The Washington Community School Board met Thursday evening for a brief regular session meeting following an executive session meeting. Donations from local businesses Buchanan Mechanical, Jones & Sons, Nasco and Belt Tech were unanimously approved by the board, followed by an acknowledgement of appreciation.

Resignation of high school agriculture teacher Sebastian Overman was brought before the board and approved.

Multiple certified appointments were approved for high school, junior high and elementary positions as well as certified and non-certified summer appointments for STEM camp, IREAD, AG and other positions.

The board discussed modifying the calendar for the 2019-2020 school year due to the successful run of the first E-learning day this year. With the approval of the new calendar, three days have been removed and the end of the school year has been moved up by one week, moving graduation for next year to May 23, 2020, instead of May 30. The revision to the calendar was approved unanimously.

WHS teacher Barb Knepp presented an update on the Hatchets Helping Hatchets outreach program to the school board. Knepp provided information to the board on student submissions about items they need such as hygiene products, backpacks and clothing.

“The number of students (Hatchets Helping Hatchets has provided for) probably within the past two years, we’ve reached at least probably 300, I would say,” said Knepp. “We really didn’t get our documentation going until this year.”

A lot of the students who sign up for the program come back again to get other items, Knepp said. She also provided photos of the Hatchets Helping Hatchets’ new room in the high school located near the cafeteria. “We have utilized it to its max,” she said.

Knepp and the other aides go through each donated item to make sure they are without stains or holes, and then the items are washed and dried and stored in the Hatchets Helping Hatchets room.

The program even offers prom dresses thanks to “really nice donations,” according to Knepp.

One area of concern for Knepp is tutoring in the junior high. “I wish we had more ways to help the students [with tutoring].” She said that high school students have used the program to find help in certain subjects that they are struggling with, but that’s “the one thing we don’t have in the junior high,” she said. “We would like to get a tutoring program going there for students that are needing help, but we have had a lot of high school students ask for help.”

Knepp also said they provided surveys to the students who have used the Hatchets Helping Hatchets program, and the feedback has been generally positive.

In other business, the board approved several upcoming overnight trips for NJROTC and baseball. The next regular board meeting will be June 20 at 7 p.m.

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