In The Q
January 16, 2020 newsletter
Making a Difference
High school team cooks up a new tradition at Ronald McDonald House
The QCHS team donated their own money for supplies and prepared meals. Youngsters enjoyed chicken nuggets and mac and cheese while adults chose from pork loin with cranberries or chicken breast with beets, broccoli, and salad.
"You can see that the parents are tired and stressed and happy to sit down for a nice meal. It's a blessing for them," said Officer Lee, who organized the event. "It's a humbling experience. Every one of us loved it and wants to make it a tradition."
The group of givers included Officer Lee, Principal Mattias van’t Hoenderdaal, assistant principals Adam Dinney, Jennifer Carolla, Jason Magditch and administrative intern Juan Soto. Teachers included George Banas, Laurie Christine, Lori Litchman, Chris Polk and school psychologist Courtney Artau. The students attending were Melanie Ficarra, Shelby Lanyon and Pearlyn Young.
Education Foundation awards 25K grant
Kelly Cramer's proposal for 'Knowledge Buildings Classroom Libraries' wins
When Kelly Cramer walks into a classroom, her eyes invariably scan for books. It’s one of the things that makes her the perfect fit as Quakertown Community School District’s K-12 Instructional Coach and K-12 ELA Content Specialist.
When she heard the Quakertown Community Education Foundation was looking to make a big impact on student learning by offering a $25,000 grant, she began developing ideas. Her proposal: “Knowledge Building Classroom Libraries,” focused on fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms, which had been departmentalized with a different teacher in science and social studies.
“I noticed students had textbooks and articles, however they weren’t surrounded by books to enhance their learning further,” she said. “My goal was to create science and social studies libraries that all students could access regardless of reading ability, so they could further explore the topics they were studying in class.”
Please click here for the full story.
Sen. Mensch speaks with students during HS visit
Senator Bob Mensch spent the afternoon of January 14th at Quakertown Community High School. Sen. Mensch, who toured much of the school, was with Lisa Walter, his chief of staff.
Also visiting was Larry Feinberg, Advocacy Ambassador with the Pennsylvania School Boards Association. Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner led the tour with Principal Mattias Van't Hoenderdaal.
The Senator spoke with several students, was interviewed in the TV studio by Tyler Merwarth and talked to Mr. Boquist's AP Government class.
Following his time with students, Sen. Mensch met with Dr. Harner's cabinet members and high school administrators. They later took a stroll to Quakertown Elementary School.
"It was great hearing about what the school district is up to and I enjoyed speaking with the students and faculty," Sen. Mensch said.
Kindergarten Parent Information Night: Thursday, January 16, 7 pm
If you have a child who will be a kindergartner in the 2020-21 school year, it is essential you attend Kindergarten Parent Information Night at 7 p.m. Thursday, January 16th in the high school's Performing Arts Center.
Erin Oleksa Carter, Supervisor of Literacy and Arts, and Kelly Cramer, Instructional Coach and Literacy Specialist, will be presenting information to incoming Kindergarten families about how to register their child, what to expect during the screening process, and preparing for Kindergarten in QCSD. Time will be allotted for a Q&A.
Please click here to register, and note that this event will help prepare you for Kindergarten registration, which will take place during the week of March 2-6.
Strayer students train as 'upstanders'
Nine Strayer Middle School students have been selected to form a leadership group that educators believe can help lessen discrimination and bullying in school.
The students - Dylan Chauhan, Cailyn Cineas, Thomy Codja, Ariana Krum, Nathalia McMillan, Morgan Murray, Brendan Padmanabhan, Shaylen Carmona Rivera, and Meghan Steiert - were chosen by assistant principal Kim Finnerty, who inspired the team’s creation.
“I want to make Strayer Middle School the best it can be,” she said. “Students here should feel safe, comfortable and want to be here. When people don’t feel that way, that’s a problem for me.
“These students have diverse perspectives. They’re different colors, they’re males, they’re females, some are new to the district, and some have been in the district for years. But they’re all here for positive reasons. They have come to this conference with a bunch of other students from the region because it’s really important to learn lessons from the past, and to have an open mind in how we think and deal with each other.”
Please click here for the full story.
HS students artwork displayed on QNB Calendar
Two Quakertown Community High School students and a 2019 graduate have had their artwork published in the Quakertown National Bank 2020 Student Art Collector Calendar.
Joseph Fries, rabbits; Logan Asbury, planes; and Josie Rowley, cupcube, each won $100! The artwork is published in 6,000 calendars distributed throughout Bucks County and the Lehigh Valley.
Congratulations to the students and the district's art teachers!
Here's how to signup for QCSD's MLK Day of Service
Dr. Veirdre Jackson from Living Strong Consulting, LLC returns is the keynote speaker. The title of her important conversation is: “The Impact of Adversity On Children and the School Environment.”
Please click here for information about the event and to signup as a chaperone or volunteer.
Organization offers help for lunch debt
Quakertown Community Outreach, a local nonprofit organization, has raised money for families struggling with their student lunch debt in the Quakertown Community School District. Funds will be disbursed to parents who apply for assistance and are approved.
To get the approval process started, please fill out this form by clicking here.
If you have any questions, please contact QCO at email@example.com
QCHS Student nominated to U.S. Military Academy
Tyler is an awesome student-athlete and aspires to become a cadet. Congratulations Tyler and the best of luck in achieving your goals!
QCHS sports in the news
Josh McGovern honored with Mini Maxwell award
Josh McGovern was recently named Univest Featured Athlete of the Week. A football and baseball player, Josh was the recipient of a Mini Maxwell from the Maxwell Club. Josh, who played running back and cornerback, attended the award presentation with Coach Wolf.
As much as he has excelled in athletics, Josh is a superior student with plans to become an engineer.
To read more about this outstanding young man, please click here.
For a story and list of the Mini Maxwell Award winners, please click here.
Wrestlers on roll: pin CR, capture duals
The hard work of Kurt Handel's wrestling team has been paying off in a major way. And the local media has noticed.
The Panthers received kudos following their 36-20 conquest of Council Rock South. Last weekend, the Panthers hosted the Quakertown Duals and won all five matches..
The Panthers won all five of their matches at their dual tournament Jan. 11. They posted convincing victories over Great Valley (69-3), Father Judge (62-14), Lower Merion (65-10), and also battled through Stroudsburg (43-25) and Bethlehem Liberty (34-28).
Please click here for the Bucks County Herald story.
Please click here for the Suburban One Sports story.
Please click here for The Intelligencer story.
And here's a season preview from The Morning Call.
Big boost for tech resources in QCSD
In the last five years, the Quakertown Community School District has significantly boosted technology resources for students and teachers to positively impact classroom teaching and learning.
Every district classroom is outfitted with instructional audiovisual (AV) equipment, said Joe Kuzo, QCSD’s director of technology. Hitachi interactive short-throw projectors have been installed in every elementary school classroom, the first time “we have uniform AV equipment across all elementary school buildings,” he said. “The projectors allow for interactive lessons to be created and used for instruction and learning by both the teacher and students who interact with them at the front of the room.”
Peach Draper, math and science instructional coach/interventionist at Pfaff Elementary School, said she’s used VR technology to have kindergarten students explore trees at a maple syrup farm; first graders explore the moon and stars; second-graders taken to a dairy farm and New York City; third graders to the French Alps, Roman Colosseum, and the Great Barrier Reef; fourth graders to Philadelphia and Gettysburg; and fifth graders to the moon and a variety of stars.
“They’re so excited about it,” she said. “It motivates them. They travel and see things you just can’t see in a textbook. They see people walking in a space station. It’s like going on an amazing field trip without leaving school. The kids want to go to other places and that leads to more research, more questions. I love the conversation and the excitement that it sparks.”
Please click here for the story.
Fab Lab allows students to explore, build, create, design and code
The Bucks County Intermediate Unit Fab Lab, designed to inspire and encourage students to pursue careers in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) fields, spent a week at Pfaff Elementary School.
Please click here for the story.
QCSD at the PA Farm Show
Strayer student Layla Cotter gains ribbons for 3rd- and 4th-place
Layla Cotter, an eighth-grader at Strayer Middle School, competed with Atlas as a member of the Bucks County Pronking Pacas at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. Layla and Atlas placed 3rd in Obstacles and 4th in Showmanship in her age class
In December, at Bucks County 4H Achievement Night, Layla received a Farm Credit award for her alpaca project that also came with a sweatshirt. She also was given Clover Ladder awards for green, white and bronze service levels.
Great job Layla!
Community School Start Times Committee
The Quakertown Community School District has created a Community School Start Times Committee that's been meeting since October.
It's made up of parents and administrators who volunteered to analyze school start times and make a recommendation to the School Board.
For more information, please click here.
For a news story about the committee, please click here.
Program educates Sixth Grade Center students about e-cigarettes, vaping
All Sixth Grade Center students are taking part in a four-week vaping/e-cigarette education and prevention program during the month of January.
The core resource of SGC’s program is CATCH My Breath, which was developed by health education experts at the School of Public Health at the University of Texas in Austin. The program’s goal is to prevent the use of electronic cigarettes by students.
Lee Hellinger, a masters-level prevention specialist with the Council of Southeast Pennsylvania, is facilitating the four, 45-minute sessions with support from SGC staff members. Students are participating in the program during their Social Studies classes, one period per week this month.
Please click here for the story.
HS students hear straight talk on vaping
Whether or not they made an impact on the youth vaping epidemic, medical and law enforcement officials held nothing back in detailing the health risks teens face during panel discussions on December 17th at Quakertown Community High School.
Students were told about the toxic substances they could be inhaling into their lungs, shown photos of the physical consequences of doing so and were told in no uncertain terms they were being targeted by companies that manufacture and market electronic-cigarettes and vaping products just as their parents and grandparents were by tobacco companies decades ago.
“We’re not here to tell you what might happen,” said Tom Gannon, a Deputy District Attorney in Bucks County, specializing in narcotics prosecutions. “If you make a bad decision, you will hurt yourself, and it might be irreparable. If people care about you, they will not ask you to do this.”
Mr. Gannon said he meets parents following autopsies to explain what killed their child. “I don’t want to do that for you guys,” he said. “This is a life or death situation for you.”
Please click here for the story.
District to host job fair 9-noon Jan. 20
The Quakertown Community School District will be hosting a Job Fair for the three Upper Bucks school districts from 9 a.m. to noon on January 20 in the District Services Center, 100 Commerce Drive, Quakertown.
Along with Palisades and Pennridge, Quakertown has openings for several positions, including substitute nurses, substitute teachers, instructional aides and substitute aides. In addition, representatives from Chartwells, Levy School Bus Company and SSC Services for Education will be in attendance to recruit food service workers, bus drivers and custodians, respectively.
Please click here for the story.
Please click here for the "Parent Resources" page.
In addition, if you're looking for information about vaping, please click here.
Family Nights continue Jan. 21st from 6:00-7:30 pm
On Tuesday, January 21 from 6:00-7:30 p.m., the Quakertown Community School District's Family Nights continue. This free event is titled: “Dinner, Storytime, Games & Hot Chocolate.”
Family Night is held at Quakertown Elementary School, 123 South Seventh Street. Parents and students in all of the district's elementary schools are welcome to attend. This is the fourth of seven Family Nights in the district, which has partnered with the Family Service Association of Bucks County to hold these sessions. The goal is to help parents of elementary school students build strong relationships with their children.
Parking is available in the Quakertown Community High School parking lot, between Fifth and Sixth streets on Park Ave. Additional Family Nights are scheduled for February 11, March 17 and April 14.
QE students hit their fundraising targets
Teachers Alicia Bolks and Christa Held presented Terri Dressler of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society a check for $4,000.
“I see a whole bunch of heroes,” Ms. Dressler told an assembly of students following the pie-throwing. “You did such a great job. You did so much to help others. I couldn’t be more proud of you.”
Thirteen teachers and Principal Dr. Michael Zackon were pelted with pies by students. The teachers, who seemed to enjoy the event as much as the students, included Mrs. Cararas, Ms. Conte, Mrs. Derby, Mrs. DeStefano, Mrs. Leva, Mrs. McCoy, Mr. McHugh, Mrs. McNamara, Mr. Palen, Mrs. Riedi, Mrs. Rosica, Mrs. Stefenack and Mr. Wieand, who was the beneficiary of three thrown pies!
Dr. Zackon described the school’s amazing effort as a “wonderful worthwhile fundraiser.” He credited teachers “for making this such a success” and told students “I’m so incredibly proud of you for raising a lot of money to help those who are less fortunate. Remember, holiday season is a time of giving and a time to be grateful. It’s awesome of you to help those not as fortunate as you.”
Trumbauersville students, teachers exhibit true compassion for others
Trumbauersville Elementary School students and teachers were quite busy before the holidays. As part of the school's monthly "spirit week," students brought in canned goods and other nonperishable food items for local Quakertown families in need. This effort was called "Cans of Compassion" food drive. Students filled a mini-van and pickup truck with food.
Fifth grade Student Council members, with the help of school Counselor Laura Gordon, helped carry the food to the vehicles. Students participating are Eddie, Ben, Olivia, Kayla, Emily and Justin.
Their efforts were recognized in a letter from state Sen. Bob Mensch that stated: "Congratulations on Trumbauersville Elementary School's successful 'Cans of Compassion' Food Drive! As the State Senator for the 24th District, it is with great pride and admiration that I express my sincere congratulations for your outstanding achievement. The results of your hard work and dedication will continue to benefit our community, and I am certain your perseverance will help you to accomplish all you hope to achieve."
But they weren't done. They created 19 Compassion Baskets with snacks and thank you cards to share their appreciation for local community organizations. "It has been touching to see how the kindness of our school has been so well-received around the community!" Principal Adam Schmucker said.
Caleb does it again!
A year ago, Caleb Byelich raised more than $1,700 for the Code Blue Emergency Homeless Shelter in Quakertown and was recognized on the U.S. House floor by U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick in a 66-second video that can be seen here.
Caleb was back at it again this year. The Neidig Elementary School student presented checks totaling $4,200, money he raised at his hot cocoa stand.
His mom thanked everyone for helping Caleb achieve his mission and help the less fortunate in the community.
around the district in photos
Custodians needed: Here's how to apply
The Quakertown Community School District is in need of custodians. SSC Services, which services the district, is seeking full and part time permanent and seasonal custodian positions.
Candidates may contact Laird Ihle, director of SSC, at 610-392-1059 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.