UCF District News January 2020

Martin Luther King Jr. once said "Life's most persistent and urgent question is 'What are you doing for others?'”

Schools across the nation were closed January 20, 2020, in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Although they were not in school for a traditional day of learning, UCFSD students were in various locations throughout the community participating in a day of service and learning the very important lesson of helping others in need. Several activities had been organized at UCF schools in conjunction with community partners where our students actively participated in a variety of community service projects. Each project was unique and allowed our students to fulfill a mission, help those in need, and make an impact on the community and in the lives of others. Below is a snapshot of how our students made a difference on this important day of service.

Unionville Elementary School

As part of their annual “Blankets for Buddies” program, students made fleece blankets for children with long-term illnesses at Nemours/A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children. Families will be provided with a blanket-making kit so that parents and children can work together to make these special gifts for children at the hospital.

Hillendale Elementary School

Students at Hillendale strived to learn, create, and donate to demonstrate service above self. Students partnered with three organizations: Julee Cares, an organization that makes handmade surgical caps for kids, STEHM, a transitional home for women and children, and KACS - Luther House, an organization that provides meals for the elderly. In their time, students learned about these charitable organizations, created artwork and supplies for each group, and donated items of need.

Patton Middle School

Students at Patton used large looms set-up for volunteers to weave plastic “plarn” into sleeping mats that will be given to homeless individuals in Philadelphia. In addition, they assembled Children's Survival Kits for young children arriving at the Domestic Violence Center of Chester County as well as organized other donated items for the center.

Pocopson Elementary School

Pocopson students hosted a family-oriented community service event on Monday morning at the school. They created comfort parcels for children in local hospitals and homeless shelters by knotting together fleece blankets and pairing them with a new book and stuffed animal.

Unionville High School

Unionville High School students participated in multiple projects throughout the community with organizations such as Project C.U.R.E. and Empty Bowl Workshop, Luther House, Exton Adult Care, the Kennett YMCA and the Friends Association for Care and Protection of Children Projects included packing food, making crafts, preparing medical supplies for shipment, painting, cleaning, making fleece blankets, and creating ceramic bowls.

Chadds Ford Elementary School

Chadds Ford Chargers continue to practice Dr. King’s vision of community service throughout the year by supporting their sister school, Mitchell Elementary. During the week of January 20, they will be collecting school supply donations to create a Mitchell Teacher Supply Closet, which allows teachers and students who may have limited funding available to have access to basic school supplies and indoor recess supplies (glue, pencils, markers, board games, building toys, etc.). Students will organize the donations during school hours and prepare the school supply items to be sent to their friends at Mitchell Elementary School.


JANUARY 21, 2020

Click here to view the full agenda and all documents.

All board meetings are filmed and may be viewed on the District’s YouTube channel.

Superintendent's Report

Dr. Sanville welcomed everyone to the meeting and handed the mic over to Patton Principal Mr. Steve Dissinger. Patton hosted the meeting and took the time to recognize several student initiatives and achievements. Mr. Dissinger first highlighted the school’s efforts on MLK Day and how Patton students and staff continue to put service above self. Former Patton student Aria Zutshi continued with the theme of service and presented on a civics service project she began as an 8th grader. Daniel McDonald presented his Digital Story using Spark, Katharine Cotrotsio, Christopher Arriviello, and James Burns reported on their 6th grade Literacy Heritage Day Projects. Mr. Dissinger also recognized the Science Fair participants, Math Madness team and 8th-grade Girls Volleyball team, all who had great success this year!

Retiree Recognition

Mr. Doug Henderson was recognized for his years of service as the school counselor at Pocopson Elementary School. Pocopson Principal, Mr. Clif Beaver, shared that Mr. Henderson will be deeply missed at Pocopson and read statements from students, parents, and staff highlighting the tremendous impact Mr. Henderson has had on the school and in the lives of students.

School Board Appreciation Month

Dr. Sanville concluded his report by recognizing the school board for School Board Appreciation Month. He read a resolution and shared a video to show the District’s appreciation for all they do.

Student Representatives' Report

Ms. Elvin reported on the Holiday Extravaganza at the high school, updated the board on Midterms and announced the upcoming Student Council wellness week.

Ms. Evanko reported on the Student Council 2nd annual school-wide scavenger hunt called U-Quest. She also highlighted the recent success of the vocalists who qualified for the District PMEA concert. She shared the high school’s participation in MLK Day of Service and announced that the next TedX Unionville will be held on February 22, 2020.

Action Items AND Committee Reports

Curriculum and Instruction

In Curriculum and Instruction, the board approved a German exchange trip for the summer of 2020 and course name change. Dr. Baratta reminded the public that there is a wealth of information on the Future Ready PA Index on the District’s website under the UCF Dashboard.


Ms. Brown announced that there will be a Wellness Council meeting on February 12, 2020. She also announced that the SEL (Social Emotional Learning) Committee will meet on January 30, 2020.


Mr. Day proposed one voting item - Ratification of the supplemental agreement with K&W for additional GeoTech work. This item was approved by the board.


Dr. Akki presented three voting items - Liquid Fuels joint purchasing ratification, the adoption of the 2020-2021 Preliminary General Fund Budget, and the 2020-2021 Act 1 Exception Application. All items were approved by the board.


Ms. Talbert proposed the approval of the 2020-2021 school calendar. The calendar was presented by Ms. Talbert in detail during the January work session. She also stated that the calendar was emailed to our community and she shared some of the feedback that was received. The 2020-2021 school calendar was approved by the board.


Ms. Talbert shared information with each Director for the CCIU School Director & Legislator Annual Briefing. She shared that she plans to attend and hopes others will as well. Ms. Talbert commented that information will be coming regarding the PSBA Advocacy Day on March 23, 2020.

CCIU Report

Mr. Hellrung gave an update on the CCIU including highlights from their Audit Report, Long Range Facilities Plan, and Safety and Security Report. He reported that the CCIU board has 6 new board members.


  • Curriculum & Instruction Meeting - February 10 at 4:30 PM
  • School Board Work Session - February 10 at 7 PM
  • School Board Meeting - February 18 at 7:30 PM

All meetings are held in the District Office's large conference room (DO-14).

School Board Appreciation Month

January is School Board Appreciation Month! We thought we would express our appreciation to our wonderful school board in a unique way this year. Second graders from our four elementary schools wanted to see what it’s like to be a school board director. So they held their very own board meeting. See what they discussed below!


[Top Row From Left] Jeff Hellrung, John Murphy, Jen Brown, Elise Anderson, Tom Day [Bottom Row From Left] John Sanville, Victoria Baratta, Rashi Akki, Erin Talbert, Steve Simonson


Congratulations to Stephanie Smith, UHS Volleyball Head Coach and Rich Garber, UHS Boys Soccer Head Coach for being named as the Daily Local News’ Coach of the Year

Stephanie Smith, second-year volleyball head coach, led Unionville to a second-place finish in the PIAA District 1 4A tournament and a spot in the PIAA 4A State Quarterfinals this year! Smith told the Daily Local, “What impressed me most about the team this year was their unmatched desire to win. They were extremely hungry to push themselves as far into the post-season as possible; which made it exciting to coach.” Smith played volleyball for Unionville before playing for Cecil College. Five years ago, Smith joined the coaching staff at Unionville where she also teaches Biology. She has been coaching for Sparks Volleyball Club since 2012 as well as serving as the co-director for Sparks Beach Volleyball for the past three years.

"Coach Smith has held the title of head coach for only two years, but has quickly emerged as a top coach in our area. Her commitment, positive attitude, and a love for the sport electrifies our team and inspires the girls play with passion, teamwork, and competitiveness. I am not surprised that Coach Smith earned her first DLN Coach of the Year in 2019, and I'm sure it won't be the last time. We look forward to the future of our program under Coach Smith's leadership," said Patrick Crater, Supervisor of Athletics at Unionville High School.

Rich Garber, head coach of the Unionville Boys Soccer team, was also named as a 2019 Coach of the Year. This year he led the team to their second league title in a row and their first championship in five years. Garber has a long history with Unionville. His three decades include 13 years as an assistant coach and 20 years as the head coach. He is also the physical education teacher at Patton Middle School. He has become adept at identifying young soccer talent and then developing that potential through coaching. Garber is always trying to find ways to make his players better by challenging them.

"Once again, Coach Garber led our boys soccer team to an incredible season. He is DLN Coach of the Year, but so much more to the boys behind the scene. Coach Garber works tirelessly with his athletes on and off the field so they can reach their goals, be successful, and have great experiences. He is a coach, a mentor, a friend, a teacher, and a leader; and our kids love playing for him," said Patrick Crater, Supervisor of Athletics at Unionville High School.

BOYS VOLLEYBALL MINI-CLINIC | Any UCF 1st through 8th-grade boy who wants to learn the basics of volleyball, this is the clinic for you! Sign up for the 2nd Annual Boys Volleyball Mini-Clinic on February 2. [SIGN-UP FORM] [MORE INFORMATION]

JAVA WITH JOHN | The next Java with John will be on February 3 from 1:30 am to 3:30 pm at the District Office in Room #14! Enjoy some coffee and conversation with Superintendent John Sanville! [RSVP HERE]

FOCUS PRESENTS: PROMOTING EMOTIONAL RESILIENCE THROUGH AUTHORITATIVE PARENTING | Join FOCUS at 7 PM on February 4th in the Hillendale Elementary auditorium to learn how to implement authoritative parenting strategies that promote emotional resilience in your child. [VIEW EVENT DETAILS & REGISTER HERE]

SPRING SPORTS NIGHT | Spring Sports Night will be on February 5, 2020, at 5:00 pm in the UHS Auditorium! Patton parents & athletes and UHS parents & athletes are invited to attend this informational session for families who are involved in the athletics program! [VIEW FLYER}

HARLEM WIZARDS ARE COMING TO UCF | Please join us at UHS on Friday, February 7, 2020, at 7:00 pm to see the world-famous Harlem Wizards! The evening promises to be a fun-filled event that is great for kids and adults and will guarantee to put a smile on your face! This event is hosted by The Unionville-Chadds Ford Education Foundation. The doors open at 6:00 pm.

Tickets can be purchased before the event for $15 and for $20 at the door. Special Courtside Plus tickets are also available for $40 and offer an exciting up-close courtside experience during the game and a meet and greet with the players before the game begins.

UHS BASEBALL WINTER SKILLS SERIES | The UHS Baseball team welcomes you to attend the 7th Annual Winter Skills Series for all players ages 7-14! Hitting Clinic Session will be held Sunday, February 9, 2020 from 10 AM to 12 PM in the Unionville High School Auxiliary Gym. Pitching/Catching/IF/OF Clinic Sessions will be held Wednesday, February 19, 2020 from 6 PM to 8 PM in the Unionville High School Main Gym. Register by February 1st to receive a free Unionville Baseball T-shirt! [REGISTRATION FORM & ADDITIONAL DETAILS]

UHS PTO USED BOOK SALE | The PTO Used Book Sale will be held Saturday, February 22, 2020 from 8 AM - 4 PM and Sunday, February 23, from 11 AM - 3 PM ($10 Bag Sale Day). This is the biggest fundraiser of the year, often raising more than $40,000 each year to fund projects that directly benefit our students. It takes many hands to make it work, including yours! No experience needed, and any amount of time will help. [ADULT VOLUNTEER SIGN-UP FORM] [STUDENT VOLUNTEER SIGN-UP FORM]

UHS PRESENTS INTO THE WOODS | Unionville High School presents the Tony award-winning musical Into the Woods on Thursday, March 19 and Friday, March 20 at 7:00 p.m., and Saturday, March 21 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m at Unionville High School. Online ticket sales begin on February 23. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 adults, $12 students/seniors at the door and $5 matinee. [PURCHASE TICKETS ON 2/23]

Nominations for the 2019/2020 Wall of Honor are now open! We encourage our families, staff and community to send us stories of our outstanding and inspiring alumni for our 2019/2020 Wall of Honor celebration.


Hard copy submissions will also be accepted through March 8, 2020.

Please mail hard copy submissions to: Wall of Honor, Unionville-Chadds Ford School District, 740 Unionville Road, Kennett Square, PA 19348

Nominees will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, creed, religion, sex, nationality, disability, economic status or marital status. The award may be bestowed posthumously. The Unionville-Chadds Ford School District Wall of Honor Committee retains the right to remove names from the Wall of Honor


To perpetuate our tradition of excellence and inspire current students, outstanding alumni are selected annually for Wall of Honor recognition. The purpose of this prestigious award is to recognize Unionville-Chadds Ford School District alumni for their lifetime achievements.

The Unionville-Chadds Ford School District values the contributions its alumni make to the world after graduation. The Superintendent’s office and District Communications manage the Wall of Honor (WOH) recognition process. Anyone can nominate a candidate for WOH recognition, during the nomination period. A nominating committee, appointed to a one-year term by the superintendent, and comprised of representatives from the district and community will review the nominations and narrow them down, while a voting committee will determine the winners (2-3) from the nominations. WOH winners will receive year-round recognition on an actual wall at the high school and in-person recognition during a celebration at Unionville High School.

CFES Makey Makey

4th and 5th grade students at Chadds Ford Elementary School competed in the annual Makey Makey contest. With just a device and conductive materials, students turned ordinary games and activities into extraordinary projects! This year students took their imagination and skills to a whole new level. They problem solved and even coded many of their own activities. What a fun way to end the first half of the year!

Patton Hawk wins essay contest

Congratulations to Patton 6th grader Noori Choudhary for being selected as the winner of the Chester County DAR American History Essays contest. She will receive her certificate, medal and cash award on Monday, February 10. Well done, Noori!


Listen to the first episode of the Unionville Athletics Values & Standards Podcast, where Megan Clark, freshman, cheerleader, and Values Ambassador, interviews Elan Nash, Safety for the Navy Football Team. Elan Nash is a graduate of Unionville High School and is currently finishing his senior year at the Naval Academy. Enjoy! 🎙🏈

UCF Robotics

The robotics season is well underway with all qualifying tournaments happening throughout January and February. The UCF teams have performed extremely well and received different awards. See each team's accomplishments so far:

Green Lemons:

The Green Lemons made it to the finals as a Winning Alliance at the Tower Hill Delaware Meet. They participate in their first qualifier tournament in February.


The DynaBots scored the highest points of a match during the Penn State York Qualifier this past Saturday!

Mariachi Startup:

The Mariachi Startup made it to the finals and received recognition for the Finalist Alliance in the Blue & White Qualifier.

Flaming Phoenix:

The Flaming Phoenix ended in the #4 position in the game rankings at the Penn State York Qualifier on Sunday, moving them all the way to the semifinals. They received 1st place in the Connect Award, 3rd place in the Think Award, and 3rd place in the Inspire Award. The Flaming Phoenix has qualified to go to the Pennsylvania States Championship.

Two Eyed Illuminati:

The Two Eyed Illuminati finished in the #1 position in the game rankings at the Penn State York Qualifier on Saturday, moving the team all the way to the finals. They received 1st place in the Think Award and 2nd place in the Inspire Award. The Two Eyed Illuminati has qualified to go to the Pennsylvania States Championship.

Take a look at this excerpt from the featured article in the Technology and Engineering Teacher, which is the flagship publication of the International Technology and Engineering Education Association. You can read the full article here.

reengineering the conflict:

STEM in the English classroom

The project is a humanities incorporation of STEM foundation concepts.

by Daniel Lipowitz and Michael Berkeihiser

At Unionville High School in Kennett Square, PA, humanities teacher Daniel Lipowitz has partnered with engineering teacher Michael Berkeihiser and other STEM teachers to put the humanities (H) in “SHTEM.” Sophomore English students were asked to re-engineer the conflict in common works of literature and then design a prototype solution to their new conflicts.

While analysis and interpretation are vital skills for all levels and grades, the task facing the tenth graders was to discuss literature from a different perspective, shifting the sophomore students’ approach upward on the critical-thinking hierarchy from analysis and interpretation to synthesis and evaluation. With the STEM tide rolling across the educational seascape, the students’ objective was to offer a blend—a “SHTEM”—a concoction of STEM with just the right mix of Humanities, differentiated instruction, and critical thinking.

• • • • •

The task for the sophomores involved a redesign of a conflict from any of the works they read during the school year. Students review the major conflict of the novel and reconfigure what happened. Their solution can be outlandish, but there must be a logical foundation to their outcome. Employing the Engineering Design Process, each student is challenged to devise a new way of viewing the resolution in the narrative. Essentially, the project is a humanities incorporation of STEM foundation concepts. Students implemented the engineering design process to identify their problem and generate solution concepts. Then they applied their math, science, and technology skills to create prototypes of their solutions.

• • • • •

Using their skills in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), students identify and define a problem from the novel’s major conflict that can be solved with an engineered solution. They learn as much as possible about the problem while defining its constraints (Brown, et al, p. 40). In addition, they compose a problem statement describing the objective; that is, the literary conflict, in a concrete and measurable manner. For example, many projects included a new conflict approach involving the following works: 1984, Animal Farm, Brave New World, The Chosen, Lord of the Flies, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Escape from Camp 14, Behind the Beautiful Forevers, The Kite Runner, and Purple Hibiscus. Each project took the following steps: idea generation, solution creation, testing/analysis, final solution or output, design improvement, speaking and listening standard, writing, and finally presentation day.

• • • • •

The projects involved:

  • Solutions to avoid Santiago Nasar’s death in Chronicle of a Death Foretold.
  • Security cameras to show the animals that Squealer, in Animal Farm, changes the Commandments on the wall.
  • Mountain path redesign to reduce the dangerous travel in Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress.
  • Boat construction in Lord of the Flies. Constructive activities will diminish destructive tendencies among the boys.
  • Acid/Base balance as a way to determine productive relationships in Lord of the Flies.
  • Quadratic equations to help John the Savage adjust to his new environment in Brave New World.
  • Torah verse conversion into numbers (Gematria) to overcome the silence in Potok’s The Chosen.
  • Chemical resolution to increase soil nutrients in Animal Farm.
Hannah presents her redesign of the windmill from Orwell’s Animal Farm. Her reengineering explains that the windmill is impervious to destruction. Its success follows Snowball’s objective: an electrical structure that powers the farm, enabling the animals to have more leisure time.
Adarsh demonstrates the working prototype he designed and built. His design calls for putting solar panels on the roof of the barn in Animal Farm.
Julia postulated that the boys in Lord of the Flies would have an improved chance of rescue if they utilize the resources available to them on the island. Keeping their age and skill level in mind, she determined that Jarrah Wood, a resource indigenous to a Pacific island, burns brighter and longer, enabling a passing ship to see the flame and smoke.
Hunter employs Calculus in his reimagining of the conflict resolution to the seething anger that builds between Ralph and Jack in Golding’s Lord of the Flies.
Julia C. demonstrates her fresh water solution as a means of conflict resolution in Lord of the Flies.
Julia W., using a parabola, envisions a world where John, in Brave New World, adapts to life in London.
Ben reimagines Clover’s role in Orwell’s Animal Farm. She sets up a camera recording Squealer changing the rules.

UCF Dashboard update

The District’s Dashboard has been updated with the most recent data on student achievement, student experience, and fiscal health.

For the latest information on topics such as PSSA results, the PA Future Ready Index, school climate, school safety, and financial reports, please visit the District Dashboard.