By Catherine Bialkowski
Well underway, the 2016-2017 school year has been an exciting one for Roxbury with more t come. The elementary, middle, and high schools all have plans involving new programs, field trips, and events designed to improve and enhance students’ learning capacity and to ensure they receive the best education the district can give.
All elementary schools are currently trialing an Early Act Club and will continue to do so throughout the year. This club has been instituted in order to “foster a love for community,” and will give students opportunities to partake in community service, according to Roxbury School’s Superintendent Loretta Radulic.
At Franklin and Nixon Elementary schools, the district has begun an initiative called Title I Parent Academy. This academy, which has been created in order to aid parents in helping their children reach their full learning extent, will “provide four evening presentations throughout the school year that focus on strategies and skills essential for parents to support the learning and growth of their children,” said Radulic.
Additionally, a new science curriculum has been implemented for grades three to five through the district. FOSS (Full Option Science System) “best meets the expectations of the New Jersey Student Learning standards and the desire of Roxbury to offer students a cutting-edge, experience-based science investigation experience in the elementary years,” said Radulic. Next year, the district plans to expand FOSS training to all teachers from kindergarten to 12th grade.
This year, Eisenhower Middle School has implemented Suite 360, which will “allow students and parents to participate in self-driven learning modules that connect with the social-emotional development of our students,” according Radulic.
“This program seeks to support the growth and learning of the whole child and provide EMS students, counselors, and parents with talking points about the ever-changing landscape of adolescents in a complex world,” she said.
As for Roxbury High School, Mrs. Feret, a 6th through 12th grade mathematics supervisor, has established a partnership with the County College of Morris in Randolph that will “allow seniors another option for a fourth year of math and provide them with an experience that prepares them for credit-bearing courses at the collegiate level,” according to Radulic. This partnership is designed to help students on the path to success after graduation.
Roxbury’s upcoming year involves outside of the classroom learning as well. This winter, students will travel to New York City for a Winter Wonderland trip, on which they will, as Radulic explained, “speak with professional window-display designers while also seeing historic architecture.”
Other programs, including the one-to-one technology initiative started three years ago, and the student robotics club, continue to shine. One-to-One has been expanded to reach students from fifth grade to senior year, and the robotics club, which has incorporated makerspaces into its activities, has exemplified compassion and determination by taking part in the Unity Tour, which raises awareness of officers who have died in the line of duty.
There is certainly no shortage of achievements in the school district for this year. From educational campaigns to out-of-state expeditions to student organizations, it looks like Roxbury has a bright rest of the year planned.
“We have a wonderful team here in Roxbury,” Radulic said. “Our team truly cares about education, believes in character development, and supports strong professional relationships.”