Mark Your Calendars
The next Board Meeting is March 16, 2023
7:00 p.m. in the Haddonfield Memorial High School library
Board meetings are open to the public. There are no limits to the number of people who may attend in person, and masks are optional.
Board meetings will continue to be live-streamed as well,
but there will be no call-in comments or questions.
Link to Live-Streamed Meetings
Presentations from Recent Board Meetings:
MESSAGE from the SUPERINTENDENT
During the February 23, 2023, Board of Education meeting, School District Business Administrator and Board Secretary Mike Catalano presented the preliminary budget for the 2023-24 school year. The budget focuses our needs, priorities, and mission. By doing so, the district is working to ensure that taxpayer dollars are allocated in a fiscally responsible and appropriate fashion.
It is worth noting, an increase in enrollment has allowed us to add an additional 0.3% tax levy increase on top of the statutory maximum tax levy increase of 2%. This is the first such enrollment increase in four years.
Key points encompassed in the budget are new initiatives, continuing support, technology and curriculum, scheduled maintenance and capital projects. Mr. Catalano also highlighted the use of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds in the district.
The most notable new initiatives included in the budget are the addition of Content Area Supervisors, continuing to work on a math committee, and buying a 48-52 passenger school bus.
Our K-5 math committee is piloting two programs to help improve math instruction.
The Content Area Supervisors will coach and evaluate teachers in a model designed to improve instructional practices in the district. These individuals will also oversee curriculum initiatives and alignment across grades and subject matters. The effectiveness of a classroom teacher is one of the most crucial elements of high-quality education. By adding another layer of support for our teachers, we will maintain the high-level practices in place and hone skills and techniques.
The new school bus is necessary because, by statute, the lifespan of a bus is 13 years, and we have a bus that must be taken out of rotation.
Other budgeted items are:
Expanding initiatives using our Promethean Interactive Panels
Supporting our 1-to-1 device program in grades three to 12
Continuing to review and improve the curriculum writing process.
Additionally, money is being dedicated to purchase 144 Kings Highway W. (Kingsway Learning Center) as a site for a new Early Childhood Center.
We are using ESSER funds to complete bathroom renovations in the high school’s C-Wing and Elizabeth Haddon Elementary School. The District intentionally dedicated ESSER funding for one-time expenses knowing the funds would sunset in September of 2024.
The following step in our budget process will occur on March 2, 2023, when state allocations are released. Over the past several years, our state aid has increased. If that occurs again this year, there are several initiatives that we would revisit and possibly work into the upcoming budget. The first would likely be a math interventionist in the elementary schools and additional staffing positions that best support student needs.
The final budget presentation and adoption will occur on April 27, 2023. Thank you for your support!
Superintendent of Schools
District Offered a Wide Variety of Professional Development for Teachers and Staff
Tuesday, February 21st was a professional development (PD) day for the faculty and staff of the Haddonfield School District.
Many weeks prior to the date, the LPDC (Learning and Professional Development Committee) shared ideas with the entire staff, solicited suggestions for PD topics and invited interested individuals to serve as session presenters. The day included some mandated training, but most sessions were opportunities for faculty and staff to learn something new, to expand their understanding of a topic, to experiment with a new method or to collaborate with their colleagues.
Here are just a few of the sessions from a very long list:
- Enhancing Student Understanding through Post-Teaching
- Artificial Intelligence, ChatBots and their influence on classroom practices
- Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners in HS Science and Math
- Making Space for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
- Attention and Focus Challenges in Education
- Building a Community Science Project
- Book Creator: Collaborating, Publishing and Sharing
- Five key areas of wellness that support a healthy life-work balance
Engaging Your Students
The Steps to Fostering Executive Function Skills
How to Personalize Student Learning
Elementary Vocabulary and Comprehension Strategies
Applications Being Accepted for G&T Program
Nominations are now being accepted for students currently in Grades K-7 who wish to be tested for Haddonfield’s Gifted and Talented (G&T) Program for the 2023-24 school year. The online nomination form can be found here. The testing schedule is here.
The purpose of Haddonfield Public School’s G and T program is to provide “exceptionally able” students with academic challenges beyond what the traditional classroom provides. More information about the program can be found here.
All nominations must be submitted by Thursday, March 2, at noon. Submissions must be on time to be accepted.
A letter was emailed yesterday with additional details. Read the entire letter here.
Elementary Math Curriculum Committee Update
In 2005, The Haddonfield School District adopted and implemented EveryDay Math (EDM). Although it was at the forefront of research at that time, we don’t believe EDM has evolved sufficiently to meet the current needs of our students. As a result, we are looking for a new math curriculum that is rigorous and aligned with the New Jersey State Learning Standards (NJSLS).
The goal of the current Elementary Math Curriculum Committee is to implement an evidence-based mathematics program in September 2024 that is fully aligned with the NJSLS, is rooted in the conceptual development of mathematics, offers more independent practice toward mastery, has a spiral REVIEW, as opposed to a spiral CURRICULUM, and can be implemented with fidelity given the schedule and structure of elementary schools in Haddonfield.
While a limited math pilot was implemented for a small portion of the 2021-22 school year, we did not reach a consensus to adopt a program; as a result, the current curriculum work was restructured and builds and improves upon prior work. Our current plans are greatly improved and have been advancing appropriately along our established timeline:
Identify goals and finalize process and timelines
Assemble math committee team
Core committee members include Assistant Superintendent, Elementary Principals, and Math Specialists
Meet with program vendors
Research feedback from other districts
Choose curricula to pilot (no more than two).
- Currently under consideration: Eureka Squared Math, Illustrative Math (Imagine Learning Version), iReady Math, Reveal Math
Order pilot materials
Schedule training for piloting teachers (spring/summer 2023)
We will pilot two elementary programs over the 2023-24 school year, from September to June, with 20 teachers. We will keep our families and staff updated as we progress. The Elementary Math Steering Committee will engage parents of students in pilot classrooms at various points for their feedback.
Students Throughout the District Honored Black History Month
February is a busy month in school systems. Many schools celebrate Presidents' Day, Valentine's Day, the 100th day of school, RAK (Random Acts of Kindness) Week, and the beginning of RAA (Read Across America) Week.
February is also Black History Month. Haddonfield teachers, students and staff have participated in a variety of activities related to this theme. Here is a very small sample:
- All three elementary schools held read-aloud and other activities.
- At J.F. Tatem Elementary, the PTA is sponsoring as assembly called "The Totally Awesome Traveling Black History Show" on March 1st, originally scheduled for February.
- In the Middle School, to kick off Black History Month and World Read Aloud Day, ELA students shared posters and original poems they created to empower and inspire others.
- HMS students also created a Words Create Change book, an inspirational bulletin board and poetry presentations recognizing the achievements of various Black poets.
- HMS students will participate in the NCTE National African American Read In on February 28th, reading the book "Blue" and responding to follow-up questions and prompts.
- Seventh-grade student artists are working on portraits of creative leaders from the Harlem Renaissance inspired by Faith Ringgold's story quilts
- Eighth-graders are creating portraits of Philadelphia's Black cultural leaders (past and present) in the style of Amy Sherald.
- In HMHS art classes, ceramics students created Appalachian face jugs as a meditation on enslaved potters.
- In semester 1 graphics class, HMHS students created a poster entitled “Icons of Black History - Through the Lens of Advertising,” developing an advertising package that celebrated Black icons of arts and entertainment.
- On February 18th and 19th, at the Haddonfield Public Library, two Black elders from our community shared their inspiring life stories as they appear in an anthology created with the help of accelerated freshmen English students. Read the original story here.
HMHS Students Presented Posters at Environmental Science Summit
Four HMHS students participated in a poster presentation at a recent science summit in Atlantic City. Two teams – Ana Bendesky / Hannah Kessler and Jenna Curley/Caroline Potts – attended the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary Science and Environmental Summit on January 31st. (Photos below.)
The website for the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary (PDE) describes itself as “a nonprofit dedicated to protecting the Delaware Estuary. The estuary supplies clean drinking water for millions of people, and supports a booming industrial region; one that contributes $12 billion every year to our local economy. Our waterways and open spaces also provide plenty of free outdoor fun where you can hike the trails, fish the bay, watch wildlife, and paddle a creek!”
The project behind Jenna and Caroline’s poster began as an exhibit at last year’s HMHS Earth Day event. They posed a hypothesis: “Natural lawn gardens will support a higher invertebrate richness than chemical input lawns.” They tested one square meter of eight “natural lawns” and of eight “chemical input lawns.” Their findings were that “natural garden lawns support greater invertebrate abundance than lawns with chemical input.”
“The purpose of a summit like this one is for scientists, students and others to explore scientific issues and to exchange ideas,” said Ron Smith, environmental science teacher. “The HMHS students were the only high school students in attendance, most being college undergraduates or graduate students. I believe our students benefited from exposure to other scientists, and I know they represented Haddonfield well.”
Ana and Hannah created their poster as a preliminary effort related to a video they are producing for The New Jersey Student Climate Challenge. This state competition is open to New Jersey public school students in grades 6 to 12 and requires a video to be submitted by April 21st. Their project summarizes as many as 20 years of data gathered from five HMHS student initiatives and considers how climate change may relate to that data:
The Shorebird Study -
counting shorebirds at North Brigantine beach where migrating birds have a fall stopover
Horseshoe Crab Rescue -
weekly trips to Delaware Bay sites in Cumberland County during peak spawning seasons to rescue flipped or trapped horseshoe crabs
Corbicula Population Study -
studying an invasive clam species in the Cooper River and its effect on native species
Climate Change Bird Atlas -
an annual inventory of local bird species in May in Cooper River Park
Pine Barrens Frog Community Inventory -
an annual inventory in the wetlands of the Franklin Parker Preserve
HMHS Hosts German Exchange Students
From February 22 to March 4, fourteen students from Leibnizschule Wiesbaden, a high school in Wiesbaden, Germany, and their three teachers are visiting Haddonfield Memorial High School as part of an exchange program. This is the school’s sixth visit to Haddonfield, while the HMHS German exchange program goes back a remarkable 32 years.
German students are being temporarily “adopted” into host families of HMHS Advanced Placement German students and will shadow them during classes as part of a ten-day U.S. tour that also includes field trips to Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and New York City. HMHS students will visit Leibnizschule Wiesbaden in April 2023.
Both German and Haddonfield students will be immersed in the culture and language of the countries they visit. The program provides an opportunity to improve students’ global awareness, intercultural understanding, and language skills. It is also a great way to develop life-long friendships and create unique international experiences by connecting with people and being integrated into their daily lives.
The exchange program is organized by HMHS German teacher Anna Feinleib and a retired HMHS German teacher, Melissa Slauson, as well as by the Leibnizschule Wiesbaden English and French teachers.
CAPTION: Haddonfield students and faculty welcomed the German exchange students at a “Meet and Greet” gathering on Thursday, February 23rd.
HMHS Environmental Science Club Tip
Cleaning out your shed or garage this spring?
Be sure to drop off hazardous waste materials (pesticides, oil, etc.) at one of the county-sponsored waste collection events. Visit the Camden County website, and scroll down to see hazardous waste collection dates and locations.
BE ON THE LOOKOUT
Summer Enrichment Program info will be shared by the end of March.
Board and Business Office Has Moved
On January 3rd, the Board of Education and Business Office staff moved to 95 Grove Street, formerly the office of Remington & Vernick Engineers and close to Tatem Elementary School.
Phone numbers remain the same, but please make note of the new location if you need to come to any of these offices in person. Currently leasing the new space, the district has plans to purchase the building in the future.
Announcement of English Language Arts Audit Committee
The Haddonfield School District has embarked on an assessment of the English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum.
Led by Superintendent Charles Klaus, a team of teachers and administrators have held initial meetings to plan a strategic approach to reviewing the entirety of our ELA curriculum. This includes but is not limited to K-12 articulation, standards alignment, culturally responsive curriculum, vocabulary, and writing skills.
At this time, we would like to invite community members to participate in the ELA Audit Committee. The district desires a balanced representation of community members representing the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Two Board of Education members will also be invited to attend.
The role of community members will be to provide input and propose goals for the future of our ELA curriculum. Obligations would include monthly meetings in the Central/Middle School Library.
Please complete this form if you would like to be a community representative on the ELA Curriculum Audit.
We look forward to sharing ongoing updates via curriculum meetings and a final presentation in the fall.
Mark Your Calendar for "Head Over Heels"
The students of the Haddonfield Memorial High School Drama Club present “Head over Heels,” an epic story set to the music of the iconic 1980s all-female rock group, The Go-Go’s.
Performances are March 10, 11, 17 and 18 at 7:30 p.m. and March 12 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $15 general admission and $12 for students and seniors, and they can be purchased on the drama club website: hmhsdrama.com.
School Lunch Reminder
Please bookmark the payment portal for school meals. It can be found on our websites under "PARENTS." Here is the link.
Also, please consider applying for free and reduced lunch. The application and information about qualifications can be found on our website here.
Central Fourth-Graders Share Their Heritage Stories
All three fourth grades at Central Elementary School investigated their family backgrounds and shared the results with their classmates. The presentations were varied and included trifold boards and posters or Google Slides. Studying their own heritage fits beautifully with the fourth-grade Social Studies unit on U.S. immigration and history and also prompts discussions on diversity associated with family names. This annual project has become a tradition and a "right of passage" for fourth-graders. After all presentations were made, the students used Canva to create and analyze graphs of the class heritage data.
Elizabeth Haddon Second-Graders Are Writing Expert Books
Lizzy second-graders have been hard at work penning "expert books." First, as non-fiction readers, they gained knowledge on individual topics of interest by using comprehension strategies they learned in class. They learned to acquire knowledge from all different parts of the book as well as how to put all the parts together to learn something new. Then they used their expert knowledge to write their own non-fiction books, using mentor texts for inspiration and adding text features such as table of contents, glossary, index, photos and captions. They are planning to celebrate with families on Friday, March 3rd.
Tatem Fourth-Graders Created MLK posters
Emily Augugliaro and Erinn Miller's fourth-graders celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. by reading an article and "stopping and jotting." They then listened to the "I have a Dream" speech and created posters for dreams they have for themselves, the school, the community, and the world!
HMS MathCounts Team Placed Third in South Jersey
MathCounts team advisor and coach Daria Resnick (eighth-grade math teacher) announced that the HMS MathCounts team placed third at the South Jersey Chapter Competition on Saturday, February 4th. This was the first in-person competition since 2020!
The MathCounts team meets after school throughout the year to prepare for the annual competition. The team members are Ryan Bonawitz, Chase Brand, Alexander Frey, Brooke Hurly, Aaniyah Malik, Luke Patterson, Talia Seshasai, Saya Sood, David Watts, Ben Welsh, and Anna Williams.
In addition to the team’s excellent performance, David Watts placed third individually and will be moving on to the state competition tentatively scheduled for March 11th.
The team sends a shout-out to three HMHS students who assist with weekly coaching at Friday morning practices. This has been a wonderful volunteer experience for juniors Brian Meng, Hayden Brand, and Matthew Zappetti.
February has been a Busy Month for HMHS Clubs and Classes
February has turned out to be a busy month for teacher/advisor Maggie Gammie's classes and clubs.
On Wednesday, February 8, the Global Issues classes hosted a virtual guest speaker from Northern Ireland. Ninth-grade students learn about the conflict in Northern Ireland in the late 20th century known as The Troubles. The students have always spent significant time studying Bloody Sunday, when 14 peaceful Catholic protestors were killed by British paratroopers in 1972. The guest speaker, Paul Doherty, is the son of one of the Bloody Sunday victims. He spoke about conditions in Derry in the late 1960s/early 1970s, the atrocities on Bloody Sunday, and his family's role in pressing the British government to open a new inquiry and formally apologize in 2010. He then took questions from the students and talked about the lasting peace in Northern Ireland and ongoing challenges in the region today.
This presentation was made possible thanks to an HET grant and the support of the HMHS History Department, administrators, library, and IT staff.
2. On Sunday, February 12, the LEO Club hosted a Valentine's Day Dance in the HMHS cafeteria from 1-3 p.m. for senior citizens in Haddonfield. The party was a community service event and included a photo booth, refreshments, mingling, games, prizes, and line dancing. This is a beloved tradition for both the LEO students and the senior citizen guests. This year's theme combined Valentine's Day and the Super Bowl. (Photo below.)
3. On Saturday, February 25, the 50/50 Club for Gender Equality hosted its fifth "Through a Woman's Eyes" art show. This year the theme is Women in STEAM. There were over 50 pieces of art in mediums like textiles, painting, sculpture, and photography. The show was open to the public Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Haddon Fortnightly and offered refreshments, musical performances by Haddonfield students, raffle baskets, and thought-provoking artwork to more than 200 attendees. Admission was a freewill donation, and all funds raised go to Girls Learn International. Including this past weekend, the club has raised a total of $12,000!
FROM THE BOROUGH
Idling is Illegal
STOP THE SOOT: Idling is illegal in New Jersey.
Pick-up zones near Haddonfield schools are no-idling zones. Per state law, there is no idling for more than three minutes for diesel and gasoline vehicles. (The exception is for temperatures below 25 degrees.)
Idling cars, trucks, school buses, public and private shuttle buses, and off-road construction equipment all worsen Haddonfield’s air quality. DEP, County Environmental Health Officers, or local police departments can issue violations.
Call the DEP 24-hour, toll-free hotline at (877) 927-6337 or use the WARN DEP app. Call the Haddonfield Police non-emergency number to report violators, 856- 429-3000. Thank you.
IN THE LOOP
District Twitter: @HaddonSchools
District Facebook: @HaddonfieldSchoolDistrict
SAC Corner the March issue (SAC = Student Assistance Counselor)
The latest HMHS Bulldawg Bulletin
Look for your school's Twitter feed. Your student's team or club may also tweet.