Neshaminy School District / April, 2021
NSD named a "Best Community for Music Education" for a fifth year
For the fifth year in a row, Neshaminy School District has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. Now in its 22nd year, the Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.
To qualify for the Best Communities designation, the Neshaminy District music staff answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs.
NSD Virtual Art Show planned for May 24-27
Video: District Art Show Poster Contest winners are surprised in class
For the second year, the Neshaminy District Art Show will be held virtually and shared with the entire community. With continuing Covid-19 restrictions still in place, the decision was made to return to the virtual format to allow as many members of the Neshaminy community as possible to enjoy the creativity of students from throughout the District. The show will be presented as a series of videos which will be released each day. Information on how to view the show will be shared just prior to the premieres in May.
- Monday, May 24: Elementary schools
- Tuesday, May 25: Middle Schools
- Wednesday, May 26: Neshaminy High School
- Thursday, May 27: Advanced Senior Projects from Neshaminy HS
We're All In! Video reflects on a challenging year
As the final group of students returned for "All-In" classes on April 5, Neshaminy took a little time to reflect on the long journey through the Covid-19 closures that started in March, 2020, and celebrate the ongoing return to "normality" with the video above.
PSSA, Keystone tests scheduled
Neshaminy School District is required to administer Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) for grades 3-8 and the Keystone Exams (for Algebra 1, Biology, and Literature/English 10) in the spring of each school year. Last school year, the U.S. Department of Education waived the requirements due to the onset of the pandemic. This year, the requirements have not been waived, but the Pennsylvania Department of Education granted some flexibility in scheduling these important assessments to meet the needs of all students, including those continuing on virtual plans.
Neshaminy will be administering the Keystone tests beginning May 17, and the PSSA tests starting on June 2. All tests will be administered in-person. For important detailed information regarding the PSSA and Keystone tests, please visit the District website, www.neshaminy.org.
Election Day to be an online school day
Ready for kindergarten? Register now!
Important Reminder!! If you have a child who will be attending kindergarten (or is new to the district in any grade) in the fall, please begin the registration process online at www.neshaminy.org/register. Also please reach to any other families that you know of with eligible children to complete their registration!
Neshaminy School Board Update
The next scheduled Board Public Work Session is Tuesday, May 11 at 7 pm in the auditorium at Maple Point Middle School. The meeting is open to the public and will also be livestreamed on the District website at www.neshaminy.org/meetings.
At the Board Public Meeting on Tuesday, April 27, the Board approved the following:
- Continuation of the Food Services management contract between the District and ARA Educational Services, LLC for the 2021-2022 school year.
- Continuation of the contract between the District and ESS Support Services for the 2021-2022 school year. ESS provides substitute certified staff for the District.
- Increasing the premiums for the District's self-provided health insurance program by 3% to meet rising costs (approximately $15 million projected for 2021-2022). The percentage contractual amount of employee contributions to this program (between 17% and 18%) will not change under this resolution.
Upcoming Committee meetings (open to the public), all held in the District Board Room at Maple Point MS:
- Tuesday, May 4: Joint Business Operations & Facilities Committee meeting, 6:30 pm. A major topic for this meeting will be the proposed 2021-2022 Neshaminy School District Budget. Plans for athletic field renovations at Neshaminy High School and ongoing discussion about the possibility of a new school building on the Maple Point MS property will also be on the agenda.
- Thursday, May 6: Policy Committee, 6:30 pm
Livestreams and archive videos of the Board Public Work Sessions and Public meetings can be viewed at www.neshaminy.org/meetings.
2-1-1 Service: If you are looking for non-educational community resources such as food pantries, housing assistance, help with utility bills, unemployment information or crisis resources, the United Way of Bucks County offers a centralized information service which can be accessed by calling 211, texting your area code to 898-211, or visiting www.pa211.org. This service is available 24/7 and is available in 42 languages.
Pre-K Counts: A Smart Start at Neshaminy!
The Pre-K Counts program at Neshaminy is enrolling students for the 2021-2022 school year. This state-funded program operates in several Neshaminy school buildings, and offers a quality, free preschool program to families that meet age and financial eligibility guidelines. For the upcoming school year, the income guidelines based on household size are as follows (based on 2020 Federal tax returns):
- 2 family members: $52,260
- 3 family members: $65,880
- 4 family members: $79,500
- 5 family members: $93,120
- 6 family members: $106,740
- 7 family members: $120,360
Students must turn 3 or 4 years old by September 1, 2021 to qualify. To learn more about Pre-K Counts at Neshaminy or to apply for enrollment, please visit the Neshaminy PKC website www.neshaminy.org/pkc.
Students wanted for NHS Lab Preschool
Neshaminy High School Laboratory Preschool is now accepting preschool applications for the 2021-2022 School year. Children must be four years old by September 1, 2021. The program is held 4 days per week (Monday through Thursday), and there are both the morning and afternoon openings. School will begin mid-October and end in May. The cost for this program is $350. Please visit https://www.neshaminy.org/Page/1596 to see more information and to download the application form. Please note that openings are limited.
Last chance for NEF scholarships
Scholarship season for Neshaminy HS seniors is closing. The Neshaminy Education Foundation is offering three $1,000 scholarships to seniors planning to attend college or a trade school post-graduation. The deadline is Monday, May 3, and applications for this and other community scholarships can be found on Naviance.
Don't miss out on this great opportunity to help fund post-secondary education!
Earth Day celebrated with playground clean-up, science projects
Students across the District celebrated Earth Day (April 22) with a variety of activities to not only understand environmental science better but also to improve their immediate surroundings. Above left and center, second-graders at Joseph Ferderbar Elementary School created some unique artwork to share with their classmates. At top right, students in C1 and C3 at Herbert Hoover Elementary School took to the playground to clean up the area. At right, Hoover students show off some of the artwork they created for the celebration.
Miller kindergartners practice animal care
Buck 4th grade pens haikus
After listening to the book Dogku by Andrew Clements and learning about Haiku, 4th grade students at Pearl S. Buck Elementary School set off to write their own. For example:
Schools mark Autism Awareness Week
Tawanka Elementary was proud to support Autism Awareness Week from April 12=16. The students and staff participated in a variety of activities and lessons that promoted autism awareness. On Friday, the students, and staff "lit it up blue" with their Be-Kind t-shirts. The Tawanka community was able to raise $1,060 for the non-profit organization, We Make, which operates a local manufacturing facility that provides jobs and work support for adults with autism. A representative from We Make visited the school on April 16 to accept the donation and meet some of the staff and students who participated.
Students and staff at Joseph Ferderbar Elementary School also worked together to promote awareness and understanding of Autism. All grade level teachers presented a mini lesson or read a short story to their students to help educate our whole school community about Autism Awareness Month. Each student then helped spread awareness by coloring an Autism Awareness ribbon. The ribbons were creatively decorated and hung all throughout Ferderbar.
Book Fairs to be held online
Book Fairs are a great way to build excitement for reading and introduce new reading material. Normally held in-school in conjunction with various fun and engaging reading activities, this year many of these have moved online but are open to any family.
Neshaminy is hosting two upcoming online Scholastic Book Fairs: Maple Point Middle School is holding their online Book Fair between May 3 and May 16 and Tawanka Elementary School will be holding their Book Fair between May 6 and May 19. Books can be ordered online, shipped to your home, and a portion of the proceeds benefits the school libraries media centers.
Middle School musicals premiere
Video: Behind the scenes of Maple Point's Covid Cabaret
The three Neshaminy middle schools are virtual musicals in April and May. Carl Sandburg Middle School will be performing the Disney hit, High School Musical and sharing it on video during on May 19-21. Poquessing Middle School will perform Schoolhouse Rock Live, an adaptation of the retro Saturday morning educational cartoons. Their performances will also be recorded and shared with the public on streaming video also in May. Maple Point Middle School assembled a cabaret-style musical that will feature selections from several shows including Hamilton, Annie and The Greatest Show on Earth. Using a everything from green screen technology to choir performances brought together on multi-track software, the show recorded and assembled for weeks, and premiered as an online webcast on Thursday, April 22.
Preview: Carl Sandburg MS presents High School Musical
MPMS / Sandburg teacher wins Citadel Heart of Learning Award
Maple Point MS World Language teacher Elizabeth Baker was surprised with a virtual presentation on April 22 by representatives from Citadel Credit Union, during which they announced that she has won their Citadel Heart of Learning award for Bucks County. The award recognizes local teachers who show dedication both in and out of the classroom, and nominations for this award were drawn from the community. The Citadel Heart of Learning Award comes with a $500 stipend that can be spent on classroom supplies. MPMS Principal Andy Sokol joined the presentation along with students from Ms. Baker's class. Ms. Baker also teachers World Language classes at Carl Sandburg Middle School.
Poquessing reading olympic team earns ribbons
Sandburg lights up April with literature
If you didn't know, April is the most LIT (as in LITERATURE) month of the year! It is National Poetry Month, and it is also Families and Reading Month! Sandburg MS teachers and students leapt at the chance to share their love of literature this April.
Each day in April teachers spotlighted their favorite books from childhood and each grade level was represented as students shared their favorite poems. Thanks to Sandburg's LIT librarian, Ms. Koczynski, the English Language Arts classes also celebrated "Poem in your Pocket" day with a cool "Padlet" where students shared their favorite poems.
Thanks to all the teachers and students who took part and a special thanks to Mr. Litty Lykon for all the help with the announcements! It was LITERALLY amazing!
Maple Point holding Mother's Day benefit
Maple Point Middle School has once again teamed up with the Barkann Healing Hearts Foundation for their 4th Annual Mother’s Day Walk-a-Thon. The Maple Point Community will be raising money to provide a special Mother’s Day Surprise for local mothers who are battling through adversity and hardships. This event will take place during the school days of May 13 and May 14. The cost of the Walk-A-Thon is a $5.00 donation per person.
All virtual students, family members or friends of the Maple Point Community are also invited to participate in this very special event from home! Please complete the online registration form and donate $5.00 to the Mother’s Day Walk-a-Thon event. The link will be posted on the Maple Point HUB and on the Barkann Healing Hearts Foundation website https://thebarkannfoundation.org/mothers-day-walk-a-thon/. The collection will begin on Monday, April 11th and conclude on Wednesday, May 12.
NHS FBLA competitors heading to Nationals
Matt Drapkin, Aishani Komath and Aaron Lewis
In early April, 11 students from Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) qualified and participated in the virtual state competition. Students were disappointed to miss the in-person conference held in Hershey, PA which is a several day experience involving competitive events, speakers, making and being reacquainted with friends from around the state. However, students were still excited to compete and support this state-wide event. Neshaminy had an excellent outcome with 3 students moving onto the National FBLA Competition to be held virtually at the end of June. Aishani Komath, a sophomore, won 4th place in International Business, Matt Drapkin, a senior won 2nd place in Organizational Leadership and Aaron Lewis, a junior was a state champion, winning 1st place in Entrepreneurship. Congratulations to these 3 students and thank you to all the FBLA members for competing at the regional and state level this year. Congratulations to all the competitors!
AVID students chalk messages of hope
Students in AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) classes at Neshaminy High School took some chalk and creativity to the sidewalk outside the school on April 19 to create positive messages for their classmates.
Roadies staging a comedy on video
Neshaminy HS Drama students will be staging one final show for the year, and it will be recorded live on stage and then shared on the NHS Drama YouTube channel. Don't Fear the Reaper is a one-act comedy that follows a day in the life of the Grim Reaper — the day he gets fired. On his first gig of the morning, he's spotted on the doorstep of a young married couple. The husband and wife each decide that it must be the other one's time, and through a series of passive-aggressive strategies they each attempt to lure their partner onto the doorstep.
The show video will be posted on May 13 & 14 at 6:00pm and May 15 @ 3:00 pm and 6:00pm. Viewing is free!
Secondary schools schedule end-of-year celebrations
With less than two months to go in the 2020-2021 school year, plans for end-of-year activities and celebrations are well under way. Most will have modified procedures due to continuing pandemic safety protocols, but technology will also be used to share the fun and pride with families and the Neshaminy community. The activities include:
- The NHS Top 5% ceremony will be held on Thursday, April 29 and shared on livestream video.
- The 2021 NHS Homecoming Court will be celebrated between the boys and girls lacrosse games at Harry E. Franks Stadium on Thursday, May 6. Students are voting for this year's Court during school. The ceremony will be shared on livestream video.
- The Senior Parade and Prom will be held on Saturday, May 22. This event will include a car parade through Langhorne Borough, followed by outdoor dining and entertainment at Neshaminy HS. The rain date is Sunday, May 23.
- The annual NHS Military Recognition Ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 27 outside the Hub at NHS. Graduating seniors planning to join the US Armed Forces will be honored. This event will also be shared on livestream video.
- The NHS Senior Awards ceremony will also be held Thursday, May 27. Invited seniors can attend in person and the ceremony will be shared on livestream video.
- The NHS Senior Picnic will be held on Thursday, June 10.
- 8th Grade Move-Up Day celebrations will be held at each middle school (to be celebrated in-school and shared afterward via video with families)
- The 2021 NHS Commencement Ceremony will be held on Tuesday, June 15 (rain date June 16) at Harry E. Franks Stadium. Seniors will be limited to two tickets each, and the ceremony will also be shared on livestream video.
All events are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances. Please see emails from the schools for details, video links and updates.
It is with deep sadness that we note the passing of Merle (Mel) Pepper on April 16, 2021. She was a reading teacher in the district for 35 years. Merle was born and raised in Philadelphia by her parents, Reuben (Pep) Pepper and Minnie Pepper (nee Fox). After graduating from South Philadelphia High School, Merle attended Temple University and earned a degree in Education. Mel’s love of learning, teaching, and her students led her to become a reading specialist for Neshaminy School District. While retired at the time of her passing, Merle still spoke with love and pride about the numerous students she worked with during her career. Mel believed in and was an advocate for every student she ever had the pleasure of teaching.
Neshaminy Update is published monthly during the school year and distributed to the Neshaminy community via email and web. To submit comments, suggestions or news items for consideration, please email Chris Stanley, Community Relations Coordinator.
Neshaminy School Board of Directors
Stephen Pirritano - President
John Allen - Vice President
Irene M. Boyle
Adam J. Kovitz
Neshaminy School District
Rob McGee, Ph.D.
Assistant to the Superintendent / Director of Elementary Education
Assistant to the Superintendent / Director of Pupil Services
Donald B. Irwin, Jr.
Director of Human Resources
Assistant to the Superintendent / Director of Educational Operations
Neshaminy School District
2001 Old Lincoln Highway
Langhorne, PA 19047