Our Educational Program
The Old Bridge Public School’s educational program is driven principally by the district’s mission statement:
“… To empower each student to learn, to achieve success, and to become a confident, productive member of a pluralistic, global society prepared to face the challenges of the 21st century.”
Underpinning this mission is the district’s philosophy which asserts that addressing the needs of the “whole” child in a safe and supporting learning environment, fosters self-esteem, and a love for learning which in turn enables all children to achieve at their highest level possible. To this end, our district places a high priority on its award winning character education program for which Old Bridge Public Schools was recognized as a “National School District of Character” for the 2014-15 school year, a testament to our community’s emphasis on respect, tolerance and fairness.
In concert with our philosophy is a steadfast commitment to curricular/professional standards, data, and feedback-informed decision-making relative to our educational programs. The district maintains a sharp focus on emerging best practices and current standards such as the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards, while at the same time thinking critically about what will work best for our community and its youngsters. In Old Bridge, all curriculum areas are continuously reviewed and revised to insure the highest quality instructional program. Committees of teachers and administrators research the best educational practices, instructional materials and resources, align curriculum objectives to the appropriate state and national standards and the New Jersey Model Curriculum, and develop plans for program implementation and evaluation. An extensive professional learning program provides staff with the necessary training and support to effectively deliver outstanding educational services. All subject and curriculum guides may be found on the Old Bridge District website.
Above all, the district uses the Partnership for 21st Century Learning framework as the foundation of its curriculum, instruction, and assessment. The framework identifies learning and innovation skills which are essential for academic, professional, and personal success in the 21st century, the four Cs: critical thinking, communication, creativity, and collaboration.
Last and perhaps most importantly our district values parents/guardians and community partners as valuable stakeholders who can not only help to inform the district’s decision-making; but also actively participate as partners in the most important mission of all: educating and nurturing the academic, social, and emotional growth of our community’s children.
Language Arts Literacy
Journeys New Jersey Student Learning Standards
Journeys Common Core is the district 4th grade English Language Arts program that is designed to meet the rigor of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards. Based on the principles of balanced literacy, the program incorporates writing and reading instruction through shared, guided, interactive, and independent reading. Students will be introduced to a diverse array of informational text and contemporary literature that increases in complexity as students move through the program. Students will be introduced to decoding, grammar, text-based comprehension, spelling and vocabulary through word study instruction; a developmentally based approach that creates general academic vocabulary and encourages deeper engagement in words and text.
Students learn to read through a combination of whole group, small group and individualized programs. Phonemic awareness is an essential component of the program. Writing instruction is infused into the students’ day through mini-lessons that integrate learning groups in the process. Vocabulary, grammar, and spelling are also embedded in this comprehensive approach to language arts. Students also will continue practicing opinion, narrative, and informational writing techniques.
Fourth grade students continue to learn many skills, including: naming and using knowledge of prefixes and suffixes, reading irregularly spelled words, applying knowledge of syllabication, using knowledge of vowel diphthongs, digraphs, and variants, and using knowledge of long and short vowels. Reading strategies such as questioning, connecting, inferring, summarizing, and determining importance are at the core of students’ daily instruction. Comprehension skills include drawing conclusions, recognizing cause and effect, making predictions, comparing and contrasting information, and identifying the main idea. Differentiated instruction provides an effective and efficient language arts program where students can develop as critical thinkers who become life-long readers and writers.
enVisionmath2.0 (2016) is the newly adopted district core math program. It is a comprehensive, blended digital and print mathematics program designed to help your child achieve the mathematical proficiency levels established by the district, providing the foundation for future math courses. Your child will be actively involved in using both concrete and digital tools to develop deep mathematical understanding through practice and problem-solving in every math lesson. You can expect your child to learn and practice math concepts in a variety of ways, such as:
- Solving problems and explaining mathematical thinking both in writing and online
- Using online resources to build understanding
- Completing homework that promotes computational thinking, fluency, and application of skills
- Engaging in online practice through worked-out examples and supplemental videos
- New Jersey Student Learning Standards introduced in Grade 4, supported by Mathematical Practices:
- Use the four operations with whole numbers to solve problems
- Gain familiarity with factors and multiples
- Generate and analyze patterns
- Generalize place value understanding for multi-digit whole numbers
- Use place value understanding and properties of operations to perform multi-digit arithmetic
- Extend understanding of fraction equivalence and ordering
- Build fractions from unit fractions by applying and extending previous understandings of operations on whole numbers
- Understand decimal notation for fractions, and compare decimal fractions
- Solve problems involving measurement and conversion of measurements from a larger unit to a smaller unit
- Represent and interpret data
- Geometric measurement- understand concepts of angle and measurements of angles
- Draw and identify lines and angles, and classify shapes by properties of their lines and angles
Response To Intervention (RTI)
In order to better address the needs of “reaching” learners the district utilizes a Response to Intervention (RTI) program: RTI is a framework designed to provide educational support to students. It is most commonly used to address learning challenges in reading and mathematics but is also applicable to social emotional needs. Initial screening assessments are administered to all students and support plans are developed for any student not meeting grade-level expectations. Interventions may take place within the classroom or outside of it depending on the nature of support required. Our teachers, interventionists, and paraprofessionals provide a variety of data/evidence informed interventions to ensure each student’s success. Thus, student progress is regularly monitored to guide decision-making about instruction throughout the school year.
In fourth grade, students focus on the geography and people of New Jersey, past to present. Students learn about the political foundations of New Jersey and research the contributions made by New Jersey. Students use geography tools to locate, describe, and compare the natural/physical features of our state, and study how transportation and communication networks contributed to its development. Students will analyze the chronology of significant events throughout New Jersey’s history and their effect on diversity and tolerance today. In addition, students will understand how New Jersey served as a central birthplace of the United States of America and the creation of the government.
Music & Art
Music and Art are regarded as essential parts of a child's development. Aside from the inclusion of various Art and Music projects into the academic curriculum, our elementary school art and music teachers work diligently to expose and educate their students to various aspects of music and art production and appreciation. The programs are spiraled in nature so that the information introduced will be revisited and will gradually increase in depth and scope. The students' works are proudly displayed around the schools as well as in the Central Administration building. Many of their works have also been displayed at the Old Bridge Public Library during March, Youth Art Month.
The Music Program at the elementary level provides students an introduction to basic notation and music production on their own precorder. The instrumental program which now begins in fourth grade allows the students to have a broader exposure to music production and appreciation and gives students the opportunity to begin playing woodwind, brass, and string instruments. Here students gain fundamental knowledge of instrumentation and ensemble performance. Together, the art and music programs provide an exceptional foundation for the continued study and enrichment of your children.
Old Bridge Schools are on the cutting edge of pedagogical theory when it comes to language instruction. The realization that secondary language learning occurs easiest at younger ages spurred the development of our elementary language program. The elementary language instruction program incorporates the instruction of language and culture beginning in third grade. Coupled with weekly reviews, the cultural and linguistic benefits are exceptional. In today's multicultural world, it is essential that students be exposed to multiple languages. Early world language study has also been linked to benefits in later educational accomplishments and higher test scores. We are proud and pleased to offer language instruction in grades 3-5, and encourage the continuation of multiple language study throughout our programs in middle and high school.
The elementary school grade-level curricula are aligned to the approved Next Generation Science Standards that were adopted and implemented statewide in September, 2014. The three of each standard of the NGSS are disciplinary core ideas, scientific and engineering practices, and cross-cutting concepts.
Science is a human activity through which problems dealing with natural phenomena can be identified and defined, followed by having potential courses of action proposed and tested before determining a final solution. Science instruction incorporates a format of differentiated learning strategies and instructional activities with an emphasis on student-centered hands-on opportunities. Scientific investigatory practices such as measurement, observation, data collection, and analysis of results, are infused in the instructional process to create different pathways that address the needs of diverse learners. The process of using the scientific method helps students to develop and hone investigation skills, to thus better understand their surroundings and to make practical connections that apply content material and experiences to real world situations.
Recognizing the globalization of 21st century learners, science education must lay the foundation for developing scientific literacy to allow our students to successfully participate in a world increasingly shaped by science and technology. Thus, there are continual cross-curricula efforts in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to develop and refine skills such as critical thinking, complex problem solving, operations and systems analysis, and both deductive and inductive reasoning. New Jersey, in its push for college and career readiness, has identified such knowledge and skills as those deemed essential for future personal and professional success.
The Physical Education Curriculum at the fourth grade level is exciting, challenging, and full of expectations. As students’ curiosity heightens, so do the skill levels in the areas of gymnastics, games, dance, and physical fitness. The teachers encourage students to devise creative problem solving solutions to a wide range of movement criteria. Through the concepts of team work and communication, students accomplish tasks and develop a sense of community. Fitness testing moves to a comparative analysis of National and Local Standards. The test is designed to help students self-assess their fitness levels and motivate them to remain active on their own while participating in enjoyable activities. Emphasis is placed upon personal improvement rather than specific performance goals.
Health Education focuses on providing students with the skills necessary to lead healthy, safe and active lifestyles. Presentation of all topics falls under the umbrella of “personal wellness” and strives to help children incorporate healthy habits and attitudes into their daily routines. Topics include: body systems, personal health, safety, nutrition, diseases and medicines, and family living. All topics follow the New Jersey Core Curriculum Standards and are developmentally and age appropriate in their content and delivery.
New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Technology challenge students at all grade levels to master higher-order thinking skills as well as to become responsible digital citizens of our global society. Old Bridge Township Public Schools offers robust technology training at all grade levels. Classroom teachers integrate technology across all subject areas in their own classrooms in addition to computer lab instruction by a computer literacy teacher throughout the year as part of the Related Arts cycle.
In addition to New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Technology, technology instruction also supports New Jersey Student Learning Standards for 21st Century Life and Careers. These college and workplace readiness skills include:
- Creativity and innovation
- Communication and collaboration
- Conducting research and using information
- Critical thinking and problem solving
- Using technology in all forms effectively and productively
Our curriculum is supported through the use of the following applications:
Keyboarding software; Microsoft Office & Office 365; Internet Safety; Coding; Teacher-selected Internet sites; an awareness of the student’s role and responsibilities in the global society.
Students in Grade 4 also begin to investigate the impact of technology systems: design process and problem solving. Students continue to develop their “coding” skills by utilizing various coding websites and participating in the global “Hour of Code” activities. Our students continue to develop information literacy skills and increasingly use technology to communicate safely and effectively with others in support of learning.
Students in Grade 3 through 12 are assigned logon credentials for Office 365 which allow them to utilize Microsoft products in a “cloud” environment.
Elementary students in Grades 2 through 5 are assigned an individual ID for Study Island which can be used at home. In addition to practice in English Language Arts and Math, Study Island also helps students become more comfortable with the computer testing format. Students also begin to prepare for online testing by using interactive websites. Resources for online test preparation can be found at www.obparcc.com.
Family members can also assist with these efforts at home by helping Grade 2 students responsibly visit “kid-friendly” websites. A listing of additional websites and resources are available from the computer literacy teachers.