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New leader ready to take over in district

Revisions have been made to class schedules in the district's middle schools and high school.
/ Source: PhillyBurbs.com

Revisions have been made to class schedules in the district's middle schools and high school.

The Bensalem School District begins the new school year with a new leader.

William Gretzula, a district resident, became Bensalem's superintendent in early August, succeeding James Lombardo, who left to take a similar position near his hometown in Connecticut.

Gretzula, 40, served as assistant superintendent for 2 1/2 years under Lombardo.

During that time, he either led or assisted in several initiatives in Bensalem, including reducing of class sizes in district elementary schools and the restructuring of elementary boundary lines to even out school populations.

The new superintendent promises to build on district successes under Lombardo's leadership.

He's already worked with administrators to secure the school board's OK to modify Bensalem High School's block schedule to improve student achievement. The revised schedule takes effect when school begins Sept. 8.

The new alternating A/B schedule will close learning gaps that had been as much as 16 months in mathematics, music and foreign language classes, administrators said. Students will take eight classes for the entire year, instead of four classes per semester.

Four 82-minute classes will be on "A" days and the other four on "B" days.

Administrators will host a second information session about the revisions at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

In addition to the schedule changes, an advanced placement physics class also has been added to course offerings at the high school, officials said.

Class schedules also have been adjusted in the district's two middle schools to allow more time for health instruction and electives, administrators said.

The Bensalem School District serves approximately 6,000 students in nine schools. The district employs more than 960 people and will operate in 2009-10 with an estimated $111.4 million annual budget.

Web site: www.bensalemsd.org

WHO'S WHO IN THE SCHOOLS

Superintendent:

William Gretzula, 215-750-2800, ext. 4100

Assistant Superintendent:

To be determined, 215-750-2800, ext. 4103

Director of Business Operations:

Jack Myers, 215-750-2800, ext. 4200

Director of Curriculum and Instruction:

Martha MacAninch, 215-750-2800, ext. 4013

Director of Pupil Personnel:

Ann Marie Klibert, 215-750-2800, ext. 4108

Director of Human Resources:

Robert Cardillo, 215-750-2800, ext. 4003

Principals:

Bensalem High School: Francis Perry, 215-750-2800, ext. 3000

Robert K. Shafer Middle School: William Incollingo Jr., 215-750-2800, ext. 2200

Cecelia Snyder Middle School: Deborah B. McKay, 215-750-2800, ext. 2300

Belmont Hills Elementary School: Marla Zeisler, 215-750-2800, ext. 1100

Cornwells Elementary School: Shawn Mark, 215-750-2800, ext. 1200

Samuel K. Faust Elementary School: To be determined, 215-750-2800, ext. 1300

Benjamin Rush Elementary School: Kathleen Leon, 215-750-2800, ext. 1400

Russell C. Struble Elementary School: Lana Judy, 215-750-2800, ext. 1500

Valley Elementary School: Mary Glaesser 215-750-2800, ext. 1600

School board:

President Harry Kramer, Vice President Eugene Rothenberg, James Bodnar, Dr. Lewis Brandt, Rose Jacobs, Carol Jones, Carol McGuire, Heather Nicholas and Stephen Nowmos

Meeting schedule: Generally the second and fourth Wednesday of the month at 7:30 p.m. except in July in the boardroom of the Dorothy D. Call Administrative Center off Donallen Drive

Note: The board's first meeting in November will be Nov. 10 in observance of Veterans Day, which is on the second Wednesday of the month. Its second meeting of November will be Nov. 24 because the following day, the fourth Wednesday of the month, begins the district's Thanksgiving holiday observance. The board's first meeting of December will be Dec. 7 to reorganize and the second meeting of the month will be Dec. 16, because the district's Winter Recess begins on Dec. 23, the fourth Wednesday of the month.

2009-10 School Calendar

Sept. 8, First day for students

Sept. 28, Yom Kippur, school closed

Oct. 7, Professional development day, no school

Nov. 3, Election Day and professional development day, no school

Nov. 11, Veterans Day, no school

Nov. 26-Nov. 27, Thanksgiving holiday, district closed

Dec. 24-Jan. 1, Winter recess including Christmas and New Year's Day, district closed

Jan. 4, Schools reopen

Jan. 18, Martin Luther King Day, district closed

Feb. 1, Professional development day, no school

Feb. 15, Presidents Day, district closed

April 1-April 5, Spring break, district closed

April 6, Schools reopen

May 18, Election Day and professional development day, no school

May 31, Memorial Day, district closed

June 15, Half-day for high school students and full day for elementary and middle school students

June 16, Tentative last day of school for students, half day for all students