Neshaminy School District / May, 2021
Community pitches in to help district families
Neshaminy received some help from a local foundation and supermarket chain for efforts to assist District families facing various economic challenges.
The Distrtict received $20,000 from the The Gene and Marlene Epstein Humanitarian Fund, which will be used to help Neshaminy students and their families who are in need. Founded in 2007 and based in Newtown (Bucks County), the non-profit fund offers grants to other organizations to support their humanitarian efforts. Thanks to this substantial donation, Neshaminy will be able to help several families with immediate necessities such as rent, clothing, groceries, car repairs and maintenance, and more.
The District also received a donation from GIANT supermarkets of $32,795 to help fight food insecurity among students. The money was raised during the company's Feeding School Kids initiative, which raised more than $3.3 million in the communities it serves across four states. From Jan. 4 through Feb. 28, GIANT customers were invited to "round up" their grocery purchase to the nearest dollar or convert their CHOICE points into a donation for this program. The GIANT Company also matched the first $1.5 million donated by customers. The money will be used to supplement the food pantries operating at Neshaminy High School, Poquessing Middle School and in other schools, along with other ongoing efforts across the District to identify and help students and their families to meet essential food security needs.
District welcomes new Director of Secondary Education
The Neshaminy School Board approved the appointment of Jason Bowman as the new Director of Secondary Education for the District at their meeting on May 11. The position was formerly held by Dr. McGee when he was appointed as Superintendent last June.
Mr. Bowman comes to us from his current position as Director of Secondary Education at Bensalem School District. He is a graduate of Widener University, with undergraduate and Masters degrees in Engineering and Education. He earned a Principal certificate at the University of Scranton, and an Educational Leadership and Administration certificate from California University of Pennsylvania.
High School announces administration changes
Neshaminy High School will see some familiar faces moving into new roles this summer following the retirement of Assistant Principal / Athletic Director Thomas "Mags" Magdelinskas in June after 30 years with the District.
Assistant Principal Lisa Pennington will take over as Athletic Director, while District Staff Development Data Specialist Steve McAloon will move to Lisa's current position as Assistant Principal in the Academic Scheduling and Student Records Office at the high school. Ms. Pennington is a graduate of Maple Point and Neshaminy High Schools, and has worked for the District as a teacher, field hockey coach and administrator since 1993. Mr. McAloon is also a Neshaminy graduate, and has been working at the District for 26 years. He taught Social Studies at Neshaminy HS (and was the department chair for 8 years) before moving to his current position.
Parent seminar offers summer reading tips
Join the NSD Reading Specialists on Wednesday, June 2 at 6:30 pm for a fun virtual parent information session to learn about how to engage young readers over the summer months. The webinar is designed to be brief and informative. Also, find out about getting early access for your child to our Elementary Summer Reading Lists as well as other free reading resources! There will be 2 raffles that evening. Sign up using the below flyer registration link:
Middle School orientation scheduled
The 5th grade and new student orientation date for our Neshaminy Middle Schools is Thursday, August 26. Please save the date and be on the lookout for specific information from your child’s middle school this summer with all of the details. Students will have the opportunity to tour the building, see classrooms, and meet counselors and administrators.
The first day of school for grades K, 5 and 9 will be Wednesday, September 1. The first day for all other grades will be Thursday, September 2.
Ready for kindergarten? Register now!
Important Reminder!! If you have a child who will be attending kindergarten (or is new to the district in any grade) in the fall, please begin the registration process online at www.neshaminy.org/register. Also please reach to any other families that you know of with eligible children to complete their registration!
Neshaminy School Board Update
The next scheduled Board Public Work Session is Tuesday, June 8 at 7 pm in the auditorium 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.
Among the items approved at the Board Public Meeting on Tuesday, May 25 are:
- School breakfast & lunch prices for 2021-2022 will remain the same as the 2019-2020 school year (school meals were free during 2020-2021 due to Federal subsidies)
- Acceptance of the Bucks County Technical High School 2021-2022 budget in the amount of $31,469,644 (operating budget of $29,448,532), with the Neshaminy School District 2021-2022 net fiscal contribution to be $5,139,782.
Adoption of new policies in the #900 section, which includes Public Participation in Board Meetings, Public Attendance at School Events, Advisory Groups, Public Complaint Procedures, School Visitors and News Media Relations.
Upcoming Committee meetings (open to the public), all held in the District Board Room at Maple Point MS:
- Tuesday, June 1: Business Operations Committee meeting, 6:30 pm.
Livestreams and archive videos of the Board Public Work Sessions and Public meetings can be viewed at www.neshaminy.org/meetings.
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.
Students wanted for NHS Lab Preschool
Neshaminy High School Laboratory Preschool is now accepting preschool applications for the 2021-2022 School year. Children must be four years old by September 1, 2021. The program is held 4 days per week (Monday through Thursday), and there are both the morning and afternoon openings. School will begin mid-October and end in May. The cost for this program is $350. Please visit https://www.neshaminy.org/Page/1596 to see more information and to download the application form. Please note that openings are limited.
NEF scholarship winners announced
The Neshaminy Education Foudation is pleased to announce three scholarship winners for the Neshaminy High School Class of 2021. Each will receive $1,000 to be applied to their post-secondary education:
- Sameer N. Raval, who will be attending Temple University
- Grace Thomson, who will be attending Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
- Carly Gross, who will be attending Penn State University
They were recognized along with other scholarship and Senior Award winners at Neshaminy High School on Thursday, May 27.
District Art Show premieres online
District Art Show: Elementary Schools
The Neshaminy District Art Show, traditionally held at the end of May each year, premiered as a series of video slideshows this year during the week of May 24. For four nights, viewers were treated to images of artworks selected by the art teachers. The first video included the elementary schools; the second included middle schools; the third students from Neshaminy HS and the final video was a review of student portfolios for the senior advanced art class at NHS.
VIDEO LINK: Middle School Showcase
VIDEO LINK: Neshaminy HS Showcase
VIDEO LINK: Neshaminy HS Senior Portfolios
Buck hosts a virtual talent show
The countdown to summer is on!
As the end of the school year quickly approaches, some of the elementary school classes are celebrating with an alphabet-based countdown featuring daily activities for each letter. Students in Mr. Rydzewski's class at Walter Miller Miller ES are participating, above you can see G (for green day), H (for hat day) and I (for invisible pet day, which included the responsibility of cleaning up the mess that their invisible pet may have left). At right, students in Mrs. Bank's class and Ms. Moore's classes at Tawanka Elementary School decided to add some glow sticks to the mix and have a glow dance party for G (Green) Day, as did the staff at Joseph Ferderbar Elementary School (below).
It takes a class to raise a butterfly
A favorite springtime activity in the elementary schools is raising caterpillars until they develop into butterflies. The students get to see the metamorphosis process up close and then release their butterflies outside to begin their lives as an essential part of the ecosystem. At left, a student at Herbert Hoover Elementary School releases her butterfly.
students celebrate their school nurses
National Nurses Week and School Nurses Day are both celebrated each year in May. Some students in Nicole Pomponio’s kindergarten class surprised their School Nurses Deborah DiSandro and Carol Alexis with a special delivery — a poster and hand-made cards.
The spirit of aloha is alive and well at tawanka
The spirit of Aloha was in full display on May 11 at Tawanka Elementary School. The school held a "Luau Day" complete with decorated classrooms and hallways, costumes, ukulele music and activities.
Schools celebrate cycling and walking to school
Groups of students celebrated Bike and Walk to School Day in May with early morning rides at Carl Sandburg MS (above), Herbert Hoover ES (right) and Albert Schweitzer ES (below).
Accompanied by Middletown Township Police escorts, students gathered at various locations near their schools where they met some of their friends and joined teachers and administrators for the trip to school. The police department offers free bicycle helmets to kids, and encourages them to ride safely,
Poquessing interviews congressman for veterans project
U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy visited Poquessing Middle School on May 20 for an interview about his extensive military service. Students and staff are putting together a website with video stories about Neshaminy alumni and community members who have served, which will be gathered into an interactive resource where students and the community can learn about military service. The site will be connected with a mural that will be painted outside the school starting in the fall; QR codes on the mural will link to individual pages on the website.
Maple Point MS walkathon raises over $8700
Students, staff and friends of Maple Point Middle School held their annual Mothers Day Walkathon to support the Barkann Healing Hearts Foundation, and raised a record-breaking $8,706.81, smashing their goal which was set for this year for $6,000. With help from Tara Ordini & Chuck Ordini of Ordini's Best Fiberglass Pools, The Maple Point Middle School 4th Annual Mother's Day Walkathon was able to surpass their lofty fundraising goal in such a big way.
Each year, the students raise money for the Foundation by gathering sponsors for their walk around the school grounds. This year they walked in small groups over two days to maintain social distancing. The Barkann Family Healing Hearts Foundation provides financial aid to families who are in need, due to recent adversity or tragedy.
Sandburg students earn a police K-9 visit
Eighth grade students named Legion award winners
Here are this year's eighth-grade American Legion award winners at Neshaminy's three District middle schools. Eighth-grade teachers and specialists nominate, then vote for students who exhibit the qualities of positive attitude, above average grades, community spirit, leadership and strength of character:
Langhorne American Legion Jesse W. Soby Post #148: Julia French, Maple Point MS; Jason Wilmot, Maple Point MS; Gracie Sullivan, Poquessing MS: Joey Willse, Poquessing MS; Nate Loadwick, Carl Sandburg MS; Erin Potent, Carl Sandburg MS
American Legion Jesse Soby Post #148 Auxiliary: Jaela Johnson, Maple Point MS; Brynn Trepper, Poquessing MS; Mary Kate Alvino, Carl Sandburg MS
Penndel American Legion Post #436: Liam O’Neill, Maple Point MS; Bridget Dytky, Maple Point MS; Rocco Cauvin, Poquessing MS; Collin Wiegner. Carl Sandburg MS; Kenna Lowman, Carl Sandburg MS
Penndel American Legion Auxiliary Unit #436: Samantha Lugo, Poquessing MS
Joseph Brann Award for Outstanding Math Student: Swasti Shinde, Poquessing MS
Congratulations to the award recipients and thank you to our friends at the American Legion posts for recognizing student achievement at Neshaminy!
Al Durante award presented at Sandburg
On Friday, May 14, Carl Sandburg MS held a ceremony to present this year's winner of the Al Durante Service Award. "The award is presented to a Sandburg 8th grader who displays service to school and community. The candidate must demonstrate kindness, a positive outlook towards life, sincere caring for the well-being of others, and unselfish attitude in and out of school." Six students were nominated for this prestigious award; Kenna Lowman was this year's winner. Al's son Mark Durante and Middletown Township Supervisor Anna Payne were presenters at the ceremony; the Township designated May as Al Durante Month in honor of the coach and Sandburg support staff member who spent over three decades at the school and ran a popular after-school basketball program.
NHS senior class holds parade, outdoor prom
Neshaminy High School Class of 2021 seniors enjoyed an evening of food, music and entertainment on May 22 after arriving in a parade through Langhorne.
The event started at Maple Point Middle School, where groups of seniors in prom or summer attire (the choice was theirs) lined up in cars winding through the driveway and parking lot. With an escort of emergency vehicles from throughout the District, they drove through Langhorne Borough to the high school. At the school, they enjoyed a variety of dinner and dessert choices from several food trucks, an entertaining show from a hypnotist, and a concert in the stadium featuring the band Split Decision. The finale for the evening was a laser show set to music.
Months of planning went into organizing the event, led by the Senior Class Officers and the class advisor, NHS physical education teacher Laurie Smith.
2021 NHS Homecoming Court celebrated
After a pandemic-related delay, Neshaminy High School seniors had the opportunity to vote for their Homecoming Court, King and Queen in May, A ceremony was held between the boys and girls varsity lacrosse games at Harry E. Franks Stadium on May 6. This year the Court included Bella Hughes, Rachel Lamb, Jamie Ponticiello, Maggie Wiley, Jordan Winchester, Mike Albarran, Kieran Meehan, Thomas Mullin, Ryan Schoenemann and Manny Weagba. The Homecoming Queen is Jamie Ponticiello, and the Homecoming King is Mike Albarran.
VIDEO LINK: Homecoming King & Queen announcement
NHS football team honors veterans
Players on the Neshaminy HS football team turned out on Saturday, May 22 to help the Langhorne American Legion Post 148 prepare Our Lady of Grace Cemetery for Memorial Day by placing flags on veterans graves.
Top 5%, Senior Award, Military Commitment ceremony videos posted
Neshaminy HS hosted the annual Academic Recognition Ceremony, the Military Commitment Ceremony and the Senior Award Ceremony in May. All were livestreamed and the video archived videos can be viewed at www.neshaminy.org/nhsvideo. The NHS graduation livestreamin video will be posted on the same page.
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 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