Livingston Schools Hone Electronic Elementary Report Cards to Align With Curriculum Standards; Technology Plays Greater Role in Classes
Tuesday, September 25, 2012 • 6:58am
LIVINGSTON, NJ—At its workshop meeting on Monday evening the Livingston Board of Education was told how the electronic report card is being upgraded in the township’s schools to bring it more in line with the curriculum content strands and helping it to become a more accurate measure of student achievement.
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Mary Oates told the board two of the main goals during the current school year are to align the categories under each content area to correspond to the standards outlined in the curriculum content strand. An additional aim is to align non-content categories to common core college and career readiness standards.
By September 2014, Oates added, the district will seek to develop rubrics that will outline specific skills sets and measure behaviors and levels of proficiency that students will be expected to receive in order to attain specific grades.
After the schools develop the rubrics they will be shared with the parent community and provided as backup information for the elementary report card.
The assistant superintendent added that overseeing the process is a committee composed of teachers representing each school building and grade level, the elementary school principals, the content area supervisors and parents.
Constantly evolving technology and its role in the Livingston classrooms was the subject of a presentation by Thomas Douglas, manager of the technology department, and Oates.
In the business curriculum in kindergarten to fifth grade, they noted, the goal is that, by September 2017 all student written compositions up to the third grade will be created through word-processing.
As a step toward this goal, they said keyboarding currently is being introduced in second to fourth grades.
In English language arts editing, revision and use of the author’s craft are being taught along with interactive word study.
Sixth to eighth graders in the business curriculum are being initiated into the world of technology through LOGOS games and graphing calculators and probability are a big part of the mathematics curriculum.
English research and multi-media presentations take up a great deal of time for ninth to 12th graders.
The guidance department is utilizing the Naviance system to help students complete online surveys for colleges and careers in the higher grades and teaching students how to choose electives in the early grades.
World language students also are involved in such innovations as satellite connections that enable them to study French on French language programming broadcast live in real time.
On another matter, Superintendent of Schools Brad Draeger announced the nomination of long-time board member Bonnie Granatir as a nominee for the New Jersey School Board Association Member of the Year Award.
Board President Leslie Winograd said Granatir, a former board president who has decided to leave the school body at the end of this year, is a remarkable person who has been a great help to her during her term on the board. She said it has been a pleasure to serve with Granatir.
Board member Chuck Granata called Granatir “irreplaceable.”
Board members also debated the merits of a number of options for the 2013-2014 school year calendar.
A near certainty among those options will be the elimination of the week-long February break in favor of a long weekend break in an effort to start school that year after Labor Day and end the school year around June 19.
The calendar also would result in two half-day sessions rather than three at the end of the school year.
Official action on the calendar is not expected, however, until the board’s next regular meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, October 16.
Among a number of appointments approved at Monday’s meeting was the naming of Marilyn Lehren as manager of communications and community outreach, replacing Jessica Lipper. Lehren will receive a pro-rated salary of $57,500 per year. Her appointment is effective September 19 of this year.