WESTFIELD, NJ – Nearing the second half of the school year, the Westfield Board of Education provided a progress report for its district goals Tuesday.

The first of three goals, aiming to “provide professional development for teaching staff to encourage resiliency and coping skills in our students,” received praise from Superintendent Margaret Dolan.

Sharing her enthusiasm for its success, Dr. Dolan gave credit to the community first and foremost for their time and support.

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“We heard from parents and community members and teachers about the importance of helping our children not only know how to succeed, but also the importance of failing and knowing how to proceed,” Dolan said. “It’s a goal that has resonated with a lot of people in the community.”

In executing the goal, the board held central staff meetings from August to September to plan professional development and provided a keynote speech on resiliency for all staff grades 1-12. In the last quarter of 2016, the board partnered with Imagine, A Center for Coping with Loss and the Junior League of Elizabeth and Plainfield to host workshops.

The second district goal to develop a parent outreach program has allowed the board to lend its ears to parents of students in the form of focus groups toward the beginning of the year. 

In response to the high demand for lessons in time management, the board scheduled information sessions for parents in late January. High-priority links on the district’s website were also made easier to access for those seeking online resources.

The board’s third district goal to enhance collaborative learning and its utilization by teachers was implemented by way of professional development and optional courses for staff. 

To date, 23 after school courses have been offered to staff according to Dolan, in addition to support from designated master technology teachers.

“I think we’re making progress on all three, and all three of these [goals] come from our strategic plan,”  Dolan said.

On Thursday, Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. (Franklin School) and Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. (Tamaques School), Counselor Carol Pedro will lead a free education presentation on time management for Westfield parents looking to help children organize homework and learn daily routines.