Mt. Laurel schools give ‘State of the District’ report at May 24 BOE meeting

Mt. Laurel schools give ‘State of the District’ report at May 24 BOE meeting

MLSchools

Each year, the Mt. Laurel school district publishes an annual report that outlines district highlights for the year and gives members of the public a snapshot of the district at that time.

However, this year was a slight departure from previous years, as the release of the report was pushed back several months so newly appointed Superintendent George Rafferty would be the one to share it with the public.

Rafferty did just that at the May 24 meeting of Mt. Laurel Township Schools Board of Education when went he went over the health of the district academically and financially.

According to Rafferty and this year’s report, the district had 4,263 student enrolled as of April 30, with an average daily attendance rate of 95.9 percent.

Broken down by grade level, there are 128 preschool students, 976 K-4 elementary students, 947 grades five and six upper elementary students and 954 middle school students. Of those, 59 percent are categorized as white, 15 percent as African American, 6 percent as Hispanic, 14 percent as Asian and 6 percent as “other.”

The district employed 729 total staff members, with 397 listed as certified staff and 332 listed as support staff.

In addition to those employees, Rafferty said when substitutes and other vendors who work with the district are taken into consideration, the district would most likely have more than 900 people who work for the district in one form or another.

“Mt. Laurel is a big place, and you may not be the largest employer, but you’re one of the largest employers,” Rafferty said to the board as he described the report.

Rafferty described the work those professionals provide to students, which he said included a ranges of services not just limited to teaching and administrative work, such as counseling, psychology, learning support, social work, intervention specialists, school nursing, police liaison services, a full range of child study team services and more.

The report also details the district’s transportation services, where buses travel a total of 3,544 miles per day throughout Mt. Laurel’s 22-square mile area.

The district’s fleet has 47 large buses and 25 small buses, which transport 4,200 students along with eight students who attend schools out of the district.

Rafferty was confident to say district was second to none in transportation, and praised the district being able to provide its transportation services and maintenance in-house without outside vendors.

“The amount of students you have to provide, the work you do in that area, operationally, fiscally, efficiently, you’re one of the top-rate districts in the county, no doubt,” Rafferty said.

Rafferty also praised the district’s cafeteria services, which feed lunch to more than 4,000 students every day, including some who also eat breakfast through the district. Rafferty said the program was very self-sustaining, as it does not run at a deficit, which allows the district to reinvest in the program and equipment.

The report also outlines the district’s facility and maintenance work, with the district responsible for 669,928 square feet of educational space through eight school buildings, administrative offices, a bus maintenance facility, and more.

Rafferty also outlined recent advancements to aid student success, including new literacy intervention kits, new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics materials, new math curriculum training and development of the Next Generation Science Standards as mandated by the state.

Technology also continues to be integrated into the curriculum, as Rafferty detailed the purchase of 175 Chromebook computers for student use, 200 new teacher computers, 39 new Epson Interactive Projectors for classrooms and the continued use of Google Classroom services for shared document collaboration and Google Hangout services for video conferencing.

The report also details cost-saving measures for the district, Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers exam scores and more.

To read the full report, visit www.mtlaurelschools.org under the superintendent annual report section.