WESTFIELD, NJ – Plans are in the works for a new district-wide website platform to be implemented by September 2018, Superintendent Dr. Margaret Dolan announced at Tuesday's Westfield Board of Education meeting.

“We are first determining the information that is needed. Some of it is required by the state, for example,” Dolan said.

According to the board, part of the district’s technology goal is to review sites from other districts and schools to determine functionality. The board is also taking into account feedback it has received from teachers, parents and students.

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“If people have suggestions because they have experience with different districts, please let us know,” Dolan said.

Once required features and functionality are determined, the district will move forward with a framework for the new website and create a “sandbox” site, or practice site, which will be used for training purposes, she said. The district hopes to launch the “sandbox” site by May to allow for a summer launch of the fully functioning live website.

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Paul Pineiro added to the technology discussion by presenting a new three-year Instructional Technology Plan for Westfield Schools.

“We will continue to leverage online learning systems,” said Pineiro. “We will continue to monitor new innovations as they come out and how we can implement them in the district.”

According to Pineiro, the district will continue to implement SAMR framework. SAMR stands for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition and is a continuum that is used to assess the use of technology in the classroom for teaching and learning. 

Additional district goals include determining the feasibility and community support for full-day kindergarten as well as additional in-district programs for students with special needs.

“We are constantly monitoring the needs of the children,” Dolan said.

An introductory discussion for parents of students with special education needs will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 27, at 7:30 p.m. at Edison Intermediate School in the library located on the second floor. The meeting is sponsored by the Parent Teacher Council Special Education Committee together with the school district’s Special Services Department.

“It’s really a great way to put some faces to names,” board member Amy Root said. “If anyone out there has a child who is receiving special services, it’s really a good overview of how the department works.”