Administrative Updates

... from the Cheltenham School District (Sept. 16, 2019)

The following information has been collected from CSD administrative departments and reflects updates on key programs, priorities and initiatives. Items specifically related to the progress of Cheltenham’s strategic plan, "Five Pathways, One Destination," are noted along with specific plan pathways. To access the plan and a description of each pathway, click here.

New Memorandum of Understanding

Click through to read the new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) among the Cheltenham Township Police Department, Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, Montgomery County Detective Bureau and Cheltenham School District.

Through this agreement, parties seek to foster a relationship of cooperation and mutual support and to maintain a safe school environment. The MOU establishes procedures to be followed when certain incidents occur on school property, at any school-sponsored activity, or on a conveyance as described in the Safe Schools Act (such as a school bus) providing transportation to or from a school or school-sponsored activity. The MOU does not cover incidents outside those school settings and create no substantial disruption to the learning environment.

CHS Principal Search

Superintendent Dr. Wagner Marseille continues to be grateful to Dr. Renato Lajara for his leadership as the interim principal of the high school. In the coming weeks, the district will be posting the vacancy for an anticipated start date of July 1, 2020, and will keep the community posted as to how parents, staff and students will participate in the interview process.

Policy Adoptions

The CSD Board of School Directors has made it a priority to update its policies and administrative regulations, many of which are out of date and no longer applicable. During the 18-19 school year, the Policy Committee examined or introduced 35 policies and 20 administrative regulations. This school year, the slate of policies up for discussion includes at least 34 policies and 15 administrative regulations. At its Tuesday, Sept. 10 legislative meeting, the CSD Board of School Directors adopted the following policies:

The Policy Committee will meet next on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, at 8 a.m. at the Administration Building (2000 Ashbourne Rd., Elkins Park).

Calendar Committee Meetings

Families are invited to hear insights into the "Start of School" policy under consideration. The policy calls for formalizing the start of school with regard to when Labor Day falls. Seeking to bring context and clarity to the conversation, Administration encourages family input which will be shared with the board of school directors. Meetings are as follows:

Student Safety

  • District security manager Jonathan White and director of student services Dr. Cheryl Horsey hosted the inaugural district wide safety meeting for the 2019-2020 school year in August. Turnout was excellent, as all police and township partners were in attendance with our school principals and safety team members. [Strategic Plan Pathway 5: Communication and Engagement]
  • The School Security Personnel Training Act 67 of 2019 requires all school security personnel must take the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) Basic School Resource Officer course or an equivalent course. The 40-hour NASRO course is designed for law enforcement officers and school safety professionals working in an educational environment, and provides tools for officers to build positive relationships with students and staff. All CHS and CBK security officers will complete this training within the next six months.

Student Services

  • The Montgomery County Intermediate Unit’s (MCIU) Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) trainers hosted an advanced School-wide Information System (SWIS) training on Wednesday, Aug. 14 at the MCIU. SWIS is a confidential information system to collect, summarize and use student behavior data for decision making. The behavior data can be accessed in tables, reports and graphs that enable school teams to monitor and analyze behavioral trends. Dr. Elsie Butler-Russell, the climate and culture administrator at Glenside and Cheltenham elementary schools, and director of student services Dr. Cheryl Horsey attended the training which focused on utilizing reports, as well obtaining accurate equity-related information. Secretaries received SWIS training on Thursday, August 15, and on Monday, Aug. 19, administrators participated in a professional development session on SWIS. [Strategic Plan Pathway 2: Student Achievement] [Strategic Plan Pathway 3: Professional Learning] [Strategic Plan Pathway 4: Holistic Experiences]
  • CHS Vice Principal Craig Metcalfe and CSD Director of Student Services Dr. Cheryl Horsey participated in a conference call recently with representatives from "No Girl Left Behind," a social impact organization focused on uniting and empowering young females globally through specially designed workshops to foster self-esteem, reduce bullying behavior and build confidence. Metcalfe and Dr. Horsey are planning a workshop for Cedarbrook Middle School and Cheltenham High School female students this school year. [Strategic Plan Pathway 4: Holistic Experiences]
  • Over 70 staff members, including paraeducators and kindergarten aides, received CPR/First Aid training on Tuesday, Aug. 20. The district has been engaged in conversations about similar training for other staff. Director of Student Services Dr. Cheryl Horsey and CSD certified school nurses met on Wednesday, Aug. 21 to explore CPR/First Aid training offerings for the 2019-2020 school year. [Strategic Plan Pathway: 4 Holistic Experiences]

Office of Education

  • STEM Supervisor Dr. Brian Reilly attended sessions presented by Jay Tighe (pictured), author of the "Understanding By Design" (UbD) curriculum texts. The first session, “Mapping an Understanding-based Curriculum for 21st Century Learning,” featured instruction and discussion on the updated version of the UbD model and emphasized developing transfer goals that provide a clear understanding of K-12 content. In the second session, “Designing and Using Authentic Performance Tasks and Project,” participants developed engaging tasks for students to demonstrate their understanding. The performance tasks are closely related to transfer goals and enable students to build upon previous experiences in completion of performance tasks to demonstrate new knowledge, skills, and understanding as they progress through each grade level’s standards. Tighe's ideas will be utilized in Cheltenham teachers' professional learning and to aid in the development of a rigorous, aligned and engaging curriculum. [Strategic Plan Pathway 3: Professional Learning]
  • Dr. Reilly participated in the inaugural training of Chief Science Officers (CSO) in Pennsylvania. Through PA Smart funding and the leadership of PA SEED, 60 students and their advisors attended a leadership training institute at Arcadia University. As part of the PA SEED leadership team, Dr. Reilly assisted in the training planning and execution. The program aims to raise awareness of STEM education in the community. The Cheltenham team developed an elementary school action plan focused on learning activities in computational thinking and creativity through computer science.

Special Education

  • On August 20 - 21, CSD Special Education teachers Melanie Caruso and Amy Uhr provided peers an initial training for Aimsweb Plus, the latest iteration of Aimsweb. The district's special education staff relies on Aimsweb for benchmarking/baselining and progress-monitoring related to needs and goals outlined in students’ Individualized Education Programs. Upgrading to Aimsweb Plus will be mandatory for all districts using the software in this capacity. This year's professional development related to this rollover will focus on benchmarking with future PD focusing on benchmarking and progress-monitoring. [Strategic Plan Pathway 3: Professional Learning]


  • Director of Communications Kevin Kaufman has been working with the CSD Foundation on promoting the 6th annual Food Truck Jamboree, which is Saturday, Sept. 21 from 2-6 p.m. at the high school. The family-friendly event promises a great day of community building with delicious food for every taste, local musical talent, fun kids’ activities, a dunk tank and a fabulous silent auction with items including platinum seats for Chance the Rapper at the Wells Fargo Center in October.
  • Director of communications Kevin Kaufman and technology director Chris Barone and assistant superintendent secretary Dominique Peters are collaborating to devise a better way to track volunteers and their paperwork's expiration. A volunteer ID badge will assist building administrators to know who's entering their buildings. Kaufman and Barone worked with a vendor to devise a "volunteer" ID badge template to be used when new volunteers submit their paperwork. These cards will last for five years, the duration of clearances, and include an automated expiration date. Knowing the expiration date of your volunteer forms will help volunteers know when their paperwork is coming up for renewal. For those volunteers whose clearances have anywhere from one through four years remaining, the expiration date will be completed manually. Ms. Peters has agreed to training on the ID photo system. Meanwhile, she is auditing the district's volunteer clearances to weed out expired, incomplete or otherwise out-of-date volunteer packets.

Mark Your Calendars: 2019-20 School Board Meetings

The Board of School Directors of Cheltenham School District reflects education in action. While the board spends a great deal of time working around the board table on Tuesday evenings, its work and passion for education extends past the boardroom in countless ways: Cheltenham Township Library Board, Eastern Center for Arts and Technology Board, and County legislative work, just to name a few. Focused dedication to the school district and active participation in various entities signifies the board’s desire to send the message that it works collectively to make Cheltenham a better community for all. The board's legislative meetings are generally the second Tuesday of the month (except for July) at the District Administration Building (2000 Ashbourne Rd., Elkins Park) at 7 p.m. This year's schedule is below:

October 7, 2019 | November 12, 2019 | December 10, 2019 | January 14, 2020

February 11, 2020 | March 10, 2020 | April 14, 2020 | May 12, 2020 | June 9, 2020

Board Committee Meetings

The Cheltenham School District (CSD) School Board of School Directors is organized in a committee structure that allows school administrators to report to their respective committees. Each December during Board reorganization, the Board President and Vice President appoint the committee co-chairs. Committees focus on broad topics, rather than the day-to-day administrative details of running our schools.

Committee work enables board members to delve into greater detail than is possible at the full board level. In-depth committee work builds governing expertise among board members and provides an opportunity for substantive discussion on key issues affecting our district. Committee meetings are open to all residents of Cheltenham Township and are all held in Room 119 at the Administration Building (2000 Ashbourne Rd., Elkins Park), unless otherwise specified. For more information, click tine icons below.

At the Tuesday, Sept. 10 Legislative Board meeting, superintendent Dr. Wagner Marseille presented some of the proposed committee topics for the coming months. Read more>