[Live Stream] Collingswood Board of Education Meeting 8/26/2019

This meeting of the Collingswood Board of Education focused on improvements in Communication, Equity, Facilities Plan, the risk of Mercury exposure in gym floors, the ballot question for Mental Health Services in November 2019, and questions about the district’s Equity Committee.



Click here for the Agenda



Committee of the Whole Highlights

The district is working on improving

  1. Communication
  2. Equity
  3. Facilities Plan
The communication improvements are based on feedback that the board received from a survey during the winter 2018-2019
Ms. Henry says that some new members were added to the communication committee in June.
Dr. Oswald is spoke to the work being done in Equity along with the Equity Committee.

Main areas of focus will be

  • Mental Health
  • Education Foundation for fees
  • Organization at the Elementary Level

Demographic Study

The district will have a public question on the ballot in November to support the Mental Health goal of focusing on Trauma informed care
The district will be looking at a facility audit- there is expected growth for the preschool program and there is an expected growth for incoming Kindergarten class size
Dr. Oswald is asking the board to approve a Demographic study as seen on the agenda here.
VP Kaiden is asked about how reporting will work to make sure that goal timeline is on track
Dr. Oswald wants to focus on the Equity area of Gender Transition and Support protocol
Members of the community will be called in once protocols are further along

First Policy Readings

No First Policy Readings


Second Policy Readings

No Second Policy Readings


The bid sheet for the road work in Knight Park may be seen here:


The district will be conducting a demographic study, the cost will be $18,700


Other Agenda Highlights

Annual HIB Self-Assessment Report. The results may be found here: https://go.boarddocs.com/nj/colps/Board.nsf/files/BF8NAL5EBEC8/$file/Colls%20Annual%20HIB%20Self%20Aug%202019%20pdf.pdf


Mercury in Gym Floors

Members of the community will be called in once protocols are further along
Mr. Hird will now talk about a concern of Mercury in All-Purpose Gym Floors
The only floor that meets this concern is the Middle School Gymnasium floor- installed in the mid-1990s
  • The district had installed a hardwood floor on top of this surface in 2017. The district did tests on the floor and air quality in April 2019
  • The core sample did test positive for Mercury- it is dangerous when it becomes airborne.
  • Air quality were taken in typical conditions and did the test again when it was hot and humid- with no air movement (done during August)
    April- air samples: None Detected
    August- air samples: None Detected
  • There is no anticipated change in condition of the floor. There is expected ongoing testing (next test in the fall – October). There will be a need for remediation at some time.
  • Another solution could be adding air conditioning to help keep the risk low.

The testing specialist thinks that air movement will be more of an ongoing care rather than temperature along with ongoing testing.
here is the document that was referred to about this issue in Minnesota

Moving Forward, options presented included:

  1. Replace all of the flooring (most expensive)
  2. Air condition the gym to reduce risk
  3. Leave floor as-is, continue to ventilate, and commit to intermittent testing 2-3 times per year under a variety of conditions (typical hottest conditions, most use, etc)
Dr. Oswald suggested that the board discusses at the retreat


Public Comment Highlights

  •  A member of the public is asking about the district’s Technology policy. Specifically when there will be an update- last seen update was in 2012.
  • A resident asked about the Equity Committee, when the groups will be reactivated for the school year. They also asked about the pending public question on the November Ballot.
  • Another member of the public asked if the Equity Committee will be able to accept information that had been worked on over the summer soon since the recommendations have been worked on.


These notes are post-dated. This page first appeared on Collingswoodeducation.org on 10/30/2019
Jen R

Jen R

Jen Rossi, Vice President Jen Rossi moved to Collingswood with her spouse in 2012. She is a graduate of Georgian Court University with a Bachelor's Degree in Education and Fine Art. She has a certificate of eligibility with advanced standing in Elementary Education (K-5) and as a Teacher of Fine Art (K-12). After a part-time floating position and substitute teaching, Jen returned to the corporate world. Professionally Jen is a Digital Marketing Manager for a privately owned insurance brokerage, providing important information on how to reduce the risks in today's business world: ranging from slip and fall injuries to computer network hacks. Getting the information in the hands of people who need it with the help of guidebooks, webinars, instructional videos, blog posts, social media alerts, and online courses. With this background in education and knowledge of the process for communicating important information to anyone willing to hear it, Jen focuses her energy on making a big impact with small things- making life a little more convenient, helping people get informed, keeping things practical and timely, and encouraging achievable goals for success. In her free time, Jen loves upcycling, improving, and otherwise repurposing materials to the delight of family, neighbors, and Etsy customers. She looks forward to running down questions and getting helpful information into social feeds and inboxes of members of the Collingswood community.