Our District serves the communities of Bass River Township in Eastern Burlington County, along with Eagleswood, Little Egg Harbor, and Tuckerton in Ocean County. We have approximately 850 attending our Junior High School which serves grades 7-9 and we have approximately 850 students at our High School which contains grades 10-12. Our District offers a full slate of courses for students of all abilities. In addition to the cre subjects of Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, Science, and Physical Education, we have an impressive array of courses in the Practical Arts and Visual Arts, and World Languages, along with award-winning Performing Arts courses in Drama and Music.
We have a lot of great things happening within our District that we take great pride in. We have made a concerted effort to encourage our students to challenge themselves with Advanced Placement courses, particularly for those students who plan to attend college after graduation. This has resulted in significant growth in the number of students participating in the program. We have also added courses in the past few years to meet the demands of our students. We are looking forward to continuing that growth.
Our High School was recently named as a “School To Watch” by the College Board due to the increase in the numbers of students taking Advanced Placement Courses while maintaining our percentage of scores at the 3, 4, or 5 level. Additionally, in 2012 the NJ Monthly Magazine recognized the tremendous gains being made at our High School on a number of factors. Our school realized the 3rd highest jump in rankings, from 253 to 183. That ranking placed us as the 2nd highest open enrollment school in the District Factor Group (DFG) B in the State and placed us 3rd out of all open enrollment DFG A/B schools in the State, along with being the 3rd highest ranked school in Ocean County.
We are in the second year of a new schedule at the High School which increases student opportunities to take classes, provides time during the day for students to be involved in clubs, and increases teacher collaboration time. The data we have collected shows tremendous improvement in student engagement and is strongly supported by our students. We are excited about the future!
As a testament to our terrific students, a group of four 10th Graders (the Eco Scienteers) were nationally recognized for their work on using waste bio-fuels for making briquettes for heat and cooking to help combat deforestation in 3rd World countries. The second year of their project earned them the opportunity to participate in the National Science Fair which was held in Washington, DC. In his remarks, the President singled them out in his speech for their global perspective. Additionally, the NJ Commissioner of Education highlighted them in a weekly broadcast to all educators in the State.
From an academic standpoint, the implementation of the new Common Core State Standards in both Language Arts and Math is well under way in our District. Our teachers design their lessons using the Understanding by Design (UbD) format which breaks down each course into units with essential questions for students to master. With the implementation of the State-wide EE4NJ mandates, we continue to train our teachers on the use of the Marzano Protocol for Effective Instruction. We are excited about the professional dialogue that is occurring between administrators and teachers about effective instruction. Additionally, we continue to expand the technology infrastructure within the District to handle BYOD (students using their own technology devices) for learning activities within their classes. Along with the infrastructure, the District has infused a significant number of iPads for instructional use at both buildings over the past several years. We will continue to expand this initiative as money is available in the coming years.
1. The Pinelands Regional School District will develop and begin implementation of a comprehensive long-range Communications/Public Relations plan for the District.
2. The Pinelands Regional School District will revise grading practices within the District to align more closely with a standards-based learning philosophy.
3. The Pinelands Regional School District will evaluate and adjust assessment practices within the District during the 2013-14 school year.
A great deal of work has been done as we strive to attain these District Goals through administrative efforts and PLC work by our teachers.
At Pinelands Regional, we strive to provide the highest quality academic and extra-curricular programs possible, with supports to assist our students toward excellence. Our teachers and other personnel take pride in providing an education which encourages our students to do their best and to be prepared for the myriad of opportunities they will have when they graduate from our High School.
I encourage all parents to be highly involved in their child’s education. By working together, I am confident that we can provide a supportive and encouraging academic environment where all children have the opportunity to learn, succeed, and excel.