I am writing to provide an overview of some of the recent activity of the Hoboken Board of Education Curriculum /Programs Committee. The topics covered range from exploring new math or spelling programs to AP classes to Gifted and Talented Programs to Hands on Science kits. The public is always welcome and encouraged to participate.
Over the last two months, the committee has met with Math and Science Supervisor Howard McKenzie and Humanities Supervisor Daniel Loughran to review the current and projected sequence of courses in their departments at Hoboken High School. Three definitive tracks have been identified in the HS to accommodate, Honors, College and Careers (CC) and Non College Bound learners. The sequencing is designed to lead the students towards the new AP course offerings beginning in 2011-12. (IB Seniors will be completing their courses during this transition year) The 8th grade year is now part of this new sequencing and tracking to ensure that they get the “jump” required to take multiple AP courses in their Junior and Senior years at HHS. For this reason, 8th grade Algebra was also reestablished this year. Also returning is an important math literacy class that was eliminated under the previous HS principal and administration. This will ensure that all our children leave HHS with the core math requirements they need.
Test scores, test scores, test scores! For years our children have been taking tests but the data was not analyzed effectively. That has now changed. For example, we began using “LEARNIA”, a program specifically designed to pinpoint areas (and even individual students) needing additional support. This is so powerful for both staff and students. The initial round, administered earlier in the school year, identified specific areas for teachers to concentrate on with at risk students. We are currently getting ready for the second round of LEARNIA assessments.
We are now evaluating a variety of new K-8 Gifted and Talented programming. Although there are several strategies already in place, including the Johns Hopkins Distance Learning Program, a more expansive program is needed to ensure adherence to the State Curriculum Guidelines.
Under Dr. Anzul’s guidance, the new Curriculum Writing Committee has established a curriculum revision schedule. The Committee is working with the Hudson County Curriculum Consortium, a project that allows school districts to share lesson plans. All of our teachers will have access to this growing database of information and ideas.
We are in the process of a major elementary school report card overhaul as well as the selection and replacement of Math Textbooks and Science Materials for our elementary schools.
Please visit the Curriculum, Programs and Instruction portion of the website http://www.hoboken.k12.nj.us to keep up to date with all the hard work of Dr. John Anzul and our faculty.
In closing, I would like to remind the public that Curriculum / Programs Committee meetings are open to the public. We have been meeting publicly since I became committee chair in May of 2009, I encourage you to attend. The schedule of meetings is listed on the website.
With kind regards,
Hoboken Board of Education Trustee