LIVINGSTON, NJ — Increasing the capacity of Livingston Public Schools (LPS) teachers to utilize instructional technology to “deliver effective in-person, hybrid or remote-learning experiences to advance student growth and achievement in all areas” was recently named as one of four district goals 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 Four:
To increase the capacity of teachers to utilize instructional technology to deliver effective in-person, hybrid or remote-learning experiences to advance student growth and achievement in all areas.
“This is the brand new one for this year, and you will see it's very much related to our current circumstances,” said Superintendent Dr. Matthew Block. “I think it was imperative that we made this a new goal this year, as so much of our work those first four professional development days was focused on this; and already, naturally, through the year, we know this is going to be a focus for our teachers.
In order to achieve this goal, the district aims to:
- Gauge student entry points using effective assessment strategies to establish baseline data from which to plan instruction;
- Design or redesign instructional units based on that data and remediate any deficiencies and advance students’ learning;
- Establish streamlined communication with parents and families and provide targeted training in order to partner with them in supporting student growth;
- Consult the continuum of skills and standards identified in the curriculum when designing individual learning experience to ensure continued growth; and
- Design teacher observation and feedback tools to support strong teaching in a remote/hybrid environment.
According to Block, the administration is already working closely with LPS teachers through its own feedback and observation process in order to ensure that the district is “maximizing their ability to work in the current environments.” The administration has also recently received guidelines from the state on how to design additional feedback tools for teachers, he said.
The superintendent noted that professional development for instructional technology is “very well underway” in order to “help teachers facilitate in-person, hybrid and remote instruction.
Additional outcomes for this focus area include observing teachers and lesson plans; implementing strategies for successful remote and hybrid learning; expanding administrator training; applying, anchoring and updating the district’s observation and evaluation rubric; and getting a thorough repository of resources for teachers regarding remote and hybrid learning.
“We’re making sure our supervisors and administrators know what they need to be looking for as they observe teachers in these new environments,” said Block, adding that the district is also “making sure that teachers have the resources they need, as our paradigms may change and adjust and pivot over the course of the year.”
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; refining strategies to enhance mathematics instruction at LPS elementary and middle schools; and incorporating instructional methodologies to create positive social-emotional support.
Click on the headlines below to read more about each focus area:
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