By Maryanne Cdristiano-Mistretta
Superintendent of Mendham Township School District, Salvatore Constantino, is gearing up for the start of the 2016-2017 school year.
This year, there will be a big focus on literacy like “we have in previous years,” said Constantino. “But this year we’re focusing on reading and writing instruction. Students are reading more than they ever have.”
One of the ways the district will revamp what they’ve already been doing is to help students who are struggling in a particular area.
“Trying to tailor what we’re doing to help them,” said Constantino. “It’s really been our number one concern going into this year.”
There is also a new social studies and history curriculum that will be revamped as well. Constantino said, “We’re realigned with new standards. We have lots of new materials, new technologies, new units.”
There will also be focus on performing arts and music – with expansion on programs and new teachers.
“We’re creating new opportunities for kids to perform and learn musical instruments and be part of singing groups,” said Constantino.
New technology is also part of the 2016-2017 school year.
Constantino said, “We have our students, from grades two to grades eight, use chrome books – a small laptop on a Google platform. They work in an environment called ‘Google Classroom.’ Teachers are becoming proficient in using Google Classroom in all subject areas, not just technology. They use it in math, science, social studies. Students use technology in all classes. Teachers communicate through technology. We’ve rebuilt our internal networks so a lot more technology is used in our classrooms.”
In the Mendham middle schools, they’re introducing Google Expeditions – a virtual realty program.
Constantino said, “Students will be doing expeditions through virtual reality, virtual field trips to visit the museum and the beach. Teachers will give a guided tour. There are over four-hundred different expeditions kids can take. It’s really an awesome thing.”
Constantino was happy to share that it was just learned that the Mendham elementary school was given a Sustainable New Jersey school award.
He said, “It’s a year-long program of implementing sustainable, green practices, recycling, not only things you do, but things you teach, infusing environmentally healthy concepts and ideas into curriculum. We worked all year and the school was granted the award.”
He feels that it is evident that there is a profound commitment of the entire Mendham Township School District family to provide the students with the very best education possible.
He said, “We are working to continue the tradition of excellence through an unrelenting commitment to children, collaboration with all district stakeholders, maintaining open communication systems, and working each day to ensure the most effective learning environment for our children.”
Constantino looks forward to an exciting year for the Mendham students.
He said, “I am pleased to be spending time in classrooms, working with the teachers and students.”
He urges parents to reach out to any staff member – or himself – if there are any concerns regarding Mendham schools.
For more information, visit: https://www.mendhamtwp.org/.