The Cherry Hill board of education announced at its Oct. 17 meeting the receipt of a $250,000 grant for the Trees for Schools effort to purchase and plant trees from Nov. 22 through June 30, 2026.
The session began with two hours of public comment.
During committee reports, board member Adam Greenbaum shared updates to bond referendum projects, and said the bid for all-purpose rooms came in at $1 million below the estimate. Several roofing projects have been finished and others are expected to do so in early November. Stadium improvements at East High are expected to begin after the season’s last football game.
At Thomas Paine Elementary School, new playground equipment has been installed and the “poured-in-place” surface and paving were expected to take soon, according to Greenbaum.
In the works was a new transportation waiver policy focused on preschool expansion and reductions in transportation costs, based on families who don’t need to use buses.
“We still need to define criteria and a timeline for reinstating transportation for those who opt out, and we’re looking at ways to incentivize parents who opt out to complete a waiver,” Greenbaum noted.
The board also approved a statement in support of the township’s grant application for Safe Route to School, which would provide funding for sidewalks along Covered Bridged Kresson and Brace roads for safer pedestrian access to Malberg Early Childhood Education Center, Knight and Johnson elementary schools and Rosa Middle School.
“There’s no financial obligation on the district,” Greenbaum explained. “The district had no input on the area selected for the application, but the township is asking for a board approved resolution and letters of support from principals of the schools that would be affected.”
District Coordinator Faith Holmgren discussed the spring 2023 New Jersey Student Learning Assessment for English Language Arts (ELA), Mathematics and Science, compared with 2022.
For ELA, the results showed a decrease in the lower proficiency levels and an increase in higher proficiency levels in grades three and grades six through eight between 2022 and 2023. For mathematics, there was a positive increase in grades three, five, six and eight and Algebra 1 scores. For science, grade 8 saw a positive increase.
The data also looked at number of participants and how the district compared to state averages. The full presentation is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=av711Np6xlM&t=5556s.
The board also recognized the Beck Middle School’s Project Invent Team for its recent accomplishments. Members are Ariella Kupchin, Penelope Tinney, Lily Phomthisene, Madden Schwartz, Ryan Rashidifard, Jennifer Sanchez-Vincente and Joseph Ross.