Dear Brigantine School Community:
Welcome to the 2021-2022 school year! While this past year was unlike any other, we are committed to working together to promote the best possible educational experiences for the students of this community, and we thank you for your on-going support in this endeavor.
We will continue to focus on the common goals and objectives which emphasize safety and security, digital learning opportunities, design thinking, critical thinking, enhancing a culture of learning, social awareness, communication, fostering the development of the whole child, and more. To those ends, we continue to move forward in the following ways:
VIRTUAL INSTRUCTION INITIATIVES
As we begin the year remotely, we have added programs and platforms to support teachers and students. IXL.com has been added to all grade levels as a supplemental program in math, language arts, science, and social studies. This program provides unlimited online practice in 8,000+ skills, personalized skill recommendations, progress-tracking reports, and certificates and awards to keep students engaged and motivated.
Lexia Core 5 Reading is another new supplemental program for students to learn, practice, and consolidate fundamental reading skills in an online adaptive program.
Additional online programs and platforms for the 2021-2022 school year include Newsela.com for high interest nonfiction in current events, Class Dojo for parent communication, and Ed Puzzle to easily create beautiful interactive video lessons for students.
STUDENT AND STAFF WELLNESS (SEL)
Wellness initiatives for students and staff are a foundational part of our programs and initiatives. The Brigantine School District has consistently promoted and supported the development of the whole child when planning and designing curricular and co-curricular activities. We will continue to offer a whole-child approach while expanding opportunities within the schools for student wellness and staff wellness activities. This is part of our initiatives to promote healthy lifestyles, improve student focus and achievement, and support the ideas of physical, social, and emotional wellness for all school community members.
DISTRICT LITERACY INITIATIVES
As we develop and refine our ELA programming for students, we are excited to announce a partnership with Columbia University’s Teachers College Reading and Writing Workshop for professional development for the 2021-2022 school year for teachers in grades K through 8. Our teachers have attended training workshops at Columbia for several years and are very excited to have this opportunity to expand and deepen their knowledge of teaching, writing, and reading to our students.
The mission of the Teachers College Reading & Writing Project is to develop avid and skilled readers, writers, and inquirers. The Teachers College Reading and Writing Workshop Staff Specialists have created state-of-the-art tools and methods for teaching reading and writing, for using performance assessments and learning progressions to accelerate progress, and for literacy-rich content-area instruction. This work cements the classroom instructional practices for the coming year and beyond. Program data results show the positive trends from these initiatives.
NEXTGEN SCIENCE STANDARDS
Year five implementation occurs within grades K-5 this year. As stated on the NJDOE website, “The science standards are designed to help realize a vision for education in the sciences and engineering in which students, over multiple years of school, actively engage in scientific and engineering practices and apply crosscutting concepts to deepen their understanding of the core ideas in these fields.” (pp. 8-9, NRC, 2012). Our STEM and Computer teachers continue to work on developing engaging lessons in science, technology, engineering, coding, and math for all students K-8.
MATHEMATICS CURRICULUM UPDATES
Our district continues to evaluate and realign math course sequencing and resources for meeting the New Jersey Student Learning Standards. This is coordinated through a data review of our programs, and comprehensive conversations with our certified math staff. The district continues to utilize Go Math, Larson’s Big Ideas Math, as well as IXL for supplemental assessments. These updates and instructional refocusing extend our practices to meet student skill development and learning expectations.
GOOGLE. CHROMEBOOKS. INFRASTRUCTURE. SERVERS.
The district is a 1:1 for student Chromebooks, which allows for connectivity remotely as well as in-person learning. Brigantine is a Google district, which allows for off-site servers to strengthen against malware attacks and to house data. The district has also increased its Wi-Fi broadband through a fiber line into the building. Servers, firewalls, and infrastructure continued to be updated over the summer, which provides a constant basis for content filtering, malware scanning, and virus protection. The district also is able to provide internet access and devices to families that qualify.
I look forward to meeting you over the school year. Please feel free to call or email me and I will make myself available.
Wishing you all a safe and successful school year!
Yours in Education,
Superintendent of Schools