McDonald Elementary School


A Note from the Principal

I feel like spring has finally sprung. The cold weather has made the warm days of spring that much sweeter. As the weather turns warmer it will allow us to get outside and start taking care of the landscaping. The trees and bushes need pruning, the flower beds need weeding and the grass needs cutting. We are very fortunate to have the helping hands of volunteers, staff members and Mr. Bisacquino to help make our grounds look fantastic.

The students worked extremely hard on the PSSA tests in April and we are very proud of them. This test is just one measure of how our students are making progress and we appreciate how seriously they took the task.

Thank you!

March Madness

We would like to congratulate each of the 37 teams who participated in the 2016 March Madness Tournament. 112 students had a tremendous amount of fun and showed good sportsmanship throughout the tournament.

On Friday, March 18th, we held our school championship games. Three play-off games determined the McDonald School Champions. The winning girls’ team was the Neon Pop Rocks: Savannah Z., Sophia L. and Ella M. . It took them two games to defeat the Bulldogs: Gigi D., Ariana M. and Olivia C.. Third place was won by the girls team Emoji Ballers: Kaeley H., Katie L. and Sophie S.. The first place winning boys’ team was the Money Team: Zachary S., Dan S. and George M., They defeated the Super Stars: Tyler L., Aidan J. and Joe C. in one hard fought game and remained undefeated. The Jaguars: Christopher R., Calvin H. and Pablo M. took third place for the boys.

Awards were given immediately after the games for first, second, and third place teams participating here at McDonald. A Sportsmanship Award was presented to a girl (Sophie S.) and a boy (Ricky L.) for their attitudes, efforts, and abilities shown on and off the court. Their sportsmanship and character speaks for themselves! Time allowed on game day for our faculty to play the champs in a fun and exciting game. The crowd cheered and fun was had by all.

On Tuesday, March 22, our McDonald champion boys and girls teams traveled to Davis Elementary for the Centennial School District Championship Tournament. Our girls’ team, the Neon Pop Rocks took 2nd place after hard fought games against Willow Dale and Davis. Our boys’ team, Money took first place and are District Champs. Congratulations to both teams for spectacular performances – you made your school very proud!

Mrs. Ficiak and Mr. Bellinger did a great job organizing and running the games over the past few months. It would not have been possible without the assistance of Mrs. Kline, Mr. Krasna, Ms. Morrison, Mr. Chester, Mr. Steve Ficiak, Mrs. Rinnier, Mrs. McKenzie, Ms. Mooney, Ms. Govan, Mr. Bisacquino, Mr. VanBuren and Ms. Franz.

Reading Olympics

On April 7th the 4th and 5th grade students took part in the 2016 Bucks County Reading Olympics Event. We did not have to travel far, Willow Dale Elementary School was our destination. Proudly wearing our team shirts provided by our Home & School Association, students excitedly took buses to the competition after a pizza party that was also provided by our generous Home & School. The County-wide event was attended by students from several other school districts. A true “celebration of reading”, this night was one to remember with all five teams winning 1st place blue ribbons.!

Students and teachers dedicated a huge amount of time and effort to this program. Each student contracted to read from a required list of 45 titles. Since October, the children willingly gave up their lunch and recess times to meet and discuss the books. We are so proud of how well these students represented our school and offer them our hearty congratulations to The Rapid Readers, The Reading South Pole Pigs, The Book Scouts, The Neon Lightning Readers, and The Midnight Readers for a job well done!

A sincere thank you to the many teachers who so willingly volunteered their time and expertise to assist with this event: Mr. Chester, Mrs. Schoetz, Mrs. Masey, Mrs. Daley, Mrs. Stackhouse, Mrs. Kline, Ms. Morrison, Ms. White, Mrs. J. Brown, Mrs. Wolf, Mr. Bellinger, Mrs. Fleming, Mrs. Frantz, and Mr. VanBuren, Mrs. Matz, Mrs. Pressler, Mrs. Ward, Mrs. Landy, Mrs. Miele, Mrs. Sichler, and Mrs. D’Angelo.

A great big thank you to our Home and School for providing our team shirts and a delicious pizza dinner. But, most importantly, a huge thank you to the students’ families who faithfully encouraged and supported the children and taught them an important lesson in the meaning of team work and commitment.

Visiting Author

In keeping with tradition, McDonald again hosted an author visit. Author Sudipta Bardhan Quallen joined us for the day on April 15. The creator of many acclaimed books for children, she presented several programs to explain the step-by-step process of writing and publishing books. Students learned what inspired her to write her books. She even showed a book she was working on that will be coming out next year. The children were given the opportunity to ask Sudipta questions about her life, her books and about being an author.

The students prepared for her visit during library classes by reading and listening to her books. Stop in at the library during Open House to see their wonderful work. Students and staff alike give thumbs up to Sudipta. A huge thank you goes to our wonderful Home and School for continuing to support our visiting author/illustrator program.

Celebration Books

Our collection continues to grow through participation in our Celebration Book program. The students at McDonald thank you for the opportunity you have afforded them to enjoy good books. How about celebrating that special someone's birthday with a book dedicated in their name or a favorite teacher or graduate. Please consider adding a book to our library collection through this wonderful program. Call Mrs. Wolf or Mrs. Brown at 215-441-6157 or email at or

Top Safety

Our Safeties here at McDonald are doing a great job keeping our school safe in the mornings and afternoons. AAA had asked us for a TOP SAFETY here at McDonald. We had several nominees who show: dedication, responsibility, are diligent and respectful at their posts, and who go above and beyond making our school safe.

Those nominees were: Landon P., Lydia P., Miranda S., Alexa H., Jenna M., Alexa G., Ava C., Savannah Z., Arianna M., and Felicia T., The winner for McDonald's top Safety was Mianna K., Her name was also sent on to AAA Mid-Atlantic's TOP SAFETY completion as well.

Congratulations to all of our nominees and to Mianna, and thanks to all of our Safties for the work they do each day!

The Book Fair is Coming!!!

We will be having our annual book fair from May 26th through June 3rd. Students will be able to shop during their regularly scheduled library classes throughout the week. The book fair will continue the tradition of being open during Open House on May 26th for our Grand Event. The monies raised through the book fair help to fund the Visiting Author program, Sizzling Summer Readers, Read Across America Day, and Reading Olympics. A great way to honor your child’s teacher is to purchase a book from the Teacher’s Book Fair Wish List for the classroom library.

Calendar Change

High School Graduation is being set for June 15 with a rain date of June 16. The last day for students will be a half day on June 16 with no AM Kindergarten in attendance.

Open House

On Thursday, May 26th, we would like to invite you to come to school between the hours of 6:00 PM-8:00 PM to visit your child’s classroom. The teachers and students have spent a great deal of time this year working on projects and setting up displays for this night.

Please remember to stop by the Library to visit the Book Fair. The 3rd Grade String Students will be performing in the Gym. The performance will start around 6:15 PM. We look forward to seeing you!

Kindergarten Registration

If you did not register your child during our evening Kindergarten Registration, please call the Administration Building at 215-441-6000 ext. 11046 between the hours of 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM to arrange an appointment to register your child(ren) for the upcoming school year.

Notes from the School Nurse

May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month!

Each year, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) declares May to be "National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month." It's a peak season for asthma and allergy sufferers, and a perfect time to educate your family, friends, co-workers and others about these diseases. Here is the link to their webpage:

The AAFA characterizes an allergy as an overreaction of the human immune system to a foreign protein substance (“allergen”) that is eaten, breathed into the lungs, injected or touched. This immune overreaction can result in symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose and scratchy throat. In severe cases it can also result in rashes, hives, lower blood pressure, difficulty breathing, asthma attacks, and even death.

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation: An estimated 50 million Americans suffer from all types of allergies (1 in 5 Americans) including indoor/outdoor, food & drug, latex, insect, skin and eye allergies. Allergy prevalence overall has been increasing since the early 1980s across all age, sex and racial groups.

· Allergies are the 5th leading chronic disease in the U.S. among all ages, and the 3rd most common chronic disease among children under 18 years old.

· Indoor and Outdoor Allergies – (Allergic rhinitis; seasonal/perennial allergies; hay fever; nasal allergies) approximately 40 million Americans have indoor/outdoor allergies as their primary allergy. (Many people with allergies usually have more than one type of allergy.) Approximately 10 million people are allergic to cat dander, the most common pet allergy. The most common indoor/outdoor allergy triggers are: tree, grass and weed pollen; mold spores; dust mite and cockroach allergen; and, cat, dog and rodent dander.

· Skin Allergies – (Atopic dermatitis; eczema; hives; urticaria; contact allergies) approximately 7% of allergy sufferers have skin allergies as their primary allergy. Plants such as poison ivy, oak and sumac are the most common skin allergy triggers. However, skin contact with cockroach and dust mite allergen, certain foods or latex may also trigger symptoms of skin allergy.

· Food and Drug Allergies – Approximately 6% of allergy sufferers have food/drug allergies as their primary allergy. Food allergy is more common among children than adults. 90% of all food allergy reactions are caused by 8 foods: milk, soy, eggs, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish. For drug allergies, penicillin is the most common allergy trigger.

· Latex Allergy – Approximately 4% of allergy sufferers have latex allergy as their primary allergy. An estimated 10% of healthcare workers suffer from latex allergy.

· Insect Allergies – Approximately 4% of allergy sufferers have insect allergies as their primary allergy (bee/wasp stings and venomous ant bites; cockroach and dust mite allergen may also cause nasal or skin allergy symptoms.)

· Eye Allergies (Allergic conjunctivitis; ocular allergies) – Approximately 4% of allergy sufferers have eye allergies as their primary allergy, often caused by many of the same triggers as indoor/outdoor allergies.

A friendly reminder to please check your child’s head for lice on a weekly basis.

All students in Grade 3 should also have an updated report of a Dental Health Exam on file.

All students in Kindergarten missing dental or physical forms please return them to school. At this point in the school year we should have documentation for all vaccinations.

Please call or email us with any concerns regarding your child during the school day. Elizabeth Fleming ( or Jill Matz ( Nurses at 215-441-6157 ext. 16025.

School Counselor Information

Character Counts Program

The pillar of the month is “CITIZENSHIP.”

  • Doing your share to make our school and community better.
  • Cooperating with others.
  • Respecting authority.
  • Obeying laws and rules.
  • Protecting the environment

Please have a discussion with your family about how each family member demonstrates citizenship.

Stand 4 Change Day

Did you know?

  • Every 7 minutes a child is bullied. (The U.S. Department of Justice)
  • 1 in 7 students is either a bully or a victim of bullying (
  • 160,000 students stay home from school every day for fear of bullying (National Association of School Psychologists)

On Friday, May 6th McDonald will take part in Defeat the Label’s annual Stand4Change Day. The purpose of this day is to raise the national visibility of bullying and provide a call to action for schools and students to take a stand against bullying. An announcement will be made during the school day and all students and staff will stop, stand and let the world know that we will no longer tolerate bullying in our schools and communities!


Children must have sneakers that are tied properly when they come to physical education class each week. Students with boots, dress shoes, any shoes other than sneakers, or sneakers that are not secured to the foot properly will not be able to participate that week of class. This is a safety issue for all students involved. We thank you in advance for your cooperation.

CEF Information

The Centennial Education Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing the best opportunities for our children, which helps to fund grants throughout the district. Our commitment is that all funds go directly to the students. By investing in our children, we enhance the enrichment of our community’s future. If you are interested in making a donation, please contact Bob Schrader at 215-441-6000 ext. 11008 or email him at

Mini Grants

The Centennial Education Foundation is an organization, which helps to fund grants throughout the Centennial School District that directly benefit the students. CEF funded the following projects for McDonald this year:

· Ms. Haney – “Insectarium

· Mr. Pisacano “A Long time Ago in a Galaxy Far Far Away….

· Ms. Kline -Money Matters

· Mrs. Ward and Mr. Pisacano -Education, Preservation and Conservation

· Ms. Morrison -Water All Around You

· Mrs. Ward and Ms. Hussie -Intriguing Insects

· Mrs. Ward, Mr. Pisacano and Ms. Ansanelli -Trout in the Classroom

· Ms. Quinn and Ms. Ansanelli -An Aquarium Adventure

· Mrs. Sweeney and Mrs. Phillips -Rocks and Minerals Presentation

Lexia Reading Program

Please remember that Lexia is available to your child any time from school or home! Lexia Reading Core5® is a dynamic and fun computer program that has helped millions of students develop reading skills through personalized learning. The activities and instruction in Core5 are aligned to rigorous English Language Arts standards, including the Common Core State Standards.

Our school is using Core5 as part of our curriculum in reading and language arts – and we want you to share in our excitement!

Here’s how this award-winning, computer-based reading program works:

  • Students complete placement activities in Core5 to determine their appropriate, individualized starting level.
  • Students work independently and at their own pace on activities in Core5 several days a week.
  • Students develop fundamental literacy skills in six areas of reading instruction that have been identified by national reading experts: phonological awareness, phonics, structural analysis, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.
  • Students receive scaffolding, corrective feedback, and direct instruction in Core5 when needed.
  • Your student’s teacher will monitor his or her progress and performance in the online activities through data reports. These reports help teachers to determine if a student is struggling with a specific skill and requires targeted, teacher-led instruction.
  • Students may also receive paper-and-pencil activities that provide offline practice to further improve and expand their skills. They may work on these activities in school, or they bring them home to complete as out-of-class work.

As an added benefit, students can use Core5 at home. Getting started is easy!

1. Launch a web browser and go to

· Create a bookmark or favorite for this web address.

· iPad and iPad Mini users can download the Core5 app from the App store. Search for “Lexia Reading Core5.”

· Android tablet users can download the Core5 app from the Google Play store. Search for “Lexia Reading Core5.” Note that the app is not available for Kindle.

2. The first time you access Core5, you must set up:

· Click the Student/Parent button.

· Type in your teacher’s email and click the arrow button to continue.

3. Allow or help your child to login. The student username is the same login they use at school (graduation year, first 4 of last name, first 2 of first name – ex. 22smitjo) the password is the word read.

We hope you enjoy participating in your child’s reading acquisition and success!

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact one of our Reading Specialists at 215-441-6157 or email them directly.

Erin Landy – Reading Specialist

Rose Miele – Reading Specialist

Sue Stackhouse – Reading Specialist

Mona Murphy – Reading Specialist


Please think about becoming a parent volunteer at McDonald by helping in the library (call Mrs. Wolf, our librarian), tutoring (call Mrs. Stackhouse, our Reading Specialist), or becoming a Room Parent or chaperone for a class trip. Home and School is always looking for parents to help out with various committees.

Library Volunteers Needed

Do you like to be involved in your child’s school? Do you like fun?
The McDonald Library is the place for you!

Library volunteers not only have fun, they play an important role in keeping our library running smoothly. Opportunities for volunteers are available during the morning and afternoon sessions. We will train you. Duties include checking books in and out, putting books back on the shelf, mending books, helping students, and doing other tasks as they come up. Please contact our volunteer library coordinator Mrs. Silberman at, librarians Mrs. Wolf or Mrs. Brown if interested in serving as a library volunteer.

Wednesday Express

Every child will receive a large white envelope. The envelope will be distributed each Wednesday and will contain informational materials from the district, school office and classroom teacher that cannot be placed in the eFolder.

Parents are requested to sign the outside of the envelope as an indication that they have received and read the contents. It is due back to the classroom teacher the following day. Where possible, flyers will be distributed to the youngest child in each family to save paper. The replacement cost is $1.

Playground Safety

During recess we have noticed that the students wearing crocs have been slipping and falling on the playground equipment. For safety reasons, students wearing crocs will not be allowed on the equipment. Also, children wearing flip flops or shoes without backs will not be allowed on the equipment or be able to play an organized game of kickball, soccer, etc. For those students who are not able to play on the equipment there are plenty of other activities to participate in on the black top area such as 4-square, chalk, bubbles, jump ropes, etc. We appreciate your support with these safety issues.

Character Counts Winners

March Responsibility Character Counts Award Winner: Chad A., Adam B., Americo D., Hannah L., Colin M., Elizabeth P.

Awarded on April 1: Aaditya A., Zoe B., Leah B., Alex F., Miguel G., Alexa H., Nathan L., Hannah L., Liam M., Colin M., Ethan R., Abby S.

Awarded on April 8: Louy A., Peter B., Tetiana D., Benjamin G., Tyler G., Zachary K., Gavin L., Isaiiah M., Dylan M., Lydia P., Rinesa S., Savannah Z.

Awarded on April 15: Gabe B., Julia C., Braden H., Kaseem D., Suany E., Giddeon H., Natalie K., Sophie L., Bishop L., Mia T., Jhalil V., Jeriv V.