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Quick Questions and Answers

Please see below for questions that the community has asked, along with our answers. Some questions may be a compilation of similar questions on the same topic. Questions may be edited for brevity.

Can I send my child to a school in this town but stilll live in a different town?

Parents who live outside of Cherry Hill may not send their children to the Cherry Hill Public Schools except under the very specific circumstances detailed in Board Policy -

How much is Judith Wilson, LLC, being paid for running the Community Forums regarding the next iteration of the Bond?

The District received two proposals from firms to help the Board objectively gather as much feedback and information from voters as possible in the aftermath of the December referendum in order to effectively and efficiently plan the next steps to address our district facilities' needs. One proposal was for $14,000; Mrs. Wilson's was for $7,500. In addition to facilitating the five, 75-minute forums, Mrs. Wilson is providing the following:

  • Electronic survey for community members without children in the schools
  • Electronic survey for parents of school children by grade level groups: elementary, middle and high
  • Electronic survey for staff members: Cherry Hill residents and non-residents
  • Summative data from surveys: Open ended question responses and multiple choice responses
  • Recommendations for Board and Administration to consider as next steps are formulated
  • Presentation at one Board level committee meeting or full Board meeting
  • Facilitate the discussions of the Board Ad Hoc Committee (to be formed to make recommendations regarding the Bond)
  • The District selected Mrs. Wilson not only because her proposal was the most cost effective, but also because of her long term diversified experience working in education. Since her retirement from the Princeton School District she has been working with Boards of Education in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania on strategic planning initiatives, public forums, superintendent searches and policy development.

    Dr. Meloche mentioned on December 18, 2018 that the 2018 Bond was based on the Becica report of 2010 and revision 2013. To continue with transparency, can you provide this report and other feasibility studies to stakeholders?

    The work included in the December 2018 Bond was determined from a multitude of sources, one of which was the District-Wide Condition Assessment for the Cherry Hill Public Schools produced by Becica Associates on April 13, 2010 and updated March 5, 2013. Items related to security have been redacted from the report.

    How can I tell which elementary school I am assigned to?

    To find out which elementary school your child will be assigned to, please call our Registration Office at (856) 429-5600, extension 4430, 4432 or 4436. Our Registration staff can tell you, based on your address, which school your child would attend.

    What is the current dollar amount in the Capital Reserve Fund of 2018 to 2019?

    The Capital Reserve Fund at June 30, 2018 is approximately $13 million.

    How is capital reserve used budget to budget?

    Capital reserve is used for prioritized projects as discussed with the District architect, Becica Associates, and the CHPS facilities staff.

    If a short term bond is proposed, what, if any, is the debt service aid from the state of New Jersey?

    The debt service aid from the state will depend on the amount of the bond and the time frame. The debt service aid for the 2018 bond would have been 37 percent.

    Are there restrictions on short term borrowing?

    Yes, the state sets restrictions on short term borrowing. The restrictions depend on the borrowing mechanism used.

    Are there specific rules for using any Capital Reserve Fund?

    Capital Reserve Fund monies must be used for a project included in the District's Long Range Facilities Plan.

    I know there are Open Houses for the middle schools in the district. Is there something similar for High School East and High School West? IF so what are the dates? Thanks so much!

    An Open House for all 8th graders is scheduled at both Cherry Hill High Schools East and West.

    The Cherry Hill East 8th Grade Open House is scheduled for Wednesday, January 23, 2019 at 7 pm, with a snow date of Tuesday, January 29.

    The Cherry Hill West 8th Grade Open House is scheduled for Wednesday, January 30, 2019 at 7 pm, with a snow date of Thursday, January 31.

    I am hearing from members of our community that the current Cherry Hill Public Schools budget resulted in a 3 percent tax increase. Is this correct?

    As per the "User Friendly Budget" which can be found on the District's website at https://www.chclc.org/uploaded/Departments/Finance/User_Friendly_Budget_2018-19.pdf, the District's 2018-19 Total General Fund Budget is $200,308,954. This is a $4,444,232 or 2.26% increase over the 2017-18 General Fund Budget. The General Fund Tax Levy is held to a 2% increase each budget year, unless the district is eligible for an adjustment to that cap. For the 2018-19 budget year, the General Fund Tax Levy was held to a 2% increase, despite the fact that the District was eligible, due to an adjustment to the cap, to increase the budget beyond the 2%. The tax levy for the General Fund increased in 2018-19 over the 2017-18 school year by $3,3395,311, which is exactly 2%.

    In looking over the bond questions, it's not clear which questions the non-eligible and non-funded projects will be in. Would you please explain?

    For the most part, ineligible costs are found in Question 3. Total ineligible costs are $5,115,543, or 2.43% of the total referendum. Examples of ineligible costs are paving and site work, athletic field improvements and auditorium upgrades.

    Unfunded costs can be found in Questions 1 and 2 and relate to any new construction that is being done. The state will only provide funding on $143 per square foot for new construction. Typical new construction costs approximately $300 per square foot. Of the $24.8 million dollars of new construction, $9.5 million dollars or 38% is considered eligible for funding by the State based on the $143 per square foot rule.

    Overall, of the $210 million dollars in project applications, total unfunded or ineligible is $20,408,031 or 9.68% of the total project.


    With regard to the upcoming bond referendum, please explain why asbestos abatement is listed in some schools and not others.

    All of our schools have asbestos, and some level of asbestos abatement will need to be done in every school as part of these projects. Asbestos can be typically found in floor tiles, pipe wrapping and the glue that is used to mount blackboards. Sometimes is can be found in plaster walls as in Rosa School and the ceiling as in Carusi School. The District has reports that outlines where asbestos is located in each building. Asbestos becomes problematic when it has to be broken up or cut into in order to complete a work project. If asbestos is located in areas that are being renovated, removal of the asbestos will need to be done prior to the renovations beginning. All abatements will be conducted while the buildings are unoccupied.

    What is the process for starting a new club at one of the Cherry Hill Schools? How do new clubs secure funding for costs (sponsor/coach, transportation, materials, etc.)?

    Students at our elementary and middle schools may propose a new club to their building principal. The principal should be consulted regarding what such a proposal should include.

    At Cherry Hill High School East, students may pick up a Club Creator Form in the Activities Office or print one out from the Student Activities Eboard on the East web site. Students must fill out the form and find a staff member to serve as adviser. Students would then meet with the Coordinator of Student Activities to discuss the purpose, direction, proposed club activities and need for the club at East. The Coordinator of Student Activities will either approve, modify or decline the club after this meeting.

    At Cherry Hill High School West, students may start a club if they have at least two members and a faculty member who has agreed to be an adviser. They must write up a description of the club, what their goals are and when/how often they plan to meet. The members sign the proposal, as does the faculty adviser, and they have a club.

    Funding for clubs come from the group's own fundraising efforts. All club fundraising and expenditure of funds are governed by Board Policies 5830 - Student Fund Raising and 6660 - Student Activity Funds.

    How often does Cherry Hill High School East, including the desks and doors, get cleaned/disinfected? Also,when is the last time the school's halls and classrooms received a new coat of paint? It is time to put these items into the budget. Long overdue.

    All classrooms, doors and desks in all of our schools are thoroughly cleaned over the summer and when we have extended periods when the buildings are closed, such as Winter and Spring Break. In addition, desks are wiped down nightly. Painting is definitely on the priority list – throughout the District – as well as new ceilings and lighting for school corridors to brighten them up.

    Can I send almonds as part of my daughter's lunch? She does not eat much meat, and I want to be sure she gets adequate protein.

    Some of our schools do have restrictions on food brought into the school based on students' food allergies. Please check with your building principal regarding nut allergies in your daughter's school.

    What is the access code for the STOPit app?

    Please contact your school's principal for that building's STOPit access code.

    When is Junior Prom 2019? If nothing else, what month, what day of the week is it usually? Thank you.

    Our high schools' Junior Proms are scheduled for two different dates. Cherry Hill HIgh School East's Junior Prom is scheduled for Saturday, April 13, 2019 at 6:30 pm. Cherry Hill High School West's Junior Prom is scheduled for Thursday, May 2, 2019, at 7 pm. Details on locations and themes will be released by the individual schools.

    Following up to a previous question: Is there more information available regarding the full day kindergarten program? For example, are all elementary schools included? Will aftercare be available (in the same location)?

    All elementary schools will have full day kindergarten on site beginning with the 2019-2020 school year. The full day program will replace the half-day program. School Age Child Care (SACC) will be available to all students, including kindergartners, at all locations.

    For academic year 2019-2020 (a full year from now), will full day kindergarten be in place or will it still be set to half days?

    Full day kindergarten will begin with the 2019-2020 school year. Kindergarten students will follow the regular elementary day schedule of 9 am-3:30 pm.

    I am wondering where I might find the Back to School Night dates. Thank you, kindly!

    The 2018-2019 Back to School Nights all take place in September and are listed on the District Events Calendar on the District web site. Individual school web sites that do not yet have their back-to-school nights listed will post them shortly.

    Can you please tell me the estimated total cost of the special election taking place on October 2, 2018*?

    In order to give our upcoming bond issue greater attention outside of the General Election Day, we chose October 2, 2018 as our special election date. This is one of four special school election dates allowed by the state of New Jersey. Although we are still in the process of working out the details of staffing and polling places with the Board of Elections, we anticipate the cost of the special election will be $40,000 or less.

    *UPDATE: The special election has been postponed from the original October 2, 2018 date. The new date will be announced upon Board of Education approval.

    Where can the public download or obtain a copy of the most recent CHPS Comprehensive Security Assessment & Recommendations the BOE is using to propose/prototype security upgrades for the $150 million bond referendum on 10/2/18?

    A representative from Ronin Security, the security firm hired to assess security district wide and to make recommendations following that assessment, will give a full report to the Board of Education in an executive session at the August 28, 2018, BOE Action Meeting. The focus of this report will be on our current practices, policies and procedures and how we can improve them. Ronin Security's input also will be integral to structural changes related to security in our buildings, some of which will be funded by the bond referendum, while other security-related building upgrades will be paid for out of the General Fund Budget. The report will not be shared with the public. Prior to Ronin Security's involvement, the District Director of Security has worked for years in conjunction with the District Director of Operations, the Cherry Hill Police Department, and the Assistant Superintendent - Board Secretary/Business Administrator in continually updating our physical security, policies, practices and procedures. Among the resources utilized in decisions regarding physical security, practices, policies and procedures are those recommended for School Preparedness and Emergency Planning by the New Jersey Department of Education.

    Have any federal, state or private grants for school security improvement & funding been applied for and/or going to be applied for prior to the $150 million bond referendum on 10/2/18? If yes, please update the amount & status. If no, why not?

    The Cherry Hill Public Schools continually seeks alternative funding. We recently explored the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Grant, a federal grant, and determined that construction costs did not qualify. The state of New Jersey will be putting a referendum on the November ballot for school security funding. This referendum will focus mostly on colleges, but some money will be set aside for elementary and secondary schools. If the state referendum is successful, we will seek whatever funding becomes available to us.