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Did you know...(updated Feb. 24, 2016)






Four Norristown Area School District teachers have created lessons that will be used by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to help other teachers around the world teach Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) topics (published Feb. 23, 2016)

These four teachers and their project titles are:

•             Eric Handschumacher, 6th grade teacher at Stewart Middle School, Physical Science – Waves.

•             Alyssa Gravinese, 6th grade teacher at Stewart Middle School, History of Winter – Temperature and Ice Data.

•             Natasha Bovenkerk  and Jason Bentman,  Norristown High School, The Big Bang.

Their lessons are part of a larger portfolio that includes the lesson plans with video tape analysis and reflections and a lesson rubric for evaluating students’ inquiry-based projects in science.

The portfolio was created as the teachers participate in a three year Math/Science Partnership grant.   Teachers in the grant receive on-going professional development, college courses at Immaculata University, and a summer week at the Goddard Space Center where they work with Goddard’s Scientists & Engineers.

The teachers created the winning lessons as their culminating project after two years of hard work and tremendous learning.

Congratulations to our NASD teachers!

The Norristown Area School District Art Department’s Fall/Winter Newsletter is ready for viewing? (Published Feb. 10th)  In it, you will see Cole Manor artists created a Radial Design using warm colors and crafting a stencil to repeat the shape; Musselman students created original sun flower paintings after viewing the work of Vincent van Gogh and reading the book Camille and the Sunflower; Hancock artists created their own prehistoric pictures in response to studying ancient Cave Art; and Paul Fly 1st graders created large-scale paintings of horses in response to their virtual exploration and discussion of the Lascaux Caves; Gotwals children worked on their own Aztec sun gods, focusing on patterns common in Aztec art, while Whitehall children recycled dictionary pages into Wise Old Owls!

PLUS MUCH MORE! Please visit the Art Department webpage and witness the talent for yourself at


The Student Artwork Gallery is also available at this location. It features artwork from throughout the district over the past 2 years. Please check back often as the current year’s gallery fills with new and exciting work.


Each year our students experience the Art Goes to School (AGTS) program? (Published Dec. 2015)  The program brings a different portfolio of fine art prints to each of the art classrooms, which run the gamut from cave to modern art. They include European, American, African-American, Native-American, Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern, and African works in their presentations. This year’s portfolio will include prints from the following artists: Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Jacob Lawrence, Faith Ringgold, Vincent Van Gogh, Henri Matisse, Frida Kahlo and many others. Our Norristown Area School District students learn about and connect to pieces from all around the world.

 Follow up activities include drawings from the masters, writing poetry based on the prints, making group presentations on the prints, examining various opinions and games, art vocabulary games, and writing short stories inspired by the images.


Norristown Area High School senior Lydia Haggard was recognized with a Letter of Commendation from the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test National Merit Scholarship Program? (Published Dec. 2015) Commended students are recognized as placing among the top 5% of more than 1.5 million students who took the 2014 Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test.

Lydia is leaning toward attending Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia after graduation to focus on the study of math and science.

 Congratulations Lydia!


Norristown Area School District Food Service staff features local produce in each of its schools? (Published Dec. 2015) While we offer a wide range of fruits and vegetables each day on our serving lines, by offering the local goods our students can taste new items and learn about Farm to School. Throughout the fall months, our children had locally grown apples, pears, green beans, and a variety of squashes, including butternut, spaghetti, and acorn squash with their school lunches. They also had red and golden beets, sweet potatoes, Yukon gold potatoes, and roasted brussel sprouts on all of the serving lines. Students were pleasantly surprised at how good the veggies tasted and are excited for upcoming selections throughout the rest of the school year.


Norristown Area School District is committed to: Healthy Body…Healthy Minds…


Midshipmen Amanda Assenmacher, NAHS Class of 2012 Valedictorian and PSAT National Merit Scholar, returned to Norristown Area High School in November to speak to our students about the US Naval Academy (Published 12/2/2015). She shared information about its exceptional academic, athletic, extracurricular activities and leadership training programs.

Midshipmen Assenmacher will graduate from the US Naval Academy in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science degree and then commissioned as an officer in the Navy or Marine Corps.


Quaker Chemical Corporation just completed a career awareness program in all three of our middle schools (published Nov. 17).
Quaker Chemical employees from a variety of professional fields shared their career pathway with our 8th grade students. The
areas included: law, science, engineering, human resources, information technology, marketing, project management, and finance.

The partnership with Quaker Chemical was launched last year at Norristown Area High School where Quaker Chemical engineers and scientists began hosting a monthly hands-on laboratory series in the high school using various lessons, labs, and materials similar to what they experience in the professional setting.

We would like to extend a thank you to all the Quaker Chemical volunteers working with our middle and high school students.

With funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) grants, Norristown Area School District provides academic enrichment opportunities for children during non-school hours, including summer camps at Whitehall Elementary, East Norriton Middle School, and CCATE - Centro de Cultura, Arte, Trabajo y Edicación? (Published July 16, 2015). 

CCATE's 21st CCLC Arts’ Camp theme was based on historian Miguel León Portilla's book, Los antiguos mexicanos [The Ancient Mexicans]. Classes revolved around Aztec cultures and gave students the opportunity to learn about Mexican and Central American cultural roots. Classes included: Aztec dance, drama, muralism, and Aztec artesanía [arts and crafts] and costume design.

On Friday, July 10, students exhibited their artwork while drama and dance students performed a theater piece based on an Aztec creation myth. Students wore costumes designed by Diana Lugo and Diego Ledesma, and made by students and parent volunteers. The exhibition opened and closed with a special dance performance and ceremony by Tlalteolli del Palacio's Aztec dance group.


Eisenhower Science and Technology Leadership Academy was selected to participate in the PA Hybrid Initiative?  (Published May 5, 2015)

Eisenhower will implement hybrid learning into 4 math classrooms this coming fall. Hybrid 
learning is an educational system that creates dynamic classrooms and customized instruction.
The program is designed to improve academic performance by increasing student engagement and
motivating students to succeed. Students have the opportunity to rotate among
3 learning stations: Small group instruction with the teacher; Project-based learning with 1-3 peers;
and computer-based instruction for practice, re-teaching or enriching students at their level.
Each classroom will be equipped with 10 new computers and our math teachers will receive 
technical coaching to aid in the successful implementation of the program.
ESTLA should be commended for volunteering to pilot the program in Norristown Area 
School District.


East Norriton Middle School, under the direction of teacher Victoria Strickland, won Best Building Technology for Model City during the annual Future City Competition, a national, project-based learning experience where students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade imagine, design, and build cities of the future? Published April 28, 2015
Along with the model city, students also designed and built a virtual city, which gave our students a close and personal look at the set-up of city infrastructure, the importance of zoning properly, and the difficulty of working with and balancing a budget. The competition also gave students an opportunity to fine tune their public speaking skills. They not only had to present to the judges and engineers at the competition, but also to the students and teachers from the nearly 50 other participating schools!


This year’s theme was “Feeding Future Cities.”  Students wrote a research paper for the competition on the importance of urban gardening in today’s growing world population.  Students derived their ideas from a field trip to an urban farm called Greensgrow Farm in the Kensington section of Philadelphia. 


Quaker Chemical has partnered with Norristown Area School District to help spark our students’ interest in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics? (Published April 24, 2015)
Quaker Chemical engineers and scientists are hosting a monthly hands-on laboratory series in the high school using various lessons, labs, and materials created in a case study format similar to what they experience in the professional setting. Quaker is also prepared to transport our students to their labs to further expose them to th
e real world of science. This partnership will be expanded annually in an effort to reach as many students as possible.

Did you know…

The Pennsylvania Philharmonic Orchestra is coming to Norristown Area School District on June 1st?  (Published April 10, 2015)


The 65 piece orchestra will focus on providing our students in grades 3 - 8 with an interactive music education symphony featuring works by Greig, Rimsky-Korsakov, Rossini, Bernstein, Berlioz and more. This opportunity will be made available to our children twice annually for years to come through this wonderful partnership.


On Tuesday, April 14, members of Pennsylvania Philharmonic Orchestra will meet with all our music teachers district-wide to discuss the event and introduce the study guide and learning CD they created to help our students prepare for the concert.


Stay tuned! We know this special experience can be life-changing for the listeners.

The 6th grade students at East Norriton Middle School are so proud of Honorable Judge Kearney! (Published Dec. 18, 2014)


Since September 2010 all Norristown Area School District’s 6th grade students have participated in a very special civics program called Liberty and the Law.  This unique program, created by former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Conner, teaches the founding concepts of government inherent in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The most important part of the program is that it is taught by Montgomery County Judges and Lawyers.


Lawyer Mark Kearney has been teaching Liberty and the Law at East Norriton Middle School since 2010 and President Barack Obama nominated him to become a judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the first federal trial court in the United States. On December 3rd the United States Senate unanimously confirmed his appointment.

This is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed on a lawyer and we are very proud that he has always been part of the Liberty and the Law program in our school district.


CCATE Movie Camp production - honorable mention Bucks County Film Fest (Published Wednesday, December 3, 2014)
In July and August of 2014, 55 students participated in the CCATE Movie Camp, which resulted in the scriptwriting, filming, editing, and production of three short films. One of these films, The Orphanage, was awarded an honorable mention on October 2, 2014, at the Bucks County Film Fest and is now available On Demand through COMCAST. Due to the success of the summer Movie Camp, CCATE has opened a weekly filmmaking class for 14 middle and high school students, the majority of whom are from Latino immigrant backgrounds. In this class they have started to develop a plan for a documentary entitled Hecho en Norristown/Made in Norristown. This documentary will portray the development of a newly established and growing Latino community by exploring its culture(s), education, business, art, and history, all through the eyes of adolescent filmmakers. We believe that the process of making this documentary will have a strong and positive impact on the local community and will provide a model for Latino communities across the United States for engaging young people in similar projects. Moreover, we believe that this process will empower and motivate young people to attend college and continue their studies in media production.

Multi-Region Math Science Partnership help Whitehall students study flight (Published Monday, November 17, 2014)


Students in Ms. AnneMarie McDonald’s Class at Whitehall Elementary, working in pairs, launched helicopters using infrared remote controls?


The helicopters are a resource provided on a rotating basis to teachers in school districts involved in the Multi-Region Math Science Partnership, federally funded through a competitive grant.  Ms. McDonald, is one of our teachers in this program. The resource sharing is similar to the Geodome that came to Stewart, ESTLA, Marshall Street and Whitehall last year, and will come again this year. Teachers receive training on the use of some very cool science stuff during summer Professional Development at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.


More good things will come to our District as a result of our teachers’ involvement in the Math/Science Partnership including Star Labs, Sun Spotters, Infrared cameras, and more. Some other benefits include access to:


·        Scientists & Engineers from Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland


·        10 Math and 10 Science Instructors representing  Immaculata University, University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, Bucknell University, University of Scranton, Lycoming College and Albright College.


·        Five (5) STEM Content and Pedagogy projects: University of Maryland’s “B.E.S.T.” engineering program for students in grades 3 – 12; Real World In World Virtual Engineering Challenge Project; Space Telescope Institute – Baltimore, MD and the NASA Globe Project.


·        NASA – Summer of Innovation (SoI) that allows students to attend a one week, 30 hour, FREE Science camp.


·        An opportunity to earn six (6) graduate credits per year in math or science, and up to four (4) courses toward a STEM Master’s program.


2014 Garden of Distinction goes to Stewart Middle School. (Published Monday, November 10, 2014)

Stewart Middle School’s garden was selected by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society as the 2014 Garden of Distinction in the category of Children’s Garden. The contest involved over 350 entries from across the Philadelphia area!
Stewart’s gardening and greening will be celebrated during the 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show. Congratulations to Ms. Cheryl Brumbaugh and her Stewart Middle School gardeners. -
NAHS students accepted on-the-spot! (Published Friday, October 31, 2014)
 Student success in Norristown Area School District seldom receives the attention it deserves – except from colleges and universities in Pennsylvania and from across our great nation that know our graduates come prepared to learn and succeed in postsecondary education. 

On October 10, twenty-eight seniors were accepted on the spot to attend East Stroudsburg University in the fall. The students will major in a range of disciplines, including Computer Science, Biology, Pre-Med, Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Nursing, Accounting, Physical Therapy, Exercise Science, and English/Journalism/Communications.


Of these early admission students, five were offered significant merit scholarship packages – full tuition for 2 of them! 


Representatives from Cabrini College, Gwynedd Mercy University, Widener University, Kutztown University, and Millersville University have already scheduled time in November to meet our students, with many others to follow. They too will offer an abundance of opportunities vying for our students to enroll on the spot!


Congratulations to our seniors for this accomplishment - and thank you for giving the Norristown Area School District the privilege to be a part of your educational journey.
May success follow you throughout life.


The Mission of the Norristown Area School District is to provide comprehensive educational programs to prepare all students to become productive, responsible, creative citizens. -


NASD proudly saluting one of our graduates. (Published Tuesday, July 10, 2014)

Lauren Michelle Biscombe, a 2005 graduate of NASD, completed her BS in Civil Engineering at MIT in Cambridge, Mass., class of 2009 and her MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University, in Stanford, Calif., class of 2011.  She is employed by ARUP of San Francisco, CA, a global firm of consulting engineers (, which allows her to travel and work in other countries.  Norristown Area School District is very proud of her hard work and accomplishments.

Project Lead the Way prepares students for college credit. (Published Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Eight of our Norristown Area High School 9th graders enrolled in Project Lead the Way during the 2013-14 school year scored sufficiently high on the Introduction to Engineering and Design nationally standardized end-of-the-year exam to receive college credit at any one of nearly 40 post-secondary schools nationwide, including Penn State, Duke University, Purdue University, Rowan University, and others.


Our 9th graders were competing with upper classmen nation-wide and still managed to rank in the top quartile of the USA! 


Never underestimate the ability of Norristown Area School District students. Simply outstanding!


Project Lead The Way is the nation's leading provider of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs. For more information about this program, visit


       Best wishes for a great summer! -
Class of 2014 off to college. (Published Thursday, June 12, 2014)
We are extremely proud of the Class 2014. Our talented and intelligent students have been accepted to more than 200 colleges and universities. Many of the colleges and universities are among the finest in the nation, including Duke University, the University of Pennsylvania, Swarthmore, Haverford College, Franklin and Marshall, Bucknell, Rice University, Fordham, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Howard, Drexel and Carnegie Mellon University.


Our students have been awarded more than $3.2 million dollars in scholarship money in the upcoming year, which translates into more than $11,000,000 over four years!


Congratulations to the more than 400 students that graduated!


Please check out this story on our website:  NASD– Top of the class of 2014 



East Norriton Middle School students placed 1st in the 2014 SeaPerch Challenge Oral Presentation category. (Published Thursday June 5, 2014)

As a result of the students' first place finish during the Sea Perch Challenge hosted at Drexel University on April 25 and 26, our students received a trophy and participated in the American Society of Naval Engineers, Delaware Valley section (ASNE-DV) Electric Machines Technology Symposium (EMTS) held at Villanova University, Villanova PA, on May 28, 2014.




For more information, please visit our website by clicking here.