The following outlines the Warren Township School District's Mission Statement and district goals established in the most recent strategic planning process. This process involved strategic teams comprised of school administrators, district staff, community members and parents. The Mission Statement and goal statements serve to guide the work of district educators in developing plans for technology infrastructure, student learning and professional learning.
District Mission Statement: The Mission of Warren Township School District is to provide, through a safe, nurturing yet challenging environment, all students with an outstanding education that fosters academic excellence, healthy social and emotional development, and a lifelong passion for learning. In partnership with family, community, and staff, our strategic goals will guide our programs and actions so that students can exceed the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards at all grade levels and leave the district confident in their ability to think critically and independently and to succeed as students and productive citizens of the community and world.
District Strategic Planning Goals
Strategic plan goals were developed for each of the following areas:
- 21st Century Skills
- School Environment.
The construction of a district strategic plan had a significant impact on the approach to technology and learning as implementation of the goal statements and accompanying strategies required the support of a robust technology environment in all schools for all students and staff.
Strategic Plan Technology Goal Statement
Our students will be creators, collaborators, upstanding digital citizens, critical consumers, and innovators in a technology-rich environment where students create their own learning.
The plan outlined the following strategies:
- Provide a seamless, integrated technology environment for all stakeholders.
- Maintain an infrastructure dedicated to a streamlined, efficient, and learning-focused experience that encourages widespread use and access.
- Identify and develop an evolving set of core competencies and best practices for students and teachers to provide a solid technology foundation to equip them for the world in which they will live and work.
- Inspire and support our teachers to continue developing beliefs and abilities that foster a culture where technology is embedded within students' learning experiences.
- Ensure maximum utilization of fit-for-purpose technology by having a structured, planned, and coordinated approach to the introduction, adoption, and ubiquity.
- Harness collective knowledge by engaging the district and community in structured meaningful conversations about how teaching and learning should change in light of the actualization of learning with technology.
The district technology infrastructure should:
- Support staff and student efforts to use technology in a seamless and fluent manner.
- Maintain capacity to effectively support digital learning environments for students and staff.
- Ensure equitable access to technology.
- Enable district staff to pilot and adopt new and innovative technologies as they become available.
- Address staff professional learning needs related to hardware and pedagogy.
Equitable Access to Technology to Achieve Teaching and Learning Vision:
During the 2014-2015 school year the district developed a plan for reallocating technology resources to achieve equitable staff and student access across the district schools. This plan resulted in a collection and redistribution of hardware to standardize access in core instructional environments and expansion of the district's wireless capacity that exceeded all PARCC readiness requirements.
The Warren Township School District currently provides a 1:1 environment for all students in grades 3-8. Staff all are provided access to Dell laptop computers. Classroom teachers are provided a standard compliment of classroom instructional technologies that include a Smartboard, docking station, document camera/projector and printer. As of the 2015-2016 school year, every room is outfitted with a wireless access point to provide more than adequate wifi capacity.
Students in grades 3-8 are all assigned a Google account and learn in classrooms that provide a 1:1 ratio of devices to students. Students in grades 5-8 are expected to bring Chromebooks back and forth between home and school. Students are expected to charge Chromebooks each night and be prepared for class with the device and earbuds. Students in grades 3 and 4 work in 1:1 environments with devices that are stored in the child's homeroom.
Students in grades K-2 learn in classrooms that have a 2:1 student to iPad ratio. The iPads are stored in carts that are accessible to the classroom on a daily basis.
The Warren Township School District has identified basic competencies in the area of technology for all stakeholders in its educational community. The expectations support the Vision for Instruction and Learning related to technology and guide the decision making process within the district
The technology infrastructure is evaluated annually and a three year hardware plan is maintained to project infrastructure needs and budget.
Teaching and Learning within the District
Reflection About Survey Results:
The Warren Township School District community completed the school based NJTrax Digital Learning Surveys during the months of February and March. Students, parents, staff and administrators in grades 5-8 participated in the surveys. All individual school ratings fell within Quadrant II. The NJTrax survey results guidance document states that the quadrant to aspire to is Q2 (Ready and Implementing). The quadrant to avoid is Q4 (Not Ready, yet Implementing). Survey results suggests that the district as a whole continues to make progress in the effective planning and implementation of digital learning.
The largest number of survey responses were associated with the Warren Middle School. Using this school's scores as a representative of the district, the highest rated area was Technology, Networks and Hardware (7.7). Use of Time had the lowest overall rating (4.9). This pattern within the results was repeated in each of the elementary building survey results. This is an expected trend as the district has invested in infrastructure to ensure accessibility to and reliability of resources, dedicated resources to assist staff in developing basic competencies in understanding how to use hardware, and has started a transition to a more seamless use of the technologies available for learning.
In recent years, the district has established core belief statements focusing on instruction and learning. A belief statement for technology is one of the five belief statements and serves to guide work in this area. Within the development of the belief statements, the district considered developing four statements with the assumption that technology would be infused among the statements. In assessing district professional learning needs at the time, it was determined that an explicit technology statement was still necessary to guide district efforts. In addition to a technology specific statement, there were specific statements about student centered learning, differentiation, classroom culture, and use of evidence to make instructional decisions. In evaluating the belief statements, the district has found that they are consistent with the goals of digital learning and the overall areas of focus that the survey results suggest.