In The Q
January 22, 2021 Newsletter
Students inspire on MLK Day
They showed a passion to make a difference
Dr. Martin Luther King’s inspiring words made their mark in classrooms throughout the Quakertown Community School District in the days leading up to Monday’s holiday and on the day itself. Teachers did a wonderful job of sharing Dr. King’s message and giving students a forum to think critically of what his message means today.
Strayer Middle School student leaders in the National Junior Honor Society came up with several great ideas, including a common school-wide lesson in each Strayer class last Friday about how each student can provide the change the world needs. Students also developed a host of service ideas, including the creation of videos and crafts that were shared with each QCSD elementary school to teach students about Dr. King.
At the high school, the Social Justice Alliance (SJA) provided the creative impetus for ways to serve the community. On Monday afternoon, SJA advisors Bethany Fuller and Helena Li hosted two virtual Spark Talks on the topics of Systemic Racism and Giving Back. Students participated in several service-related events, including making cards for residents of a local nursing home; recording videos of themselves reading a children's book out loud in the spirit of MLK day. The videos were shared with QCSD's elementary schools; and they collected donations for Valentine's Day Gift Baskets for families in need.
Please click here for the story.
Please see Dr. Harner's MLK Day blog.
Please consider taking part in this important program: 6:30-8:30 pm, Jan. 26
The Quakertown Community School District has scheduled a second screening of a solutions-focused documentary in which filmmakers examine racial profiling and the struggle it creates for minority communities.
The movie “Walking While Black: L.O.V.E. is the Answer” shines a light on the importance of reconciliation and healing between police and other members of the community. L.O.V.E. is an acronym for Learn about the community and the people in it, Open your heart to the humanity of people in the community, Volunteer yourself to be part of the solution, and Empower others to do the same.
It will be shown from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 26. The free program is intended to reach adults, high school-age students as well as mature 7th and 8th graders. Everyone of appropriate age is invited to attend, including families who live or attend school outside of Quakertown.
School Director Recognition Month
Take the opportunity to let Board members know their work is appreciated
How many people do you know who would take a job with no financial benefit and countless hours of work that leaves themselves wide open to public criticism because their decisions are so vital to a promising future for our young people?
In Pennsylvania, there are 4,500 of them. Their motivation is to contribute to perhaps this nation’s most vital institution, the public education of your children. They are School Board members and the job they do ensures our schools continue to provide opportunities for the success of every student.
Every January, we take time to celebrate and recognize these everyday heroes – the nine elected School Board members for the challenging work they do on behalf of our students, families, employees and community. These dedicated volunteers are your neighbors, friends, community leaders, parents at your school, and engaged senior citizens.
Please click here for the story.
St. Luke's Dr. Kara Mascitti: Get the vaccine
Please click here for these resources.
January 22 joint letter from Dr. Bill Harner and all Bucks County superintendents to the county's State Legislative Delegation about the COVID-19 vaccine.
Free COVID testing through January
Bucks County is offering free COVID-19 testing through the end of January at three sites provided by Bucks County Community College. Locations and hours are as follows:
■ Bucks County Community College, Upper Bucks Campus
1 Hillendale Road, Perkasie, PA (Blooming Glen Road entrance) Hours of operation: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
■ Bucks County Community College, Newtown Campus
275 Swamp Road, Newtown, PA (Gymnasium)
Hours of operation: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
■ Bucks County Community College, Lower Bucks Campus
1304 Veterans Highway, Bristol, PA
Hours of operation:
Sunday – Thursday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday: 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Each of the three locations accommodates up to 350 tests per day. Participants are asked to bring face masks and cell phones to the test sites. Insurance information will be collected at the sites, but medical insurance is not required for the testing. For more information, call 215-348-6413.
QCHS Wind Symphony
QCHS grad earns Internship Award at Penn State
Hailey Reiss, a graduate of Quakertown Community High School, was one of 13 students at Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences to earn an internship award.
The award, which includes a $1,000 stipend, was established to encourage students to participate in a credit or noncredit educational internship program that relates to their field of study. Recipients are chosen based on an internship plan, a final report, an employer evaluation and a letter of recommendation from their academic adviser.
Hailey, an immunology and infectious disease major, was the summer scholar at Lehigh Valley Health Network in Allentown, where she performed statistical analysis and reviewed and presented data.
Taking advantage of teachable moments
In the last two weeks, students and educators in QCSD have taken advantage of historic teachable moments. One was planned, the other was not. Both, however, with the help of our teachers, helped young people develop critical thinking skills.
For the inauguration of President Biden and Vice President Harris, QCSD's Office For Teaching and Learning shared resources that would be helpful for teachers to incorporate into lesson plans.
"We know how important it is for our students to learn about participating in our democracy through voting and serving and is something that we promote within our school community," said Chad Evans, K-12 Curriculum Supervisor of Business, Health and Physical Education, Social Studies, and World Language. "Inauguration Day is unique in that it occurs once every four years and is yet another opportunity for all Americans to celebrate the democratic principles and traditions that continue to this day."
Two weeks earlier, a mob violently attacked the Capitol. The next day, students throughout the high school were engaged.
“They were amazing,” Frank Parker said of the student conversations in his Wind Symphony class. “Some were outraged that something like this could happen in our country. Others felt it wasn’t so surprising or unexpected. But during the discourse, students were very supportive of one another.”
Said Social Studies teacher Jason Anderson: “We’re all Americans trying to figure it out. Offering students a forum to think critically in school is a responsibility I have. I’m not anymore intellectually savvy than they are. I’m struggling as much as they are to make sense of it.”
Please click here for the story.
Local non-profits make Quakertown 'special place'
During the recently concluded winter break, a record number of Quakertown families benefited from the work of local non-profit organizations and the generosity of businesses and individual citizens to enjoy the holiday season.
The organizations include Quakertown Cares, created by former Quakertown Community School District administrator Jim Newcomer, Shop With A Cop, organized by QCSD School Resource Officer Bob Lee, and Quakertown Community Outreach, directed by Karen and David Hammerschmidt.
“These grassroots organizations definitely make Quakertown a stronger community,” said QCSD social worker Kirsten Cochran, a member of the Quakertown Cares board who coordinates with the non-profits to make certain the neediest families benefit from these programs. “They really make Quakertown a special place.”
Please click here for the story.
Redistricting Committee to make its recommendations to Board on Feb. 11
QCSD's Elementary Redistricting Committee, which has been meeting since September, is scheduled to make its recommendations to the School Board on Thursday, February 11.
The Committee still has two meetings: January 27 and February 3. For information on how to watch the virtual meeting on January 27 meeting, please click here.
On Dec. 3, the Committee gave a presentation to the School Board. Please click here for the presentation. If you would like to send a comment or question to the Committee, use this email address: Elemredistrict@qcsd.org. For more information about the committee, please click here.
QCHS sports information
If you're looking to watch Quakertown's away contests, click here to live streaming sites for each Suburban One League School.
Now's the time to sign-up for Spring Sports. The deadline is February 5th. Please click here to sign-up.
QCHS online peer tutoring
Online peer tutoring is available at the high school on most Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 to 3 p.m.
The links for Google Meets are posted each week in Canvas announcements. They can also be found on Counselors' page by clicking here.
Lunch pickup change week of Jan. 25
Because there is no school for students on Monday, January 25th, there will be a schedule change for lunch pickup at Quakertown Community High School.
Lunch pickup for virtual students will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The time, 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., and place, the bus loop in front of the high school, remain the same. The regular schedule for food pickup on Monday and Wednesday returns on Monday, February 1st.
Consider applying for Free & Reduced students meals
As the 2020-2021 school year has been like nothing we've experienced before, we would like to strongly encourage families to apply for the Free & Reduced Meals Program. Families that qualified for Free & Reduced meals in the 2019-2020 school year were eligible for Pandemic EBT Benefits through the State during the spring and early summer. That benefit provided a debit card to purchase groceries based on Free & Reduced information.
Currently, our district is providing ALL families with children up to the age of 18 with FREE breakfast and lunch for the remainder of the school year through funds from the US Department of Agriculture. However, if you do not have a current application on file for the 2020-2021 school year, you could miss benefits from the state, should it decide to provide the Pandemic EBT Benefits again.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Stacy Reiss, Free & Reduced Lunch Program, at email@example.com or 215-529-2022.
Road closure alert Monday, Jan. 25th
Information from School Resource Officer Bob Lee:
Though Monday, January 25 is not a school day for students, we wanted to alert you to this situation. From 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Park Ave. will be closed between 10th and 11th streets. A special crane is coming in to remove equipment from the roof at the former St. Luke's Hospital.
Expect travel delays in the area.
School day screening questionnaire
As QCSD families are aware, at the beginning of each week you have received a School Day Screening Questionnaire. Your cooperation to use it as a guide has been tremendous and is very much appreciated. Thanks to the helpful feedback from one of our parents, the form has been revised. Here’s what you’ll be receiving in the future.
UBCTS accepting applications for 2021-22
Upper Bucks County Technical School is accepting online applications for the 2021-22 school year. Please click here to apply.
Since many programs fill to capacity quickly, students should complete their application by February 12th.
District boosts pay for substitute teachers
Hoping to incentivize more people with a Bachelor’s degree to become substitute teachers, the Quakertown Community School District is significantly increasing pay for substitute teachers for the 2020-21 school year.
The per diem rate is being raised from $105 to $120 per day. Long term per diem pay is being raised from $140 to $175 per day, highest in the area. The average per diem rate in Bucks County and surrounding districts is $109. The long term substitute rate is $125. Please click here for the story.
Click here for job openings in the Upper Bucks County Technical School.
Comcast: 60 days of free internet
Comcast is offering "Free 60 Days of Internet Essentials and School Programs," according to a recent press release.
Internet Essentials provides high-speed Internet service to low-income families and has connected more than four million low-income students since its inception. New customers who sign up before June 30, 2021, will receive 60 days of complimentary service. Comcast will also continue to waive the requirement that customers not have back debt due so more families can apply.
For more information, visit www.internetessentials.com.
Caron Foundation: Supporting children impacted by a loved one's substance use disorder
Despite significant efforts to decrease the national addiction and overdose crisis, rates continue to climb. The challenges presented by the pandemic have only intensified the issues. When a family member struggles with substance use disorder, everyone is impacted.
Wednesday, February 10th, 2021 | 11:00AM-12:30PM
In this free virtual presentation by the Caron Foundation, you will hear from two speakers who will talk about this issue:
- From the perspective of a parent in recovery and
- As a professional who provides support groups for children and teens impacted by the substance use disorder of a loved one.
Please click here to register.