Message from the Superintendent
It is my pleasure to present the March edition of the Lower Moreland Township School District Superintendent’s Newsletter. I hope this letter finds you and your family healthy and well.
The Board of School Directors of the Lower Moreland Township School District recently approved a plan to increase K-12 in-person instructional days beginning March 22. The 5-day in-school plan includes 4.5 days of in-person instruction per week and a .5 day of remote instruction on Wednesday afternoons which parents can elect to either have their child(ren) return home or remain in the district. The plan substantially increases in-person instruction days while at the same time maintains a 5-day virtual-only option for families. The approval of this plan does eliminate the hybrid learning option beginning March 22 since learning spaces in classrooms are expected to be reduced inside of 6’. However, the plan focuses on outcomes for both sets of learners and maintains student/teacher relationships and individualized support while not forcing any placement changes of students from their current teachers.
A recording of the virtual School Board Special Meeting that includes the following: a presentation, Board discussion, commentary by Dr. David Rubin, Director of the PolicyLab at the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania, public comment and approval of a motion by our School Directors to move forward with the recommended plan can be found here.
Recently, the District was invited to join the Montgomery County Cultural Proficiency & Equity
Student Ambassadors (CPESA) program. The program’s goal, created within the Cheltenham School District, is to build student capacity to engage and serve as allies for their peers and others; develop strategies to self-advocate; establish peer leadership opportunities; create space for student voice on social justice issues and develop themselves as trainers. Approximately 20 current freshmen, sophomores and juniors will be invited to participate in this County-wide initiative.
Lastly, please be reminded that the academic calendars for the next two years were approved by the Board of School Directors. Now that travel restrictions have been lifted by Governor Wolf and as you begin planning summer vacations, please refer to the calendars for accurate dates. Please be reminded that the first day of school for the 2021-2022 school year will be August 30.
Scott Davidheiser, Ed.D.
Business Office (Mark McGuinn, Business Manager)
Each year, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue provides a list of taxpayers’ names and addresses to be reviewed by school districts for each tax year. The purpose of this report is for school districts to make corrections to a list of names and addresses of taxpayers who reported to the Department on their Pennsylvania Personal Income Tax returns they are residents of the school district on Dec. 31 of a given tax year.
For the most recent tax year received by the School District (tax year 2019), business officials had to remove 1,223 taxpayers/addresses out of a total of over 5,619 taxpayers/addresses that were incorrectly denoted as Lower Moreland Township School District. These corrections are sent to the correct school districts as well as the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue for reconciliation purposes and in conjunction, other school districts will send their miscoded information to Lower Moreland for verification purposes. As a reminder for all residents of Lower Moreland Township School District, the School District code that should be denoted on an individual Pennsylvania State Income Tax return should be 46460. As folks complete their returns for the tax year 2019, please ensure that the school district code is correct.
If addresses are not corrected and taxpayers are not properly removed, their corresponding income levels will be attributed to the district denoted thereby skewing the income levels and making the individual district appear “wealthier” than it actually is. In Pennsylvania, “wealthier” school districts receive less direct State funding for their Basic Instruction Subsidy as well as other State reimbursements. If there are any questions about this process, please contact Mark McGuinn, Business Manager at email@example.com or (215) 938-0270 ext. 4515.
Curriculum and Instruction (Julien Drennan, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Prof. Dev.)
The Federal Government recently affirmed its commitment to state-level assessments being given across the country. The Pennsylvania Department of Education communicated its intention to apply for a waiver, giving districts the opportunity to administer the tests in the fall, rather than the spring, which is the traditional time period. The evidence cited included information regarding a large number of schools, especially at the secondary level, that continue to be 100% virtual and would have difficulty administering assessments. Given that Lower Moreland has been in session since August and will be able to craft a test administration schedule that allows for social distancing, cleaning protocols and engagement with our virtual learners, we anticipate that the spring test administration of the Keystone Exams, PSSAs and PASAs will occur as anticipated. Assessing students closer to the instruction of the content is ideal and delaying that instruction may lead to a less accurate measure of student learning. PDE has provided dates for the spring testing windows that have been expanded significantly to allow for flexibility in the scheduling of the administration. Dates specific to test administration in Lower Moreland will be communicated by Principals in the future. District administrators will continue to monitor communications from PDE and the Department of Education and will communicate them to families in a timely fashion, should any changes occur. For planning purposes, the testing windows are as follows:
PSSA: April 19 - May 28, 2021
PASA: March 8 - May 7, 2021
Keystone Exams: May 17 - June 25, 2021
Human Resources/Public Relations (Cheryl Galdo, Esq., Dir. of HR/PR)
As of March 1, 2021, the Order of the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health for Mitigation Relating To Travel is no longer in effect. Travelers should still practice appropriate public health measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 such as masking, physical distancing, and hand hygiene. A link to the PA Dept. of Health's webpage on travel can be found here.
However, the Montgomery County Office of Public Health is still following the testing and quarantine guidelines for international travel. If your student is traveling outside of the country before the current school year ends, please let the school nurse know.
In addition, the Montgomery County Office of Public Health recently issued updated guidelines regarding when individuals who have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine must quarantine after close contact with a person who has a positive COVID-19 test result.
The new guidelines say that if a person is fully vaccinated, they do not have to quarantine. Fully vaccinated is defined as:
- ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine,
- Within 3 months following receipt of the last dose in the series, AND
- Remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure (meaning both doses of a 2-dose series).
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, our instructional coaches share some useful tech tips for students and families. If you have an idea for a future tech tip, please click HERE to share!
Student Services (Frank Giordano, Director of Special Education and Student Services)
Lower Moreland Township School District