Principal's Message September 3rd

principals_message.jpg

 

Dear Parents, 

 

Let me officially welcome you back for the 2014-2015 school year! We hope your summer was restful and that you are ready for another wonderful year. As you will notice, we have made many changes. You will notice an addition to the front entrance of the building. The safety vestibule has been constructed and is fully operational. We have also added a seventh bus route to address transportation concerns. 

 

As you may have read in the local papers, we have been fortunate to be able to expand the use of technology into our classrooms over the last two years. Last year, we updated our wireless and Wi-Fi capabilities and brought in several Chromebook carts for teachers and students to utilize as part of their daily instructional program. Our teachers have shared the use of these devices as part of our program and this has led to increased student engagement and increased student learning. With this in mind, I am happy to announce that this year, each of the primary grades (kindergarten, first, and second) will receive their own Chromebook cart with additional devices in AEP, reading/math AIS, and ESL. The middle school will also be obtaining one additional cart. These additions will undoubtedly increase the opportunities for both students and staff to increase technology integration into the classroom. 

 

What is even more exciting is that we have decided to pilot a one student to one device program in fourth grade this year with the hopes of expanding each year! The Technology Committee has put together specific and measurable goals to monitor success. The goals will be as follows: 

 

• Through the use of the Chromebook and/or other one to one devices, students will use critical thinking skills to demonstrate their creative thinking, construct knowledge across content areas to develop products, solve problems and make informed decisions using technology. Students will: 

 

a) Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products and processes; 

b) Identify and define authentic problems and significant questions to further inquiry; 

c) Create original works as a means of personal and/or group expression 

d) Use research to explore complex systems and issues and use the information to guide inquiry; 

e) Use research to locate, analyze, evaluate, and synthesize information and/or data from a variety of sources to identify issues, forecast possibilities and report results. 

 

• Through the use of the Chromebook and/or other one to one devices, students will use digital media to communicate and work collaboratively, include distance learning (e.g. school to home connection/ school to real world connection) to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others. Students will: 

 

a) Interact, collaborate and publish using a variety of digital resources and media; 

b) Communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of digital resources and media; 

c) Develop a global understanding of the use of technology to promote learning; 

d) Contribute to producing original works or solve problems. 

 

• Through the use of the Chromebook and/or other one to one devices, students will demonstrate a sound understanding of how technology works while assisting with the transition of moving the District towards a more paperless-real world application. Students will: 

 

a) Demonstrate personal responsibility for life-long learning to meet the expectations of the Common Core Learning Standards; 

b) Exhibit leadership for digital citizenship; 

c) Transfer current knowledge to learning of new technologies. 

 

Also, the Technology Committee has worked throughout the summer and has established criteria for teacher Web Pages that will help our district communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using our website as a tool. This will also assist the District in moving towards a more paper-free and “greener” environment. Teachers have already begun updating their Web Pages. You can find these Web Pages under the "Quick Links" section of our school's homepage by clicking on "Staff Directory/Teacher Pages," as well as under the "Parents/Students" link on the homepage. Information on these Web Pages will include, but will not be limited to, the following: 

 

a) Homework assignments/help by content and/or grade; 

 

b) A monthly newsletter that shares curriculum updates for ELA, math, science and social studies for elementary grades and a quarterly curriculum update for the middle school; 

 

c) Calendar with classroom and/or important dates to remember that include class trips, exam and/or project dates; 

 

d) Preferred contact method for teachers (email, phone messaging, etc.). 

 

Let me express to all of you our gratitude for your support in making our school a success. We understand our work is never done and with your support, our school will continue to be a special place for the children of this community. 

 

Fondly, 

Eric M. Casale


 
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