PSD Newsroom


Pennridge Students Attend Social Justice Summit

posted Feb 7, 2017, 7:13 AM by Joe Ferry   [ updated Feb 7, 2017, 8:00 AM ]

Several Pennridge high school and middle school students participated in the 4th Annual Teen Peace and Social Justice Summit held last month at Central Bucks South High School.

Sponsored by the the Central Bucks School District in collaboration with The Peace Center in Langhorne, the summit was intended as a way for students to recognize Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s message of freedom, equality, and justice. Approximately 400 students from local school districts attended.

Based on the reactions of Pennridge representatives, that goal was accomplished. Penn North eighth grader Lindsay Wilcox, for example, said she was impressed by the spirit and passion displayed by students in her group. Her favorite part was at the end of the session when all of the groups were sharing the results of their discussions in the auditorium and time was running out. 

"The facilitator suggested that to save time students only read their notes if they really wanted to," she said. "And pretty much everyone stepped forward! What spirit!” 

The summit began with two students sharing their personal stories of intolerance and discrimination, followed by a keynote address from Joe Davis, a school superintendent from Ferguson, Missouri. Students were then divided into smaller groups to conduct a one-hour dialogue with facilitators, based on multiple prompts dealing with race relations, diversity, and unity.

At the end of the session, students wrote one thing each of them could do personally and systemically in their school or neighborhood to promote more unity and break down the barriers of racism. This was then brought back to the large group for sharing and discussion. Finally, after some closing remarks, all students were served pizza.

Keith Veverka, PSD's Secondary Social Studies Supervisor, said the summit was a powerful way for students to embrace the ideas of Martin Luther King. 

"Joe Davis’ experiences working to repair the fabric of that community after the protests and the students discussing the importance of diversity in their smaller groups was a testament to what we can all do to help each other feel valued and safe,” said Veverka. 

Grasse Penguin Flag Flies in Antarctica

posted Jan 31, 2017, 6:53 AM by Joe Ferry   [ updated Jan 31, 2017, 6:54 AM ]

Penguin Flag at Antartica
Scientist Jean Pennycook sent along this photo of a flag made by students in Peg Volak's class at JM Grasse. They created the flag in November to fly on the world's coldest continent.

As part of their lesson, students had the opportunity to visit Antarctica via a Skype video call with Ms. Pennycook, who is studying the penguins that breed there. The flag flew at Cape Royds penguin breeding colony, Ross Island, Antarctica on January, 2-3, 2017 and is now preserved with other flags from schools around the world that have flown there.

Safety Alert from PSD Transportation

posted Jan 31, 2017, 6:33 AM by Joe Ferry   [ updated Jan 31, 2017, 6:36 AM ]

Bus Safety Poster
Our bus drivers have reported an alarming increase in the number of motorists who do not comply with basic safety rules while they are picking up and dropping off students. Here are some important reminders from Pennsylvania's School Bus Stopping Law (please remind friends and family, too):
  • When you meet or overtake a stopped school bus with red signal lights flashing and stop arm extended, you MUST STOP.

  • When you approach an intersection where a school bus is stopped with red signal lights flashing and stop arm extended, you MUST STOP.

  • You MUST STOP at least ten (10) feet away from the school bus.

  • You MUST WAIT until the red lights have stopped flashing and the stop arm has been withdrawn before moving.

  • DO NOT MOVE until all the children have reached a place of safety. 
See below for more information.

January Points of Pride

posted Jan 27, 2017, 6:12 AM by Joe Ferry   [ updated Jan 27, 2017, 6:25 AM ]

Tonight I would like to recognize nine people who spend dozens of hours each month voluntarily leading our District and making difficult decisions – your Board of School Directors. These elected officials spend countless hours reviewing budgets, approving curriculum and textbook choices, reviewing hiring decisions, adopting policy, and evaluating the academic and operational results of the District. They are our neighbors and friends who are doing a necessary, sometimes thankless, job for the benefit of our children.

As we continue to celebrate the success stories in our schools, let us not forget our elected school directors who play a significant role in creating the environment where those successes can happen. We are fortunate to have such a dedicated group of volunteers.

As you know, our January’s T.A.K.E.S. P.R.I.D.E. theme is “service.”  These individuals exemplify the theme.  We thank members of the 2017 Pennridge School Board for their years of dedicated service. Each has been presented with a certificate from the Pennsylvania School Boards Association. Combined, they have a total of 54 years of service to the Pennridge School District.

     Dr. Peter Yarnell, 27 years

     Mr. Barry Casper, 7 years

     Mrs. Christine Yardley, 6 years

     Mrs. Ada Miller, 5 years

     Mr. Steven Ragomo, 3 years

     Mrs. Suzette Schmidt, 3 years

     Mrs. Megan Banis-Clemens, 1 year

     Mrs. Joan Cullen, 1 year

     Mr. William Krause, 1 year



STUDENT RECOGNITION

Tonight, we have the honor of recognizing our Future Business Leaders of America Club. 39 members attended the Regional Leadership Conference last month at Delaware Valley University and competed in various areas of business through a comprehensive exam or judged competition.

The following members placed in the top 5 of their respective events:

     Ian Kacergis, John Konieczny, Adam Yeager - 2nd Place in Management Decision Making (a team event)

     Vincent Olindo - 1st Place in Introduction to Business

     Nick Spano - 4th Place in Introduction to Business

     Alanna Lee - 2nd Place in Introduction to Financial Math

     Kaitlyn Harries - 5th Place in Health Care Administration

     Daniel Reinhold - 1st Place in Public Speaking II

     Lauren Harries - 2nd Place in Public Speaking I

     Nick Perricone - 2nd Place in Job Interview

     Shannon Milligan - 3rd Place in Impromptu Speaking

     John Casey - 3rd Place in Client Service

Ian, John, Adam, Vincent, Nick, Alanna, Kaitlyn, and Daniel will advance to the state competition.

Congratulations to the students and their advisors.


STAFF RECOGNITION

Integrating technology into our curriculum in a meaningful way is an ongoing priority for our teaching staff. At the elementary level, no one is doing it with more passion than Mrs. Peg Volak, who found an interesting way to bring second graders at JM Grasse an unforgettable experience, using Skype to take students on a virtual field trip to Antarctica, where they could see first-hand the Adelie penguins they had been studying about.


POINTS OF PRIDE

  • Congratulations to our varsity cheerleading squad on their Second Place finish at the PIAA State Championship over the weekend. The team competed against 36 other teams in the medium division and will finish their season at the UCA National Championship, February 11-12 in Orlando, Florida.

  • Last week, the Perkasie Rotary Club honored seniors Kaitlyn Stevens and Chad Schaeffer as its Student of the Month for November and December.
    Kaitlyn has taken six honors courses in her high school career: Biology, Algebra II, Physics, Pre-Calculus, Chemistry, and Calculus. She has also been a member of Executive Council and Mini Thon, serving as President this year and Fundraising Chair last year.
    Kaitlyn has been on the Distinguished Honor Roll and Honor Roll several times, and she won the Family and Consumer Science Undergraduate Award as a Junior. She has also volunteered for three years at the Central Bucks Family YMCA in Abilities, Aquatics, Camp, and Youth Development.
    Kaitlyn’s plans include attending college to major in Elementary Education and Special Education.
    Chad has taken a total of 13 Honors-level courses in high school, including AP Calculus AB, AP Chemistry, AP Physics, AP Statistics, AP Government, and AP Calculus BC. He has also been involved in Key Club, the Technology Student Association, baseball, and the National Honor Society.
    Chad has won a Design Engineering Award, Applied Technology and Robotics Award, and Physical Education and Wellness Award. He also has reached the rank of Eagle Scout by building a pavilion at his church and is currently restoring a classic Camaro in his spare time.
    Chad’s community service includes working with his Youth Group to feed the homeless. He also volunteers at Alpaca Days, Boy Scouts, activities through Key Club and National Honor Society, and Shared Table and Urban Cupboard in Philadelphia.
    Chad plans to study mechanical engineering in college.

  • Penn North sixth graders Andrew Lizak and Landon Moyer took the two top spots in the Philadelphia section of the American Chemical Society’s annual poetry contest. Students were asked to write and illustrate a poem incorporating forensics concepts. Since our sixth graders do not have a forensics unit, Andrew and Landon needed to do some research before completing their projects.
    Andrew won First Place, receiving a certificate and $50. Landon Moyer took Second Place and received a certificate and $25.
    The boys were presented with their awards during team activity on Friday, January 6.

  • Maria Hough, a PSD bus driver, stopped by Deibler Elementary recently to read her book “Outside My School Bus Window” to first graders.
    Maria wrote the book in 2003, soon after she began driving a bus for Pennridge. Beautifully illustrated with her own photos, Maria’s book describes some of the interesting sights students can see on their daily ride to and from school.
    Maria also generously donated a copy of her book to each first grader at Deibler. 

  • Congratulations to the eight students who represented PHS at the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association’s District XI Chorus Festival.  They were:  Pragun Bhardwahj, Daniel Walker, Seanan Ellis, Jeremy Noel, Katelyn Hughes, Kristen Dowling, Joseph Zook, and Jonathan Worthington.
  • During winter break, PHS Student Council members Abigail Bennington and Madalyn Johnston presented Grand View Health’s Breast Cancer Services Department with a check for $4,000 from Pink Out 2016.
    Since 2010, Pink Out fundraisers by our student groups have raised $29,630.25 for the Grand View Health Breast Cancer Support Fund.  President and CEO of the hospital, Jean Keeler, sent me a personal note along with her sincere thanks!
  • Do you know someone who has had a positive impact on Pennridge students over a long period of time? Someone whose hard work and dedication is worthy of public recognition?
    If so, please consider submitting a nomination for a 2017 “Friend of Education” presented by the Pennridge Community Education Foundation. Nominations are due by this Friday, January 27.
    The individual could be a teacher or administrator. A staff member or parent. A volunteer, school director, custodian, or bus driver...anyone (individual or organization) who has made indelible contributions to our school community.
    Winners will be recognized at the Seventh Annual "A Lovely Evening" on Tuesday, April 25 at the Sellersville Theater.
    To date, PCEF has contributed more than $20,000 in Innovative Learning Grants, scholarships, sponsorships and educational opportunities to students and teachers in the Pennridge School District.
  • Finally, students at Penn Central Middle School put January's T.A.K.E.S. P.R.I.D.E. theme of "Service" into practice with two projects:
    • A book drive organized by students Tara Kelly, Jamie Murray, Amelia Scholl and Rebecca Yardley to support the Sixth Street Shelter in Allentown was a huge success. Thanks to the generosity of the Central community, the girls collected over 1,700 books. 
    • Operating on behalf of the entire student body, the PCMS Student Council recently donated money to FoxSox4Soldiers. The program focuses on providing high quality socks to soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The donation secured socks for 83 servicemen and women serving abroad. The annual tradition of donating socks to soldiers elicits thank you letters yearly from appreciative recipients.

Perkasie Rotary Students of the Month

posted Jan 26, 2017, 6:26 AM by Joe Ferry   [ updated Jan 26, 2017, 6:26 AM ]

Students of the Month
The Perkasie Rotary Club has honored seniors Kaitlyn Stevens and Chad Schaeffer as its Student of the Month for November and December.

Kaitlyn has taken include six honors courses in her high school career: Biology, Algebra II, Physics, Pre-Calculus, Chemistry, and Calculus. She has also been a member of Executive Council and Mini Thon, serving as President this year and Fundraising Chair last year.

Kaitlyn has been on the Distinguished Honor Roll and Honor Roll several times, and won the Family and Consumer Science Undergraduate Award as a Junior. She has also volunteered for three years at the Central Bucks Family YMCA in Abilities, Aquatics, Camp, and Youth Development.

Kaitlyn’s plans include attending college to major in Elementary Education and Special Education.

Chad has taken a total of 13 Honors levels courses in high school, including AP Calculus AB, AP Chemistry, AP Physics, AP Statistics, AP Government, and AP Calculus BC. He has also been involved in Key Club, the Technology Student Association, baseball, and the National Honor Society.

Chad has won a Design Engineering Award, Applied Technology and Robotics Award, and Physical Education and Wellness Award. He also has reached the rank of Eagle Scout by building a pavilion at his church and is currently restoring a classic Camaro in his spare time.

Chad’s community service includes working with his Youth Group to feed the homeless. He also volunteers at Alpaca Days, Boy Scouts, activities through Key Club and National Honor Society, and Shared Table and Urban Cupboard in Philadelphia.

Chad plans to study mechanical engineering in college.

School Board Approves 2017-18 Calendar

posted Jan 24, 2017, 1:35 PM by Joe Ferry   [ updated Jan 31, 2017, 7:35 AM ]

Calendar
A few highlights/changes for the 2017-18 school district calendar include:
 
  • The number of staff days was reduced by one to 193, per the collective bargaining agreement. The last student half-day in June 2018 was eliminated.
 
  • Two additional inservice days (September 1 and October 9, 2017) were added in the calendar, reducing the total number of student days to 181. This total is now aligned with Quakertown and Palisades and provides us with additional professional development time for staff.
 
  • The first snow day (day 181) will not be made up by students. The day will be made up by professional staff. All additional snow days will be made up by both students and staff. The requirement for snow make-up days that the inclement weather had to occur before a specified date was deleted.
 
  • The last student day on the calendar (June 8, 2018) is scheduled pending any additional inclement weather days added to the end of the year. In prior years, three additional snow days were included in the June total at the end of the year. These three days were removed but please still be conscious of winter weather and make-up days that could be added to the end of the year if we exhaust all of the snow make-up days on February 16, March 28, and April 2, 2018.

 

Poetry Contest Winners

posted Jan 19, 2017, 8:01 AM by Joe Ferry   [ updated Jan 19, 2017, 8:05 AM ]

Poetry winners
Congratulations to Penn North sixth graders Andrew Lizak and Landon Moyer, who took the two tops spots in the Philadelphia section of the American Chemical Society’s annual poetry contest. The students were asked to write and illustrate a poem incorporating forensics concepts. Since our sixth graders do not have a forensics unit, Andrew and Landon needed to some research before completing their projects. 

Andrew won First Place, receiving a certificate and $50. Landon Moyer took Second Place and received a certificate and $25.

The boys were presented with their awards during team activity on Friday, January 6.

PHS Pool Open for Lap Swimming

posted Jan 18, 2017, 11:15 AM by Joe Ferry   [ updated Jan 18, 2017, 11:17 AM ]

PHS pool
Did you know our pool at Pennridge High School is open to the community for lap swimming twice a week?

Hours are from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Mondays and 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturdays.

All guests must fill out a liability waiver upon first time visiting.

The cost is $5 per visit.

T.A.K.E.S. P.R.I.D.E. in Action at Penn Central

posted Jan 18, 2017, 11:06 AM by Joe Ferry   [ updated Jan 18, 2017, 11:07 AM ]

Students at Penn Central Middle School put January's T.A.K.E.S. P.R.I.D.E. theme of "Service" into practice with two projects:
  • A book drive organized by students Tara Kelly, Jamie Murray, Amelia Scholl and Rebecca Yardley to support the Sixth Street Shelter in Allentown was a huge success. Thanks to the generosity of the Central community, the girls collected over 1,700 books. 
     
  • Operating on behalf of the entire student body, the PCMS Student Council recently donated money to FoxSox4Soldiers. The program focuses on providing high quality socks to soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The donation secured socks for 83 servicemen and women serving abroad. The annual tradition of donating socks to soldiers elicits thank you letters yearly from appreciative recipients.
     

Eight Advance to FBLA State Event

posted Jan 17, 2017, 8:14 AM by Joe Ferry   [ updated Jan 17, 2017, 8:14 AM ]

FBLA Students
The Future Business Leaders of America Club attended the Regional Leadership Conference last month at Delaware Valley University. Our 39 members competed in various areas of business through a comprehensive exam or judged competition.  The following members place in the top 5 of their respective events:

  • Ian Kacergis, John Konieczny, Adam Yeager - 2nd Place in Management Decision Making (Team Event)* 
  • Vincent Olindo - 1st Place in Introduction to Business* 
  • Nick Spano - 4th Place in Introduction to Business* 
  • Alanna Lee - 2nd Place in Introduction to Financial Math* 
  • Kaitlyn Harries - 5th Place in Health Care Administration* 
  • Daniel Reinhold - 1st Place in Public Speaking II*
  • Lauren Harries - 2nd Place in Public Speaking I 
  • Nick Perricone - 2nd Place in Job Interview 
  • Shannon Milligan - 3rd Place in Impromptu Speaking 
  • John Casey - 3rd Place in Client Service
* State Qualifier


FBLA State Qualifiers, from left to right: Adam Yeager, Ian Kacergis, John Konieczny, 
Daniel Reinhold, Nick Spano, Kaitlyn Harries, Alanna Lee, and Vincent Olindo (in front).

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