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Board of education addresses plans for new school year

Township police were dispatched to the high school parking lot on Sept. 17, after the theft of catalytic converters from nine buses.

It is believed there are two suspects, but there is so far no description and the incident remains under investigation. School Superintendent Michael Volpe addressed the situation during the board of education’s Sept. 20 meetings.

“… After two years of interrupted learning due to the pandemic, it’s unconscionable to think that anyone would resort to the theft of catalytic converters from school buses, and potentially (comprise) even more learning for our students,” he said.

Earlier in the meeting, Board President Maurice Weeks shared plans for the upcoming school year.

“As many of you may be aware, after a lengthy process, we began implementing a new, three-year strategic plan in the latter half of 2019,” he announced. “That plan was intended to carry us through the 2021-’22 school year. Understandably though, due to the pandemic, some of the elements of the plan were deferred or altered. We have also had three different people sitting in the superintendent’s seat in that time period.”

“I think it would be fair to say that we need to revisit it and do some work in that area,” Weeks added. “Our efforts this year have been focused on supporting the administration in returning to normal operations and looking forward to laying the foundation for a full strategic planning process. At this point, our thinking is that (that) process would start after the end of this school year, likely in the fall.”

Weeks said he expected that early next year, the district can return to the community engagement forums held before COVID.

“These are public board meetings with agendas solely dedicated to engaging in dialogue around specific topics with the community,” he explained. “In addition to those efforts, I would also ask that all members of our community continue to make use of the various mechanisms available to share your thoughts and suggestions to improve our schools.”

Volpe addressed an agenda item for the approval of a remote learning plan in the 2022-’23 school year.

“Please understand, I have no intention of implementing this plan,” he emphasized. “We are moving forward, past the pandemic. However, the approval of such a plan has now become an annual requirement from the state.”

“Every school district in the state of New Jersey will be approving such a plan every year,” Volpe added. “This will become (a) regular part of the board’s business each September.”

The Moorestown Breakfast Rotary Club was also recognized at the meeting for its donation of 164 backpacks, as well as school supplies for pre-K through eighth grade students.

“We thank you so much and are so happy to partner with you in these efforts,” Volpe said.

To view agenda items from the meeting, visit https://www.mtps.com.

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