Trailblazer Tribune

Bridge Valley's Newsletter

October 31, 2013


In our continuous effort to provide the safest learning environment possible for children, we conduct numerous drills each year to evaluate and refine our procedures. On November 12, 2013 Bridge Valley will participate in an off-site evacuation drill. The purpose of the drill is to evaluate our response to an event that would require staff and students to leave the school grounds. While we are unable to provide any additional information about our drill at this time, a message will be sent to families at the completion of the drill to confirm its success.


Our core mission in Central Bucks is to provide students with the academic and problem-solving skills essential for personal development, responsible citizenship, and life-long learning. At Bridge Valley, this mission is at the heart of what we do every day. The results of our local and state assessments support the fact that Bridge Valley provides students with an exceptional learning experience.

However, as our community knows Bridge Valley offers so much more. We offer students and families a place of fun, cooperation, service, belonging and connecting. This was reinforced for me over the past two months as I participated in the Rita’s Water Ice Social, Family Bingo Night, Fall Fest, Book Fair, Celebrate Education Week, Halloween Howl, and Halloween festivities. These events have been full of smiling children, busy adults, and wonderful shared family experiences.

I consider Bridge Valley an exceptional school, but the test scores printed in the newspaper are not my evidence for making that assertion. I believe we are an outstanding school because while providing students with a first-rate education, Bridge Valley serves as an extended family to the students and community it serves.

Cafeteria Contest Winners for October

Classes earn a point by following one of our three cafeteria rules; eat quietly, keep a clean space, and listen to directions. Each time a classroom is caught exhibiting one of these behaviors, they earn a point. Points are displayed on a screen in the cafeteria, and students watch as their class collects points. The class with the most points at the end of each month earns the “Golden Spoon” award. October’s gold spoon award winning classes were…

  • First Grade – Mrs. Tate
  • Second Grade – Ms Schmoyer

  • Third Grade – Miss Cohen

  • Fourth Grade – Mr. VanZant

  • Fifth Grade – Mrs. Jaeger

  • Sixth Grade – Miss Moyer


We are looking for Committee Volunteers to help coordinate this year’s Science ALIVE! Week, scheduled for the week of March 3rd thru March 7th, 2014.

Get in on the fun and join us on one of the following committees:

  • Science Lab Experiments Committee -- review experiments from previous years, revise them as needed, and/or develop new experiments for students to explore. Be responsible for one of the five experiments run during Science Alive week.

  • Lab Volunteer Committee -- schedule parent helpers in the science lab during the classroom visitations.

  • Classroom Presenter Committee -- recruit, schedule, and coordinate classroom presentations. Presenters can be members of the community, local colleges, or parents of Bridge Valley students who are willing to share science from their jobs or daily life through a presentation, demonstration, or activity with the classes.

  • Science Alive Family Fun Night Committee -- coordinate the evening of family fun, consisting of a presentation by the Franklin Institute, an experiment(s) to explore, snacks, and drinks.

A brief organizational meeting is scheduled for Monday, November 11th in the Community Meeting Room from 2:30PM - 3:00PM for those who sign up. All are welcome - no science background required!

Click the link below to sign up:

Counselor's Corner - Miss Melberger

The winner of the Bridge Valley and Central Bucks Boomerang Award for September was Jason Rackas from Mrs. Porco’s fourth grade class. He was nominated by his first grade teacher, Mrs. Ledwith. He won for Asset #20 Time at Home: A young person that spends time most days in high quality interactions with their family.

“Even though this student has long since left my 1st grade classroom, I can still remember how he demonstrated this month’s asset of Positive Family Communication. He loved going home and sharing with his parents the many details and events of his day.

This in and of itself was to be commended, because many of the 1st grade students were telling their parents their day was “fine” and they did “nothing”.

Not only would he share his highs, but would seek guidance for his lows. I remember in particular his having an issue with another student. He asked his parents how to remedy it. They had many suggestions for him including trying to avoid the person as well as trying to talk out his issues with the person. When these strategies still weren’t giving him the desired results, he wrote me a letter asking me if I could help him out, indicating that he had exhausted all of his options. Throughout all of this he showed grit, perseverance, respect and resiliency.

This is why I nominate Jason Rackas for this month’s asset of Positive Family Communication”
-Written by Mrs. Ledwith

The asset being recognized for November is #29 Interpersonal Competence: A student that demonstrates strong empathy and friendship skills. If you’d like to nominate a student, please complete a nomination form in the front office or email

Honorary Trailblazer Award

Our Honorary Trailblazer for September was Mrs. Jen Hendrie, owner of Rita’s Water Ice in Furlong, Pa. In August, she worked collaboratively with our school to host the first Bridge Valley Celebrity Scoop. Thanks to Mrs. Hendrie and the Bridge Valley staff members that volunteered to be scoopers, we raised $259.00 for Bridge Valley. We are appreciative to Mrs. Hendrie for the time and effort she put forth in this endeavor.

Veterans Day

Bridge Valley will be presenting a tribute to Veterans on November 8, 2013 at 9:00am. All Veterans and active members of the military are invited to attend. Also, if you have a picture of a relative or friend that is a Veteran or in the military please send in a copy to Katie Melberger in the Guidance Department and include a short description of their service. We would like to proudly display their acts of citizenship! If you plan to attend the assembly, please RSVP to Katie Melberger at by November 4, 2013.

Nurse News

Children and the Flu Vaccine

Have you scheduled your child’s flu vaccination? Flu is more dangerous than the common cold for children. Each year, flu places a great burden on the health of children and families. Each year, an average of 20,000 children under the age of 5 are hospitalized because of flu complications. Children with chronic health problems like asthma, chronic kidney disease, immune suppression, and diabetes are especially high risk for developing serious flu complications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all children aged 6 months up to their 19th birthday get a flu vaccine. Yearly flu vaccination should begin in September and continue throughout flu season in to December, January and beyond. Although flu outbreaks can happen as early as October, most of the time flu activity peaks in January or later. Because flu viruses change every year, the vaccine is updated annually. Even if you or your child got a flu vaccine last year, you still need to get a flu vaccine this season to remain protected. For more information on flu and flu vaccination –

BVE Wellness

Family Fall Fitness Fun

Things to do as a family during the fall…

Go for a walk


Go for a bike ride

Swim indoors

Play catch

Rake the leaves

Roller Skate

Play a backyard game

Trailblazer Tasty Treat

Spaghetti Squash With Tomatoes


1. cooked spaghetti squash, halved, seeds removed

2. cooked spaghetti squash, halved, seeds removed

3. 1 medium onion, chopped ( 1/2 cup)

4. 1 green pepper, chopped ( 1/2 cup)

5. 1 large garlic clove, chopped

6. 2 tablespoons olive oil

7. 4 Tomatoes, chopped ( 4 cups)

8. 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

9. 1/4 teaspoon dried basil

10. salt and pepper

11. 2 tablespoons butter

12. 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese


  1. Cook squash until done using any method you prefer- bake, boil, steam, microwave.

  2. When squash is nearly done, sauté onion, green pepper and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until tender. (about 5 minutes).

  3. Stir in tomatoes, salt and pepper, oregano and basil. Simmer together about 5 minutes more.

  4. When squash is done, shred with fork, keeping it inside the shell. Toss with butter. Spoon mixture on top of shredded squash, top with parmesan.

The Wellness Team

Spelling Bee

Recently, fifth and sixth grade students completed a preliminary spelling bee quiz which had 50 words. In order to be invited to the next round, the students had to spell at least 30 words correctly.

Fifty students are invited to participate in the next round. Thirty eight sixth grade students and 12 fifth grade students earned this distinction and attained at least 30 words correct.

Fourth, fifth and sixth grade students will be invited as audience members. Teachers and students, please mark your calendars. The next round will be on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at Bridge Valley Elementary.

The following students are invited to participate in the next round:

Mr. Controy’s class: Ryan Ahearn, Madison Carver, Reagan Curro, Jessica Loffredo, Catherine Powell, Benjamin Troth, Joshua Welch

Ms. Coombs’ class: Christopher Abraham, Tara Babal, Olivia Black, Rachel Huang, Gavin Pettigrew, Simrin Ponamgi, Madeline Snyder, Jillian Troth

Miss Moyer’s class: Ryan Dougherty, Jared Farrior, Amanda Foster, Jonathan Hannon, Kristina Holmen, Rutuja Kulkarni, Emma Perrault, Erin Schick, Carson Schweitzer, Egan Smith, Jillian Zelinsky

Mrs. Rice’s class: Melody Chen, Evelyn Foster, Remi Hausman, Gabriel Rosen, Matthew Shlewiet, Matteo Spatola, Reed Walls

Ms. Teeter’s class: Luke Cimakasky, Ashani Kurukulasuriya, Grayce Reimel, Andrew Van Siclen, Brett Villari

Mrs. Howley’s class: Ava Burchell, Lucy Imperato, Bennett Keeffe, Joseph Stella, Andrew Whinney, Julia Zeiser

Mrs. Jaeger’s class: Ryan Bortolotti, Symir Roberts, Dana Zhang

Mrs. Scott’s class: Maya Slack, Christopher Poon

Mrs. Smith’s class: Sarah Watson

Miss Moyer provided the participants with a study packet and a schedule of practice sessions on Thursday, October 31. Please see Miss Moyer if you have any questions.

Congratulations students!


Our officers for the 2013-2014 School Year are as follows:


Vice-President/Assistant Treasurer



Professional Staff Representative

Support Staff Representative


With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I am reminded of all that we have to be thankful for at BVE. Attending the Fall Fest made me realize how fortunate we are to have such wonderful families and staff involved with our school and most importantly our children. Everyone steps up and helps out even though schedules may be crazy. All of these things we do for those little smiling faces that we’ve been blessed with. As we go through this next month make sure that you thank those around you that have touched your life or that of your child’s. I want to thank each of you for always helping out and making all of the things we do so much fun! I also want to thank all of the wonderful staff members that work tirelessly with our children.

~Leigh Vlasblom


Whether you are new to our school as the parent of a Kindergartner or a 6th grader, starting at a new school can be a daunting prospect for both parents & children! To help you get your bearings, BVE’s HSA is pleased to feature a comprehensive Welcome Packet, easily accessible in the Home & School area of the BVE website or at New Family Welcome. New families are also invited to contact Welcome Committee members Meredith Eater or Patrice Mollick to get started with the help you need to feel at home at BVE!!


If you missed our September meeting, don’t worry! We will be posting minutes from the meeting on the website, as well as including a link in the Tribune.

Please join us on November 7th at 9:30 am for our General Membership Meeting. Mr. Jason Jaffe, the District Technology Staff Development Facilitator will be joining us. He will brief us on parent technology resources, the integration into teaching and learning, and elementary students' use of technology.


Check out the tab under Home & School Sign Up Genius Volunteer Opportunities. All current school-wide SUGenius links will appear on this page You may also find SUGs on the event specific page, but the Sign Up Genius tab is always a sure bet. Use this as a quick & easy way to sign up for the events for which you’d like to volunteer! We will also continue to send out emails via our CC’s.

We are looking for a few volunteers that would be interested in being on the BVE Anniversary Committee. This is a temporary committee that will be planning some spring activities to celebrate our 10-year anniversary. Be on the lookout for this SUG.

We are also looking for a Committee Chair for our new committee, Passive Fundraisers. This committee will oversee all of the passive fundraisers that we do such as: Box Tops for Education, Giant points, Coke Rewards, etc. You will still have individual people coordinating each individual fundraiser, but you will oversee, coordinate, and help come up with new ideas. If you are interested please reach out to either Leigh Vlasblom or Meredith Eater.

To learn more about the many committees or to join a committee, please visit the Committee Page under Parent/Students/Home and School/Committees or BVE Committees.

Current & Upcoming SignUp Genius BVE Sign Ups:

  • Nov. Teacher Appreciation Luncheon
  • Holiday Boutique
  • Anniversary Committee


Our membership drive is down from last year! Please remember that we are doing this instead of fundraisers such as wrapping paper sales. We have a lot of valuable programs that the HSA supports and without your help, we may not be able to afford all of them or we may have to reinstate our fundraisers next year. It is not too late! I know back to school is a crazy time, so don’t hesitate to join if you are still interested. Additional forms are available at (2013 - 2014 Donation Letter). Your generous donations enable BVE HSA to supplement the outstanding instructional, cultural and enrichment programs at BVE and we appreciate your support!


Thank you very much …..

… to all of the parents and staff who helped with the school supplies fundraiser at the beginning of the year!

… to the all of the parents and staff that helped with the Book Fair!

… to all of the parents and staff that helped plan, set up, worked the event, and cleaned up at the Fall Fest! What a great day we had. Also to the families who made scarecrows! They were wonderful and is always such a fun decoration!


· HSA General Meeting, November 7th @ 9:30am

· Market Day November Order (online)

· Blazer Blessings – Giving Tree

· Teacher Appreciation Luncheon, November 26th

· Holiday Boutique, December 2nd – 6th


Special thanks to everyone who brought artwork to be framed. Not only did you earn BVE $415.00, but you got a great deal on framing. We will have Jeff back in the Spring, so start looking for your next framing project!

Box Tops for Education

Box Tops for Education – Raised since September $427.40

Our next prize drawing will be December 20, 2013. Each time you send in a submission sheet with your child’s name on it – it is an entry to the prize drawing.

Please glue or tape box tops for education onto the submission sheet, 10 per sheet, and don’t forget to include your student’s name and teacher. There are many new additions to the box tops family of products. For a complete list of participating products and other ways to earn box tops check out their website

Questions? Want to get involved? Please call Ellen Rackas at 215-794-3976 or email



Welcome to the 2013-2014 school year! We look forward to a great year with awesome parents who help our Home and School by their volunteer efforts. One way you can help is to purchase Market Day products.

Bridge Valley is continuing to participate in Market Day, our monthly fundraising program. Thank you to all of you who have purchased these foods and/or volunteered their time and energy last year.

Each month, as a participating Market Day school, restaurant quality food products from the same vendors that supply many upscale restaurants will be available for purchase. We choose Market Day because:

  • It offers high-quality and nutritious food at affordable prices on a monthly basis.
  • By doing your grocery shopping with Market Day, you will be feeding your family while enhancing your child’s education. In fact, we’ll earn a minimum of 10% on every purchase you make.
  • Market Day offers a 100% quality guarantee on all products.

Participating in Market Day provides a service to you and our Home and School. The profits raised will help fund classroom and building technology, field trips, assemblies and other important educational needs.

Please consider purchasing Market Day for your family by going online for easy ordering at Our school account number is 20969, and along with a password of your choosing you can create your own account. If you have any questions please call Kimberly Leff at 215-794-3075 or email


Target rebates- Use your Target charge card and Bridge Valley HSA will receive 1% of your Target purchases. Please designate Bridge Valley Home and School as the school of your choice when you apply for your card. If you already have a Target card, go to the customer service desk and complete the paperwork to designate our group.


My Coke Rewards - My Coke Rewards for Schools is a way for parents, friends, and others in the community to support local K-12 schools by donating My Coke Rewards points which can be earned from hundreds of participating Coca-Cola products. Schools can turn donated points into a variety of rewards that support students. Donate your My Coke Rewards points and empower students to do, learn and discover more every day. Your points can provide our school with things like athletic equipment, books, classroom supplies and more.