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Education - Bensalem Township

Neshaminy High School, Buckingham Friends, Close as COVID-19 Precaution

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Press Release from Bucks County

Neshaminy High School and the private Buckingham Friends School will close Tuesday for deep-cleaning as a safeguard against the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), officials announced Monday night. 

Neshaminy learned Monday that one of its students had contact recently with a person who later tested presumptively positive for the virus. Buckingham Friends, meanwhile, learned that one of its students possibly had come in contact with a different person who also has tested presumptively positive.

Both closings were described as precautionary; neither student has shown any symptoms of the virus, said Dr. David Damsker, director of the Bucks County Health Department, who consulted today with both schools.  The closings were relayed to families and staff via emails from Neshaminy Superintendent Joseph Jones III and Paul Lindenmaier, Head of School at Buckingham Friends.  Both schools will be closed through at least Tuesday.

Neshaminy cancelled all afternoon and evening activities for Tuesday also.

The affected families have been asked to quarantine themselves at home for the time being, Damsker said.

Neshaminy joined a number of other schools and districts, largely in Montgomery County, in closing after it was disclosed Monday that a cardiologist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s King of Prussia location had tested positive for coronavirus and was hospitalized. A Neshaminy

High School student was among those who had direct contact with the doctor, Jones’ email said. “We will continue to stay in contact with the Bucks County Department of Health as this situation unfolds,” Jones wrote. “The safety of our students and staff is the top priority of (the) Neshaminy School District. We hope that by taking these measures now we can limit exposure to COVID-19.”

Montgomery County officials said at least 13 patients had been in contact with the cardiologist, adding that the doctor tested positive after visiting a country where the virus is active. The country was not named.

Ten presumed positive cases of COVID-19 have now been identified in Pennsylvania: seven in Montgomery County, one in Delaware, Wayne and Monroe Counties. There have been no deaths, and Bucks County has yet to have a positive test result.

The Buckingham Friends closing was prompted by different circumstances, but also was not the result of community spread of the virus. Lindenmaier said a student and family members had been present at a gathering out of state that was attended by a person who later tested positive.

Like Jones, Lindenmaier said the school was not required to close by the county health department, but that it did so in an abundance of caution.

The school, which has 154 kindergarten through eighth-grade students, will be cleaned on Tuesday, he told families in his
email, but did not say when it would reopen.

The closing announcements came the same day five Central Bucks School District schools reopened after closing on Friday under similar circumstances. Tests performed on a handful of adults and students associated with those schools who had cold-like symptoms found no evidence of the virus.

All district schools and buses were deep-cleaned over the weekend. State and local health officials continue to urge residents to practice preventive steps such as:
 Frequent hand-washing with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
 Avoiding close contact (within six feet) with people who are sick
 Avoiding touching one’s eyes, nose and mouth
 Staying home when sick
 Covering one’s coughs or sneezes with a tissue and throwing the tissue in the trash
 Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces with household
cleaning sprays or wipes

Wearing face masks during one’s daily routine is not recommended by the CDC as an effective preventive measure against COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases. However, people with symptoms of COVID-19, health workers and people who are taking care of an ill person in close settings should wear face masks.

The incubation period for a person exposed to COVID-19 – the time between exposure and first appearance of symptoms – is between two and 14 days. Those who have been in contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or those who have traveled recently to areas where there have been outbreaks, are asked to self-quarantine themselves for 14 days from the time of potential
exposure.

According to Damsker, county health department continues to contact all travelers returning here from countries where there have been COVID-19 outbreaks, directing them to self-quarantine and helping them monitor for symptoms of the virus.

At this time, testing for COVID-19 can be conducted only at CDC and the PA DOH laboratory. It is expected that hospital and commercial labs also will have this capability soon.

County health officials are working with healthcare providers and PA DOH to determine on a case-by-case basis whether testing is appropriate. This is done in the interest of not depleting resources by testing every person who has a respiratory illness.
Much remains unknown about COVID-19, including fatality rates.

Early indications are that children are at much lower risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and, as with influenza, the
elderly and those with immunosuppressive conditions are at higher risk of severe illness.

Current reports of fatality rates are most likely overestimates, Damsker said, given that most of those infected have had either asymptomatic or mild infections. While that is positive news, he added, it makes the virus easier to spread unnoticed by those with minor or no symptoms.

Because there is currently no medication or vaccine for COVID-19, Damsker said, simple preventive steps such as good hygiene, avoiding sick people and staying home from work when sick are the best course of action.

Please continue to refer to trusted, credible sources of accurate and up-to-date information,
including:
 CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
 PA DOH: https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx

Education - Bensalem Township

Reach Cyber Charter School’s Class of 2024

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Reach Cyber Charter School recently held their in-person commencement graduation ceremony for 739  high school seniors. Among the graduating class was 24 graduates hailing from Bucks County. Family, friends and faculty were on hand to celebrate the graduates.

“On behalf of the entire staff and faculty of Reach Cyber, I’d like to give a warm congratulations to the Reach Cyber Class of 2024! We are immensely proud of all their accomplishments,” said Jane Swan, Reach Cyber Charter School CEO. “With the strong foundation this group of students has built during their time at Reach Cyber, I am confident that they are prepared to take on the next great adventure in their lives – whether that’s college, a job, military service, or other opportunities. We can’t wait to see all the incredible things they will do and the impact they will have in their communities and beyond.”

School officials said the students in the Class of 2024 have diverse backgrounds, educational histories, and talents, and all chose a cyber charter education to fit their unique interests, needs and abilities, Reach Cyber’s personalized and flexible learning environment, designed specifically for a virtual setting, offers students the opportunity to learn at their own pace, pursue their passions, or receive additional support that may not be available to them at their local brick-and-mortar schools.

In total, the Class of 2024 earned more than $1 million in scholarships toward their higher education pursuits. Fifty-five percent of the graduates plan to continue their education at a 2-year or 4-year college, 28% have plans to enter the workforce, 5% will go on to vocational training, 2% are entering a branch of the military, and 10% are taking a gap year or pursuing other endeavors post grad, said Reach’s spokesperson.

Reach Cyber Charter School Class of 2024 graduates from Bucks County:

Aisha Almroot
Gabrielle Baez
Erin Black
Trinity Brenner
Isaiah Brown
Aiden Cicale
David Cox
Alayna Crabtree
Gloria DeOliveira
Margaret Drake
Wyatt Frederick
Alyse James
Savanna Janiszewski
Ashley Mazzeo
Carter McAuley
Anastasia Patton
Tyler Pinkham
Christopher Raffa
Lynken Randt
Stephen Scott
Tanisha Smith
Leandro Vasquez-Roman
Logan Werner
Sabina Zeka

The Class of 2024 is the sixth class to graduate from Reach Cyber Charter School, which opened in 2016. Additionally, 20 graduates were inducted into the Founders Club, honoring those students who attended Reach Cyber for the school’s full eight years of operation.

ABOUT REACH CYBER CHARTER SCHOOL

Reach Cyber Charter School is a STEM-focused online public charter school for K-12 students in Pennsylvania. Reach Cyber provides students with a high-quality curriculum infused with STEM learning designed specifically for a virtual learning environment. At Reach Cyber, students have a dedicated and expansive support system of teachers, counselors, and family mentors to help them reach their potential. Reach Cyber allows students to personalize their education, offering traditional, accelerated, and yearlong pacing options that support students’ individualized needs.

Since opening in 2016, Reach Cyber has grown to support nearly 7,000 students in grades K-12 through Pennsylvania. Reach Cyber provides a high-quality curriculum infused with STEM learning and one-of-a-kind career exploration and development opportunities for students in all grade levels.

For more information, call 717-704-8437 or visit their website.

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Education - Bensalem Township

House Passes Legislation to Correct Pennsylvania’s Education Funding Inequities

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Earlier this month, in the state’s government,  House Bill 2370 legislation passed in the House . The bill is designed to bring adequacy, equity and stability to Pennsylvania’s education funding system.

In 2023, the courts ruled Pennsylvania’s school funding was unconstitutional because the current system is inequitable. HB 2370 will correct these inequities while creating $136 million in property tax relief for the upcoming fiscal year and $955 million in property tax relief over seven years,  said state Representative Tina Davis.

For the 2024-25 school year, according to Davis, the bill adds:

  • $728 million for chronically underfunded schools
  • $530 million in cyber charter savings
  • $200 million so every school district receives an increase

The property tax relief, Davis said, comes from the state taking funding burdens away from local taxes, such as property taxes, by addressing the previous inadequacies in state funding.

HB 2370 is now in the Senate for its consideration.

 

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Education - Bensalem Township

Scholarship for Foundation A. Marlyn Moyer, Jr. Application Deadline Extended

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The deadline for submitted applications to the A. Marlyn Moyer, Jr. Scholarship Foundation has been extended to July 6, 2024, said foundation officials.

The A. Marlyn Moyer, Jr. Scholarship Foundation announced it will grant several partial scholarships for studies at colleges, universities, technical schools, nursing schools, and other accredited post-secondary institutions during the 2024-2025 academic year.

To be eligible, said a foundation spokesperson in the release, an applicant needs to meet the following requirements:

  •  graduating high school seniors or other persons enrolling full time in post-secondary schools for the first time.
  • resident of Bucks County
  • academically well qualified for the school they plan to attend
  • have a record of involvement in school, community, religious and/or other activities (especially as a leader)
  • have been involved in giving service to others
  • have a financial need.  (Gainful employment may be considered as a substitute for extensive involvement in leadership and service activities.)

Application forms may be obtained by emailing a request to scholarship@ammoyerfoundation.com or mailing it to the A. Marlyn Moyer, Jr. Scholarship Foundation, PO Box 511, Fairless Hills, PA 19030.

Questions can be directed to the email address scholarship@ammoyerfoundation.com.

Completed applications must be emailed or arrive by July 6, 2024.  From among the applications, the Foundation will select those best qualified for scholarships in July and winners will be notified shortly thereafter. Typically, six to eight scholarships are awarded averaging between $2,500 to $5,000 dollars.

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