Forward thinking: Cherry Hill turns an eye toward the future

The Cherry Hill School District is building a strong foundation — both literally and figuratively.

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At the Feb. 25 meeting of the township’s board of education, the district adopted its strategic goals and approved a new architect of record to guide it through the upcoming bond referendum.

The district’s three strategic goals are intended to chart its course through 2025. As adopted at the meeting, they build on the concepts of student wellness, connecting beyond the classroom and purpose and passion.

The student wellness goal addresses the district’s need to create frameworks of learning and support for students to develop social and emotional wellness skills. The purpose and passion goal asks the district to create “highly engaging learner-centered experience” in an environment that promotes choice and a passion for learning. The connecting beyond the classroom goal encourages the district to provide resources and opportunities that create “agents of change in the world.” 

In January, a cross section of teachers, administrators, board members, parents and students came together to create the goals. Superintendent Joseph Meloche said the strategic planning process has taken more than a year to arrive at the objectives. The next steps will be to create actionable ways to achieve the three goals.

As the district continues the strategic planning process, it is also pushing toward a March 2021 referendum vote. At the February meeting, the board approved Garrison Architect as  architect of record to provide professional services moving forward.

Resident Anne Einhorn inquired if the change in architects means Garrison will have to produce a new study on all 19 schools in the district.

“How does that reflect on the upcoming bond?” she asked. 

Meloche responded that Becica Associates architectural firm will finish some of the projects it is currently working on with the district before Garrison steps in. As of now, he added, the district is still working on the March 2021 referendum. 

“We are continuing on the path and the time frame today as we were yesterday,” Meloche said. 

The district’s Safety and Security Committee is also generating plans to make the district a safer place for students. Board President Lisa Saidel said the committee spent a recent meeting generating recommendations in the areas of safety and security practices, safety and security physical enhancements and community engagement.

Saidel said the committee will finalize those recommendations at its April meeting and present them to the board in May. 

The next meeting of the Cherry Hill Board of Education will be Tuesday, March 10, at the Malberg Building. 

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