1:1 Committee Meeting…A Year-End Update.

Dear HTS Community:

Earlier this month, the Harding Township School’s 1:1 Committee presented their vision to the HTS Parent Teacher Organization.  At a meeting in the Library/Media Center, the Committee articulated what the program could look like in the Middle School for the 2012-2013 school year. The meeting (click here for highlights courtesy of HTS TV) began with a brief review of previous meetings and provided interested parents with a history of 1:1 computing programs in New Jersey.  In a learning environment packed with online assessments, flipped classrooms, mobile devices, digital textbooks, blended learning and the need to teach 21st century skills, 1:1 programs are growing in popularity and are in high demand.

After careful consideration, our committee has decided to make a recommendation for selecting the iPad as the device of choice and students in grades 5-8 (and their teachers) as the target audience. Moreover, the proposal also calls for teachers in grades K-4 to receive one iPad for their classroom. The package also includes one Apple TV Box for each classroom.  Although awkwardly named (it is not really a television) the Apple TV Box will allow teachers to use AirPlay Mirroring and show the entire class exactly what is on the teacher’s iPad on their already installed SmartBoard. From the Apple homepage, “AirPlay does it all wirelessly, so you can work the room or sit comfortably among the crowd. If you see it, so can they.”

Dr. Petersen then reviewed a year’s worth of professional development with the parents.  Our staff has received site visits from educators already involved with 1:1 programs and staff members received basic iPad training at our January staff development day.  Additional training will be offered to staff on scheduled professional development days in the fall as well as on an “as needed” basis during the summer months.

Next up in the meeting was a core group of middle school teachers discussing how they could integrate the iPad into their disciplines.  Ms. Poole and Mrs. Werner provided examples of how the iPad could be integrated into their Language Arts curriculum.  Mr. Hoffman did the same for Social Studies and Dr. Gervis wowed the room with some hands-on activities that could be used in his Science lessons.  Moreover, we could link the devices to the HTS TV Studio, take advantage of Cloud-based computing solutions and much more.  The possibilities are endless and, ultimately, we are only limited by our own imagination!

The Harding Township PTO will put this initiative to a vote of their membership at their June 5 meeting, which will be held in the cafeteria at 9:30 a.m.

 

Sincerely,

Alex Anemone

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May Thumbnail…

Dear HTS Community:

As I assess my first year as Superintendent of Harding Township School, I am amazed at the level of support our school enjoys.  Our primary task – educating all of our children – is made exponentially easier because of this support.  Multiple studies have shown that involved parents are positively correlated with high-achieving students.  As this goes to print, our students will be finishing the final week of NJASK (New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge) testing.  Although these tests represent a simple “snapshot” of teaching/learning, we are confident that our students will, as usual, score very highly on these assessments.

As mentioned last month, our 2012-2013 school budget was approved and we are already beginning preliminary discussions about our 2013-2014 school budget.  Although HTS received a small increase in state aid (from approximately $181,000 to $225,000), overall, we still receive a small fraction of the money our taxpayers send to Trenton each year.  Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) has presented his Fair School Funding plan to various groups in the state. His plan would alter the funding formula (currently favoring urban and inner-ring suburbs) and apply a more even funding plan for all students in all communities.  I encourage you to visit his website and learn more.

Lastly, we would like to invite the entire community to two special events:

    • On Sunday, May 20, the HTS PTO will host their second annual Car Show.  Come to the HTS parking lot for a wonderful morning (8:30-11:30a.m.) of car exhibits. Tickets to this event are only $5 with a family limit of $15!  Last year, the show featured classic cars, modern sports cars, muscle cars, Scooby Doo vans and much more.
    • The annual HTS Spring Concert and Art Showcase.  Come hear the Jazz Band, Orchestra and Chorus on Tuesday, May 22.  The concert begins at 7:00p.m. and will be held in the gymnasium and the Art Showcase will held in the Upper School.

Sincerely,

Alex Anemone