A wide variety of topics were on the table–or in this case, media rooms, band rooms and classrooms—when the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District sponsored its second In-service Day on Tuesday, November 7
On the day when the residents of Bridgewater Township and the Borough of Raritan approved the Referendum 2023 to support the annual operations of Full-Day Kindergarten, the school district’s staff from all grade levels convened at school buildings throughout the two communities.
Karen Jones, the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, and Annemarie Mattia, the Director of Elementary Education, were the school district spearheads behind this informative all-day session that also included the opportunity for the faculty to complete the newly shared District Climate Survey.
Ms. Jones explained the productive gatherings that started at 8 a.m. and lasted until 3 p.m. on November 7.
‘’Teachers also had choices related to ELA (English Language Arts), science, social studies, and technology. In grades 6-12, half the day was designed to support building-based initiatives and half the day was planned to support departmental/content goals,’’ Ms. Jones said. ‘ In the intermediate schools, buildings focused on Tier 1 instruction (highly effective classroom instruction!) and effective response to student behavior. All staff completed the District Climate Survey, which along with parent and student surveys, will inform the district’s goals and strategic plan going forward.’’
The sessions also provided valuable training in new math programs.
‘’Our K-5 staff members attended training on the new mathematics resource, including a session specific to supporting multilingual learners and one on differentiating to meet students’ needs through the use of enVision data,’’ Ms. Jones said.
LeighAnn Matthews has participated in past In-service Days but this program on November 7 was her first in her new role as the Supervisor of ESL (English as Second Language) and World Languages, K-12.
“This was a productive day for our K-12 ESL and 5-12 World Language teachers,’’ Ms. Matthews said. “ It was the first opportunity that we’ve had to meet as a whole team across schools and grade levels, so it was exciting for us.’’
She further detailed the topics that were touched on during her sessions held at Bridgewater-Raritan High School’s 700 Building.
“The day included collaborative planning/sharing among teachers who might not typically see one another every day and time with me to do some reflecting and planning ahead as well as create our shared mission and vision,’’ Ms. Matthews shared. ‘’Both ESL and World Language had common themes recognizing language learning as an asset for students, families, staff and the Bridgewater-Raritan community. The energy was palpable and we are looking forward to the future together, taking our programs to the next level.’’
The media room at the high school served as the venue for Health and Physical Education staff members to gather.
‘’The Health and Physical Education Department spent the day discussing scope and sequence within our curriculum,’’ explained Dave Guglietti, the Supervisor of Health and Physical Education. “We were able to meet as a K-12 department, so teachers were able to share what has worked best at their individual schools. Additionally, we sprint some time team building as a means to ensure camaraderie and growth within our department.’’
The Performing and Visual Arts staff members joined together in the band room at the high school.
“”The Performing and Visual Arts department shared a day of reflective collaboration across grade levels and artistic discipline,’’ said Matt McCarthy, the Supervisor of Music and Performing Arts. ‘’The staff worked to align instruction to the 2020 New Jersey Visual and Performing Arts learning standards and identify barriers to student engagement.’’
Conor Scott, the Assistant Principal at the Bridgewater-Raritan Middle School, delivered a report to Ms. Jones, who shared the positive results that were produced from that building.
“At the middle school, staff spent the morning engaging in critical conversations about our current school climate and the climate that we hope to foster. Specifically, teachers and counselors reflected on their individual students’ gifts, needs and passions and how they impact their instructional decision-making,’’ Ms. Jones revealed. ‘’Additionally, as part of Bridgewater-Raritan Middle School’s partnership with the Anti-Defamation League to become a ‘No Place for Hate’ school, the staff discussed ways to interrupt biased thoughts and actions and ways to help foster a culture of upstanders.’’
Mr. Guglietti summed up this informative program across the school district.
''The day went great!’’
The next In-service Day for the school district is scheduled for February 20.