Thanks to all who attended one of the two PTOC screenings of “Most Likely to Succeed” on Wednesday. This inspiring film follows a year in the life at High Tech High in San Diego, a model for innovative, collaborative project-based learning that provides students with a sense of purpose and authenticity in their education. We then heard from our guest speaker, Joshua Koen, Chief Innovation Officer with the NJ Department of Education who addressed the role of technology and new initiatives in our state that will help schools begin to re-imagine the way we teach and students learn.
I shared with the audience the ways we are already transforming our practices here in Millburn to provide students with collaborative opportunities to problem-solve and engage in their own learning. The innovative spaces being funded by the referendum will allow us to increase those opportunities so that all students, in all disciplines, will benefit from experiences and environments like those at High Tech High, and prepare them for the expectations of a future in which, as was noted in the movie, “65% of today’s grade-school children will end up in jobs that haven’t been invented yet.” Critical thinking and problem-solving skills will be essential to thrive in this 21st century working world.
I invite you to join us at Monday night’s Board of Education meeting (7:45 p.m., Ed Center) to see an example of the excitement and enthusiasm that these initiatives generate. The Middle School Art and Technology teachers recently invited students to participate in the school’s first MakerFest day, during which students completed specific task by collaborating, planning, making and redesigning. Come learn about the day and see the transformations that result when “kids learn through work that is relevant, meaningful, and hands on.”(Most Likely to Succeed) Assistant Superintendent, Mr. Kyle Arlington, will also be presenting on the Anytime, Anywhere Chromebook initiative.
We are in the process of reviewing applications for the key district leadership roles that must be filled for the 2017-2018 school year. We anticipate beginning interviews for the positions of Technology Director, Middle School Principal, Wyoming School Principal, and Washington School Instructional Supervisor during the first weeks of April. We hope to have this slate ready for BOE approval at their April 24th meeting. These leaders will then be involved with hiring the additional staff needed to round out their teams at their schools or departments by the end of this school year.
As the spring sports season gets underway, I am, as always, rooting for all of our Miller teams. I do want to give special notice to our first-year MHS Play Unified Basketball Team, a squad composed of general and special needs students, who will be competing for the Shriver Cup at the Unified State Tournament in Princeton on Sunday. The goal of Special Olympics Play Unified is to encourage inclusion while having fun, and building relationships through sports. Good luck to the team, and to coaches Roger Askins, Eric Cantagallo, and Howard Shirley!
Have a great weekend!