100 Ways to Be #FutureReady

By Brad Currie posted 11 days ago

  
  1. School and District Stakeholders tell their stories and stay connected through the #WeAreChesterNJ hashtag.
  2. The technology department constantly monitors and updates heat maps to ensure proper internet coverage throughout the district.
  3. Students have access to and participate in maker spaces on a daily basis.
  4. Teachers participate in professional learning communities to stay current with best practices and implement learning strategies that impact student success.
  5. Elementary school students have the option in participating in an after school Minecraft Club.
  6. Middle school students participate in module based learning activities in computer application class that includes virtual reality, 3D printing, flight simulator, coding, Raspberry Pi and Google Certification courses to name a few.
  7. Students interact with various authors during the school through Skype or Google Hangout to learn about the writing process.
  8. Over 50 staff members are either Level I or Level II Google Certified Educators and/or Google Certified Trainers.
  9. Teachers and students throughout the district are currently piloting the Google Jamboard and Google Jamboard app to understand how collaboration works in the digital world.
  10. Several classrooms throughout the district have totally committed to showing what they know about the topic at hand through a digital portfolio tool called SeeSaw.
  11. The 7th grade language arts class is participating in the Global Read Aloud.
  12. Staff and students are supported by 4 hybrid technology coaches, 1 literacy coach, 1 mathematics coach, and 1 special education coach.
  13. Staff members over the years have attended and presented at various conferences including ISTE, NJECC, Pequannock Tech Summit, National Principals Conference, and NJAMLE to name a few.
  14. 7th grade students have the option to engage with and learn from inspiring people in society through the Inspiration Cafe.
  15. Each school year, student teachers from Drew University use the Swivl to record and analyze the effectiveness of their teaching.
  16. BreakoutEDU immersive games are used by students in various grade levels and subject areas.
  17. Students throughout the district take brain breaks using an online platform called GoNoodle.
  18. Teachers and students in math, language arts, and science use IXL for diagnostic purposes and to identify learning gaps in real time.
  19. The Technology Department including the Director of Technology, technicians, and data specialist ensure that all physical and virtual technologies are running effectively and efficiently at all times.
  20. Students in grades 2-8 learn in a 1:1 Chromebook environment.
  21. 7th grade science students participate in smartphone based scavenger hunts to learn about the topic at hand.
  22. 5th grade students use the jigsaw method and create formative assessments using tools like Kahoot and Google Forms to learn about the 3 branches of government.
  23. Elementary students learn more in depth about various math and science topics using Explore Learning Gizmos.
  24. 3rd grade students use Google Drawings to create maps of their communities.
  25. 5th grade students use Empatico to connect with and learn from other classroom around the world.
  26. Black River Middle School has been redesignated three times as a National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform School to Watch from 2010-2020.
  27. Google Classroom is used by teachers and students in grades 2-8 to communicate and support a paperless workflow.
  28. Students at all grade levels consistently use Edutyping to practice their typing skills.
  29. Teachers collaborate on and update curriculum using Rubicon Atlas.
  30. Students with speech impairments communicate and show what they know about the topic at hand through the use of an iPad.
  31. 3rd Grade students use FrontRow mic and speakers to promote student voice.
  32. Middle school students play chess strengthen their minds and learn about competitive strategies.
  33. 2nd grade students record and analyze their reader theater performances on a Chromebooks.
  34. Middle school art students use teacher created tutorials to learn about and apply certain techniques and methods.
  35. Teachers help teachers learn how to use Twitter to expand their PLNs on a consistent basis.
  36. The school district offers programming for parents such as Supporting Resilient Teens.
  37. School and district administrators stay current with best practices in the areas of next generation curriculum development with Jay McTighe.
  38. Student learn about being a good digital citizen and cyber bullying.
  39. State and local assessments are analyzed using a program LinkIt.
  40. Middle school students use Tinkercad to learn about 3D modeling.
  41. 4th grade students learn about how materials interact with light in STEM class.
  42. 8th grade students programming EZ-Robots in computer applications class.
  43. 5th grade students use Peardeck to enhance their vocabulary skills.
  44. 5th grade students collaborating on whiteboard tables to redesign sidewalks.
  45. 2nd grade students use interactive SmartPanels to solve math problems.
  46. 6th grade students learning how to draft a proper email to adults/teachers.
  47. Elementary students participating in the Scholastic Reading Inventory assessment to obtain real time data on reading skills.
  48. Elementary students using pedometers in physical education class to set healthy goals.
  49. K-8 student participate in the annual Chester Science Fair.
  50. Elementary student using Plickers to assess student's knowledge of technology in real time.
  51. Schools use Smore digital newsletters to communicate school happenings with stakeholders.
  52. Middle school library moves to Starbucks type seating so students learn in a comfortable environment.
  53. Middle school PTO supports efforts to install Reach digital signage throughout building.
  54. Middle school students participate in One School One Book initiative through advisory groups.
  55. Middle school students learn about the career path of a meteorologist.
  56. The Education Foundation of the Chesters supports many innovative programs on an annual basis.
  57. Parents, teachers, and students throughout the district use the Powerschool Parent Portal to stay current with grades and other important information.
  58. Data Privacy is really important to all Chester stakeholders. A webpage was created to keep everyone informed.
  59. The Chester PTO supports many educational activities and programming throughout the school year.
  60. The Chester School District use Blackboard to communicate important information and school happenings through email, text, phone, and app.
  61. The Chester School District staff uses the Share911 app to communicate during a emergency situation.
  62. Preschoolers use Osmo and an iPad to learn number sense.
  63. K-2 students participate in Hour of Code on an annual basis.
  64. Students in grades 3-5 use the NAO Educational Robot to learn about STEM based topics.
  65. Bragg Elementary School students participate in TREP$.
  66. Middle school students Face Time family in Peru.
  67. Middle School students publish their own books.
  68. Chester Police Department meets with students to talk about online safety.
  69. Technology department runs phishing simulations to teach staff about online safety.
  70. Technology department participates in Tech Jam to learn more about the Jamboard.
  71. Chester administrator co-authors book about supporting educators in the digital world.
  72. Middle school student participate in Tri District Tech Summit to show each other about emerging technologies.
  73. Science students use Google Expeditions to go on virtual field trips.
  74. K-2 students use the Qball to promote student voice.
  75. Middle school students use Google Hangouts to join class on a sick day.
  76. Chester alumni come back to share knowledge about coding with current students.
  77. Parents and community members share their expertise with students on Career Day.
  78. Middle school students use TouchCast to create their very own newscast in class.
  79. 7th graders Skype with people from Uganda to learn more about life and culture.
  80. Middle school students visit local radio station to share their public service announcements.
  81. Chester staff receive the bi-monthly Bulldog Bulletin to stay current with best practice resources in the field of education.
  82. 6th graders use Flipgrid to teach peers about myths in language arts class.
  83. Middle school students use the Swivl to record Mock Trial.
  84. Literacy coach builds website for staff to stay current with trends in reading and writing.
  85. Chester students participate in annual Science Fair.
  86. Social Studies teacher flips class rules for all students to enjoy.
  87. Middle school students have opportunity to participate in the Meteorology Club.
  88. Staff and students have access to Learning Ally to support struggling readers.
  89. 5th grade students use Screencastify to show what they know about science.
  90. Middle school students creating stop motion projects in art class.
  91. Elementary schools host Math and Movement Family Fun Night.
  92. Middle school students using CospacesEDU to create their own virtual reality.
  93. 4th grade students use BreakOutEDU to learn about the Revolutionary War.
  94. Bragg Elementary School offers many clubs for students to participate in including Robotics, KanJam, Minecraft, Technology, and Destination Imagination.
  95. Elementary art teachers uses Instagram to highlight student work.
  96. K-2 students experience STEM based activities in a secret lab.
  97. Dickerson Elementary School follows a technology benchmark chart to check progress throughout the school year.
  98. Students can participate in the Explore and Soar Summer Enrichment Program to learn high interest topics.
  99. 7th graders participate in Biome Zoo Interdisciplinary Project.
  100. Middle school students learn about planes and flight from a parent volunteer and using a flight simulator.
As you can see the "future ready" list is quite comprehensive and could easily eclipse the 200 mark. We are really proud of the diverse and innovative experiences that students take part in on a daily basis here in the Chester School District. Our teachers take great pride in being "risk-takers" and exhausting all options to ensure that students have a great day every day. 
Brad Currie is the Director of Planning, Research, and Evaluation for the Chester School District in Chester, NJ. Reach out to Brad via email at brad.currie@chester-nj.org or connect with him on Twitter @thebradcurrie
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