News from the Nest

Cardinal Pride in the Upper Dublin School District

May 2, 2019

Superintendent's Message

Earlier this week US News and World Report released their 2019 rankings of the Best High Schools. Upper Dublin High School has been ranked #54 in Pennsylvania and #1,445 in the Nation. These rankings are based upon data from 2017.


This year the methodology for ranking schools changed for three reasons:

  • To expand the rankings holistically so all eligible public high schools are ranked, versus previous editions where around 14% of eligible schools were ranked.
  • To make the rankings easier to understand for families seeking to evaluate public high schools in their area. The changes will also make historic comparisons easier going forward.
  • To compare schools using a more comprehensive approach. Schools are ranked on multiple disparate measures of academic quality, versus previous editions where rank order was determined entirely by proportions taking and passing college-level exams.


Given the change in methodology, comparing this year's rankings to any previous year is not possible. Moving forward, however, the methodology should remain the same allowing for effective comparisons. You can read the full article on the change in methodology by clicking here.


While rankings are important, rankings do not define any of the schools on the list. As a District we must define ourselves as a community focused on great educational outcomes for students. This ranking is one data for the Upper Dublin story. Prior to the end of the school year, I plan to release a draft scorecard that provides a comprehensive evaluation of the Upper Dublin School District that captures not only standardized test scores but also includes measures such as students' participating in extra-curricular activities, student scholarships, and so on.


As always, we are grateful for the support that our community provides to our District!

Steve Yanni

Important Educational Updates

The Upper Dublin School District is committed to ensuring that we meet the needs of ALL students. As such, we want to share the following information with our community regarding processes that will directly impact our students:


Class Sizes - In every district that I have worked in, springtime brings worry (and rumors) about class size. We are currently reviewing all staffing based upon our enrollments K-12. To prevent any unnecessary worry or conjecture, we plan to ensure appropriate class sizes across all buildings and across all grade levels. Due to numbers in some grade levels, sometimes more or fewer sections are needed. Rumors about increased class sizes are just that - rumors! We are committed to ensuring that our class sizes provide the opportunity for excellent education K-12.


Gifted Screening - During the month of May, our first grade students will be screened for gifted education. As in the past, the District will use a screening tool to obtain information on students who may need to be evaluated further for gifted services. This year the District has chosen to use the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT). The NNAT is a nonverbal test used for qualifying K-12 students for gifted that utilizes shapes and figures to evaluate problem-solving and reasoning abilities of a child without relying on their language skills. Further, the NNAT removes cultural bias. We believe this assessment will provide better results for our students. The NNAT replaces the CoGat. Additional information from your child's principal is forthcoming.


Grade 6 Math Placements - Fifth grade students are in the process of completing assessments for math placements next year. A series of data points including a pre-algebra assessment will be used to determine each student's math class for SY 2019-2020. Parents/guardians will be notified of their child's math placement in late May or in early June.

SRMS Project Update

The planning phase for the new SRMS is nearing its completion, and in a few weeks, the District will put the project out to bid. At last week's Operations Committee Meeting, the Board of School Directors were provided with a presentation from D'Huy Engineering. At this time, the total cost of the project stands at approximately $75.5M. This cost includes everything in the design, including the spaces previously discussed as alternates. As we move closer to the bidding phase of the project, we will update the community!


Click here to see virtual walk-throughs of the new Sandy Run Middle School.


With all of the changes coming to SRMS due to construction, the current 5th graders will have their orientation in their respective elementary schools. Given that the Annex (the 6th grade building) will be demolished in the coming months, having students tour that school is not a good use of time. Fifth grade students will have the opportunity to learn about SRMS from teachers and students just as they did in the past - but in their own school this year.

Reminders


  • Safety Protocols - In a previous newsletter we shared information on the steps we must engage in when dealing with significant issues such as threats. We are including the information again this month as a reminder. Click here to read the information about UDSD safety protocols.

  • Steps of Communication - To enhance communication in the Upper Dublin School District, especially when trying to answer questions or resolve problems, it is important to follow our “Steps of Communication.” Directing questions or concerns to the appropriate person(s) encourages greater collaboration and streamlines the process of answering questions, alleviating concerns, and ensuring that we are all on the same page. Click here for our Steps of Communication document.

Upcoming Events

Mark Your Calendars

UD Township Tricentennial Parade - Saturday, May 4 , 5PM

UD Medals Ceremony & Reception - Wednesday, May 15, 6PM

UD Triathlon - Sunday, May 19


Please bookmark our District calendar to stay up to date on the many exciting events taking place in Upper Dublin!