LIVINGSTON, NJ — Dr. Mathew Block, Superintendent of Livingston Public Schools (LPS), recently provided a mid-year update on the district’s four goals for the 2020-2021 academic year, including a new goal that focuses on the utilization of instructional technology to deliver effective in-person, hybrid or remote-learning opportunities to advance student growth and achievement in all areas.
With so much instruction occurring through technology over the last year, Block explained that professional development (PD) has been expanded to include the creation of a PD Repository, weekly technology tips and multiple training sessions for staff to increase their proficiency in all forms of instruction.
District technology coaches have also continued their outreach to staff members both individually and through departmental meetings to provide training on district programs and to help with planning lessons and designing assessments.
Prior to the start of the current academic year, a staff PD day was held to cover topics on Flipgrid, GoGuardian, Nearpod, Zoom, Schoology for Secondary Teachers, SeeSaw, BrainPOP and Google Classroom. Upcoming trainings for staff members include NewsELA, EdPuzzle and Kami.
Another action step being implemented in order to achieve this goal is to gauge student entry points using assessment strategies to determine a baseline from which to plan instruction. According to Block, designing and/or redesigning instructional units based on the baseline data will remediate any deficiencies and help advance students’ learning.
Focusing on parental support to be successful with remote learning has also been an ongoing priority.
To date, Block said the district’s technology coaches have responded to more than 4,000 requests for assistance and continue to provide daily in-person instruction. Additionally, LPS has created a parent technology website in order to provide training materials, and webinars introducing Schoology and Genesis have also been made available to parents.
Reiterating that the other three district goals for the 2020-2021 school year are a continuation of prior areas of focus, Block noted that the district believes the consistency of goals provides for “deeper impact and clear direction” and that “real change happens over a long period of time.”
Additional areas of focus for the current academic year include the following:
1. Review and refine strategies to enhance instruction and student learning outcomes in Elementary and Middle School Mathematics, grades K-8;
2. Identify and incorporate effective instructional methodologies that create positive social and emotional support for students; and
3. Improve the culture and community at LPS by enhancing inclusiveness, cultural awareness, anti-racism and acceptance of individual differences through mandated curricular programing, extracurricular programming and district operations.
During his recent report, Block incorporated action steps, intended outcomes, updates and plans moving forward for each of these goals. He also reiterated that although a certain area was not specifically defined as a district goal this year does not preclude it from being addressed.
As he summarized his mid-year update on planned initiatives, Block noted that the district is seeking new information on school climate through community outreach. He explained that one-on-one meetings and observations with teachers will allow administrators to gather information and feedback on the impact of these goals on classroom practices.
Click on the headlines below to read Block’s mid-year update on the district’s 2020-2021 initiatives:
Livingston School District Updates Public on Progress of K-8 Mathematics Program
Livingston Schools Continue to Infuse Social-Emotional Learning into Daily Instruction
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