1) How are bus routes established? How are bus stops decided?
We use a web-based program to establish safe and efficient bus routes. The program uses student addresses and bus capacity to establish routes and further refines the routes to establish bus stops. The routes and stops are then reviewed by district personnel. Bus routes and stops can vary from year to year based on school enrollment, state transportation laws and guidelines, and the number of routes contracted and pickups needed. As always, student safety is our primary concern. Additionally, we are obligated to the community to provide a financially efficient system of transportation. We try very hard to balance parent convenience with efficiency, but we never compromise student safety.
2) How are textbooks selected?
Textbook selection is a very important process in the district. Curriculum Supervisors began sometimes two years in advance of the actual textbook implementation. A committee is formed to conduct a needs assessment and best practices research, to hear from other districts and publishing companies, and to establish an action plan. The committee includes teachers across grade levels, administrators, and parents. After narrowing down choices, district teachers participate in several pilot activities. Data are analyzed and used to select an appropriate textbook in each content area.
3) Why are there two teachers in my child’s classroom?
At times, both a general education and a special education teacher provide instruction and support to students. This dual teaching arrangement is designed to better address the needs of the students in each class and can take various forms. When two teachers teach all day with the same students, we describe that as a “co-teaching” arrangement. The special education teacher and the general education teacher collaborate and share their expertise to plan and deliver lessons for all students. When a special education teacher works closely with the general education teacher during parts of the day, we describe that as “in-class support” where the special education teacher takes charge of the needs of the special education students in that class. When a paraprofessional, a trained staff member who is not necessarily a teacher, works with students in the classroom to provide organizational assistance, this is an “in-class assistance” situation. In Warren, staff members work collaboratively to provide for the needs of all students.
4) How do our students compare to students in districts similar to ours?
Our students perform very well on standardized tests and consistently rank among the best schools in the state of New Jersey. However, we always can find areas where improvement is desired. Each year, Principals utilize the NJ-ASK data to drill down into individual and cohort performance and work with teachers to plan instruction accordingly. We continually work toward improvement.
5) How are decisions about class placement made?
Grade level teachers work with the Administration to assign students to classrooms where they think they will most likely be successful. They consider student-teacher match as well as the group dynamic within the classroom.
6) How are district policies established?
The Board of Education establishes all district policies. Policies are developed in response to changes in the law as well as to evolving needs in the district. Each policy revision is discussed with a Board committee, then placed on the Board agenda for a first reading and subsequent second reading/adoption. Once finalized, the policy is added to the district’s website.