Roxbury Township Public Schools begins another year filled with optimism, tips for helping students succeed, and a few new staff members too!
The staff was welcomed back on Tuesday morning with a breakfast sponsored by Lincoln Financial Group. Following breakfast staff filtered into the auditorium to uplifting music to get the energy up for another new year.
Superintendent Loretta Radulic and Board of Education Vice President Patricia Miller greeted staff and shared inspirational goals to strive for balance and perspective this year which was followed by the keynote speaker Dr. Debbie Silver, author of Fall Down 7 Times Get up 8, Teaching Kids to Thrive, and Deliberate Optimism. Silver spent 30 years as a teacher, staff development instructor, and university professor, and has given presentations around the world.
She shared her inspirational stories and practical strategies while the audience was in constant laughter. Her infectious humor presented real world problems with practical solutions that she has seen over her time as an educator and how these strategies can be implemented in the classroom and in everyday life.
The afternoon breakout sessions for grades K-6 and 7-12 allowed staff to work more closely with Dr. Silver on “Teaching Kids to Thrive.”
This opening day in-service brings new faces to the district as well. There are 39 new teaching staff members beginning the school year in Roxbury. The mix of new hires included general and special education teachers, guidance counselors, and leave replacements.
“We welcome them to the Roxbury family and wish them much success,” shared Radulic.
Even though summer has come and gone, the learning never stopped in Roxbury from the top down. In early August, the administrative team participated in a three-day retreat where they received training on how to enhance Student Growth Objectives, how to be effective instructional leaders, and how to support English Language Learners in the classroom.
“It was an exciting three days of learning, professional development and comradery. We continue to believe that learning is continuous, and we are all capable of reaching new heights. If we believe in preparing the children of today, we must continue to embrace our own learning,” said Radulic.
Radulic mentioned during her opening day speech to the staff how the district revisited the district goals and although they look similar to last year, the action plans under each one have been updated.
“All goals and plans are in writing and available on the district website at www.roxbury.org. Please take a look. We continue to progress towards the attainment of all of them. These are exciting times with a clear path towards our vision of providing opportunities for our students through transformative instruction, infusion of technology, course offerings, and a growth mindset, and in this way, preparing them to embrace a future of possibilities.”
In addition to the administrative retreat, district educators had a chance at summer training as well with ‘Get Tech-Cited’ workshops in mid-August. Teachers leading teachers in these workshops covered topics dealing with technology in the classroom.
August wrapped up with a three-day new teacher orientation at Roxbury High School for new staff.
Numerous building projects also happened district-wide this summer. “Since environment also sets a tone of expectation, provides a sense of pride, and enhances learning acquisition, we have focused on ensuring that our buildings are prepared for this year’s opening. A number of schools have received lighting upgrades. This has also been the ‘summer of roofs’ with Roxbury High School, Lincoln/Roosevelt School, and Kennedy receiving partial and complete roof replacements. In addition, Roxbury High School’s girl’s locker room was renovated, Eisenhower Middle School has new science labs and gym floor, and Franklin Elementary School has new windows. Most noticeable are the changes being made to the entrances of the high school, middle school, and Lincoln/Roosevelt. These new security vestibules are related specifically to our Safety and Security goals and are the first phase of the initiative to increase the physical security of our buildings. We are fortunate that the state has allowed districts to use the Emergency Reserve fund towards the initiative.”
These vestibules at the grades 6 through 12 schools are expected to be completed by October.
The buildings are beginning to shine and will be ready for the students’ return on Thursday for another school year!