Decade of change ahead for NPSD


Marissa Werner

A decade of change is on the horizon for NPSD.

TOWAMENCIN- 10 years ago, teachers developed their lesson plans around when the laptop cart was available to sign out. Now, every student throughout the district has technology literally at their fingertips with their very own Chromebook. 10 years ago, the thought of having 9th grade on the high school campus was illogical. Now, concrete discussions have arisen regarding that change. As the new decade emerges, the state of the district has the potential to look and feel dramatically different, in terms of its physical structure, but also regarding the state of education.

One of the most significant changes on the horizon is the potential of bringing 9th grade to the high school campus, a change with many benefits for students.

“Allowing 9th graders to participate in the experiences at the high school will create opportunities that don’t exist now due to the logistics of transportation and scheduling. Having all students here for a full four years will really allow all students to be involved in North Penn High School in a deeper way,” remarked North Penn High School Principal Mr. Pete Nicholson.

The thought of having four grades on one campus is one that seemed impractical a decade ago due to size and budgeting. However North Penn School District Superintendent Dr. Curt Dietrich noted that there are many academic, athletic, and extracurricular benefits to having a 9th grade center on the high school property.

“We have more than 125 students who are bussed from our middle schools to the high school for advanced classes and many more who would be interested in taking advantage of opportunities for advanced classes if they were on the same campus as our sophomores, juniors, and seniors,” Dietrich stated.

A renovation nearer in the future is the extensive one for Crawford Stadium. The need for renovating the stadium has always been prevalent but was made especially evident last fall when the NPHS football team was forced to play their playoff games at away stadiums due to poor weather conditions. In addition, the size of the turf field makes it difficult for it to serve as multipurpose for all sports teams.

“We want to be able to have our events here on North Penn and have a true home field advantage. The field would become unplayable with really bad weather and that was a concern. We’ll have a wider turf field than we have right now because the specifications for sports like soccer have a wider field, and we want to have a multi-use field,” said Dietrich in an interview with The Knight Crier this winter.

As discussions and excitements spur about what the next decade will bring for North Penn, it is important to note the great deal of change that has occured in the last decade. From the arrival of Chromebooks a few years ago to the School Board’s decision to implement full day kindergarten starting in the 19-20 school year, transformative changes to the district have already begun taking place.

“Google Classroom, along with the many other technology tools that Chromebooks enable, has seen the way students learn and the way that teachers deliver content change dramatically. As technology continues to advance, I believe this transformation will continue and will benefit students in a very real way. This shift will create more time for teachers to work individually with students to ensure they’re reaching their highest potential,” observed Nicholson.

While plans to improve the physical structure of the district are in place, the future of education also remains a blank slate with endless possibilities.

“I feel like learning will certainly be more personalized with students being able to choose how they best learn. I believe the emphasis of education will continue to shift towards collaboration and creation and away from memorization of facts,” remarked Nicholson.

Ultimately, it is an unique time to be a part of the NPSD with groundbreaking and innovative changes peeking behind the horizon as the new decade comes.

“I’m really excited about what the future holds for North Penn High School. It’s certainly an exciting time to be discussing the future of the high school and all that it holds,” Nicholson said.