• Superintendent Blog: May 24, 2020

    Posted by Jason Harris on 5/24/2020 6:00:00 PM

    Dear Morrisville Families,

    As the 2019-2020 school year winds down, I hope that the stress of the pandemic and all of its related issues do the same.  I was pleased to hear that Governor Wolf will move Bucks County to the 'yellow' phase for re-opening.  We continue to plan for a return to school in September, based on the most recent guidelines and recommendations by our local, state, and national experts.  I am sure that school will look very different in September and going forward, and it is our aim that this remains a safe and healthy learning environment for everyone.  Stay tuned for more announcements about the 2020-2021 school year.

     

    Below you will find the announcements for the week. 

     


    Please be reminded that District offices will be closed on Monday May 25, in observance of Memorial Day.


    On Wednesday, May 27, the School Board will hold its Action Meeting at 7:30 pm on Zoom.  Invitations for call-in/login will be posted on our Facebook group page and on the website, www.mv.org.


    MEAL DISTRIBUTION CHANGE:  Meals for ALL students 18 and under will be available on Tuesdays and Fridays only, from 11:00am to 1:00pm.

    Packet pick-up and drop-off will also occur on these days.


    Attendance links for Grandview/Intermediate and Middle/Senior High School can be found here:

    GV/IS Attendance

    MS/HS Attendance


    If you have requested a Chromebook, you will be receiving a call from the District to make an appointment to pick it up.  We are working through the list of requests, and are making devices available as quickly as we can. If you still need to request a Chromebook, please email your child’s principal.

    Mrs. Palumbo (GV/IS)

    Mr. Haines (MS/HS)


    Additionally, we have some staff members making calls from their personal phones, so you may see a blocked number.  If you do not answer blocked or anonymous calls, please check your voicemail and return the calls as soon as possible.


    We are thrilled to announce that we have a new page on our website, dedicated to celebrating the Class of 2020!  Please visit the link below for the latest information on the Class of 2020.

    SENIOR CELEBRATION

    Additionally, if you haven't seen it already, Mr. Haines also has a blog. It contains valuable information, and I encourage you to check it out!

    Mr. Haines' Blog

     

     

     

    Comments (-1)
  • Superintendent Blog: May 17, 2020

    Posted by Jason Harris on 5/17/2020 6:00:00 PM

    Dear Morrisville Families,

    Although schools are closed, our teachers are providing some extraordinary ways for students to be involved.  Earlier this week, the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) held its State-level competition.  FBLA devised a plan to allow some competitive events to be held for the State Leadership Conference, usually held in Hershey, PA in April, with the help of Zoom and YouTube tools. Angy Xicara Rushford submitted her Public Speaking entry, and the virtual award ceremony revealed that she placed 9th in PA.

    NINTH IN THE STATE!!

    Congratulations, Angy, and thank you to Mrs. Kloc for supporting the FBLA efforts!

     


    Below, you will find the announcements for the week.

    On Wednesday, May 20, the School Board will hold its Agenda Meeting at 7:30 pm on Zoom.  Invitations for call-in/login will be posted on our Facebook group page and on the website, www.mv.org.


    Meals for ALL students 18 and under are still available on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Distribution of meals will be from 11:00am to 1:00pm.


    Attendance links for Grandview/Intermediate and Middle/Senior High School can be found here:

    GV/IS Attendance

    MS/HS Attendance


    If you have requested a Chromebook, you will be receiving a call from the District to make an appointment to pick it up.  We are working through the list of requests, and are making devices available as quickly as we can. If you still need to request a Chromebook, please email your child’s principal.

    Mrs. Palumbo (GV/IS)

    Mr. Haines (MS/HS)


    Additionally, we have some staff members making calls from their personal phones, so you may see a blocked number.  If you do not answer blocked or anonymous calls, please check your voicemail and return the calls as soon as possible.


    We are still working through graduation options for the Class of 2020.  There was additional guidance released by the PA Department of Education (PDE), which caused us to revamp existing drafts of plans.  As soon as we have a clear plan in place that meets the guidelines for PDE and PA Department of Health, we will communicate it to the Senior Class and their families.

    Comments (-1)
  • Superintendent Blog: May 11, 2020

    Posted by Jason Harris on 5/10/2020 6:00:00 PM

    Dear Morrisville Families,

    Before I begin, please allow me to say "Happy Mother's Day" to all of the moms in our community.  I hope that this day is filled with love, appreciation, and enjoyment, in spite of the challenging time in which we find ourselves.

    Additionally, this past week was Teacher Appreciation Week.  Please take a moment and thank our teachers for their tireless work. Personally, I have heard from former students who are now not only teachers themselves, but doctors, musicians, researchers, and...parents! (I officially feel old!)  The work of teachers impacts a community for generations, and we never truly know the outcome of that effort upon our students' lives.  If you can read this, thank a teacher!


    As mentioned in a previous post, our team has updated the Continuity of Education Plan (CoE), which now requires student participation and recording of daily attendance

    Attendance link for GV/IS

     

    Attendance link for MS/HS  

    Our limited supply of Chromebooks and hotspots are in the process of being distributed to those who have requested them.  If you need a device or WiFi, please contact your child's principal.  If you are unable to access your student's login information, you can find it in Genesis, our Student Information System.  If you need access to Genesis, please email Mrs. Burkhardt at mburkhardt@mv.org.

    This revised plan begins on May 11, 2020.  Virtual school hours will be from 10:00am until 2:30pm, Monday-Thursday.  Fridays will be reserved for teacher training, and interactions with students to support their needs in this new virtual environment.

    The 19-20 school year will end for students on Friday, June 12.  Grade calculations and timelines for completing work are explained in further detail in the CoE Plan.

    Graduation event plans are still being considered.  Stay tuned.


    A limited number of Chromebooks are being made available to students in need. Thank you to everyone who has participated in helping to meet this need.  If you need a Chromebook, please email your child's principal Mrs. Palumbo (Grade K-5) or Mr. Haines (Grade 6-12).

    If you know of someone who would like to contribute to the fundraising efforts for Chromebooks, please share the following link to our MOEF donation page.

    MOEF Donation Page


    On Friday, May 8, I participated in a Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY) Town Hall conversation with local Bucks County students and Federal and State legislators.  US Congressman Fitzpatrick, PA State Senator Santarsiero, and PA State Representatives Warren and Galloway were among the law makers in attendance.  The focus of the conversation was the impact of the pandemic upon students, and funding for public education.  The students gave statements about how COVID-19 has impacted their school life, and asked questions of the law makers regarding funding for schools, budgets and programs. 

    Special thanks to MHS Senior Mawa Lewis, who spoke most eloquently on behalf of her Morrisville classmates and district.  Mawa, we are proud of you!

    You can find out more about PCCY at www.pccy.org, or by emailing Dan O'Brien at dano@pccy.org.


    I would like to bring your attention to an opportunity to support our MHS Senior Class.  Class of 2020 President, Mawa Lewis, has pioneered an effort to get a scholarship for every graduating senior who plans to go to some type of post-secondary schooling (2 or 4 year college, trade school, etc) or the military.

    Together with Morrisville Opportunity Education Foundation (MOEF) and the Morrisville-Yardley Rotary Club, she has started fundraising efforts.  You can check out her story and consider partnering with her campaign, "A Seed For All" on her GoFundMe page.

    A Seed For All


    Our 21st Century Community Learning Center (21CCLC) will be providing programming for eligible students before 10am and after 2:30pm, weekly.  For more information about this program, you can visit their Facebook page, or by emailing targueta@mv.org or mhowell@mv.orgIn addition to this programming, 21CCLC is asking that parents complete a survey for summer interest.  While a determination has not yet been made regarding an in-person camp this summer, they are planning for several contingencies and need your input.  Here is the link to the survey:

    21CCLC Summer Survey


    Our School Board Facilities and Finance Committees will meet on Wednesday, May 13.  The Facilities Committee will meet at 6:00pm and the Finance Committee will meet at 7:00pm.  Zoom (virtual) meeting invites will be posted on the website and on social media the morning of the meeting.


    As the weather gets warmer, and daydreams of an afternoon in the park or on the beach invade your thoughts, I encourage you to take some time for yourself and GET OUTSIDE!  Obviously, we need to practice social distancing, but getting some sunshine and Vitamin D is helpful to navigate this uncertain time.

    Love. Respect. Space. Grace.

    Jason

     

    Jason B. Harris,

    Superintendent of Schools

    Comments (-1)
  • Superintendent Blog: May 3, 2020

    Posted by Jason Harris on 5/3/2020 6:00:00 PM

    Dear Morrisville Community,

    I hope that this message finds you well.  Please see below for a few updates about our District.

     

    On Friday, May 1, School Board President Damon Miller and I participated in a press conference with our PA Legislators (Sen. Santarsiero, Rep. Galloway, and Rep. Warren), and Morrisville Borough Representatives (Pres. Parker, Borough Manager Mr. Mitchell) to highlight some of the issues and actions that have been undertaken in the past week on the District’s behalf.  You can find a link to a recording of the press conference here.
    https://www.senatorstevesantarsiero.com/senator-santarsiero-representatives-warren-and-galloway-call-on-governor-wolf-to-increase-funding-for-morrisville-school/

    In the press conference, a letter to Governor Wolf, co-authored by Senator Santarsiero and Representatives Warren and Galloway was discussed, which details our current plight, with an appeal for immediate help.

    You can find the letter here:

    https://www.senatorstevesantarsiero.com/senator-santarsiero-representatives-warren-and-galloway-call-on-governor-wolf-to-increase-funding-for-morrisville-school-district/


    Additionally, on the Federal level, Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick has made a direct appeal to US Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos with a similar message.  You can find the Congressman's correspondence here:

    https://fitzpatrick.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/fitzpatrick-urges-department-education-provide-relief-local-school


    Below, are my remarks made at the press conference:

    Good morning, and thank you all for joining us today.  Our community of 1046 learners currently includes 868 students on campus, as well as 47 (grade 9-12) in BCTHS, 49 students in Charter Schools (cyber and brick/mortar), and an additional 59 students in Out of District (OOD) Placements for IEP needs as well as other circumstances.  We also have 23 homeschooled students, whose families provide proof that their children are meeting the PA educational standards at home.

    • Approximately 68% of the 868 students on campus are on free or reduced lunch.
    • Approximately 24.5% of the 923 students (in District and OOD) have an IEP (Individualized Education Plan), subject to the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) and the provision of a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).
    • Approximately 4% of our on campus students are considered homeless.
    • Approximately 8% of our on campus students are a second language learner, and Spanish is not necessarily the primary language spoken in their home.
    • Approximately 520 of our on campus students report that they have either no computer in their home.
    • Approximately 12 households of campus families report that they have no access to the Internet at home.

    We have been identified by PDE as a Targeted School Improvement school, due to our sub-par student performance on State Assessments.  Our students show growth year to year in these assessments, but we never reach the State standard, which can be difficult to achieve percentage-wise.  For example, we have 84 8th grade students.  Should 17 students do poorly on a state standardized test, for whatever reason (poor at testing, no breakfast, special needs) we are already at 20% below proficiency for that grade level.

    But Morrisville is more than just numbers.

    In spite of the volatility in the costs to educate students and meet other mandated costs, our Board, staff and administration have supported programs which have yielded some remarkable results in the past few years alone:

    • Our athletes are PIAA District 1 Football (boys) and Girls Soccer champions this year, as well as BAL Bowler of the Year and Champion.
    • We have had 13 Future Business Leaders of America State awardees. Two FBLA students qualified and participated on the National level.
    • The return of Instrumental Music program has yielded a growth from 3 students in the program to over 40 in two years with a small but mighty marching band and color guard.
    • We have secured partnerships with Bucks County Playhouse, providing theater education to our 4th graders.
    • Smartboards have been purchased for use in each classroom, using proceeds from the sale of a defunct school building.
    • We have implemented $7.1m in energy upgrades, Electrical/Plumbing/HVAC renovations, while maintaining flat and lower debt service.
    • The Board has approved the hiring of Special Education teachers for Emotional Support and Learning Support programs and increased mental health supports by providing psychological services as well as in-school support counselors. This need is based on best practice as well as in response to emergent needs due to the unanticipated and dramatic increase in SE student enrollment 197 active IEP’s to 227 this year in 3 years)
    • Administration has developed partnerships with governmental entities (Bucks County Workforce Development Board) and post- secondary schools (BCCC), local businesses (Snipes Farm) to create and maintain learning opportunities in District, and provide work experiences for students in local industry.
    • We partner with Rotary Club (Morrisville Yardley) and Morrisville Opportunity Education Foundation (MOEF) to support the purchase of innovative instructional supplies and experiences, subsidize transportation to class trips, and provide grants and scholarships to students in need.
    • This year alone, our Fine Arts students have been featured in the Michener Art Museum Mural – A River Runs Through It; Selected to refurbish the Williamson Park Mural; and have participated in the VANS High School Custom Culture 2020 contest.
    • During the COVID-19 Pandemic: With the direct support of our small administrative team, our teachers quickly moved to build and implement Google Classrooms K-12, participating in online professional development and simultaneous provision of instructional materials for print to be distributed to our students without access.  Our teachers have also begun developing actions to implement the State’s Digital platform, as a resource to provide a more comprehensive Continuity of Education (CoE) for our students.
    • To help support our limited technological resources, the Bucks County Technical HS has donated 300 of their recently retired Chromebooks, and we have had community members donate funds to support the purchase of WiFi hotspots and devices to assist with providing equipment to the most critical of needs. We are grateful for this support.

    School Budgets are a constant source of strain and stress on any district.  However, in Morrisville, with its limited tax base and other streams of revenue, spikes in Special Education costs, and additional unfunded mandates put an even greater strain on an already strapped set of resources. The District often relies on the use of grants to support programs as previously mentioned.

    The Board wrestles with holding the line on taxes and complying with the mandates in State and Federal code.  The Board supports the school administration with guidance and input on decisions that impact overall operations and the implementation of student learning opportunities.

    I am appreciative of the efforts of our State and Federal Government officials for their collective advocacy on the behalf of our District’s children.

    Thank you.

    We continue to advocate for our children and community to anyone who will listen.


    Lastly, a few announcements:

     

    • The School Board Committees for Education and Policy will meet on Thursday, May 7. Policy Committee meets at 6:30pm and Education Committee meets at 7:30pm.  Details for the Zoom meeting invitations will be on the website Thursday morning.

     

    • The Morrisville Opportunity Education Foundation (MOEF) is accepting donations to help offset the purchase of additional Chromebooks and hotspots for our students. We are asking parents and community members to share the link to MOEF’s donation button. Please share the following link on your social media.

    https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=7A8EUS5V4JSAL&source=url

     

    • Students who still have medication at school: Medication pick up will be on Monday May 4th and Wednesday May 6th from 11-1 at high school.  Medication not picked up by Wednesday at 1 will be returned to high school nurse office till school opens again.  Please bring ID. 

     

    • WiFi in Morrisville Borough: in addition to the increased coverage in our campus parking lots, I have been informed that the Morrisville Public Library and the Morrisville United Methodist Church have public access points that reach outside of their building.

     

    • Comcast has extended its application deadline for Internet Essentials to June 30.

     

     

    Love. Respect. Space. Grace.

    Jason

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Comments (-1)
  • Superintendent Blog: April 26, 2020

    Posted by Jason Harris on 4/26/2020 6:00:00 PM

    Dear Morrisville Community,

     

    In my previous posts, I have attempted to keep a positive focus on what is happening in our District, as we respond to the challenges and changing guidance that we receive. Today’s post will not be so positive, and it is with a heavy heart that I write.  The Administration and Board have had to make some tough decisions and plan for several worst case scenarios, in compliance with State Code. I share them with you today, hoping for the best, yet preparing for the worst.

     

    Last week, I reported that we are aiming to move to planned instruction on or about May 1, 2020.  To support this effort, the Morrisville Board of School Directors approved the purchase of Chromebooks so that we could support all students with a device.  The funding for these devices was to be supported with Federal CARES Act dollars, as well as the State Equity Grant (CEEG).  Unfortunately, we do not have an indication when the CARES Act Dollars might arrive, and doubly unfortunate, our District has not been awarded the Equity Grant.  This information was received before Wednesday’s Board meeting, and was not well received by anyone on our team. In light of these setbacks, the Board decided to cancel the order for the Chromebooks. This decision was not made lightly; the considerations of using grant funding was the primary driver for the purchase.  Since the grant did not come through, the Board opted not to overspend on an already strained budget.

     

    Instead, the District will be distributing the Chromebooks it has, to those who have indicated that they do not have access to a computer.  This limited supply will be provided on a 2:1 basis in each household.  Individuals will be contacted when their device(s) are ready for pick-up.

     

    At Wednesday’s Board Meeting, the Board also discussed the 2020-2021 General Fund Budget.  You can find the presentation here. In short, our school budgets have been stressed by skyrocketing mandated costs like pension contributions, charter school tuition, and special education expenses.  Between these mandated costs that are increasing and our nominal operational cost increases, we are facing a deficit of approximately $1.5 million dollars, before any proposed tax increase.  This triad of mandated costs also stresses larger districts, but in a place like Morrisville, even the slightest variation above the budgeted amount can have drastic effects on our planning and implementation of programs and services.  By law, the Board must enact a balanced budget before June 30. This means that either cuts in expenses must be made to match revenues, or the Board must raise taxes (increase revenue) to meet the expenses.  Last year, the Board enacted a 6.3% tax increase to close the gap to cover these costs. 

     

    This year, the Board does not have the same option.   

     

    To close the nearly $1,500,000 gap between expenses and revenues, the Board has enacted an Economic Furlough Resolution.  (this means staff cuts) This resolution, although not binding at this time, puts many programs and activities in jeopardy. 

     

    Here is a brief list of the proposed cuts. It is my sincere hope that these cuts will not be enacted. 

     

    Assistant Principal,

    All kindergarten programming,

    All Athletics,

    Electives courses across the District,

    Fine Arts and Music programs,

    Media Specialist position,

    Pupil Support positions,

    4 Support staff positions,

    1 Administrative staff position.

     

    The Board has asked the Administration to be as judicious and balanced with the furloughs, and they touch every area of our District. No recommendations made are an attempt to reduce the ‘fat’ in our budget,as there is no ‘fat’.  (Hence why we didn’t buy the computers…) The proposed cuts are painful, tragic, and would impact programming in a very negative way.

     

    On Friday, School Board President Damon Miller and I participated in a call with Senator Santarsiero, Representative Warren, Representative Galloway, as well as representatives of Morrisville Borough. Since these cuts will impact much more than educational programming, we are collectively approaching this challenge with all available intellectual and political resources available. I hope to have more information as to a collective appeal to the Governor for additional funding, as well as updates on further developments as we look for other cost savings to balance the budget with fewer staffing cuts.

     

    If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me by email, jharris@mv.org or by phone, 215-736-5374.

    Comments (-1)
  • Superintendent Blog: April 19, 2020

    Posted by Jason Harris on 4/19/2020 6:00:00 PM

    Dear Morrisville Staff and Families,  

    I hope that this message finds you healthy and safe.  The past five weeks have been some of the most challenging in our modern history.  We have had to reinvent ways to feed and educate our children with resources that were designed with an in-person delivery method in mind.  Teachers are pushing themselves to support students in an emergency remote learning fashion.  Teaching is not easy in simpler times, and certainly no easier with the challenges and obstacles that this pandemic brings.  I have witnessed the creativity of teachers, staff, and administrators who strive to serve students and families in unique and innovative ways, with constraints previously unimagined.  From instructional packets day one, to interacting on a regular basis via Google Classroom and Zoom, our staff continues to amaze me at their tenacity and dedication to connecting with their students so that learning can continue. 

    We continue to work on ways for students to retrieve any belongings in their lockers or classrooms, and communication will be coming from the principals about this effort.  Please know that we must adhere to the social distancing requirements, and provide a reasonable amount of time to allow a quarantine for items that are touched by a staff member before the items are made available for pick up.  We are also working with our Senior Class to explore ways that we can celebrate the Class of 2020 in a manner that is both safe and appropriate. I will share more information when it becomes available.

    About two weeks ago, we submitted our District’s Continuity of Education (CoE) Plan to the PA Department of Education (PDE).  You can find a copy here.  In short, it details that our education plan, for the period of closure, would be ungraded, for enrichment/review purposes, highly encouraged, but not mandatory. That plan was submitted prior to the extension of the school closures through June 30. 

    Based on new information and guidance, our plan will be changing.

    Now that we are in a mandatory closure through June 30, we have been asked by PDE to move from enrichment and review activities to planned instruction, which includes daily attendance and grades.  To that end, the Morrisville Board of School Directors has approved the purchase of Chromebooks and a select number of Wi-Fi hotspots to give access to digital tools for learning.  This has been made possible through a grant-funded program.  It is our intent that this change in CoE plan will raise the level of participation of students, and give parents and teachers the means to keep our youngsters on track as they progress through school.  We will begin distributing existing Chromebooks to Grade 12 students and MS/HS students in danger of failing their current grade first, and then students who have no access to a either a computer, tablet or smartphone.  There is approximately a 40-day lead time to receive the new Chromebooks, so we ask for your patience as we distribute our existing resources to those who need it most.  It is our plan to offer a Chromebook to at least every district family K-11, with an intent of moving to a 1:1 device soon thereafter.

    We anticipate moving to planned instruction (grades/attendance) by May 1, 2020. This will allow our teachers to plan accrodingly. Current instruction will follow our current plan until we announce our new plan.

    Additionally, through an arrangement with PDE, our District will be making available digital resources, via the Odysseyware/Edgenuity platform. These additional resources will complement our existing Google Classroom resources, and give students the opportunity to participate on some level, in planned instruction before the Chromebooks are distributed.  The date for the release for this platform is yet to be determined, as we are working with the vendor and the Bucks County Intermediate Unit to prepare the student and teacher accounts and provide training to our staff.  You can learn more about this platform here.  Please be aware that PDE also offers non-digital learning tools through public television.  You can access links to that resource here.


    Here are a few announcements from the District:

     

    Student Meals:  Due to a staffing limitation, we are adjusting our feeding schedule.  Starting the week of April 20, our Food Service staff will distribute meals on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday ONLY.  On the days which meals are distributed, students will be given additional meals for the days we are not in service. For example: On Monday, 2 breakfasts and 2 lunches will be distributed (for Tuesday), etc.  Please note that packet pickup will not be available on Tuesday and Thursday because of this change.

     

    Medicine Pickup:  The nurse will be at the school on Tuesday 4/21 & Wednesday 4/22 between 11 am and 1 pm.  If you would like to pick up your child's medication, please email our school nurse at margenti@mv.org with the following - the day and whom is picking up the medication.  She will be outside MS/HS cafeteria.  You can drive /walk up to get medication.  Please bring identification.

     

    Email Accounts/MS Office 365: We are excited to announce that our Middle/Senior High School students now have access to their Morrisville Microsoft Office 365 Outlook email accounts.  Students can access their accounts and related information by navigating to the “Students” Tab in the main menu of our District website.  Additionally, please refer to Mr. Haines’ Principal’s Blog located on the Middle/Senior High School website for more detailed information.

     

    Google Classroom Access:  All login information for Google Classroom is listed with your child’s teacher and is also available on Genesis, our student information system.  If you need access to Genesis, please email Mrs. Burkhardt at mburkhardt@mv.org, or by calling 215-736-5937.

     

    Non-Digital Learning Options:  PDE has partnered with Public Television to provide instructional content for students. You can access links to that resource here, or check with your cable provider for the exact channel. Over-the-air (antenna HDTV) content can be viewed on channel 12-3.

     

    Classroom/locker item retrieval:  Our staff is working to empty lockers and desks, bagging and tagging the items, and making them available for pickup.  That process begins Monday, and families will be contacted with dates and times that they can come to retrieve their student’s belongings.  This is a time-consuming process, and as mentioned previously, we need to practice social distancing during the collection, and allow for proper quarantine of the items, to ensure the safe return of items collected.

     

    School Board News:  Our next School Board meeting will be held (virtually) on Wednesday, April 22 at 7:30 PM.  Information for Login/Call-in will be posted on the website and our Facebook Group page on the morning of the meeting.  Budget information presented at last week’s meeting can be found here.


    In closing, I write today to share both hope and concern.  

    Hope, in that I am confident that we will come out on the other side of this situation a stronger and wiser learning community.

    Concern, in that there as some who have access to resources which help keep them connected, while others have not received any of the communications our teams have shared.  It is my hope and desire to make sure staff, students, and their families have the access to the information, tools and resources that are available for learning. Our Board of School Directors has supported our collective efforts to support that goal, and I am grateful to them for their wisdom, input, and support.  

    If you know of anyone who may not be aware of our outreach, please share this communication with them.   If you have not done so already, I encourage you to follow this blog by registering on our website.  Doing so will allow you to subscribe to updates to our website, and give you the latest information available.

    As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call or email me.

    Stay well,

    Jason

     

    Jason B. Harris,

    Superintendent of Schools

    Love. Respect. Space. Grace.

     

     

    Comments (-1)
  • Superintendent Blog: April 12, 2020

    Posted by Jason Harris on 4/12/2020 6:00:00 PM

    Dear Morrisville Community,

    Authors note: The past month has been one of significant challenge and strain on our collective patience and routine.  The immediate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our everyday life, and its long-term effects may not be fully measured for months or years to come.

    I remain committed to providing you with as much information as I can in a timely manner. In the face of rapidly changing guidance and opportunities, I find myself struggling to determine which items should be placed in this blog.  I appreciate your continued readership, and I hope you find my communication helpful.

    Before I go any further, I would like to be clear about two things:

    1. We will hold some sort of celebration and recognition for the Class of 2020 when safe and appropriate to do so.
    2. In general, promotions to the next grade (2020-21 school year) will be based on work assigned prior to March 13, 2020.

    On Thursday, April 9, the Governor closed all schools through June 30, 2020. This difficult decision did not come as a surprise. I believe that it helps us solidify our next steps in the short term and plan for the 2020-2021 school year.   

    I know that the closing of schools through June 30 comes as a great disappointment to many.  I share in that disappointment, as our school community is a hub of support for children and adults alike. The article linked here speaks to that disappointment (especially for the Class of 2020), and I encourage you to read it.  I remind you that feelings are neither right nor wrong.  They just are, and it is important that we process our feelings in a healthy manner.  As an additional set of resources, I encourage you to visit the mental health resources which have been curated by the CDC, and the NASP.

    The Bulldog community is strong; our resilience in the face of challenge is something that separates us from many. I have seen great efforts to salvage some type of normalcy in this difficult season, and I am grateful to our faculty, administration, and staff in their efforts to support our students as best they can. I encourage you to read my comments as made to the Bucks County Courier Times in a recent article.

    I am certain that you have other questions about our next steps as a school community. We are looking to compile your questions and ideas. Look for an announcement next week for a place to ask questions and share ideas.


    In the mean time, here is what we are working on:

    1. Procurement of additional Chromebooks and Hotspots. We have applied for the State Equity Grant as well as other Federal dollars to minimize the impact of this expense on our local budget.
    2. Participation in PDE’s digital platform. This is paid for by the Commonwealth.
    3. Continued professional development for teachers in Google Classroom.
    4. Designing a safe way for students to retrieve their belongings in their lockers and classrooms.

    We continue to implement our Continuity of Education Plan, using Google Classroom, and are looking to use the efforts above to improve access to the plan for all students.


    This week, there are two public meetings:

    General Fund Budget Hearing:  Wednesday, April 15 at 6:30 PM

    School Board Agenda Meeting: Wednesday, April 15 at 7:30 PM

    The meetings will be held virtually via Zoom, and the login/call-in information will be posted on Facebook group page, and on our website, www.mv.org, by 10:00am on the morning of the meetings.

    We appreciate your patience and support through this very difficult and challenging time.  My thoughts and prayers are with each of you as you navigate this ‘new normal’.

    Sincerely yours,

    Jason

     

    Mr. Jason B. Harris

    Superintendent of Schools

    Love. Respect. Space. Grace.

     

    Comments (-1)
  • Superintendent Blog: April 5, 2020

    Posted by Jason Harris on 4/5/2020 6:00:00 PM

    Dear Morrisville Families,

    Now that the Governor has closed schools until further notice, our teachers and administrative team have begun implementing a plan to provide educational activities to our students in a remote format.  To that end, we have completed our Continuity of Education Plan, in an effort to provide more detail about how education will move forward in the coming days and weeks.  You can view the plan at the link above, or you can see it on our homepage, www.mv.org under SPOTLIGHT.    Below are a few updates from around the District.  As always, if you have any questions about a specific program, please contact your student’s teacher or principal. 

    Google Classroom/Genesis Access:  Part of our plan to provide additional educational activities is to use Google Classroom.  This platform can be accessed with a smartphone, tablet or computer.  Please also reach out to your student's grade K-5 classroom teacher or your grade 6-12 first period teacher for login/account information. Student invitations to teacher 'classrooms' will be waiting for them in Google, once they log in and accept the invitation.  If you are having issues with Google Classroom, please email your student's teacher. If you do not have access to Genesis, our Student Information System, please email Mrs. Burkhardt at mburkhardt@mv.org.  Your patience is appreciated as we navigate the challenges of this District-Wide implementation. If you still need a paper copy of the assignments, please use the Packet Request Form, or email msdpacket@mv.org, and a copy will be made available for pickup within 24 hours of your request. Please be reminded that Google Classroom can be accessed by a tablet or a smartphone, and a paper copy may not be necessary. For more information on Google Classroom, please check out the presentation online at www.mv.org, under NEWS.

     

    WiFi in the Parking lot?  Yes!  We have pumped up our access points to allow for additional WiFi coverage in the Morrisville Intermediate School parking lot.  Think of it as Drive-in WiFi!  Please park in a marked parking spot, and download assignments/packets for your student.

     

    WiFi network name (SSID):     MHS-GUEST

    Password:                               MVSD1203

     

    Public Television Educational Programs:  PA Department of Education has partnered with Public Television Stations across the Commonwealth to provide educational television programs to supplement our Continuity of Education plans.  Click here for more details, or visit https://learningathomepa.org/.

     

     

    Student Meals:  Due to the scheduled Spring Break (Thursday April 9-Monday April 13), there will be NO meals served during this time.  We plan on serving extra meals on Wednesday,    April 8, and moving forward, we are reassessing our meal distribution days and times to match the needs of our community. 

     

    From the PTO:  Many of you were notified about the pickup for the Gertrude Hawk orders.  Unfortunately, due to a scheduling conflict, that order did not arrive.  The new CONFIRMED date, is Monday, April 6, 2-6pm at 104 Melvin Avenue.

     

    Board Meetings:  Our Board Meetings have become virtual, due to our closure.  The Board is still meeting on its regular schedule, including Board Committee meetings.  We post the login information on Facebook, as well as our homepage, www.mv.org, under NEWS. You can call in or view the meeting using Zoom.

     

    Closing thoughts:  We are all adjusting to this ‘new normal’ of social distancing and change in our routines.  As we navigate the impact of these changes, I encourage you to reach out if you need help.  Our school community is committed to pointing people to available resources, and communicating with County and State partners to take care of each other.  Together, we will get through this!  Stay strong, stay positive, and stay in touch.

     

    Stay well,

    Jason

     

    Mr. Jason B. Harris,

    Superintendent of Schools

    Love. Respect. Space. Grace.

     

    Comments (-1)
  • Superintendent Blog: March 30, 2020

    Posted by Jason Harris on 3/30/2020 11:35:00 PM

    Good Evening Morrisville Families,

    Today, we heard from Governor Wolf.  He has extended the Stay at Home Orders until April 30, and extended school closures until further notice.  This means that there is NO DEFINITE date when we can return to our schools. 

    In other words, the Governor will let us know when we can return, but at least not until after April 30. 

    I am sure that this news comes as a disapointment...and an alarm...and a concern!  We are working with our teachers and paraprofessionals to make Google Classroom happen in short order, and we are looking at our options long term.  Seven total weeks (March 13-April 30)  worth of intruction is a long time, and we want to provide as best an alternative as we can. This news hit me especially hard today, and as a parent of three (one in college, one a 12th grader, and the other a 7th grader), the same concerns about graduations, concerts, proms and the like are items that constantly circulate in our conversations.

    Stay tuned for further developments. You should be hearing from your teachers by the end of the week about next steps educationally, and once we discuss our options regarding events like prom and graduation, we will make a formal announcement.

    I hesitate in canceling any events at this time.  For now, we will take it one day and one challenge at a time. I still hold on to hope that we can salvage some sort of celebration for our High School Seniors, and reschedule large events like Prom and concerts. I encourage you to hold on to the same hope. Be well.

    Love, Respect, Space, Grace,

    Jason B. Harris,

    Superintendent of Schools

     

    Comments (-1)
  • Superintendent Blog: March 29, 2020

    Posted by Jason Harris on 3/29/2020 6:05:00 PM

    Greetings Morrisville Families!

    I hope that this message finds you healthy and well.  Little has changed in terms of schoolwork since my last post, so I will underscore a few things that happened this week.  I recognize that these are difficult times, and I want you to know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.  As directives change on a State and National level, I assure you that I will update your as soon as I am able. 

    As of this posting, all public and private schools remain CLOSED until April 6.  A determination will be made at a later time if schools can reopen on that date, and we await direction from Governor Wolf in that regard.  In the mean time, we have arranged for additional work to be posted.


    Home Learning Experiences are now available on our website.  Go to our homepage, and click on the link for Grandview, Intermediate, and Middle/High School pages.  From there, you can navigate to the appropriate teacher's page. 

    I also wanted to point out that THIS IS NEW FOR ALL OF US.  Please be patient with our teachers as they navigate the new challenges that distance learning presents.  Our teachers are committed to doing their best, and I applaud their efforts for getting ready for a huge paradigm shift in how we teach and learn in Morrisville. We welcome your constructive feedback, and we will work to implement that feedback into future lessons and platform developments.

    If you require a paper copy of the work, you can email msdpacket@mv.org, or use the FORM linked here. Please give us 24 hours from the time of your request to get the packet printed.  You will receive an email when your packet is ready, and it can be picked up at the lunch distribution site.

    We strongly encourage all students to take advantage of this opportunity, and if there is any previously overdue work for a class, teachers have been instructed to accept it and grade it accordingly.  This can only HELP, not hurt your grades.

    Looking toward the future, we are working toward having every teacher utilize a Google Classroom account to release additional work.  In the event that our schools are closed beyond April 6, we will roll out this additional resource. 

    If you have any questions about the Home Learning Resources, please contact your student's principal.

    MS/HS:  Mr. Haines, shaines@mv.org

    GV/IS: Mrs. Palumbo, lpalumbo@mv.org


    Some have asked about the best source of infromation regrding our schools.  We have four main ways to communicate with the community:

    You can bookmark the sites in your Favorites Tab in your web browser. If you are not receiving our Phone Blasts, please email Miriam Burkhardt at mburkhardt@mv.org.  Please let her know which children you have in the school, so that their contact records can be updated in our system.


    Look for updates from your child's teachers this week.  If you are having difficulty accessing our resources, please call us at 215-736-2681, and leave a message. Your messages are being routed to the proper person. They will get back to you as soon as possible.

    Love, Respect, Space, Grace,

    Mr. Jason B. Harris,

    Superintedent of Schools

     

    Comments (-1)