Superintendent's Newsletter

October 2021

Message from the Superintendent

It is my pleasure to present the October edition of the Lower Moreland Township School District Superintendent’s Newsletter. I hope this letter finds you and your family healthy and well.

Now that the school year is well underway, LMTSD continues to be committed to providing a successful and joyous educational experience for our students and families. Still, with change comes a lot of uncertainty and uncomfortableness for students, staff, and families. While some educational experiences look and may still feel different, 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 happy to report that the District’s Health and Safety Plan is doing its job. Through the mitigation measures applied within the plan, the District has no reported building/transportation transmission incidents of COVID-19 among students and/or staff. While COVID-19 cases continue to be reported to the District, our ability to successfully apply the plan is allowing for a continued five-day in-person instructional model with limited close contacts having to quarantine. Last week, the PA Secretaries for Education and Health gave an update on the face-covering Order, stating that it will continue and that further updates will be provided in November.

Now that fall has officially arrived, I encourage all of our families to mark numerous events on their calendars that are sure to be fun experiences and continue to help build community. For many of these events, it has been nearly two years since they last took place. Please click here to find our District calendar of events.

Lastly, final and full approval of permits have been granted by Montgomery County for the new high school project. Our school community can expect to see ongoing and continued work throughout the next two years on-site. Stay updated on the project through our Student Documentarian Team website.

Scott Davidheiser, Ed.D.


Big picture

Business Office (Mark McGuinn, Business Manager)

If anyone has listened to the local or the national news or has read any articles on the subject, you will know that the entire nation is struggling as it relates to the service-related industries in attracting new applicants or even obtaining new products. Unfortunately, that has definitely spilled over into school districts throughout the state and the country overall. In Lower Moreland, we are seeing challenges like never before as it relates to both transportation and food service.

As we started the 2021/22 school year, our contracted transportation carrier, First Student, had unexpected reductions in staff and the District ultimately had to privately contract out four (4) non-public school routes in order to provide services for those non-public school students. The Branch Manager for First Student has been very busy at work interviewing potential candidates, offering signing bonuses, running background checks, and securing proper CDL training in an effort to obtain more drivers for Lower Moreland. However, the entire “on-boarding” process takes a total of about 2 months as there are timelines and guidelines that new drivers have to follow as per the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. The District is trying to insulate parents and students from any of these types of shortages, but there may be times when a bus might be late because it is covering a sports run and then returning 10-15 minutes late to do a regular school run or a non-public school driver may help out in order to try to get our students to and from school safely and efficiently.

Throughout the middle and western part of the State, there have been numerous examples of food service providers running out of food with no delivery of new products in sight. Thus far this school year, the Nutrition Group has been able to obtain products in order to keep a variety of menu options for the new school year. However, as the year continues, there may be issues related to the food distribution chain that could affect the lower Moreland Township School District. The Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Division of Food and Nutrition has issued waivers that allow districts some flexibility as it relates to menus and reimbursable meals. This waiver allows state agencies to forgo collecting fiscal action when meal pattern requirements cannot be met due to food supply chain issues, provided the School Food Authority (SFA) took appropriate measures to try to compose a reimbursable meal.

As we continue through another unique school year, the Lower Moreland Township School District will strive to continue with “business as usual” but I wanted to make everyone aware of issues that all districts are struggling with each and every day. Please be mindful of these nationwide issues and know we are trying our very best to provide the services needed to ensure a smooth educational experience.

Murray Avenue Students Remembered 9/11 by Holding a "Thank You" Parade for Local First Responders

Curriculum and Instruction (Julien Drennan, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Prof. Dev.)

Later this month teachers will be trained on the utilization of Talking Points, a two-way multilingual family engagement platform that will enhance the school and family connection. Families will be able to opt to receive SMS texts or use a mobile app to have messages translated in their primary language. This will allow parents and guardians to communicate with teachers by creating messages in their preferred language and Talking Points will translate the message into English. Similarly, when teachers craft communications in English, parents can opt to receive them in English or in one of the 100 languages on the platform. Instructions for use will be shared with families following the training and implementation. As we work to build a more inclusive and equitable community, Talking Points will enable us to better engage with parents/guardians for whom language is a barrier.

Human Resources/Public Relations (Cheryl Galdo, Esq., Dir. of HR/PR)

Human Resources

The District is looking for substitute clerical staff and substitute nurses to help out in our schools. To apply, please click here.

Also, the District is working with our provider of substitute teachers-The Substitute Teacher Service (STS)-on their "guest teacher" initiative. This initiative allows individuals with a four-year college degree to attend a training program with STS in order to receive an emergency substitute certificate from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. If you are a college graduate who is interested in being a substitute teacher, please click here.

Public Relations

Mini-THON's Kids' Night Out is back! Please join us on October 30th from 6PM - 9:30PM by completing the registration form found at (Registration starts October 11th). This year's event is pre-registration ONLY with a maximum capacity of 150 kids- no walk-ins allowed the night of the event. After completing the registration, please also fill out the permission slip and bring it with you!

In order to safely host our event, students will move through five stations (games, arts and crafts, snacks, movies, and a haunted house) with a group of their friends and babysitters. We expect this to be a fun night for all, and we can't wait to see you there!

KNO Permission Slip

Big picture

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 engage in 21st Century learning activities. We also share updates on new initiatives and tips and tricks related to devices and technology tools used in the district. This month we are highlighting students at Pine Road who are learning how to program pocket-sized computers.

October Technology Snapshot Video

In this month’s video, we are featuring fifth grade students who recently learned how to program a fun and educational tech tool called a micro:bit. According to the micro:bit website, “the BBC micro:bit is a pocket-sized computer that introduces you to how software and hardware work together. It has an LED light display, buttons, sensors, and many input/output features that, when programmed, let it interact with you and your world.” This customizable technology tool is integrated in our STEM program at Pine Road Elementary. The micro:bit helps teach students interactive processes, mapping, and navigation throughout various tasks while executing file transfers. Students who have been using the pocket-sized computers are highlighted in this month’s technology video:

Canvas Online Platform Grades 6-12

During this learning management transition year, some courses will use Google Classroom while others may be using Canvas. Regardless of the platform, all teachers will be maintaining the calendar in Canvas. Parents and guardians can view the page linked here for guidance on how to access the Canvas calendar to check for assignments and events for the student(s) you are observing. How do I view the calendar of events and assignments for a student in the Canvas app on my IOS device?

Student Services (Frank Giordano, Director of Special Education and Student Services)

As the school year continues to gain steam and roll right along, the Office Of Student Services would like to, again, make our families aware that the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit is continuing to sponsor a Resource Expo for students with disabilities, their families and educators. The Expo is once again virtual this year and can be found using this link. The information included in the link will be housed at the site permanently for future reference. We hope that you find the information on the site useful and informative.

Lower Moreland Township School District

Scott A. Davidheiser, Ed.D.