Audubon School Board Embraces Environmental Initiative with Tree Grant

In a recent meeting, the Audubon School Board discussed a variety of topics, with a notable focus on environmental and educational enhancements for the district. A key highlight was the New Jersey Schools for Trees Grant awarded to the district, which will facilitate the planting of trees around the school campuses.

The grant, aimed at enriching the local environment, will see trees being strategically planted along the sides of school buildings, playgrounds, and athletic fields. The importance of this project was stressed in terms of environmental benefits and its alignment with the district’s broader goals of creating a positive and inclusive school environment.

Further emphasizing the commitment to a positive school culture, the board lauded Mansion Avenue School’s team for winning an award for their work on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). The team’s efforts in promoting positive behaviors across the school were recognized as integral to the improved academic performance and reduced negative behaviors among students. The PBIS initiative, sustained even through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, incorporates data analysis, emotional regulation programs, and community-building activities to foster a supportive educational environment.

Adding to the school’s character-building endeavors, the board celebrated the Community Circles initiative, which was started by sixth graders to nurture peer relationships and support emotional navigation.

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The district’s equity initiative was also a topic of discussion, highlighting the acquisition of resources to support diversity and inclusion within the curriculum. This includes a grant that has enabled the district to obtain books relating to Black History Month and other diverse holidays, further enriching the educational materials available to students.

During the meeting, governance issues were addressed as well, with a recommendation to table policy 0155, which pertains to board committees. This was due to the need for further discussion and clarification of certain components. The board proceeded with the approval of other policies with minor revisions.

The operations section of the meeting covered routine agenda items such as the board secretary’s reports, cash reconciliations, and bill lists. The superintendent provided an update on the budget, mentioning the consideration of a playground grant to help offset costs for referenced projects. The importance of monthly operations meetings in planning for the upcoming school year was highlighted.

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In the public comment section, the value of community input was acknowledged, with the public invited to comment on agenda-related matters. The rules regarding public comment were re-emphasized.

Additionally, the meeting addressed human resources issues, including staff resignations and the addition of substitute teachers. The possibility of including fifth and sixth graders in the Middle School track team was proposed, with the suggestion aimed at improving the transition experience for students entering junior high.

The board’s discussion on the academic calendar brought forward considerations about recognizing the Jewish High holidays, with a decision made to provide two days off for these observances. The possibility of starting the school year before Labor Day and the scheduling of in-service days were debated.

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The school closures during the week of the 14th were also discussed, with a focus on their impact on the district, particularly the athletic teams. A proposal was made to adjust the schedule to provide early dismissal on certain days to minimize disruptions.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Superintendent:
Andrew Davis
School Board Officials:
Andrea Robinson, Allison Cox, Stephen Wilson, Alison Lipsky, Ammie Davis, Tara Sullvan-Butrica, Mark Gattii, Johnathan Maxson, William Wilson, Frank Corley (HIB District Coordinator)

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