Dear UPSD Community -
Now that we’ve turned the calendar to what I hope will be a warmer, sunnier April, I wanted to share some highlights from the last two months. February and March were jam-packed with events, activities and accomplishments in the district, and that is NO JOKE (happy April 1, everybody!). I hope you enjoy learning more about what has been happening in our schools recently.
Dr. Alexis McGloin
Superintendent of Schools
School Board President Dr. Drake’s Update on Administrative Changes
School Board President Dr. Kerry Drake recently sent a message to the the UPSD community with updates on upcoming administrative changes in the district. His message can be read in its entirety on our website.
Policy & Budget Meeting Date/Time Changes
A Board policy committee meeting will be held on April 10 at 7 p.m. at the Education Center--this is a change from a previously advertised date of April 9. A budget meeting will be held on May 2 at 7 p.m. at the Education Center--this is a change from the previously advertised date of April 29.
PA Launches Safe2Say Something Anonymous Reporting System
In January 2019, Pennsylvania launched the Safe2Say Something (S2SS) anonymous reporting system. This program, which is mandated under PA state law / Act 44, encourages individuals to say something to a trusted adult OR use the S2SS anonymous reporting system if they have a concern. Upper Perk students in grades 5-12 received training from administrators on the Safe2Say Something reporting system in February 2019. More on S2SS is available on our website, or you can watch the video below.
Harlem Wizards Wow at Joint-PTFS Event
The Harlem Wizards performed two shows on February 23 in the UPHS gym. The shows, which were held as a fundraiser for the joint-PTFS, pitted the UPSD All-Stars against the Harlem Wizards in a game filled with high-flying dunks, lightning fast moves and comedic interludes. Thanks to all who volunteered to make this event a success!
Science Explorers Dissect Sheep Hearts
Recently, students in the Science Explorers club at Hereford had the opportunity to learn more about the circulatory system by dissecting a sheep heart. Facilitated by Cathie Hill, students learned valuable information about how the heart works, what it does for the body and were able to see how the valves and chambers really look. Students participating in the club at Marlborough had the same opportunity a few weeks earlier (see below).
Bidding Farewell to the Fifth Grade Square Dance
On February 13, Hereford hosted students from both Marlborough and Hereford for the final fifth grade square dance. There were over 350 spectators for the important tradition. Students from both buildings did an outstanding job of demonstrating all the skills they have learned over the past several years in gym class.
Farm-to-Table with 4-H
Lisa Greco recently helped facilitate an amazing experience for first grade students. The local 4-H Club came to speak with our students about the importance of farming, and where their food originates. 4-H donated books to our students, had meaningful activities to connect their learning and even brought with them some Hereford graduates.
Read Across America at Hereford
At the end of February, Hereford celebrated Read Across America with fun themed activities, including future career day, crazy sock day, wacky hair day, pajama day and hat/guest readers day.
Getting to the Heart of Science
On March 13, students in Marlborough’s Science Explorers after-school club had the opportunity for hands-on learning about the circulatory system, as they dissected and examined real sheep hearts. While the activity may have gotten a little “icky,” students were really excited for the lesson, which was led by Mrs. Toni Arner. Check out the photo gallery below.
Celebrating the 100th Day Like a Centenarian
To celebrate the 100th day of school, on February 4, Marlborough kindergarten students dressed like they were 100 years old, and engaged in a number of fun learning activities related to the number 100. We visited Mrs. Puzauskas' classroom where students were collecting 100 words from around the classroom, making a wall out of 100 cups, completing an art project with 100 elements to it and much more! Students at Hereford had a similar opportunity on the 100th day. Check out the photo gallery below.
NJHS Members from UPMS visit Marlborough for Read Across America
On March 1, eighth grade National Junior Honor Society students visited Marlborough Elementary to work with first grade students for Read Across America. Students planned activities to encourage the fun and importance of reading. They inspired the first graders by reading a Dr. Seuss book, creating a craft and engaging their younger counterparts in a game.
Upper Perkiomen Middle School
New Middle School Construction Update
Construction on the new middle school building continues to progress, and we are on schedule to open the building for the start of the 2019-2020 school year. Check out the following video update on how the project is coming along.
UPMS Drama Production of “Broadway Lullaby” a Bold Look at 1920s
UPMS' drama production, Broadway Lullaby, was presented on February 27 (free senior citizen show), February 28 (previews for the middle school student body), March 1-2 (public performances) and March 4 (5th grade shows for the elementary schools). The show took place in a bleak NYC orphanage...that is, until the audience met a new orphan and her trunk full of “magic!” This production was a charmer filled with imagination and heart.
Students Participate in PMEA String Fest
More than a dozen UPMS students participated in the PMEA (Pennsylvania Music Educators Association) District 11 String Fest on Thursday, March 28 at the Arcola Intermediate School in the Methacton School District. District 11 includes students who attend schools in Bucks and Montgomery County.
Students Participate in Peace Poster Contest
On the evening of March 13 at The Valley Cafe in Pennsburg, three sixth grade students were honored for their artistic achievements and success with the Lion’s Club International Peace Poster Contest. This year, all three Upper Perk student entries placed at the District level (consisting of 73 clubs): Kaitlyn Bastone-1st Place, Marianne Uber-2nd Place and Abby Packard-3rd Place. Kaitlyn proceeded to win First Place Honorable Mention at the State level, and she was honored with a special plaque for her achievements. The district commends all three of these artists for their hard work and efforts on this assignment which required a lot of work outside of art class.
Thomas Uber wins Geography Bee for Third Straight Year
Thomas Uber won the UPMS Geography Bee for the third straight year. He was then notified by the National Geographic Society that he is one of the semifinalists eligible to compete in the 2019 National Geographic GeoBee Pennsylvania State Competition. The state competition was held in Harrisburg on March 29.
Upper Perkiomen High School
Special Ed Classes Help the Homeless
UPHS special education teachers Jen Bamford, Shane Thrush and Krys Willett, along with their students, have teamed up with advocacy group Integrate for Good to create sleeping mats for the homeless out of recycled plastic shopping bags. The project helps the environment, and also promotes interaction between the students and the local community. The project was written about in the March 27 edition of Town & Country.
Spring Production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was a Hit!
Public performances of UPHS’ production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ran March 14-17. On March 13, the cast and crew put on a show in front of a packed house for the annual free performance for senior citizens. The show was full of lots of laughs, detailed costumes, gorgeous sets and soaring musical numbers. Check out the photo gallery below.
Water Polo State Champs Honored in Harrisburg
On March 18, the girls’ water polo team traveled to Harrisburg to be honored by the Pennsylvania House of Representative for their Small School State Championship. It was a memorable experience for our team. Representative Toepell shared with the team that they are now part of history, because their names have been officially entered into the permanent record of the PA House of Representatives for their accomplishment.
Swim Teams Conclude Successful Season at States
From March 12-16, UPHS swimmers competed in the PIAA AA/AAA State Swimming Championships at Bucknell University. The girls (Noel Fresa, Maddie Modugno, Bailey McCausland, Devin Romanowsk, and Darragh Martin) swam the first half of the week and Kyle Kovalenko (who represented the boys) swam on Saturday. Noel placed 3rd in the 200 Free and 2nd in the 100 Free events. She also set a new team record in the 100 Free event. The 200 Free Relay was seeded 7th in finals, and actually finished the race in 6th place, but were unfortunately disqualified due to an early takeoff. It was, the first time since 1998 that UPHS got a relay to finals. The 400 Free Relay was seeded 12th for finals, but had a great race and finished 9th. Overall, the girls team finished 15th in the state team competition, and this is the highest team finish ever in the history of Upper Perk. Our boys’ team moved from AA to AAA this year, and Kyle was the lone representative at the state competition. It was an accomplishment for Kyle to make that jump to AAA, and make it to states. He did his second fastest time during prelims and finished in 17th place in the 100 Breast.
UPHS Hosts Mini-THON and Community Hour
UPHS hosted its Mini-THON on March 23-24, and this year’s event included a Community Hour from 4-6 p.m. on the 23rd in the UPHS gym. The community hour included games, food and live music, as well as face painting, gym games, a bouncy house and many more activities that were geared towards children of all ages. A $10 per family entry fee went to the Four Diamonds Fund, as they aid families battling with pediatric cancer. Overall, the Mini-THON event raised over $17K for pediatric cancer, and was organized by FBLA members. About 300 students attended overnight from March 23-24.
Sophomores Attend Annual Business Tours
As part of UPHS’ career-readiness efforts, sophomores again had the opportunity to participate in tours of area businesses. This school year’s tours took place on March 26 and 27. The business tours are made possible through UPHS’ partnership with the Upper Perkiomen Chamber of Commerce and the Perk Up initiative. This year, four new companies joined the group of local businesses that welcome our students and teach them a bit more about various career options. Because of the large, varied pool of participating businesses, over 250 sophomores were able to visit either their first of second choice of business. Participating businesses included St. Luke’s Quakertown, Knoll, Perkiomen Animal Hospital, Wal-Mart, Bracalente Manufacturing Group and more.
Students Participate in Rotary Club’s Four-Way Speech Contest
Sydney Sefing, Charlotte Miller and Isabella Ferreira competed in the Upper Perkiomen Rotary Club’s local Four-Way Speech Contest on March 13. Sydney took first place and won $100. Charlotte will advance to the regional contest, held at Ursinus College, on April 13. These students wrote and delivered great speeches on critical topics like immigration, cyberbullying and the importance of voting.
UPN Students Present Documentary Work
Students in Advanced Film Production and Advanced News Production recently shared their latest exceptional work, “UPN Presents - Advanced Documentaries.” You can check out the students’ work on YouTube or below. Many of the pieces are in the running for regional awards.