HomeCherry Hill NewsCherry Hill Board of Ed committee addresses the nature of strategic planning

Cherry Hill Board of Ed committee addresses the nature of strategic planning

Discussions include better communication, sustainability

The township board of education’s strategic planning committee convened for the first in more than a year to discuss its purpose now that the school bond referendum has passed. 

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Over the course of an hour, three present committee members – Joel Mayer, Dr. Benjamin Rood and Dr. Benjamin Ovadia – talked about ideas such as strategizing communication efforts, taking on issues that don’t quite fit under the purview of other committees or getting more organized and using their committee to push for changes at the state level, such as revamping current Harassment Intimidation and Bullying (HIB) policies and practices. 

“I’m appalled with what HIB actually is compared to what I think it could be or should be, and that’s not really an us problem,” said Rood. “That’s really a state legislation problem. We’re in a great district that leads in so many ways. People look to our district for being a progressive and leading district.

“If our board says, ‘This doesn’t seem to be working for us,’ maybe there’s some power in that and maybe we could move some legislative activity,” he added.

The three committee members also discussed the need for better communication between the board and the public. Public Information Officer Barbara Wilson raised the possibility of bringing back the State of the District report, tabled in recent years for lack of enough data or numbers.

Rood broached the possibility of doing more with sustainability and earning back the bronze title for Sustainable Jersey. Wilson explained that while the township met the bronze standard in 2015, eventually the bar was raised too high to meet the standards due infrastructure capacity.

But with the passage of the bond, Wilson said there had been a group called Sustainable Cherry Hill that was very active, but over the years, it had morphed into Sustainable South Jersey. 

“We were already certified at one point, we just need to reinvigorate the conversation so the …  teachers can get drawn back in and the students can get pulled back in,” Rood noted. “There are some huge things happening in the district. 

“We just passed the bond,” he added. “We’re going to be doing so many things to make the environment better through that bond, and each time we do, that’s something we can talk about.”

The committee members also discussed the possibility of revamping town halls for more efficient communication by the district.

“The thing with the meetings is that there’s no back and forth,” said Ovadia, who also serves as the board president. “Unless someone steps so out of line that I’m compelled to do something or is directly able to be answered by Dr. Meloche, it’s a very unsatisfying meeting. The idea with the town halls is that we can allow for more of a back and forth.”

While no decisions were made, the three committee members will bring their discussion points back to the regular board of education the following week.


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