During committee reports at the school district’s Nov. 17 board of education meeting, members discussed a potential class on the history of Haddonfield for the high school’s centennial celebration in 2026, one in which students would interview alumni to hear their stories.
“One of the challenges of making it a class is that you can only take the class once,” Superintendent Chuck Klaus said. “So if it gets a niche group of kids and they take it, you’re not necessarily going to replenish, and that’s going to lose numbers. So that’s going to die on the vine.”
No decisions on a class was made and discussions continue. Klaus did announce that beginning in January, there will be a new student life committee comprised of board members who will focus on student experiences.
“It’s going to be a level where groups can come to us,” Board President Jaime Grookett explained. “ … People would report to the board, but it’s not a direct board-student organization at all. It would run just like any of our other committees, where some administrators might report back to … to the board and Mr. Klaus and (Assistant Superintendent) Dr. Gino Priolo.”
Priolo offered a rundown on how the curriculum gets reviewed, since he took on its oversight from the chief academic officer. He also explained that the curriculum review actually began with the state Department of Education’s standard review process.
“I can’t clarify this point enough: The Department of Education doesn’t tell us how to teach,” Priolo noted. “But they do set the learning outcomes and the standards to which we need to reach each school year for all of our programs, from preschool through grade 12.”
Priolo said the board of education’s role is to approve of what is being taught and ensure that students are learning it.
“The faculty committees develop and review new and revised courses of study, textbooks and materials,” he pointed out. “My role as the assistant superintendent is to recommend curriculum and textbooks to the board. Before voting, the board is invited to review the materials and ask questions about the recommendations.”
At the elementary level, the curricula are submitted to a principal or designee, and at the secondary level, to a department facilitator or a teacher leader. Every curriculum is reviewed by the assistant superintendent.
Priolo noted that beginning in December, there will be access to the draft curricula on the district website and an opportunity for public comment. Upon board approval, new curricula will be placed on the site under curriculum and instruction.
The full curriculum presentation is available at https://haddonfieldschools.org. The next board of education meeting will be on Dec. 8, at 7 p.m., at the high-school library.
This article was updated on Nov. 19.