New Changes For Board Of Education Meetings

By the Pennsauken Board of Education: Nick Perry, President; Allyson Meloni-Scavuzzo, Vice President; Cheryl Duffy; Michael Hurley; Diane Johnson; Leona Moss; Jennifer Slattery; Orlando Viera; and JoAnn Young

Over the past several months, the Pennsauken Board of Education has been discussing various options to improve the efficiency of our monthly meetings. Recently, the Board has adopted two changes that we believe will help us achieve this goal.

The first is a change in the meeting location and the second is related to the structure of our monthly meetings. Both changes are currently being piloted to allow the Board to determine if they are beneficial.

During the December 2016 Board of Education meeting, the Board approved a shift in location for our monthly meetings. All Board of Education meetings will now be held at the Pennsauken School District Central Administrative Office, located at 1695 Hylton Rd. Previously, only work session meetings were conducted at this location, while the business meetings were located in Room 327 at Pennsauken High School. We believe that the administrative office location allows for a more intimate environment for the purposes of discussion amongst the Board members, as well as improving the facilitation of communication with the public. Since this space is smaller, any Board meetings that require a larger venue, such as those meetings that include large awards ceremonies, will be held at another location to accommodate larger attendance. As always, the public will be informed of any changes in location if needed.

At the January reorganization meeting, the Board approved a motion to hold one monthly meeting. Historically, the Pennsauken Board of Education has conducted two meetings during each month. The first meeting, held on the third Thursday of each month, was the work session. This was an opportunity for the Board to discuss the agenda. The second meeting, held on the fourth Thursday of each month, was the designated business meeting. During this meeting, the Board would vote on all of the agenda items discussed during the previous week at the work session. The Board will now shift to only one meeting a month, which will be held on the fourth Thursday. There were several reasons for this change. One meeting a month is much easier for members of the community to attend. It costs significantly less money for the school district to hold one meeting per month rather than two. Additionally, once monthly meetings allow time for important committee meetings of the Board. Because Board members have two scheduled meetings per month as well as budget meetings, discipline hearings, and “special meetings,” it is often difficult to schedule committee meetings as well. Having a simpler schedule allows the Board more flexibility in conducting its various other activities.

The once monthly meeting will include discussion of the agenda, as well as voting on the agenda items. As with all Board meetings, this meeting will include public comment as is required by law. The once-monthly meeting schedule is permitted by statute and is the meeting structure that is used by approximately half of all school boards in New Jersey, including Haddon Township, and Merchantville. This February will be the first month in which the Board will meet only once.

We understand that change is difficult and may not always produce the desired outcome. We are hoping that these changes increase the efficiency of the Board and improve the ease with which the public can communicate with the Board. However, we will review the impact of these changes and if they are not as efficient as hoped, we will make adjustments as needed. As always, we welcome any feedback regarding these changes at our monthly meetings. We advise all members of the public to visit our website at for our revised meeting schedule. Announcement of each month’s meeting is also published in the All Around Pennsauken, Central Record, and Courier Post; in addition, the announcement is available at the Pennsauken Township Clerk’s Office.

We thank the Pennsauken community for all of their support as we launch these changes.

Board Bit Of The Month

State law requires that Boards of Education meet, at minimum, once every other month.

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