Guest Column: Looking Forward to the New School Year
Holmdel Board of Education member Chiung-yin Cheng Liu writes about the improvements at the school district.
You may be curious about what’s new in the school district this year. I am delighted to share some coming attractions: we welcome two new assistant principals at Holmdel High School (HHS), replacing Mr. Katz who retired and Mr. Bals who left to become a principal in another school district; we have updated and planned new courses for our HHS and Satz students; Writers Workshop will be implemented at Village and Indian Hill Schools, further developing writing skills through a program that works in parallel with Readers Workshop; Power School’s Parent Portal will be introduced to all parents at Indian Hill School; a new Athletic Handbook is available for HHS sport teams; the HHS Auditorium renovation is under way; and the installation of solar panels on the roofs of all our schools will soon be completed.
The list does not end here, and these improvements are happening because of plans made well ahead of time to implement our District Goals.
At our July 18 Board Retreat, we made a final review of our newly revised and updated District Policies and Regulations, essentially completing a two year project. Board members then started a thorough discussion of our proposed District Goals for 2012-13.
At the July 25th BOE meeting, we finalized the District Goals, which also serve as the Superintendent Goals. We retained five goals from last year, all long range objectives, for additional follow up and in-depth work. We also added “Selection and Adaption of a New Teacher Evaluation Model,” responding to New Jersey education reform legislation.
Guided by the District/Superintendent Goals, our administrators have developed action plans to make these goals a reality, thus ensuring that the needs of all students are met, and every student is appropriately challenged every day.
Although Board members don’t manage daily school operations, it is our job to make sure not only that our administrators and teachers have enough support and resources for their work, but also that every dollar is well spent in providing excellent educational opportunities and a safe learning environment for all students in our Holmdel School District.
2012 – 2013
EACH OF THE GOALS LISTED BELOW, ALONG WITH THEIR RELATED POINTS OF EMPHASIS, HAVE BEEN CHOSEN WITH THE OVERARCHING GOAL OF ENSURING EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION FOR ALL STUDENTS.
1. Selection and Adaption of a New Teacher Evaluation Model
- To research and select a New Teacher Evaluation Model
- By the end of the 2012-2013 School Year, the District’s Evaluation Committee, along with the Administrative Team, will have designated a model for supervision and evaluation for the District’s teaching staff. This will be accomplished through the identification of a standardized template for evaluation that is in alignment with State mandates
2. Differentiation of Instruction: Formative Assessment - To Inform Instruction, Revise Curriculum and Improve Individual Student Achievement
- Professional Development activities will be developed with a common goal of understanding and using formative assessment:
- 100% of District faculty & staff will engage in professional learning in the development and use in formative assessments
- By the end of 2012-2013, each grade level K-6, and each departmental course
grades 7-12 will have developed one common formative assessment. The focus in grades K-6 will be on Language Arts and Mathematics.
- 100% of the student population in grades 3-8 will be assessed using data from:
- Study Island Benchmark Assessments
- NJASK Test Practice Materials
3. World Language - To Review and Study the World Language Program K-6
- Evaluate materials and scheduling of World Language staffing to maximize retention of newly acquired World Language skills.
4. Technology - To Expand the Use of Technology to Support Instruction
- Technology Committee to produce the 2013-2016 Three Year Technology Plan
- To implement Power School’s Parent Portal at Indian Hill School allowing parents real-time snapshots of their children’s progress and allow for early intervention, as needed
- To prepare for impending on-line statewide assessments:
- Evaluate, purchase and implement new district-wide Internet content filtering technology that will accommodate and support personal and district-owned Wi-Fi e-readers, iOS and Android devices
- Purchase and implement a new wireless infrastructure at Village School and configure a separate wireless guest device network to support Wi-Fi readers, iOS and Android devices
5. Character Education- Continue to Implement Policy, Evaluate Programs, and Provide Training that Adheres to the New Jersey Department of Education’s Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (HIB) Guidelines.
- Indicators of effectiveness will be measured through HIB reports
- Provide training to all new staff
6. Financial Efficiencies
- Continue to utilize district resources in the most efficient manner
- Continue to seek alternative sources of funding and cost saving measures
From these District Goals, you can sense how our district is operated, and the effort we all make to remain one of the top school districts in New Jersey and the nation. We are committed to educating all our students well, and to equipping them with the knowledge and skills they need for success in college and careers.
Have you visited our District Website lately? We hope the redesigned district website will better inform you about all our district-wide happenings and keep us connected. If you sign up for our district E-Alert service, you will automatically receive district updates on topics of interest to you as they become available. We hope to have you included on the E-Alert list. You can sign up on our website: www.holmdelschools.org.
Welcome back to school!!!
On behalf of my fellow Board members,
Chiung-yin Cheng Liu
Chair, Community Relations Committee
There are two easy ways to stay informed of district/schools happenings. Please visit the district website at www.holmdelschools.org for event updates, school announcements, district progress reports, board meeting information, and much more. You can also subscribe to our E-Alert at http://www.holmdel.k12.nj.us/home/joinlist.shtm to receive email alerts on your choice of topics, such as school security alerts, committee notes, parent support group minutes, the district calendar, career opportunities, and school lunch menus.