Message from the Superintendent
It’s hard to believe that we have already reached the halfway point in the 2019-2020 school year. In our continuing effort to keep our school and Township community informed about the many wonderful events taking place, I invite you to bookmark our district webpage https://www.lmtsd.org/Page/1 that houses our “Upcoming Events” calendar. Throughout the winter and early spring season, a number of musical, theatrical, athletic, school safety and security, and many other wonderful events are scheduled to take place. Please join us for a number of these informative and entertaining future events happening in our schools.
The ability to respond in any natural or man-made emergencies or disasters is an essential component of an Emergency Operations Plan. For school districts, the process begins with comprehensive planning and collaboration between district employees and emergency responders. Every quarter, administrative and counseling personnel from Lower Moreland Township School District and Bryn Athyn College/Academy of the New Church, along with police, fire, and Township personnel assemble as a Safe Schools meeting group to review plans and engage in discussions centering on school safety and security concerns, initiatives, and training requirements. At its most recent quarterly meeting, the Safe Schools meeting group discussed requirements and initiated preparations as it focuses on Model K-12 Threat Assessment Team Procedures and Guidelines required for the start of the 2020-2021 school year.
Lastly, please be reminded that on Friday, February 28, 2020, the Foundation for Lower Moreland Schools and student members of the high school’s Future Business Leaders of America organization will be hosting "A Night at the Boardwalk" event at Philmont Country Club. Throughout the evening, FBLA students will be highlighting business plans and goals of the newly branded Foundation. In addition, many "Boardwalk" themed games and food will be available in order to satisfy all of our mid-winter summer thoughts. The evening will also include a silent auction. Most importantly, you'll have an opportunity to hear from Lower Moreland High School students involved with the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) organization about their rebranding experiences, roles, and established goals related to reinvigorating the Foundation. Please click on the link below to view the invitation and instructions on purchasing tickets for the event.
Scott Davidheiser, Ed.D.
School Board members-Alan Steinberg, Steve Geiger, Camille Murao Baker, and Dr. Murray Cohen-were recognized with Years of Service certificates from the PA School Board Association.
LMHS Ceramics teacher, Mrs. Elfstrom, and one of her Advanced Placement students came to the January Public Meeting of the School Board of Directors to explain the creative process that led to the creation of coasters that were given to each Board Member as part of the national School Board Recognition Month.
Business Office (Mark McGuinn, Business Manager)
The State of Pennsylvania requires all school districts to prepare budgets for their General Fund which accounts for the day-to-day operations of the school district. Budgets must be approved by June 30 for the fiscal year beginning July 1, and ending June 30 the subsequent year. For the Lower Moreland Township School District, the budget process begins in September of the preceding year when the Act 1 index is announced. This index is set by the State and denotes a limit a district can raise local real estate taxes. For the 2020/21 budget year, this index is 2.6%. In keeping with the practice of staying at or below the Act 1 index, and in accordance with a resolution passed by the Board of School Directors, the District cannot raise taxes beyond the 2.6% Act 1 index. To view the actual resolution, please visit https://www.lmtsd.org/Page/13641 and click on the 2020/2021 Act 1 resolution. Over the next 4-5 months the District will work to present a final budget in June that will be within its limits for the 2021/21 school year.
Mrs. Dallahan, Mrs. Zschunke, Mrs. Cerruti, and Mrs. Cebular had the pleasure of meeting children’s book author, Julia Cook.
Murray Avenue students enjoyed a day on the slopes at Bear Creek during the annual ski trip.
Curriculum and Instruction (Julien Drennan, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Prof. Dev.)
The Board of School Directors recently approved the High School Program of Studies for the 2020-2021 school year. New courses for the upcoming school year include: Introduction to Cybersecurity, Smartphone Photography, Digital Arts, 2D Art and Design, Fashion/Architecture/Interior Design and Music Performance/Production. Additionally, the course description for the Art, Music and Culture course, which is a graduation requirement, has been rewritten and renamed. Moving forward, the course title will be Creativity and Collaboration in the Arts. The shift symbolizes the move from student as a consumer to student as a creator in the classroom. Creativity and Collaboration in the Arts remains a graduation requirement and is most often taken during the Sophomore year. A final addition to the Program of Studies is for students who attend the Eastern Center for Arts and Technology, where a brand new program, Robotics and Automated Technology, is launching this fall.
We are happy to announce that the district is a recipient of a PAsmart Targeted Computer Science & STEM Education Grant in the amount of $35,000. The grant, which is offered by the commonwealth to support the Governor's PAsmart Initiative, will be used to fund increased access to computer science and STEM programming in grades K-8, through the acquisition of new materials, curriculum and professional development. You can find additional information on the PAsmart Grant here.
On Wednesday, March 25 at 7 p.m. at Murray Avenue School, parents/guardians are invited to a presentation on cyberbullying by Debra McCoy, an expert on the topic and school climate and safety.
Teachers and administrators took a field trip to discuss STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) offerings with the Colonial School District.
Human Resources/Public Relations (Cheryl Galdo, Esq., Dir. of HR/PR)
The inductees are:
- Taylor Cohen (Class of 2008), Tennis: Captain of 2 state championship teams, state doubles champion and 2x state singles champion
- Samuel Harmatz (Class of 2008), Tennis: Captain of 2 state championship teams, 2x state doubles champion
- Ty Higgins (Class of 1970), Cross Country/Track: 2x state champion in discus; State Record Holder in discus
- Mark Mayson, Retired Football Coach and Athletic Director
- George Severine (Class of 1977), Track: State champion; State Record Holder at 800 meters
- Lisa Silvestri (Class of 2002), Diving: 3x state champion
- Jamie Vanartsdalen (Class of 2005), Field Hockey, Lacrosse, Basketball: LM Record Holder for career goals in field hockey; 3rd Highest Scorer in Girls Basketball, 130 Career Goals in Lacrosse
- Erica Walsh (Class of 1993), Basketball, Soccer: Penn State Women's Soccer Coach and Assistant Coach for the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team
- Heather Weindorfer (Class of 1993), Basketball: LM All-time Leading Scorer with over 2,000 points
For more information about the Athletic Hall of Fame and to submit nominations, please click here.
MLK Day of Service activities at Pine Road ES included the packaging of breakfast bags to be distributed to homebound seniors in the community and an outdoor clean-up activity.
At Murray Avenue, students assembled fleece blankets and personal care bags that were distributed to a local charity, Valley Youth House, that serves children and teens experiencing emergency homelessness.
LMHS students donated their time and painting skills to give a fresh coat of paint to Red Lion Gym, which serves the Lower Moreland community.
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.
Fourth grade engineers successfully designed a working wind turbine powered by electricity. Earlier in the year, students practiced measuring wind speed with an anemometer, learned about electrical circuits, and coding with Micro Bits. In this project, students applied all of their learning to make a functioning wind turbine. They worked to write code with the Micro Bits to make the turbines spin as fast as they could. Here is a link to Mrs. Krupa’s Twitter post about the project: https://twitter.com/i/status/1220079110401265664
Murray Avenue's art club created 50 dog toys for Marty's Place Senior Dog Sanctuary, as part of #givingtuesday. GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past seven years, it has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. The club upcycled used t-shirt donations and braided them into functional toys for shelter pups in need.
Kindergarten and first-grade students are learning about coding in the STEM lab. Students practiced mapping out their program with arrows to sequence the parts of a story after a read aloud. Then using the Beebots, students applied their code to show the sequence of the story events, moving the Beebots to each location from the story. Soon K students will also use these kits in their classrooms during centers, working together to code their Beebots to successfully move to a new location.
Students in John Haldeman and Tom Church’s 9th Grade World Studies class put Okonkwo from Things Fall Apart on trial before midterms. Students had to get into the mindset of a juror, prosecutor, defense lawyer or witness and through the use of questions and answers convey their character’s opinion about Okonkwo’s guilt or innocence for the murder of a messenger. Students prepared materials beforehand by using G Suite tools to prepare witness and preempt cross-examination questions and getting into the heads of their assigned role. Finally, students had to present themselves clearly in the moment to convey their opinions and win their case all while following trial procedures and protocols.
The District maintains an online database of digital resources used by staff and students in grades K-12. The database includes links to the resources so that families can review the technology tools and install specific applications on home devices. The database is available on the District webpage and can be found here: https://datastudio.google.com/s/vKBHikIHz3o
Murray Avenue's art club created 50 dog toys for Marty's Place Senior Dog Sanctuary, as part of #givingtuesday.
9th Graders put on a trial for a character in a book they are reading as part of the World Studies curriculum.
Elementary students get a jump on learning about coding in Pine Road's Innovation Lab.
Student Services (Frank Giordano, Director of Special Education and Student Services)
The Montgomery County Intermediate Unit frequently sponsors a Resource Expo for students with disabilities, their families and educators. The next Expo will be held on March 26th at Perkiomen Valley High School from 6:30-8:30 PM and will offer information on topics ranging from summer camp information to transition to adult life. Please see the attached flyer for more information.