Dear Parents and Guardians:
I would like to welcome you and your children to a new school year here in the Flemington-Raritan Regional School District! This is truly an exceptional district with outstanding teachers, committed administrators and a supportive School Board.
Throughout the 2012-2013 year, many of our teachers and administrators were deeply involved in committee work with the purpose of investigating scheduling options, instructional strategies, and learning models. Your child may experience some of the changes that were approved by our Board of Education. Our elementary schools will move to a six-day schedule. The benefit to moving into this new model is to increase instructional time in the area of Language Arts and to reduce the number of transitions for students who receive additional instruction in small group settings. While not all recommendations were adopted for the 2013-2014 school year, the research and information that was uncovered by our professional staff will serve as a starting point, should the district want to consider implementing additional changes in the near future.
Last year Governor Christie signed into law a new comprehensive educator evaluation and support system now referenced as AchieveNJ. AchieveNJ will work in concert with the Common Core Standards in an effort to improve student achievement throughout the state. A committee of teachers and administrators from our district chose the Framework for Teaching program (2011), developed by Charlotte Danielson, as our new teacher evaluation tool. The professional staff was heavily involved in training sessions throughout the past 10 months. This fall, additional staff development sessions will be held for the purpose of instructing teachers on the components of the law that directly relate to teacher observations, Student Growth Objectives (SGO), Student Growth Percentile (SGP) and evaluations. I am very confident in our teachers’ abilities to adapt, learn and grow as professionals. I observed many of the sessions that were presented by our building administrators and came away impressed by the constructive and inspiring dialog, and well thought-out questions and comments.
Our administrative team recently selected the Stronge Program for their evaluation system and we are in the process of developing forms and related schedules that will accompany their evaluations and summative ratings.
Gregory T. Nolan
Superintendent of Schools