Superintendent's Newsletter

August 2021

Message from the Superintendent

It is my pleasure to present the August edition of the Lower Moreland Township School District Superintendent’s Newsletter. I hope this letter finds you and your family healthy and well.

Please join me in welcoming three new administrators to Lower Moreland High School - Ms. Megan Geenens and Mr. Justin Thomas, Assistant Principals, and Mrs. Danielle Turner, Athletic and Activities Director. All three administrators have been actively transitioning and working on-site throughout this month and have been integral in the preparations to begin the 2021-2022 school year.

The Board of School Directors recently approved an amended Health and Safety Plan to begin the 2021-2022 school year. Included in the Board-approved plan is a requirement for all students, staff and visitors to wear a face covering in buildings while the Lower Moreland Township COVID-19 transmission level remains in the substantial and high categories as defined by the CDC and Montgomery County Office of Public Health. I encourage our families and staff to visit the LMTSD Health and Safety webpage for additional information and resources.

Lastly, please enjoy reading this year’s 2020-2021 Annual Report titled Reuniting, Reconnecting, Learning Together.

We look forward to the start of the 2021-2022 school year on August 30!

Scott Davidheiser, Ed.D.


Big picture

Business Office (Mark McGuinn, Business Manager)

The Lower Moreland Township School District will be continuing a provision known as the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) in the 2021-2022 school year. This program will be available at all three schools for all enrolled students of the Lower Moreland Township School District. All students will be eligible to receive a nutritional breakfast and lunch each school day during the school day at no charge to your household.

Although no further action is required for your child(ren) to receive breakfast and lunch at no charge, the District is still encouraging families to fill out the Free and Reduced Applications as there are many other benefits that come along with it. You can download a paper application by clicking here.

We are encouraging families to fill out an application for free meals because there are other benefits that may be made available to families based upon their free/reduced status. This could include but may not be limited to the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program that allows families to purchase meals from a pre-loaded card. This benefit was available (from the USDA) to all eligible free/reduced students last year and may continue during the 2021/22 school year.

The automatic free meals for all students are scheduled to end at the end of the 2021/22 school year unless the USDA decides to end it earlier. Parents should be proactive in completing the Free & Reduced Application and, therefore, making the transition back to Free & Reduced easier.

If there are any questions, please feel free to contact our District Food Service Manager, Logan Myers at or at (215) 938-0270 ext 6214.

Images from Pine Road's Summer Enrichment Program

Curriculum and Instruction (Julien Drennan, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Prof. Dev.)

This year the District welcomed 13 new staff members as a part of the annual New Teacher Orientation. The Orientation, which takes place over three days, begins the induction process for new teachers. Every new teacher receives a mentor, who will guide and assist the teacher through their first two years in the district. They also benefit from planned professional development focused on educator effectiveness, including supporting the needs of diverse learners and integrating technology. The District's Instructional Coaches, Julie Dunphy and Karleigh Sugden, led the orientation and will work closely with new teachers throughout the year to support them.

Images from New Teacher Orientation

Human Resources/Public Relations (Cheryl Galdo, Esq., Dir. of HR/PR)

Human Resources

The district is pleased to welcome the following new teachers and long-term substitutes to the 2021-22 school year:

Lower Moreland High School

Lisa Weidman, Certified School Nurse Andrea Needham, Science Gina Hesney, Science Alicia Ogelsby, School Counselor

Murray Avenue School

Lauren DiMao, 6th Grade Melissa Huber, Certified School Nurse Shay Cumberland, Learning Support Savannah Shields, Art

Pine Road Elementary School

Brianna Adamski, 5th Grade Aubrey Bartholomew, 4th Grade Emily Golia, 4th Grade Katelyn Wolfgang, Kindergarten Kyle Lutteroty, School Counselor Megan Shelly, Learning Support Mariel Nigro, Learning Support Emily Pitkow, 2nd Grade Lauren McGinnis, 3rd Grade

Public Relations

The recent Olympics Games in Toyko had a Lower Moreland connection. Lower Moreland High School alumna, High School All-American, and Hall of Fame member Erica Dambach, who is in her 14th year as Penn State Women's Soccer Coach, served as an Assistant Coach on the Olympic U.S. Women's Team. She previously served as an assistant coach on the 2008 Olympics Team when they won gold.

Images from Pine Road's WIN Camp

Technology (Jason Hilt, Ed.D., Director of Technology)

During the summer months, the technology department was busy preparing for another extraordinary school year. Technology staff members inspected and cleaned mobile devices, installed new equipment, prepared training materials, repaired hardware, deployed updates, and replaced obsolete hardware in school buildings. The technology department is looking forward to continuing to support information technology systems and instructional technology programs and practices in the district. Here are a few highlights for the new school year:

One major area of emphasis during the summer months is providing teacher and staff professional development, and supporting new staff members during the new teacher induction program. Members of the technology department completed training sessions to acquire and enhance skills related to Google Workspace, networking, security, and project management. Teachers and staff participated in Summer Academy sessions on topics such as Nearpod and Advanced Google Apps. All sessions were recorded so teachers can have access to on demand professional development. The instructional coaches will welcome new teachers to the district during a three day orientation program. New teachers will engage in learning about educator effectiveness, Special Education, ESOL, and technology as well as meet their colleagues who will support them as they begin their professional careers.

At Pine Road, all students will be issued devices for use at school and at home. Students in kindergarten and first grade will be issued Apple iPads. Students in grades 2-5 will be issued touchscreen Chromebooks. The iPads and Chromebooks will be configured with tools and applications to support the needs of all students.

All Murray Avenue students will be assigned new 2-in-1 touchscreen Chromebooks for use in school and at home. The convertible 2-in-1 Chromebooks allow students to use the devices as laptops or touchscreen tablets. The Murray Avenue Technology Center enters year three of service. Enhanced cleaning and sanitizing protocols continue this year, and more repairs will be completed in the tech center which will greatly reduce device downtime.

At the high school, each incoming ninth grade student and students in grade 12 will be receiving a brand new 2-in-1 touchscreen Chromebook at the start of the school year. The new Chromebooks are lightweight, fast, and durable. Students in grades 10-11 will continue to use the device issued in the 20-21 school year. The district was able to standardize the Chromebook

models at the high school which should help streamline repair and replacement this year and beyond.

Teachers and staff members will also benefit from device replacements and upgrades. The 2021-2022 school year is the first in a new device refresh cycle. The obsolete mobile devices being used by staff members will be replaced with new touchscreen laptops or non-touch laptops paired with wireless tablets depending. The device upgrades will allow teachers and staff to expand their use of virtual learning platforms and streaming services, learning management systems, and online and offline tools. The new devices will be used throughout the next 5-year refresh cycle.

Student Services (Frank Giordano, Director of Special Education and Student Services)

The McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth Act ensures the immediate enrollment, school stability, and academic support needed to increase the educational success of homeless children and youths. It defines homeless children and youths to be those who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. If you have school or preschool-aged children or you are a youth not in the custody of a parent/guardian and are experiencing homelessness, please contact one of the persons listed below for assistance:

Julie O’Malley

Lower Moreland Township School District Homeless Liaison

2551 Murray Avenue

Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006

Michelle Connor

Region 8 Homeless Coordinator

(Bucks, Delaware, Lehigh, Montgomery, and Northampton counties)

215-348-2940 ext 1361

Storm Camara

State Coordinator Pennsylvania Department of Education

Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program

333 Market Street, 5th Floor

Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333

(717) 783-6468

Additional Resources - 211 provides callers with information about and referrals to social services for everyday needs and in times of crisis. Phone: 211 - a nonprofit website and app (for iOS or Android) that offers the location and contact information of more than 40,000 food pantries and similar food programs across the country.

Back to School Speaker Series
The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services is sponsoring a "Back to School" series of virtual events designed to support the mental health needs of students as they return to school. The events will be held weekly from 6:30-8:00 PM. The flyer to register is attached below.

Lower Moreland Township School District

Scott A. Davidheiser, Ed.D.