Neshaminy School District / April 2023
Neshaminy Music program honored for seventh year in a row
Neshaminy School District has once again been chosen as one of the Best Communities for Music Education in the nation by the NAMM Foundation. This is the seventh year in a row that Neshaminy has earned this honor, a testament to the dedication and talent of our music teachers and student musicians along with incredible support from our Neshaminy families, staff and the entire community.
If you want to hear what this dedication sounds like, check out (below) two videos of the most recent concerts at Neshaminy HS, the District Jazz Festival featuring two jazz bands from the high school plus one from each middle school, and the NHS Spring Choral Concert.
groundbreaking ceremony held for new school building at Maple Point
(Left-right): Kelly Kozic, Neshaminy School District Director of Human Resources; Jason Bowman, NSD Substitute Superintendent; Michelle Burkholder, NSD Assistant to the Superintendent / Director of Elementary Education; Dr. Kevin Kane, NSD Assistant to the Superintendent / Director of Pupil Services; NSD School Board Member Carlos Rodriguez; NSD School Board Member John Allen; NSD School Board Member Kellen Sporny; NSD School Board President Tina Hollenbach; NSD School Board Member Cyndi Bowman; NSD School Board Member Alicia Lafferty; Former NSD School Board Member Stephen Pirritano; Former NSD School Board Member Irene Boyle; NSD Business Administrator Don Irwin.
On Thursday, April 13, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the new elementary school under construction next to Maple Point Middle School. This project is the latest part of the Neshaminy Road Map Plan, which started back in 2007, to update existing school buildings and replace others to meet the comfort, safety and educational needs of our students now and into the future.
The new school (which has not yet been named) will accommodate up to 900 students and will include modern features such as grade-level pods, an expanded Library Media Center with a makerspace collaborative work area, and energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems. It will replace Pearl S. Buck Elementary School, which opened in 1968 and would require millions of dollars in vital building upgrades to remain in operation. A decision was made by the School Board to better serve the needs of our students for decades to come with a new facility on the Maple Point campus. The new building is scheduled for completion in August, 2024 and will welcome its first students for the 2024-2025 school year.
Art Show poster contest winners announced
Congratulations to our 3 poster winners for the District Art show. Each year we award one student from each level: elementary, middle and high school. The winning poster designs are reproduced and used for advertising our District Art Show (May 17 & 18) in our schools and throughout the community. The 2023 winners:
- James Vinciguerra, 4th grade Pearl S. Buck Elementary - "Dragon in Landscape"
- Mehrangiz Khurshedova, 8th grade Maple Point Middle School - "Text Message"
- Mackenzie McMullin, 12th grade Neshaminy High School - "Peacock"
NHS marketing class promotes Neshaminy Points of Pride
Throughout the year, students in Ms. Sammartino’s Marketing for Sports, Entertainment, and Events at Neshaminy HS learn about branding products and services, the 4 P's of Marketing, advertising, event planning, and the decisions necessary for promoting products and events to name a few This year was a little different thanks to Mr. Stanley, the Community Relations Coordinator here at Neshaminy.
At the start of the year, Mr. Stanley began visiting the Marketing classes to share, show and explain what it takes to brand and promote the great things that are happening at Neshaminy, promoting intellectual curiosity among the students and the opportunity to connect classroom learning in our community.
During the classroom visits, Mr. Stanley explained his career path, passion, the description and importance of what he does, and the many ways he connects with the local community to let them know all of the great things that are happening at Neshaminy. Mr. Stanley also gave the marketing students an opportunity to brainstorm a marketing project that could be used to promote and spotlight the great things that make Neshaminy what it is. Once the list was narrowed down, a final project was created and became what is now known as “POP” or “Points of Pride.”
The opportunity allowed the BCIT (Business, Computer, and Information Technology) students in Ms. Sammartino’s class to apply the concepts they learned beyond the classroom by creating hashtags related to different topics and things that are happening in our district. Once established, students then went out on their own to find and interview people (students, teachers, coaches, events, activities, and alumni) to reflect the moments that make them proud to be a part of Neshaminy. The pictures included class-created hashtags along with quotes from the people that will be represented in the upcoming social media campaign. So . . . be on the lookout for the “POP” that the BCIT Marketing students are proud to be a part of!
STEAM Expo draws a record crowd
The 2023 Neshaminy STEAM Expo drew hundreds of students and their families to Neshaminy High School on Wednesday evening, March 29. At the Expo they had the opportunity to participate in dozens of hands-on technology activities and crafting stations with help from Neshaminy teachers and guest presenters from area business, community groups and outside educational organizations.
Grant helps grow Neshaminy student support program
Grant funding has allowed the Neshaminy School District to add two Student Support Counselors to support our K-8 students. Neshaminy High School is using its funding to provide four days per week of Student Support Counseling. The Student Support Counselors partner with established school teams, including principals, school psychologists, school counselors, and home and school visitors/social workers, to provide additional student support. These additional supports will be available through June 2024. Please contact your child’s school counselor for additional information regarding this additional resource.
Bleachers, turf fields installed at NHS
Things are moving fast on the NHS fields project! The Neshaminy HS baseball and softball teams are the first to use new fields for play. The markings are in place on the new multipurpose field, and layers of rubber beads, which increase safety by cushioning the impacts of players hitting the surface, are being spread. The tennis court surface is complete and is awaiting paint and nets. The bleachers have arrived at the stadium and are being assembled. This is a fast process since all the components are pre-fabricated and just need to be assembled on the foundations that are already in place. The turf stadium field is still on schedule to arrive within a couple of weeks and should be completed by mid-May. As of the publication of this newsletter, plans to hold the Class of 2023 Commencement Ceremony on the new stadium field are still on track.
School Board Update
New Principal Appointed for Ferderbar ES
- Congratulations to Dr. Sinead Doherty, who was approved as the next Principal of Joseph Ferderbar Elementary School at the School Board Public Meeting on March 28. Dr. Doherty is a Neshaminy resident with children attending our District schools. She is currently serving as Assistant Principal at Butler Elementary School in the Central Bucks School District. She will be replacing Andre Modica, who is retiring at the end of this school year.
The next Board Public Meeting will be held in the District Board Room at Maple Point, Tuesday, April 25, 2023, 7pm. The May Board Public Work Session is scheduled for Tuesday, May 9, 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.
Please note that the date of the June Board Public meeting has been changed from the original calendar date of June 20, 2023 to Tuesday, June 27, 2023, 7pm in the District Board Room at Maple Point.
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 May 17)
- Educational Development Committee (next scheduled meeting May 2)
- Business Operations Committee (next scheduled meeting May 3). The main topic will be the 2023-2024 proposed budget.
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.
free & reduced program available all year
As a reminder, Neshaminy families can apply for the Free & Reduced Meal Program at any time during the school year. If your financial or employment situation has recently changed, you do not need to wait for the new school year to get immediate assistance from this valuable program.
Families approved for the 2022-2023 Free & Reduced Meal Program will receive benefits through the first month of the 2023-24 school year. Once the 2023-24 school year begins, every family will need to re-apply for the program when the application process opens for the 2023-2024 school year over the summer.
For information and to apply, please visit https://www.neshaminy.org/Page/27732
School vaccination reminder
In 2017, Pennsylvania's Department of Health established requirements for school vaccinations. Please review this document from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and consult with your child’s healthcare provider. Communication from the District will continue as a reminder of this PA Department of Health requirement.
District Policy 203 requires that “a certificate of immunization shall be maintained as part of the health record for each student, as required by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.” Further, the Policy states that “a student who has not been immunized per state regulations shall not be admitted to or permitted to attend district schools unless exempted for medical or religious reasons or provisionally admitted by the Superintendent or designee after beginning a multiple dose vaccine series and submitting proof of immunization or a medical certificate on or before the fifth school day of attendance.”
The requirements allow for the following exemptions: medical reason, religious belief, or philosophical/strong moral or ethical conviction. Even if your child is exempt from immunizations, he or she may be excluded from school during a vaccine-preventable disease outbreak.
Communication from the District will continue as a reminder of this PA Department of Health and Policy 203’s requirements. Please contact your child’s School Nurse with questions.
Annual Public Notices
The District is required annually to provide notices regarding Special Education Services, Gifted Students, Services for Protected Handicapped Students, Destruction of Records, Medical Assistance, and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). You can find these notices here. If you have questions regarding these notices, please contact the Department of Pupil Services at 215-809-6588.
Now playing: PSSA / Keystone tests
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.
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!
NHS Preschool Lab seeking students for 2023-2024 school year
Neshaminy High School Preschool Laboratory is accepting preschool applications for the 2023-2024 school year. Children must be four years old by September 1, 2023. The program is held 4 days per week (Monday through Thursday) and there are both the morning and afternoon openings. School will begin mid-October and end in May. The cost for this program is $350. Please visit the Preschool Lab website to see more information and to download the application form. Please note that openings are limited.
The NHS Preschool Laboratory is run in conjunction with the Child Development & Parenting classes at the high school. This program allows the students who are involved in these courses the opportunity to actively participate with the children, which has proven to be mutually beneficial for both over the years the program has operated.
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.
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 an open house information session for support staff and substitute teaching positions on Friday, April 28 from 10am-12pm. The session 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.
Autism Acceptance Week celebrated with a fundraiser
April 17-21 is Autism Acceptance Week across the country. Tawanka ES Autistic Support teachers Shelby Rothman and Sarah King ran a school-wide fundraising t-shirt sale and were able to raise $1,044 for Puzzle Pieces Squared Organization, which supports families with autism (the first photo is a check presentation to representatives from the group held this morning). This year's theme was "spreading LOVE". Tawanka classrooms were able to visit the true/false interactive bulletin board, teach lessons about autism in their classrooms, spark conversations, and hold Q & A sessions with Mrs. King and Mrs. Rothman. Each student created a unique puzzle piece that represented themselves and autism. The puzzles pieces were part of a school-wide mural of a heart. On 4/21, staff and students wore their t-shirt to "spread the love!"
Hoover second grade explores municipal services
On April 13, the entire second grade at Hoover Elementary School visited the Middletown Township municipal complex to learn about local government and services with several hands-on activities. Stations were set up for Public Works, the Police and Fire Departments, Parks and Recreation, and the students even had the opportunity to speak out at a mock Township Meeting in the Board Room.
Surprise homecoming thrills Tawanka, warms hearts across the region
On April 10 after lunch, the entire kindergarten at Tawanka Elementary attended an assembly about careers that turned out to be something very special and unexpected for one particular student, Lydia, in Nicole Kane's class. Lydia proudly raised her hand when they got to "soldier" and talked about her father, Army First Sergeant Chris Thompson, who she has not seen for several months as he has been away serving our country overseas. What happened next is captured in the video above, which quickly went viral and was also broadcast on Philadelphia TV stations.
Ferderbar club raises contribution to Ronald McDonald House
The Early Act Club at Joseph Ferderbar ES raised over $300 to give to the Ronald McDonald House by selling shamrock stickers. Anyone who purchased a sticker had their name displayed on a shamrock.
buck kindergarten tours the neighborhood
Kindergartners at Pearl S. Buck ES went on a bus ride around town on April 14 to observe people, places, and jobs within the community. The Social Studies Unit in the District kindergartens have the students learning about what a community is, what important places are found in the community, who the important workers/helpers are, and how they can and should be a respectful member of our community. The students make a cardboard and paper diorama of the community as part of the project.
The Buck students toured Levittown and Langhorne and saw sites as an animal hospital, fire houses, the train station, the Public Library, Oxford Valley Mall, Sesame Place, various banks, various restaurants and much more. They stopped for lunch in Core Creek park before returning back to Pearl Buck Elementary. A highlight of their ride was seeing the Grinch outside the post office holding a special message for the visitors.
Buck kindergarten class with their community dioramas
march madness tourneys a win for reading, math
Walter Miller Elementary School's March Madness Book tourney announced their winner - out of 16 books, the students chose The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors by Drew Daywalt as their favorite. Each of the 16 books nominated for the tourney has been added to the school's library.
Third graders at Tawanka ES also started off the month of March with an i-Ready March Madness tournament. Throughout the month, students worked hard to pass as many of their i-Ready My Path math and reading lessons as possible. Congratulations to the overall winners (photo at right) from the participating third grade classes!
Healthy Me Club
During Healthy Me Club in March, Tawanka teachers Mrs. Piccinetti and Mrs. Banks discussed empathy, and learning what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes. They finished our discussion by designing shoes with positive words and ways to show empathy.
Healthy Me Club is a before-school activity at Tawanka sponsored by StandUp Neshaminy. The purpose is to offer students the knowledge, skills, and the mindset of making healthy choices; physically, socially and emotionally. It prepares them for middle school, high school and other real world situations - when faced with choices they will be able to make healthier decisions for themselves based on values, self-worth and independent thinking. The club was started at Tawanka and plans are underway to start similar clubs at other Neshaminy elementary schools.
Ahoy! Middle school boating safety program takes to the water
Groups of eighth-grade students from Maple Point visited the pool at Carl Sandburg MS in late March as part of the boating safety program. Students from all three middle schools with the highest scores in the boating safety certification test are invited to practice their skills and will attend an annual boating picnic at Core Creek County Park in early May.
Poquessing, NHS students perform at state music conference
The Poquessing Middle School Select Choir (photo above) under the direction of Jason Leigh was one of a very few school groups from across the Commonwealth to be invited to perform at the 2023 Pennsylvania Music Educators Association conference at the Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in the Poconos on Friday, April 21. They will also be performing outside the District again on Friday, April 28, at the 6th Annual AcaTamaJam A Cappella Festival held at Tamanend Middle School in Warrington.
Neshaminy was also represented at the conference by a group of thirteen NHS instrumental musicians who were selected to perform with the PMEA Band, Orchestra and Choir (photo at right).
NHS writers excel in short story competition
Congratulations to our two winners in the 2023 Bucks County Short Fiction Contest for high school students. Erin Hernandez, a senior at Neshaminy HS, won second place for a selection titled, Do NOT Help Orphans You Find on the Street. Emily Myers, also a senior at NHS, captured third place for I Did Something Bad. Prof. Erangee Kumarage, a faculty member at Bucks County Community College, made the final selections. 41 entries were considered altogether. Both winners are students in Chris DiCicco's English class at NHS.
NHS FBLA competitors advance to nationals
Congratulations to all of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) members who competed in the recent Pennsylvania FBLA state competition held at the Giant Center in Hershey, and to Bolu Akinrinade who received a management internship with FBLA for the duration of the conference. Seven NHS students took home trophies and will advance to the FBLA National competition in Georgia. These students are:
- Anthony Giorgianni – Spreadsheet Applications
- Briana Damoc – Spreadsheet Applications
- Niyati Patel – Spreadsheet Applications
- JJ Ortiz – Public Speaking
- Orest Mykhaylyuk - Introduction to Business Procedures
- Adi Patel – Banking and Financial Systems
- Elias (Ben) Crampton – Introduction to FBLA
In addition, the following students were inducted into the National Business Honor Society: Briana Damoc, Adi Patel, Niyati Patel and JJ Ortiz.
Interact Club produces driving safety video
Above is the Neshaminy HS Interact Club entry to the TMA Bucks Teen Driver Safety PSA Challenge. High schools from throughout the county entered 30-second videos and a winner will be chosen later in the spring.
Music Man cast performs at Bucks County Playhouse
On Tuesday, April 18, the Neshaminy High School Musical Theater Program participated in the Bucks County Playhouse Student Theater Festival by presenting two cuts from The Music Man. The entire cast was recognized for their work as an ensemble. Layla Goodwin, Keira Callahan, Julia French, Sylvie Colon and Cullen McCormick were all recognized for their individual performances!
Two NHS choir members perform at national music conference
On the weekend of April 15, NHS seniors Olivia Garland and Andrew Neiman traveled to Rochester, NY to perform as part of the NAfME's (National Association for Music Education) All-Eastern Choir. This choir features the best singers from Maine to Virginia! Congratulations to both on this wonderful accomplishment.
NHS Interact, Dance Team fundraisers fulfill a child's dream
The Dance Team and the Interact Club at Neshaminy HS were proud to once again sponsor Neshaminy's Got Talent on Thursday, April 20. This event is the culminating product for their Sunshine Foundation Campaign, which also included a "Bikers vs. Surfers" Spirit Day at NHS and other fundraisers during the school year. The Sunshine Foundation helps families with limited resources and children facing severe or profound physical, developmental, intellectual challenges or trauma by fulfilling the child's dream trip. This year Neshaminy sponsored Savannah, who will be visiting Peppa Pig World with her family.
World language honor society holds induction ceremony
On April, 19 the Neshaminy HS World Language Department recognized their honor students that were inducted into the Neshaminy World Language Honor Society. These students showed perseverance in the study of Spanish and French as a second language and are inspired to continue the studies at a college level.
16 inducted into the all-sports hall of fame
Congratulations to the 2023 Neshaminy All-Sports Hall of Fame inductees! They were honored at a ceremony on Friday, April 21. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the All-Sports Hall of Fame ceremony! The honorees are:
- BASEBALL: Rick Brebner, Class of 2010
- BASKETBALL: Ryan Arcidiacono, 2012; Kelsey Ryan (Salmon), 2010
- BOWLING: John Margicin, 2010; BreAnna Episcopo, 2009
- FIELD HOCKEY: Heather Gorlaski, 1995
- FOOTBALL: Paul Carrezola, 2009
- INDOOR TRACK: Nick DeFeo, 2008; Allison Morris, 2007
- SOCCER: Jared Suchoski, 1999; Jennifer Hutchinson, 2009
- SOFTBALL: Lisamarie Ramagli, 2006
- TENNIS: Jill Arrish-Mundenar, 1986
- TRACK: Cody Minnig, 2013; Christine Denis, 2010
- CROSS-COUNTRY: Laura Histand, 2010.
NHS March Students of the Month
Left to Right: Front Row Principal Stephen Garstka, Aubrey Maholland, Susan Getz, Emerson Rooney, Rah’asia Corzen, Erika James, Sandra Tharakan. Back Row Natalie Szapowalo (Senator Farry’s office), Representative Joe Hogan, Tianna Reeves, Fernando Rios, Youssef Mazouz, Nikoloz Babilau.
Our March recipients were nominated by staff members in the Social Studies Department and Aides / Support Staff and were recognized with a ceremony and breakfast with their parents on April 14. Congratulations to the following students:
- Emerson Rooney
- Erika James
- Youssef Mazouz
- Tiana Reeves
- Aubrey Maholland
- Fernando Rios
- Susan Getz
- Rah’asia Corzen
- Sandra Tharakan – Langhorne Rotary winner
- Nikoloz Babilau – Feasterville Rotary winner
The March Teachers of the Month, nominated by the students, are:
- Christina Savage, Guidance Department – 7 Years
Shawn DeLosAngeles, Science Department – 8 Years
- Josh Stoner, Social Studies Department – 18 Years
- Hara Zefran, Art Department – 25 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.
Substitute Superintendent / Director of Secondary Education
Assistant to the Superintendent / Director of Elementary 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