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MISSION: To lead an educational partnership with the Community, maintaining an environment that challenges all students to reach their potential as lifelong learners and responsible members of society.

BPSD Weekly Newsletter: Feb. 16, 2023

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February 16, 2023 

THIS WEEK’S HEADLINES

FRIENDLY REMINDER: BETHEL PARK WILL NOT HAVE CLASSES ON FEB. 20-21
This is a friendly reminder that there will be no classes on Monday, Feb. 20 (Presidents Day) or Tuesday, Feb. 21 (Staff Development Day). Classes will resume on Wednesday, Feb. 22. 

Other dates of note include:

  • March 27: Records Day (No Classes)

  • April 6-10: Spring Break (No Classes)

  • April 11: Staff Development Training (Two Hour Delay)

  • May 16: Staff Development Day (No Classes)

  • May 29: Memorial Day (No Classes)

  • June 6: Last Day of Classes for BPSD Students

  • June 8: Class of '23 Commencement Ceremony

*Please note these dates could change due to unexpected school cancellations.

BETHEL PARK ANNOUNCES REVISED TIMELINE FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF ITS NEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 

Earlier this week, Bethel Park School District announced a revised timeline for its new elementary school construction project. According to the new timeline, the opening date for the new elementary school will be in August 2026. The district’s decision to alter the timeline came after multiple conversations with building trades and financial sector experts.


BETHEL PARK CELEBRATES NATIONAL SCHOOL COUNSELING WEEK
Last week, Bethel Park celebrated National School Counseling Week with a series of small events designed to bring attention to the critical work counselors do with our students daily.  

School counselors, formerly known as “guidance counselors,” support students inside and outside the classroom in reaching their academic and well-being goals. 

Bethel Park Superintendent Dr. James Walsh recently recorded a special Bethel Park Minute to recognize our school counselors at Neil Armstrong Middle School, Independence Middle School, and Bethel Park High School. 

Please thank your school counselors for all they do for our students and community.  

TWO BETHEL PARK TEACHERS EARN PRESTIGIOUS APPLE AWARD
Congratulations to IMS's Ms. Darrelle Windham (learning support) and High School’s Mr. Jonathan Derby (music), who were each recently named Apple Award winners by the National State Teachers of the Year Program’s Pennsylvania Chapter.

THE KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION ONLINE PORTAL IS NOW OPEN
We are thrilled to announce that Kindergarten Registration for the 2023-2024 school year is officially open! 

Click the link below to learn more about how you can enroll your future Black Hawk in our schools from the comfort of your own home.
http://bit.ly/3Rlbqhi

ADMINISTERING MEDICATION WHILE AT SCHOOL
Parents should ask the doctor to schedule medication doses other than during school hours. When this is not possible, the school will cooperate with parents to see that the medication is given as prescribed. Here, you will find the Bethel Park School District procedures that must be followed if your child is to be given medication during school hours.

BPHS TO PRESENT ‘THE ADDAMS FAMILY:’ MARCH 15-18
BPHS will stage “The Addams Family,” March 15-18, at 7 p.m. each night. Tickets are $10 per ticket, plus fees, and will be sold exclusively through the school district’s website starting March 1. The school will sell all tickets in advance. The school will not sell tickets at the door. Click here for more information regarding this year’s musical.

ON WEDNESDAYS, WE WEAR BLACK”
Show your support for this year’s musical, “The Addams Family,” by wearing black on Wednesdays.  The online store, where you can purchase your official t-shirt, is expected to open soon.

TWO BETHEL PARK STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN PRESTIGIOUS YOUTH HOCKEY TOURNAMENT
Bethel Park students and Pens Elite teammates Brady Parris (Grade 7) and Dylan Hartman (Grade 6) are each in Quebec City, CAN, this week, competing in the 63rd annual Quebec International Pee-Wee Tournament.

The event is considered the world's most prestigious minor hockey tournament, with 11 and 12-year-olds from 26 countries competing. Past participants have included hockey legends Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Guy Lafleur, Patrick Roy, Steven Stamkos, and many others.

WILLIAM PENN STUDENTS READING TO THERAPY DOGS
This week, the William Penn Elementary School students are reading to and visiting with therapy dogs. The visits are meant to help the children read better and reduce stress. One special guest was Riley, a 13 year-old Goldendoodle from Bethel Park.

MAYOR ALLEN SPEAKS TO MEMORIAL STUDENTS
Last week, Mayor Jack Allen spoke to the first grade students at Memorial Elementary School about his role as mayor of Allegheny County’s largest community, with nearly 35,000 residents. Allen, who claims to have officiated more than 100 marriages, also spoke at length about how easy it is to vote and how important it is to vote. Coincidentally, Allen recently received the Allegheny County Boroughs Association’s Borough Official of the Year award.  

BPHS ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY STUDENTS PRACTICE SUTURING SKILLS
Students in Mrs. Megan Farren’s Anatomy and Physiology class recently practiced their suturing skills on bananas.

MINICK NAMED BETHEL PARK ROTARY FEBRUARY SOTM
The Bethel Park Rotary Club’s February Student of the Month is Bethel Park High School senior Anna Minick. 

MAJOR FIRE AT ELIZABETH FORWARD HIGH SCHOOL
There was a fire at Elizabeth Forward High School over the weekend. Fortunately, no one was injured in the blaze, and first responders at the scene did a remarkable job of bringing it under control. Bethel Park School District extends its best wishes to the EF community and offers its full support during this difficult time.

BPHS MUSIC BOOSTERS PITCHING IN FOR EF
Elizabeth Forward suffered a major fire at its high school. Fortunately, nobody was injured, but their band program lost many instruments and other equipment. Bethel Park’s Music Boosters are partnering with other area booster groups to help EF restore its program. Mt. Lebanon’s Jason Cheskawich is spearheading that effort.  If you want to donate to the cause, you can Venmo him at Cheskawich-Justin. The donation deadline is Feb. 19, 2023.


ART CLASS “ADOPTS” LOCAL PETS
Painting 1 students at Bethel Park High School recently “adopted” a pet from the Humane Animal Rescue of Pittsburgh. The student-artists used a photograph and the grid method to draw out their subject on canvas boards. Then, the students could select what painting style they thought would best portray their subject.

GRADUATING SENIORS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR CAPS AND GOWNS INFORMATION FROM JOSTEN’S 
Students graduating in June may have received an email from Josten's with different promotions for purchasing merchandise for graduation. Josten’s is the official ordering company for BPHS Caps and Gowns, Announcements, Yearbooks, and other Senior Accessories.  

Throughout the year, they offer early incentive packages.  If you have yet to order a cap and gown package, including the tassel, the current price is $45. The price will increase the longer you wait to order. For your convenience, here is Josten's website link to the BPHS store.
https://www.jostens.com/apps/store/customer/1045653/Bethel-Park-High-School/

You may also call 1-800-567-8367 to place an order. Please contact the BPHS Main Office (412-854-8581) with questions.

JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT STUDENTS FROM BPHS VISIT FRANKLIN
Benjamin Franklin Elementary School students recently participated in Junior Achievement Day at their school. Students from the Family & Consumer Sciences classes spoke to the students at Ben Franklin about various aspects of managing money and running a business. They talked about how to write a check and manage a budget and concepts like how money coming into businesses flows through the entire community. The Junior Achievement presenters have also visited some of the district’s other elementary schools.

ENVIRONMENTAL CLUB NEWS
Bethel Park High School’s brand-new Environmental Club is already gaining notice for the difference they are making in its community.

POLAR PLUNGE: FEB. 24
BPHS will participate in its first-ever Polar Plunge on Friday, Feb. 24, at Acrisure Stadium. Registration: $35 includes a free shirt and the chance to take the plunge! The group seeks to raise at least $2,500 for the Special Olympics of Pennsylvania.  


THE BETHEL PARK MINUTE

Bethel Park School District Superintendent Dr. James Walsh regularly addresses timely or hot-button issues facing BPSD during video segments he calls “The Bethel Park Minute.” The informal videos are typically brief and a way for Dr. Walsh to answer questions he’s receiving and to address or dispel some of the misconceptions that may arise. 


The most recent edition discussed the revised timeline for the new elementary school project.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

DISTRICT NEWS

CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS WEBSITE

Visit our new facilities microsite, http://bpsdbestinclass.org, for the latest developments and most accurate information regarding the ongoing construction projects at Independence Middle School and Bethel Park Elementary Center.


SCHOOL BUS GARAGE CAMPUS BEFORE AND AFTER VIDEO
Check out this BPTV before and after video of BPSD's recently modernized school bus campus on Industrial Blvd. The $2M project features an improved water collection system, a repaved parking lot, diesel warming stations, and electric bus fittings.

BETHEL PARK SCHOOL DISTRICT’S STRATEGIC PLAN

The district recently released its Strategic Plan (2021-2026), including its Comprehensive Plan (2021-2024) and its ongoing long-term Facilities Planning. See Superintendent Dr. James Walsh’s explanation of the plan. You can also see the district's Professional Development Plan and Induction Plan


DISTRICT CALENDAR

For the most -up-to-date information on events happening within the Bethel Park School District, please consult this daily View All Events Calendar. Residents can find the recently ratified 2023-2024 Yearly Calendar here.


UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A REMOTE INSTRUCTIONAL DAY AND A SNOW DAY

Inclement weather can sometimes impact the operation of our schools, especially in the wintertime. Click here to review the procedures and schedules the district will follow in case of a school delay or closure. 


VOLUNTEER REQUIREMENTS

The Bethel Park School District encourages the involvement of parents and guardians in our schools. Pennsylvania State Law requires every volunteer with direct contact with students must have clearances on file with the school district. The required clearances are the Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance (Act 151), Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check (Act 34), and the FBI Federal Criminal History Record (Act 114).  PA Clearances are free to volunteers, and the FBI Clearance is $22.60. Volunteers who have resided in Pennsylvania for the past 10 years and have never been convicted of a Disqualifying Offense can sign a waiver to eliminate the need for FBI Clearance.


Click here for complete details on how to become a volunteer in the Bethel Park School District. Please be sure to follow the checklist in the attached link.


IMS NEWS


VALENTINE’S DAY AT BETHEL PARK
NAMS STUDENTS DELIVER VALENTINES TO SENIOR CITIZEN HOMES
NAMS's PTO recently sponsored a Valentine's Day-themed service project in which some students sent special notes to area seniors. This weekend, students Lukah Peterson and Caroline Morrow delivered bags of valentines on behalf of the school to four area nursing homes.

FRANKLIN STUDENTS WRITE VALENTINE’S DAY LOVE LETTERS TO THEIR FAVORITE CRAYON COLORS
Second-grade students at Ben Franklin Elementary School recently wrote Valentine’s Day letters to their favorite crayon colors. The assignment was a perfect way to acknowledge Valentine’s Day and work on their sentence structure understanding. The students also melted crayons into heart-shaped erasers and did a readers' theater for their classmates. Additionally, their teachers are reading to them the books, “The Day the Crayons Quit,” and “Love From the Crayons.”

LINCOLN AND MEMORIAL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENTS DELIVER VALENTINE’S DAY CARDS TO A LOCAL SENIORS CENTER
Earlier this week, students in Ms. Blaire Hunter's second grade class at Abraham Lincoln Elementary and Ms. Lily Mellott's first and second grade class at Memorial Elementary delivered Valentine's Day cards they'd made for the residents of The Sheridan at Bethel Park.

BLACK HISTORY MONTH AT BETHEL PARK
The Bethel Park School District is proud to celebrate Black History Month across our school district and with our entire school community. While many areas of our curriculum infuse learning about Black history throughout the year, our February efforts highlight African Americans' rich intellectual, cultural, and societal accomplishments and contributions.  Throughout the month, we will share stories, events, and programs celebrating Black History Month in our schools. 



  • Students in Ms. Ria Price's Life Skills classes at BPHS are engaged in many BHM-themed activities. They are learning about critical Black figures in American history and incorporating those lessons into read-aloud stories from Youtube.

  • As part of their BHM celebration, music students at Memorial and William Penn elementary schools have learned about Clive Campbell, the "Founding Father" of Hip Hop Music. The students discussed passages from "When the Beat Was Born" by Laban Carrick Hill. DJ Kool Herc, Mr. Campbell's stage name, is prominently featured in that book.

  • Abraham Lincoln Elementary School students celebrate Black History Month through a unit called Black History Month Learning Centers. Click here to learn more.



SCHOOL BOARD NEWS

SCHOOL BOARD ACTION SUMMARIES

Bethel Park School District provides school board action summaries after each meeting. The summary includes a short description of the main topics and action items. These summaries are meant to supplement minutes, which are approved and posted after the next regularly scheduled meeting. We hope these summaries provide some basic information and context around the reports, presentations, and action items.  Also, you can follow the agenda for the next school board meeting here and watch the school board meetings streamed live online or on-demand on the school district's YouTube channel.


SCHOOL BOARD 2023 MEETING CALENDAR

Bethel Park residents can find the school board’s current meeting calendar on our website. All school board meetings begin at 7 p.m. and are held in the Dr. Thomas A. Knight Memorial Community Room in the Bethel Park Administration Building unless otherwise noted. There are no school board meetings scheduled for July. If you cannot attend the school board meetings in person, know they will be live-streamed through the school district’s YouTube channel. Meeting dates and times are also available on the school district’s website


ANNOUNCEMENTS & REMINDERS

BETHEL PARK PARTNERS WITH PEACHJAR E-FLIER SYSTEM

Bethel Park School District is partnering with Peachjar to provide an electronic alternative for distributing fliers.


Peachjar’s e-flier management system electronically approves fliers and emails them to parents and guardians. Parents can view e-fliers from their smartphones or computer. In addition, fliers are also posted on the school's website. Parents and guardians can find more information about Peachjar on their website.


The district is encouraging schools to use Peachjar because it saves time for school staff, it sends fliers directly to parents rather than using students as the distribution channel, and it saves paper. 


EMPLOYMENT NEWS

  • Bethel Park School District is looking for bus drivers and aides. The benefits include a signing bonus, a competitive starting salary, health care coverage, and entrance into the state pension system. Interested applicants should visit the Employment section of the website or call 412.854.8414.

  • Metz Culinary Management is growing and is seeking Team Members for full and part-time roles in a busy Student Dining Services setting. Whether you enjoy cooking, serving, or customer relations, our Food Service Team comprises multi-talented individuals, all contributing to the Culinary and Hospitality services, ensuring our Students, Staff, and Guests enjoy a fantastic dining experience!

    Metz Culinary Management offers flexible schedules, mostly daylight hours, competitive wages, benefits, and Career Growth in the Contract Dining Services Industry! Interested parties should reach out by calling 412.854.8754.


BLACK HAWKS ATHLETICS

  • For those unable to attend the games, Trib High School Sports Network often broadcasts our games live at https://tribhssn.triblive.com/broadcast-calendar/.  The games are also often broadcast live on local radio stations.

  • The Hawks boys basketball team (13-8, 7-3) will face Mars Area at 6 p.m., Friday, Feb. 17, at North Hills Middle School's Annex Gym [55 Rochester Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15229].


Fans must purchase their tickets in advance online at:

https://gofan.co/wpial (Students: $5, Adults: $7)

*No physical tickets will be sold at the gate!



  • Freddy Mach was second out of 82 competitors, and Gianni LaMolinare was 13th at the WPIAL Rifle Individual Championships on Thursday. Mach and LaMolinare have each qualified for the PIAA Championship meet on Thursday, Feb. 16, at the Mt. Lebanon/Dormont Sportsmen’s Club.


  • Congrats to the BPHS Unified Indoor Bocce Team 1, which in just its first year, clinched a spot in this year‘s four-team playoff field after going 2-0 in last week’s regular-season finale versus Upper St. Clair. The team will play at Baldwin High School at 4 p.m. on Feb 22.



SPORTS SCHEDULES

Stay updated with the latest information and changes to the BPHS sports schedules at https://bpathletics.bigteams.com/main/calendar/. Get information on all Bethel Park sports teams or those you’re interested in. Sign up on the site to have updates and schedule changes emailed to you, so you will know if something is canceled due to inclement weather. It’s a great way to stay in touch with our athletic teams, mainly when unpredictable weather necessitates postponements and rescheduling!  Go Hawks!


ALUMNI NEWS

BETHEL PARK’S NINO BONACCORSI ‘17 RANKED NO. 1 IN THE LOADED 197-POUND CLASSIFICATION FOR PITT WRESTLING

After opening the season ranked No. 9, Bethel Park alum Nino Bonnaccorsi '17 has moved to No. 1 in the country in the powerful 197-pound weight class with a 13-0 record. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Pittsburgh Union Progress recently ran excellent features on Bonaccorsi and his Pitt Wrestling teammates.


GORMAN NAMED OHIO VALLEY CONFERENCE FEMALE TENNIS PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Mia Gorman '22 earned two honors as the Ohio Valley Conference’s Women's Tennis Player of the Week. She also joined Guibal Britt as the OVC Doubles Team of the Week. Gorman was also the Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville Female Athlete of the Month.


COMMUNITY NEWS

BETHEL PARK NAMED BANNER COMMUNITY BY ALLEGHENY COUNTY
The Allegheny League of Municipalities, in conjunction with Allegheny County and program sponsor HRG Engineering, recently announced its 2023 Banner Communities, and Bethel Park was among the municipalities earning that distinction.

BETHEL PARK SOCCER ASSOCIATION FLIGHT REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN
The groundhog may have said six more weeks of winter, but soccer is in the air! Flight Soccer is for boys and girls approximately 5-10 years old (birth years 2013 to 2017) who wish to experience soccer in a recreational setting. 

The eight-week sessions begin in September for the fall season and April for the spring season. Teams are co-ed, and the families will be contacted by their respective coaches approximately two weeks before the start of the season. 


  • FALL ONLY - Flights fee: $95.00; Non-residents add $5.00

  • FULL YEAR: FALL & SPRING - Flights fee $170.00; Non-residents add $10.00 

Flight season begins April 1! Practices are held on Wednesday evenings, with the games being played on Saturdays!

To register: https://www.bpsoccer.org/Default.aspx?tabid=157368.

Follow them on Facebook and Instagram #bethelparksoccer. The Bethel Park Soccer Association will soon update its website.

Questions about travel soccer? Email: bethelparksoccer@gmail.com


2023 SPRING REC BASEBALL REGISTRATION IS OPEN
Registration is open now and will close on March 1. We need time to coordinate coaches, teams, and uniforms. Spring Rec Baseball is for ages 4 to 14 (T-Ball to Pony!)! Please visit www.bethelparkbaseball.org to register today! 


2023 JR. LEGION/COLT & LEGION REGISTRATION IS OPEN

For HS-age players interested in playing Jr. Legion / Legion baseball for the Spring/Summer 2023 season, we have opened registration on our website at www.bethelparkbaseball.org.  Please sign up at your earliest convenience to book your spot.  There will be a tryout in the spring—more details to follow. 


YOUTH UMPIRES NEEDED FOR THE SPRING SEASON

Youth umpiring is for ages 12 and up.  If your child is interested in umpiring this upcoming spring season, please email us at bethelparkbaseballinfo@gmail.com.  We will add you to the list and be in contact in the spring for our umpire training!  If you have any questions, just let us know.


BOY SCOUT TROUP 215 WELCOMING NEW MEMBERS

Want to join the Scouting community? Troop 215 from Bethel Park Presbyterian Church would love to welcome you! Troop 215 has been around for 100 years and is looking for new scouts to continue its legacy. If interested, please contact Scoutmaster Craig Blocklin (cblocklin@gmail.com) or Senior Patrol leader Nathan Disori (nated.sccr@gmail.com) for more information on how to join Scouting!


BETHEL PARK’S DANCHIK IS COLLECTING NECESSITIES FOR THE HOMELESS

Bethel Park sophomore George Danchick is working towards Eagle Scout status in a project with Red Door Ministries, which provides necessities for the area’s homeless. 


George is looking for travel-size shampoo, soap bars, conditioner, body wash, razors, and deodorant for the cause. Look for donation boxes outside the Rite Aid and the Dollar Tree in the South Park Shops. 


Danchik also accepts monetary donations via Venmo to buy products for those in need if you want to donate to his cause, Venmo George at @Toni-Danchik-1


NEWS & NOTES FROM OUTSIDE THE DISTRICT
PROJECT PROM
Do you know a student who wants to go to prom but may not be able to afford it? Any student receiving services from the Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS) or who qualifies for a free or reduced school lunch can come to the Project Prom Shop, where they can browse and try on free, new, or gently used gowns and accessories, like shoes and jewelry, and take home their favorites!


The Project Prom Shop is located at 10 Duff Road, Penn Hills, PA, 15235. Students can visit the Project Prom Shop on the following dates and times:


  • Saturday, March 25: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

  • Monday, March 27: 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

  • Thursday, March 30: 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

  • Saturday, April 1: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Guests are asked to bring only one friend or family member into the shop with them ~ advanced registration is required. Click here to learn more.


IRS PROGRAM

The Internal Revenue Service provided details clarifying the federal tax status involving special payments made by 21 states in 2022, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. 

DR. FREDDIE FU SPORTS MEDICINE SCHOLARSHIP

UPMC Sports Medicine is proud to once again offer the Dr. Freddie Fu Sports Medicine Scholarship Program in 2023. UPMC developed the scholarship program to increase student interest in a career in sports medicine. 

One scholarship for the amount of $2,000 will be awarded to a western Pennsylvania resident entering their senior year of high school in September 2023 in return for a six-week summer internship (30-40 hours per week for six weeks in a row) at the UPMC Freddie Fu Sports Medicine Complex and the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex.

 

The recipient will have the opportunity to observe patient evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation by physical therapists and athletic trainers, observe clients in the Sports Performance Department, and observe surgery with UPMC orthopedic surgeons.

FCC ANNOUNCES AFFORDABLE CONNECTIVITY PROGRAM

The Affordable Connectivity Program is a Federal Communications Commission program that helps connect families and households struggling to afford internet service.  This new benefit provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for families on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 from purchasing a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers.

Eligible households can enroll through a participating broadband provider or directly with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) using an online or mail-in application.

You can learn more about the benefit, including eligibility and enrollment information, by visiting www.fcc.gov/ACP or calling 877-384-2575.   

IMPORTANT LINKS

·    Bethel Park School District: www.bpsd.org

·    eSchoolPlus/PowerSchool Home Access Center Login:

https://bpk-hac.eschoolplus.powerschool.com/HomeAccess/Account/LogOn?ReturnUrl=%2fHomeAccess

·    Twitter: www.twitter.com/bpsdinfo

·    Facebook: www.facebook.com

·    Instagram: bethel_park_school_district

·    YouTube: BETHEL_PARK_SCHOOL_DISTRICT

·    Linked In: www.linkedin.com

 

NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY

The Bethel Park School District will not discriminate in its educational programs, activities, or employment practices based on race, color, national origin, sex, sexual preference, disability, age, religion, ancestry, union membership, or any other legally protected classification.


The announcement of this policy is per state and federal laws, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  Employees and participants who have an inquiry or complaint of harassment or discrimination or need information about accommodations for persons with disabilities should contact:


Dr. Zeb Jansante

Title IX Compliance Officer

301 Church Road

Bethel Park, PA 15102-1696

412.854.8420

412.854.8430 (fax)

jansante.zeb@bphawks.org


If you are receiving this newsletter in error, please email Mr. James Cromie at cromie.james@bphawks.org, and the district will promptly remove you from the list. Also, if someone you know is not getting this newsletter but would like to receive one, please encourage them to contact Mr. Cromie. Finally, all of this year’s email newsletters are posted on the district’s website, so you can go back and look at past editions if you’d like.