Saturday, November 25, 2017

Neshaminy School District serves the eastern Pennsylvania municipalities of Middletown Township, Langhorne, Langhorne Manor, Penndel, Hulmeville, and Lower Southampton Township in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Students from the Middletown divisions of Levittown also attend these schools. Neshaminy School District encompasses approximately 28 square miles (73 km2). According to 2000 federal census data, it serves a resident population of 69,638. Per Neshaminy School District documents, in school year 2017-2018, the Neshaminy School District provided basic educational services to 8,916 pupils. Full-day kindergarten in all elementary schools was added starting in the 2014-2015 school year.

The Neshaminy School District serves a large and diverse population. Students comprise many different racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds. District residents represent a wide range from lower-middle-class to highly affluent. Neshaminy is a Blue-Ribbon awarding school district, with Maple Point Middle School having received the award, as well as Neshaminy High School. In February 2017 the Neshaminy School District received the Charlotte F. Lockhart Award for Excellence in Literacy Education. and was named a 'Best Community for Music Education by the National Association of Music Marketers in 2017 . Neshaminy HS was named a 'Best High School' by US News & World Report in 2017, earning a silver medal.


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Neshaminy School District, like many school districts across the country, has experienced declines in enrollment since 2000 due to changing demographics. Many Neshaminy facilities were constructed during the 1950s and 1960s following the development of the Levittown community at the southeast portion of the district. In 1975 a second high school was added (Maple Point) but was closed in 1982 and later converted into a middle school following a renovation project completed in 1993. Eisenhower Elementary School and Neshaminy Middle School were closed and the properties sold.

In June 2006, the Neshaminy School District began a massive $82 million renovation of Neshaminy High School, which was originally constructed as a combination high school and junior high school in the 1950s. Much of the original structure was demolished and completely rebuilt. The auditorium, 2 gymnasiums and circular library media center were all pre-existing but received extensive renovations. New classrooms, science labs, music rooms, tech education rooms, offices and common areas were added along with new parking lots and an expanded bus loading area.

In 2015 the district started a three-phase 'Road Map' project to update older buildings, close three elementary schools to account for excess capacity (Heckman ES, Lower Southampton ES and Everett ES), and construct a new elementary school on the site of the old Tawanka Elementary School, which was demolished. Significant upgrades to several existing buildings (Sandburg MS, Poquessing MS, Ferderbar ES, Hoover ES, Miller ES and Schweitzer ES) were completed with funding from the federal Guaranteed Energy Savings Act including air conditioning, energy-efficient windows, roofing, lighting and other electrical upgrades. Additional upgrades included security features and online visitor registration kiosks . The final phase of the Road Map project was completed in August, 2017.

School Board

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Neshaminy is represented by a 9-member School Board of Directors. The district is split into three regions each of which elect three representatives. The 2017 School Board President is Scott Congdon and the Vice-President is Irene Boyle. The Board normally meets at the District Administration office in Maple Point Middle School.

Intermediate Unit

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Neshaminy School District is served by Bucks County Intermediate Unit #22.

High School

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Neshaminy High School

Neshaminy High School is located at 2001 Old Lincoln Highway in Langhorne, PA. Enrollment as September 2017 is 2,500 students in grades 9-12. 306 Neshaminy students attend the Bucks County Technical High School. Neshaminy has a graduation rate of 95% and offers a rich variety of courses and co-curricular activities including 20 Advanced Placement courses

  • Pennsylvania School Performance Profile - Neshaminy High School

Neshaminy School Paper Controversy

On October 23, 2013, the editors of the Neshaminy High School student newspaper, the Playwickian, published an editorial [30] announcing that the paper would no longer use the name of all the school’s teams, the Redskins, in the newspaper. The decision to abandon the use of the name in the paper was not unanimous and an editorial representing the view that the use of the name should continue was published at the same time.

On October 28, Principal McGee sent an email to the paper’s advisor, Tara Huber, claiming that the editors of the paper lacked the prerogative to enforce the measure without the permission of the school’s administrators and the school district. The student editors were caught by surprise by the principal’s directive, but insisted that they were well within their rights, citing Pennsylvania Administrative Code: Student Rights and Responsibilities Citation: 22 Pa. Code Section 12.9 a position backed by Robert Hankes, then the president of the Pennsylvania School Press Association. At that time, Playwickian editor-in-chief, Gillian McGoldrick, said she expected the matter to be settled after a meeting on November 19.

As the November 19th date approached, more and more news outlets picked up and reported on the story., However at the conclusion of a contentious two-and-a-half hour meeting there was still no resolution, the principal insisting that the paper must use the word and the editors of the paper insisting that it was their right as editors of the paper to make that call.

In the face of continued resistance on the part of the school administration, the editors secured legal representation and said they would enforce their ban, taking the matter to the courts if need be. Meanwhile, the local paper, the Bucks County Courier Times, adopted the policy proposed by the Playwickian editors and urged the school administration to accede to the school paper’s position. The school principal, McGee, expressed no concern about settling the matter in court.

Through April and into May 2014, the editors continued to enforce the policy, avoiding the use of the word, Redskins, while the local school board worked to develop a new policy concerning student publications. Early response to the proposal was not positive, with the students’ legal representative, Gayle Sproul calling it “overreaching,” and saying that it was in violation of both Pennsylvania state law as well as federal law. Others who weighed in against the proposed policy included those affiliated with the Center for Scholastic Journalism at Kent State University, the Columbia Scholastic Press Advisers Association, the Journalism Education Association, the National Scholastic Press Association and the Quill and School International Honor Society. The Executive Director of the Student Press Law Center called it an attack on children. The lawyer hired by the school district, Mike Levin, claimed that the district was merely asserting its rights. The school board delayed the vote more than once, prolonging uncertainty over the matter.

As the matter continued, the school paper’s advisor for 14 years, Tara Huber, was honored with the award for Journalism Teacher Of The Year by the Pennsylvania School Press Association., (subscription required)

One day after news of Huber’s award was published, the school administrators confiscated about half of the last issue of the year, an action considered ill-advised by the students’ attorney, Gayle Sproul, (subscription required) However, the paper’s staff followed through on a pledge to distribute the paper at the high school graduation.

In the week following the graduation, the school’s principal continued his investigations to determine who authorized the printing of the most recent issue, which contained a letter to the editor which met the standards of the paper’s editors but not those of the school district. The Playwickian editor in chief, Gillian McGoldrick, took credit for the decision, while maintaining the decision was unanimous among the paper’s staff. Principal McGee directed the school paper’s adviser, Tara Huber, to lock the student reports and editors out of the paper’s Twitter, email, Instagram and website accounts by changing the passwords.

On June 29 the Board adopted by an 8-1 vote a new policy permitting the paper to avoid the word Redskins in news piece but not in editorials or letters, however some believe the Board policy still runs afoul of Constitutional requirements, (subscription required),

The ACLU announced in September that the editors of the Playwickian would be awarded in recognition of their efforts to ban the word Redskins from the paper. Shortly after the announcement by the ACLU, the paper's adviser, Tara Huber, was suspended without pay, accused by the school administration of "willful neglect of duty and insubordination," in connection with the publication of the final edition of the school paper from the prior school year., The suspension drew strong criticism from Keith Olbermann of ESPN, the third time the commentator has criticized the school district. The Student Press Law Center noted the suspension and reported that several student newspapers had published editorials in support of the Playwickian editors The blog, Jezebel, also noted the suspensions, and was critical of the school principal. And the Washington Post published an editorial condemning the school administration for the suspensions and supporting the student editors for maintaining their position.

Middle Schools

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Maple Point Middle School

Located at 2250 Langhorne-Yardley Road, Langhorne. Enrollement as of September 2017 is 1306 students in grades 5-8.

  • Pennsylvania School Performance Profile - Maple Point Middle School

Poquessing Middle School

Located at 300 Heights Lane, Feasterville Trevose. Enrollment as September 2017 is 811 students in grades 5-8.

  • Pennsylvania School Performance Profile - Poquessing Middle School

Carl Sandburg Middle School

Located at 30 Harmony Road, Levittown. Enrollment as of September 2017 is 737 students in grades 5-8.

  • Pennsylvania School Performance Profile - Carl Sandburg Middle School

Elementary schools

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Pearl S. Buck Elementary School

Located at 143 Top Road, Levittown. Enrollment as of September 2017 is 563 students in grades K-4.

  • Pennsylvania School Performance Profile - Pearl S. Buck Elementary

Joseph E Ferderbar Elementary School

Located at 300 Heights Lane, Feasterville. Enrollment as of September 2017 is 437 students in grades K-4.

  • Pennsylvania School Performance Profile - Joseph Ferderbar Elementary

Herbert Hoover Elementary School

Located at 500 Trenton Road, Langhorne. Enrollment as of September 2017 is 642 students in grades K-4.

  • Pennsylvania School Performance Profile - Herbert Hoover Elementary

Walter Miller Elementary School

Located at 10 Cobalt Ridge Drive in Levittown, PA. Enrollment as of October, 2017 is 466 students in grades K-4.

  • Pennsylvania School Performance Profile - Walter Miller Elementary

Albert Schweitzer Elementary School

Located at 30 Harmony Lane in Levittown, PA. Enrollment as of October, 2017 is 432 students in grades K-4.

  • Pennsylvania School Performance Profile - Albert Schweitzer Elementary

Tawanka Elementary School

Located at 2055 Brownsville Road in Langhorne, PA. The current building was completed in August, 2016 and opened for the 2016-2017 school year. It was built in the same site as the previous Tawanka Elementary School building, which opened in 1964 and was demolished to make way for the new facility. Enrollment as of October, 2017 is 793 students in grades K-4.

  • No Pennsylvania School Performance Profile data is available yet for Tawanka.

Special education

In December 2010, the district administration reported that 1,730 pupils or 19.5% of the district's pupils received Special Education services with 57% having a specific learning disability. In December 2009, the district administration reported that 1,708 pupils or 19% of the district's pupils received Special Education services.

In order to comply with state and federal laws, the school district engages in identification procedures to ensure that eligible students receive an appropriate educational program consisting of special education and related services, individualized to meet student needs. At no cost to the parents, these services are provided in compliance with state and federal law; and are reasonably calculated to yield meaningful educational benefit and student progress. To identify students who may be eligible for special education, various screening activities are conducted on an ongoing basis. These screening activities include: review of group-based data (cumulative records, enrollment records, health records, report cards, ability and achievement test scores); hearing, vision, motor, and speech/language screening; and review by the Special Education administration. When screening results suggest that the student may be eligible, the District seeks parental consent to conduct a multidisciplinary evaluation. Parents who suspect their child is eligible may verbally request a multidisciplinary evaluation from a professional employee of the District or contact the Coordinator of Special Education.

In 2010, the state of Pennsylvania provided $1,026,815,000 for Special Education services. The funds were distributed to districts based on a state policy which estimates that 16% of the district's pupils are receiving special education services. This funding is in addition to the state's basic education per pupil funding, as well as, all other state and federal funding.

Neshaminy School District received a $5,975,986 supplement for special education services in 2010.

For the 2011-12 school year, all Pennsylvania public school districts received the same level of funding for special education that they received in 2010. This level funding is provided regardless of changes in the number of pupils who need special education services and regardless of the level of services the respective students required.

Gifted education

The District Administration reported that 519 or 5.62% of its students were gifted in 2009. By law, the district must provide mentally gifted programs at all grade levels. The referral process for a gifted evaluation can be initiated by teachers or parents by contacting the student’s building principal and requesting an evaluation. All requests must be made in writing. To be eligible for mentally gifted programs in Pennsylvania, a student must have a cognitive ability of at least 130 as measured on a standardized ability test by a certified school psychologist. Other factors that indicate giftedness will also be considered for eligibility.


In June 2017 the School Board approved a $186.1 million budget. $117 million of that amount dedicated to instructional expenses and $50.1 million for support services. The district will contribute approximately $25.5 million to the PSERS state education pension fund in this cycle, a $2.5 million increase from the previous year.

  • Neshaminy School District Budget and financial reports


Neshaminy Federation of Teachers: The current teacher contract was signed in August, 2016 and expires in June, 2019.

Neshaminy Educational Support Professional Association: The current support contract was signed in October 2014 and expires in June, 2018.

Real estate taxes

In June 2017 the School Board approved the first tax hike since the 2009-2010 school year, a 2.5% increase of 3.8 mills to 155.8 mills. This is the maximum increase allowed under the Pennsylvania Act 1 index. The district was granted an exemption that would have allowed a higher increase but the board chose not to use that option. The district offers a Senior Citizen Tax Assistance Program each year. Eligible low-income seniors can apply for a rebate of up to $650.


External links

  • Neshaminy's official website
  • Neshaminy Federation of Teachers
  • Neshaminy Educational Support Professional Association
  • Bucks County Intermediate Unit

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