Howell K-8 schools are deemed to be Future Ready

HOWELL – Future Ready Schools – New Jersey has announced that all 12 schools in the Howell K-8 School District have been deemed Future Ready certified.

In September 2014, Superintendent of Schools Joseph Isola took the Future Ready pledge, along with many superintendents throughout the nation. Isola’s pledge has now became a reality, according to a press release.

Board of Education member Albert Miller said, “Having been a part of this process since its inception, it is certainly gratifying as a board member to see the district’s vision come to life for our students. Our board as a whole is truly committed to continuing to support these environments and focusing on student outcomes that prepare them for tomorrow’s challenges.”

Future Ready Schools – New Jersey is a certification program designed to promote digital learning readiness in schools throughout New Jersey by providing guidance, support, direction and resources to schools and districts, according to the press release.

The program, which is a partnership among the New Jersey Department of Education, the New Jersey School Boards Association and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, will help schools promote the skills, abilities and capacities essential for success in college, career and citizenship in a digital age, according to the press release.

In the fall of 2014, Isola was a newly appointed superintendent faced with the challenge of launching a one-to-one digital environment, which had been put into motion by the previous superintendent.

One of the first actions Isola took was to appoint Claire Engle as the director of digital learning and innovation. Under her stewardship, approximately 6,000 students and 700 staff members have partnered to create learning environments that prepare students to be collaborative learners, according to the press release.

Jeremy Reich, project coordinator of Future Ready Schools – New Jersey, said, “Howell holds the title of being the first district ever to officially commit to supporting its schools’ and educators’ efforts to best prepare their students for success in college, career and citizenship through the framework of the Future Ready Schools – New Jersey certification program, path-finding the way for dozens of other districts throughout the state.

“Howell’s educators and leaders have been involved in the program since its inception, joining all three of the inaugural task forces and helping shape the Future Ready experience and resources through the volunteering of their time, experience, expertise and resources,” Reich said.

“The district and its staff are exemplar in their use of social mediums such as Twitter to enable and celebrate the work and achievements of students and educators alike with their community, as well as with the wider educational community, and to engage with each of these groups for the greater good,” he said.

Howell administrators reported that approximately 60 schools in New Jersey have been certified as Future Ready.

“While accomplishments such as this are certainly a source of pride, I recognize that it only signifies the beginning of a journey that will require continued commitment. It is our district’s belief that providing such environments is part of our obligation to students to ensure their readiness for a lifetime of informed citizenship in a digital society. Accomplishments such as this are only possible when the entire educational community is moving in the same direction,” Isola said.