• Superintendent Blog: January 10, 2021

    Posted by Jason Harris on 1/10/2021 6:00:00 PM

    Dear Morrisville Families,

    Happy New Year!  I wanted to take the time to respond to the events that occurred in Washington, DC this week.   If you haven’t heard, on Wednesday of this week, the US Capitol was breached by protestors, causing a lockdown and an interruption of the ceremonial counting of the Electoral votes in the Senate chamber.  I find the behaviors displayed yesterday deeply concerning, and my thoughts and prayers go out to all who are impacted by this terrible event.

    Below is an excerpt of what I shared with our district staff, and I encourage you to have conversations with your children about what has transpired. You are more than welcome to take advantage of any of the links provided here, and I encourage you to reach out to your child’s teacher if you have any questions about how these events are being discussed in class. The resources are very helpful to frame these difficult talks, and I have instructed our teachers to be sensitive to the situation as well as mindful of our unique perspectives as to the constructs of the incident.

    “I believe it is our responsibility to help our students process this event in an age-appropriate, as well as a politically and ideologically neutral manner. With that said, I ask that you please be mindful of maturity levels as well as potential personal bias or inflection of political leaning when you discuss these events with your students.  You never know who is listening, or how a student can take a seemingly innocuous comment to heart.

    Continue to be purveyors of fact and truth, and help our students see the world in ways that honor this principle.”

    You will find the resources copied below. I hope you find them useful.

    From LeaderServices (AEDY):

    As we, along with our nation, process yesterday's events at the U.S. Capitol, our students struggle with the same emotions we feel ourselves. In light of these unprecedented events, we would like to share some immediate resources to support the work across the Commonwealth in your efforts to help students and check-in with yourselves (see the Self-Awareness pillar<https://www.education.pa.gov/Schools/safeschools/equityandinclusion/EPH/SelfAwareness/Pages/default.aspx> of practice from the PA Equitable Practices Hub).

      *   Responding to the Insurrection at the US Capitol | Facing History and Ourselves<https://www.facinghistory.org/educator-resources/current-events/responding-insurrection-us-capitol?fbclid=IwAR3KLG36yutCyL9GP6n-EjRbR829CiP1XnYQY2hTr33HrJ1m3_0xhwLseJg>

         *   Immediate recommendations based on January 6th, 2021

      *   When Bad Things Are Happening<https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/when-bad-things-are-happening> (Teaching Tolerance). When news breaks of disaster or violence, your students may want to discuss a crisis as it unfolds.

         *   Step 1: Listen

         *   Step 2: Protect

         *   Step 3: Model

         *   Step 4: Take care of yourself

    From BCIU Programs and Services (they recommended the above as well):

     

    Lastly, a few announcements:

     

    • The Facilities Committee Meeting will be held virtually, Wednesday, January 13th at 6:00 pm
    • The Finance Committee Meeting will be held virtually, Wednesday, January 13th at 7:00 pm

    All Zoom meetings will be posted on our Facebook and Website page on the morning of the meeting

     

    • The District will be closed on January 18th in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day

     

     

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  • Superintendent Blog: December 20, 2020

    Posted by Jason Harris on 12/20/2020 6:00:00 PM

    Dear Morrisville Families,

     

    As 2020 comes to a close, I wanted to give you a few updates, and provide you with some information.  This year has been like no other I have ever experienced, and I am grateful to our school community for their support and diligence as we navigate these turbulent times.  Here’s to hoping for a brighter and merrier 2021!

     

    Instructional Model Update:

     

    Earlier this week, the School Board approved the Pandemic Planning Team’s recommendation to remain in a virtual instructional format through the end of the 3rd Marking Period: April 12, 2021. 

     

    This difficult decision was made based upon our ability to adequately staff our schools, the current COVID-19 metrics and the PA Department of Education’s (PDE) recommendation to remain in the virtual format while in the Substantial designation.  To view the presentation that was made to the Team, click on the link below:

     

    http://go.boarddocs.com/pa/morr/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=BWATXG7980CB

     

    Additionally, the positivity rates and cases per 100,000 metrics for Bucks County can be found at the link below.  Be sure to select Bucks County on the map.  This site is updated frequently.

     

    https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Monitoring-Dashboard.aspx

     

    Finally, the matrix for instructional model recommendations from PDE can be found below.  

     

    https://www.education.pa.gov/Schools/safeschools/emergencyplanning/COVID-19/SchoolReopeningGuidance/ReopeningPreKto12/Pages/DeterminingInstructionalModels.aspx#1

     

    The link shows that a full remote model is recommended by PDE for case metrics greater than 100 per 100,000 population, and a PCR positivity rate greater than 10% (100/10%)

     

    Currently, the County COVID case metrics are significantly higher than the minimum threshold to move to virtual instruction.  (514.3/17.7% as of December 10, 2020). These metrics are trending upward on a weekly basis.

     

    The Pandemic Planning Team will revisit these metrics on a bi-weekly basis, and if the metrics are trending downward, they may make a recommendation to the School Board to enter a hybrid instructional model sooner than April.  Stay tuned for more information.

     


     

    A few operational updates:

     

    Food Distribution: Free breakfast and lunch for all students grades K-12 (regardless of school enrollment) will be on December 22nd from 12:15- 2:15. This service will provide 7 days’ worth of meals. This distribution will be the last day before the Winter Break.  Food service will resume on Tuesday January 5, 2021. We encourage everyone to take advantage of this opportunity.

     

    Offices Closed:  The District will be closed from Wednesday, December 23, until Friday, January 1, 2021.  Offices will reopen on Monday, January 4th.

     

    Zoom Security:  Recently, we have had a few unfortunate incidents of ‘zoom-bombing’ in our virtual classrooms.  As a reminder, please make sure that your student is properly logging into their Zoom account.  This means that they are authenticated in Zoom with their full name, and camera on.  We also ask that you DO NOT SHARE your Zoom class codes with anyone.  Mr. Shiota, our Director of Technology, has prepared a few helpful videos about this issue.  More to come.

     

    SIS/LMS Upgrade:  Earlier this month, the School Board approved an agreement to move to PowerSchool as our new Student Information System (SIS), and Schoology as our new Learning Management System (LMS).  PowerSchool will replace Genesis, and Schoology will be an addition to our digital learning resources.  We will begin the work to set up the system now, but we are scheduled to migrate to these systems by July 2021.  More information will be shared in the coming weeks and months, but I wanted to make you aware of the coming change. 

     

    On behalf of the Morrisville School Community, I would like to wish you a restful Winter Break and a Happy New Year!

     

    Happy Holidays,

    Mr. Harris

     

     

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  • Superintendent Blog: December 15, 2020

    Posted by Jason Harris on 12/15/2020 6:00:00 PM

    Dear Morrisville Community,

    As you are aware, there is a rather tricky weather event (a Nor’easter) that is expected to hit our area sometime on Wednesday.  In a normal year, I would be considering closing schools based on the timing and accumulation of the weather event.  This decision is made for the health and safety of those who are traveling to and from our school buildings.  That is not the case at this time.   We are making the following preparations for the storm, and would like you to prepare accordingly:

    Wednesday, December 16:  We will have a full synchronous school day (same time on Zoom), as per our normal schedule.  The storm is not expected to impact the morning sessions.  However, based on our teacher’s locations, Internet/power outages may impact afternoon office hours.

    Thursday, December 17:  We are planning for an asynchronous day (Independent learning). Given the potential connectivity impacts of the storm, we have asked our teachers to prepare independent learning activities for all students on this day, to be posted in advance on their respective Google Classrooms.  Credit for attendance will be based on the completion of these activities.  Teachers will be in communication with their students about the location of this work.

    Please understand that the steps we have taken are our current best thinking, given the myriad of issues that can occur with remote learning during a storm.  We will continue to reflect and refine our practices, and we appreciate your patience as we navigate yet another challenge to our school year.

    Stay safe.

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  • Superintendent Blog: November 15, 2020

    Posted by Jason Harris on 11/15/2020 6:00:00 PM

    Greetings Morrisville Families!

    I am writing today to ask for your help with gathering some data to help us plan for an eventual return to in-person instruction.  The survey link below contains questions regarding information related to back to school planning, child care needs, as well as 21st Century Community Learning Center programming.  Your participation is vital to our planning.  Please complete the survey before Monday, November 23, 2020.  You can find a link to the survey below:

    School District of Borough of Morrisville Return to School Planning

     

    To assist the District with future return to school plans, please complete one survey per household.
    ** If you do not submit your survey by November 23, 2020, your response for Preferred Instructional Model for your student(s) will be 100% virtual.


    Recently, I attended meetings with the PA Department of Education and the Bucks County Department of Health, along with other Bucks County Superintendents.  Our collective work in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the sharing of ideas and best practices that have helped to keep students and staff safe in our schools.  I wanted to give you a brief overview of the information shared with me.

    As of 11/13, the metrics for Bucks County are as follows. The public health metrics below are accessible on the interactive COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring System Dashboard (https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Monitoring-Dashboard.aspx), which is updated every Friday.

    1. For the week ending November 13, 2020, Bucks County is in the substantial level of community transmission. This is the 2nd week that Bucks County is in the substantial level.
    2. The county Incidence Rate per 100,000 Residents (Most Recent 7 Days) is 4 and the PCR Percent Positivity (Most Recent 7 Days) is 9.5%.
    3. The incidence rate per 100,000 residents increased from the previous 7 day reporting period to the most recent 7 day reporting period.
    4. The PCR percent positivity increased from the previous 7 day reporting period to the most recent 7 day reporting period.

    More information and public health data to inform local decision making, including zip code level case data, is available on the Pennsylvania COVID-19 Dashboard (https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Cases.aspx)

    Based on this continued level of transmission, PDE and DOH recommends full remote learning until the community transmission rates return to moderate for at least two consecutive weeks. As you know, most of our students are in a synchronous virtual instructional model until at least February 2, 2021 and we also have a limited number of Morrisville and BCIU Special Education students receiving in-person instruction. 

    As the transmission rate recommendations are exactly that and not a mandate, we have been informed that each District/LEA should continue to review their data and make the best decisions for their students, staff and community.  Based on this information, as well as reports from the school buildings, there will be no changes recommended to our current instructional model.  Because this is such a fluid situation, we will continue to monitor these metrics and respond accordingly.


    Lastly, our School Board Action Meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 18 at 7:30 pm via Zoom. Links for the meeting will be posted on the website by Wednesday morning.

     

     

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  • Superintendent Blog: October 11, 2020

    Posted by Jason Harris on 10/11/2020 6:00:00 PM

    Greetings Morrisville Families!

    I wanted to take a moment and remind you that meals are still available for ALL students, age 18 and under.  Our Food Services Department is providing FREE breakfast and lunch for each student who wishes to receive it.

    Meal distribution will occur on Tuesdays (3 breakfasts & 3 lunches) and Fridays (4 breakfasts and 4 lunches) from 12:15-2:00pm.  If you have any questions about food service, please email Marie Wallace, mwallace@mv.org.  Children do not have to attend Morrisville SD to receive these free meals. We hope that everyone takes advantage of this benefit!


    There will be a virtual College and Financial Planning Night, hosted by Senator Santarsiero’s office on Wednesday, October 14 at 7pm.  If you are interested in attending this event, please RSVP by email to Nancy Adam, nancy.adam@pasenate.com, or call 215-489-5000.


    Please see our website, www.mv.org, for information related to immunizations.


    Thanks to everyone who has enrolled their student with a Zoom account. If you have not done so already, please see the information below:

        Grades K-2:  Mrs. Palumbo's Grandview Principal Page

        Grades 3-5:  Mrs. Palumbo's Intermediate Principal Page

        Grades 6-12: Mr. Haines' Principal’s Blog.

    As a reminder, we are requiring Zoom user authentication to improve virtual classroom safety.

    If you are receiving a message during Zoom account registration stating that you will receive a confirmation e-mail, please click on the link below. As a reminder, students do not use Gmail to access their school e-mail addresses.

    http://mail.mv.org

    Additionally, the Technology Department has added a page to our website which can be accessed by going to www.mv.org , clicking on the “District” tab, and clicking on “Technology” from the drop-down menu. The Technology Department will be consistently updating this page with important technology information, instructions, and frequently asked questions.  You can also click here:

    https://www.mv.org/Page/2766


    The Facilities and Finance Committees will meet virtually on Wednesday, October 14th at 6pm and 7 pm, respectively. The Zoom link will be posted on Facebook and the website on the morning of the meeting.


    Do you have questions?  Get answers here!

    General questions?  Phone:  215-736-2681.  Please leave a message with your name, date/time, and a return phone number.

    About Grade K-5 academics?  Mrs. Palumbo, lpalumbo@mv.org

    About Grade 6-12 academics?  Mr. Haines, shaines@mv.org

    About Special Education?  Ms. Russell, srussell@mv.org

    About Technology?  Mr. Shiota, jshiota@mv.org

    About Lunches?  Mrs. Wallace, mwallace@mv.org

    About Genesis?  Mrs. Burkhardt, mburkhardt@mv.org

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  • Superintendent Blog: October 4, 2020

    Posted by Jason Harris on 10/4/2020 6:00:00 PM

    Happy October!

    We have experienced a few security challenges in our virtual classrooms. We take these challenges very seriously. To preserve the safety of all students and staff involved in virtual instruction, please do not share Zoom links for classes with anyone.  Additionally, I must remind everyone that school disciplinary rules apply to virtual instruction.  We hope to avoid future issues and need your support in underscoring the importance of online security with your students.

    For more detailed information about this District-wide security improvement, please go to:

        Grades K-2:  Mrs. Palumbo's Grandview Principal Page

        Grades 3-5:  Mrs. Palumbo's Intermediate Principal Page

        Grades 6-12: Mr. Haines' Principal’s Blog.

    The new student Zoom log in process will be effective Monday, October 5th. THIS APPLIES TO ALL STUDENTS. It is our hope that these improvements will increase the security of our virtual classrooms against those who are not authorized to access the classrooms.


    The Public Relations and Communication Committee meeting will be held virtually on Wednesday, October 7th at 7 pm. The Zoom link will be posted on Facebook and the website on the morning of the meeting.


    As a reminder, you can direct your questions here:

    General questions?  Phone:  215-736-2681.  Please leave a message with your name, date/time, and a return phone number.

    About Grade K-5 academics?  Mrs. Palumbo, lpalumbo@mv.org

    About Grade 6-12 academics?  Mr. Haines, shaines@mv.org

    About Special Education?  Ms. Russell, srussell@mv.org

    About Technology?  Mr. Shiota, jshiota@mv.org

    About Lunches?  Mrs. Wallace, mwallace@mv.org

    About Genesis?  Mrs. Burkhardt, mburkhardt@mv.org

     

    Comments (-1)
  • Superintendent Blog: September 20, 2020

    Posted by Jason Harris on 9/20/2020 6:00:00 PM

    Well, we have two weeks of school under our belts.  Thanks to everyone for your patience as we get moving!  Please continue to call or email us if you have any questions or issues with virtual learning.  Try your teacher first, then the school office, then the school principal.  We are working through as many requests as we can promptly, and we are trying to return all calls and emails within 1 business day.

    As a reminder, you can direct your questions here:

    General questions?  Phone:  215-736-2681.  Please leave a message with your name, date/time, and a return phone number.

    About Grade K-5 academics?  Mrs. Palumbo, lpalumbo@mv.org

    About Grade 6-12 academics?  Mr. Haines, shaines@mv.org

    About Special Education?  Ms. Russell, srussell@mv.org

    About technology?  Mr. Shiota, jshiota@mv.org

    About lunches?  Mrs. Wallace, mwallace@mv.org

    About Genesis?  Mrs. Burkhardt, mburkhardt@mv.org


     (Virtual) Back to School Nights are scheduled as follows:

    Grandview: September 22

    Intermediate: September 24

    Middle/High: September 30

    Details for these virtual meetings will be provided by Mrs. Palumbo and Mr. Haines, as well as your child’s teacher(s).


    The School Board Action Meeting will be held (virtually) on Wednesday, September 23.  Zoom links will be posted on our website and on social media on the day of the meeting.


    Finally, as a reminder, the District will be closed on Monday, September 28, in observance of Yom Kippur.

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  • Superintendent Blog: September 6, 2020

    Posted by Jason Harris on 9/6/2020 6:00:00 PM

    Happy Labor Day!

    Start to the 20-21 School Year:  Patience, please

    We are excited to begin the journey that is called the 2020-2021 school year…it is certainly poised to be like no other! Although we are beginning in a virtual format, our faculty and staff have been preparing as they always have, with an eye toward an improved online experience for both teachers and students. There will be challenges and celebrations. There will be problems to solve, and issues to address.  Please keep in mind that none of us has begun a school year this way and that we thank you in advance for keeping a positive attitude and assuming the best of intentions on behalf of our teachers. They have made incredible efforts to get ready for the school year, and have collaborated like never before.

    The school year will begin on Tuesday, September 8, and will follow the virtual schedules posted below:

    Link to GV Schedule 

    Link to IS Schedule  

    Link to MS/HS Schedule  

    I encourage you to keep an open line of communication with your child’s teacher(s). Emails and phone messages are encouraged. There are no “dumb questions”, and we look forward to supporting you on the journey.

    Chromebooks

    Need a Chromebook? Click HERE

    From Mr. Shiota:  If your student received a Chromebook and had trouble signing in with the instructions provided, please restart the device and try again. We have experienced an issue with our vendor, Clever, which manages our Chromebook sign-in experience. The issue has since been resolved!

    If your student received a laptop and is unable to see and connect to Wi-Fi networks at home, please call the school to schedule a time to swap out the device.

    Additionally, we appreciate your patience regarding the contact and distribution of devices. For those who were not yet contacted, we will be reaching out very soon. I want to reassure you that your student will not be left behind in class, and will have an excused absence if they do not yet have a device.  We are working through the challenges of making calls and distributing devices as fast as we can. Our teachers understand that these challenges are real and that we are working through them as devices are delivered and released to students. 

    Food Services

    The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) has approved the continuation of the waivers for school lunches! This means that every child 18 and under, is eligible for free breakfast and lunch, regardless of school affiliation, until at least December.

    The District will continue to provide FREE school breakfast and lunch for all children age 18 and younger through our foodservice contractor, The Nutrition Group. Your children do not have to attend Morrisville schools to be eligible.   You can find out more about school lunches at the following link:  FOOD SERVICE

    While virtual, meal distribution will be held on Tuesdays and Fridays from 12:15-2:15, at the MS/HS cafeteria entrance.  You can either walk-up or drive-through. Use the driveway to the first parking lot, side entrance.

    School Board Committee Meetings

    Our School Board Facilities Committee will meet virtually on Wednesday, September 9 at 6:00pm

    Our School Board Finance Committee will meet virtually on Wednesday, September 9 at 7:00pm

    Zoom links for both meetings will be posted on our website, www.mv.org, as well as our social media.

     

    Questions…

    About Middle/High School?  Mr. Sean Haines, shaines@mv.org

    About Grandview or Intermediate School? Mrs. Lynn Palumbo, lpalumbo@mv.org

    About lunches?  Ms. Marie Wallace, mwallace@mv.org

    About Chromebooks?  Mr. Jon Shiota jshiota@mv.org

    By telephone?  You can always call  215-736-2681.  Please be sure to leave a message with your name, number, and question. We will get you an answer as soon as well can.

     

    Please share this post with someone who needs to know.

     

    Bookmark this page!  It will be updated regularly. Also, check our school websites for information specific to each grade level and building.

     

    Best wishes for an incredible school year.

     

    With Bulldog Pride,

    Mr. Harris

    Comments (-1)
  • Superintendent Blog: September 2, 2020

    Posted by Jason Harris on 9/2/2020 6:00:00 AM
    Dear Morrisville Families,
     
    I write today with two important updates:
     
    First, the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) has approved the continuation of the waivers for school lunches! This means that every child 18 and under, is eligible for free breakfast and lunch, regardless of school affiliation, until at least December. This is very similar to the spring and summer arrangements. Stay tuned for more details.
     
    Secondly, as promised, our parent orientation is scheduled for today, September 2. Sessions are being held at 9 am 2 pm and 7 pm. These sessions will be recorded, and you can find the zoom links for the meetings here, as well as on our social media and website.
     
    Our teachers are busy preparing their virtual classrooms for your students. Please take the time to learn more about our virtual instruction and how you can partner with teachers to make this a positive experience for your student.
     
    Do you have...
     
    Questions about lunches?  email Marie Wallace, mwallace@mv.org
    Questions about K-5 Classrooms?  email Lynn Palumbo, lpalumbo@mv.org
    Questions about 6-12 Classrooms? email Sean Haines, shaines@mv.org
     
    Comments (-1)
  • Superintendent Blog: August 30, 2020

    Posted by Jason Harris on 8/30/2020 6:00:00 PM
    Good Evening Morrisville Families, 
     
    There will be a Parent Orientation for Virtual Classrooms, on Wednesday, September, 2.  There will be three “live” sessions:
     
    9 am, 2 pm, and 7 pm.  Each session will have a 45min presentation with Q&A to follow.  Each session will be recorded and posted for later viewing.
     
    The School Board Public Relations/Communications Committee will meet virtually on Wednesday, September 2 at 7:00 pm
    The School Board Policy Committee will meet virtually on Thursday, September 3 at 6:30 pm
    The School Board Education Committee will meet virtually on Thursday, September 3, at 7:30 pm
     
    Zoom links to all committee meetings will be posted on the website and Facebook on the day of the meeting.
     
    The District will be closed on Friday, September 4, and Monday, September 7, in observance of Labor Day.
     
    Friendly reminder:  Morrisville Schools will reopen in a VIRTUAL format on Tuesday, September 8.
    Comments (-1)