Message from the Superintendent
Dear LMTSD Students, Staff, Parents and Community Members,
The first week of the 2019-2020 school year is underway! The first weeks of every school year are often eventful and exciting for our students, staff, and families. As we look forward in the 2019-2020 school year, Lower Moreland Township School District is committed to providing excellent, accessible educational opportunities for all students as well as purposeful events and accessible facilities for our community members.
As always, it is important for the District to remain communicative with all stakeholders. To that end, we are committed to a communication plan that includes all students, parents, staff and Township residents. Monthly, an electronic newsletter will be provided from the Superintendent's office highlighting district-wide information and updates. Additionally, each month, Board meeting highlights will be sent out electronically to all stakeholders. Bi-monthly, each of our buildings will provide school newsletters aimed at highlighting programs, student accomplishments and announcements of future events. Included in these communications will be links to more in-depth information for those so interested to investigate. I would encourage all stakeholders to investigate these links as the District has now included podcast episodes, social media and video in order to assist in sharing the many wonderful things taking place. Episode #1 of our first podcast, Lions’ Tales, can be found here.
Lastly, it is important to note that contrary to some misinformation being shared across the Lower Moreland community, the Lower Moreland Township School District and its Board of School Directors have not made any decisions, nor made any motions toward renovating any existing buildings or building any new facilities. During the 2018-2019 school year, the Board of School Directors did approve KCBA Architects to conduct a district-wide facilities study and enrollment projection study. Both studies were completed in early spring of this year and presented to the Board of School Directors in April. Since that time, multiple public meetings have taken place in which the Board of School Directors have discussed and investigated possibilities to three areas of concern: capacity/enrollment, safety, updated educational spaces. The Board of School Directors will continue to discuss and investigate the current and projected enrollment as well as educational space possibilities, while keeping our students’ safety at the forefront. A School Board Facilities Committee meeting is planned for September 24 in the Pine Road Library Boardroom beginning at 7 p.m. to continue this discussion. Additionally, the District will host a public forum on October 10 beginning at 7 p.m. in the High School Auditorium to provide further information and answer questions regarding district-wide facilities.
Have a great September!
Dr. Scott Davidheiser
Business Office (Mark McGuinn, Business Manager)
As we started the new school year in the Lower Moreland Township School District, I wanted to review all of what goes into planning for public school routes and, hopefully, a safe and secure trip each and every day.
During the summer months, students are graduated, enrolled, promoted to new grade levels, and moved to new schools as each student transitions to the new school year. Once the rollover of existing students is completed, a large student file is generated and sent to our routing company with the knowledge of last years’ routes and trying to ensure that most routes stay the same. As our enrollment in the District continues to grow, there will be changes to bus routes based upon number of students who can ride safely on a bus. The District tries extremely hard to maintain safe and efficient routes each year while being cognizant to not elongate a bus ride because of too many stops. The District enrollment is currently around 2,400 students and we must schedule transportation for the majority of these students.
One of the changes that will take effect this year is scheduling bus runs for the new homes at the Stone Mill of Huntingdon Valley and the Greens at Huntingdon Valley sites that will be occurring during the 2019/20 school year. One of the most difficult tasks to accomplish is to safely pick up students as some houses are completed while others are still being worked on. Please know that the District will look very hard at safety concerns in those developments while work is still being done and may have to institute temporary bus stops until full construction is complete. This is a daunting task as map programs have to be updated with new street names and new road directions that are sometimes not even available on Google maps. The Business Office will be working diligently to accommodate these new residents as quickly and as safely as possible.
Another major issue that comes up at the beginning of the school year is the length of the bus rides, particularly in the afternoons. Most of our public school routes are multi-school runs, meaning the same bus transports students from Lower Moreland High School, Murray Avenue School, and then, finally, Pine Road Elementary School. At any time during a school day, if a bus starts to run behind, this will affect the remainder of the subsequent routes. Each Principal is very aware of the tight times between dismissals, and each try to facilitate the dismissal process as quickly as possible. That being said, delays will occur especially in the first few weeks as students, bus drivers and the general public get used to buses being back on the road. Additionally, at the Pine Road Elementary School, we currently have 26 buses scheduled to bring students home. It takes some time to dismiss all of the students in a safe and secure matter. There will be buses that do not roll out of the bus loop until at least 15 minutes later. Please know that we take the safety of all of our students very seriously and the dismissal process at Pine Road does take some time but is done so in the most efficient and safe way. After the first few weeks, the dismissal process gets better and bus times improve. We ask for your understanding and patience, especially in the first few weeks, and we are hopeful that there are no road projects that can impede traffic in our District.
Our goal each year is the safe and efficient transportation of all of our school-age students. We believe, with our transportation partners--First Student and the MCIU, that we will accomplish this goal. We will always monitor situations from a safety and security lens. We look forward to a safe and enjoyable 2019-2020 school year!
Curriculum and Instruction (Julien Drennan, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Prof. Dev.)
Human Resources/Public Relations (Cheryl Galdo, Esq., Dir. of HR/PR)
Paw Pass cardholders receive:
- Free entry to the dress rehearsal of the Murray Avenue School and Lower Moreland High School drama club productions,
- Free entry to the Saturday matinee of the Lower Moreland High School spring musical,
- Discounted rates to the other drama club showtimes,
- Free entry to regular season football, basketball, and wresting athletic events played in the District, and
- Discounted rates for adult enrichment classes.
A Paw Pass card may be requested by calling 215-938-0272 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Technology (Jason Hilt, Ed.D., Director of Technology)
New teachers participated in Induction where they learned about online curriculum resources and utilizing G Suite for Education tools to communicate with students and parents/guardians. Prior to the first day of school, teachers engaged in self-selected blended learning opportunities to explore ways to apply technology and differentiation to meet every learners' needs. Stay tuned for future newsletters to see updates on how students are benefiting from their teachers’ professional learning.
Student Services (Frank Giordano, Director of Special Education and Student Services)
The Office of Student Services and Special Education would like to welcome students and parents to the 2019-2020 school year. The beginning of the school year would be a great time to provide an update on some changes to our special education staffing. We are an ever-growing and ever-changing District and, sometimes, we need to reorganize staff among buildings to meet the needs of our students. Our changes this year are:
The following teachers in our Special Education program have changed buildings:
Mrs. Mattioli has moved to Pine Road (from Murray Avenue)
Mrs. Colleen Cerruti has moved to Murray Avenue (from the High School)
Mr. Mike Guido has moved to the High School (from Murray Avenue)
We have two long-term substitutes:
Ms. Marie Hutchings (for Mrs. Federinko at Murray Avenue)
Ms. Nicole Hunn (for Mrs. Fellmeth at Pine Road)
As always, if parents of students with IEPs need any assistance they can contact their child’s case manager through their respective building or the Office of Student Services and Special Education directly at 215-938-7426.