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Vol. 2, No. 2

DISTRICT NEWSLETTER

DECEMBER 2010

T he A dvance:

th e vo i c e o f N ew M i lfo rd s ch o o ls a publication of the New Milford Public School District Administrative Offices, 145 Madison Avenue, New Milford, New Jersey 07646 1.1 Message from the Superintendent:

A District on the Move!

highlighting program development & innovation in New Milford schools

IN THIS ISSUE 1.1 A DISTRICT ON THE MOVE: MESSAGE FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT ✦

1.2 DISTRICT FINANCES: PROGRESSIVE MANAGEMENT SANS THE STICKER SHOCK ✦

1.3 AN ACADEMIC RENAISSANCE ✦

1.4 “THE BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT I’VE EVER GOTTEN.” NEW INDISTRICT SPECIAL SERVICES THRIVING IN NEW MILFORD

New Milford  schools   are  on  the  move,   and   we   want   the   community   to   know   about  it.    The   administra-on  and  faculty   increasingly   think  in  terms  of  possibility.     Young  at  heart,   vibrant  and  open  to   new   ideas,   they   value   working  collabora-vely   and   understand   the   importance   of   ongoing   professional   development.     Organized   into   professional   learning   c o m m u n i - e s ,   t h e y   a r e   f o c u s e d   exclusively   on   the   advancement   of   s t u d e n t   a c h i e v e m e n t   a n d   t h e   e n r i c h m e nt   o f   t h e   to ta l   s c h o o l   experience.      

Fairleigh Dickinson   University’s   Middle   College   program   which   awards   college   credit   to   students   taking   approved   courses   in   high   school.     Berkley   and   Gibbs   elementary   schools  were   the   first   to   par-cipate   in   Bergen   Community   College’s   College   Now   program   which   provides   third   and   fourth   graders   with   one-­‐to-­‐one   mentoring   in   literacy   and   mathema-cs  and  exposes   children  early   to   the   many   wonderful   resources   available  on  a  robust  college  campus.   (more on p.2)

1.5 SUPERINTENDENT HOSTS MONTHLY MEETINGS WITH STUDENTS AND PARENTS ✦

DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION Michael A. Polizzi Superintendent Michael Sawicz Business Administrator/Board Secretary Ray Dorso Director of Special Services Danielle Shanley Director of Curriculum & Instruction NEW MILFORD BOARD OF EDUCATION Daniel Conner, President Darren Drake, Vice President Lori Barton John Bigger David Foo Judith Rabinowitz-McSweeney Geraldine Mechler Peggy Saslow Joseph Steele

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…partnerships

essential to connecting students with resources outside school setting The District   is   proud   of   its   posi-ve   educa-onal   climate   and   the   dedica-on   o f   s t a ff ,   s t u d e n t s ,   p a r e n t s ,   administrators,   board   members  and  the   community.   ACer   many   years   of   instability,   a   consistent   administra-ve   team   with  a   common,   long-­‐range   vision   is  in   place.     Sustainable   reform   is  at  the   heart   of  that   vision,   which  embraces  the   crea-on   of   partnerships   with   local,   county   and   state   ins-tu-ons,   including   higher   educa-on,   regional   arts   and   cultural   centers   and   civic   organiza-ons.     They   are   essen-al   to   the   goal   of   connec-ng   students   with   resources   not   readily  available   within  the   confines  of  a   school   seGng.     New   Milford   schools   enjoy   emerging   partnerships   with   the   Bergen   Performing   Arts   Center   and  

NEW MILFORD PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT MISSION The New Milford Public School District provides relevant, innovative and rigorous educational opportunities to students at all grade levels. The District is resolute in its attention to the development of the whole child by providing a comprehensive range of experiences essential to building capacity for independent and responsible living. The program is designed to prepare all students to meet or exceed NJCCCS, think critically, master the challenges of life-long academic, cultural, social, economic, emotional and professional advancement, as well as constructive participation as citizens in an interdependent global society. The District embraces family and community as active partners in a unified effort to develop students into self-directed, self-confident adults on their journeys to becoming the next generations of entrepreneurs, builders, artists, designers, inventors, scientists, educators, caregivers, protectors, workers and leaders.


THE ADVANCE: THE VOICE OF NEW MILFORD SCHOOLS

1.2 District Finances:

Facilities Growth @ Zero or Minimal Cost to Taxpayers

Michael Sawicz, CPA Business Administrator/ Board Secretary

In these   days   of   economic   uncertainty,   high   unemployment,   federal,   state   and   local   fiscal   crises   and   embaSled   school   budgets,   it   is   certainly   gra-fying   to   report   on   some   upbeat   financial   developments   in   the   district.   The   first   is   that   we  have   been  able   to  avoid  some  of   the   eighteen  personnel  layoffs   proposed   in  the  budget,   largely  due   to   two  factors.   An   increase   in   health   care   premiums   es-mated   by   the   state   to   be   25%   will   actually   be   only   8.5%   beginning   in   January.  With  district  health  care  costs  of   over   $4.4   million,   this   was   a   major   source   of   addi-onal   monies.   We   also   received   addi-onal   unan-cipated   Extraordinary   Aid   as   a   result   of   our   increased  special  educa-on  costs.  With  a   stated   commitment   to   classroom   educa-on,   the   Board   directed   that   instruc-onal   and   key   support   posi-ons   be  retained  with  these  funds.

…green

technologies a powerful resource for district schools The second   item   involves   an   exci-ng   project  that  will  ul-mately  spell  win-­‐win-­‐ win   for   the   students,   taxpayers  and  the   environment.     A   major   capital   issue   facing   the   district   this   year   is   the   DEO   Middle   School   roof  is  in   desperate   need   of   replacement.   Es-mates   for   the   new   roof   are   at   $1,700,000,   and   capital   projects  of  this  magnitude   are   normally   outside   the   opera-ng   budget.     While   proposing   a   bond   referendum   to   the   taxpayers  is  the   normal  course   of  ac-on,   passage   in   this   economy   could   be   problema-c. Instead,   the   district   is   moving   forward   with   a   combined   solar   panel   and   roof  

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project that  will   ul-mately—over  the   25   to   30-­‐year   life   of   the   roof/panels—have   zero   or   minimal   cost   to   the   taxpayers.   The   district   will   sign   a   Power   Purchase   Agreement  (PPA)  with  an  investor  group.     In  essence,   the   financing   is  structured  so   the   district   spreads  payment   of  the   roof   alone   over   the   first   fiCeen  years.     Over   that   same   period,   the   investor   group   pays   for   and   owns   the   solar   panels.   B e c a u s e   t h e y   a r e   a   f o r -­‐ p r o fi t   organiza-on,   they   are   en-tled  to  a   30%   e n e rg y   c re d i t   f ro m   t h e   fe d e ra l   government  (like   the   $1,500  you  can   get   on  your  personal  tax  return),  accelerated   deprecia-on   and   income   from   the   electricity   and   SREC’s   sold   to   u-li-es.   The   district   in  turn  receives  a  discounted   electricity   rate.   In   year   sixteen,   ownership  of   the   solar   panels  will   revert   to  the   district  at   which   -me   the   district   will   generate   all   electricity   needed   for   the   building   saving   about   $100,000   per   year  in  energy  costs  in  today’s  dollars.    At   the   end   of   its   useful   life,   the   roof   and   solar   panels  will   then   have   cost   zero   or   minimal  dollars. The   District  was  faced   with  addressing  a   needed   capital   project   and   successfully   found   the   best   solu-on.   But   more   importantly,   our   middle   school   becomes   more   of   a   GREEN   building   and   our   students   will   learn   about   the   power   of   solar  energy  on  a  daily  basis  via  monitors   in   the   building.   DEO   Middle   School   reduces   its   carbon   footprint,   students   learn   about   solar   power   and   the   taxpayers  have  been  minimally  impacted.   Win-­‐Win-­‐Win.  

1.1 Supt.’s Message (from p.1) For the   long   term,   the   District   is   facing   significant   progressive   change   in   the   ways   that   schools   provide   relevant,   innova-ve   and   challenging   educa-onal   opportuni-es   to   students   at   all   grade   levels.   Drawing   upon   best   prac-ce   models,   for  example,  the   high  school  has   laid   the  founda-ons  for  the  development   of  career-­‐focused  concentra-ons  in   areas   such   as   STEM   (science,   technology,   engineering,   and   mathema-cs),   Global  

DECEMBER 2010 Leadership (interna-onal   business   &   entrepreneurship,   diplomacy,   language,   t r a v e l ) ,   E n v i r o n m e n t a l   S t u d i e s ,   Performing   Arts   (drama,   music,   dance),   D i g i t a l   M e d i a ,   A r t s   &   L e S e r s   ( i nte rd i s c i p l i n a r y   st u d i e s   i n   t h e   humani-es)   and   a   cross-­‐disciplinary   approach  to  Teaching  as  a  Profession. Understanding   that   the   implementa-on   of   these   programs   cannot   occur   in   a   vacuum,   complementary   curricular   components   are   being   introduced  at  the   elementary  and  the  middle   school  levels.     A   Junior   Academy,   comprehensive   aCer-­‐ school   enrichment   program,   specialized   programs   addressing   the   needs   of   our   m o s t   c h a l l e n g e d   s t u d e n t s ,   comprehensive     programs   in   science,   math  and   literacy  at  the   elementary   and   early   childhood   levels   are   systema-cally   being   developed   and   launched.     Of   par-cular   note   is   the   Inner   Bridge   Crossing   program,   designed   to   serve   children   with   social,   rela-onal   and   communica-ve   disabili-es   including   Asperger’s   Syndrome,   high-­‐func-oning   a u - s m ,   a n d   n o nv e r b a l   l e a r n i n g   disabili-es.     Comparable   ini-a-ves   offering   alterna-ves  for   students   in   the   u p p e r   g r a d e s   a r e   a l s o   u n d e r   development. Whether   we   are   looking   at   healthy   decisions  op-ons   for  students,   including   food,   exercise,   and   behaviors,   or   the   introduc-on   of   engaging,   interest-­‐ oriented   educa-onal   programs,   New   Milford   Schools   are   well   poised   to   b e c o m e   m o d e l s   n o t e d   f o r   accomplishment,   drive,   crea-vity,   integrity  and  innova-on.

CURRICULUM CORNER 1.3

WHAT’S NEXT FOR NEW MILFORD SCHOOLS “Coming together  is  the   beginning.  Keeping  together  is   progress.  Working  together  is   success.”                                        ~  Henry  Ford


RENAISSANCE: THE ADVANCE:THE THEVOICE VOICEOF OFNEW NEWMILFORD MILFORDSCHOOLS SCHOOLS

DECEMBER 2010 NMEF FOUNDERS & BOARD:       Alison Fischer, CEO Joseph LoPorto, CFO Jose Camacho Marlenis Camacho Megan Farricker Celeste Scavetta Stacey Sidorsky Joanne Spurlin Colleen Tambuscio

Incorporated as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charity, the New Milford Education Foundation (NMEF) is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching, enhancing and supporting New Milford’s public education system. The NMEF supports New Milford Public Schools in providing a challenging and enriching educational experience that maximizes the learning potential of every student and prepares them to succeed in the 21st century. The Foundation provides incentives to stimulate excellence in the New Milford Public Schools by awarding grants for projects, programs and purchases that support the curriculum and facilities, by funding scholarships for students and professional development for educators, and by raising the profile of public education in New Milford. 1.3 Curriculum Corner AN ACADEMIC RENAISSANCE Danielle Shanley Director of Curriculum & Instruction

As this   calendar   year   rapidly   moves   along,   the   district  is  ac-vely   engaged   in   many   new   beginnings.     District   s t a ke h o l d e rs   h av e   b e e n   c l o s e l y   evalua-ng   math   and   language   arts   programs   from   Kindergarten   through   gradua-on.     This   work   has   revealed   many   areas   of   opportunity   for   course   offerings   and   curricula.     It   is   our   responsibility   and   commitment   to   provide   consistency   and   quality   of   curriculum,   instruc-on   and  materials  for   all   students   in   New   Milford.       We   con-nue   to   work   very   closely   with   faculty   members,   as   well   as   provide   them  more  quality  -me  to  work  with  one   another.     Each   month   we   engage   in   content   area  ar-cula-on  mee-ngs  and  in   dedicated   collabora-ons   within   our   Professional  Learning  Communi-es.     Ar-cula-on  mee-ngs  in  English  language   arts   (ELA)   have   included   a   close   look   at   the   new   Na-onal   Common   Core   3

Standards.   These   new   standards   have   replaced   the   former   New   Jersey   Common   Core   Standards   in   Language   Arts.     The   staff   is   planning   for   the   following   implementa-on:     The   Common   Core   State   Standards   for   English   Language   Arts   &   Literacy   in   History/Social   Studies,   Science,   and   Technical   Subjects  (“the   Standards”)   are   the   culmina-on   of  an   extended,   broad-­‐ based   effort   to   fulfill   the   charge   issued   by   the   states   to   create   the   next   genera-on  of  K–12  standards  in  order   to   help  ensure   that  all   students  are   college   and  career  ready  in  literacy  no  later  than   the   end   of   high   school.   The   Standards   are   (1)  research  and  evidence   based,   (2)   a l i g n e d   w i t h   c o l l e g e   a n d   w o r k   expecta-ons,   (3)   rigorous,   and   (4)   i n t e r n a - o n a l l y   b e n c h m a r ke d .   A   par-cular   standard   was   included   in   the   document   only   when   the   best   available   evidence   indicated   that   its  mastery   was   essen-al  for  college  and  career  readiness   in   a   twenty-­‐first-­‐century,   globally   compe--ve   society.   The   Standards   set   requirements   not   only   for   English  

To make your donation, please send your check payable to: “New Milford Education Foundation” and mail to: NMEF 145 Madison Avenue New Milford, NJ 07646 p: 201.639.6633 f: 201.639.6634 For information on how to give, please email: info@newmilfordfoundation.org Website coming soon: www.newmilfordfoundation.org

language arts   (ELA)   but   also   for   literacy   in   history/social   studies,   science,   and   technical  subjects.     One  of  the  ar-cula-on  exercises   included  alignment  of  the  many  different   types  of  wri-ng  students  are  expected  to   master,  including  document  based   research  and  literary  analysis.    A  fully   aligned  ELA  curriculum  must  be  revised   and  implemented  in  Kindergarten   through  grade  12  by  September  of  2012.     The  reading  expecta-ons  include   students’  abili-es  to  tackle  a  variety  of   texts  for  many  purposes  within  and   outside  of  the  ELA  classroom.    The  State   of  NJ  has  established  a  three  year   implementa-on  window  for  curriculum   alignment,  revision  and  implementa-on   of  the  Na-onal  Common  Core  Standards   in  Mathema-cs:  K-­‐2  by  September  of   2011;  3-­‐5  and  9-­‐12  by  September  2012;   and  6-­‐8  by  September  2013.    You  may   review  them  in  their  en-rety  at  hSp:// www.corestandards.org.        

(more on p.4)


INVESTOR NEW RENAISSANCE: THE ADVANCE: MILFORD NEWSLETTER THE KNIGHTLY THEVOICE VOICE ISSUE OF NEWS OFNEW NEW N°3 MILFORD MILFORDSCHOOLS SCHOOLS

SEPTEMBER DECEMBER 2010

CURRICULUM CORNER

1.5 SUPERINTENDENT POLIZZI HOSTS MONTHLY CONVERSATIONS

AN ACADEMIC RENAISSANCE

In coming to New Milford, Superintendent Polizzi envisioned an educational community that engages students and parents in the dialogue on education and what that means for New Milford residents. To that end, he established the Superintendent’s Council at New Milford High School, a group of students who meet monthly with the superintendent to discuss matters and issues of importance to the school experience. It was important that all grade levels would be represented and that participants would reflect all student constituencies, such as gender, ethnicity, academic levels and interests.

(CONT’D…)

As a   result   of   our   own   data   analysis   and  these   new   na-onal   standards,  the   district   will   undergo   some   significant   p r o g ra m m a - c   c h a n g e s   i n   t h e   2011-­‐2012   school   year.     Prepara-on   for   those   changes   is   currently   underway.     In  mathema-cs,   beginning   at   the   elementary   level,   we   will   see   the  addi-on  of  Everyday  Mathema-cs,   our  standards-­‐based  math  program,  at   grade   4.     We   are   presently   using   this   program  in  grades  K-­‐3.    

WITH STUDENTS AND PARENTS

This year, two other groups were established: a Superintendent’s Council at the DEO Middle School and a Parents’ Cabinet, which includes parent representatives from each of the District’s four schools. Not surprisingly, all three groups share many common goals and concerns. Among them—and much of this is student generated—is the interest in improving the academic climate of schools. Students want to be respected for their brains, their scholarly achievements, in addition to recognition for their athleticism or social standing. They are interested in promoting more active engagement in school life. They are interested in greater challenges, including increased honors and advanced placement courses. And, of course, they are interested in their stomachs—the quality of food offerings at lunch, pricing, variety, and the expansion of choices to include healthier options, including more vegetarian selections. To date, district administration has met with these three groups with an open mind and has acted positively to their ideas. In the end, they are working together to communicate better and to advance the quality of life for the students of New Milford.

(more below…) The professional  development  necessary,   both   refresher   courses  for   K-­‐3   teachers   and   new   training   sessions   for   grade   4   teachers   of   Everyday   Math,   are   already   in   place.     This  type   of   standards-­‐based,   algebra-­‐rich  mathema-cs  instruc-on   will   become   an   inherent   part   of   the   middle   school   program   in   both   grades   6   and   7   next  year.    We   have   a   team  of  dedicated   professionals   inves-ga-ng   mul-ple   programs   to   determine   which   will   best   prepare   our   students  to   master   the   new   common  core   standards  in   mathema-cs.     This   implementa-on   will   result   in   i m p ro v e d   re a d i n e s s   fo r   C o l l e g e   Preparatory   Pre-­‐Algebra   or   Honors   level   Algebra   I   for   all   eighth   grade   students.     The   ul-mate   goal   is   to   increase   achievement   in   mathema-cs,   where   students   will   be   ready   to   access   higher   level   math   courses,   including   Advanced   Placement   math   courses   at   the   high   school  level. In   English   Language   Arts,   we   are   exploring   more   training   for   our   elementary   teachers   in   Guided   Reading   instruc-on   and   the   Writer’s   Workshop   process   to   increase   independence,   4

fluency, literary   conven-ons   and   vocabulary  development.    

junior academy high school concentrations alternative ed programs 21st C. learning K-8 enrichment academy middle school standards-based math real science grades 3-5 new AP courses at h.s. Standards Solu-on   LLC  has   worked  with   our   faculty   members   on   numerous  

occasions this   year   to   assist   them   with   strategies   for   teaching   wri-ng   as   a   process  versus  wri-ng   as  a   product,   and   in   increasing   student   achievement   through   working   with   text   and   analyzing   text.     Math  teachers   at   each   grade   level   also   experienced   grade-­‐span   specific,   math   specific  workshops  with  Standards   Solu-on.    The  feedback  for  all  workshops   was  beyond   our   expecta-ons!     Teachers   a re   a p p l y i n g   t h e   re c o m m e n d e d   strategies  in   their   classrooms,   accessing   the   interac-ve   website   for   benchmark   assessments,   and   crea-ng   ac-vi-es   and   engaging  lessons  in  each  of  the   math  and   ELA  cluster  areas. The   HS   faculty   has   been   involved   in   proposing   new   courses   for   the   9-­‐12   programs.    They   are   revising   courses  of   study   and   sequences   of   those   courses   within   the   departments.     The   most   exci-ng   and   relevant   change   to   the   HS   program   will   be   the   op-on  for   students   to   become   members   of   one   of   the   Academies   @   New   Milford  High   School.     W e   a r e   b e g i n n i n g   w i t h   t h r e e   concentra-ons:   The  Academy   of  Arts  and   Le9ers  (with  op-ons  for  performing  and  


INVESTOR NEW RENAISSANCE: THE ADVANCE: MILFORD NEWSLETTER THE KNIGHTLY THEVOICE VOICE ISSUE OF NEWS OFNEW NEW N°3 MILFORD MILFORDSCHOOLS SCHOOLS

1.3 Curriculum Corner (from p. 4) non-­‐performing studies),   The   Academy   for   Global   Leadership   (which   includes   many   new   Business  offerings),   and  The   Science   Technology   Engineering   and   Mathema@cs   (STEM)   Academy.     All   Academies   will   offer   courses   at   the   College   Preparatory,   Honors   and   Advanced   Placement   levels.     We   are   currently   seeking   permission   from   The   College   Board   to   offer   three   more   Advanced  Placement  courses  next  year.     We   will   also   con-nue   to   embrace   our   Tomorrow’s   Teachers   prepara-on   program   for   students  in  any  one   of  the   Academies  who  might  like  to  explore   or   pursue   a   career   in   educa-on.    Pending   Board  of   Educa-on  approval,   The   NEW   NMHS   Program   of   Studies   and   the   details   of   the   Academies  and  offerings   will   be   available   toward   the   end   of   January  2011.     The   addi-on   of  Academies  at   the   High   School   requires   us   to   look   at   the   scheduled   school   day,   the   curriculum   and   the   programs   at   David   E   Owens   Middle   School.     A   Junior   Academy   for   8th   graders   will   begin   in   September   2011.    The   enrichment  program   for   all   students   will   undergo   a   make-­‐over,   as   we   b e g i n   to   i n co r p o rate   m o re   enrichment   aligned   with   High   School   Concentra-ons.     In  grades   6  and  7,   we   will   be   adop-ng   a   standards-­‐based,   algebra-­‐rich   mathema-cs   program.     Addi-onally,  we  will   dedicate  significant   -me   aligning   our  English  Language   Arts   programs  to  the  new   Na-onal  Common   Core   Standards,   and   will   require   a   minimum   of   four,   common,   process   wri-ng   pieces   each   year,   to   ensure   more   con-nuity   for   all  of   the   students.     Since   The   Na-onal   Common   Core   Standards   make   specific   demands   for   reading  and  wri-ng  in  all  content  areas,   we   will,   of   course,   be   incorpora-ng   those  expecta-ons  into  our  curricula. 5

DECEMBER FALL 2010 2009

Although we   are   only   four   full   months   into   the   school   year,   there   has   been   significant   test   data   analysis   and   program   evalua-on  completed.    We   are   taking   careful   ac-on   to   plan,   budget   and   train   for   a   rela-vely   quick   implementa-on  of   strategies  to  address   numerous   areas   of   iden-fied   areas   of   opportunity.   Despite   limited   resources,   we   believe   we   can   and   will   see   noteworthy   and   per-nent   changes   for   our  district  in  the  very  near  future.      

As a  result,  we   decided  to  develop  our  own   in-­‐district   program   to   meet   the   needs   of   students   who   require   intensive   services.   Our   goal   was   to   develop   an   excep-onal   program   based   on   research   and   best   prac-ces.   During   the   planning   process,   we   ac-vely   included   parents   to   ensure   they   were   aware   of   our   progress   in   the   program’s   development   and   to   ascertain   parental  sugges-ons  and  perspec-ves.  

1.4 “The best Christmas present…”

Special Services Thriving in New Milford Ray Dorso, Director of Special Services

Significant changes   have   occurred   within   the   Department   of   Special   Services   over   the   past   year  and  a   half.   In   part,  many  of   the  changes  have  been   a  result  of  increased   stability   within  the   department   and   a   convic-on   to   educate   all   of   our   students   in-­‐district.   Parental  involvement  and   support  have   also   contributed   to   the   changes   that   have   taken   place.   The   two   programs   listed   below   represent   examples   of   some   of   the   significant   changes   that   have  occurred  during  this  -me  period.   Inner  Bridge  Crossing  at  Berkley  Street   Elementary  School   Following   an   assessment   of   district   needs   early   last   school   year,   the   administra-ve  team  determined  a  need   for  an  in-­‐district  program  for   pre-­‐school   and   kindergarten   students   with   social   a n d   co m m u n i ca- ve   d i s a b i l i - e s ,   including   Au-sm   Spectrum   Disorders.   This   was  iden-fied  as  an   area   of  need   because   many   of   our   students   were   being   educated   in   schools   outside   of   New   Milford.   As  a   district,   we   believe,   with  convic-on,   that  all   of   our  students   should   have   the   opportunity   to   be   educated  with  their  peers.

The culmina-on  of  our   planning   and   hard   work   has   resulted   in   the   very   successful   opening   of   the   Inner   Bridge   Crossing   program   in   September!   The   Inner   Bridge   Crossing   program   is   comprised   of   two   classrooms   located   at   Berkley   Street   Elementary  School. The   pre-­‐school   class   offers   a   full   day   program  with  a  one-­‐to-­‐one   student  to  staff   ra-o.   The   K-­‐2   program   offers  a   two  to   one   student   to   staff   ra-o.   There   are   many   factors   that   have   contributed   to   the   program’s  early  success.  First  and  foremost,   we   have   to   acknowledge   that   we   have   a   great  group  of  students  in  our  program!  We   cannot   wait   to   see   how   they   con-nue   to   progress  throughout  the  year.  Secondly,   our   parents   are   very   suppor-ve   and   involved.   Research   consistently   notes   a   strong   correla-on  between  involved  parents  and   success.  Lastly,  our  dedicated  staff  has  done   an   outstanding   job   of   making   sure   we   are   mee-ng  the   needs   of  all  of  our  learners.  As   a  district,  we  are  fortunate  to  have  staff


NEWADVANCE: RENAISSANCE: THE MILFORDTHE KNIGHTLY THEVOICE VOICEOF NEWS OFNEW NEWMILFORD MILFORDSCHOOLS SCHOOLS

members passionate   about   their   profession.   We   have   heard   from   many   of   our   parents  about  how   thrilled  they  are  with   this   program.   One   of   our   parents,   Mr.   Day,   was   kind   enough   to   let   us   share   with   you,   his   personal   perspec-ve   on   how   the   program   has  impacted   his   son   and   family.   We   are   very   apprecia-ve   of   his  willingness  to  share   his  story  detailed   below.  It  represents  one  of  the   stories  he   shared  with  us.   “My   son   Haydn   is   a   five   year-­‐old   boy   with   Asperger's   Syndrome   and   is   currently   a9ending   the   K-­‐2   class   in   the   Inner  Bridge  Crossing  Program.   Prior   to   the   start   of   kindergarten,   c o nv e r s a @ o n s   w i t h   H a y d n   w e r e   prac@cally   non-­‐existent.   They   usually   involved   my   asking   ques@ons,   possibly   geTng  an   answer,   and  Haydn  making   a   li9le  speech  about  fans  or  lights.. At   the   beginning   of   the   school   year,   I   would   ask   Haydn  about   school   and   the   following  conversa@on  would  follow:     "How  was  your  day  at  school,  Haydn?" "Good,  Daddy-­‐o." "What  did  you  do  at  school  today?" "School   stuff."    Out   of  the   room  and  on   to  new  adventures. On  Dec.17th: "How  was  your  day  at  school,  Haydn?" "Good.   Today  is   Thursday,   music  was  my   special  today.  I  like  music." "What  did  you  do  in  music  today?" "I  watched  a  movie.  I  played  a  drum." "Sounds  like   fun.   What  did  you  do   in  Mr.   Flynn's  Class  today?" "I   did   my   sensible   pencil.   I   don't   like   math." "Did  you  have  fun  today?" "Yes.  Daddy-­‐o.  I  ate  pizza  for  lunch."   In  four  months,  Haydn  has  evolved  from   a   one   and   done   conversa@onalist,   to   6

DECEMBER 2010

where he   answers   my   ques@ons   about   school,   and  even  volunteers   informa@on   (pizza  for  lunch).

”Without ques,on,   the   best   Christmas   present   I've   ever   go9en.” —Haydn’s Dad

CONTRIBUTORS AND STAFF Michael Polizzi Superintendent Michael Sawicz Business Administrator/Board Secretary

Again, we   would   like   to   thank   the   Day   family  for  sharing  their  story!  

Raymond Dorso Director of Special Services

New Milford   Knight   School:   A   2 1 s t   C e n t u r y   C a r e e r   a n d   Alterna,ve  Educa,on  Program  

Danielle Shanley Director of Curriculum & Instruction

The New   Milford   School   District   is   preparing   to   open   the   New   Milford   Knight   School   on   1/4/11!   This   is   a   program   to   meet   the   needs   of   high   school   students   that   may   require   an   alterna-ve   approach   to   learning.   The   core   academic  courses  are   offered  aCer   3:00PM  at  New  Milford  High  School. This  program  was  developed  because  we   u n d e rsta n d   t h at   st u d e nt s   l e a r n   differently   and,   as   a   result,   some   students   require   a   different   seGng   to   reach   their   academic   and   future   goals.   The   program   will   have   its   own   supervisor,   counselor   and   a   Structured   Learning   Experiences   coordinator.   The   SLE   coordinator   will   work   with   students   (16   years   of   age   and   older)   to   secure   internships/work   experiences   in   the   community.   These   work   experiences   occur   during   the   day,   prior   to   aSending   the  “Knight”  component  of  the  program.   Instruc-on   in   the   following   content   areas  will  be  offered:   Physical  Educa-on,   Language   Arts,   Social   Studies,   Science   and  Math. In   addi-on   to   the   emphasis   on   21st   century  careers,  the  program  will  also

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focus on  the  following:    Inter-­‐disciplinary  Instruc-on  Social   &   Emo-onal   Learning   Literacy   Instruc-on   Across   All   Content  Areas  High  Academic  Expecta-ons We   are   excited   to   provide   our   students   with   this   opportunity,   an   opportunity   to   find   a   spark   of   inspira-on   that   leads  to  a   successful  life! The   development   of   both   programs,   IBC   and   the   Knight   School,   has  occurred   as  a   result   of   our   district’s   dedica-on   to   mee-ng  the  needs,  at  an  excep-onal  level,   of  all   of   our   students.   Both   programs   are   based   on   research   and  best  prac-ces.   And   lastly,   both   programs   are   fiscally   responsible!   As  a   result   of   developing   our   new   programs,   we   have   saved  the   district   significant   resources.     This,   in   turn,   has   enabled   us   to   invest   in   other   programs   that   increase   student   achievement   for   all   New  Milford  students.

The Advance  

New Milford High School's Superintendents Newsletter

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