November 22 Superintendent's Update
Greetings Upper Moreland Families, Community Members,
The Thanksgiving holiday invites us to take a moment to give thanks. In many of our classrooms this week, students wrote about or shared why they are thankful. In the spirit of the holiday, I will join them. I am thankful for the dedication and passion of our staff to help every student every day. I am thankful to all of our families for your partnership and support with the education of your children. And, I am thankful for our incredible students who show kindness to their peers daily, who help their classmates and others, and who do their best as learners in their classes. We truly are a community working together for our students.
Thank you for providing your feedback on the recent climate and culture survey sent to students, families, and staff. Your feedback will help us continue our work to establish a school culture that is safe, respectful, and productive for all students and staff. The results of this survey will be shared with the community after the Thanksgiving holiday break.
I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!
Dr. Susan Elliott
Superintendent of Schools
Mark Your Calendars: Upcoming Community Events
Virtual Program: Helping Your Child Build Self-Esteem
On Thursday, December 1, 2022 at 6:00pm, parents can attend a virtual presentation by Aldersgate. Laura Shapella, M. Ed., Prevention Supervisor/Student Assistance Program Liaison at the Aldersgate Youth Services Bureau will deliver the presentation.
During the virtual session, parents will learn how to model self-compassion and find a balance between positive affirmation and over praising. Parents will learn more about helping their children be themselves, build resiliency, and determine what makes them special and unique.
To register for this event, please use this link: Link to register for this virtual event
Aldersgate is a non-profit social services agency that partners with Upper Moreland School District to provide counseling services to students.
Community Wellness Fair
On Wednesday, December 7, 2022 from 6:30-8:30 pm the district will host a Community Wellness Fair at the Upper Moreland High School. This free event is for all district families. Over 30 organizations and groups who provide services and resources to families will be present to connect with families. The evening will also include raffle prizes and food available for purchase. To learn more, click here.
We hope to see you at our Community Wellness Fair on Wednesday, December 7th!
Dates to Remember
- Thursday, November 24-25: DISTRICT CLOSED - Thanksgiving
- Tuesday, November 29:
- End of First Marking Period for PS, IS, MS
- Policy Committee Meeting, 6:30 pm / UMIS TLC2
- Wednesday, November 30: UMMS Winter Choral and Orchestra Concert, 7:00-9:00 pm
- Tuesday, December 6: Board Reorganization Meeting, 6:30 pm / UMIS TLC2
- Wednesday, December 14: UMMS Winter Band Concert, 7:00-9:00 pm
- Thursday, December 15: UMHS Winter Concert, 7:00 pm
- Tuesday, December 20: UMIS Winter Concert, 9:15 am & 1:30 pm
- Thursday, December 22: NO SCHOOL / Staff Development
- Friday, December 23: DISTRICT CLOSED Winter Break
- Monday, December 26: DISTRICT CLOSED Winter Break
- Tuesday, December 27, 28, 29, 30: NO SCHOOL Winter Break: Students/Teachers Off
- Monday, January 2: DISTRICT CLOSED Winter Break
- Tuesday, January 3: School Reopens
Stuff the Bus
On Saturday, November 19, 2022 members of the Upper Moreland Transportation Department brought a bus to Giant in Willow Grove and invited the community to help stuff the bus with food items and paper products for the Upper Moreland High School UMatter Den.
The event was a huge success! The donated items covered the floor and the 24 seats of the 40 foot bus. We also received gift card donations totaling $500.
Thank you to all the members of our community who donated items to help fill the seats of our bus. And thank you to our transportation department for their dedication to supporting our students.
Middle School Veterans Day Project
To honor our veterans on Veterans’ Day, Friday, November 11, 2022, Upper Moreland Middle School students spent time during Social Studies classes writing letters to thank veterans. In their letters, they thanked our veterans for their service to our Country.
The middle school sent the letters to service members through the Wounded Warrior Project.
Middle School Students Support Breathing Room Foundation
During November, the Upper Moreland Middle School Student Council hosted a food drive to support the Breathing Room Foundation’s Thanksgiving program. The Breathing Room Foundation supports families affected by cancer “by addressing their most critical needs so that they can concentrate their efforts on regaining their physical health.” (https://breathingroomfoundation.org/mission/)
The Breathing Room Foundation thanked UMMS on social media:
It's the season for GRATITUDE, and we could not be more grateful for the amazing local schools and organizations who continue to support BRF! Today we're shouting out @uppermorelandsd Middle School's Student Council and their food drive for our Thanksgiving program. Thank you for being part of a #communitythatcares and providing Thanksgiving meals for local families fighting cancer!
UMHS November Student of the Month: Skye Kramer
We are proud to announce that Skye Kramer was selected as Upper Moreland High School's Rotary Student of the Month for November 2022. Skye believes that by being involved in her school and community she can be a role model to younger generations. Skye participates in many activities at Upper Moreland High School, including Student Council, National Honor Society, Superintendent's Advisory Council, UMatter and MiniThon. Skye is also a student athlete year round, including Varsity Soccer, Indoor Track, Softball and Track & Field.
Outside of Upper Moreland, Skye keeps busy by serving the community in Scouts BSA, working as a lifeguard and swim instructor at the Ambler Area YMCA, and volunteering with the Youth Group at Saint David's.
Skye is always helpful to others and has never been seen without a big smile! Skye believes that anything is possible if you work hard enough! Congratulations to Skye!
Eastern Center for Arts & Technology Highlights UMHS Student Vanessa Hurgunow
In a recent article in the Patch, The Eastern Center for Arts and Technology spotlighted Upper Moreland senior, Vanessa Hurgunow. Vanessa participates in the new Exercise Science and Rehabilitation program at Eastern. Vanessa hopes to inspire others to hit the gym and find a healthy life balance.
After completing a program at Montgomery County Community College, Vanessa plans to attend a four-year college or university to earn a degree in physical therapy. She also hopes to become a personal fitness trainer.
We are proud of Vanessa Hurgunow and look forward to the ways that she will fulfill her passion to help others find a healthy life balance in the future.
Upper Moreland High School Marching Unit Earns Second at Cavalcade of Bands
On Sunday, November 13, 2022, the UM Marching Unit competed in the Patriot Open Division of the Cavalcade of Band Grand Championships in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The Marching Unit earned a score of 96.35–their highest of the season–and captured second in their division.
Special thanks to the musicians and color guard for their dedication and hard work and to Mr. Cowen, Ms. Penglase, and all of the instructors for their coaching and passion. Thank you to the Music Patrons and parents who gave much of their time, sweat, and talents to support the show both on the field and in the stands.
Congratulations to our UM Marching Unit on their successful competition season! Go Bears!
Congratulations to our UMEF/UMEA Roar Award Winners
The Roar Award recognizes students in our schools who exemplify positive qualities which will help them become caring, responsible, and productive adults. Students are nominated by parents, staff, or community members.
The focus for the November Roar Award was Caring. Congratulations to the following students who were selected as finalists in the November UMEF/UMEA Roar Award:
Emily Fay (UMHS), Sage Rinehardt (UMMS), Kristen Burton (UMIS), Jaxon Santiago (UMPS).
National Honor Society Induction at Middle School
The National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) was founded in 1921 and is based on five pillars: Scholarship, Service, Leadership, Citizenship and Character. Middle school students who meet the criteria and demonstrate the five pillars are encouraged to submit applications. A faculty committee reviews all applications and recommends successful candidates for induction to the NHS.
On Monday, November 7, 2022, the following students were inducted into the National Honor Society at Upper Moreland Middle School:
Caroline Abbosh, Kaelyn Ashley, Renee Boorstein, Cannon Campbell, Owen Cummins, Daniel Damesto, Hannah Gardner, Natalie Gehr, Eva Gorrell, Fiona Greb, Mackenzie Grike, Bridget Hess
Max Hubbard, Zack Osborne, Taylor Pagano, Chelsea Painter, Mia Quintana, Harper Richmond, Jack Ritter, Luca Rohn, Paige Sipler, Lyla Soleau, Delaney Stout and Grey Tucker.
Congratulations to the students who earned this distinction!
Upper Moreland Graduate and Author: Shawn Herron
Author and 1998 graduate of Upper Moreland, Shawn Herron, debuted his book, A Thousand Miles to Santiago: Moments and Meditations along Europe’s Great Pilgrimage. Shawn describes some of Europe’s most spectacular landscapes in his book which is part memoir and part travelogue. As he traveled the centuries-old footsteps of the pilgrims who traveled across France and Spain, Shawn encounters language barriers, different customs, and the physical hardships of life as a pilgrim. Shawn bring’s Europe’s colorful past to life. He brings humor and insights as he shares his experiences.
After graduating from Upper Moreland, Shawn attended Florida State University (FSU). He joined the military and served in the United States Army Special Forces as a Green Beret. He moved to Washington D.C. and worked for the Department of Homeland Security. During his time in Washington D.C. Shawn discovered a passion for writing and also began backpacking around the world.
Shawn Herron currently lives in Warrington and works at the Doylestown Bookshop. Congratulations to Shawn Herron on publishing his first book! UM Proud!
November 15, 2022 Legislative Meeting Highlights
On Tuesday, November 15, 2022 the Upper Moreland Board of School Directors held their legislative meeting. Below are highlights of Board action taken at the meeting.
The Board approved the 2023-2024 Upper Moreland High School Course Selection Guide. This guide assists students and families with planning their program of study throughout high school.
The Board approved the purchase of Mini iPads which will be used as translation tools for English Learners (ELs). With an increased enrollment of ELs in Upper Moreland, these devices will support the students as they navigate their different courses.
The Board adopted Policy 903: Board of Education Meetings. The policy includes guidelines for residents and taxpayers to submit written public comment in advance of Board meetings. For more information, please visit the district website via this link.
The Board approved the bid awards to S & S Construction and Elect-Tech, Inc. for work on the Upper Moreland Middle School ADA bathroom.
The Board approved the acceptance of the 2022-2023 audit results conducted by Mallie, who presented a summary of a favorable audit at the November 1, 2022 Finance Committee meeting.