Message from the Superintendent
It is my pleasure to present the June edition of the Lower Moreland Township School District Superintendent’s Newsletter. I hope this letter finds you and your family healthy and well.
The COVID-19 crisis has affected our community in ways we never could have anticipated and disrupted our lives for much longer than we ever could have imagined. However, we are also a resilient and determined community. I’m proud of how our students, teachers and families have responded in the wake of a pandemic throughout this entire school year. As the school year winds down, I sincerely thank all stakeholders for your support in our combined efforts. Understandably, there were few easy moments throughout this school year; however, the flexibility and resolve shown by all is to be commended.
The school district plans to return to a five-day school week of in-person teaching and learning on August 30. While technology has been a large part of our school efforts throughout this year and allowed our students/staff to engage on virtual platforms, we expect to re-engage our students in 2021-2022 back in our traditional classroom settings. Technology will continue to support our students and teachers, but the connectedness of social interaction in teaching and learning will be our driving force moving forward.
One of the essential needs since March 2020 has been the necessity to create a continuum of meal distribution for all of our students - both in-person and virtually. Ms. Logan Myers, District Food Service Director, has been an invaluable member of the district team in planning, organizing and serving the students and families of our community. Please join me as the district recognizes Logan with this month’s Lion’s Pride Award.
Have a safe and enjoyable summer!
Scott Davidheiser, Ed.D.
The District received a donation from Giant Food Stores for nutrition services for students and needy families
Business Office (Mark McGuinn, Business Manager)
Thanks to Act 1, the Pennsylvania Taxpayer Relief Act, Lower Moreland Township School District residents will be receiving a reduction in their 2021-22 school tax bill. Through a provision of the law, school districts throughout the state will be receiving revenue generated by legalized gambling as well as Sterling Tax revenue (the sum of (1) resident wages earned within City of Philadelphia and (2) wages earned outside of Philadelphia but not taxed by the school district because of application of the Philadelphia wage tax credit) and this revenue will be used to lower residents’ property taxes.
The property tax reduction will come in the form of a reduction in property’s assessed taxable value, not in the form of a rebate check. When residents receive the tax bills in July, they may notice additional information on their bill noting an assessment reduction (homestead/farmstead exclusion) which equates to a specific reduction in the overall tax bill. Original assessed value totals and original tax liability information will also be noted on the bill.
It is important to note that residents are only eligible for the property tax reduction if they have filed the appropriate homestead/farmstead exclusion form and have been approved for the exclusion by the county’s assessor’s office. The assessment reduction and net overall reduction on the tax bill will be the same for all approved homeowners. In 2020/21, the amount of revenue received helped to reduce eligible taxpayer’s tax burden by $425. The projection for 2021/22 is also $425 based solely on a slight increase of revenue received from the State but a corresponding increase in the number of approved homesteads.
If you did not file this form, you will not be eligible for this year’s property tax reduction. To become eligible next year, please be sure to complete a homestead/farmstead exclusion form. Homeowners who are not approved from the previous year are sent a notification by the County by the end of December of the previous tax year to sign up for the next year. To obtain a form, visit the assessment department on the Montgomery County website (www.montcopa.org) and download the form.
Homestead/Farmstead applications are due by March 1 of every year. Residents who acquire property in the school district after March 1 must wait until the following year to qualify for the exclusion. The county assessor must notify the property owner of the approval or denial of the exclusion no later than 30 days after the applications receipt. Residents who have an approved application on file for their current residence do not need to re-apply annually.
A LMHS team won the PennDOT Innovations Challenge
The HS Jazz Ensemble is a 2021 National Jazz Festival Winner
Curriculum and Instruction (Julien Drennan, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Prof. Dev.)
We are very much looking forward to welcoming our students back to in-person instruction, five days a week, for the 2021-2022 school year! In light of recent communications from Governor Wolf and the major health agencies, we anticipate that the upcoming year will be a return to "normal." With this in mind, the district anticipates the in-school attendance of the majority of its students. Any families with extenuating circumstances should contact their child's Principal by June 30, 2021, in order to address concerns regarding learning location.
An update on the curriculum renewal process was provided at the June 1, 2021 Work Session of the Board of School Directors. Areas that were in years one or two of research included English/Language Arts, Health and Physical Education, Science, Library and Technology. A recording of the update, including the recommended adoption of resources, can be found here.
Finally, a limited number of seats remain in the summer enrichment program. These classes are free to Lower Moreland students and offer a variety of engaging opportunities. Available classes are linked here and enrollment will be taken online through My School Bucks. Enrollment is now open and registration will be closed on June 30th or when class enrollment is full.
Human Resources/Public Relations (Cheryl Galdo, Esq., Dir. of HR/PR)
Human ResourcesAt the end of this school year, Dr. Jeannette Hausman (LMHS Physics Teacher), Margaret Stiles (LMHS/Murray Avenue German Teacher), and Donna Liberg (Murray Avenue Certified School Nurse) will be retiring.
Cindy Martino, the Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent/Director of HR/PR, and Linda Forcina, the High School Guidance Department Administrative Assistant, will also be retiring in July.
The district extends sincere gratitude for their dedicated service and contributions to our school community over the years.
The district is working on an annual report that will be sent this summer to families of students by email and mailed to non-student households in the community. This year's theme is "Reuniting, Reconnecting, Learning Together." The report will highlight students' accomplishments as well as how the district has continued its continuity of education plan during the COVID-19 pandemic. Also included will be 2021-22 school budget information; a summary of the district's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion activities; and an update on the new high school building plans.
Technology (Jason Hilt, Ed.D., Director of Technology)
The Technology Department supports information technology systems and instructional technology programs and practices in the district. This month, our instructional coaches share some useful tech tips for students and families. Check out this resource from Google to help manage the challenges families face with technology and children.
Student Services (Frank Giordano, Director of Special Education and Student Services)
As the school year winds down, the Office of Student Services would like to wish parents and students a safe and relaxing summer and say, “Thank You” for working with our teachers and staff to make this school year a successful one for our students with special needs. We would also like to remind all parents of students with IEPs to continue to work with your child during the summer months to reinforce skills and help them prepare for next school year. If your child has been found eligible for Extended School Year, please take advantage of those services which are provided to prevent regression in skills during extended breaks. Our program will run from July 6th to August 5th, Monday through Thursday, from 9:00am-12:00pm.
Kindergarten and First Grade Summer Fun
In order to assist with the reinforcement of fine motor skills for some of our younger students during the summer months our Occupational Therapist, Mrs. Hill, has provided the following list of activities you can do with your child to reinforce fine motor skills:
Games: Operation, Kerplunk, Cooties, Pop Up Pirate, Hi Ho Cheerio, Don't Spill the Beans, Sneaky Snaky Squirrel, Rush Hour Jr, Kanoodle, Mental Blox, Giggle Wiggle, Twister
Other items: Puzzles (24+), Small Legos, Hidden picture books, Activity/coloring books
Apps: Handwriting Without Tears, Dexteria Jr, iTrace, iWrite Words
Fun way to practice writing: Trace letters in the sand, sidewalk chalk, shaving cream, make letter “roads” for cars to drive on, fill a bag with hair gel for long car rides and the kids can practice their letters and site words, use magic paint (water and a paint brush) outside, build letters with rocks/sticks.
Special Education Data Report
Each year the Pennsylvania Bureau of Special Education reports to the public on the performance of each local educational agency (LEA) on the targets established in the State Performance Plan. This report is published as a “data at a glance” document that can be found by clicking here. These reports are always published using data from the previous school year so this report details the 2019-2020 school year.
Lower Moreland Township School District