Memorial Elementary School has been awarded a Future Ready School (FRS)-NJ Silver Level Certification. It is the first school in Old Bridge Township to receive this level of recognition; it has undertaken this endeavor of self-assessment and planning in the 2019 certification cycle. In 2018, Memorial earned a Future Ready School-NJ Bronze Level Certification.

This year, James McDivitt and William Miller elementary schools were each awarded a Future Ready School-NJ Bronze Level Certification.

Future Ready Schools-New Jersey is a certification program designed to promote transformational change in schools and districts throughout New Jersey. FRS-NJ provides the guidance, support, direction, and resources schools need to achieve “Future Ready” goals, while fostering inclusive collaboration within schools and districts, and between them throughout the state.

Representatives from Memorial, McDivitt, and Miller schools were invited to celebrate their achievements with the FRS-NJ community at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at the Atlantic City Convention Center. The Future Ready Schools-NJ center on the exhibit floor will feature selected sessions by community members from across the state and will serve as a networking hub for the entire FRS-NJ community.

The certifications, which will expire in three years, were achieved after Future Ready teams came together, including representatives of a wide array of educational stakeholders, to explore the leadership, education, and technology components of the school and district through the lens of the FRS-NJ Indicators of Future Readiness.  

According to Memorial School Principal Raymond Payton, the FRS-NJ process provides schools and districts with the opportunity to continuously and inclusively ask themselves where they are now, where they want to be, and how they are going to get there.

“We are in an information age, powered by new technology connecting people, ideas, data, and content in a rapidly changing society,” said Payton. “As we work to prepare students for this world, we must ensure our schools provide them with a technologically rich environment.”

To achieve this, Memorial Elementary School has established a culture of digital innovation, where educators are empowered to deepen and extend student learning with the use of technology, digital content, and media, he said.

"I see technology as a resource to increase rigor and support student engagement, critical thinking, and the interpersonal skills necessary to solve real work problems,” said Payton.

Assistant Superintendent of Schools Kathleen Hoeker expressed her excitement over the certifications at three of the district’s 11 elementary schools.

“As our world continues to be infiltrated by technology it is our responsibility as educators to establish a culture where students and staff are empowered to explore the limitless opportunities,” Hoeker said. “Our schools have embraced the opportunity by challenging themselves through the Future Ready Schools Initiative. I am proud of their determination and success and am excited about the doors they have opened for our students.”

McDivitt Principal Laurie Anne Coletti said McDivitt Elementary School is thrilled to have received certification as a Bronze Tier Future Ready School. 

“A brief overview shows our staff and students utilize technology, embed technology in daily lessons, and are learning internet safety,” she said. “Our students and staff use Flip Grid to promote student voice, See Saw to promote reading, Sway to promote enhanced presentations, and Microsoft Immersive Reader to support comprehension. 

“Our school can be found on Twitter: @mcdivittschool, and our school website offers parent and student information.   Our students are offered the use of HP streams, Kindles, and iPads.  We have two computer labs and integrate technology into the climate and culture of our school.”

According to Coletti, teachers and the PTA use the Remind App to maintain the strong home/school relationship enjoyed at McDivitt. 

As a Bronze Tier Future Ready School, she said, McDivitt will strive to increase and heighten technology at all levels.

Miller School Principal Kim Giles said she is delighted that her elementary school was selected as a Future Ready School Bronze recipient. 

“The school/district goal is to empower students to become global citizens in this digital age,” she said.  “Our objective is to have students well prepared for success in college, career, and beyond. We are pleased to play a role in preparing our young people to be Future Ready!”