September/October 2014Posted by Anne Facendo at 10/2/2014
Greetings to All of Our Families and Friends of the Manville Public School District!
Our school year is in full-swing, and we have had a very busy and very fruitful first month here in the Manville Public School District. Here are some of the highlights:
ACHIEVE 3000: Gregory Olsen Educational Technology Grant
I am extremely pleased and excited to inform our Parental Community that we have been awarded the Gregory Olson Educational Technology Grant in the amount of $58,015! The Gregory Olson Grant will provide our district with licenses and 24/7 access for all students Grades 2–12 to the ACHIEVE 3000 Digital Platform for Literacy Instruction. This platform is Lexile-Leveled (Lexile is a scientific, numeric indicator of reading progress). Other benefits to the grant include:
- ACHIEVE 3000 looks at themes in our curriculum and then provides newspaper articles directly related to our themes care of the Associated Press. Each day, students will be reading non-fiction text about current events in science, social studies, and special subject areas.
- ACHIEVE 3000 is aligned to the Common Core State Standards for Literacy. It is aligned to the Danielson Model of Teacher Evaluation. It replicates all of the features of the PARCC exam.
- ACHIEVE 3000 automatically differentiates reading instruction. Each article is differentiated to 12 reading levels per grade level—this means that every reader can access reading at their "just-right" level. Struggling readers can read on their independent reading level while learning to achieve higher levels of reading fluency through daily assignments of increasing complexity. ACHIEVE 3000 also S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-S Gifted, Talented and otherwise high-achieving students to make significant gains and to attain more rigorous levels of literacy achievement.
- Level-Set © Online Assessment in Reading and Writing: student work and progress in reading and writing is monitored continually by the computer. This eliminates the need to constantly test students. Rather, assessment becomes a simple part of daily literacy instruction. As students read and respond to text in writing, the computer continually analyzes student progress.
Early Dismissal: October 21, 2014
Our staff members will be receiving training related to the above-mentioned grant on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 from 1:00–4:00 PM.
Accordingly, our district will be having an early dismissal on October 21 as follows:
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
District Early Dismissal Day
Dismissal times as follows:
Weston: 12:45 p.m. Roosevelt: 12:25 p.m. ABIS: 12:25 p.m. MHS: 11:55 a.m.
Lunch will be served to students, and After-School Care will be provided.
Other Professional Development
A major focus of my entry plan to Manville is to prepare our teaching staff for full implementation of research-based, best practices in literacy, math, and problem based learning—across subject areas—in all classrooms K–12.
During the month of September, all Manville Teachers received training on the topic of Brain Based Classroom Design. Research proves that when students learn actively, they tend to enjoy the learning process and tend remember more of what they have learned in class. Use of technology enhances this process for our students.
Professional Development will continue throughout the school year as we work to ensure that all Manville Students are College and Career Ready, and that their learning environments are aligned to 21st century standards.
It was my privilege to attend Roosevelt School's first PTA Meeting on Tuesday, September 23. Our PTA Parent Community has ensured that many creative ideas and plans are in place for our students this year.
During that meeting, I had the opportunity to meet and greet our Roosevelt Parents and to share with parents regarding our vision and mission for the district; the Gregory Olson ACHIEVE 3000 Grant; and more.
Our parents are strong partners in our efforts to educate each student, and it was truly gratifying to see the wonderful turn-out.
I will be attending the Weston PTA Meeting on Thursday evening, November 6. Plans are also in the works to attend PTA events at ABIS and at Manville High School. Dates for ABIS and MHS are forthcoming.
Back to School Nights
We had excellent parental turn-out at all of our Manville Public Schools during the month of September. Parents (and many of our students) enthusiastically toured the buildings, met their new teachers and administrators and signed up for PTA and other significant clubs and committees at each school. We are very proud of the partnership between home and school here in Manville, and I would like to sincerely thank all of our parents who attended these special evenings.
Community Day, 2014
We had a wonderful turn-out for Community Day at Lincoln Park on Saturday, September 20. Our students were absolutely thrilled to see their Principals, along with many other members of the Manville Public School Family in a setting other than the school building. Sincere thanks to our Board Members who came out in support of this special day. Special thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Cornelson for their tireless efforts to make the day a resounding success.
It was my sad task on September 21, 2014 to inform our Manville School Community of the passing of Jorge Flores-Martinez, age 7 and a second grader at Weston Elementary School, in a tragic motor-vehicle accident. Jorge's father, Jorge Luis Flores Martinez Sr., also perished in the accident.
As the terrible shock and grief of this loss set in, the Manville Community as a whole rallied to the aid of this precious family.
Working with the Heidi Alles, President of the Manville Board of Education, and with PTA executive board members from all four of the Manville Public Schools, a district-wide initiative was launched last week to collect financial donations in order to assist immediately with both the funeral expenses for Jorge and his Dad, as well as transport fees associated with bringing the bodies to their final resting place.
Donations will continue to be collected until Friday, October 3.
In addition to monetary donations already received, we've received multiple gift cards to various chain restaurants. These gift cards were given directly to the family.
I must thank the Board, and indeed the entire Manville Community for their efforts on behalf of Jorge Flores' family. Family Members were literally moved to tears by the profound generosity of the Manville Community.
As October begins, I find myself reflecting on all that has happened since my arrival here in August. There are so many exciting things afoot here in Manville. I am honored to lead our school district and I am amazed by our truly talented staff, our outstanding parent community, our dedicated and diligent Board of Education, and most of all our wonderful students. Thank you all so much for a wonderful start together.
Anne R. Facendo, Superintendent
Manville Public Schools