Fall 2015 letter to alumni

Dear Lower Merion & Harriton Alumni,

Greetings from Lower Merion! The 2015-16 school year is underway and the Lower Merion/Harriton Alumni Association is looking forward to a number of exciting projects and enhanced communication with alumni in the months ahead.

2015-16 Membership
If you are an active member of the alumni association, we thank you for your support. If you are not a member or need to renew your membership, there are three ways to renew/join:

Click here to download the 2015-16 membership form to print and send.
Click here to join/renew online via PayPal (1-Year Membership Only, $15).
Click here to join/renew online via PayPal (Annually Recurring Membership, $15/year).

If you are not sure if you are still an active member (most memberships expired September 30, 2015), please email lmhalumni@gmail.com. To make a donation above and beyond the $15 membership fee, click here.

The Lower Merion/Harriton High School Alumni Association serves to keep our alumni connected and foster continued service to the school community. Your membership and contributions are greatly appreciated. Membership fees support ongoing initiatives like the Distinguished Alumni Award Program, Commencement Honor Line, Reunion Communications, Student Mentoring Program, Annual Newsletter and alumni website.

New Alumni Association Website
We encourage you to visit our website, www.lmsd.org/alumni, for alumni news and announcements, class agent info and to see all upcoming reunion information. If there is not a class agent listed for your class, we are in need of someone to volunteer for the position – please email us at lmhalumni@gmail.com if you are interested. We would also appreciate your help in sharing alumni news. If you have links to published articles and stories that feature LM and Harriton alumni, please email the link/s along with the name and class year of the alumna/us to lmhalumni@gmail.com. (PDF attachments also accepted.)

Alumni Directory Update/Where to File Complaints
As you may be aware, the past year presented a number of challenges as we had to recover from the disturbing loss of the company handling our alumni database research. Fortunately, we maintained a copy of our information and have a temporary system in place until we can identify a new research partner. Along with the loss of our database, several hundred alumni who paid for the 2013 alumni directory are out the $70 they paid to Alumni Research, Inc. This company has filed for bankruptcy and the Attorney General of Florida is handling a number of complaints related to this issue. For more information please visit our website, www.lmsd.org/alumni, and read the postings concerning the alumni directory.

School District News

LMSD Welcomes New Superintendent
The LMSD Board of School Directors unanimously approved the appointment of Robert L. Copeland as superintendent in May. Mr. Copeland joins the District following three years as superintendent in Neshaminy School District and more than ten years as superintendent in Piscataway Township (NJ), where he was named New Jersey Superintendent of the Year. Key priorities for the new superintendent include implementation of the LMSD strategic plan, managing ongoing student enrollment growth and addressing the achievement gap. Click here for a letter from Mr. Copeland to the LMSD community.

Strategic Plan Approved
The District’s new strategic plan, All Forward: Strategic Pathways for Lower Merion School District, is the culmination of a year-long planning process to provide new direction for public education in LMSD. Thousands of stakeholders contributed to this process, sharing their thoughts, ideas and dreams for LMSD schools through community surveys, community forums, focus groups, public meetings and a steering committee of 70 community volunteers. Five "pathways" provide the framework for the plan and indicate new directions for how LMSD defines student success, develops curriculum, supports professional learning, engages students and partners with the community. For more information, visit the All Forward section of the District website.

LMSD Enrollment Growth Continues
School district enrollment is at its highest levels in nearly 40 years. Opening day enrollment in 2015 surpassed 8,300 students for the first time since the 1976-77 school year. Recent enrollment studies indicate that the student population will continue to increase through the 2021-22 school year. As a result, the District has expanded/is currently expanding classroom capacity at a number of schools and is working to address impacts on programmatic planning, staffing, scheduling and other key school functions. Enrollment growth is attributed to an increasing number of families choosing public schools versus private schools, an increase in students originating from multi-family developments (apartments) and a strong real estate market in Lower Merion that is attracting young families interested in accessing the public schools.

LMSD a Top 5 District in USA
LMSD was named one of the Top 5 school districts in the United States in a recent report by Business Insider/Niche.Com. The study considered a wide range of factors, including academics, health and safety, student culture and diversity, teachers, resources and facilities, extra-curricular programs and athletics. In 2015, LMSD also was named to the AP Honor Roll by College Board and honored as one of America’s Best Communities for Music by the NAMM Foundation. For a list of other recent highlights and achievements, click here.

Volunteer for the Alumni Association
The Association consists of Lower Merion and Harriton alumni, and is run by a volunteer Board of Directors. It is our pleasure to coordinate this association, but we are always looking for volunteers to join us. If you are interested in volunteering please email us at lmhalumni@gmail.com. We would love to hear from you!

Best wishes to you and your family for a wonderful fall!

Sincerely,

Joni Blum
President, Lower Merion/Harriton Alumni Association