Penndale Middle School

Counselor Connection - June/July issue

Big picture


  • May 24th through June 6th - In class final exams
      • 5/24 - TechEd

      • 5/29, 5/30 and 5/31 - Comp. Apps 3

      • 5/30 and 5/31 - Exploratory Business

      • 5/31, 6/3 and 6/4 - Health

      • 6/3 - World Language Listening

      • 6/4 - Art and Business Major

      • 6/5 - Math Open-ended Portion

      • 6/5 and 6/6 - FCS major

  • June 10 - Math final [full day of school, modified schedule]

  • June 11 - Science and English [11:10 am dismissal]

  • June 12 - Social Studies [9:45 am dismissal]

  • June 13 - Reading, Business/Banking and World Language [9:45 am dismissal]

  • June 14 - Last student day [11:50 am dismissal]

  • June 14 - Blue and White Day

  • June 21 - Report Cards Issued

Big picture


Thankfully once students reach high school, they are no longer required to write the often painfully boring “what I did over my summer vacation” essay. But that doesn’t mean that what they do choose to do over summer isn’t important.

One of the key components of any strong college application is how a student has set themselves apart from their peers. It can be challenging for students to distinguish themselves during the academic year because every student at their high school has the same opportunities to take the same rigorous classes and participate in the same clubs, organizations, sports and activities. So summer jumps out as a great opportunity for a student to do something different than what everybody else at their high school is doing.

Think of summer as an open canvas and then start filling it up with what’s important to you as well as things you want to do and things you need to do. I usually suggest creating a patchwork quilt of different summer experiences. If possible, I think it is a good idea for students to pursue their academic interests in a college environment. This demonstrates an intellectual curiosity that colleges value. Don’t be misled into believing that taking a course at “Selective U” guarantees an acceptance letter down the road. However, spending a week or two on campus and going into more depth in an area of interest will absolutely be helpful as a student tries to determine what colleges should remain on their list and which ones should be eliminated.

What else can students do besides academic enrichment?

  • Help out – Summer is a wonderful time to become more engaged in your community through service projects or internships.
  • Get a job – Paid work experience is extremely well-regarded by colleges because it requires students to demonstrate maturity, responsibility, and dedication. Don’t look down your nose at entry-level jobs in supermarkets, restaurants or retail establishments; they are great training grounds.
  • Train for a leadership role – I always tell families that “leadership is the most transferrable skill from high school to college.” Colleges are continually seeking students to replenish the roles within clubs and organizations that are left open after students graduate. There are an interesting variety of leadership training programs offered.
  • Get a taste of the real world with an internship – Internships and job-shadowing experiences can be a great way for a student to test the waters. Seeing what the day-to-day life is like in specific careers will often be a pivotal, life-changing experience.
  • Be entrepreneurial – start something new. Create a business with a friend and make some money.
  • Prepare for next year – think about a club you might like to create, do the necessary legwork over the summer so you’ll be able to get it up and running in the fall.
  • Invest in the college process – prep for standardized tests, finalize your college list, visit campuses and begin writing your college essays.

Oh ya, and have some fun too!

Big picture


There are lots of opportunities offered in the North Penn School District for kids during the summer days. Education and enrichment programs are available for students of all ages and ability levels, in addition to recreational opportunities of all kinds. But remember, these camps and classes fill quickly, so register early to avoid disappointment. Follow the directions pertaining to registering for these programs and camps.

Please utilize this link [] for information on the NPSD Summer Education and Enrichment Courses, NPSD Summer Library Program, Summer Reading Assignments, and the NPSD Extended School Care and Community Education Summer Camp Programs - program descriptors are included below for your convenience.

[1] NPHS Summer Education and Enrichment Program

Click here for more information and registration form.

North Penn High School will be offering a course recovery opportunity via the 2019 Summer School Program. Summer School dates are Monday, June 24 to Friday, August 2. All courses are offered via a hybrid model [in-person and online]; students are required to attend class at NPHS Tuesdays and Thursdays, and complete all other work via our online module. Please click the link above for more information. Individuals with questions should call Sara Rattigan at 215-853-1502 or send an email to

[2] Keystone Intervention Program

Click here for information and registration form.

This program is for students who scored BASIC on the previous Keystone Exam. The courses are designed to provide a fundamental review of skills taught in those subjects so students can become proficient on the Keystone examination. Keystone Remediation dates are Monday, July 22 through Tuesday, July 30 [6 days of instruction] and will conclude with the administration of the Keystone examination Wednesday, July 31 [Module 1] & Thursday, August 1 (Module 2). The school week is Monday through Thursday.

  • Session 1: 7:30 am - 10:45 am [Breakfast 7:00-7:30 am, break at 9:00 am]
  • Session 2: 11:00 am - 2:15 pm [Lunch 11:30-11:45 am]
  • Courses Offered: Algebra I, Biology and English Literature
  • Cost: $125/course. Payment is due in full at the time of registration. No late payments will be accepted. Students who qualify for free/reduced lunch will pay half the cost of the course.

[3] Middle School Summer Program for NPSD - Reimagining Summer Learning

Goal: North Penn Middle Schools will be offering a summer remediation opportunity via the 2019 Summer Program. The purpose of this program is to provide a better system to prepare students to learn in an environment suitable for 21st-century learning. This learning experience will enhance student’s abilities to communicate and develop strategies for lifelong learning through differentiated and strength-based instruction.

Dates: The summer program will begin on Monday, June 24th to Thursday, July 11th, 2019. There will be no school on July 4th. Each student day will begin at 9:00 am at Penndale Middle School and end at 1:00 pm. A total of 44 hours of in-person instruction as well as a minimum of 11 hours of hybrid instruction will occur during the summer program.

Program Criteria: Students are eligible for the Summer Program if they fail one or two major courses in their 7th or 8th grade school year. The courses are as follows:

  • English 7 and English 8

  • Pre-Algebra 7, Algebraic Concepts, and Algebraic Operation and Equations

  • Life Science and Earth & Space Science

  • World Cultures & Geography and America in History 1

Student Cost: The summer program will cost a non-refundable $300 per student. Students who participate in the free or reduced lunch program pay 50% of the program fee ($150). Payment is due in full at the time of registration in cash or by check made out to “North Penn School District.” Payment may be dropped off at the main office of Penndale Middle School. This cost includes a free breakfast and lunch provided by the North Penn Summer Mobile Unit.

Student Registration: The qualifying parents can register their student(s) in the main office with Ms. Brenninger of Penndale Middle School. The registration deadline is Wednesday, June 19th, 2019. There will also be a mandatory family open house at Penndale Middle School on June 19th, from 6:00 - 7:30 pm, to go over the benefits and expectations of the program.

Student Expectations:

  1. Students enrolled in the Middle School Summer Program must attend all classes. Successful completion is based upon clock hours, performance, and REQUIRES PERFECT ATTENDANCE. Absence due to illness requires a doctor’s note for re-entry. All missed time, regardless of the reason, must be made up.

  2. This program focuses on meeting the competency requirements for each subject area. The focus is for students to gain competency in their personalized learning pathway. The students will be actively engaged throughout the program and teachers will be there to assist, support, and meet their needs.

  3. If students are late or absent, they will be expected to make up any missed work. This work will be made up by having the child stay and complete his or her work at school or the student will complete the missed work at home. Repeated lateness may result in student dismissal. In the case of an emergency situation, parents must contact Jason Bashaw, Middle School Summer Program principal, at 215-853-1700.

  4. Students participating in the Middle School Summer Program are required to follow the North Penn School District Discipline Code. Disciplinary actions may result in an administrative decision to withdraw an enrolled student from the program without a refund.

Big picture


Social Studies and Science Summer Assignments

English and Reading Summer Assignments [7-10 G]

Click here to access English and Reading Summer Assignments.

All students entering grades seven through twelve have at least one required novel and one free choice selection for summer reading assignments. In addition to the readings, all students will complete the accompanying assignments as required for their specific course and level. The required book titles and assignments are specified in this guide. Click on the hyperlinked assignment for detailed directions.

Students should choose an appropriate piece of literature, either fiction or non-fiction, that they have not read before in class or for pleasure for the student choice summer reading selection. The book should be selected based on personal interest, parent recommendation, and reading ability.

Please click here for a list of books that are part of the NPSD English curriculum and CANNOT be read as a part of your summer reading assignment. Questions? Contact Rachel Earley, Curriculum Supervisor by email at or call 215-853-1048.

Parents or Guardians: Feel free to review these summer reading selections prior to purchasing or reading them. If you have an objection to the reading selection, feel free to contact the English Curriculum Supervisor and receive an alternative choice.

*If your child is enrolled in Strategic Literacy Explorations [formerly Read 180] see below.

Entering Grade & Level

Reading Assignment(s)

Corresponding Required Assignments To Be Completed

*Click on the hyperlink for the required assignment

Grade 7 Level - All

Stargirl & Free Choice Selection

Click here to access the Stargirl Assignment

Click here to access the Free Choice Assignment

Grade 8 Level - All

The Outsiders & Free Choice Selection

Click here to access The Outsiders Assignment

Click here to access the Free Choice Assignment

Grade 9 Level 5.0

The Illustrated Man & Free Choice Selection

Click here to access The Illustrated Man Assignment & Free Choice Assignment

Grade 9 Level 6.0 H

The Illustrated Man & Free Choice Selection

Click here to access The Illustrated Man Assignment & Free Choice Assignment

Grade 9 Level 6.0 HP

The Illustrated Man & Free Choice Selection

Click here to access The Illustrated Man Assignment & Free Choice Assignment

Grade 10 Level 4.0

The Secret Life of Bees & Free Choice Selection

Click here to access The Secret Life of Bees 4.0 Assignment

Click here to access the Free Choice 4.0 Assignment

Grade 10 Level 5.0

The Secret Life of Bees & Free Choice Selection

Click here to access the Secret Life of Bees 5.0 Assignment

Click here to access the Free Choice 5.0 Assignment

Grade 10 Level 6.0

Life of Pi, Grammar Assignment & Free Choice Selection

Click here to access the Life of Pi Assignment

Click here to access the Grammar Assignment

Click here to access the Free Choice 10 6.0 Assignment

Grade 10 Level Gifted

Things Fall Apart, Life of Pi & Free Choice Selection

Click here to access the Things Fall Apart 10 G Summer Assignment

Click here to access the Life of Pi 10 G Assignment

Click here to access the Free Choice 10 G Assignment

Strategic Literacy Explorations - 7th Grade

Stargirl and Free Choice Selection

Click here to access the Stargirl Assignment

Click here to access the Free Choice Assignment

Strategic Literacy Explorations - 8th Grade

The Outsiders and Free Choice Selection

Click here to access The Outsiders Assignment

Click here to access the Free Choice Assignment

Strategie Literacy Explorations - 9th Grade

The Illustrated Man and Free Choice Selection

Click here to access The Illustrated Man Assignment

Click here to access the Free Choice Assignment

Strategic Literacy Explorations A [NPHS]

The Secret Life of Bees & Free Choice Selection

Click here to access The Secret Life of Bees Assignment

Click here to access the Free Choice Assignment

Strategic Literacy Explorations B [NPHS]

Of Mice and Men & Free Choice Selection

Click here to access the Of Mice and Men Assignment

Click here to access the Free Choice Assignment

Strategic Literacy Explorations C [NPHS]

Hamlet & Free Choice Selection

Click here to access the Hamlet Assignment

Click here to access the Hamlet Graphic Organizer

Click here to access the Hamlet Quickwrite

Click here to access the Free Choice Assignment

Big picture


It’s summer vacation, and your child is probably happy to spend his or her days lounging and recuperating from the hectic school year. A break is well deserved, but educational experts urge parents to engage their children in learning activities to avoid summer regression. Put simply, summer regression is the loss of academic knowledge gained throughout the school year. “Learning loss or the ‘summer slide’ among students over summer break is a very real problem that we see often,” says Huntington, adding that most students can lose several months of grade-level equivalency in math and reading achievement during this period. Here are several ways for parents to help minimize summer regression:

Read daily. A daily reading habit is one of the easiest ways for children to keep their brains in shape over summer and deter any loss of reading ability. Incorporate reading into the summer routine. Check out book clubs or summer reading programs offered at your local library or book store. Visit the library every week. Start a series as a family and read a book together.

  • Scholastic’s Summer Challenge ∙ The Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge runs May to September. Once you register your child, you will receive book lists, activities and tips and your child can earn weekly virtual badges and free book excerpts for meeting certain milestones. The program also features sweepstakes with a range of prizes.
  • Barnes & Noble Summer Reading ∙ Barnes & Noble provides a reading journal in which your child records the books he or she reads and a little about the book. After finishing eight books, a child can bring the reading journal into a Barnes & Noble store and redeem it for a free book.
  • Half Price Books Feed Your Brain Summer Reading Program Half Price Books—the independent new and used bookstore chain in 16 states—has a summer program in which children ages 14 and under are challenged to read for 15 minutes a day in June and July. Once they reach 300 minutes, they can turn in their completed reading log to earn $5 in “bookworm bucks,” redeemable in the Half Price Books marketplace. Top reader awards are given out each month, too.

Write often. Writing frequently will help your child keep up important literacy skills such as self-expression and vocabulary acquisition. While you might have trouble convincing your child to write essays or book reports this summer, creative writing or journal writing still has many benefits. It encourages creativity, problem solving and experimentation with various types of storytelling, and also improves communication skills.

Plan educational visits. Don’t forget that visits to your local history, science, art, and other museums are fun learning opportunities. If you’re taking any vacations, incorporate a family field trip to an interesting monument, historical site or museum in the area you’re visiting. Before you go, check out books from the library about the place or topic that you can read together. Use the plane or car ride home as a chance to reflect on the visit, what your child learned, and what he or she wants to learn more about.

Set aside daily learning time. If your child does best with a learning routine, consider purchasing grade-specific workbooks that your child can work on throughout the summer. The goal of these programs is to help students practice and maintain skills they acquired all year and prevent them from losing those concepts due to inactivity. Your school or teacher might have recommendations, but books such as Summer Bridge, ThinkStretch and Summer Fit are worth consideration. Just 15 minutes a day can make a huge difference.

Enroll in a summer learning program. Whether your child struggled this school year and needs to catch up or you want to help your child build new skills and confidence, an individualized summer tutoring program is a great solution. These programs can help your child maintain skills, improve habits and prepare for a smooth transition into the next grade.

Big picture


The parents of today’s college applicants applied to college in the 1980s and early 1990s. Those were the days when being a well-rounded student was the ticket to a highly selective college. Two varsity sports, a summer job and participation in a few clubs were the activities of a successful applicant. Having a passion was not necessary.

Today’s well-rounded applicants are welcome at many colleges but the most selective schools prefer a different shape. They are prioritizing “pointy” students, those who have participated in several activities centered around a theme rather than a variety of disconnected activities. Elite colleges want students whose activities demonstrate a commitment to a core interest, belief or pursuit. Students who have determined their passions and delve deeply into them are more likely to be admitted.

In their college applications, students applying to highly selective colleges should highlight groups of activities that align with and relate to their genuine, deep interests. Activities which are merely exploratory or things the student has dabbled in should be downplayed. For example, a student who is passionate about animals might create an application that highlights their volunteer work at an animal shelter, their commitment to fostering cats and dogs at their home and that the subject of their photography (another interest) is usually animals.

Use your high school years to explore, but if you do have a deep interest, pursue it wholeheartedly. A focus on one theme will not harm your chances of a successful college application. In fact, it is just the opposite.

Michelle McAnaney is the founder of The College Spy, a full service independent educational consulting firm that assists students and families across the US and internationally with the college selection and application process. Prior to founding The College Spy, Michelle was a guidance counselor and educator for more than 15 years, including serving as the Director of Guidance at two high schools, an adjunct college professor and a GED tutor. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Big picture


Big picture


Here is a breakdown of the different types of assessments that are on Naviance Student. These assessments are instrumental for students to learn about themselves - their strengths, interests, learning style, etc. To best take advantage of this tool, we strongly encourage all students to log on to Naviance and complete their grade level assignments prior to the start of the school year. Assessment results and the corresponding reflections should be completed prior to the scheduled course selection deadline. * [Please note that some assessments are accessible to specific grades and may not be available to all students. Incoming seventh-grade students will have access to their new Naviance accounts in mid-July.]


  • [7th] Learning Style Inventory online assessment diagnoses your unique learning styles based on an analysis of your personal preferences in 16 different areas. Those areas include your environment [sound, light, heat, and design], emotionality [motivation, persistence, and structure], sociological needs [self-oriented, peer-oriented, or adult-oriented], and physical needs [perceptual preference(s), food intake, time of day, and mobility].
  • [8th] MI Advantage uses the Multiple Intelligence theory to reveal your individual intelligence strengths and challenges such as bodily-kinesthetic, musical, or interpersonal intelligence.


The act of discovering personality types is where many students start on their journey to planning their future careers. These assessments are helpful to discover your interests and hobbies and combining your personality type to suggest relevant career paths that would be good matches for you.

  • [7th] Career Cluster Finder is an online questionnaire to discover career industries that are most interesting to you.
  • [8th] Do What You Are is a personality type assessment that shows strengths and blind spots, recommends career paths and college majors, as well as tips for conducting the most effective career search.
  • [9th] Career Interest Profiler and Career Key are online career interest assessments based on Holland interest codes.


  • [9th] Strengths Explorer is based on 40 years of research by the Gallup Organization to help students discover and develop the unique talents within them. This assessment can only be taken one time - please take your time for the most accurate results.
  • [9th] Strengths Explorer assesses 10 talent themes for individuals and identifies each student's three strongest emerging talents. It provides explanations of these themes, strategies for capitalizing on each, and action items to help gain insight into your greatest talents - natural patterns of thought, feeling, and behavior - to leverage in the classroom and in life.

At the end of each assessment, a personally tailored report identifies your unique learning style and provides guidance on how to maximize learning potential. It will be to your child's benefit to complete the appropriate assigned grade-level Naviance Student tasks prior to course selection:

  • 7th Grade: Learning Style Inventory, Career Cluster Finder
  • 8th Grade: Do What You Are, MI Advantage
  • 9th Grade: Career Interest Profiler, Career Key, Strengths Explorer
  • [Resume Builder must be updated prior to your sophomore orientation meeting]


To visit Penndale’s Naviance Student site, use an Internet browser to connect to Penndale Naviance Student. Your student has been given a login [student email prefix] and password [student ID] to access their account. [For example, let's look at John Q. Public, student ID #123456 with a student email address of John's Naviance email login is publicjq and his password is 123456].

You can access your current grade-level tasks under the "My Planner" tab and under "Tasks Assigned To Me". The next year grade-level program will be accessible in your student's account after July 17th, 2019.

Big picture


The final school bell has rung, the pencils and notebooks are packed away and the kids are ready for some summer fun! Children love the hot summer months because they provide the perfect opportunity to spend lots of time outside. Whether it’s swimming in the pool, hiking through the woods, taking long walks, or going for a bike ride, there is something for everyone, no matter how young or old.

We hope that everyone enjoys this special time of year, but we want to also remind parents that there are potential dangers during the summer months, and it’s important to be aware of what they are. The more information one learns about how to prevent illnesses and injuries, the less likely they will occur.

Helmet Safety

An appropriate helmet must be worn whenever a child is “on wheels.” This means bicycles, scooters, skates, roller blades, skateboards and more!

Water Safety

Adult supervision is of paramount importance. Parents need to focus on their children 100% of the time. No distractions! Remember, no child or adult is “drown proof.”

Sun Protection

Avoid sun exposure during peak sun hours (10 AM – 6 PM).

Wear protective clothing and a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses (with 99-100% UV protection).

Sunscreen is a must (on sunny and cloudy days). Sunscreen should be applied liberally 30 minutes before going out in the sun, and reapplied every two hours or sooner if swimming, sweating or toweling off. Look for shade whenever possible.

Dehydration and Heat-Related Illnesses

Keeping well hydrated is very important. Children (and adults) must remember to drink.

Do not wait until a child says he is thirsty before offering fluids. At this point, he is already dehydrated, so be sure to provide plenty of fluids before going outside, while out in the heat and afterward.

Enjoy the summer!

Penndale Counseling Change for 2019-20 School Year - Alpha by Last Name


School Counselors

[A-F] Mr. Chris Joy

[G-L] Mr. Mike Flynn

[M-R] Mr. Nate Harvey

[S-Z] Mrs. Susan Reichwein

Guidance Secretaries

Mrs. Moore 215-853-1714

Mrs. Lynam 215-853-1713

Support Counselors

SAP Counselor Mrs. Jessica Turner

Lakeside Counselor Mrs. Kelly Weaver

Penndale's Counselor Connection Newsletter contains timely and relevant information for parents, keeping you informed of what is happening in your child's school on a regular basis. The Counselor Connection newsletter is distributed every other month [6 times] during the school year to the first priority parent/guardian contact in your student's profile information.

If you are listed as your child's primary contact and have not been receiving the newsletter, please check your spam or junk email folder. If you would like to change the current priority contact or add another email contact to our distribution list, please contact one of the Guidance Secretaries for assistance.