Board of Education & Superintendent Goals
Board of Education and Superintendent Goals for the 2021-2022 school yearDistrict Goal #1
The Superintendent will assist and engage in research-practice partnerships that both support the school district in understanding and implementing policies and practices that can promote equity. The Superintendent will develop and support professional development workshops and a student voice group composed of students across 9-12 grade levels.
In year one, a District-wide Equity Council examined our curricula, collected information from students and alumni, and assessed how equitable students' school experiences were among racial and economic demographics. The data suggested gaps in experiences in part due to the lack of diversification of curricular materials, the inequitable application of certain student codes of conduct apparent, perceived, or actual violations, and how staff members respond to a diverse student body. The Equity Council believes that throwing materials at teachers that speak to issues of equity or empathy will not be introduced with fidelity if teachers are not properly supported and trained on how better to respond to students’ needs first. Attending to the students’ needs through thoughtful and responsive interactions has to be the focus of this year’s objective. Students do not care what we know, until they know we care (Maxwell). The diversity and inclusiveness of the curriculum will always be subject to how it is implemented and taught, so we will focus on this after we teach people how to better connect to each other and our students.
In year two, the Equity Council focused on professional development so that staff members can better respond to all students’ needs. I developed a District Equity professional development team that delivered 5 PodCast talks, recommended 3 books, provided 22 additional resources for professional learning on equity, empathy, anti-racism, and challenging implicit bias, and presented 3 secretarial workshops, 3 administrative workshops, 1 Board of Education workshop, and over 25 workshops for teachers and support staff. Anyone can view our Towards Greater Equity website where we will continue to post new research, resources, and professional learning opportunities.
“Empathy is a concerned response to another person’s feelings. It involves thinking, feeling, and even a physical reaction that our bodies have to other people when we relate to how they feel. To have empathy, we have to notice and understand others’ feelings, but that isn’t enough. We also need to care about and value them (from the Making Caring Common Project by the Harvard Graduate School of Education.).”
“Empathy means you listen, don’t judge, feel with, and ask questions (Daron K. Roberts, A Kid’s Book About Empathy).” Equity is about each of us getting what we need to survive or succeed – access to opportunity, networks, resources, and supports-based on where we are and where we want to go (Stanford Social Innovation Review, What the heck does equity mean?).
In year two, we attempted to address staff members’ approaches to all kids in the school, the language they use, the tone, and how they spend their time working with students.
This year, we will expand on professional development and offer additional workshops entitled, “Voices & Perspectives III – Growth Mindset.” Additionally, the Superintendent will develop a series of meetings with students to collect their input on their school experiences and develop an Action Research Project that culminates in a learning community-based, service project. Lastly, we will invest in a partnership with Rowan University’s PEER Lab. Rowan University is helping several school districts work towards their equity goals. Rowan can help our District build a sustainable equity focus that includes the following services:
· A standing 90-minute monthly administrative and supervisory meeting designed to educate leaders on identifying issues of equity and developing actions to tackle disparities.
· A monthly 90-minute District Equity Council collaborative. These can involve members of the community and are usually held after school hours.
· Quarterly student-voice training of a leadership team designed to lead student action research projects.District Goal #2
The Black Horse Pike Regional School District recognizes that more students are in need of intensive reading assistance as they enter ninth grade. In the past, we have added two additional reading specialists because of the increase in the number of students reading below grade level. Additionally, we created academic support positions called Student Success Coaches at each High School. When comparing the latest District’s schools’ NJSLA ELA scores of those who are not economically disadvantaged to those who are economically disadvantaged, there exists a 19.4 percent gap at Highland, a 28.2% gap at Timber Creek, and a 7% gap at Triton, in the number who have met or exceeded expectations.
Therefore, the Superintendent will increase the number of economically disadvantaged students who have the opportunity to receive supplemental services to improve their access to intensive reading instruction and the resources to practice in the home. Additionally, the Superintendent will create literacy rich, community-based programs for economically disadvantaged families.
The Superintendent will write three letters to parents/students explaining the importance of literacy; The School Districts’ school Twitter feeds and all-call communication system will also be used to market the importance of reading in the home, asking their children about what they are reading in school, and modeling reading in the home.
- The Superintendent will facilitate three large community based literacy-focused events in coordination with Camden County Library system, our Library Media Specialists, Barnes & Noble, and our teachers;
- The Superintendent will create home visits, supplemental after-school instruction, or remote, virtual instruction, for the purpose of supporting struggling readers in the home. One-to-one tutoring in the model of Bloom (1981) can be strengthened when coupled with three procedures outlined by Roger Farr (1999): modeling, coaching, and reflection (MCR) (Fogarty, 2007).
- These tutoring sessions will offer 6 hours per month to 15 students per school. The Superintendent will hold planning meetings with Supervisors, Administrators, Counselors, Support Staff, and Teachers about identifying students to take advantage of this opportunity;