District's 11 Schools Receive Certifications as New Jersey Future Ready Schools
District superintendent Joe Bollendorf received confirmation on September 24, 2018, that all 11 of the Washington Township Public Schools have been certified as New Jersey Future Ready Schools. Ten of the 11 schools have been 2018 Bronze Certified. Washington Township High School, which was previously certified in September 2017, has been elevated to a 2018 Silver Certified Future Ready School – currently the highest distinction possible. The District will be honored at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, October 23, 2018, at the Atlantic City Convention Center.
“This is a proud moment for me as the educational leader of this District, for our Board of Education members, who individually and collectively have encouraged and supported the pursuit of these certifications, and for the members of each school’s certification team and district-wide task force, who have devoted a lot of time and effort to the process,” Bollendorf said. “This recognition reflects this District’s commitment to transforming instructional practices, leveraging technology and personalizing learning to mirror the digital world that our students are immersed in. These certifications validate our 1:1 initiative and all of the other planning we have worked to implement that makes our District a leader in South Jersey and the state.”
Future Ready Schools - New Jersey, a coalition of New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA), and the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE), is a certification program designed to support the organization of schools' and districts' efforts through the national Future Ready Framework. The initiative assists teachers in changing their instructional and educational practices, while preparing their students for success in the digital age. The certification program was created to support schools with resources needed to implement digital learning and to promote the skills, abilities and capacities essential for student success in college, career and citizenship.
“I am incredibly proud to share that our District is 100-percent Future Ready School-certified,” Board of Education president Ginny Murphy said. “These certifications confirm our commitment to improving our infrastructure and giving our teachers the technology and tools that will be the most impactful for student growth and success. It is quite an achievement.”
“Your Future Ready teams came together, including representatives of a wide array of educational stakeholders, to explore the leadership, education and technology components of your individual schools and district through the lens of the FRS-NJ Indicators of Future Readiness,” wrote state project coordinator Jeremy Reich in his individual letters of congratulations. “In doing so, you joined 192 schools from 54 districts across New Jersey in undertaking this endeavor for self-assessment and planning in the 2018 certification cycle. Completing your certification submission is an achievement to be celebrated, as it demonstrates your schools’ and your district’s determination to fully prepare students for success in college, career, and as citizens in the digital age.”
“We truly prioritized and fast-tracked these certifications,” Bollendorf said. “We have made remarkable strides in a very short period of time, thanks to intense collaboration, organization and vision. It was a total team effort and a valuable process that reflects well on each individual school as well as on our efforts for consistency, equity and advancement as a district.”
In May of 2016, Bollendorf signed the Future Ready pledge on behalf of Washington Township Public Schools. During the “commitment phase” of application, the Washington Township Board of Education also signed a formal resolution agreeing to support the district’s pursuit of continuous improvement via participation in the FRS-NJ program. Subsequently, a district Future-Ready team was created and began the rigorous work of the “certification phase.” Proof, artifacts and data were submitted documenting growth in three major strands: Education and Classroom Practice, Leadership, and Technology Support and Services. Each strand has between 15-20 specialized “indicators” – each of which is evaluated according to its own 10-point rubric. A total of 270 points is required to achieve Future Ready – New Jersey status.
The District’s Future Ready Leadership Team included: Superintendent of Schools Joe Bollendorf, Board of Education President Ginny Murphy, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Jack McGee, Director of Secondary Education Dr. Steve Gregor, Director of Elementary Education Gretchen Gerber, Director of Information Technology Joe Konecki, and the District’s four technology integration specialists: Kathi Kersznowski, Jessica Soulliard, Josh Hanlon and Liz Pitel.
For more information on the New Jersey Future Ready Schools certification process, please visit http://www.frsnj.org/.