Green Lane Gazette
December 2021 - Harry S Truman High School
Dates To Remember
- December 13 - School Board Meeting @ 7:30PM
- December 16 - Winter Concert
- December 17 - Life Skills Dance
- December 21 - 2nd Marking Period Progress Reports
- December 23 - Early Dismissal
- January 4-6 - Keystone Winter Wave (Details pending)
Please note that the school calendar was changed on 10/16 to create 3 new 1/2 days for students on 1/12, 2/9, & 3/9.
Responding to the Oxford High School Tragedy
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Oxford High School community as they work to make sense of the most recent school violence in our country. As we reflect on the events in Michigan and encounter elevated feelings of anxiety about school safety in our own high school, we felt it was important to remind families that:
- The building has limited exterior access, locked front doors with specific protocols & access policies, constant monitoring by security, administration, & faculty teams, and extensive video surveillance.
- Our administrative team has regular reviews of safety protocols and crisis training, which extends to the staff and students with annual training and drills.
- We have multiple services & supports available for students who are experiencing mental health issues including anger, anxiety, and depression, which includes school counselors, psychologists, behavior therapists, outside therapists, social workers, an SEL coordinator, and many caring adults.
- We are actively creating and implementing school-wide positive behavior measures to create a safe, welcoming, and encouraging environment for our students to feel supported as they pursue academic growth and success.
Please remind your students that schools are safe. There is a difference between possibility and probability and less than 1% of violent deaths are "school associated" (NASP School Safety and Crisis Response Committee. 2015). We all struggle to understand senseless violence but we have multiple ways to support students in need.
There's a difference between gossiping, snitching, and reporting. We all play a role in school safety and reporting situations that make you nervous, uncomfortable, or frightened to a caring adult could possibly prevent harm to others.
Violence is never a solution to a problem and is unacceptable at Harry S Truman High School. By working as an entire school community, we can limit and even prevent violence from taking place in our school.
After School Activities
- Any student staying after school should remain with their sport, activity, club, or in detention until leaving campus. Students are not permitted to stay after school unsupervised.
- Bus Schedules: There is a 5:30 bus every day of the week, but the 4:30 bus only runs on Mon-Wed-Friday.
All attendance notes, trip approval requests, and other inquiries should be emailed to email@example.com or call 267-599-2109 to speak with Debbie Schipilow, our attendance clerk.
End of marking period
November 16th marked the end of the first marking period. Marking period grades are currently available on the Icampus portal. Please review this information and contact your child’s School Counselor if you have any concerns.
Future Read Conference at Bucks County Community College
On November 19th, over 150 students attended the BTSD Future Ready Conference. This conference connects students to opportunities available at BCCC. The mini workshops included:
Apprenticeship and Pre-Apprenticeships
Learning and Working in VIrtual Reality
Careers in Social Work
Teaching and Education
PSAT scores will be available on 12/6 or 12/7. They will be accessible on your child’s College Board portal. If your child entered an email address when he/she took the PSAT, they will be emailed instructions for accessing their scores. If your child did not enter an email address, he/she must set up an account on College Board.
B-E-T (Business, Engineering, & Technology)
The students in our department generated some amazing projects.
- Fundamentals of Engineering - Students are working on a grand experiment. We are creating in Onshape to import into Adobe's Augmented reality app. Which produced a pre- AR Thanksgiving. One of the more stellar designs! Here we have the turkey CAD design along with the AR production!
- Mr. Gushue’s Computer Science Principles (CSP) class, created animated art projects using the Python programming software.
- Mr. Cutler’s Intro to Business classes are working on the Stock Market Simulation Project.
- Mr. Di Liegro’s Principles of Engineering classes have been working on building Vex motorized Winches and calculating Mechanical Systems Efficiency and Maximizing Motor Power.
- Mrs. Lieberman's 10th-grade students created Fallen Angels character tattoos that artistically supplement our character charts and reader response journals.
- Mr. A. Kotofsky’s/Ms. Lebofsky’s English classes use unique footwear to create characters.
- Mrs. Ursino’s 11th grade English students worked on journal entries on the whiteboard tables that expressed their opinions about second chances in life and society’s fixation on youth. This topic connects with the Fountain of Youth and the short story “Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, which is the next story in the Romanticism Unit.
Health, PE, & Driver's Education
New Teacher: Mr. Brian Sinkiewicz. Mr. Sinkiewicz was hired to replace Mr. Strickler who retired at the end of October. Mr. Sink as he is often referred, holds a Bachelor's degree in Sports Management from East Stroudsburg University and a teaching certification from Cairn University in Health and Physical Education. He is also certified to teach Driver's Education. He is currently coaching wrestling at Truman High School and will be joining the baseball coaching staff in the spring.
Mr. Sinkiewicz previously worked at the Center for Student Learning Charter School, located in Levittown. He graduated from Pennsbury High School in 2001 and lives in Fairless Hills with his wife and son, where he grew up. Before Thanksgiving Mr. Sink made his debut officiating the dodgeball tournament that was held by the PE Majors students.
Driver Education - Students finished their first unit. Mr. Sicilia has been working hard to get students as many hours on the simulators as possible. Things to look forward to, guest speakers about insurance and a guest speaker from AAA about driving safety.
Physical Education - Students have been through their first choice session. This has resulted in more students participating in activities of their choice. Students have had the option of selecting an activity such as volleyball, basketball, weight training, and yoga. Before Thanksgiving break, we brought out the large KinBall for students in volleyball to use!
Health and Wellness - Students learned about the female reproductive system, we will be moving onto the male reproductive system and then onto pregnancy and childbirth. As a department, we are planning for a guest speaker about human trafficking.
PE Majors worked dilligently planning a dodgeball tournament. The students were responsible for planning all aspects of the tournament from designing flyers, planning the size and scope of the tournament to seeding teams and creating a bracket. The tournament was held on 11/24 and was extremely successful. The winning team Island Boy’s (James Baker, Aquil Chapman, Caleb Wright, Ethan Fail, Ryan Cavanaugh, Jayden Gaines, Wyatt Spinks, and Gavin Burns) made it through the winner’s bracket to take on White Out (Connor Morgan, Dante Giannetti, Josh Norris, Jacob Parent, Jake Hunt, Marcelo Aguilar, Mason O’Donnell, and Adam Schulz) who came out of the losers bracket. White Out beat the Island Boys forcing a second game to determine the winner. Island Boy’s came out on top. All proceeds from the tournament will be donated to Truman’s SADD Club to help with different programs they run including the mock car crash.
Circulation statistics from the Truman Library show students are excited about checking out physical books again! Our young adults have checked out almost 1,000 books since September! I believe the increase is also credited to the teachers who have accompanied their classes to rediscover the beauty of the printed word. The saying, "If you build it they will come." can be altered so"If you bring them, they will check out books!"
However not to be overlooked are the 60 hours of reading and almost 100 hours of listening on our digital and audiobook platform offered by the library. Top resources from the data demonstrate that students are reading for both leisure and information on their devices.
Fifteen students came out for the Truman Reading Olympics team and the Snap Readers are currently working on a Bingo for Books that will be held in the library during one of the winter months. The Reading Olympics have been held every year since 2000 and is a vehicle to encourage students to read diverse titles and stimulate conversation about books.
Below are pictures of some students checking out titles, as well as Mr. Merk's class having a book discovery. The students played a version of musical chairs. When the music ended they sat with a new book for two minutes. This promoted a genre that they might not have tried before the activity.
M.A.C. (Music, Art, & Consumer Science)
Be sure to check out the Truman artists and their work on display in the boardroom from November through January
- Marching band has the annual Santa Breakfast and Holiday Bizarre on Dec 11th
- Marching band playing @ Holly Night at Pennsbury Manson, Thursday Dec 2nd @ 8
- Winter Choir and Band Concert is Dec 16th.
Ms. Berner and Ms. Gatte’s classes completed their 10 Ways to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse and their individual Actor projects with research and performance. Classes are now prepping their improv skills at the start of the 2nd MP.
After completing two plays and summative performances, Theatre Two is starting a marking period on true life incidents that were turned into plays or musicals. The classes enjoyed Every Little Step as the start of the unit.
Science/Math/Theatre????? Yes!!! As the class moves into a new marking period, the combination is truly relevant of the 3 subjects with Six Degrees of Separation. Everyone can connect themselves to ANY celebrity/person in 6 steps or less...can you?
The class just finished our class performances from The Laramie Project. Everyone is learning about music and the payola controversy of the 1960’s as we prep for Memphis the musical.
This school year, Truman Mathematics introduced a revamped course progression that shifts Geometry between the Algebra I and Algebra II classes. Due to this restructuring, a large number of students, from freshmen to seniors, find themselves studying Geometry. Mrs. Althouse, Mrs. Arbaugh, Mrs. Baradziej, Mr. Brady, Mrs. Harvey, and Mr. Taggart all share the duty of teaching the 20 different sections of the course this year, and all are putting their own personal stamp on the subject.
So what will our students learn in geometry? They will develop methods of measuring and analyzing the spatial relationships of two- and three-dimensional objects, and they will put their Algebra I skills to use through practical applications of the topics they study (be on the lookout for some really creative and unique projects as the year progresses).
Geometry can be used for the simplest of tasks, like planning a road trip or hanging up pictures in your home. But the subject is also a gateway to higher-level studies in math. For every topic they learn, for every geometric problem they apply their knowledge of algebra to, they are also learning the reasoning behind it. They are learning to build coherent and logical proofs of concepts they have studied for many years. Best of all, through collaborative learning, they become thoughtful critics of their own mathematical arguments as well as those of their peers.
Mrs. King gets a "bird's eye view" of her Algebra 1 classes.
Ms. Althouse's ongoing geometry quilt project.
Honors Geometry students work together to unravel the mysteries of transversals and parallel lines.
Here's what's going on in our science classes:
Honors Chemistry - Students have been learning about energy transfer and have conducted a laboratory experiment investigating endothermic and exothermic reactions using Vernier probes attached to their Chromebooks. They also completed work on their first major laboratory report on mole ratios in chemical reactions.
PLTW Principles of Biomedical Science - Students finished up the blood evidence from Anna Garcia's death scene with both presumptive blood testing, ABO blood typing, and blood spatter analysis. We will now be moving into DNA evidence using DNA modeling kits, extracting DNA from saliva, learning about restriction enzymes, and running DNA electrophoresis gels.
Forensic Science - Classes just finished up their group Crime Scene Cases with documentation and submission of their processing of the outdoor crime scenes. Each group submitted their folder containing rough sketches, final sketches, notes, and Event Analysis determination of their ideas as to what happened at the crime scene based on the evidence they documented. December will involve a detailed examination of hair evidence for both human and non-human species.
Honors Chemistry 2 - Students conducted experiments on intermolecular forces, empirical formulas and gravimetric analysis.
- In Ms. Wright’s Civics and Western Civ classes, students worked on projects exhibiting what they have learned in their respective Amendments and Age of Exploration units.
- Civics students created PSA posters and videos to inform others of their rights.
- Western Civ students created trading cards to creatively communicate the related ideas of exploration.
In honor of Veterans Day Students and teachers responded to a FlipGrid thanking some of our own Truman Veterans for their service!
Our Truman Life Skills Staff provide students and parents with opportunities outside the traditional classroom to connect with the community. Some of the programs are the Truman Dances, Truman Buddies, and Community Based Instruction (CBI). For this newsletter, we focused on Mr. Delaney and Mrs Fortunak’s students.
Truman Life Skills Dances
Truman dances started a long, long time ago. It’s been well over 45 years since the dances have been in existence. Marge Rumford, a special education teacher, ran the dances in what is now called the Family and Consumer Science Wing. Mr. Delaney took over the reins and has been at the helm for the past 37 years along with Mrs. Fortunak (14 years and counting)! The dances provide students and parents with the opportunity to socialize and network with staff, community members, and other parents and students. The dances are supported by our staff, our parent group, and alumni. The dances run once a month on a Friday night. The students’ participation begins before the dance. Students shop for food, decorate, and help with setting up and cleaning up supporting functional life skills. Beyond Special Olympics and the monthly dances, there aren’t many other opportunities like this available to our families.
Truman Buddies started out as Best Buddies through an agency a few years back but faded. Approximately 6 years ago, Judy Heath, our then School Social Worker, brought back the program and named it Truman Buddies. Mrs. Fortunak now oversees the program. Mrs. Fortunak sets up bussing and provides communication to parents and students. Truman Buddies take place once per month and pairs our students with other students in the Truman Family. Students work together on planned activities and spend time socializing and getting to know one another. Mr. Delaney, Mrs. Hennessy, and the support staff also work with Mrs. Fortunak to support the program. Some of this year’s activities include painting pumpkins, dipping chocolate, creating gingerbread houses and snowmen, board games, Bingo, and art activities. End-of-year activities include a pizza and swimming social.
Mr Delaney and Mrs. Fortunak’s students participate in Community Based Instruction (CBI). CBI provides the opportunity for community living experiences. Activities include shopping, dining out, recreational activities, and accessing public services. Students practice under the direction of our Truman Staff self-care, personal safety, self-advocacy, and social skills. It is important for our school community to see our students and recognize them as community members.
Mr. Delaney and Mrs. Fortunak communicate frequently with our parents regarding the three programs through classroom monthly newsletters, communication books, and email/phone calls. We are looking forward to a 4th opportunity Mr. Delaney is developing “The Unified Track Team”. If you are interested, please contact Mr. Delaney at Truman.
Happy Holidays, Buon Natale, and Feliz Navidad! We want to wish all of our students and their families a wonderful holiday season and a very happy and healthy new year!
December is national learn a foreign language month. Why not sit down with your child and learn some new words in the language they are learning? If applicable, share your background knowledge to help them on their journey of becoming proficient.
Classroom corner - Here are some projects and topics that our students recently completed:
Signor Gleeson’s classes reenacted scenes from famous Italian operas.
Signora Guida’s classes enjoyed participating in language competitions to try and win a raffle prize.
Señora Gregory 's classes enjoyed a screen free day creating cultural crafts including a traditional Mexican yarn art piece.
Señorita Lamplugh’s classes created mini-posters about signs and symptoms of the flu, what to do if you get sick, and ways to keep the community safe.
Señor Maldonado’s classes worked on a favorite activities project highlighting things they like to do.
Señor Matwijec’s classes completed a “yo soy yo” project where they described themselves in detail in Spanish.
Señora Reffner’s classes recorded themselves saying the seasons and did a virtual calavera.
English as a Second Language
Mrs. Barnes’ classes used their note cards to demonstrate how teamwork helps us build better together!
Mrs. O’Donnell’s classes are discussing “The American Dream” and working with plot diagrams