Tonight is the first meeting of the reorganized Collingswood Board Of Education for 2019.
The Agenda for tonight’s meeting can be seen here:
Committee of The Whole
Ms. Kaiden went over the recap from the District’s Equity Committee meeting for January
- common themes from the equity committee included
- Mindset Shifts
- Community engagement
- Support staff
- Focus on trauma-informed practices
- An issue is that the Current budget really does not allow for additional staff.
- So options are to reprioritize the budget and/or increase taxes. According to Dr. Oswald The 2% tax increase cannot really meet these goals from the committee, but there could be a proposed budget in March/April. This higher budget could add an additional question for voters on a ballot to increase the revenue from taxes to fund these line items. However, if the items are not approved the money cannot come from other areas of the budget. The increase also could not fund capital improvements or be used to pay for existing programs and expenses.
- Dr. Becker said that a lot of the suggestions could be organized from existing resources and programs
- Ms. Brooks says that some of the items on the list are things that we can do quickly. Example: to allow Special Needs students to start in their general education class rather than in a self-contained class.
- Panther Pantry: Dr. Oswald has a concern about staff taking on a lot of the responsibility for working and donating items. To scale the program, the community needs to get involved to be successful.
- Ms. Kaiden agrees that the community at large is likely not aware of the Panther Pantry so solicitation from the community is needed.
- Ms. Henry commented that corporate giving should also be pursued whenever possible, including Panther Pantry.
- Mr. Connor shared that the community should be contributing in addition to the teaching and school staff. The Board should be taking inventory of what the schools are doing across the district so that the community can be more aware of the resources that are available to them and students.
- Ms. Kaiden shared that this inventory would also bring more efficient working of equity goals to the Equity Committee’s meetings.
- Dr. Oswald commented that we should be working with organizations that may be better connected to provide parts to make for more successful programs. Ie: Philabundance.
- Ms. Saverino shared that asking the students to share what they need instead of adults making assumptions.
- Ms. Kaiden agreed that this would make the programs more successful.…See More
- Ms. Kaiden thinks that the committee will be pursuing the little to low-cost ideas and solutions and getting buy-in from the individuals to get people involved from the community into improving equity in Collingswood Schools.
- Mr. Connor shared that he thinks that people seeing the numbers (costs number of people helped) would help get the community into a position of better understanding the need for the programs.
- Ms. Henry shared that getting some things done like a gender-neutral dress code should be easily achievable with actions as being Board-led, but the costs and complications should be shared with the Equity Committee.
Update to Public Participation
Ms. Henry clarified the purpose of Public Comment being a bit more flexible going forward. Simpler questions may be answered, but the public may be asked to email the board for more complex issues.
Presentation: Special Education and Counseling Program Updates from Ms. Barbara Wister and Dr. Plescia
Ms. Wister Reported that:
Availability of Advanced Placement courses are more readily available to students now. There is now a waiver that includes a commitment from the student toward the coursework for success in the placement.
- There was an increase in placements from 2014
- Positive results in action seen when Counseling changed PSAT procedure:
Students are not more funded to take PSAT testing
- Students are also able to take the test during the school day.
- Over the time reported, more students were taking the test
- Compared to local schools, Collingswood students have improved
- 114% increase in students taking exams.
- 89% growth in success for students who take the AP classes
- Collingswood schools beat national averages in AP scoring students, also scoring well on NJ’s average.
- A positive trend is seen in access to testing and access to AP classes
- The benefit for college-bound students is that the cost of the test is less than college credits, including electives that are part of a BA.
The next presentation was from Dr. Plescia on special services programs.
- Dr. Plescia shared the numbers for Special Education enrollment at the individual schools
- The Vocational Programs are using community-based instruction
- The program is seeing success in placing students in the jobs, and the jobs that they are interested in
- moving ahead is the growth in Trauma-informed programs
- 18-21 program is asking for more space for the program
- staffing patterns are adjusting to the available talent
- CST expansion means that we will see growth in the need for programs
- The Child Study teach would like to improve involvement in parent programs
- there is a need for a community childcare help spot
- The students make a lot of products, so having a storefront can help round out the program
Part 5- Future Dates and Misc Info
|Fri, 2/1/19||Newbie Talent Show – 6:45pm – CMS Auditorium|
|Fri, 2/8/19||MS/HS Report Card Distribution|
|Wed, 2/13/19||Tatem Talent Show – 6:00pm – CMS Auditorium|
|Thurs, 2/14/19||Early Dismissal for Students – Staff PLD|
|Fri, 2/15/19||School Closed – Staff PLD|
|Mon, 2/18/19||School Closed – Presidents’ Day|
|Wed, 2/20/19||HS STEM Night – 5:00pm – 8:00pm – HS Gym|
|Fri, 2/22/19||HS Student Council Blood Drive – HS Gym|
|Fir, 2/22/19||Garfield Talent Show – 6:30pm – CMS Auditorium|
|Mon, 2/25/19||BOE Meeting – Zane North All Purpose Room – 6:30pm|
Tonight’s meeting had a lot of Policies having a first reading.
|0141.2||Board Member and Term – Receiving District – Revised|
|2145.06||Unsafe School Choice Option – Revised|
|2422||Health and Physical Education – Revised|
|Practice and Pre-Season Heat-Acclimation for School-Sponsored Athletics and Extra-Curricular Activities|
|2610||Educational Program Evaluation – Revised|
|Commercial Driver’s License Controlled Substance and Alcohol Use Testing – Revised|
|5111||Eligibility of Resident/Nonresident Students – Revised|
|5337||Service Animals – Revised|
|5600||Student Discipline/Code of Conduct – Revised|
|5611||Removal of Students for Firearms Offenses – Revised|
|5612||Assaults on District Board of Education Members or Employees – Revised|
|5613||Removal of Students for Assaults with Weapons Offenses – Revised|
|5756||Transgender Students – Revised|
|7440||School District Security – Revised|
|Reporting Violence, Vandalism, Harassment, Intimidation, Bullying, Alcohol, and Other Drug Offenses – Revised|
|8561||Procurement Procedures for School Nutrition Programs – Revised|
|8860||Memorials – Revised|
Important Updates And Documents:
A big change to the school calendar will be additional professional development time on the first Wednesday of each month. This change can be seen on this calendar
Public Comment Highlights
- A resident asked for clarification on the amount of change to the MOA. Dr. Oswald said that the MOA is mostly the same as the previous version.
- Another resident brought the issue of no dedicated library space or arrangements for students to attend libraries at Tatem elementary. There was no comment from the Board at this time.
The next meeting of the Collingswood Board of Education will be on