BOE Policy 2510.1 – Use of Movies and/or Videos for Classroom Instruction…

Dear HTS Community:

Last night at the Board of Education meeting, the Board unanimously approved Policy 2510.1 – Use of Movies and/or Videos for Classroom Instruction. Once it is uploaded, it can be found on the district website under “Our District” (click on District Policies and Procedures). Highlights of the policy include:

LESS IS MORE: In general, full-length movies or television programs should not be utilized during instructional lessons. (page 4)

It is preferable that the portions of the movie or program pertinent to the objective of the lesson should be identified and utilized. (page 4)

Instructional time is precious and limited. Showing television programs, movies or other content for entertainment purposes, as a class reward, or for general “downtime” for students not directly connected to a curricular-based lesson is strictly prohibited and is a violation of the policy. (page 1)

The Board believes that instructional time is valuable and that use of video materials must enhance and contribute positively to the advancement of instructional objectives, and must not cause inefficient use of instructional time. (page 2)

There must be a stated instructional purpose in the lesson and/or unit plan for the use of video media in the classroom. (page 4)

There should be a clear purpose of the video media directly related to the instructional objectives. (page 5)

If you would like to discuss this policy in greater detail, please contact me at HTS.

Sincerely,

Alex Anemone

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Three cheers for the PTO!!!

Dear HTS Community:

Last week, the HTS administrative team applied for a PTO grant to replace all the SmartBoards in the elementary school over the summer break. Earlier this morning the PTO voted – unanimously – to fund this endeavor. The grant – estimated at $29,250 – will replace all SmartBoards in the elementary school with newer models, enabling our teachers to integrate technology into their daily lessons and allowing our students to continue to become college and career ready from the day they enter HTS.

Please join me in thanking the PTO for their charitable donation.  It is your consistent support of the PTO’s fundraisers that allows them to continue to provide that something extra special for our children and our teachers. We hope to see you at the Fashion Show on April 5; tickets are still available.

Sincerely,

Alex Anemone

 

A thousand pages, give or take a few…

Dear HTS Community:

This blog post offers special thanks to the PTO and extra special thanks to our Media Specialist, David Harris for tying two PTO grants together in an educational way. Starting with the 2012-2013 school year, the PTO fully funded the $105,000.00 Digital Learning Initiative, purchasing iPads for teachers (grades K-8) and students in the middle school (grades 5-8). This year, as part of their continuing support of the Battle of the Books, the PTO generously bought multiple sets of novels, eBooks, and for the first time, online audiobooks. These audiobooks can be accessed on any digital device, including our iPads (plus cell phones, laptops, desktops, etc.) Mr. Harris has set up a common district-wide login for students and teachers to use; that login information will be shared in a more private manner. We are hoping that the audiobooks will provide another pathway to learning as students explore diverse literature to prepare for the Battle of the Books contest coming later this spring.

Please note: tickets are still available for the Fashion Show – Saturday, April 5. We hope you can continue to support our benefactors.

Sincerely,

Alex Anemone

 

Creative Coders…

Dear HTS Community:

In December, many HTS students completed the Hour of Code in their Science class. In a unique partnership with Kean University and the Harding Township Education Foundation, our students in grades 4-8 will have the opportunity to build on previously learned STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) curricula. Beginning on Monday, March 24th and continuing for 7 additional sessions, HTS students will have the opportunity to participate in Creative Coders After-School Enrichment Program. This program will be taught by Professor Erica Holan in the Boszhardt Family Technology Learning Commons  from 3:15-4:45. This class will engage, energize and encourage students to learn higher order levels of thinking through various coding processes. Moreover, the benefits of coding, application creating and video game design will simultaneously stimulate critical thinking skills that students need to successfully complete their educational programs framed by the Common Core State Standards.

This program, free to participants, is fully funded by the HTEF and we thank them for their unwavering support. If you are interested, please email us at school (aanemone@hardingtwp.org or mspelker@hardingtwp.org). In the event we have more interested students than spaces available our eighth graders will be registered first, followed by seventh graders, then sixth graders, etc.

Class dates:

March 24, 31

April 7, 21, 28

May 5, 12, 19

Sincerely,

Alex Anemone

2014-2015 Tentative Budget…

Dear HTS Community:

At the Board of Education meeting held last night, the Board approved the Tentative 2014-2015 Harding Township School Budget. The budget will now be sent to the Executive County Superintendent and will be presented to the Harding Township community in greater detail at the May 5th BOE meeting. That meeting, also referred to as the Public Hearing, will begin at 7:30pm in the Library/Media Center. The Tentative Budget maintains our current staffing configuration as well as all co-curricular activities. Despite rising health care costs related to the Affordable Care Act and relatively flat state aid, the local tax levy will only rise 2.81% with the total budget rising only 2.01%. We thank you for your continued support and look forward to a fantastic finish to the 2013-2014 school year. Full details can be found on our website; if you have any questions about this matter, please contact me at HTS.

Lastly, since we are (almost) out of snow-day season, I would like to personally and publicly thank the Harding Township Police Department (HTPD) for their assistance throughout the winter months. During inclement weather, they help me assess road conditions during our 4:45a.m. phone call and serve as my “eyes and ears” on the ground in Harding during overnight hours.

Sincerely,

Alex Anemone