Centennial School District Newsletter April 2017
In This Edition
District Updates & Happenings
Support Staff Spotlight
Inside Schools & Programs
Letters from Students
District Updates & Happenings
Centennial School District Approves Revised District Calendar for the End of the School Year
The number of school days and minutes are dictated by School Code. Each school district in Pennsylvania must have 180 school days for students and a minimum of 900 instructional minutes for elementary students and 990 instructional minutes for secondary students. "We are well over on minutes, but not school days, " Dr. Baugh further explained about the addition snow make-up days. The District will also apply for an exception from the Department of Education to reduce the number of school days for professional development.
To view the revised calendar for 2016-17, follow this link:
Moody's Report Signifies Centennial School District's Fiscal Strength
Moody's Investors Service has assigned the Centennial School District a solid Aa2 bond rating on its existing debt service bonds for 2017. In a report from Moody's dated April 3, 2017, the Aa2 rating reflects the District's stable tax base, strong management, and satisfactory debt levels. The report warned that a reduction in fund balance or structural imbalance in the budget could lead to a rating downgrade. At the April 4, 2017 School Board meeting, Chris Berdnik, Chief Financial Officer, stated, "This rating can be attributed to the sound decisions made by the Board." Mr. Berdnik noted that Moody's specifically referenced the District's extensive long-term planning as a credit strength, explaining that those management practices keep the rating at Aa2, a notch above the Aa3 that Centennial would otherwise merit.
The Aa2 rating allows the District to fund the first phase of the middle school warm, safe, and dry projects, as well as refinance a portion of existing debt. By locking in a lower interest rate, the annual, fixed payments on these bonds will allow the District to direct revenues to general operating expenses and or commit net savings to the fund balance. The potential relief of a lower interest rate for the bond payments will have a positive effect on the 2017-18 budget, which will be approved by June 30.
Required School Immunization Changes for the 2017-18 School Year
The Pennsylvania Department of Health has revised the immunization requirements for students. These new requirements go into effect at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year. Parents/guardians must have all immunizations completed within the first five days of school. Prior to the 2017-18 school year, parents/guardians had eight months to ensure their children had the required immunizations. Students who do not have the required immunizations by the fifth day of school and who do not have an exemption for the immunizations may be excluded from school.
The required immunizations for all students in Grades Kindergarten through 12 are:
- 4 doses of tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis (1 dose on or after 4th birthday) DTaP
- 4 doses of polio (4th dose on or after 4th birthday and at least 6 months after previous dose given) IPV
- 2 doses of measles, mumps and rubella MMR
- 3 doses of hepatitis B Hep B
- 2 doses of varicella (chickenpox) or evidence of immunity (History of chickenpox or antibody titer)
Students in Grades 7 through 12 are required to have these additional immunizations:
- 1 dose of tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis (Tdap)
- 2 doses meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4)
(first dose prior to entering Grade 7; second dose by age 16 or prior to entering Grade 12)
The immunizations are required to attend school. Students can obtain an exemption for the immunizations for the following reasons: 1) medical reasons, 2) religious beliefs, or 3) philosophical/strong moral and ethical convictions. Students attending school under these exemptions may be excluded from school should there be an outbreak of any of these diseases.
If the student is in the middle of a dosage series, and it is too soon for the next dose, the parent/guardian must provide the school nurse with a plan for immunizations that is signed by a health care provider within the first five days. This is considered a medical certificate that is required by the state. If the student has incomplete immunizations and no medical plan, the student will be excluded from school.
Parents/guardians may check a student’s school immunization record by logging onto the Skyward parent portal through the school district website at www.centennialsd.org or by consulting with the student's healthcare provider.
37th Annual Fine Arts Week Festival
These events are open to the public.
Staying in Touch with Centennial School District and Your School
It is important for parents and guardians to update their contact information (telephone number, cell phone number, and e-mail address) in Skyward Family Access to ensure that E-Alert e-mails, text message alerts, and voice recorded messages reach them.
E-Alert e-mail is the main method of communicating pertinent information to students and their families. Text message alerts and voice recorded messages are used for emergency notifications as well as for school absence notifications. Parents and guardians can opt into receiving text message alerts. For more information about Skyward Family Access, follow this link: http://www.centennialsd.org/Page/8401
To stay up-to-date with various events and news about the schools and the District, the community can follow the District on these social media sites:
To watch School Board meetings, student-developed videos, and other events, tune into the District's cable channel: CSD-TV on Channel 36 (Verizon) and Channel 28 (Comcast).
School Board meetings are lived-streamed and can be accessed via the District website the evening of the meetings. Board Meetings live-streaming
Kindergarten Registration Is Open
Registration for incoming Kindergarten students for the 2017-18 school year is underway. Students must be five years of age on or before August 31st to register for Kindergarten. In order to register a student, the following documents are required:
- A birth certificate
- Immunization records
- Four proofs of residency
One of the four proofs of residency must be a mortgage statement, deed, agreement of sale, or lease. The three additional proofs of residency may include a utility bill, tax bill, telephone bill, or employee pay stub. Parents/guardians may also provide a report card from a preschool program, but this is not required to register for Kindergarten.
Parents/guardians can register a student online or in-person. For more information about the registration process, visit http://www.centennialsd.org/Page/101 or call the Registrar at 215-441-6000, Ext. 11035.
Support Staff Spotlight
The Centennial School District's support staff are always working behind the scenes to support our students’ education. Whether it is preparing meals, driving buses, keeping the buildings and grounds operational, assisting in classrooms, or keeping our district organized and running smoothly, these individuals often go unnoticed, but all play an essential part in our learning community. We are proud to highlight a support staff member from each department in the coming editions of the CSD Insider.
Mary McCaw, Human Resources Secretary
Ms. McCaw is the face behind the email and voice at the end of the telephone line that keeps the employees informed about their benefits. She describes her role as providing a more personalized service in the District. Even she feels a measure of frustration if she cannot get back to an individual with the answer to his/her question right away. She often feels like there is not enough time in the day. But to the employees, she is the one person that they can rely on because she is tenacious and persistent. Once an email blast goes out for anything from a reminder about the benefits fair to an update about insurance programs, Ms. McCaw is ready at the computer to answer questions- and any questions.
Because the Human Resources Department handles confidential information, it can be one of the most stressful departments. To relax, Ms. McCaw has her home at the shore, which she calls her "happy place." She and her husband have four children, with her youngest in high school. Knowing how busy life can be at work and at home, she knows that her support makes a big difference.
Inside Schools & Programs
Davis Elementary School Hosts an "Excellent" Math Family Engagement Night
On Wednesday, March 22, Davis Elementary School showcased all of the math content, curriculum, and programs the students use on a daily basis. With over 105 people in attendance, 35 students showcased their skills in math, making the event a huge success. Principal Shawanna Coles, along with several Davis teachers, organized the event. Elementary Math and Technology Coach, Nicholas D’Andrea, showed parents how they can access these same resources. The goal of the event was to help parents/guardians partner with the school in their child’s learning. Parents/guardians also had the opportunity to see an interactive student demonstration portion featuring digital access. Several parents completed surveys after the event, with the majority of the surveys suggesting that they were “extremely likely” to return again for another Math Family Engagement Night event. Thank you to everyone who participated in the event and for all their support for Davis Elementary School. We look forward to another successful event in the future!
Centennial School District Students Earned 15 Ribbons at the Reading Olympics
Reading Olympics has been motivating students in Bucks County to read and discuss books. The purpose of this event is to encourage children to read more than they currently do, to read a greater variety of books, and to enjoy the excitement of reading and talking about books. On March 30 and April 20, approximately 317 Centennial students participated in the 24th annual Bucks County Reading Olympics. Centennial’s elementary 21 teams earned 8 blue ribbons, 4 red ribbons, 2 green ribbons, and 1 yellow ribbon. Over 60 staff members volunteered their time to help make this event successful for all involved. We look forward to our middle school team's competition on April 20.
McDonald Elementary School Celebrated Read Across America Day
Do you know? Can you guess? McDonald Elementary School loves Dr. Seuss the best!
On March 2, a celebration of reading took place on Read Across America Day, which was a fitting tribute to Dr. Seuss on his birthday. Not only was Dr. Seuss on the loose, the Cat In the Hat and Thing 1 and Thing 2 were not far behind making appearances throughout the day.
The festivities honoring this distinguished author began on Monday, February 27 and continued all week long. Each day of the week was dedicated to one of Dr. Seuss' whimsical characters. For example, Fox in Socks was celebrated with crazy sock day. The Cat in the Hat inspired students and teachers to wear hats and stripes. And to honor Sam from Green Eggs and Ham, everyone wore green. To add a new flare, several teachers used makerspaces to construct Dr. Seuss centered items.
The hit of the week was when older students paired with younger students to share Dr. Seuss reading activities as well as their favorite Dr. Seuss books. Smiles abounded in classrooms as each group participated in a unique reading activity during this very special time. A special "thank you" goes out to the Seussical teachers who made time in their busy schedules to honor both reading and an author who has become a favorite of our McDonald children. Every student received a mini-notepad with Dr. Seuss characters on the cover, compliments of the McDonald Home and School Association.
Although Read Across America Day is gone, the memories live on and on. Never to fret, next year we will get, another day to cheer, and celebrate the author we hold so dear.
Davis Elementary School Science Fair
On March 24, Davis Elementary held its third annual Science Fair. It was a great success for our "junior scientists" and their parents. This year's participation was greater than in years past. In addition, we had new participants at every grade level. Our high school volunteers greeted scientists and guests at the door and checked in the participants. They kept the scientists thinking by asking questions about their experiments. The Davis teachers that attended were so impressed by the creative ideas and the means through which hypotheses were tested by the students. The shared enthusiasm for the projects made the junior scientists feel proud to share their findings. The successful event concluded with a Mad Scientist show where the students actively participated in a number of experiments and tricks.
"The Nurse Is In" at Davis Elementary School
Centennial School District's school nurses are registered nurses. Many of the school nurses have worked in hospitals or doctor's offices prior to joining the District. In particular for Ms. Breiner, she knows that elementary-age students may have a lot of questions, but they also may not understand why the healthy habits and routines they learn about are so important. She selects a topic each month as her focus for "The Nurse Is In" stand. From the importance to brushing teeth, to getting enough sleep, to good eating habits, and washing hands regularly, Ms. Breiner reinforces the lessons from health class and from home.
"The Nurse Is In Stand" allows Ms. Breiner to make a personal connection with more students. Ms. Breiner says, " I enjoy bringing the stand into the cafeteria because I feel that it is a non-intimidating, entertaining way for the students to learn."
Camp Invention Returns for the Summer of 2017
Camp Invention is a different type of camp experience for students. Working in groups, students will create inventions to solve problems, using their creativity and problem-solving skills. Students will use what they have learned in science, technology, engineering, and math in a whole new, and fun, way.
For more information, visit http://campinvention.org/
Log College MIddle School Students Attend the K’NEX STEM Challenge
On March 23, three groups of students from Mr. Edney’s STEM classes were chosen to compete at the Bucks County Intermediate Unit against over 100 other middle school teams throughout the county. Each group needed to complete the following challenge:
“Your team has been hired to create a new amusement park. However, this new amusement park is making 'green' a priority. The owners are working to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer and are creating a fun family park that will inspire others to be environmentally friendly. You will need to create a ride for this new park. Your ride must represent the environmentally friendly approach that the owners are requiring.”
The teams also were required to keep a journal, have blueprints, and stay under a budget. All the groups in STEM classes presented their creations to faculty judges at Log College Middle School. The following groups were chosen to represent Log College at the event.
The Spinning Oysters: Rachael Wiese, Jillian Sedlacsik, Kasey Gray, Caraline Herman
The Ischinger: Matt Mueller, Dom Sulpizio, Kellen Johnston, Justin Ischinger
Safari Drop: Rosemary Green, Alyssa Williams, Sierra Marelia, Caitlin Somerville
They did a fantastic job at the competition and they should all be proud of themselves.
Their presentations were professional and received some high marks. Great job everyone!
William Tennent High School Presents "Behind the Lens"
Letters from Students
The Klinger Experience
About eight months ago I was lying on my bed imagining how my first year in a public school would go. My old school was very small and had small classes. It went from K-12, but everyone still knew everyone. Although I heard many great things about Klinger, I still had many doubts. For example, I was extremely nervous about making new friends, succeeding in all of my classes, and fitting in. I also didn't know what to expect; was it going to be easy, challenging, or just way too hard? All I knew for sure was that I would be extremely nervous.
On my first day, I was surprised when the morning announcements came on. In my old school, we never had them. They were on our smart board with students reporting the lunch, sports, what was going on that day, birthdays, and thoughts of the day. Then I moved on to first period and was greeted by so many friendly people, which I'm lucky to now call my friends. Everyone invited me in and made me feel like I had been with them for the past seven years.
All the teachers were, and still are, very nice and fun. I love how they all teach because they manage to make it enjoyable while knowledgeable at the same time. I've learned many new and interesting things since then, like the periodic table, all about the Chinese Dynasties; how to write sophisticated paragraphs; and how to solve proportions. Above all, I found my passion for reading and the entertainment it provides when discovering different characters and becoming part of their dynamic lives. Now, I read for at least an hour and a half every night before going to bed.
In addition to everything I learned, what really caught my attention were all of the exploratory classes. Each student gets to choose two. I had family consumer science and art. Family and consumer science gave me an amazing opportunity to interact with new people, learn new recipes, develop babysitting skills, learn how to sew, and realize the importance of friendship. Art showed me new artistic skills and styles. For example, I had never heard of scratch art, but I was intrigued. It turns out it's a black board/paper used with special tools to scrape off enough to reveal a beautiful masterpiece. I can easily apply all that I’ve learned on a day to day basis.
Klinger Middle School also offers a lot of after school activities and that, for me, was a new thing. They offer so much that there’s something for everyone no matter what they like. I only got involved in some two, which were student council and the musical. I really enjoyed them both because they have room for everyone. If you’re not a great singer you can still do many other roles that require different abilities, or if you're not an officer, you still get to share what's on your mind and be a part of the vote. Anime, Art Club, Baking Club, and Yearbook Club are just some of the many offerings. No matter who you are, there’s something for you.
I can't believe it's already the end of the third marking period; the time flew by. Before I know it, I will be an eighth grader starting my second year at Klinger. There are many things that were new and different for me this year, but luckily, they were all good ones. I really appreciate the opportunity to come to Klinger and all of the great things it offers.
Klinger Middle School
Makayla's Reflections on Making the Most of High School
As we enter high school, our parents have certain hopes for us in this new environment. They want us to work hard, find our passions and practice good character as we engage in the years that forge our future. While our parents hope and wish for our success, we have a greater concern as freshmen -- having close ties with the seniors. There’s something about running with the big dogs of the school and being able to say that you’re close with a senior. While we look forward to these friendships for bragging rights, the upperclassmen have valuable lessons to pass along.
My journey at WTHS began in 2013 as a little freshman. My sister was a senior, which meant I was going to be that freshman whose dream of being friends with the seniors was just short of coming true. At the end of each day, my sister waited for me in the senior hallway with her friends before we left school where I was introduced to a group of seniors. Our short conversations at the end of each day led to quick exchanges in the hallway, and soon enough, I no longer felt like an isolated freshman.
I’d like to note that this isn’t about being “cool” or “popular”— two terms I personally don’t believe in — but how the simple task of talking to upperclassmen affected my entire high school experience. The biggest lesson these individuals taught me was the “senior” feeling; not “senioritis” but the feeling you get during senior year once you realize that it’s all ending. The best way to avoid this feeling of regret was by getting involved.
It’s difficult to explain the senior feeling because you can’t acknowledge it in action; it doesn’t truly hit you until you’ve reached the final months of high school. At this time you will reflect on your high school career and ask yourself, “Did I make the most of these past four years? Or was there more I could’ve done?” Fortunately, my seniors warned me of this by sharing what they wished they had done differently and most of them agreed they should’ve done more. That year, I played varsity field hockey,and I joined Key Club, Athletic Council, and Student Government. I was a freshman captain for Black and White. This seems like a lot for a ninth grader, and trust me, it was. But I knew I wouldn’t regret it. There were times where I was overwhelmed, and I missed a few homework assignments here and there, but these experiences were worth the sacrifice.
To the parents reading this, please hear me out. I am not downgrading the importance of academics. I grew up in a strict household under the beliefs that my job was to be a good student and that academics came before extracurriculars. However, there eventually came a time where they both were tied for number one. I managed to obtain a 3.4 GPA on top of all of the clubs and activities. I do note that my education remained a top priority. Being active both inside and outside of the classroom is challenging, but it is worth every moment.
To the students reading this, do not overlook my perspective. I am not only a senior, but a senior class officer, the president of Athletes Helping Athletes, the treasurer of Key Club, an active member of Athletic Council, National English Honors Society and Student Government, a Yearbook editor, a Field Hockey captain and the Black General for Black and White Night. The experiences and friendships that come with each of these is indescribable and something you need to engage in on your own. Please, I’m begging you, understand that being “cool” isn’t a real thing. Do not let your peers hold you back because of their opinions. Find something you like and surround yourself with those who encourage you and your interests, not ridicule.
If there is one thing you get from this article, take this- when you’re a senior, sitting alone looking at your friend’s pictures on Instagram from Black and White Night or tweets about the Friday night football game you skipped, that “senior feeling” I’m warning you about will hit you like a wall. Be active in your community now, make friends now and do things that you normally wouldn’t do now. There are few things I love more than William Tennent High School, coming from the winner of “Always at Tennent” so if there is one person to listen to, trust that it’s me. Thank you to the seniors (you know who you are) who taught me to value the opportunities in high school and to take every chance I was given to get involved. And to you, do not undermine the endless possibilities William Tennent High School gives you; take them all and run with them.
William Tennent High School
Centennial Education Foundation Anniversary Gala
Internet Essentials from Comcast
Your family may qualify for affordable Internet access and a low-cost computer. Please see the brochure below for details. To learn more or to apply, call 1-855-846-8376 or visit InternetEssentials.com.
Current employment opportunities are posted regularly on the Centennial School District website. Follow this link to learn more about current administrative, teaching, and support staff positions: www.centennialsd.org/jobs
ShopRite's Shop at Home Fundraiser
Centennial School District
Dr. David Baugh, Superintendent
Dr. Jennifer Polinchock, Assistant Superintendent
Mr. Christopher Berdnik, Chief Financial Officer
Ms. Judith Hengst, Director of Special Education
Mr. AJ Juliani, Director of Technology and Innovation
Ms. Hannah Messner, Director of Human Resources
Ms. Catherine Perkins, Director of Teaching and Learning
Board of School Directors
Ms. Kati Driban, President
Mr. Michael Hartline, Vice President
Mr. Mark B. Miller, Assistant Secretary
Mr. Steven Adams
Mr. Charles Kleinschmidt
Ms. Jane Schrader Lynch
Ms. Dana Morgan
Dr. Andrew Pollock
Mr. David Shafter
Dr. Dennis Best, William Tennent High School
Mr. Travis Bloom, Klinger Middle School
Mr. Andrew Doster, Log College Middle School
Ms. Shawanna Coles, Davis Elementary School
Mr. Michael VanBuren, McDonald Elementary School
Dr. Michael Donnelly, Willow Dale Elementary School