LIVINGSTON, NJ — Refining the district’s strategies to enhance instruction and student learning outcomes in elementary and middle school mathematics has been named among the four district goals at Livingston Public Schools (LPS) for the 2020-2021 school year.
Developed jointly each year between the Livingston Board of Education (LBOE) and the superintendent, district goals are officially designated as areas of focus to highlight and prioritize for the year.
A deeper explanation of this focus area for the 2020-2021 school year at LPS can be found below, along with links to additional details on each of the other goals.
Focus Area Two:
To review and refine strategies to enhance instruction and student learning outcomes in elementary and middle school mathematics, grades K through eight.
“This is a continuation of one of last year's goals, and I think rightfully so,” said Superintendent Dr. Matthew Block. “Last year, we began implementing the math and focus program at the elementary level. We began last year with our K-1 teachers, providing them with a professional development and implementing math and focus in the classroom. This year, we're graduating up to our second grade teachers as well.
“Despite our virtual environment, they have already undergone professional development, [and] our supervisor of mathematics at the pre-K to six level is already working with our teachers to create lessons—particularly at the second grade level.”
In order to achieve this goal, the district aims to:
- Oversee and monitor the implementation of a new elementary mathematics program in kindergarten through second grade and facilitate an expansion of instructional strategies in grades three through eight in preparation for this curriculum transition;
- Measure growth at each grade level through periodic benchmark assessments and collect and analyze data related to the effects of the new program and instructional enhancements on student learning outcomes; and
- Ensure ample professional development opportunities for teachers who are using the new program in grade two and continue implementing new strategies in grades three through right.
“Last year, our teachers worked hard to do those benchmark assessments and collect that data,” said Block. “Unfortunately because March and the end of the year came, the data that we needed, we didn't get all of it. So this year will be a really good opportunity to make sure that we're getting the data that we need to really understand the program and adjust the program as we need to.”
Now three weeks into the school year, Block added that LPS is already well underway in the area of professional development for teachers as it relates to this particular goal.
According to Block, one outcome that is already well underway for this focus area is successfully creating a remote learning guide and resource manual for the implementation of the new curriculum.
Other outcomes include: compiling student growth objective data to demonstrate student achievement; analyzing observation feedback; and providing a presentation to the board.
Block expects to have a presentation ready for the spring that will include data representing the impact of the new math curriculum on student achievement as well next steps for refining the implementation of curriculum instruction in that area.
Prior to his presentation, Block reiterated that district goals “are not the only focus of the board or the administration,” but are “areas that we highlight as deep work to make some adjustments and improvements to our program and the educational experience for our students.”
Block also explained that some focus areas are being built upon from last year while others are considered to be new.
“I'm really pleased to see that as I lay out the district goals for the coming year, they are very reflective of the goals that we identified last year, which I think is really important because having consistency and focus areas and goals allows you to get more deeply into work that's important to the district,” said Block. “And particularly after the year that we've had with our Ransomware issue and, of course, everything that's happened with the pandemic—really an issue that we've been dealing with since January—continuing to focus on some of those goals that we identified as important to us last year, I think will do the district very well.”
The other three goals for the 2020-2021 school year include improving the culture and community within the schools; incorporating instructional methodologies to create positive social-emotional support; and increasing the capacity of teachers at LPS to utilize instructional technology.
Click on the headlines below to read more about each focus area:
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