December 22 Superintendent's Update
Greetings Upper Moreland Community!
The month of December brings shorter and colder days marking the start of winter sports and the chance for winter weather. December is also filled with the celebration of different holidays and family traditions.
Our winter sport student athletes have been busy practicing and competing on the basketball court, indoor pool, wrestling mat, indoor track, and bowling lanes. Our winter guard is also preparing for their competitions. I wish every team and athlete the best in their seasons.
Winter months bring the chance of snow, sleet, and freezing rain–all which can make travel to and from school treacherous. Please take a moment to review our Emergency Notification Procedures. On this page you will find information detailing how families will be notified as well as website and television locations which will post announcements related to school delays or closings.
In my home, we celebrate Christmas. We decorate a Christmas tree and enjoy family activities like making different kinds of Christmas cookies and exchanging gifts as a family. Our dog, Autumn, enjoys relaxing by the Christmas tree and sniffing packages to find one that may have a treat for her.
I hope that your holiday celebrations and traditions with your family and friends are filled with love and laughter, and I wish you a relaxing winter break and a Happy New Year!
Dr. Susan Elliott
Superintendent of Schools
Results of District Climate and Culture Survey
One of our district goals this year is to improve school climate and culture to create spaces which are safe, respectful, and productive for all students and staff. Thank you to the parents, students, and staff who provided feedback on the survey conducted in early November.
One-hundred ninety (190) parents or guardians responded to the survey. Two-hundred seven (207) secondary students responded to the survey, and two-hundred six (206) staff members responded. Below are key points from the survey. The administration will use these data to inform our ongoing work to create school environments where all students feel safe, valued, and heard.
96% of parents, 86% of staff, and 85% of students who responded believe that the school environment supports learning.
96% of parents, 89% of staff, and 94% of students who responded believe that school is a safe place.
68% of students and 75% of staff believe that the district provides support for students who struggle emotionally.
92% of parents and 87% of students believe that the district provides interventions that support student learning.
Dates to Remember
Thursday, December 22: NO SCHOOL / Staff Development
Friday, December 23: DISTRICT CLOSED Winter Break
Monday, December 26: DISTRICT CLOSED Winter Break
December 27, 28, 29, 30: NO SCHOOL Winter Break: Students/Teachers Off
Monday, January 2: DISTRICT CLOSED Winter Break
Tuesday, January 3: School Reopens
Tuesday, January 3: Committee of the Whole Meeting - 6:30 pm
Tuesday, January 10: Policy Committee Meeting - 6:30 pm
Friday, January 13: EARLY DISMISSAL K-12
Monday, January 16: DISTRICT CLOSED
Tuesday, January 17: Legislative Board Meeting - 6:30 pm
January 17-20: EARLY DISMISSAL GRADES 9-12 Midterm Exams
- High School dismissal at 11:00 am
- Tuesday, January 24: Special Board Meeting - 6:30 pm
Winter Concerts Highlight Student Musicians
Students musicians in our high school, middle school, and intermediate school entertained family, friends and community members with beautiful music during our winter concerts in December. Band, orchestra, and choral members practiced for weeks to prepare beautiful pieces which filled the schools with wonderful music. Videos of the concerts will be available for viewing beginning Friday, December 23rd on the Winter Concerts 2022 page of the district website.
Upper Moreland School District Community Wellness Fair
On December 7th, Upper Moreland held our first Wellness Fair. Over 300 community members, students, parents/guardians and UM staff from across the district attended. Attendees learned about different wellness resources in our community as they enjoyed food from local businesses and won gift cards and raffle baskets. Please check out the slideshow highlighting the evening.
Annual Career Day at Upper Moreland High School
Upper Moreland High School held its annual Career Day on Friday, December 16, 2022. Over 40 professionals shared insights about their careers including necessary education and training for their respective fields. They also answered students’ questions.
All students in grades 10-12 had the opportunity to meet with two presenters of their choice to learn more about careers of interest. These presenters included professionals in the following areas: Science, Technology, Engineering & Math, Education, Production & Visual Arts, Media, Communications & Broadcasting, Healthcare & Allied Health, Installation, Repair, and Maintenance, Computers & Technology, Law, Criminal Justice & Law Enforcement, Psychology, Counseling, Social Services, Business/ Finance, Religious Vocation, and the Hospitality, Tourism, Service Industry.
Additionally, Upper Moreland alumni who participated in the district’s Life Skills Program visited to share updates on their post secondary plans with current Life Skills Program students.
It was truly a remarkable opportunity for our students. Thank you to our counseling department for organizing Career Day, and thanks to the student ambassadors who hosted each presenter. Finally, thank you to our community professionals who volunteered their time to present and share their experiences with our future professionals!
Career Day is just one way that our Upper Moreland community is working together to prepare our students for success in a complex and interdependent world.
UMIS Circle Of Excellence
On December 9, 2022, the students and staff at UM Intermediate School concluded the fall trimester with an award recognition ceremony called The Circle of Excellence. This assembly highlights and honors students for their academic success, social responsibility, and being upstanding citizens in the Intermediate School at the end of each trimester.
The ROAR virtues of Respect, Ownership, Attitude, and Responsibility are reviewed and highlighted at this assembly. Students earn certificates for meeting set criteria of the academic excellence, academic responsibility, and social responsibility awards. Students are selected by teachers to speak to these virtues. This assembly also includes musical performances by students as well as homeroom songs/skits that revolve around our ROAR expectations.
Thank you to our UMIS students for continuing to be upstanding citizens in school!
UMHS December Student of the Month:
Kathryn (Katie) Slear
We are proud to announce that Kathryn (Katie) Slear was selected as Upper Moreland High School’s December 2022 Rotary Student of the Month! Katie is involved in many activities at Upper Moreland. She is the captain of the Girls’ Varsity Soccer Team, an actor in the UMHS Drama Company, and Co-Chair for the UMHS Mini-thon. Katie serves as President of the National Honor Society as well as the Class of 2023 Treasurer. She also works as a hostess at Palz Restaurant.
Katie was nominated by her teacher and JV soccer coach Mrs. Godfrey, who shared that Katie is “an incredible leader and person. If you need anything she is there to help you. She was very welcoming to me as a new coach. She says hi to everyone in the hallways and truly is just the sweetest young lady. I think she deserves this nomination as Rotary Student of the month".
Congratulations to our UMEF/UMEA Roar Award Winners
The Roar Award recognizes students in our schools who exemplify positive qualities which will help them become caring, responsible, and productive adults. Students are nominated by parents, staff, or community members.
In December, the Roar Award focused on “Planning and Good Decision Making”. Congratulations to the following students who were selected as finalists for the December UMEF/UMEA Roar Award.
Finley Goodell (UMPS), Mae Brooks (UMIS) (not pictured), Andre` Callaway (UMMS), Charlotte James (UMHS)
Suburban One League Freedom Division News
At the conclusion of the fall sports season, several Upper Moreland student-athletes earned honors recognizing their successes on the field or court. Congratulations to each of our athletes earning honors! Go Bears!
SOL Girls Soccer MVP
Willow Taylor was named Suburban One League Freedom Division’s MVP for Girls’ High School Soccer. The coaches for all the teams in the Freedom Division cast votes for MVP. This honor demonstrates that Willow has been recognized for her success on the soccer field by other coaches.
All-League Selections First Team
Eleven fall athletes were selected to the 2022 Suburban One League Freedom Division First Team. This honor highlights their outstanding achievement in their sport. Congratulations to each student athlete for earning this distinction.
- Haleigh Woodman
- John Baker – Football
- Stephen Broderick – Football (Offense & Defense)
- Hassan Johnson – Football
- Chase Ragan- Football
- Max Gerlach – Men's Soccer
- Annalise Messina - Women's Soccer
- Michael Scollon – Men's Soccer
- Willow Taylor - Women's Soccer
- Kylie Wiest - Women’s Soccer
- Alexis Podolyan – Women's Tennis Singles
Upper Moreland Primary School Student Working in Community to Support Others
During the last two years, Calvin Grasso, a second grader at Upper Moreland Primary School has been running the Make Every Kids Happy Toy Drive in cooperation with the Upper Moreland Police Department Toys for Tots. With the support of several local establishments, including Artwear Jewelry and CVS in Willow Grove, Calvin has collected hundreds of toys.
On Monday, December 19th, Calvin joined Chief Block, Sergeant Cordura, and Santa to help hand out the toys he collected. They delivered the toys to students with special needs attending schools in our community and surrounding neighborhoods.
We are so proud of Calvin’s passion and dedication to community service with #MakeEveryKidHappy!! Thank you Calvin!
2023 Pennsylvania Music Educators Association | District 11 Honor Band
Congratulations to UMHS junior Ava Cleary who successfully auditioned into the 2023 Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) District 11 Honor Band on flute. She will represent Upper Moreland at the PMEA District Band festival to be held in February 2023.
Ava prepared for months on the audition material, and we are so proud of her hard work and dedication to excellence!
December 6, 2022 Board Meeting
On Tuesday, December 6, 2022, the Upper Moreland School Directors held a special meeting for the purpose of approving the hiring of some key staffing positions for the district. The Board approved the hiring of a home school visitor for the district, a speech therapist, benefits specialist, food service and support staff.
On Tuesday January 3, 2023 beginning at 6:30pm and prior to their scheduled Committee of the Whole Meeting, the Board of School Directors will hold a special meeting to approve the resignation of Ms. Solot and to discuss the process for filling the Board seat vacated as a result of her resignation. More information on this process is forthcoming.