News from the Nest

Cardinal Pride in the Upper Dublin School District

January 2021

From the Superintendent's Desk - Touch Base Tuesday

The distribution of this newsletter will take the place of our weekly Touch Base Tuesday. This section of News from the Nest, however, consists of the information that would otherwise be included in weekly communications. Distribution of the Touch Base Tuesday will continue next week.

  • Student Surveys - We are sharing the student survey data for transparency purposes. Please click here to view the student survey data for UDHS/SRMS and click here to view the elementary data. Next week's Touch Base Tuesday will contain a comprehensive presentation with data analysis. We are keeping the UDHS/SRMS survey open for a few more days to allow more students to respond to the questions.

  • COVID-19 Data - Click here to access Montgomery County and UD municipality-specific COVD-19 positivity and incidence rates.

  • COVID-19 Dashboard and Tracker Reminders - We continue to keep both the Dashboard and Tracker updated daily. The Dashboard contains information on all reported COVID-19 cases. The Tracker contains information on only those cases where the infected person meets one of the following conditions: Student or staff member (with COVID symptoms) tests positive and was in school within 48 hours of being symptomatic; OR, Student or staff member (asymptomatic - without COVID symptoms) tests positive and was in school within 48 hours of testing.

  • Adhering to PDE Guidance - While PDE has noted that a certain number of cases in a school may cause a closure, it is important to remember that UDSD is in one of the few counties in the Commonwealth with a local health department. Because we have the benefit of collaboration with health officials on every case of COVID-19 we have to deal with, the MCOPH will only recommend or require a closure if at least one of the following conditions exist: There is linked transmission (spread) of the virus in school; OR, The prevalence of the virus is so great in a community that schools must close. If at any time we need to change the way we operate, we will communicate that to staff as quickly as practicable.

MLK, Jr. Day of Service

Observed each year on the third Monday in January as β€œa day on, not a day off,” MLK, Jr. Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.

Members of our Equity and Empowerment Steering Committee and the Faith-Based Subcommittees thank the Upper Dublin community for their generosity of spirit and compassion for those in need! We were truly overwhelmed by the donations and support of the community to support the clubs and organizations collecting for those in need. We appreciate the participants, including many students, contributing to the success of this event. We thank the many involved in the clean-up of the high school campus as well. What a fine representation of service to others on MLK, Jr. Day 2021!

Kindergarten and New Student Registration Information

As we reach the midway point of the 2020-2021 school year, it is time to begin registration for the fall of 2021. In the fall we will welcome the Class of 2034 to the nest! Click here for registration information.

Kindergarten and new student registration is completed online. Students must be 5 years of age before September 15th. Our school policy does not allow exceptions to this date. The registration process takes approximately 30 minutes. If you do not have access to a computer there are resources available at the Registration Office or at your local library.

Please note that registration for the current school year is ongoing. If you are a parent or guardian and would like to register your child, please complete the online registration.

Building Our Future: The new SRMS

Each week brings more progress to the construction of our new SRMS. Just last week we had the opportunity to walk through the new building. Some highlights of the progress include:

  • All of the structural steel for the building is in place.
  • The classrooms are being drywalled and painted.
  • The library and collaboration spaces are taking shape.

The pictures below show the progress being made by the contractors. The aerial shot shows a birds-eye view of the new school. You will also see that the corridors and classrooms are well on their way to completion. We have "mocked up" one room as a model for technology installations.

The target date for building occupancy is August 2022. We will continue to provide updates to our community, and we hope to be able to host virtual tours of the new school starting this spring!

School Calendar Information

As winter draws on, please remember that we will continue to have snow/emergency days when inclement weather requires us to do so, until we exceed the three days built into our SY 20-21 calendar. We used one of these days in December 2020. The graphic below is a reminder of how we will handle snow/emergency days this school year.

At their December 2020 Legislative Meeting, the Board of School Directors approved the calendar for the 2021-2022 school year. The calendar is on the main page of our website, and it can also be found by clicking here.

Big picture

Steps of Communication - Answering Questions/Resolving Concerns

Since 2018 we have adhered to the UD Steps of Communication. Directing communication to the appropriate person(s) encourages greater collaboration and streamlines the process of answering questions, alleviating concerns, and ensuring that we are all β€œon the same page.” Click here to access the complete UD Steps of Communication document that will help identify your first point of contact (and additional points of contact if necessary).

School Director Recognition Month

January is School Director Appreciation Month. Each January we take time to thank our Board of School Directors for their volunteer service to Upper Dublin. Each of our School Directors gives a great deal of their time to the Upper Dublin School District by attending legislative meetings, participating in committees, and collaborating with the Superintendent and Executive Leadership Team.

On paper, the role of our school board is to set policy, evaluate their superintendent, and approve an annual budget. In reality, though, there is so much more to being a School Director than engaging in those activities. Board members in UDSD (and across the Commonwealth and country) represent the larger community and help to ensure that our District moves forward in the best interests of our students, staff, and community. Guided by the Principles of Governance and Leadership (click here to see the document), our School Directors take their roles very seriously!

Over the past several months the COVID-19 pandemic has made the role of a Board member extremely challenging. School Directors have had to weigh the expert advice of medical professionals, collaborate with the Executive Leadership Team on instructional options, and ultimately work to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff. This has been no easy feat!

Please join us in thanking our Board of School Directors for their dedicated service to Upper Dublin!