CLARK, NJ – Improving teacher evaluation systems, fostering greater student achievement, and enhancing technology and facilities are priorities for Clark Public Schools this year, Superintendent Ed Grande explained during the school board meeting Monday night.
“Part of the district goals is looking forward, but so much so they’re built on the work of the past,” Grande said. “What emerged from our board of education committees, our administrators, our staff and our parents the year before, to help guide us into the new year?”
“In the course of the new year, they’re basically benchmarks for us,” he said. “Just like we measure student learning, we use these goals to measure our district’s growth throughout the course of the year.”
The district is already taking steps to implement its first goal, “to re-examine the Marshall teacher evaluation rubrics and reflect on best instructional practices.”
“All of our first- and second-year teachers have been receiving a greater number of mini-observations,” Grande said.
The second goal is “to examine student achievement data and put plans for enhancement into place.” Grande explained that the district is using data from the New Jersey Student Learning Assessments (NJSLA) standardized exams to identify potential areas for student improvement.
“The supervisors, the principals, and the assistant principals are working with their teachers around NJSLA [to find] areas of focus for the teachers to zone in on in their classroom instruction, based on weaknesses that we saw emerge from the data, that will hopefully set us on a better path going forward,” Grande said.
The district’s third goal is “to enhance our technological resources and buildings and grounds.” Grande said the district has made progress on both fronts.
“Throughout the summer […] a number of facilities projects took place,” he said.
“We enhanced our technology. We’re going to continue to do so. One initative at the high school for the freshman is going well so far,” he said. “I’m pleased to report, using Title 1 money, we’re able to, on this evening’s agenda, approve an additional 190 Chromebooks for Hehnly School, Valley [Road] School, and Kumpf.”
The board Monday night unanimously authorized the district to purchase 190 Chromebooks, to be housed on six charging carts, at a cost of $60,039.58 using 2018-19 Title I Instructional Supplies funding. Board members Dino Bencivenga and Robert F. Smorol, Jr. were not present during the meeting.