Special activities at Southern Lehigh HS? (Bethlehem, Macungie: credit, homes, neighborhood)
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I'm trying to get a better feel for Southern Lehigh beyond the facts and figures I've found on Schoolmatters and Schoolmatch.com. My husband has taken a job in Bethlehem and we will be moving to the area from South Jersey at the end of the summer. Our two older kids are in college, but our youngest will be going into 8th grade. Can anyone on this forum with kids in SL fill me in? A friend told me some great things about Saucon Valley (coaches and teachers who reached out to new students, cool homecoming activities, etc) but we didn't see any homes we were interested in. But I've fallen in love with the new NV development in Center Valley (any info about that would be welcome also) Any and all advice would be very welcome - we've lived in the same neighborhood in South Jersey for 20 years and I'm trying to make sure we pick the right place for us in PA. Thanks so much.
Well! My two oldest graduated from Solehi in 2003 and 2006 and my youngest is a freshman. All freshman are invited to an orientation in August before school starts. They just started offering this recently and because of older siblings and band camp, my youngest son wasn't interested.
All three of my kids have been involved in HS band and/or choir. My daughter was in all the drama's and musicals as well as Key Club. My oldest son was a member of the bowling club, philosophy club, National Honor Society and film club. So far my youngest is in the Robotics club and may help out with the Spring musical. The marching band usually places very high at the area band festivals and we have one of the largest marching bands around.
As a parent, I've been very involved in the music booster groups and have helped out with various snack bars for different groups. Just last week our school hosted the District 10 Orchestra festival that involved over 100 students from our region and we had 85 kids that were kept overnight for two nights by area families. There is a monthly parents informational meeting run by the Principal and attended by about a dozen parents.
The guidance department does a few different parent workshops every year. In fact, they just hosted an 8th grade parents meeting this past week to talk to those parents about their students choices for next year. Like Saucon, we have just one middle school and one high school so the same kids just move over a school. They also do college informational meetings for parents of juniors and seniors.
Sports-wise, we are one of the smaller schools in the Valley but our Soccer, hockey and basketball teams usually do very well and our lacrosse team is improving. Lacrosse is relatively new but very popular. Two other popular sports are cross country and track. Our football team is pretty pathetic but we were happy that they won 3 games this year. Nevertheless, the students and community turn out to all the home games and it's often hard to find a seat in the stadium.
One of the nice things for newcomers is that because we are a growing area it's not hard to make friends. There's a newcomers group here too. Many kids go to parochial and private middle schools but switch to the High School so it's a good time to enter for your son.
One of the suprising things I found out about Saucon from this website: https://apcourseaudit.epiconline.org/ledger/index.php is that they don't offer very many AP classes. I think their HS is pretty much the same size as SL's so I don't know why that is like that, but it's a real blessing for the kids to have some AP's under their belt for when they start college. SL also has some distance learning classes with the local community college and the top kids often take a class or two at DeSales, Lehigh or Moravian. Juniors and Seniors can also take a few classes for dual credit.
Oh, and they have a good internship program for motivated students. My daughter was able to work the whole first semester of her senior year at a local elementary school as a teachers aide. It was a great eye-opener for her and made her sure of an ed major in college.
Okay, sorry for writing a book, but I do really like our schools. I can tell you even more about the community!
Regarding the AP course audit, this is the first year that College Board required this procedure, so many schools across the country who didn't get their paperwork in order did not have all of their courses approved by College Board. I have NO idea if that is the case with Saucon Valley, but I know some schools have been hit by this new audit. Here is the program of studies for SV: http://www.sauconvalley.k12.pa.us/do...mOfStudies.pdf
I just worked with someone who moved into that subdivision and He loves it. He loved the whole building process with them. Also I just helped a NJ transplant as well into another subdivsion and he said his kids (who are about 10 and 8) the school help them get acclimated very well. I can get the scoop on the particulars with what programs if you would like.
Thank you - this is just the sort of thing I'm looking for. Jeff - are you a realtor with NV or an "objective" observer My daughter and I had a great first impression, but I just want to do my homework. Also, does anybody know what will be going up in that cornfield across East Valley Rd from the development. I'd love to think it would remain a farm, but I'm not quite that naive.
Also, Too busy, no need to apologize for "the book". I've read some of your postings on here when I was googling southern lehigh, and you seem to have a lot of good information - I was hoping you would respond to this! Any more "chapters" you can post with more advice would be great. I'm happy to hear about the AP situation. Our current high school has a great selection that our oldest took advantage of - she started college with 12 credits - so I'd like to have that opportunity again. Is there girl's lacrosse? tennis? Thanks again!
Yes, there is a girls lacrosse and tennis. I really don't know how good they are because my kids haven't had friends on those teams. I know our boys lacrosse is good even though it's a new program.
Community activities. In the winter, not much going on outside but in the schools (esp. the HS and MS) things are still happening! Two weeks ago our HS hosted the district 10 orchestra festival. Girls and boys basketball is being played, and the kids are looking forward to the Snowball, a dance open to any High School student, with dates or just friends. It's a semi-formal but the kids don't seem to go too far overboard - no limo's or tuxes. Odyssey of the Mind is pretty big in the area and a few of our teams usually go to the States and sometimes the World tournaments. My son's Robotics team is meeting several times a week anticipating regional events at the end of the month. The High School musical is performed in early March and usually sells out two out of three performances. This year it's Fiddler on the roof.
At Easter time, the lutheran churches get together for joined events. There's a big Easter Egg hunt at the community park sponsored by the Lions cub and mostly run by the HS key club. In the early summer (I think it's early summer) there is a community day of giving sponsored by St. John's church but the other local churches also provide some volunteers. This is a big festival where money raised is given to two or three local residents to help with some overwhelming financial problem usually stemming from medical bills.
All during the spring and summer there are baseball games at the Limeport Stadium Limeport Stadium a cool field of dreams sort of place that was built in 1932. The Lower Milford fire company hosts a carnival with rides. Upper Saucon township has music in the parks on some Thursday evenings in Upper Saucon park. This is a nice large park with several soccer fields, baseball fields and a new library. The library is a community library: Southern Lehigh Public Library, Center Valley, PA The staff is the nicest in the area.
In early fall we have the different community days. All on different weekends so you could go to all three. Coopersburg is the oldest and biggest but Upper Saucon and Lower Milford are pretty cool too. There's a Halloween parade in early October with bands, politicans and candy. I like the one in Macungie too but that's often a cool nighttime event and ours is a convienent Sunday afternoon.
The High School drama is done in October.
Right before Thanksgiving is Scouting for food where all the boy scout troops gather canned goods from the whole township and give them to the local food bank at St. James church. The food bank is actually sponsored by 11 area churches - all different denominations and is available to any resident.
At Christmas time there is community caroling through Coopersburg that ends with a huge get together at the town hall with homemade cookies and hot chocolate.
Wow! Thanks for all the great info - it sounds like we won't have much trouble finding things to do once we get settled in!
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