HomeCherry Hill NewsCherry Hill board of ed shares updated district goals

Cherry Hill board of ed shares updated district goals

Bedrock of new standards includes academic achievement and student wellness

After reviewing and approving goals at its recent meeting, the Cherry Hill board of education caused a stir among members regarding high district standards.

Among board goals are lists of major achievement milestones that outline the district’s expectations for students at various checkpoints. They include having every student on track to graduate high school by the end of 10th grade, and every student reading at or above grade level by the end of third grade.

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The bedrock goals are academic achievement, social and emotional learning, student and staff wellness and equity and inclusivity. Acting Superintendent Dr. Kwame Morton further explained those at the meeting.

“As a district, we establish the overarching expectation,” he offered. “Our schools and children are at different places. What the schools will do is that the administrative teams at each building will extend upon one of these goals by developing building-based, goal-attainment action plans.

“In a smart-goal framework are strategies and next steps, along with evidence of effectiveness, to determine when and if these goals will be accomplished.”

Although the actual district goals remain the same as they were in the past few years, what’s new this year is a bigger collaboration between the board of education and the administration to update actions, activities, and indicators of success for each goal.

The full list of standards can be viewed in the Aug. 22 board agenda at chclc.org.

“I think it’s been our biggest collaboration to date in many years, and I appreciate everyone’s openness and willingness to work together,” said board member Jenn Fleisher. “It’s also multi-year (goals), and we’re going to have to go back and check things, and you know it’s always growing.

“It’s sort of a living document, because our school district is so dynamic.”

Morton clarified that there will be consistency in the implementation of goals across the different schools.

“It depends what the starting point is,” he noted. “We’re looking across the board for everyone and every child to make growth, but how that’s quantified may vary just a bit … When building principals come and share updates, you should see a direct correlation, an alignment with what’s been approved and established and what’s happening inside of buildings.”

The district is also creating an online dashboard for each school to keep track of the goals.

Morton responded to another one of board member Kimberly Gallagher’s concerns – shared by residents at the meeting – regarding how tangible the goals are in their current form.

“The administrators have begun the process already of looking at these goals and working on them,” Morton explained regarding standards that can be actualized with quantifiable figures and numbers.

“ … We have action plans for the schools to implement and to actualize what’s been established,” he added. “But as the board of education, it’s important to establish this overarching expectation and vision for what it is that we expect to see.”

In other news:

  • The board approved two new positions: district music coordinator and secondary lead principal.
  • Kristi Blundetto was appointed supervisor of curriculum and instruction for the Lewis Administration Building.
  • The board will re-vote on approval of a harassment/intimidation/bullying hearing decision. Members Ben Rood and Sally Tong voted no, Gina Winters and Kim Gallagher abstained from the vote due to their absence from a previous meeting, and members Jennifer Fleisher and Miriam Stern voted yes. Board members Adam Greenbaum, Corrien Elmore-Stratton and Joel Mayer were absent.

The board of education will hold committee meetings on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 6 to 8 p.m., and the following evening from 5 to 7 p.m. 

The board will hold its first superintendent search Community Focus Group and Survey on Monday, Sept. 11, from 7 to 7:40 p.m. via Zoom. Visit chclc.org for details.

The next board work session will be on Tuesday, Sept. 12, at 6:30 p.m.


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