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  • April 5, 2024

    Dear Upper Merion Area School District Families,

    I’m back with another weather-related message. We felt the earthquake at our schools and administration building. I’m happy to report that everyone is okay and that our buildings have not been damaged.

    Respectfully,

    Dr. Tamara Thomas Smith
    Superintendent of Schools
    Upper Merion Area School District


    April 2, 2024

    Dear Upper Merion Area School District Community,

    On Monday, April 8th, a total solar eclipse will occur, visible across North America, which presents both an educational opportunity and a safety concern for our students and staff.

    After careful consideration, we have decided to close our schools early on Monday, April 8th, to ensure the safety of our students, staff, and community members. The solar eclipse is a rare astronomical event that provides a unique learning experience for students to observe and study celestial phenomena. However, viewing the eclipse without proper eye protection can pose severe risks to eye health, including permanent damage to the retina.

    To that end, we have decided to follow our inclement weather schedule for dismissal and transportation. Schools will dismiss at the following times: High School, 10:40 AM; Middle School, 11:10 AM; and Elementary Schools, 12:00 PM. Closing our schools early will allow students to safely observe the eclipse with their families and guardians, who can provide proper eye protection and supervision during this event. Please note that before arriving at this decision, the District purchased glasses for all elementary school students as their dismissal time overlapped with the solar eclipse timing. Our glasses meet the ISO 12312-2 international standards to view the solar eclipse safely and will be sent home with the elementary students on Monday. 

    Additionally, Right at School will not operate on Monday, April 8th. Our middle and high schools will communicate details about after-school programs, sports, and Central Montco Technical High School scheduling to their families. 

    We understand that this decision may cause inconvenience for some families, and we appreciate your understanding and cooperation in prioritizing the safety and well-being of our students. We encourage parents and guardians to discuss safety precautions with their children and make appropriate arrangements for their care during the early closure.

    With this course of action, we are committed to ensuring that parents, guardians, and families lead the decision-making regarding their children’s full solar eclipse experience, including the option to pick students up early or not send them to school.

    If you’re interested in a local formal viewing experience, there will be solar eclipse viewings at the Valley Forge National Historical Park and the McKaig Nature Center. You can also locate additional resources at:

    Solar Eclipse 101, National Geographic
    National Solar Observatory 
    NASA’s  2024 Total Solar Eclipse

    Thank you for your continued support as we prioritize the safety and education of our students. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your child's school or the District office.

    Sincerely,
    Dr. Tamara Thomas Smith
    Superintendent of Schools
    Upper Merion Area School District


    March 22, 2024

    Dear Upper Merion Area School District Community,

    As we approach spring break, I want to extend my warmest wishes to our students, families, and staff members. As you enter this well-deserved break, I hope you take this opportunity to rest, recharge, and rejuvenate.

    I encourage our hardworking students to take a break from their studies, spend quality time with family and friends, and engage in activities that bring them happiness and relaxation. And I urge our dedicated staff to prioritize self-care and take time to rest and refresh, knowing that your efforts make a difference in the lives of our students every day.

    Let us cherish moments of joy, laughter, and togetherness with loved ones and return refreshed and energized to continue our shared mission of excellence in education.

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Tamara Thomas Smith
    Superintendent of Schools
    Upper Merion Area School District


    March 15, 2024

    Dear Upper Merion Area School District Community,

    Today, I conclude my first week as your new Superintendent. I embrace this role with enthusiasm and dedication, feeling honored to serve a school district community rooted in tradition and recognized for its commitment to excellence. It has been an honor to step into this role amidst such warmth and welcome, and I am touched by the kindness that each of you has extended. I have met some amazing students, and I am inspired by the opportunity to serve alongside dedicated educators, supportive families, and passionate community members. Your collective spirit of unity and collaboration is truly remarkable, and it has been a privilege to witness firsthand during my visits to our schools this week.

    As Superintendent, I prioritize ensuring every student's success and wellness within our school district. I am committed to fostering an inclusive environment where students feel valued, empowered, and supported to reach their full potential. Additionally, I am dedicated to partnering with our families, pledging to support you by fostering open communication and providing resources and information to help navigate an educational journey where your children can thrive. Furthermore, the faculty and staff are the heart of our educational system, and your dedication to our students is commendable. My support of your work includes advocating for professional development opportunities, resources, and support services to enhance your teaching practice and promote your well-being.

    I am eager to work closely with parents, guardians, teachers, staff, and community members to create a strong partnership that promotes student achievement and success. Together, we will celebrate our accomplishments, address our challenges, and strive for continuous improvement in all aspects of our educational programs and services. I look forward to meeting with our school district community members in the coming weeks and months to listen to your perspectives, ideas, and concerns. Your input will be invaluable as we work together to ensure every student receives a high-quality education that prepares them for lifelong success.

    I am filled with enthusiasm and optimism for the journey ahead and the opportunity to collaborate with all of you to continue the legacy of excellence in the Upper Merion Area School District. Thank you for your ongoing support, and I am grateful for the privilege of serving as your Superintendent. 


    Sincerely,

    Tamara Thomas Smith, Ed.D.
    Superintendent of Schools
    Upper Merion Area School District