BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District Superintendent Russell Lazovick said in his end-of-year presentation that they got a tremendous amount of good work done this year but there is always more to do.
Lazovick presented his recap of the goals laid out for him by the board of education, and outlined what has been done, and what is left to do.
The goals for the 2016-2017 school year, Lazovick said, were student performance in language arts and math, communication, curriculum and programs and the strategic plan.
“These were the specific targets we worked on,” he said.
In terms of student performance, Lazovick said they wanted to see an increase in student growth, particularly 3 percent in student scores.
“That demonstrates a more efficient level of growth,” he said.
Lazovick said they are still waiting on testing information from the state to really measure the success of that goal.
“I think these goals are important, and we should have ones focusing on student performance,” he said. “The teacher are being measured by this and the administrators are, and I should be too.”
Lazovick said his focus is not usually on test scores alone, but on using different tools to increase performance, engaging teachers and helping them understand how the data can be used to impact performance.
As for communication, Lazovick said they did a lot of work on improving that in a short amount of time.
“I have found communication is absolutely critical,” he said. “The important thing is to take feedback, and to make our communication as solid and far reaching as possible.”
Lazovick said they are planning to put together a communications team with people who are representative of the stakeholders in the district, including teachers, parents and community members.
“We are excited to move into July with the formation of that team,” he said. "And when teachers come back in September, we will continue with that.”
With regard to curriculum and programs, Lazovick said, he has been working with assistant superintendent Dan Silvia on the five-year program review, which was presented to the board several months ago, and is set to begin.
“No matter how tight the procedure and how much we learn from previous processes, every year will be better than before,” Lazovick said. “We will be taking feedback to make sure the next year is better than the first.”
And finally, with regard to the strategic plan, Lazovick said the presentation itself is officially complete and the information on board goals is on the website.
“It is now what is governing us, and we are talking about action teams with administrators,” he said. “We are looking forward to launching in September, and using that momentum.”
“This summer is about preparation,” he added. “We are trying to get as many people as possible involved.”
Lazovick said that includes parents, teachers, the general community and local agencies that support educational work.
For the future, Lazovick said he would like the board to keep a focus on student performance.
“I am the farthest from the students, but I need to be with all the educators,” he said. “Growth is the thing to look at, but this year we have been able to target certain populations. We have to make sure we’re looking at data, see when things are going really well and focus on other areas.”
Lazovick said he would like to continue focusing on communications, and the curriculum five-year review will continue.
"Every year we will have to stop and see how things are going,” he said.
The board goals for the superintendent should be ready by no later than the board of education’s August meeting for approval.