Bernards Twp. Schools Ask Parents to Fill Out Technology Survey, Other Surveys to Follow

Bernards Township Schools Superintendent Nick Markarian addresses the audience at a Board of Education meeting. (file photo) Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos

BERNARDS TWP., NJ - The Bernards Township School district has issued its first survey to parents, seeking to gather feedback with several aspects of students' use of technology. The survey is accessible on the Bernards Township school website, and parents are asked to complete it by the end of February.

Schools Superintendent Nick Markarian sent district parents an email midweek, on Jan. 25, announcing that the school district's first survey, the District Technology Survey, would be issued at the end of the week. Additional surveys will be sent out during the remainder of the school year, he said.

The superintendent said some additional surveys that parents can expect to see being administered throughout the remainder of the school year include:

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●  First-Grade Pilot on Standards Based Report Cards - Parents of some first-grade students will be getting a new type of report card on their first-grader’s progress in the spring and we will be surveying parents for feedback on the new report card.

●  New Courses - The district has several courses running for the first time this year such as American Sign Language and Project Lead the Way classes. We will be seeking feedback on these new offerings.

●  Culture and Climate: In the spring the district will be conducting surveys to gage culture and climate to help us form approaches to improve the social emotional environment of the schools. 

School officials have been three ​district goals​, Markarian said in the email. "Simply, our focus is on improving academic outcomes, strengthening social emotional results and lastly, making the best use of technology to support these ends," Markarian said in the email. 

The scope of the first survey includes technology use in the home, access to the internet, the amount of time students use computers or devices to complete school work and similar issues.

The district is also seeking to understand if moving to a one to one (1:1) environment for all or some students should be pursued, meaning that each student would have a computing device to use in class, at home or both, he said.  For example, he said one 1:1 model would be issuing Chromebooks to all high school students to use both at school and at home. Another structure might have a Chromebook for every student to use, but without the devices ever leaving the classroom.

"It obviously would be a significant undertaking with major short-term and long-term financial implications. Therefore, your input is important," Markarian said, adding the request that parents respond to the District Technology Survey when it was issued via email/Friday Folder, as it was on Jan. 27.

The Jan. 25 email to parents also outlined ways in which township schools will be pursuing the three district goals.



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