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Harrison board of education will offer virtual meeting option

Public can watch regular sessions online starting in February

The Harrison Township Board of Education will provide a virtual option for the public to attend regular meetings starting on Feb. 22.

The Harrison Township School District’s board of education met on Jan. 24, a session at Pleasant Valley School’s music room without a virtual option.

Questions on the topic were posed to the board at its reorganization meeting on Jan. 4 by residents seeking a virtual option to stay informed about township business from home. Superintendent Missy Peretti reported on an informal survey conducted with surrounding districts and feedback from legal and policy research on the topic.

“After discussion, the board of education has determined that, beginning in February 2022, regular meetings will be available virtually for community members to listen into live,” Peretti said.

“However, any person wishing to participate in the public meeting during the audience participation portion must do so in person,” she added. “This change was made in direct response to public inquiry and supports the board’s priority of full transparency.”

After the approval of previous meeting minutes, Peretti gave the required six month update on the Safe Return Plan, which highlights the district’s responsibility to continue the mask mandate for all students, staff and visitors under an executive order from the governor.

The board approved reimbursements for teachers and faculty who took college courses or will attend conferences, including the 2022 Shape N.J. Annual Convention. A class trip was also approved for second grade students to visit the Mullica Hill Historical Society in April.

The district’s Start Strong assessment data from fall 2021 in ELA and math for grades four, five and six was also discussed at the meeting.

“This data highlighted an increase in the percentage of students who will need additional support academically in order to support their progression toward mastery of grade-level standards and benchmarks,” Peretti explained.

The board recognized safety drills recently conducted in the district’s schools, including an active shooter drill on Dec. 20, a bomb threat drill on Jan. 12 and a lockdown drill on Jan. 19.

The next regular meeting for Harrison’s board of education will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 22, at 7 p.m., at Pleasant Valley School’s music room. An online streaming option will be available.

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