October 2023 Superintendent Update
Greetings Upper Moreland Community!
October brings colorful foliage, cooler temperatures, and less daylight hours. The end of the month also signals the end of our fall sports seasons and the start of winter sports. I've enjoyed cheering for our student athletes as they competed this fall. They repeatedly demonstrate teamwork, hard work and sportsmanship. Their coaches are passionate about teaching students the sport but more importantly helping our student-athletes grow as caring and responsible individuals.
Our Upper Moreland Marching Unit (UMMU) continues competing with their 2023 show. These young musicians and performers, their coaches, and families have invested many hours to prepare this year's show. Already, they’ve secured several first place finishes. We wish them the best as they continue their competitions into November.
I’ve enjoyed visiting classrooms across the district, talking with students about their learning, and viewing work and projects on display in our hallways. Our learners have been very busy. Recently, I visited with a group of 6th graders as they worked in teams on a “Shark Tank” presentation. Each group developed an idea for a product to promote and hopefully convince potential investors to invest in their product. It was great to see teams collaboratively problem solving and planning. One team developed an idea for a pet surprise box. Each month, your pet would receive a box in the mail with fun surprises like treats and toys. As a dog owner, I think this would be a fantastic idea.
My classroom visits remind me of just how incredible and unique our kids and teachers are. I truly believe that the diversity and uniqueness of each student is what makes Upper Moreland a wonderful community.
Thank you for all that you continue to do, as partners, to support our Upper Moreland students!
Dr. Susan Elliott
Superintendent of Schools
2023-2024 District Goals Update
We continue to focus on this year’s District goals in each of our buildings. Our focus on creating a safe, respectful and productive learning environment has targeted the less structured spaces like the cafeteria and buses. At the elementary level, members of our transportation department visited the schools to review important bus safety reminders. Our bus drivers, teachers, and principals are working together to review and reinforce safe and respectful behavior expectations on the bus. Middle school administrators and staff have been working with students to review and reinforce expectations in the cafeteria and hallways to ensure all students are safe and respected, and the high school is piloting an e-Hall Pass app which helps staff and students better manage hallway traffic during classes and lunch.
Our Teaching and Learning department of Upper Moreland has expanded to include two curriculum supervisors. Mrs. Kelly Gallagher has moved from classroom teacher to Supervisor of English Language Arts and Humanities, and Dr. Julie Eastburn has joined Upper Moreland as the Supervisor of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math). Together, they will help revive our District’s curriculum framework and help us improve student learning. If you are interested in learning more about our curriculum framework, I encourage you to visit the School Board page of our website and watch the video for the September 5th Programs and Services Committee meeting.
UMTSD Enrollment Forecasting and Capacity Study
In September, the Board approved the services of Cropper GIS to conduct both enrollment forecasting and a capacity study for Upper Moreland. The enrollment forecasting will use historic and current enrollment data, census data, and township housing information to forecast enrollment over the next ten years. The capacity study will analyze the utilization of space in each of our buildings based on enrollment and current usage. In October, representatives from Cropper GIS visited each of our schools and met with principals to understand how the buildings are utilized. They also drove around the district and gathered information from township officials to help understand housing trends in Upper Moreland.
We anticipate representatives from Cropper GIS will present information to the Board and community in January. The Board and the administration will use this information to inform future decisions on capital planning.
On Tuesday, November 7, 2023 schools will be closed for students. It is general election day and each of our schools serves as a polling location. For your reference, below is a list of the locations for each Ward and District.
- Ward 1, District 1 & 2 - Settlement Music School
- Ward 2, District 1 & 2 - UMHS Lobby/Cafeteria
- Ward 3, District 1 & 2 - UMHS Main Gym
- Ward 4, District 1 - Upper Moreland Township Building
- Ward 4, District 2 - Upper Moreland Township Library
- Ward 5, District 1 - UMHS Auxiliary Gym
- Ward 5, District 2 - Fulmer Heights Homeowners Association
- Ward 6, District 1 & 2 - Willow Grove YMCA
- Ward 7, District 1 - UMIS Cafetorium Lobby
- Ward 7, District 2 - UMMS Main Entrance Lobby
If you have questions about your polling location, please navigate to this page of the Montgomery County website to locate your voting location.
UM Continues FREE Breakfast for ALL Students
Pennsylvania is continuing to support free breakfast for all students for the 2023-24 school year. We encourage your students to take advantage of this opportunity for free breakfast!
Positions Available - Join Our Team!
Dates to Remember
- Friday, November 3: UMEF Event: Harlem Wizards vs. Upper Moreland Faculty UMHS 7:00pm
- Sunday, November 5: Daylight Savings Time Ends; Turn your clocks back one hour!
- Tuesday November 7: NO SCHOOL for K-12 Students; Election Day; Staff Development Day
- Tuesday, November 14: Committee of the Whole Meeting
- Mon/Tues/Wed November 20, 21, 22 EARLY DISMISSAL GRADES K-12
- Parent Teacher Conferences K-12
- Primary School and Intermediate School dismissal at 11:45 am
- Middle School and High School dismissal at 11:00 am
- Tuesday, November 21: Policy Committee Meeting
- November 23 & 24: DISTRICT CLOSED; Thanksgiving
- Tuesday, November 28: Legislative Meeting
Bus Safety Presentation
October marked National School Bus Safety Week at Upper Moreland. The UM Transportation staff visited the UMPS & UMIS to give the kids a fun and interactive bus safety presentation. Students learned some interesting facts about school buses, how to act safely on and around these vehicles, and what to do in case of an emergency while on a bus.
Big shoutout to our transportation staff for their commitment to our students' safety!
Successful 2nd Annual UMSD Community Wellness Fair
On Wednesday, October 11th, Upper Moreland School District held its 2nd annual Community Wellness Fair at the high school. More than 60 local vendors provided information and resources to support overall health and wellness for families. Vendors shared resources in the following areas of wellness: nutrition, behavioral health, physical therapy, library, exercise, womens' resources, child/family resources, victims assistance, addiction and eating disorder resources, play therapy, LGBTQ resources, pet therapy, suicide and bullying prevention, and many more.
This year's Community Wellness Fair attendees had the opportunity to participate in lots of activities! They could make a DIY stress ball and build their own caramel apple. Attendees had an opportunity to enter a basket raffle and win amazing baskets from generous donors. Baskets included an air fryer, hair care, skin care, free classes at a local gym, and more. Participants could enjoy food from local vendors. Throughout the night, DJ and UM student, Lianna Adames, filled the event with music.
Special thanks to UM’s Jennifer Forsyth and Melissa Montella for organizing this community event for the second year in a row. We are also grateful to our community partners for the resources they provide to families and look forward to next year’s event.
2023 Boosterthon Raises Over $79,000
Thank you to all of our staff, students and families who helped make the 2023 Upper Moreland Primary and Intermediate Schools HSA Boosterthon a huge success despite the rainy conditions outside. Students enjoyed many activities including the closing competition, Dance Fit, which was a hit with everyone.
The HSA raised an incredible $79,625! Your generosity allows the HSA to provide resources and activities for the students and staff at the Primary and Intermediate Schools, like updating playground and sensory equipment and mini-grants for teachers.
Special thanks to the three grade level classes that earned the most money. They are Mrs. Keller’s Kindergarten class, Mrs. Hausher’s first grade class, and Mrs. Landis’ second grade class. Also, the students in Mr. Carroll’s and Mrs. Keller’s kindergarten classrooms earned a popsicle party because 100% of the students in those classes registered for Boosterthon.
Unity Day - October 18, 2023
Each year schools across the country come together on the third Wednesday of October to take a stand against bullying and help others. Unity Day is the signature event of National Bullying Prevention Month. On Unity Day, students wear orange to show that they stand against bullying and to unite for kindness, courage, and inclusion. Why do students wear orange on Unity Day? Orange is a color commonly associated with safety and visibility. Orange is also described as a warm and inviting color. Thank you to the Upper Moreland students and staff who wore orange to show solidarity and a commitment to live more kind and compassionate lives.
Upper Moreland Education Foundation
Harlem Wizards vs. UM Golden Bears Staff Game Friday, November 3rd
The Upper Moreland Education Foundation (UMEF) is focused on providing our Upper Moreland Community with enhanced learning opportunities through creative and innovative educational programs. UMEF was established in 1999 and since that time has supported students and staff at Upper Moreland through classroom grants and various programs. We are grateful for the investment UMEF has made to our community.
On November 3, 2023 UMEF invites you to see the Upper Moreland Golden Bears staff take on the Harlem Wizards at the Upper Moreland High School beginning at 7:00 pm. Doors open at 6:00 pm. Be sure to purchase your tickets in advance. An online processing fee of $1.50 per ticket will be added to your final total. THE ONLINE BOX OFFICE FOR THIS EVENT CLOSES 3 HOURS PRIOR TO THE GAME. Your ticket will be scanned for entry. Tickets can be purchased here.
Proceeds will support student learning throughout the Upper Moreland School District.
Student of the Month - October
Emily Fay, UMHS Senior
We are proud to announce that Emily Fay was selected as Upper Moreland High School’s October 2023 Rotary Student of the Month.
Emily is a leader among her peers. Mr. Fisher, one of her teachers, noted, “When we describe some Upper Moreland students, it takes a long time to list all of their activities. For Emily Fay, it takes a long time just to list the activities and organizations for which she has a leadership role. Emily is president of the: National Honors Society; vice president of the Class or 2024; overall leader for Minithon; founder and president of the Drama Club; leader of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance; and dance captain for the Drama Company, for which Emily also serves as an actor. Clearly, Emily does not hesitate to take on the responsibilities of leadership.”
Emily is also a member of Key Club and the UMatter Club. She represents Upper Moreland on the Track and Field Team and volunteers in the community. Emily excels both inside and outside the classroom.
Emily believes that throughout her time at the High School, she has dedicated many hours of service to both the student body and the wellbeing of the school. She has always been committed to providing for others. Upper Moreland High School has given her the space and opportunities to grow and prosper, while she can give back. She says, "I am a golden bear through and through and have been dedicated to bettering this community".
Congratulations to Emily! We are so proud of your accomplishments and wish you the best in your future academic endeavors!
Thank You to Our Principals!
October is National Principals Month. School principals and assistant principals are some of the hardest working educators at Upper Moreland. Our building leaders play a pivotal role in Upper Moreland’s success. They devote countless hours to students, families, and staff.
At Upper Moreland, our principals and assistant principals are often the first person to greet students each day as they enter school. They guide and support teachers in every classroom, and they take the time to talk with families to build a strong partnership between the school, home, and the student. They also give their time in the evening to attend school and community events to support our students.
We are very proud of our principals and take this opportunity to thank them for their dedication to Upper Moreland. Thank you for all that you do every day for our Upper Moreland students!
UMSD Students Fundraise to Help Our Community
Our Upper Moreland students believe in the value of service to others and volunteer their time and talents to activities and events which raise funds for various needs in our local and global communities. We are very proud of the efforts of our students!
Way to go Bears!
Fighting Pediatric Cancer
This fall Upper Moreland High School Mini-THON committee sponsored their 3rd annual Color Run and Gold Out game to raise money to help fight pediatric cancer. At the Gold Out game against William Tennent High School, students filled the stands with gold and collected donations from those attending the game.
During the Color Run, elementary, middle, and high school students along with families and staff completed a course around the elementary and middle school.
The Mini-THON committee raised approximately $1,500 to fight childhood cancer. Proceeds from the events support the Four Diamonds Foundation, which is dedicated to fighting pediatric cancer. The Four Diamonds helps families whose child has been diagnosed with cancer. They fund treatment, research and support for the family.
Supporting Breast Cancer Awareness and Research
During their senior recognition game on October 12th, our Upper Moreland High School Girls’ soccer team raised funds for METAvivor. METAvivor is a non-profit that raises money for breast cancer research and for breast cancer patients. The Golden Bears' opponent, the Springfield Spartans joined with Upper Moreland to raise money and awareness. It’s great to see two competitors joining together in service to others.
The Upper Moreland High School field hockey team sponsored their annual Pink Out on Friday, October 20th to raise money to support breast cancer research. The hockey team sold t-shirts with the phrase “Real bears wear pink. We can’t bear cancer”. During the football game, the stands were filled with pink as the students collected donations. The team raised over $5,000 for breast cancer research and support to those diagnosed with breast cancer.
National Honor Society Induction
Founded in 1921, the National Honor Society (NHS) recognizes students for excellence in four pillars: scholarship, service, leadership and character. Juniors and Seniors submit applications and must demonstrate outstanding performance based on the four pillars. A faculty committee reviews all applications and recommends successful candidates for induction to the NHS.
On Wednesday, October 25, 2023, the following students were inducted into the National Honor Society at Upper Moreland High School.
Mason Brocke, Dakota Ingham, Allison Lipenta, Robert Quinn.
Maximus Abbosh, Kareem Abounasra, Brynn Anderley, Mary Benner, Levi Brennan, Colson Campbell, Conor Cleary, Kelly Darreff, Erin Distel, Meyah Faggins-Farlow, Charleis Fayall, James Ford, Kenda Foreman, Julia Gallen, Sarah Gheen, Megan Hamill, Lillian Hansen, Addison Hurley, Asher Jacob, Lucy La, Mikel Lancit, Nicholas Ley, Samuel Lobbenberg, Andalucia Lovelady, Angela Manila, Joslyn McCellan, Abigail McKeever, Jarlath McPeak, Sadie Mendel, Thomas Molnar, Olivia Mottola, Jake Pettit, Ethan Roedig, Kaylei Rossell, Julianne Rudgunas, Morgan Russo, Dominic Schalck, Abigail Schneider, Anna Sedletsky, Bethany Slagle, Magdalen Stahl, and Elizabeth Walker.
Congratulations to the students who earned this distinction!
The National Elementary Honor Society (NEHS) provides fourth and fifth grade students a place to develop and apply their leadership skills as well as their passion for service to the school and community. Eligible students have demonstrated scholastic aptitude and characteristics of a successful learner. A faculty committee considers student applications and recommends candidates for induction.
On Thursday, October 26, 2023, the following students were inducted into the National Elementary Honor Society at the Upper Moreland Intermediate School:
Madeline Clancy, Louis DiMona, Connor Dinh, Connor Finstad, Nathan Gardner, Sadie Gardner, Kaci Hoffman, Spencer Jacobs, Julia Kee, Hannah Kovalenko, Nolan Mangin, Finnegan Mullelly, Madison Mullen, Mythili Naphade, Raegan Phy, Sawyer Prosceno, Lucas Strangfeld, Noah Sullivan, Katelyn Welsh, Margaret Whelan
Calimae Byrnes, Hunter Casey, Chase Chan, Kezia Christian, Seamus Dunn, Colin Hanlon, Charlotte Hess, Ella Hidalgo, Tyson Houck, Brinley Kavanaugh, Oscar Krute, Kenny Liu, Madison Martin, Eliana Ojeda, Tucker Sabo, James Sillman, Samuel Stagg, Kindred Wade
Congratulations to the students who earned this honor!
October Board Meeting
On Tuesday, October 17, 2023 the Board of School Directors held a legislative meeting. Below are highlights from the meeting.
- The Board adopted Policies 210, 210.1 and 709.
- In response to the District’s current website platform sunsetting in June 2024, the Board approved a three-year contract for a new website platform named Appetgy.
- The Board approved the 2023-2024 list of extracurricular clubs and activities for students.
- The Board approved the waiver of facilities use fees for Cub Scout Pack 554.
- The Board approved several personnel actions including the appointment of Mr. Donald Irwin, Jr. as the District’s Chief Financial Officer.
To view the Board meeting, please visit the School Board page of the District website using this link.