Hardyston Township Board of Ed Members discussed upgrades and mental Health support for their elementary and middle school students.
Hardyston Township School District Chief School Administrator Mike Ryder did a walkthrough of the building with the Advertiser News and showed some of the upgrades and improvements that were completed during the summer at the Hardyston Elementary School.
Two new Aerco Benchmark Boilers were installed to replace the old boilers. The Benchmark boilers are known for being one of the leading companies in energy efficient compact boilers. All the pipes in the boiler room were replaced as well as the roof above the boiler room. The elementary school main offices were remodeled with new parquet floors, furniture, and a new air ventilation system. Ryder explained that a portion of the ESSER II grant will be used for improving the air quality in the Hardyston Elementary School. There will be more updates in the near future regarding new and improved air quality systems and electrical improvements.
The school board approved the CRRSA (Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations)-ESSER II funding for 2021-2022 in the amount of $150,678. Ryder explained that the ESSER II grant has three sections to it. It will be used for mental health, learning loss, and building improvements for better air quality at the Hardyston Elementary School. Ryder also explained that the middle school is a newer building and was built in 2003. The air quality at the Hardyston Middle School has newer technology than the elementary school. The elementary school is an older school and needs some improvements. The money will be used to meet the quality that the administrators would like the school to look like. The Hardyston Elementary School will be starting the process to improve the air quality in the school. The board decided to allot $87,000 to begin this process. An ESSER III grant will continue this work. The ESSER III application forms need to be mailed in by November.
The following upgrades were made because of the CRRSA-ESSER II Grant.” It was explained that the funding has been distributed for the following:
A math program online to modify for students $5,900
New laptops, hotspots, Chromebooks and math/language arts/STEM intervention supplies - $30,000
Reading, math, and literacy consultants - $22,750
Disinfectant wipes and sprays for cleaning and sanitizing - $5,000
Renovations for the buildings - $87,028
Middle school mental health
Funds were granted in the amount of $45,000 for mental health classes for teachers and students for the 2021-2022 school year. Ryder said the district plans to create a student wellness room at the Hardyston Middle School.
This room will be adjacent to our school counselor where students can enter without judgement and think, meditate, or talk with counselors in a low key environment.” In addition, the middle school students will have the opportunity to learn how to repair technology devices and Chromebooks that are in use.
“Not only will students learn how to repair, they will perform a valuable service to our school community by doing this,” Ryder said.
Elementary school mental health support
The administration has a plan to create a student and faculty wellness room depending on the feedback throughout the year from staff and students. Part of the grant will be used to increase the STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) courses which are offered in both schools.
More updates will be discussed at the next board of education meeting in October.
The school board congratulated Ryder on the renewal of his new five-year contract.
The contract is retroactive to July 1, 2021 and runs through June 30, 2026. This contract has replaced the 2018-23 contract that the Board has annulled.
This new contract has been approved through the Executive County Superintendent.