March 29, 2023
Collingswood BOE Meeting Highlights
Collingswood Wellness Center Grand Opening
Earlier this year, the Collingwood Public School District received a significant grant award in the amount of $1.9 million dollars from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Funds received through the “Trauma-Informed Care in Schools Grant” were used to repurpose and convert an empty classroom into a Wellness Center at Collingswood High School. The Wellness Center will provide students with direct access to evidence-based and culturally relevant trauma support services and mental health care during the school day at no cost.
Special thanks to Dr. Karen Principato and the grants team, Program Director Kristin O’Lexy, and the Wellness Center team for making this much-needed support a reality for our students.
PAWS TV student leaders Audrey Bosniak and Enzo DiMasi were on hand to document the event and presented a short video of the Collingswood Wellness Center Grand Opening that took place on Tuesday, March 21st. Their footage was also picked up by local TV news outlets that evening.
Special thanks to Enzo and Audrey for their professionalism and to Mrs. Armano for supporting the next generation of filmmakers and storytellers.
Photo credit: Matt Skoufalos, NJ.Pen
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Board Action Items
The Board of Education is deeply committed to ensuring that all members of our school community are treated with dignity, respect, and empathy. During the Board Meeting on March 27th, the superintendent was asked to present progress toward action items identified during the February 27th Board Meeting. The action items focused on policy, practices, and people. The first phase of this important work will begin in April and continue through June.
Presentation: Collingswood BOE Diversity Equity Inclusion Action Items
Inaugural Neurodiversity Celebration Week (March 27-31)
Neurodiversity Celebration Week is a district-wide initiative to acknowledge and honor brain differences such as autism, ADHD, and dyslexia. Staff will present content and engage in discussion with students in a strengths-based, inclusive way. Special thanks to our Special Education Parent Advisory Group (SEPAG) for continuing to partner with the district as we seek to become a more inclusive school community.
Community-wide Fundraising Efforts
A member of our custodial and maintenance group has recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. There is an active district-wide collection to raise funds for his family. The staff member is the main income provider and carries the health benefits for their family, which includes a special needs child. We have been encouraged by the outpouring of school community support. We’d like to publicly acknowledge impactful dine and donate events at Norma's Mediterranean Cuisine and White Horse Pub.
In addition, we’d also like to recognize the Elementary PTA-sponsored Pajama Day on Friday, March 24th. Elementary schools collectively raised $2,200 and delivered it to the family on Saturday. Sincere thanks to our PTAs and our entire school community for showing up for one of our own.
Musical: Once Upon a Mattress
On behalf of Collingswood High School and the Collingswood Theater Team, we would like to thank everybody who attended the high school spring musical Once Upon A Mattress. We are happy to report it was a rousing success. Over 70 Collingswood High School students participated in the show. Whether they were in the cast or helped out behind the scenes, we appreciate all of their efforts toward the production.
We would also like to acknowledge the Collingswood teachers and staff members who assisted with Once Upon A Mattress: Miss Whitman, Mr. Gross, Mrs. Goodall, Mrs. Introcaso. Mr. Hartung, and Mr. Jackson. A special thank you to Mr. Higginbotham and our Facilities Team for ensuring our lighting equipment was upgraded in time for the show. As always, thank you to the Collingswood Board of Education members for your continued support of the arts in our community.
PAWS TV Senior Editor Wins Award
Please join us in celebrating Yesenia Aguilar-Medina as the winner of the Garden State Film Festival High School Documentary Short. Her project titled, La Raices del Corazon Aguilar, is a documentary-style short about keeping Mexican culture alive in South Jersey through traditional customs including clothing and food. Video: La Raices del Corazon Aguilar
Special thanks to Mrs. Armano for leading our award-winning television and film program.