Two of Roxbury’s seven schools recently earned the distinction of being named as Future Ready Schools as part of Roxbury’s district technology goal.
Future Ready Schools is a nationwide effort that started in 2015 in order to help school districts plan and implement personalized, research-based digital learning strategies so that all students could achieve their full potential.
New Jersey Future Ready Schools (FRS-NJ) is a certification program designed to promote digital learning readiness throughout New Jersey by providing guidance, support, direction, and resources to schools and districts.
The program will help guide the district’s commitment to creating 21st century digital learning environments and ensures that the district is following best practices and provides resources to continue to expand the implementation of digital learning strategies.
Superintendent Loretta Radulic shared at the board meeting on November 20th, “Achieving Future Ready status indicates that our schools are committed to creating a culture of innovation for teachers, as well as fully utilizing digital resources available in order to enhance teaching and accelerate student-learning outcomes. Our Future Ready distinction will also allow us to work with the organizations and companies associated with the special initiative so that we can better prepare our students for success in college, a career, and citizenship.”
She went on to say, “Back in 2015, when this first started, Teresa Rehman immediately saw the initiative, was excited by the initiative and took her own initiative. She gathered a group of us together so that we could discuss the various ways of measuring what we do in the district. She saw that we did a lot of things really well but we also saw areas for improvement and she’s been working towards that end.”
The district had to apply for this certification by meeting two phases of FRS-NJ—commitment and certification.
According to FRS-NJ, the commitment phase ensures that school districts are dedicated to supporting their school’s efforts, and that these efforts are collaborative. Once a district is committed, schools in the district can declare their participation and apply for certification.
The certification phase enables individual schools to apply for certification by taking actions that lead to success through the FRS-NJ indicators of Future Readiness. Each indicator is designed by a task force of NJ educators, leaders, and stakeholders to provide a framework for schools’ efforts to best prepare their students for success in college, career, and citizenship, connects educators with potential resources to do so, and provides the recognition due for success through certification.
The district will continuously work to maintain future ready status. “It is a collaborative effort. We have a district level future ready team and currently two school level teams,” shared Roxbury’s Director of Technology Teresa Rehman.
Rehman went on to say, “Our district had already been following the Future Ready Schools Framework at the national level, so we had a lot already in place. It also helps to evaluate our use of technology against best practices and get access to resources that may help us continuously improve.”
With two schools under its belt, Roxbury looks to expand the status to Lincoln/Roosevelt School this year and possibly the other four elementary schools in the future.
The certification and dedication to the program wasn’t easy according to Rehman. “It’s a lot of work. There was a lot of information we had to gather to fulfill the requirements of the indicators. The FRS teams and teachers assisted in providing us with information and samples we could submit.”
Their hardwork paid off and Superintendent Loretta Radulic presented Rehman, Roxbury’s Technology Integration Specialist Ruth Davis, Eisenhower Middle School’s Principal Dominick Miller, and Roxbury High School’s Principal Jeffrey Swanson with their building certifications and FRS banner at a public board meeting on November 20th.
PHOTO ABOVE (courtesy of Roxbury Township Public Schools)
- Roxbury Earns FRS Distinction (L to R) – Director of Technology Teresa Rehman, Technology Integration Specialist Ruth Davis, Eisenhower Middle School Principal Dominick Miller, and Roxbury High School Principal Jeffrey Swanson