Neshaminy School District / January 2023
Neshaminy Education Foundation announces grant winners
The Board of the Neshaminy Education foundation is pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 Grant Program. Each year, the NEF offers the opportunity for any Neshaminy staff member to apply for the grants which vary from $750 for individual projects to $3000 for school-wide projects. The purpose of the program is to "foster innovative programs, activities and ideas in Neshaminy schools." Since 1993, the Foundation has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars towards materials, resources and programs that are generally not funded by the regular school budgets and meet those criteria.
Last year's winners included take-home literacy materials for English Language Learners, materials for a mural project at Neshaminy High School, materials for autistic and emotional support programs, and technology to support an Entrepreneurship Club at Poquessing Middle School.
This year the NEF received 18 applications, and awarded the following grants totaling $13,360:
- Sarah Wells, Tawanka ES: Flexible sensory seating for first grade students, $1530
- Nancylin Cochran, Joseph Ferderbar ES: Flexible sensory seating for kindergarten, $718.29
- Yazmine Adamson, Albert Schweitzer ES: STEM Picture Books that Inspire Makers, $741.18
- JoEllen Exner, Albert Schweitzer ES: Life Skills & Motor Skills activities, $229
- David Wert & Dom Foti, Poquessing MS: Laser fabrication machines, $1500
- Albert Lykon & Spencer Waybrant, Carl Sandburg MS: Laser fabrication machines, $1500
- Russell Boop & Nathan Manthey, Maple Point MS: Laser fabrication machines, $1500
- Tammi Razzano, Maple Point MS: Mural art project for exterior of MPMS library, $2000
- Jim Murray / NHS chemistry teachers, NHS: molecular model kits, $1642.50
- Rachel Clemens & Sheila Royds, NHS: Organic chemistry molecular modeling kits / AP Biology & Honors Biology II, $2000
Links to lists of grants awarded in past years can be found at the NEF website, www.neshaminy.org/nef.
Music Man goes way back at NHS
1964 Neshaminy HS Production of The Music Man.
Back in 1964, right around the same time that the Beatles made their US debut, Neshaminy staged their production of The Music Man, the classic Meredith Willson Broadway hit. Described in that year's NHS yearbook as, "Spectacular, stupendous, insurmountable," the show "filled the auditorium to capacity with an anticipating audience, anxious to view the product of months of travail by the Music Department. The result was fabulous -- 'better than Broadway' was the reaction of one gentleman. And it truly was." The production was directed by Theodore Kloos, the legendary choir director and namesake of the auditorium.
The show is scheduled to return to Neshaminy on February 2-5. This year's production is directed by Kristin Nichols, herself a proud Neshaminy graduate and heir to a music department educational lineage that dates back decades. The show will feature two casts and six performances. Cast lists and ticket information can be found at www.neshaminy.org/musical.
School Board Update
SCHOOL BOARD RECOGNITON MONTH
January is School Director Recognition Month in Pennsylvania. Did you know that all of our School Board members are volunteers? They not only attend meetings twice a month, but also participate in committee meetings, workshops, training sessions and meet with community members to hear and discuss their concerns. They are responsible for critical decisions regarding budgets, facilities, curriculum, safety and hiring. Each is elected to a four-year term for the one of three regions in the District where they live. If you see one of them around in our community, please thank them for their dedication to the students , educators and taxpayers of Neshaminy!
TENTATIVE NESPA AGREEMENT
The School Board will consider a tentative five-year agreement with the Neshaminy Educational Support Professional Association (NESPA) at their January 24, 2023 Board Public Meeting. The agreement was approved by the NESPA membership at a meeting on Friday, January 6, 2023. The previous contract expired on June 30, 2022. If approved, the new contract would become retroactively effective from July 1, 2022, and expire on June 30, 2027.
The agreement covers roughly 500 Neshaminy positions such as instructional, hallway, playground and cafeteria aides; bus drivers; food service workers; custodians; maintenance and grounds; technology services and clerical staff. A summary of the agreement terms can be found here.
The next Public Meeting will be held in the District Board Room at Maple Point, Tuesday, January 24, 2023, 7pm. The February Board Public Work Session is scheduled for Tuesday, February 14, 2023, 7pm in the District Board Room at Maple Point. The meeting agenda and livestream video link can be found at www.neshaminy.org/meetings.
Board committee meetings are open to the public and are a good opportunity to discuss specific programs and projects with committee members in a less formal, more conversational setting than the full Board meetings. The following committees will meet during the school year:
- Facilities & Planning Committee
- Educational Development Committee
- Business Operations Committee
- Policy Committee
The full schedule of meetings for the 2022-2023 school year can be found at the following link: 2022-2023 Committee Meeting Schedule
All committee meetings are held in the District Board Room at Maple Point unless otherwise noted. The public is invited to attend and participate in Board and Committee meetings. All meeting times and locations are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances; please check the District website www.neshaminy.org for any updates.
Presenters wanted: Steam Expo returns March 29
The popular Neshaminy STEAM Expo is set to return to Neshaminy High School on Wednesday, March 29, 2023. This celebration of all things Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math draws hundreds of families from elementary and middle schools across the District for an evening of demonstrations, hands-on activities, displays, games and interactive presentations from community organizations and businesses as well as many of our teachers and students.
If you or somebody you know works for and/or is involved with an organization that would like to provide demonstrations and/or activities for our kindergarten – 6th grade students during this event, we want to hear from you! Please contact David Geanette at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 215 809-6515 for more information and to sign up.
Our past community presenters have included art and science museums, nature centers, engineering companies, authors, colleges, coding/computer science businesses, health/medical industries, first responders, private art studios, manufacturing companies, tech-oriented businesses, wide variety of scientists (including food and sports science) and musicians (science and technology in creating music) and more.
Welcome Neshaminy Class of 2036
Do you have or know of a child who will be entering kindergarten in the 2023-2024 school year? Kindergarten registration at Neshaminy is now open and the process can be started online. Visit www.neshaminy/org/register, fill out the required information and our registration staff will set up an appointment to complete the process. Families are encouraged to register as early as possible to ensure placement at their neighborhood schools!
News from the Neshaminy Education Foundation
Foundation celebrating 30th anniversary with a fund drive
The Neshaminy Education Foundation was formed as part of the District's Strategic Plan in 1993. Education foundations are uniquely poised to support school districts as independent non-profit 501(c)(3) entities able to fundraise, solicit and accept donations, endowments and memorials in support of programs and scholarships for the schools they are linked to. The NEF is managed by a volunteer Board of Directors, and provides funding for an annual classroom grant program and four scholarships for graduating Neshaminy HS seniors.
The Wizards are back!
Tickets now on Sale
The Harlem Wizards will once again face our Neshaminy team of teachers, support staff and administrators in a game on Saturday, March 11 in Gym 3 at Neshaminy HS. The game begins at 7pm and doors open at 6pm. The NEF is excited to announce that the Neshaminy Academy of Basketball will be the event sponsor supporting the NEF for this year's game. The NEF is still looking for program sponsors; to support the NEF and be recognized at this very popular District-wide event, please contact Chris Stanley, email@example.com for further information.
Tickets are now on sale at www.neshaminy.org/wizards. This year the Wizards have added a new limited seating level - the Benchwarmer. Only ten of these will be sold and will include the opportunity to sit with the players during the entire game as well as include a replica game shirt. The popular Courtside Plus seats will also still be available. Both of these levels include the pre-game meet-and-greet.
Join our awesome Neshaminy team!
We are looking for certified and support staff for part-time and full-time positions across the District. Check out the possibilities by visiting the Neshaminy employment web page at www.neshaminy.org/employment. Among the current openings:
- Substitute teachers (all levels)
- Building aides
- Dining aides
- Playground aides
- Van drivers (PT)
- Substitute bus drivers
- Instructional Assistants
From our Librarians: Digital encyclopedias!
Remember poring over the old World Book or Britannica Encyclopedias for a research project when you were a kid? They were useful at the time but were limited in how much information they could supply, and in a fast-moving world became outdated long before most people could afford to buy new ones. Now our Neshaminy students have access to a wide variety of information resources, tailored for their age group and updated with current information (not to mention new media such as videos and interactive features. Students can access these resources through the Clever app on their Chromebooks 24/7, or in our School Library Media Centers.
Good Morning, Neshaminy!
Each of our Neshaminy schools has unique ways to wake up their students and share with them everything they need to know to get the most out of their day, week and school year. In this video we travel around the District to see how the Morning Announcement crews in every building carry out their task.
Traveling robots build computer skills
The District elementary students are enjoying learning to program a set of traveling robots. Each set is used for different grade levels; students learn how to program them using a coding application on their Chromebooks or on the robots themselves. They are then given a series of challenges for the robots to complete. At the beginning of January, the robots were visiting Albert Schweitzer ES.
Is it science? Is it art? Yes, it is!
Meredith Brown's third-grade class at Joseph Ferderbar ES recently mixed science with what looks like interpretive dance as students demonstrate the life cycles of plants by acting them out.
Hoover project has star power
paint night promotes crowd creativity
Men of Harmony visits Miller
Pickle Ball craze reaches Tawanka
Tawanka students are learning and practicing a sport that’s exploding in popularity in America – Pickleball! The Tawanka PTO donated funds for some of the equipment. If you're not familiar with this new sport, it is a combination tennis, badminton, and ping-pong using a paddle and plastic ball with holes. It has gained popularity because it is enjoyable for players of all ages and skill levels, and the rules are relatively simple.
Fourth-grade studies art concepts through holiday lights
Fourth graders at Tawanka Elementary learned about line, shape, and color theory in this festive light project. They had fun listening to classical music and creating with their friends. Next up, the students will be learning about form this month by creating a radial origami sculpture.
straw rocket project hits the target
Dominic Foti's fifth-grade STEM class at Poquessing MS has been having fun launching hand-made straw rockets into a target using a special air-powered launcher. The students had to consider such variables as launch velocity and angle, adjust for the design of their straw rockets, then adjust the launcher over several attempts to hit the target.
MPMS MLK Day of Service project sets a new record
On Monday, January 16, the cafeteria and hallways at Maple Point MS were filled with students participating in the schools Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service project. The MPMS school community has been collecting thousands of donations to fill over 3,000 "Blessing Bags" with food items that are packaged for Angels in Motion, a Philadelphia non-profit that uses the bags to reach out to homeless drug addicts living on the streets of the city to offer them hope and assistance. Today the students packaged the bags, as well as created blankets from recycled plastic bags and drawing notes of hope to be included in the bags.
mpms students create book-based board games
These are photos of sixth-graders at Maple Point MS playing the board games they created as a post-unit project. Students read a 'Tall Tale' called Uncle Septimus’ Beard and had a variety of options to choose from to demonstrate their learning at the end of the unit.
NHS Course Selection seminar February 9
8th grade course selection assembly at Poquessing MS.
It might only be January but the planning for the 2023-2024 school year is well under way. Eighth-grade students at all three District middle schools learned about the course selection process from NHS Assistant Principal Steve McAloon at the beginning of January. Next year they will enter NHS as the Class of 2027! A Course Selection Night for parents or guardians of students in grades 8-11 will be held on Thursday, February 9 starting at 6 pm at NHS.
Maple Point holds Inclusion Social
The gymnasium at Maple Point MS was filled with happy students on January 20th as the school celebrated its annual Inclusion Social. This event gives special and non-special needs students the opportunity to enjoy a fun-filled evening together with a variety of activities, crafts and games. Parents are also invited to share in the festivities.
Playwickian journalists honored
Three Neshaminy HS Playwickian Newspaper students placed as finalists in the Pennsylvania Student Press Association’s Student Journalism Contest:
- Emily Myers – Tied for first place – Newspaper Feature Writing: Given a topic, background information, and quotes, students will have to write a 250-300 word feature story.
- Lindsay Binder – Finalist – Newspaper Feature Writing: (see above)
- Lyndsay Metts – Finalist -Yearbook Spread Design: Given three different design options and a topic, students will have to hand draw plans for an Academic yearbook spread as it might appear in their home books.
The finals will take place on March 30 at Penn State University, during which they will be competing against students from all across Pennsylvania.
NHS artworks displayed at Bucks gallery
Congratulations to six Neshaminy HS artists who are represented in the Phillips Mill Youth Art Exhibition this year! This show is held in the historic Phillips Mill in New Hope and includes art from area high schools. The exhibition will be open to the public on weekends from January 29 through February 19. Students Monica Davis, Christina Vala, Dan Hansbury, Sarah Knight, Alexa Landman, Kyler Nelson were chosen by NHS art teachers Terry O'Neill, Hara Zefran, and Justin Bursk to participate.
NHS Business club excels at regional competition
Congratulations to the 62 Neshaminy HS Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) club members who participated in the Pennsylvania Regional Competition, and the 30 Regional Competition winners. The competition was held at Delaware Valley University during which students took objective tests, production tests and/or taped a performance for judging. Along with Neshaminy, FBLA chapters from Bensalem, Central Bucks East, West and South, Council Rock North and South, Morrisville, New-Hope Solebury, Palisades, Pennridge, Pennsbury, Quakertown and William Tennent competed in various business events. Twenty-six Neshaminy FBLA students have qualified to compete at the State level in Hershey this April. Nine Neshaminy FBLA students took home First Place!
Winter Band Concert video posted
A video of the 2023 Neshaminy HS Winter Band Concert has been posted. The January 11 concert featured the 9th Grade Band Symphonic Band, the Wind Ensemble and the 8th Grade Showcase Band performing with the NHS Band.
Gym Night 2023 preparations underway
It's almost time to part the Red and Blue! Preparations for the 2023 Neshaminy High School Gym Night are well underway. Practices began on January 11, the murals are being painted at two area locations, and props constructed all over the District. This year's Gym Night will be held on Friday and Saturday, March 3 and 4 and the theme is "Working for the Weekend." We can't wait to see what our students come up with!
Student of the Month ceremony adds teacher recognition
Left to Right: NHS Alumnus and PA Senator Frank Farry, Paige Mitchell, Riley McGrath, Ryley Davies, Jason Reut, Arthur Regan, Lola Ibarrondo, T’yanna Blackshear, Olivia Garland and Principal Mr. Stephen Garstka
On January 6, Neshaminy HS held its Student of the Month Ceremony for December. The focus for this edition was the Math and Family and Consumer Science Departments. Eight students were honored along with one student who was previously honored by the Feasterville Rotary Club. In this surprisingly emotional ceremony held in the Black Box Theater, in front of the students, their families, administrators and teachers, the teachers that nominated each student spoke about the qualities that made their student stand out, and the students themselves had the opportunity to talk about the impact that their teachers had on their lives. The ceremony ended with a new addition - three teachers (pictured above with Mr. Garstka: English teacher Chris DiCicco, science teacher Jessica Baranoski and retiring music teacher Mike Lipton) were chosen for a new Teacher of the Month honor from nominations submitted by over 800 NHS students.
Neshaminy represented in choir festival
Congratulations to Neshaminy HS students participating in the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association PMEA District 11 Chorus Festival on January 14! In this photo: Soprano - Olivia Garland, Isabella Paglaiccetti, Kate Ewing, Lea Newman. Alto - Samantha Matias. Tenor - Cameron Krauss, Cullen McCormick, Christopher Simcox, Jacob Rice, Tyler Stacherski. Bass - Andrew Neiman, Quinn Goldberg, Owen Joynt, Erik Bender. Two in this group are from Bensalem HS - who became friends with our group during Summer Stock!
bowling teams frames a double victory
Both the NHS boys and girls bowling teams earned first-placed victories at a recent Baker Tournament held at Bristol Pike Lanes. This style of tournament features rotating competitors who earn an accumulated team score instead of bowling for individual scores. Both teams are having an excellent season so far!
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
Tina Hollenbach - President
Paul Saraullo - Vice President
Adam J. Kovitz
Neshaminy School District
Rob McGee, Ph.D.
Assistant to the Superintendent / Director of Elementary Education
Assistant to the Superintendent / Director of Secondary Education
Assistant to the Superintendent / Director of Pupil Services
Dr. Kevin Kane
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