February 23 Superintendent's Update
Greetings Upper Moreland Community!
Our students and staff have been very busy across all of our schools. February is Black History Month, and throughout the month our students have been learning about the contributions of African Americans. Some of their learning is shared in the District Highlights section of this month’s newsletter.
Parent-teacher conferences will be held March 1 through 3.
Our teachers have been busy preparing for these conferences to share individual student progress with parents. Schools will dismiss early each day during parent-teacher conferences. UMHS and UMMS will dismiss at 11:00 am, and UMIS and UMPS will dismiss at 11:45 am.
Student are wrapping up their winter sports and competitions with successful seasons by several teams and individual athletes including our Varsity Wrestling Team, Swimming and Diving Teams, Boys’ and Girls’ Basketball, Indoor Track, Boys' and Girls' Bowling, Indoor Guard and Percussion. Congratulations to all students and their coaches on their winter seasons.
The month of March marks the official start of spring sports and the spring arts season with school musicals. Our middle school drama company will be putting on the Wizard of Oz on March 9-11. Our high school drama company will be putting on A Chorus Line: Teen Version on March 23-25. Mark your calendars and attend our musicals to support the arts in Upper Moreland.
Thank you for your continued support and partnership for student success.
Dr. Susan Elliott
Superintendent of Schools
Registration is open for students of the Upper Moreland Class of 2036. Residents of Upper Moreland Township can register their child(ren) who will be age 5 on or before September 1, 2023. To register your child for kindergarten, please visit the Registration Section of our Website for more information.
We look forward to meeting our newest Golden Bears!
On Tuesday, January 21, 2023, the Board approved the 2023-2024 Upper Moreland School District Calendar. The first day of school for students in grades 1 through 12 is Monday, August 28; the first day of school for kindergarten students is Tuesday, August 29. The tentative last day of school is Thursday, June 6, 2024. Click here to view the full calendar.
Dates to Remember
- March 1-3: EARLY DISMISSAL GRADES K-12 Conferences
- Middle School and High School dismissal at 11:00 am
- Primary School and Intermediate School dismissal at 11:45 am
- Tuesday, March 7: Committee of the Whole Meeting - 6:30 pm
- Thursday - Saturday, March 9, 10 & 11:
- UMMS Musical “Wizard Of Oz” Th/Fr/Sat 7:00 pm
- Sunday, March 12: Daylight Savings Time - 12:01 am
- Tuesday, March 14: Policy Committee Meeting - 6:30 pm
- Tuesday, March 21: Legislative Board Meeting - 6:30 pm
- Thursday - Saturday, March 23, 24 & 25:
- UMHS Musical “A Chorus Line” Th/Fr 7:00 pm; Sat 2:00 pm matinee & 7:00 pm
Learning About, Honoring & Celebrating
African Americans during Black History Month
Throughout this month, our students and school communities have spent time learning about, honoring, and celebrating African Americans and the many contributions they have and continue to make in our country. February’s district highlights will spotlight many of the activities that happened across our schools.
Check out this video showcasing the lessons and activities across our schools during
Black History Month.
Kindergarten Students Learned about African Americans
Students in Mrs. Bell’s kindergarten class created a portfolio of their learning about different African Americans. The students wrote a short report about each person and included an illustration. Some of the people they learned about included Maya Angelou, Louis Armstrong, and Barack Obama.
UM Primary School Students Learn about Alma Woodsy Thomas
The UMPS Librarian, Miss Klein, and Technology Teacher, Miss Bentz, collaborated on a project to introduce students to African American artist Alma Woodsy Thomas. She made her national debut as an artist when she was approximately 80 years old.
African American History Quilt at UM Intermediate School
Ms. Brown’s class at Upper Moreland Intermediate School learned about different African Americans and their contributions as they created an African American Biography Quilt. The students worked together to create this quilt which includes a picture and facts about each person on the quilt. At the bottom of the quilt they wrote, “We are all woven together.”
Living Wax Museum at UM Intermediate School
Students in Ms. Monte’s fifth grade class at UMIS researched the contributions of several different African Americans and developed a living wax museum presentation for their peers and families. The students created posters, prepared a speech, and even dressed in clothing to represent the career and accomplishments of each person. Some of the famous African Americans included Mae Jamison, Octavia Spencer, Alfred Cralle, Lebron James, Benjamin Banneker, Mary Seacole, Duke Ellington, Barack Obama, and Kobe Bryant.
National African American Read-In at UM Middle School
On Thursday, February 23rd, families from across the district attended the National African American Read-In at the Upper Moreland Middle School. This national event started in 1990 to encourage communities to read together and focus on African American authors and literature. Upper Moreland families enjoyed an evening filled with poetry activities, food, jazz music, and presentations by local authors. Ms. Karema Farmer, local author,
spoke and shared her experiences as a writer.
Thank you to all who helped make this evening a success including the staff and student volunteers, the cooks who prepared food–Miss London of Lovely London Delights and Mr. Pretlow--and the local authors who shared their talents with our community.
Chris Singleton Visits UM High School and Middle School
To kick off Black History Month, speaker and author, Chris Singleton visited both Upper Moreland High School and Middle School to share his story with the students. A former professional baseball player and now inspirational speaker, Chris shares a message of unity, resilience, and love as he speaks across the country to groups including schools, sports teams, and businesses. During his visit to Upper Moreland, Chris also spent time chatting with students during lunch. To learn more about Chris Singleton, visit his website.
Eastern Tech School Highlights UM Students
As part of their celebration of Black History Month, Eastern Tech School highlighted successful African American students attending Eastern. Three Upper Moreland students were highlighted. The Golden Bears highlighted were Makiya Smith, Joseph Hardee, and Hassan Johnson. To read more about each student, please click HERE.
Upper Moreland Intermediate School Career Day 2023
On February 3rd, students in grades 3 to 5 learned about various careers as part of our curriculum related to college and career readiness. Parents, community members, and even some Upper Moreland staff met with students to share information about their respective careers. Presenters shared job responsibilities, training, and how they became interested in the career. Students had an opportunity to ask questions to learn more. Thank you to the parents, community members, and staff who gave their time to introduce elementary students to different careers.
UMHS February Student of the Month:
Emily Nally, Senior
We are proud to announce that Emily Nally was selected as Upper Moreland High School’s February 2023 Rotary Club Student of the Month!
Emily has always done her best to be involved with many different facets of UMHS. She enjoys putting the work into making our high school the best it can be. She has been involved with the arts and community programs since her freshman year. These include holding leadership positions in marching band, theater, and the UMatter Group, as well as participating in National Honor Society, Jazz Band, Pop and Rock Band, Montgomery County Band, Key Club, Drama Club and Drama Company. She can be seen on the morning announcements each day, offering her warm smile and positive attitude. Emily is involved in her community in a variety of ways such as helping out at the middle school play rehearsals, making cards for senior citizens and for children with cancer, packing food for JRA, and helping out at her local church. In addition to her service to others, she is a dedicated student with distinguished honors.
Emily was nominated by two of her high school teachers. Mr. Ferrarello, her English teacher, shared: "I would like to nominate Emily Nally as an Upper Moreland Student of the Month. In addition to her yeoman work with the Marching Band and the Theater company, she goes above and beyond in the classroom. I worked with Emily in ninth grade as her Public Speaking teacher and now have the pleasure of working with her in AP Literature. Emily produces sterling work and is a true 'sparkplug' in the classroom. She generates provocative discussions, collaborates with all beautifully, and demonstrates true respect to everyone she comes in contact with."
Mr. Beck, her PE teacher said: "She is a fantastic student and citizen. She is a leader in the marching unit and as part of the drama club. In PE class, which I know is not her favorite, she always gives a great effort and I feel by her participating, that she leads others who also don't love PE to try as well. Emily demonstrates values and characteristics that are worthy of student of the month recognition."
Please join us in congratulating Emily Nally, the Student of the Month for February!
Congratulations to Liam Ritter - PMEA All-State Jazz Ensemble
Congratulations to UMHS sophomore Liam Ritter for being selected as the guitar player for the 2023 Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) All-State Jazz Ensemble. This achievement is particularly remarkable because only one guitar player from the entire state of Pennsylvania is selected to this ensemble. In addition to being an exceptional young guitarist with our top Jazz Band, Liam also plays mallet percussion, tenor saxophone, piano, and electric bass in various other ensembles at UMHS.
The All-State Jazz Ensemble will perform as part of the PMEA All-State Festival and Conference April 19-22 at the Kalahari Convention Center in the Poconos.
Please join me in congratulating Liam on this distinguished achievement.
UMMS Art Club Decorates UMPS
We are proud of the work our Middle School Art Club students did to decorate UMPS and help promote the focus on improving school culture and climate through Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS). Under the guidance of Ms. Patrick, MS Art, and in collaboration with Mrs. Monaghan, 2nd grade teacher, the MS Art Club students painted reminders of the school focus, ROAR (Respect, Ownership, Accountability, and Responsibility).
Thank you Mrs. Monaghan, Ms. Patrick, and the MS Art Club for this beautiful artwork and for serving our school community with your talents!
UMMS Global Innovations Class Competing in:
What’s So Cool About Manufacturing
In March, students in the middle school Global Innovations class will be competing against schools from the Philadelphia region in the What’s So Cool About Manufacturing video contest. The students were assigned a local manufacturing company, Pac Pro, Inc. They needed to work as a collaborative team to develop a plan, write a script, gather video footage and interviews, create a final video product, and develop an outreach plan to share their work and encourage people to vote for their contest submission.
We are so proud of the hard work, dedication, and teamwork of the students over the last several months. For more information on their project, please visit the website they developed: What’s So Cool About Manufacturing UMMS Global Innovations Class. The students will continue to update the site with information and video teasers.
Now, they need your votes! Voting for submitted videos will take place from March 22 through 24. You can vote as many times as you would like for our UMMS Global Innovations Team during the voting window. More information about how you can cast your votes for our UMMS team will be shared via email and social media as we get closer to the voting window.
Good luck UMMS Global Innovations Team!
UMHS Student Art Featured in the PSEA “Touch the Future” Art Show
Four Upper Moreland High School students participated in the annual Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) "Touch the Future" Art Show. This is a highly competitive show representing 25 high school across Bucks and Montgomery counties. We are pleased to announce that our 4 Upper Moreland artists' work has been accepted and will be on display beginning on March 5th at Montgomery County Community College. Eliza Feil's work in color drawing has been accepted; Cindy Zhou's work in watercolor has been accepted. Isabella Vise's work in digital imaging/computer graphics has been accepted, and Tyler Sames' work in 3D single media has been accepted. Congratulations to our UM artists!
The Opening Reception is Sunday, March 5, from 1:00-3:00 pm at the Fine Arts Center Gallery, Montgomery County Community College, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, PA. Please see this invitation. There will also be an Awards Presentation at 2:00 pm.
The show will be open to the public from March 5-March 29. Please note that the gallery is closed between March 13-19 for the college's spring break. For more information about gallery hours and a map please visit this website.
Eastern Tech School Highlighted in State Video Promoting Technical Education
The Pennsylvania State Education Association and the Council for the Advancement of Public Schools collaborated to produce a video highlighting the important role Career and Technical Education schools play in educating students and preparing them for success. Our own Eastern Tech School along with Bucks County Technical High School were featured in the video. Additionally, Upper Moreland senior Brandon Lim, a student in the Vet Science program, was featured in the video. We are proud of Brandon and of Eastern Tech School. Portions of the video will appear as television ads in Pennsylvania. Please use this link to view the video and learn more about how our tech schools prepare students for success.
Upper Moreland Township School District Recognized for Financial Achievement
Congratulations to our Upper Moreland Business Office under the leadership of Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Matthew Lentz for earning the Certificate of Financial Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association. This is the fifth consecutive year Upper Moreland has earned this recognition for our high standards in financial reporting and transparency.
February 21st Board Meeting
On Tuesday, February 21, 2023, the Board of School Directors held their legislative meeting. Below are highlights of the Board action taken at the meeting. To review the meeting agendas, please visit the School Board section of our website.
- The Board approved the 2023-2024 School calendar outlining the start of school, parent-teacher conferences, days that school is closed, and the tentative final day of school. To view the calendar, please select this link.
- The Board approved bids for improvements to Upper Moreland Middle School. These improvements include a more secure entrance, building envelope brick repointing, and window replacement. These improvements will take place during the summer.
- The Board approved traffic engineering services by T & M Associates to gather information related to upcoming projects at the high school campus, the elementary school, and the 509 Davisville Road property.
- The Board approved Upper Moreland’s portion of the 2023-2024 Montgomery County Intermediate Unit Budget. Upper Moreland’s portion of the budget is $44,855, which is an increase of $1,707 compared to the 2022-2023 school year.
- The Board adopted Policies 715, 122, 137, and 137.1. The Board also repealed policies 319, 322, and 326, which are being replaced by Policy 315.