By Matthew Sockol
FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP – The Freehold Township K-8 School District has been accepted into a national coalition of school districts that have been recognized for being innovators in education.
According to a press release from the school district, Freehold Township was one of 19 districts that were accepted into the League of Innovative Schools on Oct. 4. The league is a network of districts that are regarded as pioneers in learning and leadership practices.
“Being selected as one of the top innovative school districts in the nation is truly a testament to our entire district; students, staff, parents and Board of Education,” Superintendent of Schools Ross Kasun said. “I look forward to joining the League of Innovative Schools to push my thinking, to learn, grow and share, so we can continue to strive for excellence and offer the very best to the students we serve.”
The League of Innovative Schools is organized by Digital Promise, a nonprofit organization authorized by Congress with the purpose of accelerating innovation in education and improving opportunities for students to learn.
The league currently consists of 87 school districts in 33 states, according to the press release. The Freehold Regional High School District was accepted into the network in 2015.
Members of the league are represented by their superintendent. Other administrators, principals and teachers also have opportunities to participate in league and Digital Promise initiatives, according to the press release.
According to Digital Promise, the purpose of the network is to bring together education leaders who are working to improve outcomes for students and solving the challenges facing K-12 schools through their use of learning technologies, the use of their collective voice to advance positive change in public education and to partner with entrepreneurs, researchers and leading education thinkers as a test-bed for new approaches to teaching and learning.
Members of the league are accepted through an annual application process. Freehold Township was selected based on its leadership, evidence of results, innovative vision for learning and commitment to collaboration, according to the press release.
According to Digital Promise, Freehold Township empowers student learning through science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics maker spaces, provides personalized learning for all students, and closes student learning gaps.
“(Freehold Township) built innovative places for students, staff and community to collaborate, create, experiment, build, design and redesign concepts and materials,” Digital Promise’s website states.
“Using a blended learning model, the district developed an environment that provides for active engagement, immediate feedback and learning that is based on student needs and interest.
“The district formed strategic partnerships with nearby universities to connect students who were showing gaps in their learning with student-teachers to provide small group or individualized instruction, at no cost to the student,” according to the website.
According to Digital Promise, 100 percent of Freehold Township students have access to high-speed broadband and 90 percent have access to a personal device provided by the school district.