The Evesham Board of Education cited students Melanie DiMeola of DeMasi Middle School and Arianna Kachroo of Marlton Middle School at its March 24 meeting for representing the school district at the county’s Eighth Grade Dialogue event, a forum where board members can hear what is on the minds of students..
The board also approved a resolution to establish the Evesham district as a “stigma-free” zone to support mental-health awareness and reduce negative associations with mental-health care.
Superintendent Dr. Justin Smith emphasized the importance of addressing student mental health, an issue exacerbated by the pandemic.
“Mental, physical and emotional health for everyone is a focus every week here in our district,” he said. “We all know that youth mental health was an area of challenge everywhere prior to the pandemic, and only more so since.”
Smith cited recent studies that show connections between student mental health and social media usage and suggested youth take part in extracurricular activities available in the district to help heal mentally.
“As the weather gets warmer, it’s all the more reason for all of us, young and old, to look for opportunities to go outside and put our phones to the side,” he noted. “I encourage all families to take advantage of the tremendous extracurricular opportunities in our district, which can often be a main reason why kids want to come to school.”
“Not all districts are as fortunate as we are in being able to offer those activities, especially at the elementary-school level,” Smith added, “and it is our staff first and foremost who make that possible.”
In other news:
- The board approved an agreement with the Burlington County Special Services School District for professional services in the 2022-’23 school year.
- A resolution was approved to adopt the 2022-’23 tentative school budget.
- The board also approved the 2022-’25 Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Evesham Township Education Association (ETEA) union.
The next board meeting will be held on April 28.