There are many challenges facing all public schools in New Jersey. Here at our school, Watchung Hills Regional, we must determine the next level of work to expand opportunities and continue to increase the academic achievement of ALL students. This is no easy task in a high performing school district. It is also becoming increasingly difficult to strike a balance between ensuring that we adhere to the multitude of recently introduced state mandates while continuing to enhance the rigorous and varied program of study we offer at Watchung Hills.
The implementation of the Common Core State Standards in Literacy and Mathematics as well as the announcement of the newly designed PARCC assessments both call for a significant realignment of our curricular program and assessments to a new set of standards. The implementation of the Common Core standards requires transformative work. Additionally, as of September 2013, we implemented an entirely new evaluation system for teachers and administrators that has called for rigorous training and increased responsibility for observations by administrators.
Aligned withthe requirements for the new evaluation system, the Common Core State Standards and the upcoming PARCC assessments, we have begun focusing on the development of common authentic assessments within departments and the use of student performance data to make instructional and curricular decisions.
Our curricular work does not only encompass a 9-12 scope. Articulation with our sending districts through collaboration on curriculum development and the sharing and analysis of student performance data will strengthen our program and expand our capacity to effectively meet student needs.
Our highly collaborative, dedicated staff, exceptionally talented students, and supportive, engaged community are essential components as we work to continually enhance achievement of ALL Watchung Hills students. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as the academic leader for the Watchung Hills Regional High School District.
Elizabeth C. Jewett