Neshaminy School District / February 2022
Summer programs provide academic support, opportunity
Students in a previous summer Intensive Language Lab enjoy a visit from a fire truck at Maple Point Middle School.
Groundhogs and bleak forecasts aside, while it seems like we have a lot of winter left to go, summer will be here soon and Neshaminy is busy preparing for a full summer of programs. After the final bell rings for the 2021-2022 school year, the learning will continue throughout the summer with a number of programs designed to increase student achievement, mitigate learning loss from the pandemic, and provide additional academic and artistic opportunities to our students. Thanks to grants from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund and other grant programs, the cost of these programs will be either free to families or offered at a reduced rate this summer.
Among the programs planned for the summer at Neshaminy:
- Summer School Make-Up Courses (grades 9-12, July 6 - August 4): Students need to remediate content and demonstrate competency in courses failed during the year to move up to the next level without repeating the course. The course will be hybrid with some asynchronous virtual lessons with in-person guidance and support twice each week at the high school. There is a cost to families which will be reduced in 2022 and 2023 thanks to funds from impact grants related to the pandemic.
- Summer COVID recovery program, Secondary English and Math (rising into grades 6-12, flexible timing July / August, 2022): Online tutorial courses continuing throughout the summer in core academic areas to mitigate learning loss from the pandemic. This will be available at no cost to families.
- Summer COVID recover program Elementary Reading and Math (rising into grades 1-5, flexible timing July / August 2022):Online tutorial courses continuing throughout the summer, personalized self-paced program offered at no cost to families.
- Intensive Language Lab (students entering grades 1-12, July 6 - August 4): English language instruction for English learners participating in the Neshaminy English Language Development programs. To be held in-person, grant-funded and no cost to families.
- Extended School Year (NSD students age 5-21, July 6 - August 4): Specialized instruction for students with an IEP by invitation. Held in-person, no cost to families.
The Neshaminy Summer Stock program returns to Neshaminy this year with programs for students entering grades 2-12. See the article below for more information.
School Board Update
The Board met on Tuesday, February 8 for a Public Work Session. Among the highlights:
- A presentation on updated graduation requirements starting with the Neshaminy HS Class of 2022-2023.
- Discussion of plans and policies for upcoming events such as Gym Night, dances at Neshaminy HS and the Senior Prom. Dr. McGee indicated that the District is working closely with the Philadelphia venue for the Senior Prom to make sure all students will be able to participate in light of Covid-19 protocols in the city.
- The first reading of several proposed revisions to District policies as part of the ongoing District Policy Review.
The following items are expected to be on the agenda for the Board Public Meeting on Tuesday, February 22 meeting (7pm at Maple Point):
- Temporarily waiving the Keystone Exam Proficiency as a graduation requirement for the NHS Class of 2022 (a permitted by the Pennsylvania Department of Education)
- Consideration of leasing and installing four external modular classrooms (3290 square feet) at Poquessing Middle School for the 2022-2023 school year
- Consideration and approval of the District Calendar for the 2022-2023 school year
- Consideration of the budget for shared services from the Bucks County Intermediate Unit #22
These items and the meeting agenda are subject to change before the meeting. The meeting agenda and livestream video link will be found at www.neshaminy.org/meetings.
The following committees met during February:
Educational Development Committee: The committee met at Maple Point on February 15. Items discussed included a new Curriculum and Instruction (C&I) website, the Multi-Tiered System of Supports program at Neshaminy, textbook updates for science and geometry, a middle school reading pilot program update, a discussion of planned summer programs (see article above), and C&I program goals for the 2022-2023 school year.
Facilities & Planning Committee : The committee met in the newly-renovated Library Media Center at Neshaminy HS on February 16. Among the items discussed was the athletic field and stadium upgrade project, scheduled to start in the summer or fall. Also discussed was the proposed new elementary school building at Maple Point which could begin this summer pending Board approval and the acceptance of bids; the addition of four modular classrooms at Poquessing MS; and other proposed and upcoming projects.
Upcoming Committee Meetings
- Policy Committee, March 15, 6:30 pm (Maple Point)
- Facilities and Planning Committee, March 16, 6:30 pm (site TBA)
- Business Operations Committee, March 30, 6:30 pm (Maple Point)
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.
Township approves plans for new school building at Maple point
Proposed exteriors of the new building at Maple Point
Plans for the construction of a new elementary school building on the Maple Point Middle School property moved another step forward on Monday, February 7 when the Middletown Township Board of Supervisors approved the project with a 5-0 vote. Prior to the vote the Board heard a presentation from District representatives. Scott Downie from Spiezle Architecture Group which has been retained for the design of the building, showed drawings of the proposed design. The new school would house up to 900 students, and sit adjacent to Maple Point on the north side of the building next to the gymnasium. The buildings will not be connected but will share common driveways and fields.
Mr. Downie said that the building is designed to blend in with the existing Maple Point building, which was built in 1977 and renovated in 1993. The property around Maple Point is an expansive 85 acres, which will allow the new school to be built without encroaching on any of the surrounding woodlands. The building will be outfitted with state-of-the-art efficient energy and HVAC systems.
Stacey Jensen, a traffic consultant for Gilmore and Associates, also spoke at the meeting about a District proposal to install a traffic signal at the end of the school's driveway at Woodbourne Road to control traffic from the school, an entrance to Core Creek County Park across the street and passing traffic. Additional plans call for a left-turn lane to be added to Langhorne-Yardley Road into the second driveway at that location. Unrelated plans to upgrade nearby intersections along Langhorne-Yardley Road at Woodbourne and Bridgetown Pike will also hep to alleviate traffic bottlenecks during peak times.
The new school, which has not been named, will replace Pearl S. Buck Elementary in Levittown. That school was built in 1968, and has not received any major upgrades or renovations since. The cost of renovating Buck was considered but would have been very expensive, and still would have left the District with no elementary school in the northern portion of the District. School Board President John Allen said the District plans to retain that building for support or educational purposes.
The next step in the process will be for the Neshaminy School Board to begin securing bids for the site work and construction the new building. That process is expected to begin in the next few weeks, with site work starting in the summer. The entire project is slated for completion for the start of the 2023-2024 school year.
The Here Comes the Bus app is now live for all schools
The Here Comes the Bus app is now live for all schools in Neshaminy School District. It was rolled out on a limited basis in the fall to identify and work out potential problems, but is now fully functional. Parents and students are encouraged to download the free app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, sign up for an account with their email account and student ID number. The Neshaminy school code is 29378. The app, provided by Synovia, is used at hundreds of schools and Districts across the nation.
Drivers log into the app using a device on their buses, which allows the device to track the bus using GPS tracking. Even if a different bus is substituted on a run, this system will still display the correct route number. Students and their families can receive alerts as to the location of their bus and expected arrival times.
Register for kindergarten / 1st grade
Registration for the 2022-2023 school year is now open. Families are encouraged to register their new students as early as possible to ensure that they are able to attend their neighborhood school. The registration process can be started online by visiting www.neshaminy.org/register. A member of the Central Registration staff will contact you to make an appointment to complete the process in-person
Title 1 newsletter shares ideas for at-home academic support
Title 1 is a federally-funded program that provides academic support to K-4 students in reading and math. Our Title 1 specialists and instructional assistants help students achieve success in meeting state academic standards, developing knowledge and building critical thinking skills that they will need for their entire school career and beyond.
An important part of this effort is outreach to student's families. During the school year, families are invited to in-person seminars and provided with materials to help them support their child and build upon the skills and knowledge they receive during the school day. As part of that effort, Title 1 Reading Specialist Kim Maurizi at Albert Schweitzer ES has produced a helpful newsletter containing ideas and links to resources that can help families support the academic success of their children.
STEAM Expo is back!
Save the date! The Neshaminy District STEAM Expo is returning to Neshaminy HS on Tuesday, March 29 from 6:30-8:30 pm. This popular celebration of everything technology will feature exhibits, demonstrations and lots of hands-on activities. Admission is free!
We are still looking for exhibitors! If you are involved with a technology-related business or profession and would be willing to share your excitement with the next generation, please contact David Geanette, email@example.com.
Enroll now for Summer Stock!
Neshaminy Summer Stock is back this year with three great workshops for students in grades 2-12! A Neshaminy tradition for over 50 years, the Summer Stock workshops will be held at Neshaminy High School between June 27 and July 24.
This year they will be staging two great shows: Phantom of the Opera for students entering grades 7-12 and The Lion King for students entering grades 4-6. Students entering grades 2-3 can participate in the Summer Stock Showcase, which includes music, dance and learning the basics of musical theatre.
This program is open to all students from the area. More information and registration forms can be found at https://www.neshaminy.org/Domain/2822.
get your tickets - The Wizards are back!
The Neshaminy Education Foundation is excited to bring the Harlem Wizards back to Neshaminy on Saturday, March 26. Our Neshaminy "Dream Team" will include the following volunteer players:
COACH: Skip Mason, ASSISTANT: Bill Barnes, ASSISTANT: Heidi McLendon
- Anthony Taylor / Transportation Dept.; Ryan Sweeney / Maple Point; Amanda Matika / Ferderbar; Madison Ody / Maple Point; Joyce Kulchinsky / District Office; Regina Tyciak / District Office; Sarah Wells / Tawanka; Kevin Blocker / Maple Point; Meghan Fedele / Tawanka; Ramella Taylor / Miller; Meghan Cahill / Schweitzer; Brian Kern / Buck; James Legette / Maple Point; Christina Klause / Hoover; Emily Wells / Hoover; Megan McHugh / Schweitzer; Shannon Fisher / Tawanka; Missy Robison / Middletown PD
This game is a fundraiser for the Neshaminy Education foundation, supporting the classroom grants and student scholarships in our Neshaminy schools. Tickets are on sale now, $15 General Admission and $35 for Courtside Plus seats. Purchase tickets at www.neshaminy.org/wizards
Upcoming Job Fairs at Neshaminy
Neshaminy Job Fair at NHS March 7
The school year is more than half over, but the need for certified and support staff this year and beyond at Neshaminy is still strong. The Human Resources Department will be holding a Job Fair at NNeshaminy School District is hiring!! To find out more, please join us at the:
Neshaminy Job Fair
Monday March 7, 9:30am-11:30am
Neshaminy High School Art Gallery (Just inside the school's main entrance)
The District currently has openings for Building Aides, Dining and Playground Aides, Cashiers and General Workers. Benefits include paid holidays, no nights or weekends and summers off. Paid sick time and profit sharing are available for select support positions.
Diversity Job Fair March 25
The District is also participating in the Bucks County PRIDE Virtual Job Fair to be held on Friday, March 25, 2022 from 12-5 pm. Bucks County PRIDE is a consortium of school districts including Pennsbury, Centennial, Bristol, Council Rock and others with a common mission of attracting diverse educators to Bucks County Schools to meet the needs of students and ultimately match candidates with job openings. Applicants will be able to gather information, schedule screening interviews with school administrators via video chat and submit resumes for open positions.
Elementary students celebrate the 100th day of school
Students in the District's six elementary schools celebrated the 100th day of school with a variety of activities on February 16 (for kindergarten) and February 17 (for grades 1-4). For the youngest students in grades K-1, this is an opportunity to teach mathematical concepts relating to the number 100 by introducing arrays, addition, multiplication and fractions. The activities included counting 100 items for snacks, crafts and games; stacking 100 cups and pennies; 100 exercises; making hats and other decorations, and even dressing up as 100-year-olds and having the students write about what they hope to accomplish in their lives as they get older.
PJ day, pretzel fundraiser helps a neighbor at Walter Miller ES
PJ Day at Walter Miller ES: This was a fundraiser orchestrated by members of Walter Miller Elementary Student Council (shown in the group photo on the stage) to raise funds for a Neshaminy family who recently experienced a devastating loss to their family home. Students and staff from Walter Miller donated $1 to wear their pajamas to school. Total amount raised was over $700.00. Additionally, staff members at WMES donated money, totaling an additional $400.00 in cash and $200.00 in gift cards.
Another pretzel fundraiser has earned $700. Total funds raised through the efforts of the entire Miller Community: $2,000!
Math, snacks mix at Super Bowl party
Students in Megan McHugh's kindergarten class at Albert Schweitzer ES held a Super Bowl Party on February 11 and linked their fun to some new math skills. They graphed their predictions of the winner and tallied and graphed their favorite snack at a Super Bowl Party which included pretzels, popcorn, chips and candy. They talked about which snack had the most votes and least votes.
Ferderbar celebrates kindness week
Joseph Ferderbar ES celebrated Kindness Week February 14 -18. During this week, students and staff had spirit days and daily kindness challenges. On the morning announcements, the students recited the Ferderbar "kindness pledge" and had a kindness daily goal. In gym class, Mr. Ferris Kelly ran a Kindness Week Obstacle Course.
Schweitzer supports heart health with go red day
US Tennis Association donates teaching materials, equipment
The U.S. Tennis Association recently conducted an in-service seminar with Neshaminy physical education teachers. As part of their educational outreach, the association also donated tennis equipment and teaching guides to the District's elementary schools. Shown here are Tawanka students, who are using the new gear, learning and practicing tennis skills in the gym.
Comic book artist visits Hoover
Mickey Ritter, husband of Herbert Hoover ES teacher Denise Ritter, visited the school February 14 to talk about his work as a former artist for Marvel and DC Comics. Mr. Ritter illustrated a number of comic books in the 1990's, and continues to draw today for pleasure. He talked about the business of comic books, the process of generating ideas and how he draws existing and new characters. As part of his presentation, he created a marker drawing of Dr. Strange for his audience.
Poquessing celebrates MLK with a month of service projects
Poquessing Student Council’s Annual Month of Service in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was punctuated by members of the group reading to K-2 students at Ferderbar Elementary on Friday, January 28. Earlier in the month, Student Council enlisted various groups across the school to participate in service projects. For example The Interact Club and Poquessing cheerleaders made blankets for pediatric patients at St. Mary Hospital. Friends of Rachel made breakfast bags for Caring for Friends, an organization that helps shut ins. While all of the groups had a great time working together to do these projects, they reported that the best part was knowing they were doing something that helped someone other than themselves. They enjoyed answering one of Dr. King’s most important questions, “What are you doing to help others?”
Sandburg MS gathers, donates books for MLK project
Students in Dawn Toth's fifth-grade class at Carl Sandburg worked with the school's SPIRIT group and School Resource Officer Missy Robison on a project to gather and donate books for to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Officer Robison partnered up with a group call Cops 'N' Kids that distributes books to children who can use them to promote literacy. Students from the entire school donated books to this organization. Fifth-graders cleaned up the books and organized them by genre into boxes to donate to the organization. The Sandburg students collected and packed up 19 boxes in total.
Fifth-graders along with SPIRIT group members also created bookmarks to be given out with the books.
Midle School Musicals take to the stage
All three Neshaminy middle schools are staging musicals based on the works of author Roald Dahl. Poquessing MS (James and the Giant Peach) and Maple Point (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory) are both opening on Wednesday, February 23 and will run through Saturday, February 26. Ticket information can be found on the school websites.
Carl Sandburg MS (Matilda) will be staged March 9-12. Tickets go on sale Wednesday, February 23.
Bucks County D.A. speaks to 8th-graders
Folk dancing celebrates the Olympic spirit
Seventh grade students are getting a taste of the many cultures present at the Olympics with an expanded folk dancing unit in their physical education dances. Learning square dancing has been a long tradition at Neshaminy, and a requirement as part of the routines for Gym Night at Neshaminy HS. This year, to celebrate the spirit of the winter Olympics, students are learning about similar dances from other cultures that are seen everywhere from weddings and family celebrations to community dances and the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies. Above, a 7th-grade physical education class at Poquessing MS tries out a Troika, a Russian folk dance.
Something Rotten powers through disagreeable weather, power failure
The show must go on, and indeed it did. On February 6, the Neshaminy HS musical production of Something Rotten, a comical take on the Shakespeare era, opened to positive reviews. Friday's show was moved to Saturday afternoon after winter weather threatened to coat the area in ice. Near the end of the replacement matinee performance Saturday afternoon, the electric service from PECO to the high school failed. The cast quickly adapted and finished the show a capella under emergency lighting. Fortunately, the power returned in time for the 7 pm performance and the show finished without a glitch on Sunday afternoon.
NHS junior going for a second statewide science competition win
FCS class holds military care package drive
The Family & Consumer Science Community Service Class at Neshaminy HS is holding a military care package drive. The FCS Majors have been collecting supplies for the packages, written letters of encouragement to our soliders, decorated the interior of the shipping boxes, and are packing up the items for the brave women and men who serve our country.
Interact Club makes craft kits for kindergartners
The Neshaminy HS Interact Club created Valentine's Day craft kits for Mrs. Ballard's kindergarten class at Herbert Hoover ES. During a brainstorming session with newly installed Interact Club Core Members, the idea of sending craft kits to a local hospital was suggested by Allison Karpovitch. Due to time constraints, the hospital was unable to accept the kits but the kindergarten class had a great time practicing their listening skills by following the assembly directions, improving their fine motor skills with folding 1:1 correspondence and even a little bit about STEAM concepts like robotics while the high schoolers had to plan, adapt, and implement the activity.
NHS artwork on display in two juried exhibits
Eight Neshaminy HS artists are represented in this year's Phillip's Mill Youth Art Show. Located on River Road in New Hope, Phillip's Mill is a unique performing and visual arts center, welcoming artists, photographers, playwrights and art lovers year-round. The youth art exhibit was started in 2014 to celebrate and nurture artistic talent in are high schools. This year, 23 schools are represented in the show, which is virtual.
NHS artist Olivia Phelan received an honorable mention for her pencil drawing, "Kurtis Conner," shown at right. You can see the entire show online at https://phillipsmill.artspan.com/
Works by seven NHS artists will appear in the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) 35th Annual "Touch the Future" Student Art Exhibition held at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell. Mr. Bursk's students Sarah Grimes, VIctoria Kolodenna, and Jayden Quinn; Mrs. ONeills students Kate Ritchie, Mena Murray, and Lindsay Harrison; and Ms. Zefrans student Camila Gomez all appear in the show. Artworks from Neshaminy include painting, drawing, ceramics, digital image, metal work, and multi-media sculpture. The juried exhibit opens February 27 with an awards presentation.
Gym Night preparations underway
Preparations for Gym Night 2022 are well underway! This 68-year-old Neshaminy tradition is scheduled to return on Friday, March 4 and Saturday, March 5 after a one-year absence caused by the pandemic. The theme this year is Dancing through the Decades, featuring great music from the 1950's to the present. Gym Night Captains have bee holding practices since early January, and mural painting and prop construction has been underway at several locations throughout the area.
Students will be videotaping this year's show and the video will be shared on the Neshaminy cable TV channel and on the District website shortly after completion.
NHS Winter Sports Updates
The Girls Varsity Bowling team captured the Suburban One League Title! All 7 of the girls qualified for Single Regionals and the team qualified for Team regionals. At the SOL Bowling Championship, Layton Einsig bowled a perfect game, throwing 10 strikes in a row for a perfect score of 300.
The team competed in the Luau No-Tap Tournament at Our Town Alley in East Norriton, PA, on 2/19/22 and came home with the win. Lead by senior Shelby Wolstenholme’s two 300 games, the team shot scores of 1243, 1174 & 991, dominating the competition. In the finals, they ladies took on Pennridge High School and easily won the best of three baker games, 143-101 and 179-144.
The team of Savannah Chee-wah, Liliana Rios, Aloha Ekermen, and Samantha Bristow broke an 18 year old school record with a time of 1:54.35 in the 200 Medlay relay in swimming.
The girls and boys Varsity Basketball teams worked hard all season and made the District playoffs which started Friday, February 18.
The wrestling team is gearing up for Districts and then for Regionals.
Good luck to all!
NHS offers color guard clinics
The Neshaminy HS Marching Band Color Guard will be holding a series of clinics for students in grades 8-11 interested in joining this fun activity.
The dates are Friday, February 25 from 6-11 pm; Saturday March 12, 19 and 26 from 11am-1pm each day; April 6 from 6-9pm. All clinics will be held in Gym 1 at Neshaminy HS.
Richard M. (Rick) Eccles passed away peacefully on January 12, 2022 surrounded by his loving family. He was 65.
Rick was very active in our community, having volunteered and sponsored teams for the Middletown Athletic Association and gave much of his time to the Neshaminy School District. Rick was appointed to the Neshaminy Board of School Directors in 1998. Rick served 3 consecutive terms on the board winning reelection in 1999, 2003 and 2007 prior to stepping down in 2011. During his time on the Neshaminy School Board, Rick served as the board’s president from 2003-2008.
The Eccles family has graciously requested that memorial contributions in Rick's honor can be made to the Neshaminy Education Foundation. The full obituary can be found at https://www.neshaminy.org/Page/43718.
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
John Allen - President
Tina Hollenbach - Vice President
Adam J. Kovitz
Neshaminy School District
Rob McGee, Ph.D.
Assistant to the Superintendent / Director of Elementary Education
Assistant to the Superintendent / Director of Secondary Education
Assistant to the Superintendent / Director of Pupil Services
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