District Announces Goals for ’08-’09 School Year

The  hallmark  of  a  successful organization is the commitment to “stretch”  itself  in  the pursuit of  its mission.  South  Brunswick  School District  is  no  exception. At  its August 18 meeting, the Board of Education approved  the 2008 – 2009 District Goals  and  Objectives  which  were designed  to  focus  and  extend  the efforts and  resources of our  schools.

Packaged  in eight areas, the goals included  the  following  major areas: Curriculum and Instruction; Professional Development; Information Technology; Facilities; Cost Effectiveness/Cost Containment; School Safety; Health and Student Support; and Miscellaneous.

Within each goal area, a host of behaviorally-stated objectives have been  framed  in  order  to  provide specific definition for the work. For instance,  under  the  Curriculum and  Instruction Goal,  objectives have  been  formulated  to  identify  the work being carried out within  the District’s Curriculum Review Cycle. As we  enter  the  fifth  year  of  the  cycle, every  content  area  of  our  curriculum will be in some stage of renewal. To allow  our  curriculum  to  be  in  a dynamic  state,  it  must  always  be involved  in  such a process.

Objectives will  be  pursued  to  create a  more  consistent  framework  for lesson planning, as required by New Jersey Quality Single Accountability Continuum  (NJQSAC). Likewise,  in the  Curriculum  and  Instruction Objectives, the District will finalize work  in  its  grades 6  –12 Character Education  Program,  study  and  create a Pre-school Program  for  eligible low socio-economic  children  and  develop a community presentation to share the  initiatives  that are being utilized to support our struggling and least-able  learners.

Continuing  in  the  Curriculum and  Instruction Goal  area,  one  of  our objectives  involves  placing  curriculum online  for  ease of  access. Parents  and community members will be able to  view  a  shortened  form of  the curriculum, while  the  full  document will be available to staff. As always, all  curriculum  documents  are  available in hard  copy  for  review  by  anyone.

The Professional Development Goal area has objectives  that  support all  curricular,  technology  and  training needs of our entire  staff. To enhance institutional  agility,  a  flexible  delivery system  for  professional  development will  be  developed  and  implemented. This  model  is  designed  to  create more  latitude for staff in gaining the insights needed to improve practice. Anther objective of Professional Development  involves  a  focus  on equity  and  exceptionality  needs within the District. This work area seeks to indentify and refresh time-honored  practices  through  exposure to  speakers and  study.

Information technology  objectives will focus on several key areas of instruction. We will begin  the  first of a three-year plan to create “powerful” workstations for classroom teachers. This model will serve to enhance the use of technology as a tool to support effective  teaching.  We  will  also continue  our  work  in  cyber  safety instruction,  adding  a  secondary component to the elementary work completed  last year.

In  addition,  we  will  conduct proficiency assessments  for Fourth and  Eighth Graders  to  better-evaluate student technology knowledge and skills. As well, we will  survey  staff  in order  to  ascertain  similar  insights about  classroom  technology  practices.

Under  theFacilities Goal,  a  critical objective involves the completion of an energy audit. With sky-rocketing
costs in all energy areas, the District will use  the audit results  to determine avenues  of  cost  containment.  In
addition,  another  objective  will have  us  continue  to  assess  the security measures in place in each of  our  buildings  in  light  of technological  advances. Another related  objective  will  have  the District develop  a new  (we  already have  one)  State-mandated work order procedure.

Several objectives  in  the goal area of  Cost  Effectiveness  and  Cost Containment relate to the implementation  of  our  budget.  One  in particular involves a shared service arrangement  that  will  result  in  a joint  paving  project  with  South Brunswick  Township  working  on one of our  school parking  lots.  In  the area  of School Safety,  the  objectives include the submission of a grant to acquire  security  cameras  and  the completion of the  installation of the proximity  building  access  cards for  staff.

Health and Student Support objectives are framed around Child Study Team training in the area of Functional  Behavior  Assessments, the establishment of a District-wide Medication policy and practices as well  as  refinement  of  our  District Intervention and Referral System.

In the Miscellaneous Goal area, objectives will  include  an  investigation of  the  International Baccalaureate Program,  the  acquisition of  software to  better  link  Human  Resources  and  Professional  Development and  further  analysis  of  both NJQSAC and the recently enacted Accountability regulations.

We  believe  that  this  ambitious undertaking  (complete  listing reviewable  on  the District Web  page) coupled with  our  daily operational  practices will truly “stretch” the District  but  allow  us  to  remain  focused  in our approach.  

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