Message from the Superintendent
It is my pleasure to present the November edition of the Lower Moreland Township School District Superintendent’s Newsletter. The 2019-20 school year is in full swing, nearly one quarter complete. Many wonderful learning experiences for our students have already taken place with more to come throughout the school year.
As American Education Week (Nov. 18-22) nears, it presents a wonderful opportunity to celebrate public education and honor all those involved who help to ensure every child receives a quality education. To celebrate, Pine Road Elementary has established classroom visitation times for parents/guardians to take part in.
Recently, students in grades 6-12 participated in the Olweus Bullying Questionnaire aimed at helping the District gain student perceptions related to bullying/cyberbullying types, places of occurrences, and frequencies. Additionally, a parent survey was also sent to all families in order to gather opinions related to bullying/cyberbullying resources and programs. The parent survey is still accessible and will remain open until Nov. 11. Students today face obstacles that are different from any earlier generation, and in the age of constant Internet access, the District seeks to protect our students from harm and ensure that their experiences are positive. For more information/resources related to bullying/cyberbullying, please click here.
Lastly, the District continues to focus on its Strategic Goal Areas, Strategies and Timelines. Whether you are a parent/guardian, staff member, or community member, these documents serve as a wonderful tool in following the District’s progress across a multitude of focus areas.
I wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday!
Pine Road ES is hosting a blood drive on Nov. 26
Please visit Pine Road's website to register as a donor.
An "Evening to Honor Veterans" will be held on November 8.
It will be held in the LMHS Auditorium at 6:30 pm.
A presentation on "A Parents' Guide to Teenagers and Substance Use" is on Nov. 21.
This event will start at 6:30 pm at Murray Avenue School.
Pine Road ES is hosting a blood drive on Nov. 26
An "Evening to Honor Veterans" will be held on November 8.
Business Office (Mark McGuinn, Business Manager)
During the month of October each year, the PA Department of Education asks each school district to submit their October 1st enrollment data for reporting purposes. For the 2019/20 October 1st enrollment submission, Lower Moreland Township School District reported its enrollment as 2,392 total students, with 1,013 students at Pine Road Elementary, 607 students at Murray Avenue School, and 772 students at Lower Moreland High School. This represented a 3.46% increase (80 total students) from the 2018/19 October 1st submission. The School District develops its own enrollment projections from those numbers and that information can be found by clicking on this link.
As the two new housing developments start to complete each unit, the District is closely monitoring enrollments from each development. To help guide the District, an enrollment projection was developed from an outside firm, FutureThink, after proposals were sought from various firms. This projection can also be found here. Over the past year, the School Board and the Administration have reviewed many options to address the continued enrollment growth. At this time, no decision has been made but a public forum was held on the various options. If interested, the link to the public forum is here.
The District has reviewed many options and has contracted for site surveys for both the middle school and high school properties. An ultimate decision moving forward is the charge of the Board of School Directors and will continue to be discussed at upcoming meetings. For further information or questions, please email Mark McGuinn, Business Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr. Scott Davidheiser, Superintendent of Schools, at email@example.com.
Pine Road's Choir performed at the October Board Meeting.
Murray Avenue students met with author Antony John.
Pine Road's STEM Innovation Lab is open.
Curriculum and Instruction (Julien Drennan, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Prof. Dev.)
Have you ever wondered what happens when the teachers in the district have a planned in-service day? The activities are most often guided by state or federal mandates and the district's strategic plan. The current strategic plan, which will be in place from 2019-2024, identifies the areas of instructional technology and differentiated instruction as the focus for professional learning.
Professional development will center around these topics for the length of the plan, allowing teachers to master both areas. Here is a glimpse into the plans for the November 5 professional development workshops and activities. There are three components to the day:
1. Meeting the mandate of Senate Bill 144: This bill recognized ACEs, which are Adverse Childhood Experiences, and the potential impact on students' well-being. The Bill mandates training for teachers that includes the identification of symptoms of trauma and ways to support students who are suffering from abuse, neglect or trauma. The staff will complete training in Trauma-Informed Teaching, by guest speaker, Joshua MacNeill, Director of NeuroLogic.
2. Instructional Technology: Now that students regularly have access to mobile devices such as Chromebooks or iPads, helping teachers to use them to elevate instruction and heighten student engagement is critical. In order to continue the journey of mobile device implementation, instructional technology workshops will be led by staff members who use tools that have been successful in their classrooms. Some will be subject-specific in areas such as Math and Music, and others will feature applications or programs that enhance student collaboration, communication, creativity and/or critical thinking. All will be designed to help teachers enhance their craft and allow them to employ new strategies in the classroom following the experience. Examples of workshop topics include: WeVideo, Adobe Spark, Google Certification, Google Expeditions and Tour Creator, Creating with iPads and Class Dojo.
3. Differentiated Instruction: Prior to the start of school, teachers selected a delivery model for their own differentiated learning experience about the strategies involved in differentiated instruction. Whether teachers selected a book study, online learning opportunity or collegial cohort, all are exposed to methods that allow for meeting the varied needs of students in a classroom and making learning accessible to all. Teachers will continue to grow in this area by being exposed to additional instructional strategies, reflecting on what they have already tried and collaborating with colleagues.
In-service days, such as this one, allow the district to provide learning opportunities for all of its teachers and focus on our commitment to Every Learner, Every Day.
Human Resources/Public Relations (Cheryl Galdo, Esq., Dir. of HR/PR)
Veterans Day ActivitiesThe District is planning activities to thank all those who served and those who are currently serving in the military and to bring their stories to our students. The district-wide celebration, an Evening to Honor Veterans, will be held on Friday, November 8 at 6:30 pm in the Lower Moreland High School Auditorium. All are welcome to attend this free evening that will include music and reflections on service. Many thanks to Mrs. Shannon Dallahan, a school counselor at Pine Road ES, who plans this annual event.
The schools will also be hosting events on Veterans Day. At Pine Road, students and staff are holding a "Here's to the Heroes" breakfast. Murray Avenue School will host a breakfast and hold an assembly so veterans can share their experiences with students. At the High School, students and veterans will have the chance to talk during a luncheon.
Athletic Hall of Fame
The deadline for submitting an Athletic Hall of Fame nomination has been extended to November 30. Nominations may be for individuals, teams, or retired coaches. Please click here to access the complete criteria and the nomination form.
The Lower Moreland High School's annual Mini-THON (which raises money for the Four Diamonds Fund in its fight against pediatric cancer) is November 22nd from 10 am to 10 pm. If any parent/guardian is interested in chaperoning at the event, please fill out the form available at this link.
Technology (Jason Hilt, Ed.D., Director of Technology)
The Technology Department supports information technology systems and instructional technology programs and practices in the district. This month, we are highlighting how our students have been engaged in 21st Century learning activities focused on the 4Cs: Critical Thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, and Communication.
Students enrolled in AP courses now have access to College Board’s new AP Classroom. This personalized dashboard allows students to improve their knowledge and expand their critical thinking skills to prepare them for the AP Exam. Learn more here!
Fourth-grade students embarked on virtual field trips across the country using mobile devices and the Google Expeditions app. The virtual reality experiences help connect their learning about landmarks to each place they visit.
Kindergarten students practiced reading their writing out loud to a partner. Then, they worked together with a classmate or teacher to capture a photo and record their stories using classroom iPads.
Teachers, instructional coaches, and administrators will be leading professional learning sessions during the November 5 staff development day. A total of 23 sessions will be held throughout the day with a wide range of topics including assessment tools, instructional video production, website design, hands-on STEM activities, and creating eBooks with Google tools.
Students in Mr. Haldeman’s and Mr. Church’s classes worked in small groups using the flexible library seating to create an exhibit for an in-class field trip to the World Studies Life in Elizabethan England Museum. Students selected technology tools to create augmented reality experiences to fulfill the interactive project component.
Students in Ms. Lemos' class learned how to use Class Dojo to communicate their learning to their teacher and families. After practicing their speaking and reading, they recorded their messages.
Utilizing Final Cut Pro in Broadcast Journalism, students in Mrs. Siciliano’s class made a peer-to-peer PSA on the dangers of vaping in response to the recent headlines. Here is a link to one of the videos.
Fourth-grade students going on a "virtual" field trip.
Kindergarten students utilizing Class Dojo.
Broadcast Journalism students producing a Public Service Announcement.
Student Services (Frank Giordano, Director of Special Education and Student Services)
What is the Office of Student Services?
The Office of Student Services at Lower Moreland Township School District is responsible for overseeing all individualized educational programming for District students with special needs. The Office is also responsible for compliance with Section 504 of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), implementation of the District Gifted/Academically Talented Program, oversight of School Psychologists and Counselors, nursing services, education for homeless youth, transition from work to school for students with special needs, and planning and providing professional development for all of the above. Our Central Office staff consists of:
Mr. Frank Giordano-Director of Student Services and Special Education
Mrs. Julie O’Malley-Supervisor of Student Services
Mrs. Jennifer Balliet-Fishberg-Administrative Assistant
Mrs. Terri Hagan-Part-Time Administrative Assistant
Most often our office interacts with parents of students who have, or are believed to be, in need of specialized supports in the school setting for academic, emotional, social or physical reasons. The process and procedures of Special Education services, Section 504 Agreements, or Gifted supports can be daunting, confusing, and overwhelming. Our office is here to help you navigate the process if your child requires special services to be successful in the school setting as identified by a multidisciplinary evaluation team. If you have a student with special needs or believe your child may have special needs, please do not hesitate to contact the Office at 215-938-7426 or visit our page on the District website for more information.