Unionville-Chadds Ford School District • Winter 2022
UCFSD CELEBRATES READ ACROSS AMERICA WEEK
POCOPSON ELEMENTARY • To celebrate Read Across America Week, Pocopson Elementary School held a school-wide reading session - “Drop Everything and Read” where students paused their schoolwork and dedicated 15 minutes to reading! Pocopson students also brought in almost 4,000 books to donate to the Reach Out and Read Program at CHOP and to Pocopson’s sister school! (SEE ALL PHOTOS HERE)
AUTHOR VISITS PATTON MIDDLE SCHOOL
Jordan Sonnenblick, author of numerous children’s and young adult books, visited the district to speak to Patton Middle School students about reading, writing, and life in general.
His books include Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie, After Ever After, Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip, Falling Over Sideways, Notes From the Midnight Driver, The Boy Who Failed Show and Tell, The Sheriff of Sixth Grade as well as many other books.
Prior to becoming a published writer, Mr. Sonnenblick was an eighth-grade English teacher for over a decade. While teaching, one of Mr. Sonnenblick’s students’ younger siblings was diagnosed with Cancer. Mr. Sonnenblick promised the student’s mother that he would find the student a book about a character who was dealing with a sibling with cancer. Mr. Sonnenblick couldn’t find a book, so he decided to write one himself. That book became Mr. Sonnenblick’s famous book entitled Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie.
Mr. Sonnenblick used his trademark humor to entertain Patton students and teach them about writing. Three different grade level talks at UHS (6th, 7th, and 8th) and JS then spent time at lunch with small groups of students from each grade.
UHS STUDENTS PLACE FIRST IN CHIILDREN'S STORIES CATEGORY AT TSA
Congratulations to UHS students Stella Tucker, Jennifer Ding and Rachel Sun for their 1st Place award in the Children's Stories category at the Technology Student Association (TSA) Regional Conference!
Their book, Starla the Stem Student, is a wonderful story that follows a dog named Starla along her journey as she explores the exciting world of engineering! Submissions were judged on artistic, instructional, and social value, strong narrative, quality of design, and overall theme related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) focus.
SUPERINTENDENTS PRESENT TO LEGISLATORS ON STUDENT MENTAL HEALTH NEEDS
On February 2, 2022, Dr. John Sanville, along with Superintendents from Downingtown Area, West Chester Area, Avon Grove and Phoenixville Area School Districts, presented to Representative Christina Sappey and the Chester County Legislative Delegation and Commissioners on how legislators can assist school district’s in efforts related to youth mental health and suicide prevention. The event was hosted by the Chester County Intermediate Unit. During the shared their concerns regarding the increased demand for mental health services for students and provided an overview of the current situation and a plan to significantly improve services and meet students’ needs.
Dr. Sanville spoke specifically on the critical shortage of mental health professionals. He referenced a report that studied the shortage, stating that Pennsylvania has 422 child psychiatrists for its 2.7 million children and youth. He asked that legislators consider loan forgiveness programs, and scholarships to college students enrolled in mental health professional programs. Click here to read more about this important meeting.
NEHA POTLA, UHS SENIOR AT TCHS, PUBLISHED IN SCIENTIFIC JOURNAL
Neha Potla, a senior at Unionville High School in the Chester County Technical College High School (TCHS) Brandywine Campus’ Allied Health program is using her passion for the medical field to make a difference in the diagnosis and treatment of patients.
Potla co-wrote two papers that have been published in scientific journals within the past year. Her most recent paper, which was published in the International Journal of Emergency Medicine, is a systematic review regarding stroke and thrombolytics in the brain. Potla worked with Dr. Latha Ganti, a professor at the University of Central Florida and specialist in stroke and emergency medicine, to conduct case studies of one of Ganti’s patients. “Dr. Ganti and I collaborated over the course of one year and were able to dissect information, review biases and get to the core of the patient’s story,” she said, adding, “The patient was not properly diagnosed for nearly 12 years, so we reached out to her and made her aware of what we were doing. With the systematic review on thrombolytics we conducted, we were able to figure out that a new medication was more effective than the one she was taking. We’re hoping that our findings will impact the medical field in terms of what medication is prioritized for these patients.”
UCFSD PORTRAIT OF A GRADUATE
UCFSD is excited to announce that during the January 24th School Board Meeting our school directors unanimously voted to adopt the UCFSD Portrait of a Graduate (POAG). The POAG will be our North Star to help inform our decisions as a District and guide our students on their journey through UCFSD and beyond.
Over the course of the year, the POAG committee facilitated many meetings, hosted focus groups, surveyed the community, shared and presented drafts throughout the district, analyzed the feedback, and made revisions. Our final POAG is the culmination of many thoughts, ideas, hopes and dreams that were shared throughout this process.
Our focus now shifts to using the POAG in meaningful ways and building it into the fabric of our schools. It will support and guide our District as we help our students Succeed in Life and Contribute to Society.
UHS STUDENT NAMED ONE OF TOP 300 STUDENT SCIENTISTS IN THE NATION
Arnab Sircar Named Top Scholar in the Regeneron Science Talent Search 2022
Society for Science (the Society) recently announced that Arnab Sircar, a student at Unionville High School, was among the top 300 scholars in the 81st Regeneron Science Talent Search (STS), the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. Arnab Sircar will receive $2,000, and Unionville High School will receive $2,000 to use toward STEM-related activities.
“Working on a project like this has been a very rewarding experience, especially as I was able to develop mathematical models to broaden the scope of decision-making problems, a field that I've enjoyed working in for some time,” stated Sircar. “Being recognized by the Regeneron Science Talent Search as a Top 300 Scholar is a huge honor and inspires me to pursue this kind of research in the future."
Sircar is a senior at Unionville High School. His winning project was titled: Characterization of Emotional Contagion in Collaborative Decision Support Systems. It is a fascinating deep dive into using statistical analysis to dig into the growth of toxicity in social media groups.
“Arnab's ability to focus his ideas, complete analysis using appropriate mathematical notation and techniques outside of our typical math curriculum, and communicate his findings has only begun to keep pace with his sense of inquiry,” stated Ms. Dori Ray, Unionville High School Mathematics teacher and Arnab’s project mentor. He has grown as a mathematician and a researcher throughout high school. The sophistication of projects that he has pursued has evolved in practical and creative ways."
KATIE CONNOLLY TAKES FIRST PLACE IN THE CHESTER COUNTY SPELLING BEE
Patton Middle School held its Spelling Bee on January 14. Classes watched live via Zoom webinar as 48 students participated in the exciting competition.
Congratulations to Katie Connolly (8th Grade) who won the Spelling Bee with the word “vicissitude”. She advanced on to the Chester County Spelling Bee that was held at the Chester County Intermediate Unit on February 7.
Patton Spelling Bee runner-ups were: Liam Krausz (7th Grade) and third-place winners: Rohan Bhandary (6th Grade) and Charlie Nagle (7th Grade).
Katie Connolly went on to take first place at the Chester County Spelling Bee making her Chester County’s top speller. Winning with the word “antenatus” (A-N-T-E-N-A-T-U-S), Connolly will move on to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in June.
CELEBRATING OUR DIVERSE COMMUNITY
Celebrating our diverse community includes sharing the stories of how our students, staff and community celebrate and recognize different holidays, months of recognition and awareness, and special cultural events featured on our DEI Calendar.
If you have stories, photos, recipes, video messages, or something that you would like to share, please send it to email@example.com to be featured here!
Families, staff and community members have shared how they celebrated MLK Jr. Day of Service, Chinese New Year, Tet, and Black History Month!
Learn more about the special days and months we are recognizing and see more content shared by our community on our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion website!
SHARING WITH THE SUPERINTENDENT
This winter, each of our schools hosted “Sharing with the Superintendent” (based on the popular parent event, “Java with John”). Students across the district had the opportunity to ask questions and share their thoughts with Dr. Sanville during each of these informal conversations.
Some of the important topics discussed included: Cafeteria food favorites, the need for more Gaga Ball Pits, facility improvements, more time for lunch and recess, senior finals, COVID-19 mitigation measures, ideas for new curriculum, library book additions, what it's like to be a superintendent, and how awesome our teachers are!
Sharing with the Superintendent is taking place again throughout the month of March!
PRESIDENTS DAY CELEBRATION
Community members, students and staff gathered in the UHS library for an exciting Presidents Day celebration! Highlights of the event included patriotic musical performances by the Unionville Brass Ensemble, a reciting of the Gettysburg Address by UHS senior Ibraheem Qureshi, and impressive presentations by the UHS Speech and Debate team. Team members Chirag Choudhary and Ibraheem Qureshi each blindly selected a quote from George Washinton and Abraham Lincoln and, on the fly, provided incredible 2-minute speeches based on the quote - a debate skill that was exhilarating to watch!
Additionally, local U.S. President expert, historian and published author, Walter Eckman, provided detailed stories about Abraham Lincoln. His knowledge of the presidents is the result of extensive reading (his presidential library numbers 400 volumes), and a 12,000-mile odyssey several years ago during which he visited more than a dozen presidential libraries as well as numerous birthplaces, homesteads, and grave sites of past presidents. It was a true honor and privilege to have Mr. Eckman share his vast knowledge with our students and community.
Attendees were able to tour the UHS Presidential Library, a special section in the high school library dedicated to the U.S. Presidents and local and national history. It is a true treasure trove of Presidential history. Over the years, many items and memorabilia have been donated and added to this space, including books dating back to the late 1800s, artwork and memorabilia - many items from Mr. Eckman himself!
DINO THERAPY AT UCFSD
Dinosaurs from Dino and Dragon Stroll made a special visit to UCFSD and created some Dino-mite smiles! Students from Chadds Ford Elementary School, Hillendale Elementary School, and Charles F. Patton Middle School got to participate in a special sensory-friendly experience with two full-sized dinosaurs and a baby dinosaur!
The UHS and CFPMS Life Skills classes got together for a Valentine's Day party where students enjoyed making smoothies, playing games and creating heart wreaths.
Unionville-Chadds Ford School District partners with PeachJar to provide digital distribution of important school and community information directly to parents. Check out the latest flyers at the link above!
Click here to apply and view available positions throughout UCFSD!