Home » Hopewell Valley Concludes Academic Year with Strategic Planning Review and Updates

Hopewell Valley Concludes Academic Year with Strategic Planning Review and Updates

by Jackie Fuccillo

As the school year came to a close, the Hopewell Valley Regional School District (HVRSD) Board of Education reviewed its proposed strategic plan at the June 17 meeting.

Strategic Planning Review

The strategic planning included input from community members at three meetings this year and was facilitated by New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA)’s Field Service Consultant Mark Bonjavanni and Senior Field Service Representative Mary Ann Friedman.

Strategic planning “creates an organizational-wide mission and vision that directs and motivates stakeholder groups and inspires all members of the educational community to work together for the common good,” explained Friedman.

The strategic planning meetings included participation of over 160 Hopewell Valley residents, the Board of Education members, Superintendent, administrators, teachers, students, parents, and additional community volunteers who contributed their time to the development of this plan.

Friedman presented the plan, coined “3D”: determination, dreams and destiny by design, emphasizing that the proposal aims to guide the Board and the District over the next three to five years.

Friedman explained “not every district does a strategic plan and when a district does embark on a strategic plan, it is really to make sure that they are asking for all of their stakeholders groups to have input.”

During the strategic planning process five goal areas were identified: student learning, facilities and finance, health and wellness of students, communication, and community partnerships.

The strategic plan goals and objectives are expected to inform the goals of the Board of Education, District, administrators, student growth objectives and staff professional development plans resulting in student achievement.

While the strategic planning was received well by the Board of Education, the adoption of the plan will require the following next steps:

  • Board of Education review and approval
  • Administration implementation 
  • Updates on progress towards completion:
    • At board meetings
    • Items on board agenda
    • Annual state of the strategic plan report
    • Final plan posted on the district website following board approval of the plan

One member of the public offered her reaction to the strategic planning as “lofty yet attainable” and hopes for “universal and equitable access to the buildings and grounds” including a larger and more accessible venue for the Board of Education meetings to attract more Hopewell Valley residents.

Central High School Adds Documentary to Curriculum

New York Emmy Award nominated documentary, “The Price of Silence,” was added to the Central High School curriculum. The documentary tells the history of slavery prevalence in New Jersey. 

The president of Truehart Productions and executive producer of the documentary, Ridgeley Hutchinson, attended the meeting and thanked the Board for helping Truehart fulfill their mission of adding the documentary to New Jersey schools’ curriculum.

Throughout the documentary, descendants and historians tell their stories and share why New Jersey was the last northern state to end the institution of slavery.

The project was inspired by the book “If These Stones Could Talk: African American Presence in the Hopewell Valley, Sourland Mountain, and Surrounding Regions of New Jersey” by local authors Beverly Mills and Elaine Buck.The documentary is still in the making, but part one and part two are available to watch on PBS.

Part three of this documentary will portray a 13-year-old boy, Friday Truehart, who was taken from his mother in South Carolina and enslaved in Hopewell, NJ.Mills is being interviewed for the film as she learned during her research that the boy portrayed in the documentary was her great, great, great, great grandfather.

MercerMe covered the school board candidate process and kit in the article Hopewell Valley Board of Education Recognizes Retirees, Updates as School Year-End Approaches. Since last month, another term was added to the list of open positions to join the Board of Education:

  • Hopewell Township  1 One-Year Term

School Board Candidate Additional Open Position

The terms will be open on the Hopewell Valley Regional Board of Education at the November 5, 2024 Annual School Election and the deadline for filing nomination petitions to run for positions on the HVRSD Board of Education is 4 p.m., July 29, 2024. 

The HVRSD Board of Education meeting recording can be viewed here.

The next meeting will be on July 15, 2024.

Caption: HVRSD parents and teachers at the documentary screening 

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