Klaus provides updates on district’s strategic goals

School board hears plans for the future of instruction and athletics.

One week prior to its regularly scheduled monthly public session, Haddonfield’s board of
education received updates on crucial points surrounding the future of district instruction and athletics.

“Every July, there’s usually an extended work session where the board usually develops goals and plans for the year. As you would imagine, this year is a little different, and that purpose to set goals was supplanted by the need to open schools,” said Superintendent Chuck Klaus, regarding work to further the district’s three main strategic goals, initially laid out by his predecessor, Larry Mussoline.

“We can’t let keeping our heads above water with COVID supersede our mission, which is to improve our school system and move forward in those ways.”

All three goals, Social and Emotional Learning, Contemporary Learning Mindset and Cultural Responsiveness, will be subject to what Klaus termed “mini-workshops” in the near future to expand their reach. The first goal will see a gathering next month where a board charter will be developed; for the second, those involved complete a project-based learning activity to demonstrate the transition from convergent to divergent thinking-based learning.

For the third goal, Dr. Carmen Henderson revealed the first Equity Council meeting will be on Nov. 10, and subsequent meetings lasting at least two hours are planned on a monthly basis. Dr. Shelley Zion, who previously served as advisor to the district on matters of race, will be tapped to provide guidance.

“This is going to be an experiment, and people have some homework to do,” Klaus advised. “In the past, we’ve had goals and then updated them every four to five months. But now, the board is going to see first hand the kind of work that goes into planning.”

In a subsequent presentation, Klaus confirmed that Haddonfield will have winter sports this
year.

Per Gov. Phil Murphy’s Executive Order 187, signed on Oct. 12, medium- to high-risk indoor
sports will be allowed, within limits. Only 15 regular-season games per sport will be permitted, and arena attendance is limited to 25 percent of capacity or 25 people as a whole. Klaus said there will be no fans in attendance due to that restriction. But he confirmed all home games are expected to be streamed through the district’s YouTube channel, HSD Broadcast.

Regarding a progression toward more in-classroom instruction, Klaus revealed any move to
Phase 2 of the district’s plan would take anywhere from four to six weeks to fully implement. In order to maximize flexibility and readiness, the district has to move forward now, regardless of how COVID cases progress in Camden County.

To prepare in the best way possible, the district is looking at multiple factors: the number of total cases in the county, infection rates countywide and statewide, the CALI (COVID-19 activity index), and a county health department conference with the district’s own medical team. Formal sharing of the detailed Phase 2 is planned for the board’s next public session on Oct. 29.

A comprehensive breakdown of the presentations made at the meeting can be found on the
district’s website: https://haddonfieldschools.org/announcements-and-news-releasesGOO/.