Neshaminy School District / August, 2021
Welcome Back for 2021-2022!
The 2021-2022 school year is about to start, and we are excited and ready to welcome our students and staff back to class!
We are looking forward to a great year of learning. The Neshaminy administrators, teachers, support and facilities staff have been preparing since last spring to provide the best and safest possible learning environment no matter what circumstances the new school year brings. Every detail, from bus and bell schedules to new academic initiatives and co-curricular activities has been carefully planned to provide the maximum in-person experience possible.
Our Facilities crews have been busy over the summer cleaning every building, classroom and gymnasium, stripping and waxing floors, and making sure that all HVAC systems are fully operational. Last year the District invested in a new Bi-polar Ionization air filtration system in every building that will help to minimize airborne virus transmission. This system, along with enhanced cleaning procedures, will help to keep our students and staff safer.
New furniture and layout in the library media center at Neshaminy High School encourages small group interaction, tutoring, and comfortable, casual reading.
In addition, a number of building improvement projects were completed this summer including new roofing on portions of Neshaminy HS, Poquessing MS, Walter Miller ES, Carl Sandburg MS and the Transportation Department offices and shop. A major renovation at the library media center at Neshaminy High School is nearly complete, which will offer students a modern, comfortable, multi-purpose place for reading, meeting, tutoring, and relaxing between classes. Gym 3 at NHS is getting a refurbished floor, new wall paint and decorative additions to the lobby and snack area.
Demolition and new oil tank installation at Neshaminy HS
Roof replacement at Walter Miller ES
The floor in Gym 3 has been refurbished and will be repainted and revarnished
Several new school buses and vans have been added to the Transportation fleet. The Neshaminy IT Department continues to enhance the 1:1 Technology program to provide Chromebooks to every student in grades K-12, expand the gigabyte wireless internet access system in each school, and upgrade smart boards and screens in classrooms and common areas with the latest technology.
While much energy continues to be put into pandemic-related health & safety concerns this year, Neshaminy is also looking ahead to future academic growth. Implementation of the next Comprehensive Plan for the District will begin this year. This is a months-long process that will involve implementation teams made up of administrators, teachers, community members, educational consultants and students. The purpose is to ensure increased student success, achievement through research-based programs with measurable results, focused staff development, and increased public participation in the planning process.
Health & Safety Plan Information
As Neshaminy student and their families prepare to return to the classroom, information about pandemic-related policies and procedures are on everybody's mind. The updated Health & Safety plan approved by the School Board on August 24 is posted at the top of the the District website home page (www.neshaminy.org). This document and related procedures may be updated as circumstances change, and we urge all Neshaminy families to refer to the email updates from their schools, from Dr. McGee, as well as the Health & Safety Plan as the first day of classes approaches. Each school website will also contain links to updated information regarding the plan and procedures.
Any concerns or questions related to these procedures should first be directed to the Main Office at your child's school. Contact information can be found at the bottom of each school's website home page.
General questions can also be directed to the District's "Ask Trish" hotline at 215-809-7777.
Important back-to-school dates
- Wednesday, September 1: First day of school for grades K, 5 and 9
- Thursday, September 2: All students report to school
- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, September 6, 7, 8: No school for students
- Monday, September 13: Instrumental Music Discovery Night at NHS, 5:30 pm
- Thursday, September 16: No school for students
- Thursday, September 23: Back to School Night (Elementary)
- Thursday, September 30: Back to School Night (Middle Schools)
- Thursday, October 7: Back to School Night (Neshaminy HS)
Please see the calendars on the Neshaminy District and school websites for updates and additional events.
School Supply help available
School Resource Officer Missy Robison is pleased to announce a limited supply of donated backpacks filled with school supplies available to families that could use some help getting ready for the new school year. To be considered for a backpack, you MUST send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
1. Parent / Guardian Name
2. Student Name
3. Name of School
4. Name of Teacher (if known yet)
6. Phone Number
Eligible applicants must be from the Neshaminy School District, which includes the private schools in the Neshaminy area. Children must be 3-17 years of age. Eligible families have been faced with a life challenge such as loss of job, homelessness, military deployment, economic shortcomings, difficulties related to COVID-19 or other hardship.
Additional backpacks and supplies may be available through the United Way of Bucks County Stuff the Bus campaign. Information about that program will be shared with eligible families through Neshaminy District social workers, school nurses and counselors.
No charge for school meals in 2021-2022
Students will once again be able to obtain both breakfast and lunch in their schools for no charge during the 2021-2022 school year. This applies to all students regardless of family income or "Free & Reduced" status.
The "Grab and Go" meal program will end with the distribution of final meals on Friday, August 27. Over the summer, the program served over 75,000 breakfasts and 75,000 lunches to Neshaminy families. Funded by a Federal grant, the nationwide program was initiated in the early days of the pandemic to help families provide meals for their children when school buildings closed and instruction went online. The program was extended during the 2020-2021 school year to help with the lingering economic effects of the pandemic.
Neshaminy welcomes new administrators
Bob Maloney, Director of Facilities and Operations
Mr. Maloney comes to Neshaminy from Bristol Township School District where he served as their Operations Manager overseeing the Facilities and Operations Department. There he oversaw construction of three new elementary schools, an Administration/Operations/Transportation building renovation, construction of a new bus garage, and renovation of the turf field at Truman High School. Previously he worked for Johnson Controls/GWS on the TD Bank account overseeing 500 buildings from Washington DC to New York City, and in the manufacturing electronics field for Sarnoff Labs, GE aerospace, Martin Marietta, Telenex and Autotote Gaming Systems. He has two adult children, and enjoys spending his free time at the shore boating and fishing or tending to his garden at home.
Michael Cochran, Assistant Principal, Poquessing MS
Mr. Cochran is a Neshaminy, Penn State, and Holy Family graduate, and his three children are currently attend Neshaminy schools. He started at Poquessing last year as the acting Assistant Principal from his previous position at Tawanka Elementary as their Coordinator of Student Affairs. He started with Neshaminy at Maple Point, and also spent several years coaching soccer and track. Most of his career has been spent at Neshaminy High School, teaching English and coaching the JV boys soccer team. As a student, parent, and educator, he is proud of the Neshaminy community – the academics, athletics, arts, and the focus on children as the focal point of all our efforts.
Other administrative changes:
Lisa Pennington is taking over as Assistant Principal / Co-Curricular at Neshaminy High School to replace Tom Magdelinskas, who retired at the end of the 2020-2021 school year. Lisa is a long-time staff member and Neshaminy HS alumnus who was the Assistant Principal / Scheduling and Records at NHS.
Steve McAloon is taking over as Assistant Principal / Scheduling and Records at Neshaminy High School to replace Lisa Pennington. Steve has been with Neshaminy since 1995 as a teacher and administrator and was most recently a Staff Development and Data Specialist for the District.
Welcome, new teachers!
The District is excited to welcome 44 new teachers to the Neshaminy family! They spent three days (August 25-27) at Maple Point for orientation.
Grant funds help tackle Covid setbacks, learning loss
Since 2020, public schools across the nation have received 3 grants as part of the Federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) fund to help with the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. So far, Neshaminy has received approximately $11.3 million from these grants. The third grant, the American Rescue Plan (ARP ESSER) totaled just over $7 million, of which 20% (approximately $1.4 million) must specifically address pandemic-related learning loss. The remaining 80% will be used for items targeting:
- Safe, in-person schooling and continuity of services
- Facilities and grounds updates
- Social-emotional learning, trauma-sensitive schools, health & wellness
- Staff recruitment, support, and retention
- Systemic equity
- Family and community partnerships
Regarding learning loss, Neshaminy administrators received feedback from both parents and staff regarding the difficulties that our students experienced both academically and emotionally as a result of the pandemic. This feedback has allowed our District to identify two specific areas of need:
- Targeting learning loss and identify students with the greatest needs at the elementary grade level (K-5) with the addition of intervention specialists.
- Focusing on the instructional best practices academically as we transition to a new school year, while supporting students social and emotional needs in all grades K-12 with the addition of new instructional learning coaches.
In July, District administrators presented an outline to the School Board on how these funds will be spent. A video of the School Board presentation can be viewed here.
Neshaminy School Board Update
The next scheduled Board Public Work Session is Tuesday, September 14 in the District Board Room at Maple Point Middle School. The meeting is open to the public and will also be livestreamed on the District website at www.neshaminy.org/meetings.
Livestreams and archive videos of the Board Public Work Sessions and Public meetings can be viewed at www.neshaminy.org/meetings.
The schedule for 2021-2022 Board Committee meetings will be posted on the District website at the start of the new school year. Committees meet several times a year in the District Board Room at Maple Point (unless otherwise noted) and include:
- Business Operations
- Educational Development
- Facilities & Planning
The public is invited to attend and participate in these meetings. They are less formal in their format than the Board Public Meetings and offer an opportunity for open discussion about important topics between committee members and the Neshaminy community.
2-1-1 Service: If you are looking for non-educational community resources such as food pantries, housing assistance, help with utility bills, unemployment information or crisis resources, the United Way of Bucks County offers a centralized information service which can be accessed by calling 211, texting your area code to 898-211, or visiting www.pa211.org. This service is available 24/7 and is available in 42 languages.
Pre-K Counts: A Smart Start at Neshaminy!
The Pre-K Counts program at Neshaminy is enrolling students for the 2021-2022 school year. This state-funded program operates in several Neshaminy school buildings, and offers a quality, free preschool program to families that meet age and financial eligibility guidelines. For the upcoming school year, the income guidelines based on household size are as follows (based on 2020 Federal tax returns):
- 2 family members: $52,260
- 3 family members: $65,880
- 4 family members: $79,500
- 5 family members: $93,120
- 6 family members: $106,740
- 7 family members: $120,360
Students must turn 3 or 4 years old by September 1, 2021 to qualify. To learn more about Pre-K Counts at Neshaminy or to apply for enrollment, please visit the Neshaminy PKC website www.neshaminy.org/pkc.
NHS senior places 1st in state, 5th in national fbla competition
The Business, Computer and Information Technology (BCIT) Department is proud to recognize the Neshaminy Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) member Aaron Lewis. Aaron took FIRST place in the Entrepreneurship Event at the virtual State Competition in April, qualifying him to compete virtually at the National Competition in June. Aaron competed against the best teams in every state, Puerto Rico, Guam and the US Virgin Islands in both a 100-question test and a live zoom presentation to a panel of judges. With over 100 teams competing in this event, Aaron placed FIFTH IN THE NATION! This marks the second time Aaron competed at FBLA Nationals and placed in the top ten. As a freshman in 2019, Aaron placed seventh in Banking and Financial Systems.
Fall sports teams ready to rumble
Practices for the fall sports season at Neshaminy HS are well under way, and the student athletes, coaches and their fans are looking forward to a great season of play. Under the current Health & Safety plan, fans from both Neshaminy and their opponents teams will be able to attend home games in person this season.
The updated fall co-curricular activity schedule can be found at the NHS Calendar website, www.SkinsEvents.com.
Up-to-the-minute information about co-curricular events at Neshaminy High School can also be found at a new Twitter account, @Neshaminy. Coaches and club advisors will be encouraged to tag this account when posting updates about their club activities, postponements, game scores and more.
The new year will bring some exciting changes to Homecoming at Neshaminy HS. The festivities will be held on Saturday, September 25 this year, and will feature a slate of varsity games in multiple sports along with the traditional Homecoming Carnival. The Homecoming football game against Central Bucks South HS will be held at 1 pm. Moving the games to the daytime and adding more sports will allow for greater student and community participation.
Students athletes on the District's 7th and 8th grade teams will be able to compete this year after pandemic restrictions forced cancellation of the middle school seasons last year.
Redskins 2021 football schedule
- Aug. 27 (Friday), Archbishop Wood HS, Home, 7:00 PM
- Sep. 3 (Friday), Central Bucks East HS, Home, 7:00 PM (SPORTS CAMP NIGHT, FIRST RESPONDERS NIGHT)
- Sep. 10 (Friday), Pennridge HS , Away, 7:00 PM
- Sep. 17 (Friday), Souderton Area HS, Home, 7:00 PM (HALL OF FAME NIGHT, BLUE OUT)
- Sep. 25 (Saturday), Central Bucks South, Home, 1:00 PM (HOMECOMING, additional varsity sports played in the morning)
- Oct. 1 (Friday), North Penn HS, Away, 7:00 PM
- Oct. 8 (Friday), Quakertown Area HS, Away, 7:00 PM
- Oct. 15 (Friday), Abington HS, Away, 7:00 PM
- Oct. 22 (Friday), Central Bucks West HS, Home, 7:00 PM (SENIOR NIGHT, PINK OUT supporting breast cancer victims)
- Oct. 29 (Friday), Pennsbury HS, Away, 7:00 PM
Updated NHS sports schedules for all fall sports can be found at www.SkinsEvents.com
NHS Thespians shine at international festival
In late June, fifteen Neshaminy HS drama students participated in the International Theater Festival. Once again it was held virtually, but will return next year as a live event to be held in Indiana.
In order to qualify for an individual event at Internationals, called the Thespys, students must score a Superior rating at States. Eight out of 12 of Neshaminy students qualified by earning this rating, and last week 7 out of those 8 students scored a Superior Rating at Internationals as well.
Grace McKenna is a Thespy Winner in the category of "Solo Musical Theater Performance." A Thespy Winner is a submission that not only achieved a Superior rating, but also earned the highest score in a selected Thespy category. Thespy Winners receive a special medallion and a trophy for their school. This year 640 students entered, and only 28 (including Grace) earned the Thespy Winner designation.
Olivia Garland auditioned and was cast in an original play written by a Superior winner from California in that category. The show, "Reverie," was filmed as a Dramatic Reading and shown at Internationals.
Finally, the fall show "12 Incompetent Jurors" was chosen to represent the state of Pennsylvania and was also shown at the festival. Congratulations to all our our talented performers and drama teacher Gina Chiolan for this amazing display!
Maple Point MS
Carl Sandburg MS
Neshaminy HS Class Officers and Student Council assisted with the annual 9th-grade orientation "Scavenger Hunt" that helps new students learn their way around the building
Cassandra “Casey” Johnston passed away in July, 2021. She was a staff member with the District's partner program, Neshaminy Kids Club, working at Tawanka ES and Herbert Hoover ES since 2016.
"Miss Casey" loved to spend most of her time teaching kids various types of physical education games. She truly loved her job, and was always looking for new ways to improve the program. She was continuing her educational journey by beginning an internship with Neshaminy Kids Club in the position of Assistant Supervisor, which she was so proud of.
Her voice could be heard from anywhere, and she was larger than life. This was particularly true in the morning program, where she would greet the staff from across the parking lot. Miss Casey’s coworkers will always say she looked out for them and always provided that much needed coffee from Dunkin or Wawa. The children, many who have attended for upwards of 5 years, voted her as their favorite counselor on numerous occasions. She has made a lasting impression on the Neshaminy Kids Club families that will never be forgotten.
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
Stephen Pirritano - President
John Allen - Vice President
Irene M. Boyle
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