By COLLEEN P. CLARK
The transition back to school for students who are returning to the Lenape Regional School District should be relatively seamless. According to Assistant Superintendent Carol Birnbohm, there are no major changes expected in the 2011–2012 school year.
For instance, there are no differences to report in course offerings. But in a way, that’s a good thing.
According to Birnbohm, the LRHSD offers more than 200 courses, including 18 AP courses and 71 courses approved for Burlington County College credit through the BCC CAP program.
“Last year, we had over 1,400 students earning over 11,000 college credits in one year,” Birnbohm said.
It is maintaining that type of curriculum despite a rough economy that Birnbohm said the district plans to focus on this year.
“Our challenge is to maintain our high-quality programs in this tough financial climate,” she said. “However, we are fortunate to have a supportive board and enthusiastic teachers, which has allowed our programs to be maintained at the level of excellence our community expects, meeting the needs of all of our students.”
Encouraging community spirit and involvement is another goal. Birnbohm said they are excited about continuing the Senior Day of Service Program, which was held for the first time last spring.
“We had approximately 1,800 seniors performing volunteer service at more than 90 different sites across the eight communities we serve (Evesham, Mt. Laurel, Medford, Medford Lakes, Shamong, Southampton, Tabernacle and Woodland),” she said.
One important thing that parents and students should be reminded of is that the student activity fee that was instituted last year remains in effect for the 2011–2012 school year.
It is thanks in part to that fee that all extracurricular activities in the district have been maintained in this coming school year.
Only students who want to participate in an extracurricular program or sport need to pay the participation fee, which is an annual fee of $200, with a maximum family cap of $400. Students who qualify for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program are exempt.
The charge allows the student to participate in as many clubs or sports as they can possibly do during the school year. To see a complete list of programs that are covered by the fee, visit
So it looks like the only major transition for local high school students will be adjusting their biological clocks and getting into the back-to-school mindset.
“Parents can help students prepare for the first day of school by allowing their teen to get back to a morning ‘routine,’” Birnbohm said. “They can do this by getting them up a little earlier … and getting them back to more ‘regular’ bedtime, which is age appropriate.”
For freshmen not knowing what to expect when entering high school for the first time, Birnbohm said the best advice she can give is to get involved in your school.
“We offer a variety of clubs and diverse experiences for all different interests,” she said. “We know that students who are involved in extracurricular programs are more likely to maintain excellent attendance, have fewer discipline problems and have better grades. We also advise students to take advantage of the time teachers spend after school each day providing free tutoring or extra help sessions.”