April Letter from the Superintendent

Letter from the Superintendent
Posted on 04/01/2018

April 2018

 

Dear Parents and Guardians,

 

Listed below is some information regarding happenings in the Haddon Heights School District.

2018-2019 Preliminary Budget

At the March 28, 2018 Board of Education meeting the 2018-2019 preliminary budget was approved.  During the meeting I discussed that we are in a very positive unique situation for the 2018 -2019 school year due to a major tuition adjustment, the fourth year of receiving Merchantville students, and a major increase in one of the sending district's incoming freshman class.  Therefore, we were able to add several staff positions to the 2018-2019 budget.  To find the preliminary 2018 -2019 budget presentation that was discussed at the March 28, 2018 Board of Education meeting, please go to the Haddon Heights School District website and scroll to the "District Info" menu.

 

Articulation Meeting (Haddon Heights, Barrington, Lawnside and Merchantville)

The four district’s Superintendents and Directors of Curriculum and Instruction met on Monday, March 12, 2018, to further discuss the upcoming Social Studies Articulation Meeting and joint curriculum writing.  We also reviewed a template for the curriculum design.  Additionally, future articulation meetings were planned for ELA and an 8th Grade transition meeting.  ELA teachers from grades K-8 from all four districts will meet in teams; K-2 one day and 3-4, 5-6 and 7-8 on other days.  They will discuss ELA and will update the curriculum accordingly at each grade level (if needed).  Also, 8th Grade teachers from each district will meet with both 9th Grade ELA and Math teachers.  The purpose of this meeting is to discuss each incoming student to better understand their needs.  This will assist us in appropriate scheduling, especially with students who may need additional assistance and honor students.

 

Update on School Security

At the March 28, 2018 Board of Education meeting I discussed the information listed below regarding school security. 

 

Over the past few months, in particular, we have explored additional ways to enhance school security overall.  We have received feedback on school security from parents that contacted the Building Principals, through the building School Leadership Teams, staff, administration, students, board members, community members, Haddon Heights Police Department, and Homeland Security.  Using all of this feedback from the stakeholders previously mentioned, listed below are some additional measures that are being implemented in the district and/or currently being explored. 

1) Our District School Resource Officer, Haddon Heights Police Department representatives, and administration went together through each building and determined definitive language (name labels) for hallways, rooms, and other areas in each building.  That way, in an emergency situation, both sides would be speaking the same language regarding all areas of the building.  The police department and each of our buildings have maps clearly delineating the same names/terms for each area so there is no confusion or misunderstanding.   

2) All room numbers and building markings were checked and updated, as necessary, to make sure there is clear information for emergency responders when they arrive by our School Resource Officer. 

3) The Haddon Heights Police Department has real time access to our school camera systems in all four buildings.  They have an area in the police station specifically set-up for viewing our camera systems in an emergency situation (with the common language maps next to their monitors).  

4) At the Jr./Sr. High School we are in the process of relocating our security office and upgrading the viewing capacity to see several more cameras in real time simultaneously. 

5) Jr./Sr. High School: The Jr./Sr. High School is in the process of adding 6 more cameras to our already comprehensive system.  The main areas the new cameras will cover are some additional sections of our stairwells.  Last week we also upgraded the speaker system in the gym with horn speakers and strobe lights.  This is so announcements/emergency messages/drills can be heard better by students and staff.  The strobe lights will also visually signal an announcement is being made.  Over Spring Break an upgraded hallway, courtyard, bathroom and stairwell speaker system is being installed so announcements/emergency messages/drills can be heard better by students and staff.

6) Elementary Schools:  At the Elementary School speakers were installed in all the bathrooms in all the buildings.  Haddon Heights Police officers are in each of the Elementary buildings traditionally once a week interacting with the students through reading books to children and teaching lessons.  We are in the process of attaining quotes for the each of the Elementary Schools' glass that is in the front of the buildings.  We are getting quotes on putting a shatter resistance film over the current glass that prevents glass from shattering when hit, poked, kicked, etc.

7) We are continuing to explore additional security measures based on Homeland Security and the Haddon Heights Police Department recommendations.  

 

8)  District-wide we are in the process of purchasing CrisisGo.  Some of the services CrisisGo provides are as follows: 

  • two way communication during a crisis
  • provides checklists with role based, actionable instructions to guide individuals through the proper response steps
  • alerts staff during large scale emergencies
  • provides maps for evacuation

Upcoming Events

Haddon Heights Egg Hunt

Saturday, March 31st at 10:00am

This event is for children ages 12 and under and will take place at Hoff’s Park located at 7th Avenue and West High Street in Haddon Heights.

 

Haddon Heights Elementary Art Show

Wednesday, May 23rd from 6:00-8:00 pm

This event will take place at Glenview Avenue School.

 

Sincerely,

Michael Adams

 

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