All six Mount Olive schools were recently recognized for their commitment to harnessing the power of instructional technology and were certified as “Future Ready” by Future Ready Schools-New Jersey. FRS-NJ is a partnership of the New Jersey Department of Education, the New Jersey School Boards Association, and New Jersey Institute of Technology.
To receive certification, teams at each school composed of teachers and building administrators developed action plans to align their planning and teaching practices with the framework of the national Future Ready Schools program. Over the course of six months, the teams defined the best ways to use technology and digital tools to engage students, improve learning, and personalize instruction to meet each student’s unique learning needs.
“The thing I love about the certification process is that it is driven by teacher leaders,” said Dr. Robert Zywicki, superintendent of schools. “We have amazing teachers here and they spent hours focusing on what would work best for their own classrooms and students. I commend the effort of everyone involved; I couldn’t be prouder. The certification of every school is an achievement that will be celebrated throughout the entire the district.”
Among Future Ready’s key principles are the importance of:
- active learning that involves technology and “real-world” problem-solving
- school cultures dedicated to collaboration and innovation
- using assessment data to drive educational decisions
The schools received bronze certification which is awarded to schools at the first level of Future Ready implementation. This school year, the teams will work toward silver certification which requires schools to use their Future Ready experiences to further expand their use of digital learning tools (e.g., applications, media, video, websites, technology-powered collaboration and communication methods, etc.)
Zywicki sits on the national advisory team of Future Ready Schools. In 2018 he was named by the organization as a “district thought leader,” an honor recognizing his expertise in using instructional technology to improve learning.