights

Neshaminy girls basketball team photo

The Neshaminy HS Girls Varsity Basketball team ended their season with a record number of wins this year, rising all the way to the PIAA state tournament semifinal round (an all-time school record). They went 12-0 to take the Suburban One League National Conference Championship, went 27-5 for the entire season, and were ranked 11th in the entire state. Brooke Mullen and Alison Harvey both scored over 1,000 points this year. Congratulations to this talented team and Coach Joe Lally for a tremendous season!

NHS athletes visit Ryan Arcidiacono at a Sixers game

Ryan Arcidiacono with Neshaminy students at a Sixers game

Chicago Bulls point guard and NHS grad Ryan Arcidiacono had some current players from his former team join him at the Sixers game on April 11 in Philadelphia. In related news, his brother, Neshaminy HS graduate Chris Arcidiacono, has committed to play at Villanova (Ryan's alma mater) next year after spending a post-graduate year at the Perkiomen School.

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.