Haddonfield Public Schools is named №1 school district by NerdWallet

The Haddonfield School District is well known for being one of the top school districts in the state. Once again, it was recognized for quality academic performance, but also for its affordability.

It was announced at the Haddonfield Board of Education meeting on Jan. 22 that NerdWallet named Haddonfield Public Schools the №1 school district in New Jersey where families will get “the most bang for their buck” by balancing school quality ratings with cost-of-living data. This means that in the state, Haddonfield was determined to be the most cost-efficient school for its quality of education.

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“It was nice to be recognized for that. Spending in other school districts in Camden County, they’re much higher than us, and for what we do with the amount of money is amazing and it is no surprise we finished top of the list,” Superintendent Richard Perry said.

To determine school quality, NerdWallet looked at standardized test scores, college readiness and class size. School quality was then weighted against affordability metrics to produce a list that isn’t dominated by prohibitively expensive communities.

According to NerdWallet, “With some of the highest HSPA and SAT scores in the state, Haddonfield tops our list of the school districts where you get the most for your money in New Jersey. Elementary, middle and high schools in the borough of Haddonfield were ranked an average of nine out of 10 at GreatSchools.org. Haddonfield Memorial High School is a national blue ribbon school that matches academic excellence with its commitment to philanthropy. Students have taken the lead with Habitat for Humanity, Invisible Children, the Human Relations Commission and Students Helping Honduras.”

According to Perry, Haddonfield has one of the highest property taxes in the region, but it also has one of the lowest cost-per-student numbers in Camden County.

“People are surprised because our taxes are high, but we’re one of the lowest spending districts. Those are some of the highest performing districts in the state and we’re one of the lowest costs, if not the lowest. We are certainly lower than our neighbors here, so people really are getting the best bang for their buck here,” board president Glenn Moramarco said. “I think that NerdWallet hit the nail on the head. It’s something citizens should be proud of and we’re going to keep working at it.”

The Haddonfield School District doesn’t get a lot of state aid, according to Moramarco. However, he did say the district has one of the best programs in terms of outside fundraising, generating a lot of alternative revenue. Alternative revenue brings in more than half the amount of what Haddonfield receives in state aid, according to Perry. Perry’s vision is to bring in more alternative revenue than it receives in state aid and make that something that is an ongoing phenomenon.

“Thank you to the students, parents, community, the board, teachers, administrators and anybody who is involved to make us one of the best in the state and the nation,” Perry said.

To see the full article go to www.nerdwallet.com/blog/cities/economics/best-school-districts-new-jersey.

In other news:

• Keelyn Shim and Will Kennedy of Elizabeth Haddon Elementary School were commended for their winning

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video submission to the American Academy of Dermatology. An $8,000 grant was given to the school for their video called “A Day in the Life of My Skin,” which teaches students how to take care of their skin. Both students starred in the video. The video can be found on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvMjO88a8wg.

• The Wilby Foundation was recognized for its donation of AED machines to the district that coaches can sign out and take to school games and practices.

• An update of the PARCC assessment was given explaining what it is, the dates, students affected, features available to students and accommodations for all students. It was announced that the first of three public hearings on PARCC was presented at Camden County College at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 27.

• The next Board of Education meeting will be Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. at the HMHS library, focusing on budget discussion.

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