The Caldwell-West Caldwell School District, in a collaborative partnership with family, community, and school, will provide the essential resources, opportunities, and experiences that will foster as well as challenge all pupils to achieve their greatest potential as lifetime self-directed learners; critical and creative thinkers; and responsible, productive citizens.
It is the expectation of this school district that students demonstrate academic integrity at all times, that they achieve the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards and Common Core Standards at all grade levels, and that all graduates from James Caldwell High School are college and career ready.
Statement of Educational Philosophy
In order to be college and career ready, our students must develop 21st Century Skills: critical thinking and problem solving; communication; collaboration; and creativity and innovation. The development of these skills is a necessity for all, not a luxury for a few. It requires a combination of the mastery of content knowledge and skills, and the ability to understand the big ideas that connect them. 1 Learning in this form is facilitated by inventive lessons with transparent outcomes that foster personalization, so that students can leave their own unique imprint on their learning.
Both the assessment of individual learning goals and the evaluation of the overall goals of the school system require consideration of a wide variety of indicators, including measures of student achievement, qualitative feedback from students and parents, and long-term individual attainments. The evaluation of student learning and educator effectiveness cannot be reduced to the review of one or two metrics.
Schools must be places where students can take intellectual risks, learn and grow from their challenges in a supportive atmosphere, and develop the grit and resilience required to achieve their greatest potential.
1-Wiggins and McTighe, Schooling By DesignStrategic Goals
1. Student Achievement
At any given time, our district is pursuing many student achievement goals. Our main objectives for the next four years, however, will be:
a. Complete the next four years of the district’s Five Year Curriculum Plan. This will include:
-Ensuring that students meet Common Core and NJCCC standards;
-Sustaining district initiatives in Language Arts Literacy such as DRA, Writers’ Workshop, and the Middle States writing goal;
-Promoting excellence in Math and Science, e.g., via the GCMS STEM program and the new K-8 math program.
b. Review the ways in which we address the academic needs of all learners:
- I&RS programs/Gifted & Talented/Differentiated Instruction/Honors programs
c. Achieve objectives in support of the Middle States Academic Integrity goal.
2. Professional Growth of Staff
We pursue our goals for student academic achievement mainly by promoting the professional growth of staff. Our main objectives in this area for the next four years are:
a. Provide the professional development necessary to support student achievement goals.b. Continue to revise the Observation and Evaluation System for Teachers and Principals.c. Provide support for district educators in analyzing and responding to data.
Instructional technology is a critical tool for 21st Century learning. Our main objectives for the next four years in improving this aspect of our educational system are:
a. Establish a reliable infrastructure for our instructional and management technology.b. Meet PARCC readiness standards by supporting the delivery of online PARCC assessments and maintaining consistent access / connectivity.c. Foster global classrooms where the 4C’s (communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking) are valued.
4. Maintenance of facilities and fields
The buildings and grounds provide the literal foundation on which our educational programs stand. Our main objectives for maintaining them over the next four years are:
a. Prioritize renovations for fields and facilities.
b. Explore a referendum for providing upgrades such as energy efficient HVAC and windows, expansion of buildings for full-day Kindergarten, artificial turf for one or more playing fields, etc.
c. Explore the possibilities of additional revenue through grants, inter-district school choice, etc.