Recent Presentations

  • Educational Affairs Presentation April 2024

    With co-chair Dr. Ross Whiting presiding, the Educational Affairs committee convened in-person and via video conferencing on Tuesday, April 16. The topic of the meeting was the new elementary report card. Conversations have been ongoing for years about purposefully and intentionally redesigning the elementary report card. Collaborative conversations have been taking place at Curriculum, Instruction, Professional Development (CIPD) meetings. At the February 2024 CIPD meeting, a subcommittee was charged with developing a draft of report cards. The overarching objective was to have alignment across all four elementary buildings and Grade 5 at Elkins Park School. The common features of the draft report cards include Reading - Language Arts (foundational skills, informational text, literature, writing and speaking and listening) and Mathematics (numbers and operations, algebraic concept, geometry and measurement, data and probability). Social Studies and Science indicators remain the same as the current report card, and Physical Fitness, Music, Art indicators remain the same as the current report card, as they are already standards aligned. Work Ethic and Citizenship, formerly student success/classroom contributor, are being modified from the current report card to also be standards aligned. Next steps in the process included a conversation with the United Parents Group (UPG) at Wyncote Elementary (April 29) and reconvening the report card committee to review the final document in early May. The next Educational Affairs meeting is Tuesday, May 21 at 7 p.m. Video>> 

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  • Educational Affairs Presentation March 2024

    With co-chair Leah Mulhearn presiding, the Educational Affairs Committee convened in person and via video conferencing on Tuesday, March 19. This meeting provided attendees a glimpse into the Cheltenham School District classrooms to see students engaged in deeper learning through STEM and project based learning. More than 20 teachers and nearly 70 students prepared innovation stations to showcase various topics learned in their Challenge, STEM, Science, Social Studies, Mathematics and PBL classes. Following the showcase, a formal presentation on deeper learning across the district was shared with the school board and community members. The presentation included the rationale for deeper learning, the current status of deeper learning across the district, and the plan to expand deeper learning into more subject areas in the 2024-2025 school year. Additionally, the presentation connected this innovative work to various pillars of the strategic plan highlighting the experiential component of curriculum and instruction across grade levels and subjects relative to the strategic planning goals of Portrait of a Graduate, Teaching and Learning, Social Emotional and Mental Health, and Diversity, Equity, Belonging and Inclusion. Video>> 

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  • Educational Affairs Presentation February 2024

    With co-chair Robyn Murphy presiding, the Educational Affairs Committee convened in-person and via video conferencing on Tuesday, Feb. 20. Designated central office leaders presented pillar-by-pillar updates on the progress of the district's strategic plan. The next Educational Affairs Committee meeting is Tuesday, March 19 at 7 p.m. Please note that the March 19 meeting is in-person in the administration building auditorium with no virtual option. Video>> 

     

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  • Educational Affairs Presentation January 2024

    With co-chair Dr. Ross Whiting presiding, the Educational Affairs Committee convened for its monthly meeting in person and via video conferencing on Tuesday, Jan. 23. Director of Special Education, Dr. Steve Catrambone, along with Supervisors of Special Education, Mrs. Jaclyn Digianivittorio (Grades 9-12), Mrs. Allison Kuchler (Grades 5-8) and Dr. Tracey Lank (Grades K-4) presented. Special education processes and procedures were reviewed, laying the groundwork for the work initiated in developing a framework that is consistent across schools and aligns with general education programming to guide the instruction and implementation of services for students (K-12+) within the special education programs in Cheltenham School District. By the end of the work, the district will have a “living/breathing” document (framework) that ALL building-level staff can utilize as a guide for implementation of services. This guide will be consistent across schools (horizontal alignment) as well as K-12 as student transition buildings (vertical alignment). Video>> 

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  • Educational Affairs Presentation December 2023

    With co-chair Leah Mulhearn presiding, the Educational Affairs Committee convened for its monthly meeting in person and via video conferencing on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023. CHS Principal Mr. Jimmy D'Andrea and Vice Principal Dr. Ben Hammond presented three courses for approval for the 2024 -2025 school year: Advanced Placement Seminar, Data Literacy, and Financial Algebra. They also presented the Environmental Engineering course for development in the 2024- 2025 school year that will be offered to students in the 2025-2026 school year. CHS will also pilot the following courses in the 2024-2025 school year: Academic Seminar and Composition 1. The high school also recommends renaming the Computer Programming I course to Introduction to Java. The renaming clarifies the scope of the course for students and families. The next Educational Affairs Committee meeting is Tuesday, January 16, 2024, and will focus on special education. Video>

     

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  • Educational Affairs Presentation November 2023

    With co-chair Leah Mulhearn presiding, the Educational Affairs Committee convened in person and via video conferencing on Tuesday, Nov. 28. The agenda included student performance data and action plans with a specific focus on CSD standardized testing data from the spring (2023) to guide instruction and next steps for the current  school year (2023-2024). Drs. Reilly and Pimental began the meeting with an overview on data analysis for continuous school improvement and professional learning, as well as data and goals for district schools for the 2023-2024 school year. The building principals then had the opportunity to share the school-based data and plans for their respective schools. The next Ed Affairs meeting is Tuesday, Dec. 19 and will offer new course recommendations for Cheltenham High School for the 2024-2025 school year. Video>>

     

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  • Educational Affairs Presentation October 2023

    With co-chair Jenny Lowman presiding, the Educational Affairs Committee convened on Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023, for its monthly meeting. The meeting topic was Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS). An overview of MTSS was provided, explaining that MTSS is a framework designed to use data in order to proactively address students’ academic and behavioral concerns. Clarity was provided on the intensity of the support for each tier. MTSS meeting structures were outlined identifying which staff participates in Tier I and Advanced Tiers meetings. All MTSS teams are using similar referral forms and meeting agendas to track students who are discussed during meetings, and examples of these documents were presented. In addition to MTSS, an overview was provided on the social-emotional support that has been added to CSD buildings to address students’ behavioral and mental health needs. Video >>

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  • Educational Affairs Presentation September 2023

    With co-chair Leah Mulhearn presiding, the Educational Affairs Committee convened in person and via video conferencing on Tuesday, Sept. 19. The agenda included an overview of committee topics this coming year and review of federal programs. 

     

    2023-2024 Educational Affairs Meeting Agenda

    Assistant Superintendent Dr. Tamara Thomas Smith presented an overview of the Educational Affairs agenda for the 2023-2024 school year. Receiving this schedule in advance allows the CSD Community to plan strategically to attend meetings or serve as a reminder to review a presentation of interest on our website. Please click to see this year’s schedule of meetings.

     

    Federal Programs

    Federal program funding is the financial resources the federal government provides to support various educational programs and initiatives within the district. These funds are allocated to assist schools and districts in improving the quality of education and address the specific needs of students, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Federal program funding can encompass various educational initiatives, including grants, subsidies, or other financial resources.

    Specifically, Dr. Smith shared the Cheltenham School District’s Title I, II, III, and IV funding and plans. Title I funding is provided under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to support schools with a high percentage of students from low-income families. These funds are intended to improve academic achievement, reduce achievement gaps, and provide extra support to students who are at risk of falling behind. Title II funding supports professional development and teacher training programs to enhance the quality of teaching and improve student outcomes. Title III funding is designed to help English language acquisition and academic achievement for English language learners. Title IV funding can be used for various purposes, including improving school safety, providing well-rounded educational opportunities, and supporting the effective use of technology in education.

    Video>> 

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  • Educational Affairs Presentation June 2023

    The final Educational Affairs Committee meeting of the school year convened in person and via video conferencing on Wednesday, June 14. Co-chair Leah Mulhearn presided over the meeting, which focused on pillar-by-pillar updates on the progress made so far on the district's new strategic plan. The Educational Affairs Committee will meet again in August. Video>
     
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  • Educational Affairs Presentation May 2023

    With co-chair Jennifer Lowman presiding, the Educational Affairs Committee convened in-person and via video conferencing on Wednesday, May 17. At the meeting, building principals provided follow-up to their October 2022 presentation on school improvement planning. The next Educational Affairs meeting is Wednesday, June 14 at 7 p.m. Video>

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  • Educational Affairs Presentation April 2023

    With co-chair Julie Haywood presiding, the district hosted a combined Policy and Educational Affairs meeting in-person and via videoconferencing on April 25. The meeting was combined so the board could discuss Administrative Regulation (AR) and policy 130 Homework, which happened at the end of the meeting. The Policy Committee agenda featured four policies for adoption at the May 9 legislative meeting: Policy and Administrative Regulation (AR) 204 Attendance (2017); Policy 127 Assessment of Educational Program (2016) changing to “Assessment System”; Policy and AR 136 Home Education (2019); and Home Education Policies 136.1 Participation in Extracurricular Programs by Home Education Students, 136.2 Participation in Cocurricular Activities and Academic Courses by Home Education Students, and 136.3 Participation in Career and Technical Education Programs by Home Education Students. Old business included discussion on AR 113.2 Behavior Support. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Tamara Thomas Smith led the lengthy discussion on the homework policy and AR. The date for the next Policy Committee meeting is Tuesday, May 23, 2023 at 7 p.m. Video>>

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  • Educational Affairs Presentation March 2023

    On Tuesday, March 21, 2023, the CSD Board of School Directors hosted its monthly Educational Affairs meeting, which featured a presentation on innovative instructional practices across the district with displays and demonstrations of student work in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), project based learning (PBL) and the Challenge program. A dozen teachers and dozens of students representing grades three through 12 from all seven schools participated in the community event. Following a presentation on the alignment of the new strategic plan with a vision for deeper learning, attendees interacted with teachers and students through a gallery walk of examples of the deeper learning work that has already begun. 

     

    Demonstrations from Ms. Bianchini from Myers Elementary, Ms. Brooks from Glenside Elementary, and Ms. Lee and Ms. Darwin from Elkins Park School included the use of coding technology to control sound and movement with a Makey-Makey. “Controlled movement” was also a theme through Lego robotics and Ozobots in a display of connecting technology and engineering with English Language Arts. Ms. Hobson from Wyncote Elementary and Mr. Osea from Myers Elementary demonstrated the First Lego League Robotics competition.  Mr. Morrison from Glenside Elementary demonstrated Ozobot coding with color. Both robotics projects can be seen in classrooms at Cheltenham Elementary, Glenside Elementary, Myers Elementary and Wyncote Elementary. 

     

    Science, social studies, and technology were seen in projects on display from Ms. Bianchini (circuitry), and Mr. Stanford (geography and 3D printing) and Mr. Rose (Black history and laser cutting) from Cedarbrook Middle School. Student work from Mr. Rose’s STEM class also included a visual representation of mathematics through their String Art project. In a collaborative effort, Cedarbrook’s Mr. Quenzer, Wyncote Elementary’s Ms. Dibattista and Cheltenham High School’s Ms. Putterman provided middle school students with the opportunity to design a digital learning app for third grade students with mentoring from high school students. Mr. Quenzer’s students invited attendees to interact with their apps on a  Smartboard.

     

    Ms. Cella and Mr. Kwas provided examples of project based learning with projects demonstrated by students completed for their “Power Project,” which the high school exhibited in February. The physical projects included “The Brain,” “The Gear Shift,” and “The DNA Project.” The PBL9 project included stop-motion videos titled “The Arctic Fox/The Arctic Ground Squirrel” and “Dendrobium Mobile Orchid/Palm Tree.” A recording of the play created by students in grade 10 PBL was available for viewing. The project consisted of an original script adapted from Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” the design and construction of the set, and live production of the play. This project was originally exhibited in January. 

     

    Finally, high school students from Ms. Putterman’s computer science program and Mr. Smith’s Challenge course presented a variety of passion projects following the tenets of design thinking. Ms. Putterman’s students completed projects in the areas of digital game design, Cyber:bots, and coding. Mr. Smith’s students made connections to the larger community in the development of a made-to-order, personalized journals stocked for on-line purchasing, innovations in shovel design for gardening, and creative writing to bring a new horror novel to fans of the genre. Photos & Video>>

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  • Educational Affairs Presentation February 2023

    With co-chair Jennifer Lowman presiding, the Educational Affairs Committee convened for its monthly meeting in person and via video conferencing on Wednesday, Feb. 22. At this meeting, Special Education presented to the board about autism supports and programming across the district. This year, the supplemental autistic support program returned to district-run classrooms. The presentation discussed logistic information about autism across the Cheltenham School District, as well as what programming looks like for different levels of supports. Student individual needs have driven programming development and adjustments. The department shared next steps of reaching out for consultation supports to examine the district program to evaluate for future planning. Video>

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  • Educational Affairs Presentation January 2023

    With co-chair Leah Mulhearn presiding, the Educational Affairs Committee convened for its monthly meeting in-person and via Zoom on Tuesday, Jan. 17. The agenda included two items: district social emotional and mental health programs and the cultural proficiency and equity student ambassadors program.  CSD Director of Student Services Jessica Keene presented on the social emotional and mental health programs available in the district. A resource review was done for each school building and all of the new programs started this school year were discussed. The district has increased our existing partnership with Aldersgate Youth Service Bureau and added three new mentoring programs at Cheltenham High School and Cedarbrook Middle School. The presentation also touched on the support that Student Services provides to district students and families through holiday assistance and services offered to immigrant families. For the second presentation, district consultant Carmina Taylor and senior Mia Cruz delivered an update on the activities and opportunities provided via the now four-year-old cultural proficiency and equity student ambassadors program, including upcoming programs and next steps to grow the program at CHS and CBK. Video >>

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  • Educational Affairs Presentation December 2022

    With co-chair Julie Haywood presiding, the Educational Affairs committee convened for its monthly meeting in person and via video conferencing on Tuesday, Dec. 20. The agenda included two items:

     

    Cheltenham High School Approval of New Courses

     

    CHS Vice Principal Dr. Ben Hammond presented three courses for approval for the 2023 -2024 school year: Advanced Placement African American History, Sewing & Fashion II, and Unified Choir. Cheltenham High School was selected to pilot the College Board's Advanced Placement African American History course. Cheltenham High School will participate in the pilot for the 2023 - 2024 school year. Sewing & Fashion II and Unified Choir will expand CHS’s elective course offerings allowing students to enhance their skill development. 

    Cheltenham High School Assisted Targeted Intervention Plan Update

     

    CSD Director of Secondary Education Charlene Collins provided an overview of Cheltenham High School’s Assisted Targeted Intervention Plan (ATSI). Cheltenham High School received this designation in the 2017 - 2018 school year due to special education students’ rate of attendance and academic achievement in mathematics and literacy. CHS has implemented corrective measures to address these areas of concern. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, assessment data is unavailable for all key indicators; the district is awaiting notification from the Pennsylvania Department of Education on the revised exit criteria and future designation for CHS.

    The next Educational Affairs meeting will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. in person and via video conferencing.

    Video >>

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  • Educational Affairs Presentation November 2022

    Educational Affairs met on Tuesday, Nov. 22 with co-chair Leah Mulhearn presiding. The agenda included three items: School Calendar Data and Recommendations; Gifted Education: An Update on Equity of Access to Gifted Services; and Innovation Grant: A Review of CSD's Selection as a FluxSpace Pandemic Recovery Fund Grant Partner. 
     
    CSD Assistant Superintendent Dr. Tamara Thomas Smith presented two options for the 2023-24 and 2024-25 school years: present weeklong spring break (Monday through Friday) and updated spring break (Thursday through Monday); as well as biweekly early dismissals on Wednesdays beginning at the start of the 2023-2024 school year. The administration recommended an updated spring break (Thursday through Monday) and biweekly early dismissals on Wednesdays, and the board will vote on this recommendation at its Tuesday, Dec. 13 legislative meeting. 
     
    CSD Supervisor of Gifted Education Matt Pimental presented a refresher of the data from the 2017 gifted education audit; a review of the innovations and changes made to the gifted identification protocol to support improvements in equitable access to gifted services for all students; and a look at our current data trends impacted by our protocol updates. Pimental also presented on CSD's selection as a partner of Fluxspace and subsequent recipient of $650,000 in grant funding to further support project based learning and STEM education throughout the district. 
     
    The next Educational Affairs meeting is Tuesday, Dec. 20.

    Video >>>        Agenda >>>

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  • Educational Affairs Presentation October 2022

    With co-chair Julie Haywood presiding, the Educational Affairs committee convened for its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 18. The meeting gave building principals the opportunity to share the school improvement planning process and implications for their respective schools. The next Ed Affairs meeting is Tuesday, Nov. 22 in person at 2000 Ashbourne Rd. in EP or at cheltenham.org/zoom. The meeting will offer an update on gifted education data, instruction, and assessment in the district. Video>

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  • Educational Affairs Presentation September 2022

    With co-chair Leah Mulhearn presiding, the Educational Affairs Committee convened in person and on Zoom for its first meeting of the school year on Tuesday, September 20. The meeting agenda contained two items: Educational Affairs meetings agenda for the 2022-2023 school year; and a proposal for early dismissal every other Wednesday for the 2023-2024 school year. The next Educational Affairs meeting is Tuesday, October 18 at 7 p.m. The meeting will be in person and available at cheltenham.org/zoom. Video. 

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  • Educational Affairs Presentation May 2022

    With co-chair Leah Mulhearn presiding, the Educational Affairs Committee convened via video conferencing on Wednesday, May 18 for its monthly meeting. The agenda contained one item, a deep dive into district benchmark assessment data. The goal of benchmarking is to identify students’ academic strengths and weaknesses and use that information to guide future instruction, and support student outcomes on summative assessments. With the exception of first and second grade, CSD has changed its benchmark system from Edmentum to Linkit! to Classroom Diagnostic Tools (CDTs). Each principal spoke about the data from their building and addressed root causes, school outcomes and desired outcomes moving forward. The final Educational Affairs Committee of the school year is Tuesday, June 21 at 7 p.m. via Zoom. Video>

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  • Educational Affairs Presentation April 2022

    With co-chair Leah Mulhearn presiding, the Educational Affairs Committee convened over Zoom for its monthly meeting on Tuesday, April 26. CSD Assistant Superintendent Dr. Tamara Thomas Smith and Director of Special Education Dr. Beverly Gallagher shared updates about the district’s comprehensive and special education plans.

    Dr. Smith shared an overview of the planning requirements for the 2022-2025 comprehensive plan, timeline, steering committee, initial components, and opportunity for committee feedback. Dr. Gallagher provided a timeline for the current special education plan and an update concerning the revised date of May 2024 for the completion of the next plan. Dr. Gallagher gave an overview of the plan outlining several of the components and highlighting the feedback received from the committee meeting in March. The special education plan will be presented to the school board and a public review of the draft special education plan will be available for 28 days before it’s submitted to the state by July 31. Video>

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  • Educational Affairs Presentation March 2022

    With co-chair Julie Haywood presiding, the Educational Affairs Committee convened for its monthly meeting on Tuesday, March 15. The meeting featured an end-of-school year calendar change; a professional development proposal; and a two-part presentation from CSD Director of STEM Dr. Brian Reilly. 

     

    Due to unused snow days, the administration recommended the final student day be moved to Tuesday, June 14 and the final staff day be moved to Thursday, June 16. The board will vote on this at its April 19 legislative board meeting.The committee also presented a Wednesday professional development proposal, in which every other Wednesday would be an early dismissal. This time will be utilized for the purposes of ongoing professional development, guided collaboration, and review of, and action planning based on student data. 


    The first part of Dr. Reilly’s presentation was an update on the progress the Pennsylvania Department of Education has made on updating its science standards. The new standards will feature performance expectations for grade bands, and will incorporate the concept of the three dimensions of learning science (disciplinary core ideas, crosscutting concepts, and science/engineering practices). The second part of the presentation was a showcase of some of the projects completed in the project based learning classrooms at CBK and CHS. Dr. Reilly provided information for and student artifacts from each of the 12 projects. Two themes prevalent across all of the projects were authentic student engagement in the feedback and revision process and connecting the students’ work to the larger community. Also included in the presentation were links to a series of podcasts produced by High Tech High that allows listeners to hear about the vision, challenges and successes of project based learning in CSD from its inception through the pandemic. The next Educational Affairs meeting is Tuesday, April 26 at 7 p.m. Video>

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  • Educational Affairs Presentation February 2022

    With co-chair Leah Mulhearn presiding, the Educational Affairs Committee convened on Zoom for its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 15. CSD Director of Special Education Dr. Beverly Gallagher made a presentation focused on providing the full continuum of autistic support in the Cheltenham School District. General information about autism and the continuum of special education services was reviewed. The rationale for increasing autistic support services in the district was shared, along with planning for this transition to include staffing needs. Dr. Gallagher provided information outlining finances with a cost comparison, which led CSD Interim Business Manager Chuck Linderman’s presentation of special education finances.

     

    Mr. Linderman reviewed a presentation on special education data analytics using Forecast5. The presentation identified similar school districts in the Suburban Philadelphia area for comparison purposes. Enrollment information was reviewed as it relates to special education students and the different categories, along with a comparison of staffing among the identified peer set.  Then a review of expenditures and revenues relating to special education over the past several years was shared. The board had many follow-up questions which will be answered in the upcoming months. Video>

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  • Ed Affairs Committee Presentation January 2022

    During the January 18 Educational Affairs meeting, health, safety and wellness were discussed. On January 11, the Montgomery County Office of Public Health revised the recommended COVID-19 mitigation tactics recommended for school districts. These changes impacted CSD’s “Test To Stay” program, assurance testing for unvaccinated staff, and contact tracing. The implementation of a “Mask to Stay” program was also discussed. The district's health and safety plan has been revised to reflect these modifications. For the wellness portion of the presentation, CSD Director of Student Services Jessica Keene talked about the various in-school and out-of-school resources employed that address staff and student social and emotional well-being. Through the partnership with Effective School Solutions (ESS), CSD has been able to offer clinical support at Elkins Park School and parent/guardian and staff professional development. CSD has been utilizing the Second Step curriculum in its K-8 buildings, and is continuing its partnerships with Aldersgate and Lakeside. The next Educational Affairs Committee meeting is Tuesday, February 14 at 7 p.m. via Zoom. Video>

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  • Ed Affairs Committee Presentation December 2021

    The Educational Affairs Committee convened over Zoom for its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 21. The agenda included several items, including information about the American Rescue Plan (ARP) of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III; Cheltenham High School course proposals; Cheltenham HS graduation requirements; and social studies course re-sequencing from grades 7-12. An overview of block scheduling was also delivered after a query from a community member. Video> 

     

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  • Ed Affairs Committee Presentation November 2021

    The Educational Affairs Committee met on Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021, at 7:00 PM via Zoom. The meeting gave building principals an opportunity to share baseline benchmark data for their respective buildings and improvement planning that complements the data. Video>

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