Message from the Superintendent
It is my pleasure to present the September edition of the Lower Moreland Township School District Superintendent’s Newsletter. I hope this letter finds you and your family healthy and well.
Welcome to a new and exciting 2020-2021 school year. Now that our schools have opened for both in-person (hybrid) and virtual learning, LMTSD continues to be committed to providing a successful and joyous educational experience for our students and families. With change comes a lot of uncertainty and uncomfortableness for students, staff, and families. While these educational experiences look and feel different from last March, our staff continues to listen and learn new ways to do things while keeping our students as the central focus of every decision made.
I am confident that Lower Moreland Township schools will challenge and develop our students academically and socially. Patience and adaptability from all stakeholders are key to the newly implemented safety protocols, instructional practices, and technology. Please be sure to stay updated with district and school information at https://www.lmtsd.org/.
Lastly, please mark your calendars for this year’s virtual Back-to-School nights being hosted Monday evening, September 14.
Scott Davidheiser, Ed.D.
Welcome Signs were provided to each school by LM PTA
Business Office (Mark McGuinn, Business Manager)
As we start the new school year in a very unique hybrid-education model, I wanted to review all
of what goes into planning for public school routes and, hopefully, a safe and secure trip each and every day.
During the summer months, students are graduated, enrolled, promoted to new grade levels,
and moved to new schools as each student transitions to the new school year. Once the rollover of existing students is completed, a large student file is generated and sent to our routing company with the knowledge of last years’ routes and trying to ensure that most routes stay the same. As our enrollment in the District continues to grow, there will be changes to bus routes based upon number of students who can ride safely on a bus. The District tries extremely hard to maintain safe and efficient routes each year while being cognizant to not elongate a bus ride because of too many stops. The District enrollment is currently around 2,425 students and we must schedule transportation for the majority of these students.
One of the changes this year was the hybrid-education model and trying to bring students into
school while maintaining health recommendations given to the District by no less that sixteen different organizations. The Business Office has been very busy allocating students to bus routes for either Blue or Gold days or trying to ensure they are spaced out as much as possible on the school bus. There have been many additions (new registrations), removals (withdraws), and changes (switch to virtual) that have been incorporated into the bus routes this year. In addition, the District will be assigning seats to all students in order to have a good accounting where students were scheduled to sit in case this is needed by any health organization.
Our goal each year is the safe and efficient transportation of all of our school-age students. We believe, with our transportation partners, First Student and the MCIU, that we are doing our job. We will always monitor situations and make changes as needed after reviewing those issues from a safety and security lens. We hope to have a safe and fun year on the school buses!
Curriculum and Instruction (Julien Drennan, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Prof. Dev.)
With one week behind us, students have now experienced virtual learning with different expectations and experiences than they were accustomed to in the spring of 2020. Last spring teachers delivered lessons in an asynchronous manner. This meant that students could access a teacher's information, recordings, slides, and activities independently and complete tasks on their own. This year virtual learning includes a mixture of synchronous, semi-synchronous, and asynchronous instruction. This is more reflective of a typical classroom experience. Traditional instruction is often designed on an "I do", "we do", "you do" model.
"I do" is when the teacher presents information or demonstrates something for students. "We do" is when whole group practice or collaborative experiences occur to allow students opportunities to apply what they are learning with support. "You do" is the time for students to practice independently or demonstrate understanding. This approach aligns with the teaching and learning options of synchronous, semi-synchronous, and asynchronous instruction. Teachers will utilize a mixture of these approaches throughout the day and week. The graphic below provides some tips for success in navigating the virtual environment.
Human Resources/Public Relations (Cheryl Galdo, Esq., Dir. of HR/PR)
The District is looking for substitute nurses to work in our Health suites. We also are looking for substitute clerical staff to work in our school offices.
If you are interested in these positions, please apply here.
Lower Moreland High School's Hall of Fame is taking nominations for its 2021 Induction Ceremony. Here is the link for the nomination criteria and information for how to submit a nomination.
Technology (Jason Hilt, Ed.D., Director of Technology)
The Technology Department supports information technology systems and instructional technology programs and practices in the district. Each month, we highlight how our students and teachers have been engaged in 21st Century learning activities focused on the 4Cs: Critical Thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, and Communication.
Critical Thinking: New Teacher Orientation was delivered by the instructional coaches during in-person and virtual meetings. New staff were welcomed to the district by administrators who shared one word to represent the upcoming school year. Examples of the focus words included community, perseverance, balance, patience, and flexibility. New staff learned how to navigate the Google for Education suite of apps and explored technology tools for student engagement. You can meet the new teachers HERE. What would be one word you would use to represent this year as a community member?
Creativity: Kindergarten students in Erin Fahy’s class participated in a read-aloud of Faces. Then they learned how to create their own self-portrait. Hybrid students shared their works of art with their virtual friends at home.
Communication and Collaboration: Seventeen virtual and in-person technology workshops were offered during the opening week of school. Teachers learned about newly released features of Google Meet and practiced how to maximize technology tools and resources during synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities. Teachers also collaborated with each other while learning total participation techniques to engage their learners. They used Google Drawings and Jamboard to consider ways to use the digital whiteboard as daily check-ins with students.
Student Services (Frank Giordano, Director of Special Education and Student Services)
To all of our parents of students with special needs, thank you for your patience, understanding, and support as the District has navigated its way through the most unique back to school opening that it has ever had. As parents of students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP), a Section 504 Service Agreement or a Gifted Individualized Education Program (GIEP) we are sure you have many questions and concerns about how your child’s program will be implemented as we move forward. IEPs, 504 Service Agreements and, possibly, GIEPs will need to be revised to ensure that the appropriate services can be provided in the appropriate environments (in-person or virtual). To facilitate this your child’s case manager or School Counselor will be contacting you, if necessary, to discuss your child’s individualized plan and any revisions that may need to be made. It is our hope to have all such meetings completed by the end of September and we have already started scheduling them as some of you may know. Please continue to be patient with us as we seek to ensure that we can best meet the needs of all of our students whether they are attending in-person or virtually.