Our summer is break is almost over, and students will soon be arriving back to school on August 26 (kindergarten on August 27). It has been a busy three months, June through August, as we continued working steadfastly on our middle school construction project, the high school parking lots and parent pick-up/drop-off loop, and numerous other building facility-related projects. We are pleased with the construction projects at Brecht Elementary and the High School, which were focused on promoting front entrance security through safety-related structures and procedures at both locations. All nine schools at Manheim Township now have “three points of entry” in order to access the schools, thereby, further ensuring safety and security in all of our buildings.
Our Facilities/Plant Services staff worked tirelessly all summer to clean, make repairs, and prepare our schools for the upcoming year. Their job never ends, and we appreciate all that they do to make our schools and District Office a pleasant, welcoming environment for everyone who enters the buildings.
Members of our Food Services department, along with other volunteers, worked throughout the summer to provide free lunches to students who visited our “Summer Food Service Program” at Brecht Elementary, Bucher Elementary, Neff Elementary, and Schaeffer Elementary School. We are proud to share that collectively our four schools served 8,446 free student meals this summer! Our data shows that participation in this free lunch program has grown over the four years of its implementation. The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is a federally funded program operated nationally by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered in Pennsylvania by the Department of Education. The meals we served were free to our students, with the funding fully provided to the district by the federal SFSP.
Our Student Enrollment Office was quite busy this summer enrolling new students to our district. As we continue to monitor the increasing enrollment in our district, we find that our student enrollment has grown by 110 students from last year at this time (when we had 5,747 students). Our student enrollment as of this date is 5,857, with another 110 appointments currently scheduled for enrollment over the next two weeks or so. This additional growth in enrollment may decrease slightly due to any possible withdraws that are pending in the system. Our administration is continuing to plan for options long-term to address this consistent increase in student enrollment.
|Some of our Leadership Team members delivering backpacks of school supplies to our families.|
Also, our district Leadership Team spent two full days this summer planning for the upcoming school year and developing strategies to promote success in Year 2 of the district’s Comprehensive (Strategic) Plan. Given our focus on community outreach and involvement, the Leadership Team spent time together engaged in community service projects and activities that benefit the families of Manheim Township. Additionally, the team spent time with Jordan Steffy and his Attollo Team discussing the important topic of diversity, equity, and inclusion, especially as it relates to addressing the needs of the “whole child.” Since MTSD proudly experiences growing diversity in its student body and the community, with students from various ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds, it is working collaboratively through community partnerships to provide new and meaningful opportunities for students that embrace equity in our educational system. Equity in education requires putting systems in place to ensure that every child has an equal chance for success. This requires an understanding of the unique challenges and barriers faced by individual students or populations of students, and providing additional supports to help them overcome barriers. We are promoting academic success in school for all students through fostering a heightened sense of belonging and school connectedness. All students need to feel connected and valued.
Our new staff to Manheim Township is eager for the school year to begin, and readily embraces our focus on the whole child and the need for a learning environment that welcomes diversity, equity, and inclusion. We are excited to welcome our new staff to the district!