At the South Brunswick Board of Education meeting of August 24, 2009, the District Goals and Objectives for the 2009 – 2010 school year were approved for dissemination and posting on the District Web site (www.sbschools.org). This annual action is among the most important in which the Board engages.
Goals and objectives focus the use of our human and fiscal resources. Especially in times of scarce resources such as these, it is imperative to be focused on ensuring that our time, energy and dollars are invested wisely. To that end, the Board has approved goals in seven major areas: Quality Control; Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment; Technology; Professional Development; Facilities; Cost Effectiveness and Cost Containment; and School Safety, Health and Student Support. Some highlights follow:
South Brunswick School District will be undergoing an extensive qualitative review this year that is part of a new State program. Entitled New Jersey Quality Single Accountability Continuum (QSAC), this evaluative tool is utilized to assess school district compliance with State statutes, regulations and other New Jersey Department of Education requirements. We will be conducting a self-assessment, hosting a visiting State team and then, forwarding our work product to the County and State for their scrutiny. The State-determined outcomes will be released to the public in April of 2010.
The New Jersey 21st Century Skills (career education, technology and character education) will be linked to our District curriculum in all relevant areas. Additionally, we will be posting an electronic version of our curriculum on the Web site to promote parental access.
In the area of Special Education, our Child Study Team Program will begin a Year 1 review (assess current practice) while our Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Speech Programs move to a Year 2 review (begin amending/redesign). Likewise, the District will review and recommend to the Board of Education adoption of Pre-school curriculum, Pre-K – 12 curriculum for Developmentally Disabled students and the Pre-K – 12 Social Skills curriculum for Developmentally Disabled students. A new writing program will be implemented for our K – 5 special education students that parallels our regular education curriculum.
The major work in the area of Technology will center on the study and integration of the 2009 New Jersey Technology standards into all areas of the curriculum. Elementary students in grades 2 – 5 will work on standardized multimedia projects. Middle School Technology Encore classes will include the 21st Century Skills checklist that will ensure that all required skills are sequenced to enhance learning. All High School technology-related electives will be aligned with these new standards.
From a Professional Development perspective, teachers will be assisted and supported in technology areas. Also, the District Comprehensive Equity Plan will be reviewed and revised. In compliance with the ever-changing State requirements, we will be implementing both School and Local Professional Development Committees as well.
Our Facilities work will include a review of our school security measures and an analysis of our building utilization and inspection processes. We will, as we annually do, monitor our maintenance and capital projects to ensure that we protect our infrastructure while staying within our budget parameters.
The area of Cost Containment includes monitoring the implementation of the 2009 – 2010 District Budget. Because we must generate, through fiscal prudence, approximately $4 million annually to deficit fund each following budget, this is no pro forma exercise. In addition, we will be conducting a health benefit plan cost analysis and exploring new areas of shared services.
The areas listed above represent a selection from a broader listing of Goals and Objectives that are posted on our District Web site. I hope this article will pique your interest enough to read these areas of focus in greater detail. I also hope that you will feel free to contact me to discuss any of these important undertakings.
Our work is always tied to your support and, for that, we remain deeply appreciative.
Gary P. McCartney
Superintendent of Schools