In The Q

November 17, 2020 Newsletter

3 QCSD students honored by CB Chamber

Three Quakertown Community School District students are among a small group of 10 from Bucks County to win the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce 2020 Young Citizen Award.

Strayer Middle School seventh-grader Alivia Remick and Quakertown Community High School seniors Mason Smith and Raymond Slifer each received the honor. The trio of community-minded students took part in a virtual celebration hosted by the Chamber on Friday, November 13.

Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub, the keynote speaker, praised the students for being “the best and the brightest” and encouraged them to continue to “do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you can.”


Please click here for the story.

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3 online events to attend

"Much Ado About Nothing," 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Nov. 19-20: Quakertown Community High School is presenting its online production of William Shakespeare’s play. The performances of the online night of theater can be seen on the school’s YouTube.com channel - QCSD TV News. Please click here to enjoy the performances.


“Cultural Awareness & Equity Training: LGBT Students Issues & Support,” 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 17: This important session is put on by Liz Bradbury, director of the Training Institute of the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center. Please click here to attend this Zoom event.


Elementary Family Night, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17: The focus of the program is “Literacy and Your Child,” and includes storytime and literacy fun with Emily Knorr, the Children's Services Librarian at the Bucks County Free Library, Quakertown and Perkasie Branches. To take part in this free program, please go to the Family Service Association’s Facebook Page. You may register by clicking here and then click "Going."

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EAGLES MAGAZINE HIGHLIGHTS QCHS STUDENT Gabe DaCosta


Gabe DaCosta, one of the most popular students at Quakertown Community High School, is highlighted in the November 1st Eagles Gameday Magazine.


The profile, on Page 16, explains how Gabe developed cerebral palsy from his premature birth and now spends most of his time in a wheelchair. It also reveals details of his charming personality, including his “expressive eyes and rumbling laugh.”

The recognition from the Eagles came to Gabe as he is an ambassador for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), where he receives his medical care. As an ambassador, Gabe represents the thousands of children diagnosed with cerebral palsy and has his story shared to show why it’s worth supporting institutions like CHOP, which strives to create breakthroughs for young people like Gabe.


Please click here for the story.

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Free meals for all students

The Quakertown Community School District is encouraging all families to have their students pick up FREE BREAKFAST and LUNCH at their school each day. The United States Department of Agriculture has extended a nationwide waiver to allow QCSD to provide FREE meals to ALL students regardless of need. No qualification or identification is needed.


Please click here for more information.

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School bus seating plan must be followed

At the November 12 School Board meeting, Assistant Superintendent Nancianne Edwards spoke about the importance of following the district's Health and Safety Plan in regard to students sitting in their assigned seat on the school bus.


Bus drivers have been reminded that they need to submit bus referrals for students who are not sitting in their assigned seat. There will be one warning and if it happens again students will be suspended from the bus for one week.


Parents and guardians, please remind your children to follow the expectations that are in place to keep everyone safe. Thank you for your support.

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What is a Yellow Alert?

As referenced in Dr. Harner’s November 11th blog, families will receive a Yellow Alert message the night before if a school building has a significant risk of not having enough adults present to safely open a school for students the next day.


If the district needs to send this message, you will receive the message through a phone call, an email, and a text. Think of the Yellow Alert like a winter storm warning or another weather alert to be prepared for possible closure. If a school cannot open safely, families will be notified by 7:30 a.m. for an elementary school, 7 a.m. for the Sixth Grade Center and Strayer, and 6:15 a.m. for the high school. The affected school will operate virtually for the day.


Please note that the notification/closure will apply to the individual school building only and that all other QCSD buildings will operate normally. We will do our best and exhaust all strategies to avoid having to close our school for lack of adequate staffing, but it may occur. This will be our system that provides you with advance notice as soon as we can.

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Milford Fire Co. visits Pfaff

QCSD and Pfaff Elementary School would like to sincerely thank the Fire Prevention Officers for Milford Township Volunteer Fire Company #1 for taking the time today to speak with Pfaff's kindergarten, first-grade and second-grade classes in October and show them your important equipment. The students had a blast!!!
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Student earns several Bucks County 4H awards

Layla Cotter, a student at Quakertown Community High School, was honored with several Bucks County 4-H Achievement Awards at the organization's October 24th ceremony.


Layla received the 2020 Farm Credit Award - Alpaca; 4H Clover award: Green, White, Bronze and Silver; and the 2020 Junior Cloverleaf Award 11-13 years old.


There are 13 Bucks County 4H Ambassadors picked each year. Eight kept their titles, and Layla was one of the five new Ambassadors to be chosen for all of Bucks County 4-H.


Congratulations Layla!

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Major promotion for orchestra director

Megan K. Edinger, director of orchestras at seven schools in the Quakertown Community School District, has been promoted to the rank of Major (MAJ) in the Army National Guard.

MAJ Edinger officially received her promotion Friday, November 6 at the National Guard Armory in Allentown. Army Lieutenant Colonel. Angelo Catalano and QCSD Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner each placed an epaulette on the Major’s shoulders during Friday’s ceremony.

The event took place in front of the Soldiers of 213th Regional Support Group, MAJ Edinger’s parents, children, family members and friends, QCSD educators and state Sen. Bob Mensch.

Please click here for the story.

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High School Teachers gain insight into AP grading

Two QCHS teachers say the experience of grading Advanced Placement tests last spring for The College Board gave them more of an in-depth understanding of AP exams to better assess the work of their students.


Please click here for the story.

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District boosts pay for substitute teachers

Hoping to incentivize more people with a Bachelor’s degree to become substitute teachers, the Quakertown Community School District is significantly increasing pay for substitute teachers for the 2020-21 school year.


The per diem rate is being raised from $105 to $120 per day. Long term per diem pay is being raised from $140 to $175 per day, highest in the area. The School Board passed the measure on October 8.


The average per diem rate in Bucks County and surrounding districts is $109. The long term substitute rate is $125.


Please click here for the story.


QCSD has several job openings that can be found by clicking here. They include substitute nurses, aides, and food service workers.


Click here for job openings in the Upper Bucks County Technical School.

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Guest Teacher Program

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Elementary Redistricting Committee continues its important work

QCSD's Elementary Redistricting Committee is tackling several important issues in online meetings that began in late September. The parent-led committee is scheduled to make its recommendations to the School Board by January 31.


The Board has charged the committee with the following tasks:

  • Develop options for the grade level configuration and redistricting of elementary (or K-6) students to be implemented at the start of the 2021-22 school year.
  • Evaluate those options based on impact on academic program, impact on students and families, cost-effectiveness, efficiency, impact on facilities (including the future use of Quakertown Elementary and the Sixth Grade Center), requirement for construction, renovations, or modular classrooms, impact on transportation, impact on personnel savings, and other criteria as the Committee deems appropriate.
  • Report its findings, decision matrix, and recommendations to the Board no later than January 31, 2021.


If you would like to send a comment or question to the Committee, use this email address: Elemredistrict@qcsd.org


For more information about the committee, please click here.

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QCSD officially 'ALICE certified'

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Quakertown Community School DIstrict has officially become an “ALICE Certified Organization.”


ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate. Each area is a means of survival if there is an active shooter. The program encourages everyone to choose the safest option during a life-threatening situation. To become an ALICE certified organization, school staff had to complete an online training session, participate in active shooter drills and implement ALICE procedures into emergency protocols.


The ALICE philosophy, which the district adopted and began implementing in the summer of 2015, is to use technology and information in a way that staff and students can make informed decisions in a crisis, remove as many people as possible from the danger zone, and provide realistic training so those involved in a crisis have a better chance of surviving. Students in each grade receive some form of training.


Please click here for the story.

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10th annual Shop With A Cop

When School Resource Officer Bob Lee began the local Shop With A Cop effort 10 years ago, the Quakertown Borough Police Department helped 14 children. Last year, Shop With A Cop was able to give 138 local children the opportunity to shop with an officer as 11 other local police departments joined with QPD to afford local families a better holiday.

Shop With A Cop Registration Forms

Shop With A Cop raised more than $41,000 a year ago with more than 50 officers and 40 additional volunteers coming together to help local families in need. The program, geared toward Quakertown Community School District elementary aged children, gives them the opportunity to view police officers in a different atmosphere to promote positive relationships. The children are faced with life challenges, such as a parent losing a job, homelessness, military deployment, economic shortcomings, and other hardships.

Shop With A Cop was developed to help make the holidays brighter for disadvantaged families in the district. But it needs your support! Please contact Julie Bender at 215.536.5001 x134 or jbender@quakertown.org with any questions.

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COVID-19 by the numbers

Each week Quakertown Community School District nurses compile the number of teachers, staff members and students who have been impacted by COVID-19.


The information can be found here.

COVID-19 procedures to follow

The Quakertown Community School District wants all of its students, employees and community members to stay safe each and every day with special precautions taken during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Toward that end, all employees and district families have been provided a daily checklist that aligns with the goals of the district’s Health And Safety Plan to safely monitor student and staff health. The questionnaire helps develop the important habit of checking for symptoms that may appear after exposure to the coronavirus.


People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of reported symptoms – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure, and can include:


  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • New loss of taste or smell

  • Fever or chills

  • Muscle or body aches

  • Headache

  • Fatigue

  • Sore throat

  • Congestion or runny nose

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Diarrhea


In the event a student or QCSD employee develops symptoms they should not attend school but should notify their school nurse and their physician about potential testing for COVID-19. Siblings of a symptomatic student should also stay home until student is cleared to return to school. If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, the District will then notify the Bucks County Health Department. Confidentiality will be maintained. BCHD will then conduct an investigation, contact tracing and provide appropriate guidance.


Employees must have a note from their medical provider or local health department that documents they are cleared to return to work. The note must indicate your diagnosis, that you are symptom free of COVID-19, and that you can work full duty with no restrictions. The note must be provided to Anita Kaseman, Benefits Manager, before you return to work.


Here are charts that show the procedures to follow:



This has been an incredibly challenging time for our entire school district community. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we have dealt with this unprecedented situation.

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Technology Support for QCSD families

If you have a technology issue that requires a device repair or swap in person, please click here for the Sign Up Genius. There are appointment slots for Tuesdays through December 22 between 1 and 3:30 pm. This will take place at the district office, 100 Commerce Drive, Quakertown, at the loading dock on the side of the building opposite of Route 663.


If you have a technology issue that can be handled virtually (ie. login information, Clever badge, PowerSchool related questions, etc.), please fill out the form by clicking here.

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School Day Screening Questionnaire

Parents and guardians, please don't forget the screening questionnaire you've received each week by email. It aligns with the goals of the district’s Health And Safety Plan to safely monitor student and staff health.


You do not need to submit the questionnaire to anyone, but the QCSD safety plan does require that you screen your child(ren) each morning before they get on the bus or you bring them to school. Thank you in advance for your help in keeping students, staff, and our schools safe for live instruction.


Please click here for the questionnaire.

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PennDOT Innovations Challenge

Quakertown Community High School students are invited to participate in the fourth PennDOT Innovations Challenge, which encourages students to use their problem-solving, creative and strategic-thinking abilities to solve real-world transportation challenges in a competition among their peers.


This year’s Innovations Challenge asks students to develop an innovative and implementable solution that helps address Pennsylvania’s transportation revenue shortfall by identifying potential new funding streams, aside from additional gas taxes, tolls or mileage-based user fees, to help ensure adequate transportation funding for the future.


The Transportation Policy and Education Foundation, an educational arm of the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors (APC), the American Council of Engineering Companies of PA (ACEC/PA) and the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) are providing a combined total award of $5,500 to be divided among the first-, second- and third-place statewide winning teams.


Visit the PennDOT Innovations Challenge webpage for more information, including the online submission form.

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Treatment center resources for parents

The Education Department of Caron's Treatment Centers has developed shareable resources for parents for an unprecedented school year. Please click here for some great information

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Here's how to access school board meeting videos

Please click here for videos of past School Board meetings.

Looking for past "In The Q" issues?

Quakertown Community School District

Gary Weckselblatt, QCSD Director of Communications, writes about the people and the programs that impact the Quakertown Community School District.