In The Q

February 8, 2019 newsletter

Virtual Reality in QCSD

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Technology initiative provides another option for student learning

One day, Ryan Wieand’s fourth-grade class researched various forms of alternative energy in textbooks. The next day, the students had an enhanced educational experience.

Using Google Expeditions Virtual Reality headsets, Mr. Wieand led his Quakertown Elementary School students to far away locations where they viewed various forms of energy. One stop took them to an ice cream factory in Scotland that takes advantage of various alternative forms of energy to help improve the environment.

“Students were stunned by the images, because they never had an opportunity to connect to what they were learning in this way before,” Mr. Wieand said.

Please click here to view the story.


Student to teacher: a hearty appreciation!

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This letter from a student to Richland Elementary School Math teacher Kelly Esposito is an example of the relationships that are built in QCSD classrooms each day. It shows the appreciation that a thoughtful, young student has for a hard-working educator.

Ms. Esposito said the student's words "melts my heart."


Seeking Wall of Fame nominations

Quakertown Community High School Principal Dr. David Finnerty has observed students stand in the lobby, just outside the Cyber Commons, and read the names on the school’s Wall of Fame.

He enjoys the connection between former and current Panthers, and wants more role models on the Wall for students to emulate. “It’s great to see the connection,” Dr. Finnerty said. “I want them to be proud of their predecessors, and have it motivate them to be great.”

Dr. Finnerty is seeking Wall of Fame nominations from the public. Alumni considered will have demonstrated exceptional achievement in a career or have contributed significantly to the health, welfare or human rights of the local, state, national, or international community.

Please click here for more information, including a nomination form.


Senior achieves dream with West Point appointment

A s a third-grader at Richland Elementary School, Lizzie Maceri recalled an assignment in Mrs. Fell’s class that asked students to write “What do you want to do when you grow up?”

Nine years later and now a high school senior, Lizzie’s response remains true to her words that day: “I’m going to attend the United States Military Academy, and become an Army officer.”

One of Quakertown Community High School’s outstanding students, Lizzie recently received confirmation that she’s achieved the first part of her dream, with her “Certificate of Appointment” to West Point.

“I’m humbled and honored and so thankful for this,” she said.

Please click here to read the story.


Strayer's top musicians perform in Bux-Mont Honors Band

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Nine exceptional Strayer Middle School musicians recently performed in the 28th annual Bux-Mont Honors Band, hosted by Souderton's Indian Crest Middle School.

The talented students, pictured above with Joe Santanello, their proud band director, are (first row, left to right) Kristy Nguyen, Emily Tolchin, Samantha Steinberg, (second row) Claudia Boyer, Karen Mendez, Jessica Nguyen, third row, Haunah Thomas, Tyler Walsh, Julia Henry.


Act 34 hearing For Neidig Elementary School construction

Monday, Feb. 11th, 6pm

100 Commerce Drive

Quakertown, PA

Pennsylvania's Act 34 of 1973 requires that a public hearing be held on all new construction and substantial additions. The Quakertown Community School Board passed a resolution at its January 10th meeting to advertise for the Act 34 hearing.

Because of the hearing, the Education and Curriculum Committee meeting has been moved up to 5 p.m.


Strayer's Mary Poppins Jr. a major hit

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Another graduate from The Academy!

Plus, 4 students graduate from BCCC's in-school youth workforce development program

Will Derr is the latest student from The Academy at Quakertown to receive a diploma.

Will, a senior a year ago, worked hard to wrap up his work and graduate in January. "He strived at The Academy and completed his senior year with us," said Jaime Maddon, a Teacher On Special Assignment and The Academy’s assistant principal. "I'm so proud of him."

The district developed the school during the spring and summer. A students’ initial lessons are conducted in a cyber format. Anyone needing additional help is instructed by Academy staff members. The format allows for a specialized, structured educational environment that focuses on individualized behavioral support, consistent expectations and clear boundaries.

The four students who graduated from Bucks County Community College's In-School Youth Workforce Development Program are Tiana Connell, Kimberly Felgenhauer, Tyler Watson and Sumo Woodson.

The program is offered to 12th-grade students from Quakertown, Centennial, Bristol Borough, Bristol Township, Morrisville and Bensalem school districts. Paid work experiences, a focus on college and workforce readiness, and the opportunity to earn industry-recognized credentials are highlights of the program, and help create high potential pathways to employment.


Safe2Say: What you need to know

A new statewide system to help identify at-risk students and intercede before they cause injury to themselves or others has gone live in Pennsylvania.

The Safe2Say Something Anonymous Reporting System, which began operating January 14, is a tip line operated and monitored 24/7 by the Office of the Attorney General, where tips are reviewed, classified, and forwarded to the appropriate school district.

Anyone may provide tips about potential risks to young people through a phone call — 1-844-723-2729, website ( or phone app.

The Quakertown Community School District has met all requirements established in Safe2Say, a key component in the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s Act 44 of 2018. A five-person district team has been established and trained on the program. The team includes Assistant Superintendent Nancianne Edwards, the district’s Safety Coordinator; Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner; Dr. Lisa Hoffman, Assistant Superintendent for the Office of Teaching and Learning; Janet Pelone, Director of Pupil Services; and high school Principal Dr. David Finnerty.

In photo, Trumbauersville Elementary School Principal Adam Schmucker gave a presentation to the school's teachers and staff. Similar presentations took place at all QCSD school.

For more on Safe2Say, please click here.


Safety Committee moves forward with work

QCSD's Community School Safety Committee is continuing its work as it prepares its report for the School Board. On Thursday night Assistant Superintendent and District Safety Coordinator Nancianne Edwards trained the group on the state's new Safe2Say initiative.

The group also spent a lot time discussing the January 23 Strayer Middle School bomb threat evacuation. Much of the conversation was similar to the district After Action Review, held at Strayer on January 24.

For a refresher, please read Superintendent Dr. Harner's blog on the issue.


5 School Board seats on Primary ballot

Five seats on the Quakertown Community School Board are scheduled to be on the ballot in the Municipal Primary Election on May 21.

In Region 1, one seat is available. Region 1 includes Haycock Township, Richland Township 1, 2 and 3, and Richlandtown Borough.

In Region 2, two seats are available. Region 2 includes Milford Township and Trumbauersville Borough.

In Region 3, two seats are available. Region 3 includes Quakertown Borough and Richland Township 4.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of State, the following are important dates to remember for the Primary Election:

  • First day to circulate and file nomination petitions: February 19
  • Last day to circulate and file nomination petitions: March 12
  • First day to circulate and file nomination papers: March 13
  • Last day for withdrawal by candidates who filed nomination petitions: March 27
  • Last day to register before the primary: April 22
  • Last day to apply for a civilian absentee ballot: May 14
  • Last day for County Board of Elections to receive voted civilian absentee ballots: May 17
  • Municipal Primary: May 21

If you have any questions, contact the Bucks County Board of Elections at 215-348-6154 or


No doubt where QCHS student council's heart lies

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Scout achieves Life Scout rank, Eagle is next!

Quakertown Community High School sophomore JP Daley recently was awarded his Life Scout rank as a member of Troop 16 in Zion Hill.

JP has earned 30 merit badges and performed many service hours so far, recently volunteering on QCSD's MLK Day of Service, and plans to pursue the next and highest rank of Eagle Scout.

With a love of music, JP is a member of the Panthers marching, concert, and jazz bands, as well as choir and men's ensemble. He is currently enrolled in the Small Engine Program at Upper Bucks County Technical School, and also enjoys skiing, kayaking, model railroading, and fishing in his free time.


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Great first friday in Trumbauersville

First Friday theme of "teamwork" was a huge hit this month at Trumbauersville Elementary School.

Students started the day with an assembly and watched teachers play a game. One group of teachers modeled teamwork, while the other did not.

Students then played a version of the popular game “HeadBanz” in their classroom. They had an opportunity to practice teamwork in their groups. You could hear the fun throughout the building.

Great job everyone!


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Parents explain their jobs to Richland students

Richland Elementary School's parents came through in a big way by sharing information about their jobs.

It helped first-grade students understand the Social Studies lesson called "What do families need and want?" The unit involves learning about goods, services, and jobs. We need jobs in order to make money to buy our needs and wants. This lesson also teaches the students about how jobs can provide goods or services.

Thanks for your help parents!


In the news ...

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Sampling of QCSD items in the media

Nice feature in the Bucks County Herald about the high school's hard-working bowling team, only in its third year. The Panthers are "thriving," under the leadership of coach Allen Hunsicker.

Coverage in the Bucks County Herald also included, on page 7, the district's celebration of its first MLK Day of Service.

The Intelligencer covered the Panther wrestlers with the headline: Quakertown crowns four SOL Continental champs.

Lots of ink in this month's Upper Bucks Free Press highlighting the educational efforts in the Quakertown Community School District. See pages 10-11 and 18. Thanks to Publisher Chris Betz for sharing our stories with the community!


Connor earns ASPIRE employee of the month certificate

Congratulations to Connor Sweeney, the ASPIRE Employee of the Month for January.

ASPIRE stands for Acquiring Skills Professionalism, Independence and Responsibility for Education/ Employment. It’s for students ages 18 to 21, who may have a mental or physical challenge that calls for more schooling to help them prepare to navigate the world after high school.

Students are taught daily living skills, how to gain and retain employment and are educated in self advocacy and interpersonal skills.


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On students' off day, faculty worked towards students' health

January 28 was a day off for students in QCSD, but it was a day on for faculty.

In the morning, about 90 Quakertown Community High School faculty members received information about vaping and its impact on students during a presentation that included School Resource Officer Bob Lee, Principal David Finnerty, assistant principals Stephen Kimball and Jason Magditch and Lee Hellinger of the Council of Southeast Pennsylania.

In the District Services Center that afternoon, special education teachers worked with district behavioral support to learn about methods for collecting and analyzing behavioral data as well as best practices to writing and implementing behavior plans that support the acquisition of appropriate behaviors.

The district's K-12 counselors, nurses, and school psychologists learned about vaping, in particular anti-vaping strategies. They also learned about supporting and nurturing resiliency in children. Overall, lots of work toward planning the emotional and physical health and well-being of QCSD students!

In addition, district employees at many levels have been receiving training to become Google Certified Educators.

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Neidig first graders show off leadership skills

Neidig Elementary School first graders showed off their leadership skills at a recent assembly by organizing a sale to support Alex’s Lemonade Stand. Please see the inserted picture for sale details on February 12-13.


* kindergarten registration *

Sign up now for your March appointment

Kindergarten Registration for the 2019-2020 school year will be held on:

Monday, March 4, 11:30 am-7 pm

Tuesday, March 5, 8:30 am-4 pm

Wednesday, March 6, 8:30 am-4 pm

Thursday, March 7, 11:30 am-7 pm

*Note: There will be an academic assessment given during the Registration Appointments on March 4-7. Please plan to bring your child with you to the Registration Appointment.

For more information and to schedule an appointment for a March registration date, visit our website here.



Students not registered by this date will not be guaranteed a spot in their neighborhood school for the 2019-2020 Kindergarten year.

*To be eligible for Kindergarten, a child must be 5 years of age on or before August 31, 2019*

For those who couldn't make it to the Parent Kindergarten Presentation Night, please click here for the presentation.


Diversity and Inclusion Committee

Tuesday, Feb. 12th, 6:30-8pm

100 Commerce Drive

Quakertown, PA

The Quakertown Community School District's Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee is in the process of analyzing our district’s mission and vision statements, discussing our community’s changing demographics, learning about how we can make our infrastructure even more equitable for every student, and starting work on our strategic plan.

At each meeting, members of the public have been involved. More community members are welcome to join us. Please consider doing so. Thank you.


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LifeSpan is holding free registration on February 18-19 for its summer camp program. The camp, which will be held at Quakertown Community High School, is for children who have completed kindergarten through age 13. Click here for an information packet.


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Youth baseball league for those with special needs

Baseball For Special People, a program for individuals with special needs, is seeking coaches.

Coaches must be at least 14 years old. Student coaches need a letter of recommendation from an adult. Adult coaches must have a background check similar to those of school employees. The league is also looking for players from the age of 5 to 99. Games are played on the Little League fields in Quakertown on Sunday afternoons, starting at 3:30 p.m.

For addition information, contact league president Paul Gerhart Jr., at 267-992-4973.


Presentations on vaping for parents, guardians

Two important presentations were recently given at Quakertown Community High School that Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner wanted to make parents and guardians aware of.

One involves drug abuse and vaping; the other is about the Pennsylvania Youth Survey.

David Fialko of the Council Of Southeast Pennsylvania, a highly sought after speaker, spoke about drug abuse and vaping. His presentation can be found here.

Carolyn Staffieri, a QCSD Pupil Services Administrative Intern, presented on PAYS data. Her presentation can be found here.


Custodians needed: Here's how to apply

The Quakertown Community School District is in need of custodians. SSC Services, which services the district, is seeking full and part time permanent and seasonal custodian positions.

Candidates may contact Laird Ihle, director of SSC, at 610-392-1059 or via email at


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School Bus drivers needed

The Levy School Bus Company is seeking drivers.

The position has flexible hours, a positive environment and is conveniently located in the Quakertown area.

Levy offers a competitive wage package, 401(k) benefits with company matched funds, bonus incentives, training and development, career opportunities, extra hours available evenings and weekends (optional), and community involvement.

This is a perfect job for people who love children, stay-at-home parents, college students looking for education experience, former teachers and anyone in need of extra income.

If you’re interested in becoming a school bus driver or want to hear more, please call Len at 215-536-4567 x121 or email

Quakertown Community School District

Gary Weckselblatt, QCSD Director of Communications, writes about the people and the programs that impact the Quakertown Community School District. Find more District topics of interest on the website by clicking here.