Education Monthly: HIB report, strategic plan mark August

Moorestown Board of Education member, Brandon Pugh, discusses what the district has been up to in August.

By BRANDON PUGH, Moorestown Board of Education member

In this column, Moorestown Board of Education Member Brandon Pugh provides monthly updates on what’s going on in the school district and on the BOE.

The start of the 2018–2019 school year is here! I hope everyone had an enjoyable and relaxing summer. With the start of the new year, Moorestown Township Public Schools is welcoming new students, over twenty new teachers and administrators, including a special education supervisor, a buildings and grounds supervisor and an English supervisor.

At the Aug. 21 meeting, the board heard the annual Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (HIB) report presentation. The district and individual schools are evaluated on a variety of criteria from reporting to investigation procedures, which totals 78 points. This year the district obtained 69 points, which was an improvement from last year’s 67 points. Specifically, for the 2017–2018 school year, there were 45 total cases with 27 being unsubstantiated and 18 being classified as HIB incidents. In contrast, there were 63 total cases during the 2016–2017 school year. Steps have been taken and are planned to continue to improve, including a Panorama survey across six schools for grades three to nine to evaluate the social emotional well-being of students. The results of this survey will be used to target programs to assist students and strengthen certain areas.

The board approved the three-year start/end dates for 2019 through 2022. For 2019–2020, students will start on Sept. 3and end on June 18. For 2020–2021, students will start on Sept. 2 and end on June 22. For 2021–2022, students will start on Sept. 8th and end on June 21. These dates could change if needed, but they are designed to help with planning.

The board announced that they will be combining the operations and facilities committee and the budget and finance committee. As a reminder, the board committees will be the new joint committee, communication and development, curriculum and student services, policy and governance and residency.

Five candidates have filed for three open seats on the Moorestown Board of Education in the Nov. 6. The candidates in ballot order are Brandon Pugh, Caryn Shaw, Dimitri Schneiberg, David Weinstein and Dria Law. The terms will run from January 2019 to January 2022.

Moving forward, the district will be entering the final year of its three-year strategic plan. The current plan broadly focuses on innovation, targeted instruction and social emotional well-being. A new strategic planning process will take place and three entities have expressed an interest in facilitating the process. The board will interview these entities and then updates will be shared on the full process and ways to share your ideas.

The next Moorestown Board of Education is on Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. in the William Allen Middle School Media Center. Please do not hesitate to reach out to the board or myself if you need anything in the meantime. It would be great to see you at a future meeting.

The views and content in this column do not necessarily represent those of the Moorestown Board of Education as a whole or any other individual member