The opening of the 2016-17 school year is off to a great start throughout Haddonfield School District. At HMHS there have been many accomplishments, including having Six National Merit Commended Scholars, One National Merit Semi-Finalist, Thirty-One AP Scholars with Eighteen Honors, Twenty-Six Distinction, and Two National Nation-wide AP Scholars. In addition, HMHS won the distinguished ShopRite Cup for the 2015-16 SY, the 12th year in a row. HMHS is the only high school in the state who has one this award every year since its inception. HMHS also won the Colonial Conference Sportsmanship Award. Along with these accomplishments, this school-year STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) programs have been enhanced by further developing AP Computer Science Curricula. There have also been other student driven projects such as The Power of One Walk with HMHS Cheerleaders and the Interact Club, RYLA Rotary Club Honors for Eight HMHS Students, the 50/50 Club and Haddon Fortnightly Art Show Partnership, the Haddonfield Library and HMHS Student Volunteers Partnership with NAHS, Community Collaboration for Wellness Day, the development of a Social Media Task Force, and the implementation of a Community Based Learning Program.
At HMS, twenty-four students, representing the views, opinions, hopes and dreams of the students in their CPR groups, met to create Haddonfield Middle School’s Constitution. Each student presented ideas from the students who they represented in sixth through eighth grades. The Constitutional Convention focused on specific guidelines that the school community will follow in order for students to ultimately succeed in the Middle School. The consensus was the following- Think, then Act, Be Respectful, Be Open and Inclusive, and Persevere to Achieve.
In regard to the elementary schools, the One School, One Book was implemented districtwide. At our schools’ community meetings on September 27th we unveiled our book, Kenny and The Dragon. As part of these unveilings Haddon Principal Gerry Bissinger, Central Principal Shannon Simkus, and HMHS Dean of Students Tracy Matozzo, special guest reader at Tatem School, read the preface to the story as kids excitedly listened to the start of the book. Our hallways are already buzzing with talk of Kenny! All Haddonfield public elementary schools are participating in this project. Elementary families are being asked to make time so that their family can participate in this special activity by reading the book at home. We know that it can sometimes be a challenge to read each night with children so we have setup a video channel where students can listen to the story being read to them by special teacher and principal guest readers. Reading aloud at home is valuable because it better prepares children to be an effective reader, and it is also a fun, worthwhile family activity. With the One School, One Book™ program, we aim to build a Community of Readers at our schools. Everyone – students, parents, teachers, even principals will all be following along together. In school, students will be invited to answer daily discussion questions at morning meeting and learn a word of the day from the story. You will soon find that your child will take pride in knowing and anticipating the details of the story. In addition to activities at school and at home we’re planning three One School, One Book Celebration Nights at the Haddon Fortnightly on 11/15, 11/16, and 11/17. One School, One Book™ is a novel program in that children of all grade levels will all be listening to their parents read same book. Strange or daring as that may seem, it actually makes sound educational sense. Reading professionals recommend reading material out loud that is beyond a child’s own reading level. We also believe that you can and should continue reading chapter books with your older children, even when they are able to read by themselves. We have selected a title that can be followed and understood and enjoyed by younger students, while being motivational and exciting.