By Ashley Bouwense
Washington Township School (WTS) District had so many memorable moments this school year—hundreds, in fact—that it was difficult for Superintendent Jeffery Mohre to choose only a few to highlight for this School Wrap-Up story.
The 2015-2016 school year proved to be one of innovative programs, student awards, new technologies and looking to an even brighter future for the district.
One memorable moment Mohre pointed out was when the district shined “a spotlight on school programs as part of the Board of Education’s (BOE) Board Meetings at Our Schools program.”
During the gathering, the schools’ principals hosted a meeting where they—along with their students and faculty— presented a school program of their choosing. The BOE learned about art, personal wellness, nutrition and other programs from the array of opportunities for involvement afforded to Long Valley Middle School (LVMS) students.
Some other memorable moments include: LVMS Destination Imagination Team’s trip to this year’s Global Finals competition in Knoxville, Tenn.; the art, dance, theater, choral, instrumental and sporting performances student performances; WTS’ and Sodexo’s third annual Taste of Washington Township Junior Chef’s Competition; WTS’ Memorial Day observances featuring visits with U.S. Veterans; the district’s outstanding, year-long Professional Development series; and the 50th Birthday Celebration of Old Farmers Road School.
The culmination of all of these events led to the celebratory eighth grade commencement ceremony June 15, where 318 students graduated from LVMS.
The district also added new technologies this year, and Mohre said, “The additions of new technologies are perennial features in our schools.”
A 3-D laser printer was instituted to the middle school’s STEM program this year from a BASF Science Education Grant. The students received the printer and they learned about 3-D design and how to print three-dimensional objects.
“The power of technology has added a fascinating element to instruction and learning here in the Washington Township Schools,” said Mohre.
The district’s primary grade levels partnered with the Institute of Multi-Sensory Education this year to enhance reading education. Forty-two teachers were trained in the art and science of Orton-Gillingham—a method of multi-sensory approach to reading instruction—where educators learned strategies to further enhance their instructional practice.
Scholastic achievements abound at WT schools, Mohre explained. Two student award ceremonies were held this spring—one for the elementary students and one for the middle school students— to celebrate students’ gifts in the arts, sciences, linguistics and mathematics.
While there are a multitude of memorable moments to look back upon, there are exciting initiatives to look forward to in the upcoming school year.
Mohre said the district should bring two solar fields to utilize the sun’s energy for LVMS and Benedict A. Cucinella School.
The district will also launch its Next Generation Science Curriculum at the middle school, unveil a new standards-based report card in the elementary schools, continue its literacy partnership with the University of Pennsylvania, further enhance teacher skillset in teaching and reading through Orton-Gillingham literacy training and update Wi-Fi districtwide.
“Here in the Washington Township Schools, we enjoy tremendous support from the members of our school community whose devotion to our town’s children serve as the cornerstone for school success,” praised Mohre. “From students’ parents, to our faculty… our administration, board of education, public safety personnel and the youth organizations who support our schools in countless ways, we are indeed fortunate to have so many positive forces helping to provide for and guide the youth of our community. I feel great pride knowing that our primary focus will continue to be on the development of healthy, well-rounded young people in our community.”