The July 14 Berlin Community School Board of Education meeting started off with a public hearing and renewal of Superintendent Joseph Campisi’s contract.
No members of the public chose to speak, so the contract was renewed effective July 1 through June 30, 2024.
Following that move, Jesse Adams Jr., a representative from New Jersey School Board Association (NJSBA), gave an in depth presentation on the school district’s five year strategic plan, created by the Strategic Plan Stakeholder Committee. (A version of the presentation can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNYHVvB4jmw.)
The stakeholder committee is made up of Berlin Borough and other community volunteers who began meeting regularly in February to discuss district goals and establish a timeline for when they should be met.
“We’re coming out of a very unusual time … You’re really not sure what that year is going to be like,” Adams said. “We’ve been recommending that you don’t think through a five year plan, but focus on maybe one to two years. Then, as you enter the next year and get a better feel for what’s going on with your students and community and district, you may need to adjust. Modify the objectives or actions.”
The strategic plan outlines five specific goals, as seen in a presentation available at https://www.bcsberlin.org/Page/1704. Goal areas include supporting the whole child, communication and community engagement, staff, operations, resources, infrastructure and programs and activities. Actions include holding rejuvenation days, forming a community garden, increasing the frequency of social-media posts and hosting programs on education and technology issues for families and the community.
After the strategic plan was outlined, Campisi announced that the board will have updates each semester on what progress has been made.
The board also approved its school reopening plan, available at https://www.bcsberlin.org/domain/219.. Masks will be optional for students, but recommended for people who are unvaccinated. Regardless of vaccination status, masks will be mandatory on buses, where 3 feet of distancing will be required. That distance will also be maintained in classrooms and the cafeteria. Students will be discouraged from eating across from each other during lunch. And though the district plans a return to five full days a week, it also has options for students in case of isolation or quarantine.
The next board of education meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 25 at 7 p.m., in the Berlin Community School cafeteria, 215 S. Franklin Ave.