Message from the Superintendent
It is my pleasure to present the October edition of the Lower Moreland Township School District Superintendent’s Newsletter. I hope this letter finds you and your family healthy and well.
It’s hard to imagine that since reopening schools, nearly five weeks have passed. Protecting the health and well-being of every child and staff member---along with the need to reimagine, renew, and reopen our schools to support equitable outcomes for every student--- has been critical and the central goal of our work. Please know that the health and safety of our students and staff members continue to be at the forefront of all of our decision making. We believe that we will be able to keep your children and our staff safe using our detailed procedures and continue to educate students well - both in our hybrid and virtual programs.
While a world-wide pandemic continues, LMTSD remains focused on ensuring that we continue to be a high-performing school district. One way that we confirm accountability of this to all of our stakeholders is through the goals of the five-year strategic plan. Communicating these key elements to both the Board of School Directors and the school community is essential to the plan’s success and ultimately our many student successes. Please click here to learn about the Strategic Planning Goal Focus Areas.
Now, more than ever, during a time when we are all more technology-dependent, supporting our children in a technology-rich environment is highly important. Please join us virtually on Thursday, October 8 beginning at 7 pm as LMTSD hosts Becoming A Tech-Savvy Parent workshop. Mrs. Deborah McCoy, an educational consultant specializing in bullying/cyberbullying and school climate and safety, will share research, social media apps/trends, parental controls and other tools for parents in navigating our cyber world and keeping our children safe.
Lastly, please join me in congratulating Mrs. Sharon Franciosa, Pine Road Elementary School Assistant Principal, who was appointed last evening by the Board of School Directors in the Perkiomen Valley School District to be the Principal of Evergreen Elementary School. Mrs. Franciosa has worked in LMTSD for the past seven years, serving the students, staff and community with great passion, professionalism and, most importantly, care. LMTSD wishes Sharon great success in her new role as principal.
Scott Davidheiser, Ed.D.
Business Office (Mark McGuinn, Business Manager)
A large component of the school day has always been the ability for students to access meals. During the Covid-19 pandemic, this has become an issue nationwide and the United States Department of Agriculture is attempting to address the issue by allowing all students under the age of 18 to access school meals (breakfast and lunch) for free. The meals must meet the guidelines of the National School Lunch Program but is basically a regular “platter lunch” as denoted on the school menus. This service has been adopted to be in place until 12/31/20 or “when the funding runs out."
During the week of 9/21/20, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a Continuing Resolution that includes funding to support school nutrition programs through the end of the 2020-21 school year. The bill must now be passed by the Senate and signed into law before it can become effective. The Continuing Resolution includes nearly $8 billion in nutrition assistance, allowing the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to extend all Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Option (SSO) waivers through the end of the school year. The USDA in August had extended waivers through December 31, 2020. Without the Continuing Resolution, the waivers will expire. The waivers provide schools with meal distribution flexibility, and the extensions are needed to ensure that children under the age of 18 have consistent access to breakfast and lunch during the entire 2020-21 school year. The waiver extensions will permit schools to continue offering meals to all children at no charge, minimizing the challenges of meal service and ensuring that students have access to food during the pandemic.
To take advantage of free meals at Lower Moreland Township School District, please see the following schedule:
- Students who are enrolled in hybrid learning will be able to receive a free breakfast and lunch in the cafeteria when they are at school.
- Students at school also have the option to take free breakfast and lunch bags home with them for the days they are not in school.
- Breakfast and lunch will be available for pick up at Murray Avenue on Tuesdays and Fridays
from 3:30 PM – 5:30 PM for free. Please drive to the main entrance of the building through the bus drop off and pick up line. Please stay in your car and let the cashiers know your student’s ID number or last name. These meals are available for everyone 18 years old and younger.
- If you are interested in having your student(s) take breakfast and lunch bags home with them for the days they are not in school, please email Ms. Logan Myers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you are interested in picking up meals for anyone 18 years old and younger between 3:30 pm and 5:30 pm on Tuesdays and Fridays at Murray Avenue, please email Ms. Logan Myers at email@example.com.
The Lower Moreland Township School District will continue to monitor the situation and will update all students and families if anything changes.
Kindergarten Students enjoy a walk along PR's Nature Trail
Curriculum and Instruction (Julien Drennan, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Prof. Dev.)
With September behind us, teachers and students are beginning to settle into routines, technology utilization is evolving and the entire school community is becoming accustomed to the hybrid and virtual environments. The passage of time also signals the shift from review work to new concepts and course content will continue to increase in difficulty. Teachers will continue to support students who desire or need additional assistance on virtual Wednesdays, as well as throughout the week. Please encourage your student to participate in teachers' office hours in order to get extra help, clarification, or encouragement, as needed.
When the plans for the 2020-2021 school year were announced, families were told that they would have an opportunity to make a change in learning location prior to the second marking period. While it feels as though the school year just began, the district is already planning for Quarter Two! The choices of hybrid and virtual remain the only possible learning location selections.
On October 7, families will receive an email that will direct them to a Google Form, titled Request to Change Learning Location. This form will only need to be completed if a change in location from virtual to hybrid, or hybrid to virtual, is desired. Parents who wish to continue with their selection should not submit a form. Families with multiple students should complete a form for each of their children. The form will be open until October 14, 2020. After that date, no changes will be able to be made, as school personnel will need time to plan accordingly.
For families who wish to change to hybrid, school personnel will designate which hybrid days your student will attend in person and communicate that to you. Students in hybrid will attend school two days in person, as assigned, and learn virtually on the other days. Due to current trends in attendance, the assigned in-person learning days will not be based on last name by alphabet for any new hybrid students choosing to change to this option for the second marking period.
Students electing to change to virtual for the second marking period will continue to follow their daily schedule and teacher assignments will not change. He/she should log into Google Meet for each class period.
All changes in learning locations will begin on November 5, 2020, which is the first day of the second marking period.
It was an all Lower Moreland final in the SOL Doubles Championship
Sophomore Sarah Kideckel won the SOL Freedom Division Singles Title
The Girls' Soccer season is underway
Human Resources/Public Relations (Cheryl Galdo, Esq., Dir. of HR/PR)
The School Board adopted a Wellness Policy that complies with the National School Lunch guidelines. The policy requires that the District establish a Wellness Committee with various stakeholders, including parents and students. A copy of the Wellness Policy and information about the Wellness Committee can be found here.
Meetings of the Wellness Committee are held three times a year. (Meetings will be held virtually until further notice.) If you would like to join the Wellness Committee, please contact Cheryl Galdo, Director of Human Resources/Public Relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information about the District’s food services program can be found here. On this page, you can find breakfast and lunch menus and information about Smart Snack requirements from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Smart Snacks in School regulations apply to those food items that are available for purchase during the school day that are separate from the standard meal.
Technology (Jason Hilt, Ed.D., Director of Technology)
The Technology Department supports information technology systems and instructional technology programs and practices in the district. Each month, we highlight how our students and teachers have been engaged in 21st Century learning activities focused on the 4Cs (Critical Thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, and Communication) with the support of K-12 instructional coaches Karleigh Sugden and Dana Rapaport.
Critical Thinking: In World Studies, students used the web tool Kami to annotate the play Antigone. Kami integrates with Google Classroom and allows teachers to upload documents, including PDFs, in order to make them interactive for students. Mrs. Ashenbrenner models the use of the tool by making her own annotations and providing notes on challenging vocabulary. Students use the Kami tool to follow along with the text and take mindful pauses to document their learning while reading.
Creativity: Students in Ms. Kelley’s first-grade classroom learned how to use the drawing tools built into the Google Classroom iPad app. She introduced the tools with coloring pages and used the highlight tool for sight words or phonics skills of the week.
Students in Ms. Dorfman’s middle school Spanish class used the tech tool StoryBoard That to create comics of characters having a Spanish conversation. Students inserted backgrounds, characters, speech bubbles, and wrote the text of the conversation between the characters. Ms. Dorfman was pleased with the student products and the easy-to-use site.
Collaboration: Working together, the second-grade team created a slideshow to help ensure all students are getting the best of Pine’s second-grade teachers’ ideas! Students used the Small Moments writing unit slideshow to see examples and listen to instructions as much as they need asynchronously. During their synchronous sessions, students are able to share their work and ideas with each other for inspiration and to get to know each other better!
Communication: Teachers are utilizing new and innovative communication techniques to build rapport in our hybrid learning environment. One way this is being done in virtual classrooms is through the use of bitmoji versions of themselves. Some introduced themselves and these bitmojis during back to school night.
In an effort to provide students learning at home with a virtual seat in the classroom and to ensure better picture quality while learning from home, teachers have begun using iPad cameras on tripods. Teachers are using the iPad cameras in many creative ways to bring our virtual students directly into the classroom.
Example of "StoryBoard That" in a Spanish lesson
Students in a 2nd Grade Class testing iPads on tripods for virtual students
The Murray Avenue Library in Bitmoji form
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 night-time 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:
Lower Moreland Township School District Homeless Liaison
2551 Murray Avenue
Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006
Region 8 Homeless Coordinator
(Bucks, Delaware, Lehigh, Montgomery, and Northampton counties)
215-348-2940 ext 1361
State Coordinator Pennsylvania Department of Education
Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program
333 Market Street, 5th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
211 - 211 provides callers with information about and referrals to social services for every day needs and in times of crisis.
Phone: 211 www.211.org
Foodfinder.us - 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