OLD BRIDGE – Three elementary schools have proven to be “future ready” through leadership, education and technology components of the schools.
Memorial Elementary School has been awarded a Future Ready School (FRS)-NJ Silver Level Certification and James McDivitt and William Miller elementary schools were each awarded a FRS-NJ Bronze Level Certification, according to a prepared statement.
Memorial is the first school in Old Bridge to receive the silver level of recognition. Last year, the school earned a bronze level certification.
On Oct. 22, representatives from the elementary schools have been invited to celebrate their achievements with the FRS-NJ community at an awards ceremony at the Atlantic City Convention Center.
The FRS-NJ center on the exhibit floor will feature selected sessions by community members from across the state and will serve as a networking hub for the entire FRS-NJ community.
Future Ready Schools-New Jersey is a certification program designed to promote transformational change in schools and districts throughout New Jersey. FRS-NJ provides the guidance, support, direction, and resources schools need to achieve “future ready” goals, while fostering inclusive collaboration within schools and districts, and between them throughout the state.
The certifications, which will expire in three years, were achieved after Future Ready teams came together, including representatives of a wide array of educational stakeholders, to explore the leadership, education, and technology components of the school and district through the lens of the FRS-NJ Indicators of Future Readiness.
Memorial School Principal Raymond Payton said the FRS-NJ process provides schools and districts with the opportunity to continuously and inclusively ask themselves “where they are now, where they want to be, and how they are going to get there.”
“We are in an information age, powered by new technology connecting people, ideas, data, and content in a rapidly changing society,” he said. “As we work to prepare students for this world, we must ensure our schools provide them with a technologically rich environment.”
To reach the achievement, Memorial Elementary School established a culture of digital innovation, where educators are empowered to deepen and extend student learning with the use of technology, digital content, and media, Payton said.
“I see technology as a resource to increase rigor and support student engagement, critical thinking, and the interpersonal skills necessary to solve real work problems,” he said.
Assistant Superintendent of Schools Kathleen Hoeker expressed her excitement over the certifications at three of the district’s 11 elementary schools.
“As our world continues to be infiltrated by technology it is our responsibility as educators to establish a culture where students and staff are empowered to explore the limitless opportunities,” she said. “Our schools have embraced the opportunity by challenging themselves through the Future Ready Schools Initiative. I am proud of their determination and success and am excited about the doors they have opened for our students.”
McDivitt Principal Laurie Anne Coletti said the school is thrilled to have received the bronze certification and will strive to increase and heighten technology at all levels.
“A brief overview shows our staff and students utilize technology, embed technology in daily lessons, and are learning internet safety,” she said. “Our students and staff use Flip Grid to promote student voice, See Saw to promote reading, Sway to promote enhanced presentations, and Microsoft Immersive Reader to support comprehension.”
Coletti explained that the school can be found on Twitter and the school’s website offers parents and students with information.
“Our students are offered the use of [Hewlett Packard] streams, Kindles and iPads,” she said. “We have two computer labs and integrate technology into the climate and culture of our school.”
Teachers and the Parent Teacher Association use the Remind App to maintain the strong home/school relationship enjoyed at McDivitt, Coletti added.
Miller School Principal Kim Giles said she is delighted her elementary school was selected for the bronze certification.
“The school district goal is to empower students to become global citizens in this digital age,” she said. “Our objective is to have students well prepared for success in college, career, and beyond. We are pleased to play a role in preparing our young people to be future ready.”