By Chris Concannon
Gloucester City News
Bellmawr Superintendent Annette Catiglione said the vote on a $3.1 million bond referendum to replace the roofing on all three School District buildings will be on Tuesday, December 11.
She encouraged Bellmawr voters to support the referendum during the recent Board of Education (BOE) meeting, pointing out that the new roofs are necessary.
School Board members looked at photographs that showed visible decay in several areas of the roofs, along with numerous patch work solutions.
An earlier article had indicated the referendum would appear on the General Election ballot November 6. Instead, it is being sent to the voters on December 11.
The BOE said the change was necessary so that the question would appear on all ballots, including absentee and provisional submissions.
As the meeting got underway, President Jamie Casey welcomed everyone back for the 2012-13 school term.
The Superintendent then opened a presentation by two summer camp programs.
Students from the Burke and Bellmawr Park Special Education Department talked about the ESY (Extended School Year) program.
The Multi-Purpose Camp presentation was made by teachers Nicole Davenport, Kathy Mc Carthy and Jen Packer.
They said that some students, who were only scheduled for the short program, stayed through the full run of the camp.
Announcements for the 2013 camps will appear on the District website, Castiglione said.
The superintendent went on to comment on recent facilities improvements within the District over the summer, featuring a $25,000.00 grant obtained from the Camden County Board of Freeholders.
The monies were used in the construction of the new butterfly garden at Bellmawr Park School.
Teacher Carol Benedict added that the garden is coming alive, with any number of creatures to fascinate the students.
In her report, Castiglione noted that the custodial and administrative assistant departments received cross-training over the summer in order to move between schools with similar protocols.
Enrollment figures and district goals were also discussed in the balance of her report.
A letter was then read from residents Anne and Steve Forline, asking if their home-schooled daughter could gain permission to take part in certain District extracurricular activities.
The Superintendent said the Board would sit down with them to discuss the matter.
Burke Principal Frank Jankowski then commented on Bellmawr’s National Night Out August 7, saying the Bellmawr Learning Community was well-represented, with numerous teachers, School Board members and other staff on hand for the event.
Also, he discussed his school’s bucket fill craft program, which is part of Burke’s character education measures.
Miss McCarthy also noted that the District’s float in this year’s Fourth of July Parade took second place.
The individual school reports were then given by the following:
Bellmawr Park, Paige Tobey, Grade 4; Ethel M. Burke, Shaun Sepulveda, Grade 4; and Bell Oaks, Gia Citrino, Kaitlyn Flemming and Lindsey Sherwood, Peer Mentors.
Castiglione then presented the September Staff Award, to Custodian Bill Wells, adding he will be temporarily shifted to Bellmawr Park (Mr. Wells is normally assigned to Burke).
Jankowski applauded the award by stating that Mr. Wells does a really nice job at Burke.
Then, he thanked the school’s PTO group for their recent Book Fair.
Under committee reports, Member Jody Mangus commented on ongoing support programs for District students, including the development of a new Kindergarten handbook.
Mr. Casey also commented on Bell Oaks’ Student Council.
Park Principal Elizabeth Calabria reported on their PTO’s book fair held from September 17-21, adding they worked very hard on the event.
Bell Oaks Principal Anthony Farinelli then commented on the first PTO Dance September 21.
As the public portion began, Bellmawr BEA President Regina Andrews-Collette commented on Burke’s recent Back-to-School Night, noting that parents have approached her to volunteer in the ESL Shop at the middle school.
All business on the evening’s agenda was approved, with Mr. Casey recusing himself from item #J-1, which involved the use of facilities.
For information or questions, contact the District office, at 856-931-6298, or on at: bellmawrschools.org.