Cheltenham SD Weekly News Share

Friday, November 17


In February 2016, forty-seven (47) singers from Cheltenham High School visited Puerto Rico for a five-day performance tour. Most memorable was the connection they made with the students, faculty, and parents of Ponce High School. In September of 2017, these same singers could only watch while this community they bonded with lost their homes and their connections. The lives of their friends from PHS have been upended.

Since Hurricane Maria, our students have held the Ponce High School community in their hearts. Today they are asking our CSD community to help them bring relief from this devastation by donating funds at This link will take you directly to the Vocal Performing Arts Booster site and all funds donated here will be sent to the Ponce High School. Mr. Victor Quiles, their Choir Conductor, will send the donations to Principal, Mrs. Jennifer Machad. The money will be used to help students and their families obtain food, water, clothes, and school materials. After those needs are met, further donations will be used for building supplies to rebuild student homes.

Our CHS singers have never forgotten the beautiful music and warm hospitality which was offered to them. Today the CHS Select Choir would like to offer their music, love, and support. Choir Directory, Jenny Hutton, is sharing this video with Ponce High School’s Choir Director this week.

Please watch and listen while our students sing and then please donate what you can. Donate AT:

Song: “Requiem,” by Eliza Gilkyson, arr. Craig Hella-Johnson. Videographer credits: Marina Lipshutz '18 and Maya Rector '18. All video editing and audio/video production was done by Oliver Snook '17, one of our choir members who traveled to Puerto Rico. (He is in his freshman year at Temple, studying film.) #thisischeltenham

CHS Select Choir Sings For Puerto Rico Relief

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An important component of our Climate and Culture improvement plan is the formation of a Youth Court at CHS. Youth courts allow students referred for disciplinary infractions to be heard by a jury of their peers. At CHS, the US Government & Politics classes will form the Youth Court. These classes are co-taught by Ms. Jennifer Pollack and Mr. Michael Ogbuehi.

Monday, November 6, was “all hands on deck” as students and teachers spent the day running through a series of mock trials to practice and reinforce how the court will function. Our students and staff were joined by David Trevaskis, Pro Bono Coordinator for the PA Bar Association; Leslie Jones from the Montgomery County Public Defender's Office; and Magisterial Judge Christopher Cerski who have been working with our school to train students and staff on restorative justice principles. Youth Courts use positive peer pressure to shape respondent behavior while also teaching student volunteers how to reach consensus and a fair decision.

The opening activity allowed students from our two classes to mix together for the first time this school year with an opportunity to join together in a circle to introduce themselves and then share their hopes and expectations for the Youth Court. Our students overwhelmingly believe that this Youth Court will create a better community of understanding between teachers and students. Mr. Robert Curry, CHS Climate and Culture Administrator was present for the day and he said, “I believe Youth Court will improve the court volunteers academic behavior, academic mindset, and social skills. I also believe the respondents will have reduced disciplinary infractions and be influenced by the positive peer pressure to make better behavior choices.”

Cheltenham School District is looking forward to communicating an official rollout of Youth Court in December. The official rollout will include an FAQ document highlighting aspects of the program for the community. It is the hope of Social Studies Chair, Mr. Mark Hoff, that the Youth Court will hold 2 hearings per day by February.

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Room 16 at Glenside Elementary is working on positive teamwork while working on a STEM project. Students are building boats using tinfoil to see which design can hold the most weight and learn about buoyancy.
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The CES PTO sponsored Sterlen Barr and his talented performers once again this past week in celebration of anti-bullying month. Sterlen Barr, No Puff Daddy, CEO of Rapping About Prevention Inc., is a health educator and motivational rap artist. He educates, inspires, motivates and encourages youth to stay healthy and make positive choices. Sterlen and his dance group, Special EFX, deliver a high-energy presentation using facts, humor, personal experience, games, audience participation, and a live rap and dance performance. Mr. Barr uses his own personal story of being bullied as a child to help students learn how they can overcome these situations and he stresses that students should work together as a family to help stamp out bullying.

This Violence and Bullying Prevention Program focuses on changing the idea that kids are not supposed to tell when they see or experience something wrong ("snitches get stitches"). It helps adolescents see that they need each other for support. Kids and young adults learn that if they see someone bullying, they have the responsibility to tell an adult.

To learn more about this program: Special thanks to the PTO for sponsoring this event.

Cheltenham School District has strong PTO organizations that work in partnership with our schools to bring important programs like these to our students and is yet another reason why families say #IChooseCheltenham. #thisischeltenham

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Facilities Committee Meeting Synopsis

November 14, 2017

Cedarbrook Middle Construction Project

During the facilities committee meeting, Dr. Bavi updated the school board on the status of the Cedarbrook Construction Project.

• Installation of new elevators is 90% completed.

• Completed installing casework in 1st floor classrooms

• Completed installing terrazzo flooring in 2nd floor hallway, 1st floor - work in progress

• Discussed broken township main sewer pipe

• Continue installing sprinkler heads on the ground floor

• Finished installing main entrance in gymnasium area

• Installing ceramic tiles in the 1st floor lavatories – work in progress

• Completed installing running track

• Installing HVAC air handler system – work in progress throughout the building

• Installing exterior metal panel – work in progress

• Dr. Bavi also discussed the temporary heating system and stockpile by Route 309

• Installing irrigation piping system in the athletic fields – work in progress

Cheltenham High School Asbestos Abatement and Mold Remediation

Dr. Bavi discussed the existing conditions of the library and the scope of work associated with this environmental project:

• The location and quantities of asbestos containing materials to be removed

• Requirements for cleaning or disposal of books

• Collecting and analyzing air samples

• Maintaining a written log of all activities

• Project management by a certified industrial hygienist (EPA Certified)

• Monitoring, Sampling during asbestos abatement

Cheltenham High School Library Renovation & Elkins Park School Roof Repair Project

During this meeting Dr. Bavi discussed the existing conditions of the library at Cheltenham High School and Elkins Park School roof repairs. The following is the scope of work associated with each project:

• Develop a layout for the new space

• Architectural design

• Mechanical/ Electrical/Structural engineering design

• Interior design

• Building code review

• Project specification

• Meeting throughout design/ documentation process

• Construction cost estimate

• Develop roof repair design

Cheltenham High School First Floor HVAC Design

During this meeting Dr. Bavi discussed the lack of air conditioning in the high school. As a result, there is continuous humidity build up in the classroom areas. The following is the scope of work:

• Remove existing heating system in each classroom

• Remove existing air handler system

• Alterations to classroom casework

• Install new heating and air conditioning systems in each classroom and auditorium

• New ductwork system

• New electrical for all HVAC equipment

• New chillers and piping system

SchoolDude Program

During this meeting Mr. Parker, SchoolDude representative, presented that during the past eight months his firm has been working with the school district to implement the following programs:

• Maintenance Direct

• Preventative Maintenance

• Capital Forecasting

• Facilities Direct

Mr. Parker discussed the on-site training that SchoolDude has provided:

• Maintenance Essentials:

• Key training for 5 M&O Staff & Administrators

• Process training for 19 Technicians and Supervisors

• How to access, submit, add details and complete WOs

• Using online access via mobile app and web browsers

• Reviewed the Planned Maintenance work order process

• Tracking to Assets

He informed the school board that SchoolDude has concluded training and on-site services for Cheltenham School District.

Moisture and Mold Assessment

During this meeting Dr. Perez, District Environmental Consultant, provided a presentation on the moisture and mold protocol. He explained the following protocols for Cheltenham High and Elkins Park School:

• Assessment will be performed individually in each accessible indoor space within a facility.

These will include:

• Occupied Spaces (classrooms, offices, restrooms, etc)

• Plenum Spaces

• Mechanical Rooms

• Crawlspaces

• Attics

• Below Grade Spaces

• Assessment team

• IAQ/Mold assessment professional, facilities engineer familiar with building, member of maintenance staff

He also explained the following protocol methodology that will be used during his assessment. This is included in the services that he will be providing to the school district:

• Walkthrough Inspection

• Examination of physical structure, maintenance activities, and occupancy patterns

• Identification of the presence of potential sources of biological agents

• Identification of evidence of current or past water damage

• Identification of the presence of visible mold growth or mold odors

• Assessment of Ambient Conditions

• Temperature, Relative Humidity and CO2 assessment

• Size of areas of water damage and mold growth

• Assessment of density of mold growth

• Surface moisture content assessment

• Volumes of standing water present

At the conclusion of his services he will provide the school district with a plan for moisture control and mold growth prevention plan.

See the PowerPoint Presentation from the meeting:

Learn more about Perez IH Consulting LLC:

Financial Affairs Committee Synopsis

November 14, 2017

Cara Michaels, Business Manager, presented two (2) agenda items at the Financial Affairs Committee meeting: 2018-19 Budget Discussion and 2017-18 Budget Update.

Ms. Michaels presented a brief overview of anticipated contractual obligation increases for 2018-19 in the amount of approximately $2.1 million. This amount included increases in the areas of Salaries, Benefits and anticipated savings from Transportation. Ms. Michaels also presented a high level view of the tax increase impact ranging from 0% ($0.00) - 2.4% ($1,990,255). Finally, Ms. Michaels revisited Act 1, the Act 1 Index, historical tax increase data and the next steps (Act 1 Opt Out or Preliminary Budget) from the previous meeting. The Act 1 Opt-Out resolution will be approved at the November 21, 2017 Legislative Meeting.

The last agenda item was a review of the 2017-18 budget status and an update on the state budget. Ms. Michaels reported that CSD’s current revenue collections and expenditure disbursements are 71.67% and 31.98% respectively, which are in line with being 33.33% through the fiscal year. Ms. Michaels also provided a state budget update, which included information on the revenue package and changes to the School Code. A detailed presentation on the state budget is posted on CSD’s website at

The minutes of this meeting will be shared in greater detail at the next Legislative Meeting and the full presentation is posted on the CSD website.

See the PowerPoint presentation from the meeting:


Monday, November 20 - K-8 Holiday Dismissal & Parent Teacher Conferences

Dismissal as follows:

Elementary - 1:00 pm

Elkins Park - 1:00 pm

Cedarbrook - 12:00 pm

Tuesday, November 21 - CHS Holiday Dismissal & Parent Teacher Conferences

Cheltenham High School will be dismissed at 1:57 pm

*No School for K-8

*All students return Monday, November 27th

Wednesday, November 29th

CHS Parent Teacher Conferences

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Don't miss the Cheltenham High School Fall Play, The Crucible by Arthur Miller. The talented cast of 17 and 15-person crew has worked hard to bring the world of the Salem Witch Trials to life. Performances will be held on Friday, November 17 and Saturday, November 18 at 7:30 in Stretton Hall. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults. Contact Molly Lazer ( with any questions.
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This past weekend, eight of our CHS students, grades 9-12, had the opportunity to meet with colleges, were exposed to scholarship opportunities, engaged in many workshops in addition to team building activities that focused on leadership development, college preparation, career exploration and professional development.

There were as many as 5,000 high school students in attendance from all over the country. The students also had an opportunity to participate in role play scenarios and networked with other students, just like them. Overall, this was a successful event.

Front left to right: Kendra Michel, Alejandro Rojas, Kyle Simpson, Frank Sullen, Jayda Boler, Ms. Candy Manning (Advisor)

Back left to right: Abdul-Muhaimin Solomon, Myka Byers, Dr. Marseille and John Wallace.

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December 14th marks the 5 year anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. As a tribute to the 26 students and teachers who lost their lives, Cheltenham, Glenside, Myers, and Wyncote are working together to create a luminary tribute across our whole community. Please help by purchasing luminaries to be displayed on December 14th, the anniversary of the shooting. The proceeds from the sale will be donated to help the children of Puerto Rico in honor of the children of Sandy Hook. Let’s light up Cheltenham to help light up Puerto Rico!

Families can purchase the luminaries through our online store at (, and pick up at the elementary school of their choice.

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Monday, Nov. 20th, 8am

8230 Old York Road, Elkins Park, PA 19027


Tuesday, Nov. 21st, 7:45pm

2000 Ashbourne Road, Elkins Park, PA 19027


Tuesday, Nov. 28th, 6:30pm

Administration Building; 2000 Ashbourne Road, Elkins Park, PA 19027


Meeting Protocol

  • Committee meetings are conducted by the identified co-chair.
  • Agenda items listed below will be presented.
  • After each agenda item is presented, the presiding chair will first call upon board members for questions and comments.
  • The presiding chair will then open the conversation to the community members for public comment, who will identify themselves and the part of the township where they reside. The presiding chair will direct the community member’s questions/comments for response to either Dr. Smith or the appropriate administrator.

November 28, 2017

Educational Affairs Committee Meeting


1. Roll Call

2. Approval of Minutes

3. Naglieri

4. School Performance Profile Presentation

Dr. Donna Ford will be returning to CSD to continue her work with us around our gifted identification protocols and procedures. ​Dr. Ford is Professor of Education and Human Development in the Special Education Department of the Peabody School of Education at Vanderbilt University. Her research in the field of gifted education focuses on the recruitment and retention of culturally different students, multicultural and urban education, closing the achievement gap, minority student achievement and underachievement, and the role of family involvement.

She is a prodigious researcher with over 200 scholarly articles, is a two-time board member of the National Association for Gifted Children, and she is a regular editor of academic papers in her fields of expertise. She works regularly with school districts across the country to evaluate their systems and methods for gifted identification and helps support the work of equity access nationwide. We are excited to bring Dr. Ford to CSD to help support the goals of our strategic plan.

A key result of her work with us will be an updated gifted identification protocol. As a result, we will be postponing the 3rd grade universal screening tool, the Naglieri Nonverbal Abilities Test (NNAT), for the first week of December. Second grade students will take the NNAT in the spring as they normally would. ​

A short video introduction of Dr. Ford can be found below:

For a broader view of her accomplishments see below:


Are you a recreational high school-age player who wants to see where your skills stack up? Are you an existing CHS or recreational high school-age baseball player who wants to stay sharp in the off-season? Or, are you a student considering trying out for the CHS boy’s baseball team in the Spring? Well, if the answer is “yes” to any one of those questions, consider attending the free/optional Fall baseball workouts on Thursdays after school from 3p-5p at the Cheltenham Little League baseball fields located at: 650 Woodland Ave, Cheltenham, PA 19012. Transportation not provided/carpools strongly encouraged. Questions? Email:


The November monthly trip installment payment is due no later than Friday Nov 17th. Questions? Email:



Friday, December 1st from 8:00 am - 9:00 am. In the CHS library.

Join the counselors as they present relevant and informative information that will help you and your child navigate high school.

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