Next Board Meeting: TONIGHT, September 30, 2021 7:00 p.m.
This Board meeting is open to the public. There are no limits to the number of people who may attend in person, but masks are required. Board meetings will continue to be live-streamed as well, but there will be no call-in comments or questions.
Presentations from Recent Board Meetings:
UPDATE: Recent Board of Education Vacancies, Applications, & Selection Process
We are thrilled to announce that 32 Haddonfield residents expressed interest in the two immediate Board vacancies! We can all be proud of this clear affirmation that members of our local community recognize the importance of the Board of Education and our educational programs.
The large number of candidates prohibits in-person interviews with each individual. Instead, we are employing the following process:
Each candidate was required to reply to a series of questions. Completed responses were returned to the Board Secretary by Friday, September 24th.
The responses, previously submitted letters of interest and resumes/CVs will be evaluated by members of the Board.
The Board will then select five to seven candidates to interview in person. Candidates will be contacted by October 1, 2021.
Final interviews will be held in a public meeting on October 7, 2021.
The two new Board members will be sworn in on October 14th.
Greetings from the Superintendent!
As of today, we have been back in school, in person, for 16 days. I believe I speak for many when I say that it has been enormously satisfying to see parents and children walking to school, teachers meeting their classes each morning, crossing guards directing the safe passage of our students, after-school athletic practices, and other signs of “school life as we knew it.”
However, I want all of our families and employees to have faith that we continue to carefully monitor national, state, county and borough news as well as recommendations from the CDC and the local Department of Health. The Pandemic Response Team continues to hold weekly meetings, we still meet with county health officials bi-weekly, and we regularly share information through the “@HSDHealth” newsletters. Details of the latest COVID+ tests are posted on our website under “COVID Info.”
Last week, in the spirit of ongoing vigilance, we temporarily closed one section of preschool at Central Elementary as we waited for COVID test results for two symptomatic students and in response to a COVID+ staff member. The test results were negative and the class has reopened.
Tracking the Coronavirus in New Jersey, we see that, unfortunately, Camden County is back in the orange or high zone. In the next few weeks, we will make modifications to our current plan. We will now exclude non-vaccinated individuals within three feet of a COVID+ individual, and classroom setups will return to the way they looked last June. As more decisions are made, we will keep you all informed.
Essential to our success during the last 19 months has been the unflagging support we have received from ALL of you and from ALL of the Haddonfield community. And, if we didn’t already know it, the response to our “call for applicants” for two immediate Board of Education openings has driven home the fact that our citizens are passionate about our schools and our school children. There have been 32 applicants for these two spots (four have since withdrawn), so many that we have had to alter our interview process. Immediately above my message is an explanation of the process and the timeline.
Challenges persist; there is no doubt. But I remain confident that Haddonfield’s strength, resilience, and community spirit will bolster our progress as we move forward.
Superintendent of Schools
New Jersey Governor's "Educator of the Year" Nominations Open Now!
Haddonfield School District is excited to participate in the Governor's Educator of the Year (GEOY) program, but we need your help. The intent of this program is to recognize the hard work of our outstanding TEACHERS and EDUCATIONAL SERVICES PROFESSIONALS. Below you will find a link to the nomination form (used for both categories). The criteria that you should consider for any nomination are the bulleted items on the form, and a description of an educational services professional follows the bullets.
Please complete this nomination form by Wednesday, November 10, 2021. Administrators, staff members, parents, students and community members are encouraged to participate.
A cross-district committee will be established to review nominations and make a selection for each building before Thanksgiving Break.
We will also be recognizing SUPPORT STAFF PROFESSIONALS from Haddonfield Schools for their hard work and dedication to the district. These individuals will be selected by a committee and recognized by the Board of Education. If you know of a paraprofessional, secretary, custodian, maintenance worker, bus driver, van attendant or technology specialist who is dedicated, inspiring, and making a difference in the lives of staff, parents and students, please take the time to nominate this person. Please use the same nomination form, also due by Wednesday, November 10, 2021. A description of the category of “support professional” follows the bullets on the nomination form.
We have wonderful teachers and educational services and support professionals in our schools, and now is the time to recognize them for their hard work and dedication to our students, parents, and community!
Haddonfield-Japan Exchange Reopening Summer 2022
The Haddonfield-Japan Exchange (HJE) organization is excited to announce that applications are now open for Haddonfield high school students to travel to Japan in the summer of 2022!
The Haddonfield Japan Exchange is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that promotes an annual exchange program between students from Haddonfield and Sendai, Japan. In alternating summers, about 10 to 15 students (and chaperones) from the U.S. and Japan visit one another and stay with host families. This year’s trip is tentatively scheduled for July 2022. Students will be required to cover airfare for the trip and attend classes every two weeks for cultural learning and trip preparation.
There will be an information meeting on November 8 at 7pm in room C8 at Haddonfield Memorial High School. Students and parents are encouraged to attend to learn more about the program.
This is a fantastic opportunity to make lifelong international friends. Past students of the program have called it “the trip of a lifetime!” Please visit www.hjex.org or contact the Haddonfield Japan Exchange at email@example.com for more information on the program.
Start Strong Assessments being Administered in Haddonfield
One of the changes to the 2020-21 school year resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic was the cancellation of the NJSLA standardized assessments (New Jersey’s Student Learning Assessments) for English Language Arts (ELA), Mathematics, and Science.
On April 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education (USED), recognizing that “we are in the midst of a pandemic that requires real flexibility,” informed the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) that the administration of Start Strong Assessments in fall 2021 will satisfy the federal, statewide requirement to administer general assessments in ELA, mathematics, and science for the 2020-2021 school year.
The Start Strong Assessment (SSA) is intended to:
Produce information that our teachers will use as a standards-based complement to the resources used in their classrooms to evaluate the needs of students.
Be administered quickly and provide results relatively quickly to teachers and parents.
Meet federal flexibility for the 2020-2021 school year associated with the administration of general ELA/math/science assessment, including public reporting of school-level results disaggregated by subgroup.
The SSA is not intended to:
Replace local standards-based benchmark assessments districts may already have in place.
Replace the spring 2022 NJSLA statewide summative assessments. This is one-time flexibility granted by the U.S. Department of Education (USED). It is expected that all eligible students will participate in the spring 2022 NJSLA statewide assessments.
Building principals have shared the Start Strong testing schedule with their parents in eBlasts and emails. The test sessions are approximately 60 minutes long and will be given in these areas:
ELA (English-Language Arts): grades 4-10
Mathematics: grades 4-8
Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II
Science: grades 6, 9, and 12
While unofficial student score reports will be available to educators within days of the completion of the assessment, the NJDOE will provide schools with a hard copy of an Individual Student Report (ISR) for families for each content area in which their students were tested. Schools will be sending these reports home. The ISR will:
Provide parents and guardians with information on critical areas in which students may need additional supports.
Be a starting point for parents and guardians to have conversations with their students’ educators.
The ISR will contain the login information for the NJDOE Office of Assessments Parent Portal so that parents can have online access to how their child performed on the Start Strong assessments. Through this portal, parents will have access to videos on how to use the portal, as well as additional assessment resources through the New Jersey Digital (Test) Item Library.
District Evaluating its Math Curriculum
As we enter into the 2021-22 school year, one of our major curricular goals is to adhere to our curriculum review cycle and thoroughly examine our K-12 math program.
Our process will be a thorough, inclusive, and intentional approach that will maximize professional learning and yield more representative program choices. In some ways this will be more difficult because we’re going to try three new programs at the elementary level and two at the secondary school level. District assessment data was used to design pilot program implementation. All of the programs chosen are standards-aligned and have strong digital components and paper-based supports.
Some of the reasons programs were chosen for consideration:
- Long history of research
- Support from authors of Common Core
- Concepts and skills are de-compartmentalized
- Understanding by Design framework, Universal Design for Learning, used by HSD secondary grades for several years
- Curriculum is based on Illustrative Math’s OER, ongoing coaching for teachers, low-floor/high-ceiling, conceptual understanding, immediate feedback for teachers and students
Our pilot will be quite different in that different classes will be using different math programs. For example, each of the elementary schools has three classes per grade. So that means every first-grade teacher at any of the elementary schools will be trying out a different program … but only for one unit. Click here to see which program your child’s teacher will be piloting, and for which unit.
Members of the internal math committee and of the larger LPDC (Local Professional Development Committee – a team of district and building-based administrators and teacher-team facilitators) are collaborating to pilot programs. This means that the role of all internal committee members shifts towards coordinator and consensus-builder and away from program evaluator. Click here to read more...
We have fewer committee members at the secondary level but far more course offerings, so we will pilot fewer programs in HMS and HMHS.
Our committee work is grounded in Distributed Leadership. This means that:
Those with greatest knowledge of the problems are empowered to investigate, find, and recommend solutions.
Those reporting problems are empowered to follow through with solutions.
Those closest to the problems are most motivated to solve them.
Numerous teams are focused on solving problems, and they have shared benchmarks.
To read the complete report (posted on our website under ACADEMICS-CURRICULUM) including charts and additional information, please click here.
What's New for SEL?
Teachers, school leaders, staff, and students in the Haddonfield School District community continue to learn how to use emotions to reach our goals. We have committed to implementing RULER, an evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning (SEL) developed at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. RULER is also an acronym for emotional intelligence skills: Recognizing, Understanding, Labeling, Expressing, and Regulating emotions. Research finds that children who understand and manage their feelings make more responsible decisions, have stronger relationships, and perform better in school.
We continue to use local data to help drive and inform SEL initiatives. For example, based on the district-wide SEL data collected at the end of last year (click here for the slide analysis), we have developed district-wide goals to build upon areas of strength and improve upon areas of deficiency.
We continue to practice the skills ourselves to develop our abilities, become more emotionally intelligent educators and leaders, and are ready to teach the RULER tools and model the skills for the students. During the 2020-21 school year, we implemented four RULER lessons for all students, PK-12. This year, we are expanding the RULER curriculum for the 2021-22 school year.
As we learn more about emotional intelligence skills, we’d like to do so in partnership with you. As such, we will be extending opportunities for parents and caregivers to learn more about RULER throughout the year. To start, we encourage you to review these links to learn more about RULER: RULER Family Brochure / RULER Skills Overview for Families.
Top HMHS Students Earn National Recognition
The National Merit Scholarship Corporation has named several Haddonfield Memorial High School (HMHS) seniors as top-achieving students. They are:
NMSC Semi-Finalist: JAMES P. DUNCAN
NMSC Commended Students, photo above, caption, left to right:
Front row: CLEO H. HAMILTON, SHAYNE E. VENTURA, ALEXIS A. HOCHGERTEL, KEELYN M. SHIM, JASON A. SOLAK, BENJAMIN A. CASS, JACK T. O'DONNELL, CYRUS R. MARWAHA; Back row: Principal Tammy McHale, SEAN M. SULLIVAN, NICHOLAS T. FIGLIOLI, and ANDREW E. COFFMAN. Missing from photo: ANDREW C. SULLIVAN.
The College Board National Recognition Program has honored the following students:
CBNR National African-American Recognition: JADA EIBLE HARGRO
CBNR National Hispanic Recognition: CHRISTIAN BALL, PADME GRUEBLER
CBNR National Indigenous Recognition: JOHN BUZZERD
Quick Notes & Updates
Elizabeth Haddon Landscaping Work Completed
When you have a chance, drive by Lizzy Haddon to see the greatly improved exterior view, thanks to our spectacular B&G ("Buildings and Grounds") crew.
Holocaust/Schindler's List Survivor Spoke to Students
On September 21st, approximately 150 HMHS students participated in a virtual author visit and discussion with Rena Finder and co-author Joshua Greene. Greene helped Finder write her memoir, "My Survival: A Girl on Schindler's List" about her extraordinary journey of survival during the Holocaust as a young girl on Schindler's list. The students in the Holocaust elective were able to interact and ask questions about her experience. It was an eye-opening, once-in-a-lifetime experience for the students, planned in collaboration with the Haddonfield Public Library.
October 6th is "Walk to School Day" in Haddonfield
National Walk to School Day highlights pedestrian safety awareness. Keep an eye out for specific info from each school.
Next Vaccination Clinic is October 13th, 4-6PM
All details for our next Pfizer vaccine clinic, held at HMHS, were in the latest @HSDHealth newsletter. Click here to review it.
Update: Removal of Dying Oak Trees on District Properties
The plans to remove certain diseased and dying oak trees on school grounds were postponed, but have been rescheduled for this Saturday, October 2nd.
In the Loop
District Twitter: @HaddonSchools
District Facebook: @HaddonfieldSchoolDistrict