Message from the Superintendent
Dear LMTSD Students, Staff, Parents, and Community Members,
I hope you are enjoying the summer months and finding opportunities to spend time with family and friends. Although students are not currently in session, summer is a busy time in the Lower Moreland Township School District. Our custodial and maintenance crews are preparing buildings for the start of the school year, and our office and administrative staff have been busy hiring new personnel, preparing student/building schedules, and completing the yearly purchasing and financial statements.
The 2019-2020 academic school year will begin in a few weeks, and back-to-school events will begin in the very near future. Administration will soon communicate with each of their building’s communities regarding fall events and dates. Check out our website at www.lmtsd.org for our district and school calendars.
Recently, the Board of School Directors of the Lower Moreland Township School District approved a five-year strategic plan titled – “LMTSD Ready: Every Learner, Every Day.” Community input played a guiding role in providing feedback which was factored into our comprehensive planning efforts. The Strategic Plan will be made available in the next few weeks to everyone who is interested in reading the details.
The entire faculty, administration, and staff are looking forward to a great 2019-2020 school year. I hope you are as well. As always, thank you for your unwavering support of our schools and our continuous efforts to enhance the quality of education for our students. I look forward to seeing all students back on September 3.
Dr. Scott Davidheiser
Superintendent of Schools
Business Office (Mark McGuinn, Business Manager)
The summer months are an extremely time for the Business Office with a fiscal year-end of June 30; closing all of the financials in preparation for audit; processing hundreds of orders for equipment, books, and supplies needed for the new school year; and continuing the daily operations that are needed during the summer. However, one of the larger tasks to be undertaken is transportation.
During the summer months, the Business Office; in coordination with the Special Education Department, First Student, Inc., and the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit; arranges transportation for the students who qualify for the ESY (Extended School Year) program. These programs run in the District from July to August and also includes some out-of-district placements.
In addition, in June of each year, notices are sent to all of our non-public schools that we have bused to in previous years asking for calendars, early dismissals, and student rosters. This information comes in during the summer and is collected into a database for uploading into the transportation program. Under State Law, school districts are mandated to provide transportation for any resident student who elects to attend a non-public school anywhere within 10 miles of any boundary of a school district. (In 2018-19, the District bused to 30 different non-public schools.) Once all information is received, the routes will be run through the transportation program and checked to ensure all students were placed on a route.
Once all of the routes are completed and checked, an automated message is sent through our phone notification system letting parents know that routes are available on a private link on our website. Additionally, copies of the routes are sent to the individual schools for their reference. All during the school year, students are added/deleted based on information received, and the District acts as quickly as possible to address these changes.
Summer learning is taking place through academic programs at Pine Road Elementary School
Football practice is underway at Lower Moreland High School
Student Maintenance Workers are helping to get schools ready
Curriculum and Instruction (Julien Drennan, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Prof. Dev.)
The District recently adopted a strategic plan that will guide the actions of the District for the next five years. Included in this plan are goals in the areas of curriculum, instruction, and professional development. The focus areas include:
- 21st Century Learning Environments
- Curriculum and Instructional Programming
- College and Career Readiness
- Scheduling for Learning
- Teaching and Learning
Based on the goals set forth in the strategic plan, the following tasks and activities are anticipated during the upcoming school year.
- Implement the first year of a 5-year professional development plan that focuses on differentiated instruction and technology integration.
- Identify needs for facilities based on curricular programming and instructional advancement.
- Implement a social-emotional learning program for students in grade K-12.
- Conduct research and site visits for the purpose of developing a K-12 STEM program.
- Completed the required Chapter 339 Guidance Plan and seek Board approval.
- Identify curricular ties to college and career readiness in grade K-12.
- Develop a portrait of a Lower Moreland graduate using "Lions Can" statements.
Curricular programs are reviewed and renewed on a six-year cycle. This year, evaluations are planned for English/Language Arts, Health and Physical Education, and Gifted programming. During this process, a needs assessment is completed and surveys are conducted to identify areas of strength and need. Please look for your opportunity to provide feedback in future newsletters.
The Color Run is scheduled for 9/7
Funds raised benefit the LMHS Mini-THON.
Summer Sports Camp at Lower Moreland High School
Finishing touches are being made to the new outdoor classroom at Pine Road Elementary School
Human Resources/Public Relations (Cheryl Galdo, Esq., Dir. of HR/PR)
In our continuing effort to improve communications and to make our procedures more efficient for parents, the District is pleased to announce two new initiatives: text message alerts for important information and an online absence form.
Through the online student verification process that you will be asked to complete at the end of August, you can opt-in to receive text messages from the District. These text messages will be in addition to the phone calls and emails that are sent when there is a weather-related schedule change or in the case of emergency.
Now instead of sending in a “blue card” in paper form, parents will now be able to complete an online form that can be found on the home page of each school’s website. Parents will still need to call the school the morning of the absence so that the student can be accounted for. Then this online form will need to be completed within five days of the absence so that the absence is not considered unlawful.
Technology (Jason Hilt, Ed.D., Director of Technology)
The Technology department is preparing for another exciting and innovative school year. During the summer months, technology staff members were busy inspecting and cleaning mobile devices, installing new equipment, preparing training materials, repairing hardware, deploying updates, and replacing obsolete projections systems. Here are a few highlights for the new school year: At Pine Road, all teachers and students in grades K-2 will be using brand new classroom projection systems. The new systems have a larger viewing area and incorporate interactive touch features. Phase 2 of the replacement project will be completed next year and will include grades 3-5.
All Murray Avenue students will be assigned 2-in-1 touchscreen Chromebooks for use in school and at home. The convertible 2-in-1 Chromebooks allow students to use the devices as laptops or touchscreen tablets. Students in grades 6-8 will also receive new cases this year to help protect the Chromebooks.
Murray Avenue also added a new Technology Center on the second floor. This space will house a help desk where students and teachers will be able to receive tech support and training from a tech team member. At the high school, each incoming ninth-grade student will be receiving a brand new 2-in-1 touchscreen Chromebook at the start of the school year. The new Chromebooks are lightweight, fast, and durable. The technology department is looking forward to continuing to support information technology systems and instructional technology programs and practices in the district.
Student Services (Frank Giordano, Director of Special Education and Student Services)
September brings the end of the summer break and the return to school for our students. While this may be a time of celebration for parents, it can potentially be a source of worry and anxiety for our students with special needs. The Office of Student Services would like to remind parents of students with IEPs and Section 504 Service Agreements that resources are available to help students who may be having difficulty with the transition from the less-structured atmosphere of the summer break to the routine of school. Sometimes the summer also brings changes that were not anticipated and that may require some additional support upon arrival back to school. That’s okay and school staff is here to help. Please contact your child’s Special Education Case Manager or School Counselor to develop a plan to support your child if need be. If you need any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Student Services at 215-938-7426.