Superintendent Dr. Joseph Campisi began the Berlin Community Schools’ Oct. 27 board of education meeting by sharing updates on the district’s five year strategic plan.
The plan includes five goals or focus areas: a whole-child focus area, community engagement, staff support, operations/resources and infrastructures, and programs/activities/curriculums. In each area, Campisi shared steps the district has taken to implement goals.
Per the first goal, the district has revived the Interact Club, a service group similar to the Rotary Club, and the student government has helped support the veteran free lunch on Veterans Day that is sponsored by the Berlin Borough Education Association.
To encourage community engagement, Campisi said the district will post more updates and newsletters on social media in addition to the Monday-morning version sent through email. He also announced a virtual job fair on Jan.12 to find qualified candidates and also diversify the staff.
Beginning in November, the superintendent and each principal will have weekly, virtual office hours to educate parents on the need for their input in teaching their kids.
“At times, we’ll try to have some special guests,” Campisi explained. “It could be students, an advisor who runs a club, someone from the community, but this will also give another way for community engagement. Once the times have been finalized, they will be posted for the year.”
To support the staff, the district has sent out a survey asking what kind of professional development they would like to see and is organizing a virtual town hall on cultural responsiveness with Dr. Walter Greason. The professional development will involve mindfulness, cultural responsiveness and 21st century teaching strategies.
For operations, resources and infrastructure, the Home and School Association will look into how to use funds raised from Boosterthon for Green Initiatives, such as creating a garden. The district is also updating emergency responsiveness drills and having debriefs with the police when the district is doing the drills so it can learn from them. Teachers are reviewing the technology resources the district has to make it sustainable.
In updates for programs, activities and the curriculum, the district will seek student perspectives from clubs like student government, the student equity group, Interact and others to determine a baseline for what students are interested in.
The next district strategic planning update will be in January, followed by one in April and one in June.
In other news:
- Middle-school Principal Therese Bonmati presented Student of the Month certificates to 5th grader Neriah Pela, 6th grader Nicholas Gallagher, 7th grader Theresa Albertson and 8th grader John Feger, along with the superintendent’s award to Delaney Lawyer.
- During parent comments, Ramona DiMaria requested that the board review and reconsider quarantine procedures, as she felt four days without instruction was too long.
The next board of education meeting will be Wednesday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m. in the Berlin Community Schools cafeteria.