2017-2018: UPSD School Year in Review
Message from the Superintendent:
Dear Upper Perk community,
We did it! We completed another successful school year in the Upper Perkiomen School District. I wanted to take a moment to thank each and every one of you—from our parents and guardians to our teachers and staff—thank you so much for all that you do to ensure that our students have an enriching, positive educational experience.
Now that the last bell has rung, the final bus departed, I wanted to take a moment to recap what has truly been a year of amazing accomplishment, peppered with some unexpected challenges. No matter what was thrown our district’s way, I’m happy to say that we ended the year in a better place than we began, largely due to the strength of this community.
I hope you’ll take a few moments to check out 2017-2018: The UPSD School Year in Review (see below). For those of you who like to stay connected over the summer, stay tuned to our social media channels and website, as we’ll have more stories to share from this school year over the coming months.
We’ll see everyone when school begins again in August (first student day is 8/27). Until then, I hope you enjoy the summer break, complete with sunshine, fun activities and quality time with family and friends!
Dr. Alexis McGloin
Superintendent of Schools
2017-2018: UPSD School Year in Review
Congrats, Class of 2018!
Along with the end of the school year came the bittersweet time to bid farewell to students we’ve known for the last 12 years. On June 8, the seniors walked across the stage during a 7 p.m. graduation ceremony in the UPHS gymnasium. Of the 231 graduates, 106 are enrolled in a four, five or six year baccalaureate or master’s degree program, 45 are enrolled in a two year associate’s degree or technical program, 38 will be entering the workforce and nine will be entering military service. The accomplished class collectively earned nearly $600K in college and private scholarships. Read our senior profiles and recaps of graduation and baccalaureate, check out the graduation photo gallery and watch UPN’s senior video.
A New Tradition
As part of the lead up to graduation, the Class of 2018 participated in the inaugural year of a new tradition, the Senior Walk. Soon-to-be graduates who attended either Hereford or Marlborough had the opportunity to return to their elementary school. The seniors paraded through the halls to applause, cheers and a few tears. The seniors at Marlborough even posed for a "UP" group photo and joined the elementary students for recess. The Facebook post on the senior walk spread far and wide, reaching almost 18K people, and garnering nearly 800 likes, 150 shares and 130 comments.
Movin’ on Up
The Class of 2018 wasn’t the only one to achieve a milestone at the close of the school year. In fact, the Class of 2022 prepared for a big step of its own...earning promotion to the high school. In a June 12 ceremony, 8th grade students were celebrated for achievement in academics, the arts, writing, service, citizenship and more. Find out more about the 8th Grade Promotion Ceremony and view photos on Facebook. Both elementary schools held a number of year-end ceremonies and events to recognize student achievement as well.
From Dirt & Stone to Cement & Steel
With the winter weather behind us, construction on the new middle school kicked into high gear this spring. For anyone walking or driving down Montgomery Avenue, the progress has been apparent. Foundations have been poured, steel is going up, floors are going in, pipework and HVAC duct work is being completed and room partitions and electrical work is in progress. The driveways and parking area are also taking shape. Check out our full construction update with photo galleries.
State and county grant funding is an integral source of monetary resources for many districts. It provides an opportunity to broaden the district’s staff training and programming. UPSD has sought many grants over the past couple years to help offset district costs, and to offer more services and supports. Those efforts have been quite successful. In fact, to date Upper Perk has received the most mini grants of any district in Montgomery County for the 2017-2018 school year. These grants include a nearly $20K 2017 Safe Schools grant for new security cameras, among other things; over $5K for the initial UPHS Link Crew (a high school transition program for freshmen) training; and over $5K for elementary and middle school SAP (Student Assistance Program) training and implementation.
Passing the Budget
At the June 14 Board Meeting, the School Board adopted the final 2018-2019 budget of $61,567,356. Of the total budget, 62.2% will be used on instruction, 28.9% on support services, 1.8% on operation of non-instructional services and 7.1% on other financing services. The budget increased $1,710,195, or 2.86% from the 2017-2018 year, largely due to retirement and insurance costs, debt service and Western Center costs. The Board approved a .79% millage increase with a 2% tax increase. View our budget presentation for more details.
School Safety & Security
Upper Perk continued to keep school safety & security as a top priority this year. The district continued its rollout of ALICE Active Shooter Training with additional staff training, parent workshops and an introduction to all students. In the wake of the February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, and increased national conversations about school safety, Dr. Alexis McGloin also hosted a Superintendent’s Forum on School Safety & Security, featuring local and regional school safety experts and members of the UPSD administration. You can find out more about ALICE here, including a slideshow and video.
Rising from the Ashes
On the morning of Saturday, April 28, our district experienced an event that no one hopes they will ever witness: a fire at our high school. The fire began in one on the tech ed classrooms, in the area commonly known as the X-Lab. While the fire damage was contained to that immediate area, smoke and soot dispersed throughout much of the building. Thanks to the quick actions of first responders and the dedication of our staff, cleanup went smoothly and school was back in session in a matter of days. Some larger areas which took longer to clean were opened after a couple weeks. We are also happy to share that the area immediately affected by the fire will be up and running by the start of the 2018-2019 school year. You can read the communications that were sent with details about the fire and watch the tribute video students produced about the X-Lab.
Over recent years, UPSD has made strategic investments in AP courses, as part of initiatives to prepare students for their college careers and beyond. These AP investments and achievements recently earned the district a spot on the College Board's AP District Honor Roll. Upper Perk was one of only 447 schools in the country to earn the recognition. Specifically, the district was recognized for their efforts to increase participation in AP courses over 11% in a single year. Read more here.
Arts in the district continue to be top-notch. This spring saw two amazing theater productions, the middle school’s Princess Who? and the high school’s Cinderella. There were a number of musical highlights, including students participating in PMEA Song Fests; competing at the Chicago Music Festival; singing at the United Nations, Kimmel Center and Wells Fargo Center at a Philadelphia 76ers game; presenting a Spring Sunday Concert Series at local churches; and much more. UPSD also hosted a revised Arts Week schedule later in the year than originally expected, due to the HS fire cleanup efforts.
Our Sincere Thanks
The district recently held a number of events to recognize the contributions and accomplishments of individuals and groups that are invaluable to Upper Perk. These events included the annual Employee Recognition Celebration at The Loft at Sweetwater in Pennsburg, the Volunteer & Public Servant Appreciation Breakfast at Marlborough Elementary (pictured), several events during Teacher Appreciation Week and the Class of 1968’s 50 Year Banquet.
It was another great year for UP Indians athletic teams. The school year saw division titles for field hockey, boys basketball, wrestling and softball. Boys Swimming was the District 1 AA Runner-Up. Noel Fresa was District 1 AA Champion in 50 Freestyle and placed 5th in the 100 Freestyle and 6th in 50 Freestyle at the PIAA Championships. Kyle Kovalenko placed 6th in the 100 Breastroke at the PIAA Championships. The softball team won back to back District 1 4A Championships. Ryan Kendra became our school district’s all-time leading scorer in basketball scoring 1,416 points (pictured). Hope Flack broke our school district’s scoring record for girls’ lacrosse scoring 218 goals. Our new wrestling coach, Steve Adam, was voted Coach of the Year in the PAC.
Fly, Eagles Fly! On the road to victory! (Fight! Fight! Fight!) Fight, Eagles fight! Score a touchdown 1, 2, 3!
Upper Perk had Eagles fever during the lead-up to and the time after the Super Bowl. There was a lot of green attire throughout our buildings, and several spirit events were held, including a middle school pep rally. All of the festivities were in good fun, and fans of non-Philly teams had other opportunities. UPN also produced a video about all the Eagles fun.
We have plenty more stories to tell from this school year, with exciting things to come once school resumes in August. Stay tuned to the news section of our website and our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts to keep connected to UPSD.