Neshaminy School District

We Build Futures

May 2017
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Outstanding teachers honored

 
 Teacher awards
 
 Seven Neshaminy School District teachers were honored at a School Board meeting on Wednesday May 17 during the annual Teacher Recognition Ceremony. The purpose of these awards is to recognize outstanding effort and innovation in four key areas -- Leadership, Innovation, Community Partnership and Spirit of Neshaminy.
 
 The first Leadership Award went to Linda Baker, a reading specialist at Joseph Ferderbar Elementary School for her promotion and delivery of research-based literacy instruction to both students and staff. The second Leadership Award went to Christopher DiCicco, an Engish teacher at Neshaminy High School, who has been an agent for change and progress in the NHS English Department by implementing new programs as well as promoting diversity and tolerance in the learning community as the advisor to the Diversity Club.
 
 The Outstanding Teacher Innovation Award went to Kathy Alford, a third grade teacher at Walter Miller Elementary School. Kathy has been a leader in data-driven differentiated instruction for her students, emphasizing 21st-century skills using student-centered, inquiry-based methods.
 
 The first of three Community Partnership awards went to Patty Compton, a fourth grade teacher at Joseph Ferderbar Elementary School for her participation in the Rotary EarlyAct program, which organizes student service learning projects that benefit the community. The second award went to James Maloney, an AP science instructor at Neshaminy High School who initiated a partnership with Toyota USA last year. The company provided him with a car to travel to National Parks across the country, an experience which he shared with his students upon his return. In addition, Toyota funded $10,000 in projects for his Environmental Science students. 
 
 The final Community Partnership Award recipient was Sandi Spong, a special education teacher at Neshaminy High School. Sandi is the advisor for the Change-it-Up Club, which implements co-curricular activities that benefit those with special needs in the community.
 
 The Spirit of Neshaminy Award was given to Bill Barnes, a communication teacher at Poquessing Middle School. Bill is a tireless educator and organizer who is involved with multiple activities and service learning projects at Poquessing. He inspires those around him with his enthusiasm and energy.
 
Each of these dedicated teachers has excelled and innovated in the classroom and in our community. Neshaminy is proud to recognize their outstanding efforts.
 

Proposed budget posted

 
The Proposed Final Budget for the 2017-2018 school year was approved by the School Board at their May 17 Public Board Meeting and can be viewed on the District web site by clicking hereIt is scheduled for a final vote at the June 20, 2017 Public Board Meeting held at at Maple Point at 7 pm. 
 
 The district faced challenges on several fronts while crafting the $180,278,834 budget. Chief among them is the increase in local contributions to the state education pension fund (PSERS), rising from 5.64% in the 2010-2011 school year to the current rate of 32.57% for the 2017-2018 school year. That is also a rise from 30.03% that was paid in the 2016-2017 school year. The PSERS Board has levied these increases in order to meet pension obligations statewide.
 
 Neshaminy has managed to meet these obligations and also fund the Road Map project without a tax increase for the past 7 school years. The 2017-2018 Final Proposed Budget currently calls for the allowable 2.5% Act 1 tax increase, which equates to a $105 increase for an average residential assessment. When the preliminary budget was adopted in February, it contained a $9.2 million gap between income and expenditures. Since then that number has been reduced to $4.3 million, of which $2 million will be drawn from a committed PSERS fund balance and the remainder coming from the district's unassigned fund balance. District administration is continuing to look for cost savings to reduce that number, and two Business Operations Committee meetings centered on the budget are scheduled before a final budget vote. Those meetings will be held Monday June 5 and Tuesday June 13 (if needed) at 6:30 pm each day
 
 The 2017-2018 proposed budget includes the following highlights:
  • 6 new elementary teaching positions to alleviate class size issues
  • Continued implementation of technology initiatives including expansion of the 1:1 Chromebook program to the elementary schools
  • Expansion of the Amplify Science program to the middle schools and the Fiction Genre Reading Program to 8th grade
  • New high school band uniforms to replace those that have been in use for over a decade

Neshaminy Pre-K Counts planning expansion

 
A quality preschool program is essential to prepare students for kindergarten and beyond. The cost of these programs can be a barrier. Pre-K Counts offers an opportunity for those that might have household incomes too high to qualify for a program such as Head Start but are still struggling to afford preschool.  As an example, a family of four can earn up to $73,800 and still qualify.
 
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 2017-2018 school year, 6 hours-a-day, at two locations (pending grant approval). The first location will be the Lower Southampton Early Learning Center in Feasterville (the former Lower Southampton Elementary School), and the second will be Albert Schweitzer Elementary School in Levittown. Families are responsible for their own transportation to and from school each day, and daily attendance and on-time arrivals and departures are essential. 
 
For more information, financial qualification guidelines and registration materials please visit www.neshaminy.org/pkc. Families are urged to sign up as soon as possible so registration can begin as soon as funding is approved.
 

Day of Action highlights public education

 
 Day of Action
During the Day of Action, Maple Point MS Instructional Aide Linda Gaul (with flowers) was honored by John McGinley, Jen Emrich and Tara Huber for winning a Bucks County YWCA 'Women Who Make a Difference Award' in May.
 
Neshaminy School District, the Neshaminy Federation of Teachers and the Neshaminy Educational Support Professionals joined together to hold a Day of Action rally at Carl Sandburg Middle School on May 1. The purpose of the event was to celebrate public education and the accomplishments of Neshaminy School District. A number of speakers including teachers, students, support staff members, union officials, district administrators, and local elected officials. 
 
 
                            

 News from our Schools


District

 

Art Show highlights creativity

 
 Art Show entry  Art Show
 
The annual Neshaminy District Art Show was held on May 24 and 25 at Neshaminy High School. Over 1,000 works from all the District schools were on display, along with senior projects from the high school. Included were paintings, drawings, etchings, ceramic and paper mache sculptures, photography, video graphics and more. Each year, one piece of student art is chosen for display at the Bucks County Intermediate Unit in Doylestown; this year that honor went to Sara Ozdemir from Maple Point for her colorful Warhol-esque coffee cup print (seen above).
 

Retirees hold 33rd annual luncheon

 
The Neshaminy Retirees gathered at Middletown Country Club on May 6 for their annual luncheon. The group was treated to performances by members of the Neshaminy High School Jazz Ensemble and the NHS Select Choir. Retired Choir Director Roy Nelson stepped in to conduct the choir as they sang 'We Are One' along with his former student and current Select Choir Director Kristin Nichols.
 
 

Neshaminy students attend annual #girlSTEM conference

 
#GirlSTEM  
 
On May 18, fifty girls from Maple Point, Poquessing, and Carl Sandburg middle schools attended the sixth annual #girlSTEM conference. #girlSTEM is an initiative of the Bucks County Intermediate Unit, sponsored by the United Way of Bucks County’s Women’s Initiative, and hosted on the campus of Delaware Valley University. 800 girls were in attendance with over 50 session topics to choose from. STEM engages students and equips them with critical thinking, problem solving, creative and collaborative skills, and ultimately establishes connections between the school, work place, community and the global economy.

 
Middle school boating program adds paddle boards

 
May 4 was a great day for the 8th grade trip to Core Creek Park to go kayaking, canoeing and -- new this year -- paddle boarding! This annual trip is a culmination of a boating and water safety course in the physical education classes. Student from all three middle schools who earned a Pennsylvania Boating and Water Safety certificate were treated to the outing. The paddle boards were purchased with funds from a Superintendent's Grant and a Neshaminy Education Foundation grant.
 
 

Pearl S. Buck Elementary School

 

 Field trips highlight history and nature

 
Insectarium
Did you know that the Lenape used deer brains to soften the hides they were drying? That is just one thing 3rd graders learned visiting Churchville Nature Center in May. They visited various stations where they learned how to play Native American games, prepare and cook corn meal, braid grass to be used in nets and fishing lines, and sat inside of a wigwam! They saw how the Lenape stored food and experienced just how difficult it was to light a fire.
 
Second grade students visited the Insectarium in Philadelphia to gain an appreciation for some of the smallest members of the animal kingdom. 
 

Joseph Ferderbar Elementary School

 

 Select Chorus visits Attleboro

 
Ferderbar Chorus  
 
The Ferderbar Select Chorus visited the residents at the Attleboro Community  in Langhorne to sing songs for them and spend time visiting with their inter-generational friends.
 

Herbert Hoover Elementary School

  

 Jumping for Heart nets a big donation

 
The annual Jump Rope for Heart fundraiser to benefit the American Heart Association was a big success with nearly $5,000 raised by Hoover families. Cassidy McManus (shown at the right with principal Dr. David Glennon and physical education teacher Tara Ring) raised $610 for the program!
 Hoover donation
 

Walter Miller Elementary School

 

Wax Museum brings history to life

 
Wax Museum  
 
Third grade students read biographies and researched famous people on the internet. They asked questions about family, important events, character traits and important contributions. The end result was they became the person during the Miller Wax Museum. Students, their families and community visitors were able to see these famous people come to life!
 

Reading Olympics teams compete

 
The fourth grade Reading Olympic members marched into the competition to Queen’s “We Are the Champions.” And how right they were! The Reading Olympics match for students in fourth grade took place on Thursday, May 25, in the gymnasium. The students battled two rounds of twenty questions each on thirty different books. At the end, the Golden Readers and the Just Read It! teams each earned a blue ribbon.
 

 

Albert Schweitzer Elementary School

 

Kindergarten enjoys a day at the farm 

 
 Solly Farm
 
 Students in the kindergarten classes enjoyed a perfect day at Solly Farm in Ivyland during a field trip in May. Their day included a hay ride on the tractor and learning more about farm animals and nature.
 

Fundraising walk yields new technology

 
  The annual Tech Trot fundraiser earned almost $4,000, which will be used to purchase additional sound amplification systems for classrooms at the school. Students raised the money by gathering pledges for their walk, which was held at the Carl Sandburg MS track during the school day.
 

Schweitzer competes in Special Olympics 

 
The Primary Life Skills class participated in the Special Olympics at Council Rock North on April 29. The students competed in track and field events along with the area school districts. They practiced with their gym teacher, Mr. Curtin,  weekly for this competition. Family, friends, teachers and hundreds of volunteers gathered for this annual event.
 
 Special Olympics
 
 

 

Tawanka Elementary School

 

EarlyAct Club forms

 
Tawanka EarlyAct
 
In March, Tawanka started its first EarlyAct Club. This school service club is run by 4th grade students and conducts service projects for the school, local, and international communities. The club is sponsored by the Feasterville and Langhorne Rotary Clubs. The club has already completed a canned food drive to benefit a local food bank, and the Dollars for Daisies Campaign to benefit the Pediatric Wing at Saint Mary Medical Center.
 

Library event 'Building Community Bridges'

 
On Saturday June 3, Tawanka will hold a 'Building Community Bridges' event at the Township Library of Lower Southampton from 5 pm - 7 pm. This fun family event will include a clown, a juggler, games, crafts, and story time with the Tawanka staff. The new Tawanka eagle mascot will be available for pictures. 

 

Maple Point Middle School

 

No Place for Hate Club joins Philly march
 
A group of students from the Maple Point MS No Place for Hate Club joined the Walk Against Hate March at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia on May 21. The event was a fundraiser for the Anti-Defamation League. 
 

Pucks for Patrick honors a former student

 
On May 15 Maple Point held a memorial floor hockey tournament called Pucks for Patrick in honor of Patrick Ryan Gannon, a student who died in a tragic accident during the summer of 2016. Patrick was an avid ice hockey player who played for two teams, the Grundy Senators Ice Hockey Club and the Neshaminy Middle School Ice Hockey Club. The money raised will be used to purchase a memorial trophy case at Grundy Arena in Bristol, where Patrick often played.
 
The tournament included 16 teams of 7th and 8th-grade students and Maple Point teachers and administrators, each team wearing different colored t-shirts with Patrick's #16 on the back. Participants bid on donated raffle baskets containing hockey-themed items such as Flyers jerseys, and Maple Point families contributed snacks for the tournament including cookies shaped like hockey sticks and pucks. Members of the Gannon family attended and set up a display of Patrick's hockey memorabilia.

 
 

American Legion honors five students

 
 MP-winners Congratulations to five Maple Point 8th-grade students who received American Legion School Awards from two posts in Penndel and Langhorne. According to the Legion, those who receive a medal must exemplify six qualities that define character: courage, honor, leadership, patriotism, scholarship and service. The winners are: Rachel Ackerman and Mason Sermarini from the Penndel American Legion Post #436; Maggie Wiley, Matt Drapkin and Rachel Lamb from the Jesse W. Soby Unit #148 of the American Legion. 
 

Students win essay contest

 

The Washington Crossing Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution recently recognized two Maple Point students at the David Library of the American Revolution, located in Washington Crossing, for winning the annual DAR History Essay Contest. 5th-grader Bailey Tweedie and 7th-grader Laura Chorba read their essays at a monthly DAR Chapter Meeting and were awarded a medal and certificate. The title of this year’s essay was “Celebrating a Century: America’s National Parks." 99 students from Maple Point entered the contest! 
 

Filmmaker, adventurer, NHS graduate visits Maple Point

 
Several social studies classes at Maple Point were treated to a visit from 2005 Neshaminy HS graduate Andy Laub, who is now a documentary filmmaker. He has hiked thousands of miles and traveled around the world capturing stories about our environment and the people he meets along the way. 
 
 

Poquessing Middle School

 

3-D interactive show teaches tolerance

 
 Poquessing show
 
 A high-tech traveling anti-bullying show visited Poquessing Middle School May 5 courtesy of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Thanks to a partnership between the school and CHOP, the 3-D interactive 'Free2B' program was presented to students in grades 6-8 at no cost to the district. The program included a live interactive Q&A, 3-D and non 3-D videos, and ended with an interactive game to reinforce the concepts learned.
 

Autism walk benefits two groups

 
The annual Poquessing Autism Walk was held on the afternoon of May 12 in the athletic fields behind the school. Students raised approximately $4,000 to benefit the Sean-Me Foundation and Easter Seals of Southeastern Pennsylvania.
 

 

 Carl Sandburg Middle School

 

Food drive nets 3 tons of donations

 
 All Neshaminy schools hold food drives throughout the school year to benefit local families and social service organizations. Carl Sandburg Middle School celebrated a record donation to the Penndel Food Pantry during the opening ceremony for their Field Day on May 26 - over 3 TONS of food was collected by Sandburg students, families and staff members during their recent drive.
 
 

Congressman holds a conference call with 5th graders

 
US Representative Brian Fitzpatrick visited a 5th-grade class at Carl Sandburg on May 23 - virtually, anyway, with some help from technology. The freshman congressman spent about half an hour talking about his job, the current challenges in Washington and his upbringing in Levittown.
 
 
 24 Club winners

Challenge 24 competitors add 2 wins

 
 On May 6 Carl Sandburg MS 6th-grade students Zach Souders and John Spina represented their school at the Bucks County Challenge 24 Competition held at Churchville Elementary School. Zach placed fourth and John placed sixth in Bucks County.
 
 

 Neshaminy High School

 

Student-operated food pantry gets a running start
 
Students in the BCIT Entrepreneurship classes are working to create a year-round food pantry that will provide food staples to NHS students and famiies in need. Crowdfunding and marketing efforts launched the idea into action. This is a project-based learning experience for students connecting them to social entrepreneurship curriculum. Students are learning more about food insecurity issues and are responsible for building inventory. The school Counseling Center will maintain confidentiality when distributing food to students and families.
 
The project is intended to have participation grow to include activism by the entire high school and Neshaminy community. News of the food pantry recently spread to Tawanka Elementary School where they collected food donations for an entire week in April. The high school had a food donation day on May 4th to coincide with MiniThon’s spirit week. And this year, the district Art Show coordinators asked families to bring a canned food item to donate to the new NHS food pantry.
 
The project has demonstrated to students that an entrepreneurial mindset can positively address social needs through the resourcefulness of many, innovative thought and the generous desire people have to help others. The NHS food pantry is also known as the SILO, an acronym for Social Intrapreneurs Lifting Others. If you have an interest in helping, even during the summer months, please contact Janet Dougherty, BCIT Entrepreneurship teacher at Neshaminy HS (215-809-6100).
 

 MiniTHON raises the donation bar #FTK

 
 MiniTHON
 
Congratulations to the 2017 Neshaminy MiniTHON participants, who topped their total from last year by raising $16,165 to support pediatric cancer research through the Four Diamonds Foundation. The final tally was announced on May 6 after an afternoon of competition, dancing and games in Gym 3 at Neshaminy HS. MiniTHON is a local version of the popular Penn State University dance marathon that has raised millions for cancer research and support. #FTK For The Kids!
 
 
Interact Club makes Jayden's dream come true
 
Jayden is a 4-year-old with cerebral palsy from Glenolden. He loves to sing, color and paint, and enjoys watching Paw Patrol and Barney. Jayden had been talking nonstop about meeting Mickey Mouse on a trip to Walt Disney World.
 
Working through the Sunshine Foundation, Neshaminy HS Interact Club members found ways to fund Jayden's dream, starting with the annual Neshaminy's Got Talent competition in November. With some generous help from Feasterville Rotary (which sponsors Interact Clubs), they eventually raised over $5,000, enough to send Jayden and his family on his 'Dream Come Trip' to Disney World.
 
On May 4, Jayden and his family visited NHS to give Jayden the good news that his dream was about to come true. As he watched, a banner was unfurled from a second-story balcony revealing a picture of Mickey Mouse and the words 'You are going to Disney'. The smiles were nonstop as cameras rolled and Interact Club members celebrated with their new best friend and his family.
 
 

Business students win at state competition

 
FBLA winners
 
Twenty-five regional winners from the Neshaminy High School Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Club attended the state competition in Hershey April 3-5. Neshaminy had the following students recognized for placing within the top ten of their events:
 
2nd Place award David Fiel – Cyber Security
6th Place award RJ Christie, Steven Muller & Andrew Schmitz—Entrepreneurship
9th Place award Danielle Helstrom—Spreadsheet Applications
10th Place award Brian Ostaszewski – Accounting 2
David Fiel also placed in the following open competitive events: 3rd place award for The Internet, 4th place award for Digital Tools, 7th place award for Computer Operating Systems and 9th place award for Investments/Stock Market
 

'The shot heard around Bucks County' goes viral

 
 A regular season varsity softball game against Bensalem on Tuesday May 2 turned into something pretty special thanks to a home run by team manager Grace Hughes. Find out why by viewing this story from Fox29.
 
 

 Marching Band honored

 
An award was presented by Bucks County Recorder of Deeds Joseph Szafran to Neshaminy HS band director Donna Burmylo-Magrann at a School Board meeting May 2 to honor the band's performance at the Tour of Heroes dinner at Parx Casino following the veterans tour to Washington DC in the fall. The band also marched in the Penndel-Hulmeville Memorial Day Parade on May 27.
 Band award
 

Military Commitment Ceremony held

 
 Military Commitment Ceremony
 
Neshaminy High School was proud to honor graduating seniors that have committed to serving in the US military at a ceremony May 25 in the Hub at NHS. In attendance were their families, recruitment officers, local elected representatives, administrators, and the NHS Select Choir which performed God Bless America. Those honored include the following: Air Force - Ryan Kane. Marine Corps - Dylan Applegate, Tyler Harvey, Brendan Rios. Navy - Gage Haberacker-Malott, Anthony Verrecchio. Army - Michael Bremser, Hailee Kanuck, Nichols Ruggero, Jeremy Shuster, Macey Smith, Michael Trujillo. 
 

Commencement scheduled for June 14

 
The commencement ceremony for the Neshaminy High School Class of 2017 will be held Wednedsay June 14 in Harry E. Franks Stadium starting at 6:30 pm. The rain date is Thursday June 15 at the same time. Plans are under way to livestream the ceremony over the internet; details will be posted on the district and high school website and social media. Senior Awards Night will be held Thursday June 1 at 6:30 pm in Kloos Auditorium. 
 
 
 
 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
Superintendent
 
(215) 809-6000
 
 
 
 
Neshaminy School Board
of Directors
 
Scott E. Congdon - President 
Irene M. Boyle - Vice President 
Bob Feather
Tina Hollenbach  
Mike Morris
Stephen Pirritano  
Ron Rudy
Robert Sanna 
Marty Sullivan
 
 
 
 
 
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