UCF District News APRIL 2020


Coping with the Challenges of COVID-19

Don't miss Session #2 of this two-part Zoom series, presented by FOCUS and Dr. Al Freedman of Freedman Counseling Associates, a licensed psychologist who specializes in working with children, adolescents, adults, and families. There will be a Q&A following the presentation.

"Coping with Isolation, Uncertainty, & Loss"

DATE: MAY 7, 2020 • TIME: 7-8PM

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Please register at the link below. The Zoom link and password for the session will be emailed to all registered attendees on the day of the session.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact us at focus@ucfsd.net or visit our website at www.ucfsd.org/focus. To download the event flyer, please click here.


Brandon, 4th Grader at Pocopson and his brother Jeremy, 7th grader at Patton are producing personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers! They are using their 3D printer to create face shields and deliver them to the Chester County Hospital!

If you have access to a 3D printer and are interested in giving back, the family has put together a document outlining tools, materials, instruction and references needed to build a 3D printed face shield. VIEW HERE


Patton Project students Melissa and Sophie Griswold made 25 masks to donate to the Chester County Hospital for healthcare workers!

Ms. Ballard and several Patton students are sewing protective masks! Check out the masks made by Patton student Lucy Eskander who is working as part of an effort led by Love to Sew Studio in Chadds Ford!


A few messages of Hope from some of our UE Stars:


Chadds Ford Chargers Jacob and Miles created cards to send to local senior citizen communities whose residents are unable to have visitors at this time. Way to use creativity to foster community connections!

Board meeting recap

April 20, 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 second virtual UCFSD School Board meeting. He kicked off the meeting by congratulating the UHS Music Department on receiving the Support Music Merit Award from the NAMM Foundation for music education excellence. He stated that this is a reflection of the District's commitment to the arts and the hard work of Mr. Otto, Mr. Throne, and Mr. Zumpetta.

Dr. Sanville also shared the high school's plan to honor the Class of 2020. He outlined the plan which includes an in-person graduation ceremony on July 25 if the District is in phase zero or phase one. He added that there is a contingency plan in place, if we cannot meet in person on July 25 due to continued COVID-19 social distancing restrictions.

Student Representative’s Report

Ms. Elvin mentioned that UHS is looking for a new student representative from the Class of 2022 to sit on the the school board. Interested students must complete an informational questionnaire, essay, and interview with the UHS administration team using Zoom.

Ms. Evanko talked about student groups and staying together. She highlighted weekly yoga with Ms. Quinn, a virtual choral performance with Mr. Throne, Active Minds Club creating a Canvas page, and Mr. Conley’s weekly meetings with PAC to discuss how students are adjusting. She added that Mr. Conley has been collecting feedback from these meetings, which has proven been helpful in the high school’s path forward with distance learning.

Action Items and Committee Reports

Curriculum and Instruction

In Curriculum and Instruction, the board approved a new textbook for AP Comparative Government at UHS and the purchase of SeeSaw, an online learning tool currently being used by our teachers to deliver distance learning. Additionally the board approved the District’s recommendation to add three additional professional development days to the calendar that were needed to provide online learning instruction to staff due the COVID-19 closure. The District will use Act 80 days to account for this additional professional development.

Dr. Barratta reviewed additional discussion items from Curriculum and Instruction including the District’s Distance Learning Guide and the Continuity of Education Plan. She also shared that Dr. Jenkins provided an update on the blended learning initiative at UHS and Mr. Hoffman provided an update on the UCF Virtual Academy during the April Curriculum and Instruction Meeting.

Lastly, the Curriculum Council meeting will be held virtually on May 1, 2020.


The Board approved a motion to allow UCF Administration to approve a contract with the CCIU for ZOOM licenses. Zoom is currently being used by teachers for distance learning including synchronous and recorded asynchronous lessons and by administrators to conduct District business remotely. During the Work Session Ms. Anderson shared her gratitude for Mr. Webb and the technology team for their continued efforts to support distance learning.


Ms. Brown shared that there will be one more Wellness Council meeting on May 6, 2020. This meeting will be held virtually on Zoom. She also shared information previously provided by Dr. Reider during the Work Session including the District’s continued work with the Penn Consortium, the wellness activity YouTube series produced by UCFSD staff and examples of how our counselors and social workers are provided services to our students during this difficult time.


Dr. Akki presented several items for board approval:

Dr. Akki along with Mr. Cochran shared that the District is fine-tuning the budget. She recapped a discussion from the Work Session on the impact COVID-19 will have on the upcoming budget. She mentioned that the Board is reviewing several scenarios and will need to be extremely nimble. The presentation of the Proposed Final Budget will take place on Monday, May 4, 2020.


Dr. Simonson shared that items were discussed in the Executive Session and moved to approve Personnel Items 9.2 through 9.7. Additionally, the board approved professional conferences and contracts with Austill’s Educational Therapy Services and SPARC.


The board approved the motion to change April 28 to a full school day and June 2 to a day off for students (and an in-service day for teachers). While this change was originally in response to the shift in the Primary Election Day, the District expressed that staff will benefit from having this in-service day later in the year. Ms. Talbert shared the update provided by Ms. Fazio during the Work Session. She highlighted the COVID-19 web page on the UCFSD website and announced that the Communications Department recently received seven awards as part of the Pennsylvania School Public Relations Association Excellence in Education Communications Contest.


Mr. Murphy proposed several policies for board board approval. The board approved Policy 200 Enrollment of Students, Policy 200-AG-1 Enrollment of Students - Proof Administrative Guideline, Policy 220 Student Expression/Distribution and Posting of Materials, Policy 610 Purchases Subject to Bid/Quotation, Policy 611 Purchases Budgeted, Policy 711 Small Unmanned Aircraft, Policy 815.1 Social Media, Policy 913 Nonschool Organizations/Groups/Individuals.


Ms. Talbert reminded the board of recently passed legislation to address the impact of COVID-19 on our educational system - Act 13 of 2020 of the public school code of 1949. The legislation includes waiving the following mandates for all school entities for the 2019-2020 school year: 180 day requirements, assessments, performance data, minimum number of K days.

Upcoming Meetings

  • Budget Meeting #1 - May 4 at 7 PM
  • Curriculum & Instruction Meeting - May 11 at 4:30 PM
  • School Board Work Session - May 11 at 7 PM
  • School Board Meeting - May 18 at 7:30 PM

Apart of the Team:

Coaches, administrators work closely with athletes to stay on track during coronavirus pandemic

By: Neil Geoghegan, originally published on PAPrepLive.com

Pat Crater remembers being a teenage student-athlete in the late 1990s and experiencing great anxiety in the aftermath of the Columbine High School massacre. During scary times, Crater took solace in the soothing words of his high school football coach, John Yocum, the legendary Muhlenberg High School coach and member of the Pennsylvania Football Coaches Hall of Fame.

“Things are frightening during times like that, especially for a teenager,” said Crater, now the athletic director at Unionville High School. “What I remember is that everybody was there to support us. I reflect back that it was my football coach that pulled the team together. I don’t remember exactly what he said, but he was present and there to support us.”

More than two decades later, the coronavirus pandemic is causing significant student unease on a global basis. School buildings have been shuttered, spring sports have been suspended indefinitely, and no one knows when, or if, things will get back normal. Crater knows first-hand how important it is for guidance during troubling times, and that’s a major reason that Unionville has been at the forefront of maintaining the connection with its student-athletes even though the PIAA has forbidden organized, or even informal, practices.

“This was on our radar for several weeks before buildings started to be closed and sports were canceled,” Crater said. “That gave us a little bit of an advantage in terms of how we wanted to run our program in a virtual world.”


At Unionville, the online workouts are voluntary. Boys’ lacrosse coach Steve Holmes put out a video series for his squad. The girls’ lacrosse team recently did a Zoom workout together. And boys tennis coach Jimmy O’Rourke recently completed a Powerpoint presentation.

“These are opportunities to see each other, stay fit and be well,” Crater said. “Our coaches have been very creative and these ideas come in all shapes and sizes.”

But Unionville is taking it all to another level in an attempt to address the student-athlete needs that go beyond just staying in shape. For instance, the school has unveiled a virtual athletic training room.

“When school first shut down, no one fully grasped how serious it was going to be,” said Unionville Head Athletic Trainer Joe Vogler. “It was something to get us through a few weeks. But now that we are in week three and we don’t know how many more weeks are left, some of our athletes are uncomfortable going to physical therapy or the clinics are closed.

“So we have daily office hours on Zoom and athletes can also schedule an appointment. One of us is available and we can give them either a home exercise program or just kind of check in on their progress.”

According to Vogler, he’s seen a shift in perspective. An athlete with an ankle sprain wouldn’t think twice about going to urgent care or the hospital in the pre-coronavirus era. But now, if it isn’t a life or death situation, people are questioning whether they should be going to a facility and adding to an already over-burdened health care system.

“And there are a ton of resources now available,” Vogler pointed out. “So it’s very easy to email a student a treatment video and walk them through it.”

Vogler and his staff members, including trainers Kathy Walsh Shell and Sydney Schnarrs, are meeting with Crater several times a week to make sure the virtual training room is running smoothly. And the Unionville coaches are meeting weekly for a professional development series, which is focusing on supporting student-athletes emotionally and mentally.

“When I reflect on what is going on now, it reminds me of the important role the coach has at a time that is frightening for kids,” Crater explained. “Columbine was frightening, and this is too. This isn’t the same type of violence, but people are sick and people are dying. Just like I had a coach to support me, I’m urging our coaches to do the same thing now — to let them know that they care.

“Even though we are not meeting our athletes on the field, our department is open for business. We are here to continue supporting our athletes and coaches. Our program is so much more than just the game itself. The higher purpose of sports applies. We are focusing on all of those things off the field like leadership development, life lessons and the social station that exists in sports.”


Despite the closure, the Indian Post staff are continuing to work hard and have collaborated remotely to create digital copies of the March and April editions.

“We realize that the Indian Post can be used as a tool to unite the community during this time of isolation, so we wanted to broaden access to these digital copies,” said Catherine Odom, Editor-in-Chief of the Indian Post.

These digital versions are best viewed on a laptop or desktop computer as the files are very large and may be difficult to view on a mobile phone. Be on the lookout for the upcoming May and June editions as well!


Unionville High School has been honored with the SupportMusic Merit Award from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education.

The SupportMusic Merit Award recognizes individual schools that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.

To qualify for the SupportMusic Merit Award, Unionville High School answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music-making programs, Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

“The Unionville High School community is so honored to be recognized as a SupportMusic Merit Award recipient by the NAMM Foundation,” stated Mr. Jimmy Conley, Unionville High School Principal. “This award acknowledges Unionville Chadds-Ford School District's commitment to provide all UCFSD students with access to the highest quality music instruction. I would personally like to thank the Unionville High School Music Department members: Mr. Jason Throne, Mr. Eddie Otto, and Mr. Leo Zumpetta, for their tireless commitment and countless hours that they spend with their music education students during the school day, and in our music extracurricular activities.”

This award recognizes that Unionville High School is leading the way with learning opportunities as outlined in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA recommends music and the arts as important elements of a well-rounded education for all children.

“Music is essential to a child's education,” stated Mr. Jason Throne, Unionville High School Music teacher. “It helps them to develop language and reasoning, gives them discipline and is key to their creative thinking. Music nourishes the human soul and gives students a way to build imagination and intellectual curiosity as well as an outlet for their musical expression. We are thrilled to be able to share that love of music and performance with our students every day, and it is an honor to be recognized by NAMM for these efforts.”

Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music. After two years of music education, the research found that participants showed more substantial improvements in how the brain processes speech and reading scores than their less-involved peers and that students who are involved in music are not only more likely to graduate high school, but also to attend college as well. Everyday listening skills are stronger in musically-trained children that in those without music training. Significantly, listening skills are closely tied to the ability to: perceive speech in a noisy background, pay attention, and keep sounds in memory. Later in life, individuals who took music lessons as children show stronger neural processing of sound; young adults and even older adults who have not played an instrument for up to 50 years show enhanced neural processing compared to their peers. Not to mention, social benefits include conflict resolution, teamwork skills, and how to give and receive constructive criticism.

ABOUT THE NAMM FOUNDATION: The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 10,400 members around the world. The foundation advances active participation in music-making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving, and public service programs. For more information about the NAMM Foundation, please visit www.nammfoundation.org.


This month was the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day! Ms. Dilworth, UHS Art teacher, developed a lesson allowing her 3D design/sculpture students to investigate a new sculpture medium and create sculptures in their own environment.

“My hope was to incorporate the ongoing study of 3D Art production, history and aesthetics, while utilizing readily available materials and getting students outside,” said Ms. Dilworth.

Students worked with Ms. Dilworth to take an in-depth look at the Earth art of Andy Goldsworthy and his working methods. They also discussed balance and symmetry before heading outside to collect materials. After reviewing sketches, plans and prototypes with Ms. Dilworth, students created these wonderful works of art!

Patton Staff Celebrate Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness Month! Patton teachers and staff showed their support on World Autism Day, the kickoff of the month, by wearing their "Choose Kind" shirts designed by the wonderful Patton AS department!

Keep on Rolling!

The teachers and staff at Chadds Ford Elementary Schools encouraged the students to Keep On Rolling! Take a look!

Athletes Get Together for Weekly Wellness Session

UHS and Patton Athletes can get together every Monday for a weekly wellness activity! Yoga Mondays with Mrs. Quinn are held every Monday at 3:00 pm!

Morning Routine at Home

This Hillendale Husky is starting off the day with the Pledge of Allegiance on HETV!


Mr. Conley, Principal at Unionville High School, recently shared the high school’s plan to recognize the Class of 2020. While it is not how any of us envisioned our Seniors' last year would conclude, Mr. Conley is looking ahead with a sense of optimism about positive memories still to be created for the Class of 2020.

While original plans have been postponed, UHS cannot imagine sending the Class of 2020 into the world without a proper celebration. Below is a three-tiered approach to honor the graduates. Each tier reflects the potential for a gradual scaling back of phase level in the UCFSD Pandemic Action Plan:


All Live Events (UCFSD in Pandemic Plan Phase 1/Phase 0)
  • Tuesday, July 21, 2020: Senior Awards Night (Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm) (Location: Unionville High School Auditorium)
  • Thursday, July 23, 2020: Junior/Senior Prom (Time: 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm) (Location: To be determined)
  • Saturday, July 25, 2020: UHS Commencement Exercises (Location and times still to be determined)

PLan B:

Semi-Live Events (UCFSD in Pandemic Plan Phase 2)
  • Tuesday, July 21, 2020: Senior Awards Night (Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm) (Virtual event/Pre-Taped Presentations)
  • Saturday, July 25, 2020: UHS Commencement Exercises (Drive-in movie style event) (Location and times still to be determined)
  • The Junior/Senior Prom would be canceled

Plan C:

All Virtual Events (UCFSD remains in Pandemic Plan Phase 3)
  • Tuesday, July 21, 2020: Senior Awards Night (Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm) (Virtual event/Pre-Taped Presentations)
  • Saturday, July 25, 2020: UHS Commencement Exercises (Virtual event/Pre-Taped Presentations)
  • The Junior/Senior Prom would be canceled


Share your pictures and stories with us and they might be featured on the District's website and social media!

What does distance learning look like in your home? How are you putting Service Above Self during this pandemic?

Send to ucfsdcommunications@ucfsd.net, tag us on social media, or include the hashtag #UCFatHome!