Another amazing year of student growth and learning is coming to a close. Before we welcome the more relaxed pace of summer, I want to take a few moments to highlight some of this year’s accomplishments and share our goals for the 2017-18 school year.
Our success as a district is a direct result of the dedicated work of our students, teachers and staff, along with the partnership of our parents, and the support of the community. Because of the commitment of our stakeholders, Robbinsville continues to provide a wide variety of opportunities for our students both in and out of the classroom, including musical and theater performances, athletic events, Robotics and Science Olympiad competitions, and Knight of Achievement to name a few.
We are proud of the goals we set and accomplished this year. With implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards in grades 6-12 and identification of Core College and Career Readiness skills to assure that our students are Robbinsville Ready, we continue to foster the type of strong academic culture that Robbinsville Schools has become known for.
We also expanded our membership in the Sustainable Jersey for Schools Initiative and leveraged the forward thinking work of each building’s Green Teams as one measure to reduce energy costs and enhance our facilities. Additionally, the proceeds from the sale of Windsor School were applied to shore up our capital reserves as we prioritize repairs and replacements in our Long Range Facilities Plan and strive keep each of our buildings in excellent working order. On another note, you may have noticed that we provided a facelift to the district website by transitioning to a new web hosting system in order to offer visitors a more streamlined and organized experience.
As you know, we place a high premium on community collaboration and engagement. By intentionally fostering a culture that inspires open and honest dialogue with community members as well as collaboration with township officials and community organizations, we have continued to celebrate our core values with events like School Connection Forums, the Annual State of the Schools Celebration, and curriculum information nights. The 2016-17 also brought a renewed focus on wellness initiatives as we established a new K-8 Wellness Committee comprised of parents, teachers and administrators.
One of our proudest accomplishments however is related to the tremendous outpouring of support as, together, we reignited the fight for fair funding for Robbinsville. We testified before legislative committees and organized a grassroots letter writing campaign to ensure that our voice was heard in Trenton. Although we still await the outcome of our efforts, it has been a privilege to work with so many parents and community members devoted to a single worthy cause, one that we ultimately hope will serve the public good.
As we look to next school year, there are some exciting milestones ahead. Some highlights are: expanding opportunities for students including transitioning to Next Generation Science Standards in grades K-5, as well as strengthen Mathematical Mindsets in Grades 6-8; researching alternative and sustainable revenue sources including cell tower construction and a new Energy Saving Improvement Plan project; and expanding the Wellness Initiatives to include a series for parents with topics on mindfulness, stress reduction, social media and opioid awareness.
Educating children to prepare them to be creative, productive citizens is a complex process which requires vigilance and vision from all. We will continue to work with staff, students, and parents to develop shared goals that demonstrate excellence in teaching and maximize student learning while maintaining fiscal responsibility.
Enjoy your summer. September will be here in the blink of an eye.
Kathie Foster is acting superintendent.