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Superintendent of Schools
Page Updated: August 23, 2018
A Message from the Superintendent’s Office

Mr. Matthew J. Link, Superintendent
mlink@nlsd.org | 610-767-9800

Mr. Matthew J. Link Dear Northern Lehigh Families and Community Members,

To say that I am excited about the return of our students and staff for the 2018-2019 school year would be an understatement. I anticipate many will be amazed to see some of the upgrades to their schools, inside and out. The rainy summer could not stop us from making significant progress towards our campus and school improvement projects. The middle school and high school roofs are near completion as well as the HVAC and ceiling work at the middle school. The lighting upgrades slated to start prior to the start of school have also begun. The lighting work will continue around the district into the early fall as planned, with no interruption to instruction. The new wireless network is installed throughout our buildings, with the addition of a guest network. These network improvements will improve connectivity across our campus and includes several high density access points in areas such as gymnasiums and the Bulldog Community Stadium. Our summer-help workers, many of whom are current students or recent graduates, have done an amazing job beautifying the inside and outside of our buildings. Our custodial and maintenance crews have been hard at work cleaning classrooms and common spaces and also ensuring things are in proper working order.

We have been extremely busy over the summer filling many positions in the district. We completed the interview process and have hired to fill our new and open support staff positions. We also filled our new secondary Math, Science, and Elementary Teacher positions. I am happy to say that the screenings and multi-tiered system of interviews resulted in outstanding candidates, and due to the high quality of the individuals, our decision to narrow it down to one for each position was no easy task. Thank you to our staff members that gave their time to be part of the interview process.

In the areas of teaching and learning, we will be focusing on developing our curriculum across the K-12 spectrum and within grade levels and content areas so that students achieve and grow academically. In the middle school every student will receive a Chromebook and in the high school, the student to technology ratio will also be one-to-one. Faculty will have some new and improved resources, such as Read 180, Career Cruising, and Study Island at their disposal to aid in analyzing data, differentiating for all learners, and meeting the requirements of ESSA and the Future Ready PA Index. Targeted and purposeful professional development will be provided in these areas and others throughout the year.

We continue to move forward reviewing plans and taking action to reduce potential threats and risks to our students, staff, and guests to our buildings. There is ongoing work occurring to increase and improve structural security measures, such as improvements to vestibules in each building, including automatic electronic locks on external and internal vestibule doors. Additional security cameras are being installed in the Slatington Elementary School and the Field House. We are also in the process of grant writing to fund hardware and software to check identification of visitors to every school building and our central office. Protective safety film has been installed on many ground level windows at each building, and we have plans to continue this process. We also have plans to increase training and drills for our students and staff and are hopeful we can utilize grant money to extend the training even further. We have submitted grant applications to PDE requesting nearly $70,000 to further improve safety and security throughout our buildings and campuses.

Currently, we are in discussions with Nulton Diagnostic and Treatment Centers, Lehigh County, and Magellan Behavioral Health to improve access to mental health treatment. Nulton Diagnostic is in the process of opening a site on Main Street in Slatington to provide treatment and support within our community. This location within our community is a great step forward in removing a barrier to accessing services due to transportation needs and time constraints families often struggle to overcome. Our ultimate goal is to extend this service by partnering with Nulton Diagnostic and providing space within our school buildings for their staff to provide services directly to our students. We believe a balanced approach of improved physical security measures, training, and access to supports and services within our schools and community, will assist in providing a more secure and supportive school environment.

As we start the new school year, I have asked our faculty and staff to greet students and each other with the enthusiasm of greeting a beloved family member not seen in a long time. What better way to let our students know how much we care about them and welcome them back to their home away from home! What better way to let each other know that we are family!

I look forward to a great school year and encourage you to get involved with your child’s education and the Northern Lehigh community!

Sincerely,

Matthew J. Link
Superintendent