You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.

You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there. -Yogi Berra

We do have to know where we are going, and most importantly, we have to know why we are going there. I had been introduced to Simon Sinek's Ted Talk at a conference last year. You can find it here:

I immediately bought the audio book version of  Sinek's "Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Action". I listened to it on my ride to and from work. This summer, the administrative team also read the book. And, as part of our professional development this year, we are engaging in our own book talk. 

Sinek's words resonated with me: "People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it." 

So, where are we going? And why?
What is the purpose of education? Why am I involved in this profession? What promise do we make to our learners when they walk through the doors …

WHY we must and do teach STEAM, PLTW, Coding, Google

Dear All,

Please take a few minutes to read “Amazon HQ expansion means tough fight for talent”.
As I read, I was thinking about how many friends of mine have children who graduated college and were not able to gain work in their area of study. This is why we must and do teach STEAM, PLTW, Coding, Google...we are creating the future workforce. We are giving our children opportunity to thrive in our fast-changing world.
To see more of what our future engineers, programmers, mobile app developers, software developers are learning, follow Mrs. Scamell at NHPGCPTECH on Instagram and @nhpgcptech on Twitter, and @StemHolzkamp, and @MrGiurlandaSTEM on Twitter. 
Enjoy some of the images captured by our staff! Look at the expressions on our children's faces!

Have a great day.

Jennifer Morrison, Ed.D. Superintendent of Schools

Thirty Years

Here Ellen describes the changes that have occurred in the world and in technology over the last thirty years.

Now try to imagine how much the world may change over the next thirty years. I worked in a video store throughout my college years. Video stores are now obsolete. Netflix is the new Blockbuster. 

If you do not remember Blockbuster (the company who decided not to buy Netflix after three offers to sell to them) please see video below to learn more...

Now take a moment to think about our children as adults thirty years from now. In their future, it seems plausible that a comedian will be explaining Netflix to their children.

It is impossible to know exactly what the future will look like for our children, but we can't prepare them to live in a world of the past. 

If you would like to learn more here is a  related article: Are we preparing for life or school?

What is Going on in the Library?

This year we are increasing the amount of time students in grades one through six spend with the Library Teacher from 30 minutes to 40 minutes (Kindergartners have traditionally had 40 minute periods). In addition, classroom teachers will now co-teach with the Library Teacher during the library period.

Topics for the year will include (and may be expanded upon):

Digital CitizenshipBook Exchange and LiteracyResearch and Inquiry
The first unit of study with the children will be "Digital Citizenship", using Common Sense Education materials: 

"Designed and developed in partnership with Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education -- and guided by research with thousands of educators -- each digital citizenship lesson takes on real challenges and digital dilemmas that students face today, giving them the skills they need to succeed as digital learners, leaders, and citizens tomorrow."
Why are we teaching Digital Citizenship? Watch this short video:

To learn mor…

Decoding Coding and Project Lead the Way (PLTW)

So, what exactly is coding and why and how is it being implemented in our schools this year?
In short, coding is computer programming. Coding is thinking. Coding is the future.

Coding is step-by-step directions created by a programmer. Here is a video that gives a short overview of Coding:

Coding is not difficult- it is the process of breaking down problems. It is a skill that students will need for the future. "Coders are the rockstars of the future!":

Our first through sixth grade students will spend half of the year working with Coding with Mrs. Holzkamp during their STEAM special (formerly known as Science Lab). We will be using resources such as Scratch and
The other half of the year will be spent with Mr. Giurlanda in Project Lead the Way (PLTW). You can learn more about PLTW here and here :

Mr. Giurlanda has been hard at work with our students in the STEAM lab! The feedback from the children has been incredible…

The Future Is Not What It Used to Be

Update 9/25/18: Our Technology Plan is now posted

Before reading this piece, please watch the "Did you know" video.

Back in August 2017, I shared this video with Jim Svendsen, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Technology.  In October 2017, he then played it for the Technology Advisory Committee (TAC), a group of thirty-two stakeholders, including teachers, administrators, and parents who met monthly over the course of the 2017-18 school year.
TAC was asked to answer the following question, which was recorded and compiled through Mentimeter and displayed via Samrtboard:

The larger words represent the words that were entered most frequently by the group, meaning they were seen as most important.
Their assignment was then to create a vision statement that would reflect their words and shape the plans for the implementation of technology in our district. With its content in mind, and through a series of discussions, t…

Work in Progress!

I had to share pictures of the new cafeteria floors at Road and Manor Oaks, respectively. Thank you to our Director of Facilities, Erik Nakutavicius, our custodians, and cleaners!