May 2021 Community ConversationsPosted by Methacton School District on 5/27/2021
Dear Methacton Families,
I hope you and your family are doing exceptionally well! As we approach this Memorial Day weekend, let’s all take a moment to remember the true meaning of Memorial Day. It is an opportunity for each of us to remember and honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the military, while serving our country, and while serving to protect our freedoms and liberties.
In addition, this weekend unofficially marks the beginning of summer. While there are about 3 weeks of school remaining -- I just want to thank our students, families, staff and community for everything you’ve done to make this an extraordinary year!
A few other important notes:
- The 2021-2022 school year will be in-person. All K-12 students will automatically be scheduled for Monday-Friday in-person learning. Parents/Guardians seeking an online alternative should read the 2021-2022 Instructional Guide prior to completing the required Online Learning Request Form in the PowerSchool Parent Portal between June 1, 2021 through June 7, 2021.
- May is Mental Health Awareness Month. It is important for all of us to maintain our health and wellness. We have complied some mental health resources that you can review here.
Now let’s take a look some of the outstanding events and achievements that took place across the district in May.
The month of May was a celebratory one across the school district. We celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week, which began May 3rd through May 7th. To end that week, members of the Board and the Methacton Administration surprised the staff at each building with a water ice celebration at lunchtime. Our school community also stepped up in a big way to show their support of our teachers through the Methacton Education Foundation's SHARE THE LOVE campaign, which raised more than $5,000 for Methacton Schools. We thank our teachers for all they do to prepare the next generation of learners and for sharing their talents with our school community today – and every day!
The district hosted a surprise awards ceremony to celebrate the nursing department on May 12, which was also School Nurse Day. Our school nurses are: Kelly Benarick, Joni Cosgriff, Annette Cramer, Jodi Lattanze, Valerie Lozinak, Kimberly McDonald, Cheryl Peiffer, Mary Thomas, and Kathy Thompson.
Our nurses were each presented with awards for EXCELLENCE IN NURSING and certificates of appreciation for their extraordinary efforts during these extraordinary times. Mrs. Peiffer, the district's Nursing Services Coordinator, received the Leadership Award for Excellence in Nursing.
Skippack Pharmacy held a vaccine clinic for those 12 and older at Methacton High School on May 26. More than 160 people were vacinnated during the clinic. A special THANK YOU goes to all of our nurses, and adult and student volunteers who worked together on this very successful event.
Methacton’s 3rd and 4th Grade musicians performed in their Virtual Spring Concert on May 26. Watch: https://youtu.be/3jEaDH1lU4s.
Thank you to the Arrowhead Home and School, along with Elmwood Park Zoo, for planning and hosting this year's Arrowhead “Maskerade”. The event was held for former Arrowhead (current 5th grade) students as well as our 3rd and 4th graders. The weather, festivities, and food were perfect. As you can see from the photographs, everyone had a wonderful time. What a great evening!
Arrowhead celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week with a delicious lunch provided by the Arrowhead Home and School.
We’re getting a clearer picture of the new Arrowhead Elementary. Steel beams were put up this month and we can really start to see the building outline. The video below captures some of the steel beam installation taking place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75wn6mgd7MU
Congratulations to Cameron Polen and Natalia Cordero for receiving Citizenship Awards from State Representative Joe Webster in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the Eagleville School and Community.
Our Eagleville Home and School recognized our teachers with a little treat every morning during Teacher Appreciation Week.
Our school nurse, Annette Cramer, was recognized along with the other Methacton School Nurses during National School Nurse Day. Mrs. Cramer has done such a fantastic job keeping our school safe during an exceptionally tough year. https://youtu.be/e6u9J61x8Qk
In honor of Arbor Day, our Environmental and Art clubs held a tree planting ceremony https://youtu.be/PathshkZxg8
May was a busy month at Woodland. We hosted our second annual virtual variety show. We had about 70 acts submitted. The community has enjoyed watching the diverse talents of Woodland Students. Teachers are also playing videos of their students during the school day.
During Teacher Appreciation Week, the Woodland Staff enjoyed a hot lunch of Mexican food from our Home and School, Rita’s water ice from the Methacton School Board, and many certificates for “Show the Love”.
With our focus on kindness, our fourth graders made this book reading to share with all Woodland Families. What an important message!
Each of our grade levels have created a special dance. These videos were created by the students but put together by Mrs. Engler, Woodland’s music teacher. This month it was our kindergarteners who danced! https://youtu.be/opxuJy04J8c
This month, Worcester’s Home and School Association provided many special treats for Teacher Appreciation Week. The staff enjoyed raffle baskets donated by parents and local businesses, and concluded the week with a delicious lunch. Teachers and staff also enjoyed talking with Mrs. Perdue while enjoying their delicious water ice.
Many students enjoyed the nice May weather and some teachers even took their teaching outside.
This month we also welcomed back virtual students that came to school to take their PSSAs. It was great to see our online students!
Worcester Staff was treated to a yoga/meditation session. The session was taught by an Aim High Studio instructor onsite at Worcester. It was a relaxing and fun time for all of us!
Mrs. Santucci taught her Challenge students about Chromatography. They predicted what color inks are used in different color markers. The result was beautiful!
Worcester’s first grade classes are growing bean plants! Students are wondering how tall their plants will grow!
Skyview Environmental Club Courtyard Clean Up
The Skyview Environmental Club, under the direction of Mrs. Leslie Kulp, worked in the Skyview courtyard this month. Students weeded the flower beds and planted perennial flowers.
Fifth Grade Social Studies Virtual Field Trip
This year, 5th grade Social Studies classes have participated in virtual field trips to the Museum of the American Revolution. Sessions have included Thinking Like a Historian and Women in the American Revolution.
Mrs. Kim Nominated for Citadel Heart of Learning Award
Mrs. Cynthia Kim, 6th grade teacher on Team USA, was nominated for the Citadel Heart of Learning Award by her student, Tyler Panetta. This award aims to recognize local teachers who show dedication in and outside of the classroom.
Welcome Mrs. Berical
Skyview welcomed Mrs. Nicole Berical as Principal on Monday, May 24th. Mrs. Berical comes to Methacton with leadership experience in the North Penn School District. She takes over the T.R.R.F.C.C Skyview community from Mrs. Melissa Gorla who has moved to the district office as Supervisor of Secondary Education.
Shout-out and special thanks to:
- The Arcola office staff - Sophie, Caroline, Aimee and Kathy for all your preparation for our staff and students on all testing days.
- Our virtual families/students: It was wonderful to see all of you on site at Arcola, great job!
- Arcola staff for staying the course and being present for all of our students!
The Arcola Orchestra and Arcola String Ensemble recently hosted their Spring Concert in a virtual venue. Their hard work was clearly on display as our student-musicians put on a lovely show. Click the link to listen: audio; program.
Grab your tickets for the Methacton High School Theatre Company’s presentation of “Urinetown – The Musical”. Show dates are May 27, 28, and 29. Tickets are available for streaming: https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/50702.
Special recognition goes out to the Theatre group seniors. Pictured L-R (Top Row): Julia Brady, Jackson Fisher, Maria Coyle, Jordan Kaminski; (Bottom Row): Lindsey Reid, Paige Brady, Thy Nguyen, LJ Paone.
Presenting the 2021 Methacton High School Art Show: https://bhall12268.wixsite.com/my-site-1
The senior class had an amazing time at their senior celebration! Thank you to the Kleckner family for hosting us at Linfield National Golf Course. The students had a wonderful time celebrating with classmates with food trucks, yard games, a comedian, balloon artist, and caricaturist. We extend our sincere thanks to Mrs. Fabrizio and Mrs. Alderfer, and to the Post Prom for their help in making this such an amazing night.
OUTSTANDING WORK, Methacton! Have a safe and healthy Memorial Day weekend!
Dr. David Zerbe
Superintendent of Schools
April 2021 Community ConversationsPosted by Methacton School District on 4/30/2021
Dear Methacton Community,
I hope that this message finds your family and you doing well!
Next week is Teacher Appreciation Week – which means, there is a unique opportunity for parents and students alike to share their appreciation for the extraordinary efforts that their teachers have made this school year. One way to do this is through the “SHARE THE LOVE” campaign sponsored by the Methacton Education Foundation. Share the Love is an opportunity to show Methacton teachers & staff our love, thanks, and gratitude during Teacher Appreciation Month. Recognize your child's current and former teachers with a “SHARE THE LOVE” certificate and personal message here.
While the Instructional Plan for next school year has been approved by the Board of School Directors, with a clear focus on in person 5 day per week instruction, the district continues forward with several other important matters organized under the 5 tenets of the Whole Child including:
- Implement Full Day Kindergarten (Healthy Tenet)
- Expansion of inclusive practices at Elementary Schools (Healthy Tenet)
- Front Entrance Construction at Eagleville Elementary School (Safe Tenet)
- Revisit Rachel's Challenge Program (Safe Tenet)
- Revisit Strategic Plan with renewed community input (Engaged Tenet)
- Ongoing revision to curriculum and assessments and rigor aligned to eligible content (Engaged Tenet)
- Master Schedule modifications at 5/6 level to support student achievement and growth in Mathematics (Supported Tenet)
- Implement STEM Innovation Labs -Hydroponic Farm and Methacton CSI (Challenged Tenet)
- Further develop our partnership with Junior Achievement with focus on financial literacy/career exploration (Challenged Tenet)
While I share with you just a few of the matters already underway, you can find the full report provided to the Board in March 2021 here. Furthermore, I will be engaging the broader community in helping the district revisit our strategic plan in October 2021. In preparation for that endeavor, I will be issuing several communications over the next several months outlining the structure and specifics of how students, parents, staff, and community can get involved.
And now, please enjoy some highlights from our Methacton Schools during the month of April.
ARROWHEAD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Thank you to Arrowhead Home and School for weeding, mulching and planting flowers along the Arrowhead flowerbeds.
Arrowhead Home and School provided students with new recess equipment, kick balls, footballs, Frisbees, etc.
EAGLEVILLE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Rolling Thunder came to Eagleville on Friday, April 16th to collect over 750 letters that our students wrote to Veterans thanking them for their service.
Mr. Dale has been making the rounds in the Eagleville classrooms helping teachers and students learn and use various technological tools such as Book Creator and Jamboard. The students have created some wonderful and engaging projects using the platforms.
We were thrilled to welcome back even more students on Monday, April 12th to in person learning. For some students, it was truly like their first day of school!
WOODLAND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Many Woodland families celebrate Holi, a Hindu holiday which celebrate colors, birth, and goodness. Here is some of our students who submitted dances for Holi:
This is a dance done by first graders and put together by music teacher, Mrs. Engler:
Woodland spent a month talking about the importance of choosing kindness every day. You could find kind messages embedded in all grades daily activities. Here is a book our fourth graders read together about kindness: https://youtu.be/MTGVp_VoBfs
Woodland had their second family sing along with Eagleville and Worcester (https://youtu.be/vSyFvJh66UE). It was an amazing event!
Check out the duo below between Mrs. Engler and Woodland’s very own Recess Rock:
WORCESTER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Worcester Library students listened to Mo Willem's Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed and then dressed Wilbur up themselves!
On Friday, April 16th, Worcester Staff (Sharon Evans, Kit Markle, Dana Hyman, Stephanie Cohen and Judy Macy) presented Rolling Thunder with 280 cards for our Veterans. These cards will be distributed to local VA Hospitals in the area to spread good thoughts, kindness, thanks and appreciation. Rolling Thunder has been working with Worcester over the past few years to support our Veterans. Mike Mackin, father of Cole in 3rd grade, serves as the leader in the regional Rolling Thunder organization.
SKYVIEW UPPER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Skyview Career Day
Skyview held its annual Career Day on April 30. The keynote presenter was Stefanie Fee. She’s a former Field Hockey Olympian and now an entrepreneur.
Pictured above is a great homeroom-based art project to show how we all fit together!
Outdoor Band Rehearsal
Mrs. Bugosh, Skyview Band Director, organized outdoor rehearsals for both 5th and 6th grade band ensembles. Check out the video of 5th grade: https://youtu.be/KdkKqLit6V0
Kindness...Pass it on!
Skyview counselor, Beth VanBuren, coordinated with The Giving Tree, which is a local non-profit organization whose mission is the charitable education of children. Skyview is participating in the Kindness Program, which is a pay it forward initiative. Children from other schools have assembled kindness kits filled with construction paper, markers, colored pencils, stickers and templates for making cards. Skyview students are now making cards for hospitalized children, senior citizens, first responders, homeless individuals and the US military. Once the cards are completed, Skyview will return them to The Giving Tree for distribution. This activity was offered as an option for all homerooms. Pictured below is Mrs. McCarthy’s 6th grade homeroom participating in this activity.
6th Grade begins Astronomy Unit
Mr. Chantry is bringing his knowledge and creativity to our students as he co-teaches with the Skyview staff. Recently classes were outside experiencing a model of the solar system - created to scale using the front of the building (see photo below.)
Virtual Field Trip
Earlier this month, the 5th grade social studies class attended a virtual field trip to the American Revolution Museum.
ARCOLA INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL
Staff spotlight is on our ARCOLA TEACHERS as we proudly honor the work they do daily!
We are working on next steps and planning for 2021-22. This includes tours and preparations for all students!
Our school administrative assistants as we celebrate them and ALL that they do for us:
- Sophie Noblit
- Kathy Sicilia
- Caroline Deininger
- Aimee Stratton
- Donna Knarr
Special thanks to:
Our security staff as they work daily to keep us all safe on campus - Officer Tom Momme is our leader!
Mr. Ben Horn and his efforts in our café and his extra effort with our Pre-K Counts students (see photo above).
METHACTON HIGH SCHOOL
Special recognition to Lucy Wang who won the Bronze Medal in the 10th grade Delaware Valley Science Fair and is now eligible to move on to the International Science and Engineering Fair, held virtually next month. Lucy worked with college faculty in a BSL1 laboratory at Rutgers University and focused on colitis cells in mice.
Caitlyn Lipton, an advanced painting and drawing student at MHS has been awarded a Talent Award from Albright College for her excellence in art. She plans to study art education next year. Take a look at her art work: https://caitlipton02.wixsite.com/portfolio/copy-of-photography
The Methacton High School Warriors Performance Group, also known as WPG, kicks off their Annual WPG Spring Show and Celebration on Friday, April 30th at 7:00pm. Tickets are available for the FREE online virtual viewing, April 30-May 9. Online donations are welcome, and all proceeds will be donated to our service project philanthropy, Laurel House. For tickets and to make a donation, go to https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/50829.
Madame Nickerson’s students enjoyed meeting Matt Bunczk - MHS ‘98. He works as a professional translator of French & German documents. In Zoom meetings, the students asked him questions about his work, the difference between being an interpreter and a translator, what it was like to study in Quebec and France, and learned about his work teaching English in a college in Senegal. It was a great opportunity for students to see how languages can be used outside of the classroom!
The BSU hosted a Tree Planting Celebration earlier this month. It was a beautiful ceremony honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Electric Car Club gave virtual presentations about renewable energy to the 3rd and 4th grade classes at Worcester and Woodland Elementary schools and were also a part of Temple University's Virtual Earth Day. You can see it on Temple’s website: https://ambler.temple.edu/research/earthfest/celebrating-earth/conservation-education
Congratulations to the Methacton Cheerleading team for placing 7th at the PIAA State Championship!
Mrs. Hall’s art students have partnered with Lower Providence Township to Reimagine Ridge Pike. Her students have worked tirelessly to put together reimagined space as part of the township’s comprehensive plan. The art reveal will be May 10th, from 3:30pm-6:00pm in the high school cafeteria. The public is welcome to come and check out the amazing work by our students!
Congratulations to Freshman Ryan Phan for placing 2nd in the Montgomery County’s Opioid Billboard Competition. His work will be featured on bus stops and posters around the county for at least four weeks, beginning in June. Ryan will also be recognized at the Montgomery County Commissioner’s Meeting on May 20, 2021. As a finalist in the competition, he was awarded a $150 Amazon gift card.
It is wonderful to see the all of the outstanding accomplishments by our students and staff. Keep up the GREAT WORK!
Dr. David Zerbe
Superintendent of Schools
March 2021 Community ConversationsPosted by Methacton School District on 3/30/2021
Dear Methacton Community,
I hope your family and you are doing well. As we all prepare for the upcoming spring break, I ask that you take this opportunity to relax and spend time with your family. Before we break, please allow me to point out a number of important matters on the horizon and to share a number of school and district-wide events that truly empowers, encourages, and inspires us all to – Learn, Lead and Succeed – Together.
As we leverage the tenets of the whole child in our decision-making, my administration and I will be recommending to the Board of School Directors at the May 2021 voting meeting to approve the implementation of full-day kindergarten to begin with the 2022-2023 school year. The implementation of full-day K provides value to STUDENTS - by providing more time to develop their academic abilities and improve their social, emotional, and behavioral skills; provides value to PARENTS - who work outside their home with better support for their children by limiting disruption within the day and allowing for focused and independent learning; provides value to TEACHERS - with additional time to develop stronger teacher/student relationships critical for the development of the whole child; provides value to the DISTRICT - with a geographically comparative market position to attract new families; and provides value to the COMMUNITY - with opportunities to continue to prosper in a diverse and exemplary community-centered environment.
Following the spring break, you will begin to receive communications from my office with respects to the tenets of the whole child as a means to create a collective understanding of these five tenets to drive our decision making.
My team and I continue preparations for next school year. While we are certainly going to recommend that students in K-12 attend in person 5 days per week, we recognize that some students may need an online option. In an effort to provide the most effective and efficient educational program for students, we will be sending out an information survey to parents with children currently in grades 8-11. The final plan for next year will be first presented at the Education Committee of the Board scheduled for May 4, 2021, with parent selection for 2021-2022 school year to follow on or about May 6, 2021.
The Arrowhead Elementary School construction project continues with the most of the earth work having been completed and the building pad is now being prepared. The Eagleville Elementary School HVAC renovation is underway with work in the hallways being completed in the evenings. The Eagleville front entrance construction will begin right around the end of the school term.
Here's a look at some of the awesome activities and accomplishments that have taken place this month:
Methacton Family Sing Along
Methacton’s elementary music teachers hosted another live Family Sing Along on March 26. Watch: https://youtu.be/vSyFvJh66UE
Music in Our Schools Month Celebration-Mix Tape
Did you know that March is also known as Music in Our Schools month? It is special celebration that has been going on for over 35 years and it showcases all the wonderful music programs in schools across the country. We celebrated our musicians throughout the month by sending out videos featuring our students and posting them on the district website as well. To kick off the celebration, we’ve posted a MixTape featuring band students from all four of the K-4 elementary schools! They selected their favorite song to play on their instrument and prepared it for your enjoyment! https://flipgrid.com/+miosm
Youth Art Month
In celebration of Youth Art Month, we asked K-12 students, “Why is art important?” and they answered with a stunning display of the visual arts. Special thanks to the Methacton Art Department for curating this presentation. http://ow.ly/2gY350E08vR
ARROWHEAD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
We held our annual Arrowhead Science Fair virtually on Friday, March 5th. Our students and families were also treated to a live animal show. Thank you to the Arrowhead Home and School for organizing, planning, and coordinating the Science Fair. It was awesome! Each science project was amazing and makes Arrowhead so proud! All participants will receive a certificate, ribbon and small prize for entering a project. Click on the link below to see the Arrowhead Student Flipgrid Science Fair Projects: https://flipgrid.com/18ec8431
Grade 4 students participated in a special virtual Bingo night sponsored by the Arrowhead Home and School. The kids and families had a blast getting their Bingo Prizes.
Students participated in Read Across America during the first week in March. We celebrated reading with special dress down days. One day was hat day. The photo below shows one of our 4th grade students, Tyson Ranieri, displaying his favorite hat.
EAGLEVILLE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
AAA Safety Virtual Assemblies
This month, students participated in virtual assemblies with AAA discussing safety. They stressed the importance of being safe at home, on the bus, in school and even on vacation. Third and Fourth grade learned a lot more about bus safety to help them to be prepared to apply to be a safety patroller next year, or to continue doing a great job this year!
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star -Enjoy Our Elementary Performers
Here is a music video that features six band students, two of which are 4th graders at Eagleville. The kids each recorded themselves playing at home to a steady beat click track and then Mrs. DiRenzo was able to compile the videos into one. Many hours later, she was able to finally save the finished product. We’re incredibly proud of these kids! Especially because they all learned how to play their instrument strictly in a virtual setting. Please click the link below to enjoy the performance: https://www.wevideo.com/view/2091043360
Signs of Life Walk
Art Club and Environmental Club members spent their first meeting going on a Signs of Life walk and enjoyed the last of the February snow. Students were excited to spot Downy Woodpecker, Blue Birds, Blue Jays, Cardinals, Red-Tailed Hawks, Crows, and Turkey Vultures. Tracks in the snow were made by deer, fox, rabbit, mice and dogs. After our walk, students used the snow and frozen ice as a canvas to create temporary snow paintings.
WOODLAND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Woodland has been focusing on kindness. Parents sent in happy pictures of their families. Mrs. Engler put this video together to emphasize the love and kindness can change the world. https://youtu.be/pdUzqnGffWo
Check out the kindness dance video created from our second graders: https://youtu.be/11L49tOgSoo
This is how our third graders remind us to be KIND: https://youtu.be/rv7t59fAW1U
Over 80 students submitted a science fair project virtually. Check out all these projects on our Science Fair Website. Go to a specific grade level to find all submissions. https://sites.google.com/methacton.org/woodlandsciencefair/virtual-science-fair
On March 26, 2021, the Methacton Electric Car Club gave two virtual presentations to the 3rd grade students (40 students in each presentation) at Woodland elementary school. The electric car club members gave a 40-minute presentation about what the club is about, how renewable energy toys work with demonstrations and then played a Kahoot game where the winner received a renewable energy toy. It was a great success. We are going to give three more presentations to the 4th grade class next month at Worcester Elementary school.
WORCESTER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Week of Reading at Worcester
Worcester’s One Book, One School program was presented during the work of March 1-5 in conjunction with Read Across America Activities. The book chosen was The Energy Bus for Kids by Jan Gordon. Every child in the building listened to a prerecorded reading of this book presented by key staff members from around the building. Each day a different Energy Bus Rule was presented in every classroom: Create a Positive Vision, Fuel Your Ride with Positive Energy, No Bullies Allowed, Love Your Passengers, and Enjoy the Ride. Each day featured a different spirit theme…Wear bright colors, Wear your favorite hat, Wear your Worcester colors proudly, Wear red, and Bring your favorite book to school today.
It Takes a Village
Communication is an important part of any elementary school and it’s always a good thing to be able to advertise happenings. With all the recent snowy weather and normal wear and tear our school’s marquee was down and out for the count! But, with the help of our facilities department, new plexiglass was installed and a fresh coat of paint administered and our marquee was back in action. Special thanks to Home and School volunteer, Kate Cifelli, and President Valerie Burkart for their help with this endeavor.
Fun Days at Worcester Elementary
There was a sea of green everywhere you looked on March 17, 2021 as children and staff greeted each other with a cheery ‘Top of the Morning’ in an enthusiastic celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.
SKYVIEW UPPER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
MATH MADNESS at Skyview
Skyview is using data to drive instruction in a fun, engaging activity. Mini-lesson refreshers based on skills identified through item analysis of the mid-year benchmark were incorporated into a three-week Math Madness tournament at Skyview. Each week there was a new activity based on a different standard/skill. Teams advance based on the highest percentage of participation in activities, but everyone competes through the end of the tournament -- win or lose. All teams are eligible for an incentive prize raffle.
ROCK YOUR SOCKS at Skyview
On Monday, March 22, 2021, Skyview celebrated Rock Your Socks Day - in recognition of World Down Syndrome Day.
Skyview Career Day - Call for Presenters
Skyview Career Day is being planned for Friday, April 30. We are searching for energetic community members to share information about their occupations with our students. As we share post-secondary options with students (2 year college, 4 year college, military, work, trade school), we would like representation from ALL fields. New this year, presenters will have the opportunity to share a pre-recorded video (approximately 15-20 minutes) OR schedule a live zoom session. Those interested in participating may sign up here.
ARCOLA INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL
What a great week at Arcola as we welcomed back many students on site on March 15th!It was nice to see so many faces that certainly make the building alive and full of energy.
Arcola Staff spotlight is on our health department. They are incorporating movement and mindfulness into classes. Here we are in the gym and will be heading outside when weather breaks! PE time is also full of exercises that all can do- such as Tabata!
Our custodial staff is going above and beyond by helping us clean and keep our building safe daily.
METHACTON HIGH SCHOOL
The MHS Academic Decathlon Team competed in the Pennsylvania Academic Decathlon State Championship. Over the past 4 years of qualifying for States, MHS has made a steady climb up the final rankings, earning a 7th place finish at States this year. Additionally, this year marked a large increase in the number of medals won by MHS students in individual events: 11. In the past four years, the greatest number of medals earned by MHS students at any given State Championship was 4.
We commend these students for their diligence and hard work. 7 of the events (math, history, literature, economics, science, music and art) involve learning content contained in Resource Guides that are 80-120 pages long… each! (The other 3 events in the decathlon are speech and interview (which were cancelled this year) and essay.) This year’s theme was “The Cold War”.
Kylie Trankle: Bronze – Essay, Bronze – Art, Bronze – Econ
Seth Huff: Gold – Econ, Gold - Science
Sung Cho: Bronze – Music, Gold – Essay (Perfect score!)
Angela Lian: Gold – Math, Gold – Econ
Irene Biju: Bronze – Art, Bronze – Econ
Starting in April, our senior students will be highlighted in a Senior Spotlight on Twitter and Facebook. We are so happy to honor their accomplishment and we look forward to celebrating with them at graduation.
PIAA Boys Swimming State Championships - Congratulations to Tommy Gibbs (grade 11) on a strong finish at the State Championship Meet! Tommy finished 14th in the state in the 100 yard butterfly with a time of 51.69.
The Methacton High School Varsity Cheerleaders qualified for the PIAA State Championship and are headed to Hershey. The Championships are scheduled for Saturday, April 10, 2021.
Over 75 students are participating in the “Ridge Pike Challenge”- a partnership with Lower Providence Township; our students are redesigning part of Ridge Pike between Trooper Rd and the township building, as part of LP’s comprehensive plan. The reveal of our student work will be May 10th.
Class Sponsors Gina Fabrizio and Heidi Alderfer have been hard at work planning the Senior Celebration. The event is set for May 21 and the Class of 2021 has begun selling tickets. Planning an event of this scale is difficult enough in normal years, but in a pandemic, it makes it exponentially more difficult. Mrs. Fabrizio and Mrs. Alderfer continue to go above and beyond for our school and trying to make a safe and fun night for our seniors. Thank you Mrs. Fabrizio and Mrs. Alderfer!
North Montco Technical Career Center
Congratulations to the following NMTCC students representing Methacton in Skills USA Competition results!
Diesel Equipment Technology
Automotive Computer Estimating & total loss evaluation
Welding Fabrication (team)
WAY TO GO, Methacton! Let’s keep up the GREAT work when we return in April!
Dr. David Zerbe
Superintendent of Schools
February 2021 Community ConversationsPosted by Methacton School District on 2/26/2021
Good Afternoon Methacton!!!
Sun is shining! Snow is melting! So get outside and enjoy the weather…but first please read this:
- BIG SHOUT OUT TO… our support staff, teachers, and administrators on the implementation of the blended learning 4/1 program. We have 64 percent of our K-6 student body in person 4 days per week with an all virtual Friday. Reminder that the 7-12 4 day per week program deadline for selection is Sunday, February 28 at noon.
- COVID-19 Assurance Testing is conducted each Friday in each school beginning with Eagleville and the High School on February 26. Bus Drivers and Food Service workers have access starting March 2 with a roll out in all schools in the next two weeks. This is just another way to help keep things safe!!!
- The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion kick off meeting was held on February 17, 2021. We had 113 participants and received approximately 85 applications for the 30 open DEI District Committee spots. Follow our progress.
- Planning is already under way for next school year. I will be providing the Board with a plan in May for the model. I will share that the only reasonable pathway forward to realizing a more traditional in-person experience is through changes to the distancing requirements. The current medical community recommendation of 6 feet is likely to be reduced/relaxed as more people get vaccinated, we continue with assurance testing, we maintain masking and the other health and safety measures. We will have our first discussion on the matter at the Education Committee meeting of the Board scheduled for March 2, 2021 beginning at 6:30PM. To join us, please go here: https://www.methacton.org/Page/584
- While we have to continue to manage COVID-related matters, my team and I are actively focused on the future of Methacton. As such, I will be sharing a 2-year plan keeping to our mission and the vision to ensure an exceptional Methacton School District experience for all. I will be presenting this plan at the April 20 working session of the Board of School Directors. This plan will include a revival of the strategic planning process with community-wide stakeholder input/focus groups, etc., some new programs and services with focus on the whole child.
Now Let’s Take a Look At Some Truly Amazing Work:
Arrowhead Celebrates Doctor Seuss’ Birthday
Each year for Doctor Seuss' birthday, our Arrowhead Home & School and Arrowhead Teachers provide each student with a new book! The RIF (Reading is Fundamental) Program is one of our favorite events each year.
Arrowhead’s 3rd Annual Kindness Project
Students created hundreds of handmade cards that were delivered to residents at Providence Place at the Collegeville Inn and The Landing at Collegeville. They also donated word search games, puzzles and adult coloring books for residents to enjoy. https://youtu.be/b_ZCHOX8mfc
Arrowhead Students and Staff Recently Celebrated “100 days of School!”
School Safety Patrol
The Eagleville Elementary School Safety Patrol (pictured above) is still going strong! Thirty-two dedicated students have attended virtual meetings to learn about leadership skills while attending school virtually until they were able to attend school in person. When returning to school, safeties had some new duties including reminding peers to social distance, wear masks and use hand sanitizer. We appreciated the addition to their uniform of Safety Patrol Masks provided by AAA. Safeties that attend school virtually were still able to help by making posters to hang around the school and make some video reminders of safe behaviors to share at morning announcements for the school. Not even a pandemic can stop the safety patrol from keeping our students safe!
New this year, the Franklin Mint Credit Union came to visit 3rd graders in Mrs. Wittenberg's class virtually for a trip they missed last year. During this exciting exploration of careers with money, students were able to learn more about earning, spending, saving and sharing money. They also had a special visitor, Sister Bear from the Bernstein Bears (pictured above).
For Black History Month, Mrs. Kraus and second grade students were drawing tools to honor Jacob Lawrence (pictured above left) who often included tools working in his art.
3rd graders learned about the Art of Harlem Renaissance Painter Aaron Douglas and created their own art in his style. Pictured above are students experimenting with Paint Kwik Sticks….they LOVED THEM!
Mrs. Coghlan and a third grade student collaborated together to create a musical YouTube video of a song-tale frequently shared in music class: "There Was a Man And He Was Mad" https://youtu.be/pv4D3UZJZqo
Woodland's music teacher Andrea Engler, creates these amazing dance videos starring Woodland students and staff. Here is her latest creation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-CpQ0lXBnU
Woodland First Grader, Aahana Gupta, has been making cards for senior citizens on various occasions! Aahana’s name and pictures have been featured in the Times Herald!
Read it here: https://www.timesherald.com/news/optimist-club-sponsoring-valentines-for-meals-on-wheels-clients/article_0afa1000-5d00-11eb-a16b-535e7475fa18.html
Aisha Vadassery, first grader, wrote a question about coronavirus and it was picked up by NBC Nightly News to be featured on their show “NBC Nightly News: Kids Edition!” Link for show episode and Aisha’s question is at 9.35 minute mark: https://youtu.be/zWLPjM-b0YY
Woodland is hosting its first virtual Science Fair on 3/12/21. Students are creating one-minute “teaser” videos to be played over morning announcements!
Worcester was thrilled to welcome nearly 80% our students to 4 day in person learning earlier this month. Our virtual students are also staying engaged during their classes at home.
February 25th was a Celebration Day at Worcester Elementary School as Principal Feeley announced the winners of February's Wolf of the Month commendations. This commendation is bestowed upon a hard-working student who shows kindness, is a good friend, follows school rules, shows leadership and is a role model to others. Five of our 7 winners are pictured above with Mr. Feeley. Congratulations to these outstanding Worcester students.
Black History Month at Skyview
The Skyview community has celebrated Black History Month this February with a variety of activities. In addition to subject-area based activities, students have volunteered to research and create presentations on famous Black Americans to be included as video announcements to the school community. Here are examples of their videos:
https://youtu.be/7F0XhETbtrg (Ruby Bridges)
https://youtu.be/YZcbPhbPw2g (Maya Angelou)
https://youtu.be/LKwxBng92Pg (Kobe Bryant)
During the first week of March our volunteers will be sharing famous Black females in honor of the start of Women’s History Month. Students will also be tasked by Mrs. Gorla, Ms. Otero, Mrs. Hadrick and Mrs. VanBuren to listen to Amanda Gorman’s poem, “Talking Gets Us There” and reflect on the spoken word piece.
Have you ever driven on the Skyview/Arcola campus and witnessed the deer in the field? Methacton High School Student Melinda Jin created a display for Skyview (pictured below) after attending the Wildlife Leadership Academy last summer.
Kindness – pass it on! Mrs. VanBuren, 5th grade counselor, connected with the Lower Providence Optimist Club to have students make Valentine’s Day cards for the Meals on Wheels program. Many thanks to our students who volunteered to spread kindness to our community!
On February 9th, Giant Food Stores in Audubon surprised the cafeteria staff with balloons, a cookie tray and a thank you card to recognize them for all of the hard work that goes into feeding our students during the pandemic. On February 8th the Arcola/Skyview staff prepared, packaged, and distributed 4,000 meals during their weekly curbside distribution! The cafeteria teams at each school building also received balloons, a cookie tray, and a thank you card as well! We congratulate them on their recognition. Thank you to Chris Koch (Store Manager) and Megan Giuliano (Asst. Store Manager of Customer Experience) of GIANT Food Stores in Audubon for selecting Methacton School District in their campaign to recognize local heroes doing great things in the community.
On February 18th, Mr. Adam Chantry, Arcola’s Mallon Planetarium Director, invited everyone to tune in to watch the livestream of the landing of the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover. Participants were invited to ask Mr. Chantry questions during the landing via chat.
- 8th grade English students are actively engaged in a research paper project. Students are doing amazingly well on note taking, as they gather research about an individual of their choice who has somehow impacted society. Students are taking comments and feedback and are growing in their note-taking skills! Way to go!
- Arcola News Journal - WOW to the amazing group of students running our show this year and keeping us informed.
- Nurse Cosgriff is truly assisting and doing an exceptional job keeping us all safe and informed.
- Tara Eison is the Arcola rep for the DEI Leadership team - thank you!
- 7th grade teacher Katlin McKeon started a teacher rejuvenation room to help support staff, keep them motivated and find ways to seek balance.
METHACTON HIGH SCHOOL
Five Methacton High School students (pictured above) representing the Class of 2021 have been named Finalists in the prestigious National Merit Scholarship Program. They are: Alec Chang, Claire Chen, Jeffrey Gong, Angela Li, and Tam-My Pham. Finalists compete for $2,500 Scholarships. They are evaluated on their academic record, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies among other criteria.
Congratulations to Methacton High School Junior Nicole Timko! She scored her 1,000th career point during the Warriors’ February 9, 2021 basketball game against PJP. Nicole is the second junior in the school’s history to earn this milestone as a Lady Warrior. Girl’s Basketball Coach Craig Kaminski netted his 300th career win on February 17th when the Warriors defeated Upper Perk.
STEM Innovation Lab check presentation (pictured above) – The Methacton Education Foundation has gifted MHS $220,000 to fund two innovative new STEM labs: a hydroponic freight farm and a forensic and biochemistry lab. Thank you to the Methacton Education Foundation, Ambler Savings Bank, and J.P. Mascaro & Sons for the financial support, and to Mr. Savitz, Mr. Walton, Mrs. Murray, Mrs. Palmer, Mrs. Griffith and Ms. Alveranga for their time, efforts and creativity and for making this project a reality!
Bruce Outland has been invited for the third year in a row to be a Question Leader at the AP Chemistry Reading through College Board - a tremendous honor!
MHS Virtual Art Gallery - MHS Art Department has put together an amazing online gallery highlighting our students’ art successes and achievements. Thank you to our art department for putting this together for us! Methacton High School Virtual Art Gallery
The Class sponsors are hard at work putting together events in the spring for the student body. Details to follow in the coming weeks!
Methacton High School Senior and Black Student Union President Steven Cadogan represented Methacton High School at State Representative Joe Webster’s virtual town hall, “Making American History and Honoring Black Legacies” on February 25. The virtual forum served as a springboard for ongoing conversations about equality and equity and for expansion of educational opportunities that more thoroughly and honestly cover our nation’s diverse history. Watch here: https://www.methacton.org/Page/753
The Methacton Backpack program continues to provide bi-weekly weekend meals and snacks to families through our snack backpack program. Volunteers Gabby Winters and Liz Drummond have organized this amazing program and have given out hundreds of bags to families this school year. In addition to food, the program distributed winter coats in December, held an MLK Day of Service Food Drive in January, and will be distributing toiletries in March.
Sophomore Christopher Groff broke the pool record in the 100 Backstroke with a time of 52.74 seconds.
Sophomore Christopher Groff, Junior Dylan Phan, Junior Tommy Gibbs, and Senior Jan Perez-Bonilla broke the pool record in the 200 Medley Relay with a time of 1:38.21.
What OUTSTANDING news to wrap up the month!
Dr. David Zerbe
Superintendent of Schools
January 2021 Community ConversationsPosted by Methacton School District on 1/29/2021
Dear Methacton Community,
I hope that this message finds you and your family you doing well. The Methacton School District, like all school districts in the Commonwealth, has had a challenging year navigating the pandemic. The uncertainty, fear, politics, science, health and safety, emotions and (add your own words here) are real and have played a part in how each of us have responded and how each of us see the pandemic, the associated risks and challenges.
However, even during all of these challenges, there have been so many amazing accomplishments, some extraordinary events, and a growth in all of us as a community.
As an example - The Arcola Connection Club, on January 15 assembled one hundred sock rolls for the homeless as part of the MLK Day Sock Roll Challenge sponsored by The Giving Tree, and how about Arcola’s National Junior Honor Society annual "Reading to First Graders" service activity to continue this extraordinary cross-generational learning activity.
With the leadership of our Athletic Director, Dr. Paul Spiewak and the extraordinary support from the Board of School Directors, a health and safety plan was implemented allowing coaches, student athletes and parents an opportunity to continue with pre-season and in-season workouts and competitions. Compared to a number of school districts across our region, Methacton student athletes and activity participants (band and clubs), from day one of the school year, have enjoyed access to extra-curricular activities.
Skyview Upper Elementary established a Virtual Mentor Program 8th period where Methacton High School student volunteers support Skyview students with homework, classwork, and general study habits. Led by school counselors and teachers at the high school and Skyview, we are seeing encouraging results with the implementation of model of support.
Character Counts week (October 19-25) saw Skyview students take part in producing a digital flag contest with student-designed flags now on display in the building. Winners were Grace Krelovich and Anushka Chandrate. Their designs are below:
Skyview’s Shaun Permar was honored by the College Settlement Camp on November 7, 2020 with The Dave DeRosa Outdoor School Award, for his efforts related to working with students and promoting and coordinating the Outdoor School experience. Skyview staff and former students created a congratulatory video.
The Daily Bread Food Pantry met with Skyview students to share the mission and operation of their organization. Food donations were gathered and delivered. Students created cards of appreciation for frontline staff at Einstein Hospital.
Mrs. Amy Eraydin, Reading Specialist, created an 8th period book club providing students who do not typically read on their own time the opportunity to read novels in a small social setting. Love To READ!!!
The Methacton Theatre Company had a hugely successful fall play entitled “The Laramie Project” on January 14, 15, and 16 that incorporated 30+ high school students in the cast. This was the first-ever streamed play conducted by the students that sold nearly 200 tickets for the viewing.
A huge congratulatory shout out to all the Instructional Assistants and Personal Care Aides - they have done outstanding work this school year supporting our students and staff in the in-person and virtual environment.
The R.E.A.C.H clinicians have been providing both in-person and virtual therapy for our students who participate in this program as well as providing valuable resources for our building administrators, staff and families to support our students during challenging life events.
Worcester Elementary will be celebrating World Read Aloud Day (February 3) via social media with guest authors from all over volunteering their time to virtually meet with students to share and discuss their books.
School counselor Shannon Snyder, and reading specialist Jen Slater introduced the book, The Energy Bus for Kids, to students at Worcester Elementary School as part of the “One Book, One School” initiative in celebration of Read Across America week.
Parent volunteer Dr. Risa Roland, is sponsoring this year’s Girls on the Run program virtually. In collaboration with three additional volunteers, thirteen 3rd and 4th grade girls are registered to participate in this exciting virtual event.
Methacton High School Sophomore Aidan Samsel participated in the Bethesda Project where Philadelphia community members pay $25 for volunteer artists to draw their home. The event took place over the month of November in celebration of National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week. All proceeds go to feed the homeless in neighboring communities in Philadelphia.
Leadership by the High School Student Council in conjunction with the class sponsors of each class, hosted a drive-in Homecoming at the facility in Oaks where carloads of MHS students and families watched the Homecoming football game projected on the big screen. Halftime festivities included members of the Homecoming Court parading through the parking lot in open air Jeeps followed by the crowning of the Queen and King. A most remarkable and memorable activity.
A Woodland Elementary kindergarten student won a poster contest on MLK initiated by the Lower Providence Police Department. She received an award by Chief Michael Jackson for her response to "What does equality look like to you?" She created a poster about all humans being friends regardless of what they look like.
Teachers across the district are producing videos celebrating our good work and using video’s to help with the learning process. Mrs. Engler, music teacher, created this video with kindergarten students: https://youtu.be/FnG-YVbcRj0
Given tremendous obstacles, the High School administration and teaching staff were able to provide the PSAT to students in grades 11 and 10. On the same day, students in grades 9 and 12 participated in virtual presentations with guest speakers on topics including financial literacy, entrepreneurship, the trades, human resources and employability, workplace etiquette, and stress management.
The Methacton Education Foundation has generously pledged funding for the incorporation of the program “Uncharted Learning” in the MHS Entrepreneurship class. Many good things are on the horizon at the high school.
MHS Senior Patrick Li was selected to the National Association for Music Education All Eastern Concert Band. Patrick completed a series of rigorous and competitive auditions to be chosen for this prestigious honor.
Michelle Stead, special education teacher at Arcola, is making extraordinary efforts in supporting her students this year. She collaborates with students, parents, teachers, and the support staff to ensure everyone is working toward the same goals.
The high school and Arcola have updated their digital hall pass system to accurately record the list of students on premise each day and leverage it as an additional mitigation strategy.
Arrowhead Elementary grade 2 students and families shared their multicultural holiday traditions via zoom across the entire grade level.
Arrowhead Home and School is leading the 3rd annual Kindness Project where students will make Valentine’s Day cards to brighten the day of residents from 3 Senior Living Centers in Collegeville! Slideshow of this to come…
The Arrowhead staff collected 83 pounds of food, personal care items, and cleaning supplies for the Daily Bread Food Pantry. Staff have been donating to the Daily Bread for the past 4 years.
The class sponsors and the class of 2021 officers have launched the Methacton class of 2021 Instagram page. They are working in conjunction with administration on a senior outdoor event to occur in May (details to come). Furthermore, yard signs are in the works to be created and distributed to our senior students/families.
Methacton’s Paul Lepre worked with the life skills autistic support program students to do a monthly kindness challenge and the kids painted “You Rock” rocks and distributed them to staff.
Eagleville held their Methacton Family Sing-A-Long and the 4th grade band and orchestra have assembled a small Winter celebration. The students have worked very hard over the past several months preparing and we are excited to share the Winter celebration with Mrs. Basalik-Arrowhead Orchestra Director, Mrs. DiRenzo-Arrowhead, Eagleville, Woodland, & Worcester Band Director, and Mx. Shuey-Eagleville, Woodland, & Worcester Orchestra Director. As an annual tradition, Eagleville honors our Eagleville Veterans virtually this year: https://youtu.be/-Jvw9fwEeW8
Maybe I got carried away in this message. Maybe I just wanted everyone to know that there are so many amazing accomplishments, extraordinary events, and a growth in all of us as a school community. We always have a lot of hard work ahead of us. Still we can be proud and appreciative of all that we have accomplished and the opportunities that lie ahead.
Keep up the good work and thank you Methacton Community for your continued support and commitment.
Dr. David Zerbe
Superintendent of Schools