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Wiss Nation Highlights
Introducing our New Student Support Teachers
We are pleased to announce and welcome our new Student Support Teachers (pictured doing a team building activity). These staff are a Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) who will provide additional support at each building by centering the behavioral, academic, social, and emotional strengths and needs of students. They will partner with the administrative team and colleagues to ensure that efforts move forward in the best interest of each and every learner. We are proud to have a Student Support Teacher at each building as we continue to focus on educational equity and student success.
2023-2024 Student Support Teachers
- Lower Gwynedd Elementary TOSA – Erica Cannon
- Blue Bell Elementary TOSA – Darcey Linton
- Shady Grove Elementary TOSA – Molly Sibley
- Stony Creek Elementary TOSA – Rachel Gottenberg
- Wissahickon Middle School TOSA – Gus Baldassano
- Wissahickon High School TOSA – Kevin Morris
Stony Creek and Lower Gwynedd Welcome New Principals
LGE and SCE staff and students warmly welcomed their new principals this month! During their first week, Mr. Phil Leddy, LGE, and Mrs. Stephanie Washam, SCE, had the opportunity to greet students, visit classrooms, answer students' questions and get to know all of our staff. Please join us in making them feel at home in Wiss Nation!
Homecoming and Spirit Week
WHS students had a blast during Homecoming and Spirit Week held the last week of September. Activities included a Powder Puff football game, 3 x 3 basketball, and the traditional bonfire. Students and staff enjoyed special dress days, including Tropical Day, a Whiteout and Anything But a Backpack Day, where students devised super creative ways to carry their books (like a pet carrier). Check out the Homecoming Court pictured below and other highlights from the week.
Home and School Shoutout: Get Involved
Shoutout to the dedicated leadership of our Home and School Associations! HSA leaders held their first meeting with district administration this year to discuss school-related topics and share ideas and feedback. We encourage all parents to get involved with the HSA! Their volunteer efforts make a huge impact on our students and help the entire school community develop a sense of belonging!
JOIN US: 2023 Alumni Hall of Fame Ceremony
All community members are invited to join us for the 2023 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Friday, October 27, 2023 at 5:30 PM in the WHS Audion. This year's inductees include:
- Eric Eyre '83
- Joe Farrell '12
- Henry Hank Jones '02
- Chisa Merriweather ‘98
- Billie LaRaé Owens '14
- Carmina Taylor ‘89
- Paola Toro '10
Learning in Action
Congratulations to the 2024 National Merit Semifinalists!
Officials of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the names of more than 16,000 semifinalists in the 69th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for scholarships offered in the spring. Over 1.3 million juniors in about 21,000 high school entered the 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2022 PSAT/NMSQT, which serves as an initial screen of program entrants. The pool of semifinalists, representing less than 1% of US high school seniors, includes the highest scoring entrants in each state. Congratulations to Wissahickon’s Nathan Antonio, Tiffany Liu, Kevin Lobo, Ava Luu, Ashley Park, Dayeon (Olivia) Seo, and Anoosha Skukla.
Physics is Fun!
Check out the great labs happening in physics! Mr. MacMinn's students interpreted graphs to see their own position and velocity graphed in real-time. Students attempted to match one of the nine provided graphs and were given a score to show how accurately they matched their chosen curve. They also used liquid accelerometers to show different ways to accelerate during their kinematics unit. The students had to figure out how they could move to get the accelerometer to point in specific directions.
Shady Grove Hero Appreciation
SGE students had an amazing lunch with our community heroes and had the chance to learn about what they do each day. Thank you to these dedicated local heroes for coming out and spending the day with us!
Football Breakout at Stony Creek
Mrs. O’Brien’s fifth grade class at Stony Creek celebrated the beginning of the football season by doing a football breakout. The students worked in groups and used their mathematical reasoning to BREAKOUT. The collaboration and patience was impressive and all the groups were successful!
International Dot Day at BBE
It was International Dot Day September 15 and BBE students made the most of it! They read "The Dot", sang the Dot song, wore dots to celebrate their individualism and creativity, colored dots and participated in fun group activities! Based on the book by Peter H. Reynolds, "The Dot," is the story of a girl who begins a journey of self-discovery after a caring teacher challenges her to 'make her mark.
Our schools are proud to incorporate lessons and activities that support social emotional learning (SEL) skills - self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision making. SEL leads to long-term improvements in students’ skills, attitudes, prosocial behavior and academic performance! The theme for September was belongingness. Check out some of the great activities our students participated in.
WissLink Welcomes Freshmen to WHS
To ensure a smooth transition to high school and develop a sense of belonging from day one, our freshman class was welcomed by WissLink during Freshman Orientation. WissLink student leaders organized team-building activities to help ninth graders learn the "ins and outs" of WHS. WissLink leaders serve as a resource for freshmen all year, following their motto: "We're here when you need us."
Stony Creek SELebrates!
Stony Creek had their first SELebration assembly for the school year, Phillies style! Students competed in minute-to-win-it games to celebrate the September Spotlight students. Each teacher selected a student from their class to win the “spotlight” who exemplified the theme of “belonging” for the month of September. Students watched Phillies highlights and got HYPED for the Wild Card Series and did some fun activities:
- K-1 did a puzzle of the Stony Creek logo
- Grades 2-3 designed a spoon catapult to hit the Philly Phanatic with a cotton ball
- Grades 4-5 blew up balloons to return the Philly Phanatic to the Phillies’ stadium
Did you know all of our elementary school have buddies where students from different grades are paired up to get to know each other through fun activities? Check out our LGE first graders from Mrs. Clark’s class and third graders from Mrs. Young’s class meeting for the first time! They enjoyed getting to know each other while doing a “Chalk & Talk” activity outside. Kindergarten and 5th-grade buddies in Ms. McGlinn and Ms. Matura’s classes at LGE celebrated the first day of fall (9/23) on our nature walk trail.
BBE Outdoor Assemblies Kick Off
Check out our fifth graders singing the Blue Bell School song, written by fifth graders and Music Teacher Mrs. Swillo in 2019! Students sang during BBE's first outdoor assembly for the year. At the assemblies, all grades join together to celebrate birthdays and selected students who exhibit the Blue Shark character traits. Students really enjoy being together as a whole school!
Stony Creek Knows How to Make Friends
Friendships make going to school fun! Check out the Stony Creek fourth graders enjoying a Snack N' Chat together the first week of school. Each Friday during September, SCE also celebrated Find a Friend Friday, where two classes get together to make a friend outside of their class. Pictured are fifth graders meeting with a second-grade class. They completed a hand-out to learn each other's favorite activity, color, food and subject!
More Than One Ton of Food Donated to Mattie Dixon Community Cupboard
Wiss Nation came out strong against local hunger and Upper Dublin in a friendly rivalry to support the Mattie Dixon Community Cupboard. In this year’s annual Food Blitz, Wiss Nation donated an incredible 2,509 lbs. of food to Upper Dublin’s 381 lbs. That's a grand total of 2,890 lbs. of food for our community!
LGE Fifth Graders Had an Adventurous Day at Camp America
The students worked together in groups from all the classes to complete team-building activities. Their favorite challenges were the “Pirate Ship Voyage” and the rock wall/bridge/zip line. Many kids faced their fears and showed great bravery. Check out the smiles!
Cultural Recognition & Celebrations
Wiss Nation is proud to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15th - October 15th).This period in the United States is a wonderful opportunity to recognize the history, culture, contributions, and influence of Hispanic and Latinx Americans. Shoutout to WMS students, Dylan and Vivi, who asked their English Language Development teacher, Mrs. Boxman, if they create a bulletin board for Hispanic Heritage Month. The finished product is terrific!
Community English Language Development (ELD) Program
A new community ELD program has been designed and launched to engage and connect with non-native English-speaking families in the Wissahickon community. On Monday nights from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. throughout the fall, these families meet with Ms. Castillo. a special education teacher at the high school, and district volunteers at the Ambler borough library. Our WHS students provide childcare support while families engage, connect and learn about their student's educational experience. And there's pizza for dinner, too!
On opening night on September 11, there were 15 parents, 7 children, and 4 high school students from the Interact Club in attendance. Each week, it continues to grow as more families hear about this program! A sincere thank you to Ms. Castillo, the Ambler library, our district and community volunteers, and high school students for creating an opportunity to connect with our Wissahickon families in this way! Everyone is welcome to participate in one or many of these weekly meetings at the Ambler Library - now through November 20.
Well-being Resources for Students & Families
To help support our students' physical and emotional well-being, the district will continue its Wiss Well-being Wednesdays to share bi-weekly health and wellness tips and resources. View all of the WIss Well-being tips and resources on the WSD website or on the district's social media.
School Board Brief
The Wissahickon Board of School Directors welcomes residents and community members to attend its monthly public meetings (e.g., work sessions, regular meetings, and committee meetings). These public meetings are held in-person at the District Administration Office and/or virtually via Zoom and YouTube. Click here to learn more about the school board.
Three Things to Know about the October 2 Public Board Meeting (Click here to watch this public meeting)
- Introduced the Wake Up and Learn (WUAL) program with Geisinger Health
- Discussed and approved district goals and ongoing priorities for the 2023-2024 school year
- Approved the elementary afterschool program for the 2023-2024 school year
Upcoming Board Meetings
- October 16, 2023, Health Wellness, and Safety Committee Meeting, 6:00 p.m. (virtual via Zoom)
- October 16, 2023, Racial Equity Oversight Committee Meeting, 7:00 p.m. (virtual via Zoom)
- October 30, 2023, Work Session Public Board Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
- November 13, 2023, Regular Public Board Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
We're now using BoardDocs!
BoardDocs is the new home for all school board-related information. Using this online tool, you'll find meeting agendas and minutes, Zoom login information for public meetings, Board Q&A following public comments, and all board policies and administrative guidelines. It's a one-stop shop to help you stay connected with all of the activities of our Wissahickon School Board. Click here to start exploring BoardDocs.
Wissahickon Education Opportunities Foundation (WEOF)
WEOF is proud to fund learning grants that enhance teaching and learning through new programs, equipment, technology, and resources through the financial support of our Wissahickon community. Each school year, Wissahickon faculty may submit learning grant applications with innovative educational ideas to further engage students in classrooms and co-curricular activities. Click here to learn about previously awarded learning grants.
Support our Students & Advertise your Business
Are you interested in supporting our students, athletic programs and advertising your business? Check out the sponsorship opportunities available at WHS including signage on the new multi-purpose field. All donations support athletic program improvements which exceed the district’s budget. In previous years, contributions to the Community of Champions Athletic Improvement Fund included the purchase of windscreens and banners to build our Trojan brand and pride, an outdoor play clock, lacrosse netting and a John Deere gator for the athletic trainer.
Huge shoutout to the following sponsors:
$5,000: MHX Designs AND It's On Electrical
$3,000: Hirschberg Mechanical
$2,500: P.J. Whelihans
$1,000: Gwynedd Mercy University, Azizi Orthodontics, Anthony Stagliano with CompassRE