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  • Writer's pictureKristin Guglietti

BOE spends $284K on Chromebooks


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The Hammonton Board of Education approved several finance items including spending $284,630 on Chromebooks during the Oct. 12 board of education meeting.


Board President Sam Mento III called the meeting to order and all board members and the student representative were present at the Samuel A. Donio Memorial Library.


Because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the board held a moment of silence for the people who died from cancer, the people who won their fight against cancer and the people who continue to battle with cancer every day.


During the finance committee report, board member John Lyons discussed item No. 11 on the agenda, “Resolved that the Hammonton Board of Education approve CDW-G for the purchase of a thousand Chromebooks for the District in the amount of $284,630 based on ESCNJ/AEPA-22G.”


“We still maintain a one-to-one device ratio in this District. Every student that goes here has a Chromebook device and so we replace those on a pretty regular basis, so that’s why that’s a bit of a large number for a 1,000 Chromebooks with the warranties and equipment that we need,” Lyons said.


There’s also a purchase order for lacrosse equipment in the amount of $31,702.10 based on lowest quote.


“This board’s been talking about lacrosse and rolling that out for boys and girls, so it’s nice to see the board making good on that commitment,” Lyons said.


Lyons also said on the agenda there’s an increase on the contract funding for the board’s engineer, who was associated with some work for the Pinelands Commission at the Early Childhood Education Center site.


“There’s still more work to be done. That’s professional fees. We still have to go in front of the Pinelands Commission in two weeks where they’ll approve our proposed plan and then work will begin on amending the storm water situation around that building. This is to both correct some mistakes that were made many, many years ago as well as to bring the storm water management system up to code as it relates to the addition at the childhood center,” Lyons said.


During the meeting, Hammonton High School Principal Thomas Ramsay gave a presentation about the high school.


Spirit week at the high school will be from Oct. 16 to Oct. 20, and the homecoming dance will be on Oct. 21.


The Average NJSLA English Language Arts (ELA) Scores for Grade 9 last spring for the 2022-2023 school year were less than the pre-COVID-19 scores. The district average score was 747 and the state average was 748.


For the NJSLA Math Scores for the 2022-2023 school year, before COVID-19 the district average was behind the state average, but after COVID-19 the district scored two points ahead of the state average.


For geometry, the district scored 11 points above the state average.


Overall, the NJGPA ELA for the 11th grade, which is a graduation requirement, the district scored closely with the state average score. The district score was 771 and the state was 765.

However, for the NJGPA for Math the district scored below the state average. The district score was 729 and the state was 734.


For the Advanced Placement Percent of Scores 3 or higher, the school did better across the board globally with 75 percent of the school scoring a 3 or higher while globally only 60 percent score 3 or higher and for the state, only 69 percent score a 3 or higher.


Ramsay said students are encouraged to participate in submitting works of art and language arts to the winter edition of The Blue Review, which is run by English teacher Audrey Griess.

There are three new math courses at the high school, AP Computer Science A, CP Statistics and Honors Statistics.


The Science League Competition will be returning for the first time since the 2019-2020 school year.


The marching band won second place at the Williamstown Marching Band Competition on Sept. 16.


When talking about the different art classes, Ramsay said students in the industrial arts are using laser cutters that are advanced and being used in college classes.


Ramsay said 875 students participate in over 50 clubs and activities in the high school, and there are 402 students involved in fall athletics.


Eighty-five percent of students continue to go to college after graduation, and 15 percent of the students join the military, workforce or vocational training.


After Ramsay’s presentation, Superintendent of Schools Robin Chieco gave the superintendent report and the 2022-2023 School Self Assessment for Determining Grades Under the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights.


The maximum possible score is 78. The district scores are the following: Hammonton High School 76; Hammonton Middle School 74; Warren E. Sooy Jr. Elementary School 75; and Early Childhood Education Center 74.


During committee reports, student representative Jordyn Colasurdo said the student council is focusing on spirit week and homecoming.


“Starting tomorrow each grade has a jar in the lunchroom where they are trying to raise the most money for Infinite Love For Kids Fighting Cancer, which is a local cancer awareness nonprofit organization,” Colasurdo said.


Colasurdo also said the Hammonton community is welcome to attend the student council trick-or-treat on Oct. 20 at 5:30 p.m. at the hallways of the high school.


During committee reports, board member Kelly Donio discussed item No. 9 on the agenda, “Resolved that the Hammonton Board of Education approve to appointment of Michelle Kennedy, New Jersey School Boards Association Field Representative, for Superintendent Search Services in the amount of $12,500.


“The committee decided to use New Jersey School Boards and for those of you who are not familiar with the superintendent search we basically the School Boards Association will help us publicize, help us organize the application process and they will do part of the process and then they’ll give recommendations to the board, so they’ve been trained to do that and they work with a lot of other schools,” Donio said.


During committee reports, board member Barbara Berenato said a survey was given out during back-to-school night if parents want students to wear uniforms, and they are waiting for the results, which will be given during the next board of education meeting.


After committee reports and public comment, the board voted on finance, personnel, programs/students/miscellaneous items on the agenda. All items were approved by the board.


The board also approved a personnel item on the addendum.


The next school board meeting will be held Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. at the Samuel A. Donio Memorial Library.


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