Neshaminy School District / March 2023
Neshaminy hosts county music festival
Music teachers accompany the BCMEA high school choir during a rehearsal.
Many of the best middle and high school musicians in Bucks County visited Neshaminy in March. The District was the 2023 host of the Bucks County Music Educators Association (BCMEA) Music Festival, which included three days of rehearsals and performances at Maple Point Middle School and Neshaminy High School.
Students from 17 middle and 13 Bucks County high schools auditioned to participate in the festival, which was held on March 16-18. At the auditions, which were held at Pennsbury, the musicians were asked to prepare a solo piece, play scales, and do a short sight-reading piece. They were judged by music teachers from the various schools during a blind audition. Separate audtions were held for middle and high school students.
The final selection included:
- 80 high school band musicians
- 83 high school orchestra musicians
- 110 high school chorus members
- 75 middle school band musicians
- 65 middle school orchestra musicians
- 113 middle school chorus members.
Of these, 46 Neshaminy musicians were selected for the high school groups and 50 in the middle school groups. Each group held rehearsals on Thursday and Friday which culminated in live performances on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon.
A group of 15-20 Neshaminy HS parent volunteers from both the vocal and instrumental programs supported the effort along with another 10 volunteers at Maple Point. They provided snacks and water for the musicians each day, organized and serviced dinner to the choirs on Friday night and lunch to four ensembles on Saturday at both sites. They also prepared the concert program and other necessities.
The BCMEA Music Festival rotates among various participating school districts in the county about every 7-8 years. The BCMEA Music Festival is part of an annual set of similar events at the regional and state level, each with increasing levels of competition. Fourteen Neshaminy instrumental musicians qualified for the PMEA District 11 Band & Orchestra this year (see article below).
Gym Night 2023: Workin' for the Weekend
Red Team Senior Exhibition
Blue Team Senior Exhibition
The 2023 edition of Gym Night at Neshaminy packed a lot of creativity, hard work and showmanship into three sold-out shows in March 3 and 4. Once the colors were rejoined on Saturday night, Red took the trophy with a 39-34 comeback victory after Blue dominated on Friday evening.
Each team's exhibition dance featured specific careers including astronauts and space (Red Seniors), authors and literary genres (Blue Seniors), armed forces (Red Juniors), scientists (Blue Juniors), detectives (Red Sophomores), archaeologists (Blue Sophomores), directors (Blue Freshmen) and safari guides (Red Freshmen).
This was the 69th Gym Night and the 70th year that Gym Night has been held at Neshaminy (the 2021 show was canceled due to the pandemic). During that time, the Blue team has won 31 times and Red 38 times including this year's win. The video below features a history of Gym Night at Neshaminy; interviews with Gym Night alumni and current captains; and a look back at the weeks and months of preparations by students, their families, Neshaminy staff and the community that made Gym Night 2023 another legendary success.
HS fields update: Baseball, softball host first games on turf
With some help from a mild winter, both the fields project at Neshaminy High School and site work for the new elementary school at Maple Point are well underway. At the high school, the baseball and softball seasons both started on their new turf fields, both of which were completed in time for the regular season. The multipurpose field has been graded and is settling for a few weeks before the new surface is installed. The scoreboard for that field is in place. Though the tennis courts will not be ready for the spring season, they will be completed in time for the 2023 fall season.
Installation of the new metal bleachers at the stadium is expected to begin by the end of March, and as of the publication of this newsletter, the new turf field is still on track to be completed in time for the graduation ceremony in June. After some discussion at a recent Board Facilities Committee meeting, the District administration did make alternate plans to host the ceremony indoors at the CURE Arena in Trenton only as a precaution should unforeseen circumstances delay installation and prevent the ceremony from being held at The Ridge.
New Elementary School
At Maple Point site work for the school building and a new parking lot is proceeding. The area has been fenced off, and construction of the building itself is set to begin with the approval of construction permits from Middletown Township. A survey was sent to the families of Pearl S. Buck Elementary School students and staff asking for naming suggestions. Dozens of suggestions were returned and the Facilities Committee has begun their review. No final decision has yet been made. The new school is expected to be ready for the 2024-2025 school year.
supermarket customers round up donations to fight hunger
(Left-right) Neshaminy Substitute Superintendent Jason Bowman; Flowers Mill Giant Assistant Manager of Center Store Michael Malone; Flowers Mill GiantDirect Facilitator Kylie Winchester; Flowers Mill Giant Customer Service Representative Gianna Polizzi; Feasterville Giant Assistant Manager of Customer Experience Corey Croughn; Neshaminy Assistant to the Superintendent / Director of Elementary Education Michelle Burkholder.
Once again this year, the Feasterville and Middletown (Flowers Mill) GIANT stores recently invited customers to round up every purchase for donation to local public schools for the purpose of fighting food insecurity in our community. On March 7, some representatives from the stores (including 3 Neshaminy HS alumni) stopped by District Office to drop off a check for $13,022.53 that will be used to help the food assistance programs and food pantries in our schools ensure that every child has access to nutritious meals. Neshaminy thanks Giant Supermarkets and Giant customers for their generosity!
School Board Update
- The Board approved an agreement with PennDOT regarding road expansion and improvements on Langhorne-Yardley Road and Woodbourne Road as part of their project to expand the intersection. PennDOT is paying the District $142,000 for a small portion of Maple Point property next to the roadways for a drainage basin and lane expansion. This property will not impact areas used for athletic fields, trails or open space at Maple Point.
- Approval to contract a consultant to study the possibility of implementing block scheduling at the high school. A block schedule is a scheduling method that would replace the current eight class periods per day with longer class periods that meet fewer times each day and week, providing more continuity and less disruption for class changes.
The next Public Meeting will be held in the District Board Room at Maple Point, Tuesday, March 28, 2023, 7pm. The April Board Public Work Session is scheduled for Tuesday, April 11, 2023, 7pm in the District Board Room at Maple Point. The meeting agenda and livestream video link can be found at www.neshaminy.org/meetings.
Board committee meetings are open to the public and are a good opportunity to discuss specific programs and projects with committee members in a less formal, more conversational setting than the full Board meetings. The following committees will meet during the school year:
- Facilities & Planning Committee (next scheduled meeting April 12)
- Educational Development Committee (next scheduled meeting May 2)
- Business Operations Committee (next scheduled meeting March 29). The main topic will be the 2023-2024 proposed budget.
- Policy Committee (next scheduled meeting May 18)
The full schedule of meetings for the 2022-2023 school year can be found at the following link: 2022-2023 Committee Meeting Schedule
All committee meetings are held in the District Board Room at Maple Point unless otherwise noted. The public is invited to attend and participate in Board and Committee meetings. All meeting times and locations are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances; please check the District website www.neshaminy.org for any updates.
2023-2024 district calendar posted
PSSA / Keystone testing info and dates posted
The following are dates for the 2023 student assessment tests at Neshaminy:
- Grade 3 & 4 English Language Arts: April 24 - 26
- Grade 5 - 8 English Language Arts: April 25 - 27
- Grade 3 - 8 Math: May 1 & 2
- Grade 4 Science: May 3 & 4
- Grade 8 Science: May 4
- Middle School Algebra: May 17 - 18
- High School Algebra: May 15 & 17
- Literature: May 18 & 19
- Biology: May 22 & 23
Important information about the tests for parents and students can be found on the District website and each school home page.
Steam Expo returns March 29
The popular Neshaminy STEAM Expo is set to return to Neshaminy High School on Wednesday, March 29, 2023. This celebration of all things Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math draws hundreds of families from elementary and middle schools across the District for an evening of demonstrations, hands-on activities, displays, games and interactive presentations from community organizations and businesses as well as many of our teachers and students. The Expo begins at 6:30 pm.
Welcome Neshaminy Class of 2036
Do you have or know of a child who will be entering kindergarten in the 2023-2024 school year? Kindergarten registration at Neshaminy is now open and the process can be started online. Visit www.neshaminy/org/register, fill out the required information and our registration staff will set up an appointment to complete the process. Families are encouraged to register as early as possible to ensure placement at their neighborhood schools!
The Challenge returns May 12
Registration for the 3rd Annual StandUp Neshaminy Sunset Challenge 2K / 5K race is now open. Last day to register and guarantee a race shirt is APRIL 19.
The 2K course is run entirely on the Maple Point property, and the 5K course reaches into Middletown Community Park and the neighborhood adjoining Maple Point. Volunteers will be placed at strategic points throughout the course to guide runners.
Awards will be given for age categories, overall winners and the highest Neshaminy school participation rate as a percentage of school population. Tawanka Elementary School won the participation award for the first two Sunset Challenges. Race medals, snacks and water will be provided to all runners.
Registration can be completed online at www.sunsetchallenge.org.
The before-school Run Club at Herbert Hoover ES started meeting in March to help their students prepare for the Sunset Challenge!
Challenger baseball / softball season opens
Spring is here and that means baseball and softball! Bucks County Challenger Baseball and Softball is gearing up for another season to be held at Neshaminy HS. Special Needs athletes are invited to register either on March 31, 6:30 in the NHS Cafeteria, or at the Girls Softball practice field (by the school bus parking lot) on the first day of play, Sunday April 2 from 11-12:30. Challenger is an independent program that brings area special needs athletes together with coaches and players from NHS and other area HS sports teams together for skills training, game experience and friendship!
Wizards game draws a record crowd
The Harlem Wizards visited Neshaminy High School on Saturday, March 11 in a benefit game for the Neshaminy Education Foundation. This was the sixth visit by the Wizards to NHS, and this game broke the attendance record (over 1200) and raised over $17,000 for the NEF which will be used for their classroom grant and scholarship programs. The NEF thanks all the volunteer players, helpers, Neshaminy staff, sponsors and fans that came out to watch this highly entertaining game between our Neshaminy Dream Team and the Harlem Wizards. For the record, the Wizards won the game (again) but nobody seemed to mind very much!
Irene Boyle Tax Assistance Program offered to Neshaminy seniors
Neshaminy School District is pleased to offer property tax relief of up to $650 for our Senior Citizens to help offset the high cost of living for those on fixed incomes. To qualify, you must:
- Reach the age of 65 by December 31, 2022
- Have an annual household income less than $30,000 (includes reporting 50% of Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits, and 100% of any other income
Since 1977, rebates totaling over $3.0 million have been paid by the School District through this program. Last year over 250 rebates were issued. The application deadline is JUNE 15, 2023. For more information and application forms please visit https://www.neshaminy.org/Page/758 or call 215-809-6520.
Families Connect: A look at tobacco and vaping trends among teens
The latest webinar in the Neshaminy Families Connect series has been posted: Tobacco, Nicotine, Vaping and Youth: A look at tobacco / vaping trends among adolescents. This informative video features David Fialko, a Certified Prevention Specialist with the Council of Southeast Pennsylvania.
Join our awesome Neshaminy team!
We are looking for certified and support staff for part-time and full-time positions across the District. Check out the possibilities by visiting the Neshaminy employment web page at www.neshaminy.org/employment. Among the current openings:
- Substitute teachers (all levels)
- Building aides
- Dining aides
- Playground aides
- Van drivers (PT)
- Substitute bus drivers
- Instructional Assistants
Neshaminy's employment partner, ESS, will be holding two open house information sessions for support staff and substitute teaching positions in April:
- Friday, April 14, 10am-12pm
- Friday April 28, 10am-12pm
Both sessions will be held in the District Board Room at Maple Point, 2250 Langhorne-Yardley Road in Langhorne. Similar sessions will be held in May and June as well.
miller readers build a March bracket of favorite books
Read Across America was celebrated on March 2. Walter Miller tooke the opportunity to begin a month-long tournament of books, Miller March Madness. Sixteen picture books are competing in the school-wide event. At the close of the event all 16 books will be donated to the school's library for students to check out and enjoy.
The books are facing off in four weeklong competitions to decide the 2023 Book of the Year. The tournament is housed in a Canvas course. Here, students, families and teachers can view a read-aloud done by Walter Miller Guest Readers, vote for their favorite books, comment on them, view poll updates, and receive round winner announcements from Reading Specialist Kimberly Maurizi. The books are shared at school, but families are welcome to revisit them at home.
Third-graders grow a salad party
One of the the fun science projects that Neshaminy third-graders enjoy is growing lettuce as part of the "Structures of Life" unit. Christine Sylvester's third-grade class at Tawanka ES grew their lettuce using hydroponic growing methods. They then harvested their lettuce, brought some other toppings and had a "Going Green" Salad Party for St. Patrick's Day.
families paint a starry night
On March 7, Schweitzer ES students participated in Family Paint Night to raise funds for the 4th Grade committee and the Art Department. Mrs. Todd led students and their families in painting their own rendition of Van Gogh’s, Starry Night. Students were equipped with easels, paints, and paintbrushes and followed the guidance of Mrs. Todd to complete their personalized work of art. The 4th Grade Committee also had snacks and raffle baskets to support the event and give back to the Schweitzer community.
Schweitzer celebrates literacy week
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish! Schweitzer students and staff had an amazing time celebrating Literacy Week by having spirit days through the week of Dr. Seuss’s birthday. From Wacky Wednesday to Crazy Sock Day to dressing up like our favorite story character, Schweitzer has a LOVE for books! The fun is continuing through a March Madness ‘Tournament of Books’ where students read and vote on their favorite books each week during the month of March to find out their top loved books in grades K-2 and Grades 3-4.
Saint Patrick's is a Day 'o fun and learning
There was a lot of green attire and fun activities across the District on March 17 celebrating Saint Patrick's Day. In these photos, Ms. Gruener's first-grade class at Walter Miller ES and Ms. Atwater and Mr. Blaydon's classes at Tawanka ES designed and built "leprechaun traps," as a fun STEAM-inspired project. In the same theme, the first and fourth grades at Pearl S. Buck ES worked together building "leprechaun mazes."
science takes center stage at Miller Es
The Walter Miller Science Fair was held on Thursday, March 2, 2023. Over 150 students participated. It was a night of hands-on science, 3-D printers, building, and green screen fun! Several of the displays from the fair will be displayed at the District's STEAM Expo on March 29.
Fourth-grade pays a musical visit to NHS
The District's fourth-grade students enjoyed a ride to Neshaminy High School on Tuesday, March 21 to hear a concert staged by members of the high school band, orchestra and chorus. The purpose of the assembly is to inspire the students to join Neshaminy's award-winning music program and see where their lessons and practicing can take them if they take advantage of the many opportunities to play and perform in middle and high school.
County library reaches out to young readers
Neshaminy rocks their socks for world down syndrome day
Neshaminy celebrated Rock Your Socks Day! Every year on March 21, people all around the world come together to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day by wearing brightly colored, mismatched socks. March 21 is symbolic because people with Down syndrome have 3 copies of their 21st chromosome. Socks were chosen because the karyotype of Ds chromosomes actually looks like mismatched socks! In these photos, students at Carl Sandburg MS and Tawanka ES show off their fancy footwear.
NHS Jazz Band members visit Poquessing
On Thurday evening, March 9, members of the Neshaminy HS Jazz Band visited Poquessing Middle School for a crossover jazz session. They enjoyed rehearsing with their middle school counterparts, teaching them new skills during breakout sessions, and sharing a pizza dinner.
Sandburg AVID class visits PSU/Abington
The Carl Sandburg MS 8th-grade AVID students got into the college March Madness spirit with a trip to Penn State Abington. Students toured the beautiful and scenic campus and got a real-time view of student life. They observed live classes in action, art students in session, sports teams workouts, and they even had a private conversation with the Dean of students. While touring the gym, they happened upon a bulletin board featuring former Neshaminy student, Sandburg's own Jillian Thomas, spotlighted as the Student-Athlete of the Week! The tour was followed by an informational session about all Penn State and its many campuses, have to offer (and, yes. the Creamery was discussed in detail). It was just another awesome day in AVID!
Middle school musicals delight audiences
Carl Sandburg MS and Maple Point MS rounded out the musical production season with their productions of Shrek, Jr. (Sandburg) and High School Musical, Jr. (Maple Point) in March. Poquessing previously staged Addams Family (The Musical) in February. Below are some sneak preview clips from the two March shows.
Maple Point wrestler excels at state tourneys, forges a new path
Grace Nesbitt, an 8th grade student athlete at Maple Point Middle School, has competed as a member of the wrestling team as both a 7th, and 8th grader. Competing against boys, Grace had a very successful wrestling season at Maple Point culminating in a 3rd place finish at the LBCL Championships. She continued her success beyond the interscholastic season by competing in the junior high girls division placing 4th in the Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling State Championships and 3rd in the Keystone State Championships. As women’s wrestling continues to grow in popularity across the state of Pennsylvania, Grace looks forward to forging new paths Neshaminy, with hopes of establishing a girl's wresting team at the high school.
NHS MiniTHON sets another fundraising record
Congratulations to Neshaminy HS MiniTHON for raising a new school record total $38,059.14 for Four Diamonds! This is the 8th year for MiniTHON at NHS and they have raised over $140,000 so far. The money includes proceeds from contributions to the Neshaminy page on the Four Diamonds website and a variety of fundraisers held over the past several weeks. The District's three middle schools held their own "Mini-MiniTHON" on December 3 during which they raised $3,755. Other fundraisers included a "No Shave November" among male teachers, a raffle competition between Pennsbury and Neshaminy during football games last fall, a "Drive-In" Halloween movie event in October, and a "Kids Night Out" event in February. One of the more unique events held during their "Spirit Week" in February was "Stall Day," during which students were invited to contribute loose change during a first period class. The teachers agreed that they would not be able to start teaching until they counted all the coins - the more coins, the greater the delay. In another event, NHS Principal Stephen Garstka showed his support by agreeing to be the target of a pie-in-the-face from the winner of another fundraising raffle.
new NHS club encourages students to "take a break" for a cause
A brand new club at Neshaminy HS aims to support cancer victims while encouraging good mental health at the same time. The Take a Break club is a group of students working to support the mission of the For Pete’s Sake foundation by raising money for families experiencing a cancer crisis. The group focuses on the importance of mental health, stress relief, and gratitude. On March 21, the group sponsored their first-ever "Take a Break Day," during which teachers were encouraged to take part of their class period to let their students relax with a variety of fun activities such as chair yoga, dancing, and games like Wordle, trivia, "Finish the Lyrics," or board games. Alternatively, the students could just read or have a discussion about strategies for beating stress and facing life's challenges.
NHS musicians selected for PMEA band & orchestra
Congratulations to the following Neshaminy HS musicians selected for the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association 2022-2023 Band & Orchestra:
Band: Ashleigh Bond Flute; Alyssa Loudon Clarinet; Sarah Kelly Clarinet; Jack Wallover Tenor Sax; Brooke Hartley Trombone; Jace Redick Euphonium; Lorali Minde Tuba; Daniel Powell Percussion.
Orchestra: Emily Gelok Violin; Nico Vorkunova Viola; Liam Boorse Bass; Alyssa Loudon Clarinet; Fernando Rios Trombone; Lorali Minde Tuba.
Interact records safety video for Bucks TMA
NHS artworks in juried competition
Three of our talented Neshaminy HS artists have been juried into the Wharton Esherick Museum Imprint 2023 Printmaking Competition. The online gallery for this competition opened Saturday, March 18 at the website below. Congratulations to Liv Phelan, Gianni Ramirez and Laura Urrea-Garcia!
NHS honors students, teachers of the month
Neshaminy High School held their February Student & Teacher of the Month ceremony on Friday, March 3. The purpose of the program is to recognize students who exemplify the expectations of character for students at Neshaminy High School. Students are nominated as a Student of the Month for any of the following and will hopefully demonstrate all the following strongly: Academics, School Spirit, Respectful Behavior, Generosity, Dedication to NHS, Noticeable Improvement and/or Resiliency in the face of Adversity.
The February recipients were nominated by staff members in the Health & Physical Education and Science Departments and were recognized with a ceremony and breakfast with their parents.
Congratulations to the following:
STUDENTS: Health/Physical Education: Chase Bonner, Annie Quinn, Reese Zemitis, Beck Miatselitsa. Science: Vladyslava Halakhova, Richard Esher, Madison Stout, Michael Morrow. The Feasterville Rotary Student of the Month was Emily Long.
The February TEACHERS of the Month: Stephanie Baniewicz, Social Studies Department – 19 Years; Rachel Clemens, Science Department – 22 Years.
Neshaminy Update is published monthly during the school year and distributed to the Neshaminy community via email and web. To submit comments, suggestions or news items for consideration, please email Chris Stanley, Community Relations Coordinator.
Neshaminy School Board of Directors
Tina Hollenbach - President
Paul Saraullo - Vice President
Adam J. Kovitz
Neshaminy School District
Rob McGee, Ph.D.
Assistant to the Superintendent / Director of Elementary Education
Assistant to the Superintendent / Director of Secondary Education
Assistant to the Superintendent / Director of Pupil Services
Dr. Kevin Kane
Donald B. Irwin, Jr.
Director of Human Resources
Assistant to the Superintendent / Director of Educational Operations
Neshaminy School District
2001 Old Lincoln Highway
Langhorne, PA 19047