Message from the Superintendent
It is my pleasure to present the February edition of the Lower Moreland Township School District Superintendent’s Newsletter. I hope this letter finds you and your family healthy and well.
The District celebrates Black History Month in numerous ways - learning outcomes, literature, discussion and presenters. Please click here to see resources, activities and information that our students are experiencing. At the district’s most recent Board of School Directors’ meeting, building principals shared an update on recent school-based activities as part of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Action Plan.
The New High School Project continues to take shape. Please investigate our Student Documentary Website dedicated to archiving the project. Please click here to enjoy many stories, pictures, videos and newly updated LMTV Live segments.
Have a safe and enjoyable February!
Highlights of MLK Day Service Projects
The High School held a food drive for Jenkintown Food Bank. A service project at Valley Center Park will also take place when weather allows.
Murray Avenue students made blankets and donated toiletries to a shelter that helps teens experiencing homelessness.
Pine Road families made breakfast bags, gift cards, and other items for homebound community members, veterans, and seniors in the area. A cleanup of areas outside of the building also took place.
Business Office (Mark McGuinn, Business Manager)
Did you know that the Lower Moreland Township School District, along with all other public school districts in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, provides nursing services to the non-public schools within the borders of the district, St. Albert the Great School and Valley Christian School?
In 1962, the legislature passed the School Nurse Act. This act was considered revolutionary at the time because it required equitable services be provided to students, whether they attended public or non-public schools. This law remains in effect today as Section 1402(a.1) of the Pennsylvania Public School Code.
The Department of Health regulations state in Section 23.51 "A child in private, parochial and public schools shall be provided with school nurse services in the school which the child attends;" and Section 23.52 "The school nurse services shall be provided through the public school system and the administration of this service shall be the responsibility of the public school administrator in consultation, as needed, with the private or parochial school administrator.
School nurse services are considered to be one of the mandated services (same as examinations and screens) and include the same nursing functions as those provided to students in public school buildings, such as assessment of student health care needs, development of appropriate plans of care, medication administration, first aid and emergency care, etc. Our school nurses work closely with our two non-public schools to ensure all needs are met on a daily basis.
As part of the ongoing student documentary of the new high school project, the students learned about how concrete foundations are placed and how quality control is performed.
The LMHS Students Against Melanoma Club took 2nd and 3rd place in the nationwide RDK Melanoma Video contest to promote sun safety habits among young people.
Curriculum and Instruction (Julien Drennan, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Prof. Dev.)
The district receives federal funds that supplement the local budget based on criteria such as enrollment and socioeconomic status. The consolidated application is completed annually and consists of four sub-grants. Here is a description of each grant and what the funds are being used for this school year.
- Title I: Title I, Part A provides additional funds to districts to help struggling students meet state standards. Lower Moreland focuses on Pine Road School as the recipient of the funds. Through this grant, Instructional Assistants are hired to meet the needs of students in the Title I program for reading and math. Students in Title I are identified using multiple criteria. A summer program that focuses on reading and math skills is also funded for students in the Title I program.
- Title II: Title II, Part A provides additional funds to districts to enhance the skills of teachers and principals in order to increase the quality of instruction. Annually funds are designated for professional development for faculty and administration. An additional use of funds for Title II is for class size reduction. Some of the funds are used to maintain smaller class sizes by funding the partial salary of an additional Pine Road teacher in a grade level where enrollment increased unexpectedly.
- Title III: Title III, Part A funds are provided for the language instruction of English Learners and Immigrant Students. Additional adult support is provided for English Learners at Pine Road School through this grant. An after-school program provides assistance to students who are newcomers and have beginning English language skills. Money is also allocated for professional development that focuses on instructional and assessment strategies for English learners.
- Title IV: These funds are used for student support and academic achievement. Funds have been designated for summer enrichment opportunities for LM students and professional development for faculty, staff and administrators on trauma-informed instruction.
In addition to the consolidated application, funds have been provided for COVID-19 recovery and relief. Multiple grant applications, named ESSER, have been submitted and are currently in use. A summary of the allocation of these funds can be found here.
Highlights from the School Board Member Recognition in January
Human Resources/Public Relations (Cheryl Galdo, Esq., Dir. of HR/PR)
Wellness Committee Update
The District's Wellness Committee wanted to make families aware of the nutritional requirements of snacks sold in school cafeterias. Food sold during the school day is required to meet nutrition standards and are referred to as Smart Snacks. Smart Snacks encourage students to make healthier snack choices to help give them the nutrition they need to grow and learn.
What are the Smart Snack Requirements?
- Be a grain product that contains 50 percent or more whole grains by weight/have a whole grain as the first ingredient
- Have as the first ingredient a fruit, a vegetable, a dairy product, or a protein food
- Be a combination food that contains at least ¼ cup of fruit and/or vegetable
- The food must meet the nutrient standards for calories, sodium, sugar, and fats:
- 200 calories or less
- 200 mg of sodium or less
- 35% or less of sugar
- 35% or less of fat with 10% or less saturated fat and 0 grams trans fat
Students must have sufficient funds in their MySchoolBucks account to purchase a smart snack and/or water bottle. Parents/Guardians may email Ms. Logan Myers at firstname.lastname@example.org to restrict snack purchases.
Good News AlertOn Saturday, January 22nd, the Murray Avenue 8th grade Gifted Support class took part in the national competition, Future City https://futurecity.org/. They were tasked with the question, "How can we make the world a better place?", and were asked to theorize a city hundreds of years into the future. They had to build a scaled model, create a slideshow presentation, create a presentation video, write an essay, develop a project plan and interview with over 30 engineers about the specifics of their city, Sonarlaus. This year's challenge was to create a waste-free city using the three principles of circular economy. This was Murray Avenue's fifth year participating in the competition, but the first year making it to the finals. The students won two engineering awards: 1) Constructing for our Future, sponsored by P Agnes Builders, and 2) Alternative Energy Innovation, sponsored by Vicinity Energy Philadelphia.
Highlights from the Future City Competition
Technology (Jason Hilt, Ed.D., Director of Technology)
The Technology Department supports information technology systems and instructional technology programs and practices in the district. Each month, we highlight how our students and teachers engage in 21st Century learning activities. We also share updates on new initiatives and tips and tricks related to devices and technology tools used in the district.
Students in John Haldeman and Tom Church’s World Studies Cultures course toured over a dozen exhibits that highlighted economic, social and political aspects of Tudor Society. Technology highlights included the use of barcode scanners to link to Kahoot, Quizizz, and Google Forms, a Minecraft tour of Tudor architectural styles, digital fortune-telling, virtual tour guides, and a (semi) working printing press.
Murray Avenue students work with Mr. Horrell and Mr. Kelly to produce daily MA News broadcasts in the TV Studio. Students work in teams to create each episode using a variety of technology. First the student teams work with Gmail and Google Docs to draft and submit scripts and communicate with one another during the process. Once the scripts are polished, they are played on teleprompters using Flip-Q for student anchors to read the news. On the production side, the students use Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) in the studio to record the announcement segments. Next the clips are arranged and edited using iMovie, and finally published in Youtube. Check out this month's Tech Tidbit to get a behind the scenes look at the process: https://youtu.be/76kaztrZ_Bo
Exhibits from the Study of Tudor Society in World Studies Course
Student Services (Frank Giordano, Director of Special Education and Student Services)
The Office of Student Services is pleased to announce that the annual Montco Lip Sync Show presented by Lower Moreland High School will take place on Friday, February 4th from 7:00-8:30. This year the event returns in-person with a live audience in the Lower Moreland High School auditorium. Please join the students in Mrs. McCaffrey’s and Mrs. Coleman’s classrooms at the High School, and Mrs. Cohen, Mrs. Juliano, and Mrs. Mattioli’s classrooms at Pine Road, as well as students from Hatboro-Horsham School District, as they perform their routines for which they have been practicing excitedly. Admission is free and all are welcome (utilizing health and safety precautions of course)!
Lower Moreland Township School District