Three A’s going strong; Health and Safety Plan update

Three A's going strong; Health and Safety Plan update
Posted on 01/09/2022

Good afternoon!  Lots going on in Quakertown and wanted to provide you an update.


 If you recall, I talk about the three A’s in Quakertown, the pillars of our public school program with wonderful opportunities in Academics, Arts, and Athletics.  It was Athletics that dominated this weekend’s news in its Winter Sports Season.  The Panthers went into action and came away with significant new records and accomplishments.  There is so much for the Quakertown community to be proud of.

  •  On Friday and Saturday, our wrestlers travelled to Pittsburgh for the Mid-Winter Mayhem Wrestling Tournament. They finished second out of 30 schools.  Several wrestlers were medalists: Mason Zeigler - first, Freddie Retter - second, Collin Gaj - third, Zach Borzio and Ike Williams - fourth, Todd McGann and Kaden Roesener - sixth, Gavin Caroll and Calvin Lachman - seventh.
  •  On Friday, the 50-member Girls Track & Field Team dominated the 27-school competition at Alvernia University.  Winning Gold were the 4X200m Relay team of Jade Williams, Mackenna Calabria, Kaitlin Calvello, and Callan Able. They are ranked fourth in the State. Trinity Lucas won Gold in the Shot Put. Jade Williams earned a Silver Medal in the 60-meter Dash. Also medaling was Rebekah Hickey in the 3000m, and the Distance Medley Relay (1200, 400, 800, 1600) team of Aislin Magalengo, Samantha Radzai, Lena Patrick and Rebekah Hickey.
  •  On Friday, Panther Girls and Boys Bowling Teams took it to Pennridge, with both teams blanking the Rams 4-0 in games.On Saturday, our Panther Cheerleaders once again qualified to compete in the PIAA State Championship after their performance at the District One competition.
  •  On Saturday, Panther Girls Basketball defeated Pottstown, 66-34, at home.
  •  The Panther Swim Team is breaking school records.  At the midpoint of the Winter Season, the new school records include Kara Woods in the 200m Individual Medley and Caleb Einholf in both the 100m and 200m Freestyle.

On January 6th, the School Board conducted its first of two monthly January meetings.  The Board approved the QCHS Program of Studies for the 2022-23 Academic Year.  The Program of Studies is the seminal document that captures high school graduation requirements, the vast academic opportunities offered for 9th through 12th graders, and includes updated information on the Pathways Program.  Career Pathways provides a cohesive and comprehensive framework that combines student interests, learning, and experiences in a way that customizes a student’s education.  It is a new state-mandated K-12 program that Quakertown has made significant strides in implementing and has become a part of 2021-22 Superintendent Goals, Domain 4. Career Planning.  To learn and grow our career planning program, Quakertown is a part of the Bucks County Career Planning Consortium. 

Yesterday, Quakertown Community High School Principal Mattias van 't Hoenderdaal published the January edition of Proud Panther newsletter.  I encourage every parent in Quakertown to read the newsletter and scan the Program of Studies and share what you learn with your child(ren) to help them create an academic vision for themselves.  Planning and discussions at home should begin early.  

Our purpose in QCSD schools is to create college and career readiness for all, from a K-14 and K-16 point of view.  For example, high-paying jobs are readily available for our graduates who attend Upper Bucks County Technical School. While at UBCTS students are able to earn up to 30 college credit hours, attend Bucks County Community College for one year and earn an associates degree (K-14 option).  There are a few at UBCTS with a K-16 vision for themselves, who take advantage of the College Prep and Advanced Placement offerings at the high school and participate in a program such as Megatronics at tech.  We have had students do this and go directly into engineering programs at four-year colleges.  

For those students with a vision of themselves graduating from high school and going directly to a four- year college or university (K-16 option), QCHS course opportunities are incredible.  Taking at least a few rigorous courses every year, such as Honors, Advanced Placement or Dual Enrollment, builds the academic knowledge, skills and discipline needed to be successful in college.  QCHS offers 29 Advanced Placement courses.  Since Academic Year 2014-15, 50 to 80 of our freshmen class start off their high school careers taking AP Human Geography.  By senior year, more than 38 percent of the QCHS graduating class have taken at least one AP course and passed the AP Exam, some passing more than 10 AP courses and exams. This not only makes them academically competitive for college admission, it validates some of their freshman and sophomore year college courses - saving time and tuition. Remember the district provides reimbursement to parents for child(ren) who take and pass an AP exam.

Also at Thursday night’s School Board meeting, the new Board members took the opportunity to introduce themselves to the community, and the Board approved changes to the 2021-22 Health & Safety Plan.  The purpose of the changes were to maximize the opportunity of student-in- person education and treat COVID more like any other communicable disease. The major takeaway for you to know is that contact tracing and building letter notifications of new cases will cease, and the authority for using targeted mitigation strategies will be only upon the direction of the Bucks County Health Department.  There are also a number of changes to isolation and quarantine requirements that will keep more students in school more often.  Coupled with the approval of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Quakertown Community Education Association, we will have a virtual option available in the rare circumstance when a student does need to quarantine, and agreed upon standards in place when we need to use a Yellow Alert day.

Thank you for reading.

Bill Harner


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