District Administration February 2018 - 22

BeyondtheNews
NUTS AND BOLTS

Project Reach connects with at-risk students
To expand support for its at-risk
students, Berkeley Township School
District three years ago held six meetings with teachers, parents, businesses,
nonprofits, the Berkeley Police Department and the Division of Children
Protection and Permanency.
Administrators in the New Jersey
district-working with guidance counselors, nurses and parents-identified
at-risk students struggling socially,
academically and at home. "We wanted
to get the full picture so we could
help the whole child," says Jeff Zito,
assistant superintendent of elementary
services.
A combination of grants, donations, and discounted materials and
services from the community led to the
creation of Project Reach-a multiprogram approach that helps at-risk
students get back on track. Programs
include a reading camp, after-school
activities and makerspaces.
District administrators chose staff
members through interview processes,
while others required certifications.
For example, teachers interested in
Extended School Year-a program that
serves all special education students
with a specially tailored curriculum
using Chromebooks, smartboards and
STEM activities-needed a special ed
teaching certificate so they could properly address the needs of these learners.
Administrators also required participants in Camp Paw-a summer
reading program for students in grades
1 through 6-to have specialized reading training.
Teachers who were selected then
discussed responsibilities with the
director of their specific program, says
Cara Burton, principal of Clara B.
Worth School. For instance, the director of Camp Paw leads a staff orientation meeting where responsibilities are
outlined with input from the group,
she says.
22 February 2018

REACHING AT-RISK STUDENTS-Through Berkeley Township's Project Reach,
at-risk students can participate in Camp Paw, a summer program that provides
extra learning opportunities, including reading and STEM activities.

During the summer
Initial funding for Camp Paw came
from nonprofit donations, including a
$35,000 grant from learning disabilities organizations.
Camp leaders match students with
teachers based on student data from
the previous school year, says Kevin
Waldron, assistant principal of Berkeley Township Elementary School.
A single day at Paw consists of multiple activities, including two hours of
class time, STEM activities, personal
development and field trips. This
schedule poses a challenge. "The hardest thing is making sure Camp Paw
doesn't get too big to where it becomes
difficult to effectively address the individual needs of our student population," Waldron says.
Two years ago, the superintendent
and school board officially added
Camp Paw to the budget after student
test scores increased.
Bridge Camp, which fills the gap
between the school year and summer,
has required little to no funding. Vari-

ous organizations, including the Wildlife Conservatory and county libraries,
visit schools at no cost, and local pizza
restaurants and ice cream parlors provide discounted food.
After-school programs
Transportation for after school activities was a challenge for many parents.
The district received permission from
the Berkeley Township Housing
Authority, the town council and the
school board to use a recreation building for Operation Schoolhouse to give
students and teachers access three days
per week to computers with Wi-Fi.
Students who live nearby can walk to
the building, says Zito.
An officer from the local police
department provides security at a discounted rate.
The district also received nearly
$40,000 from the Ocean County
Department of Education for Project
Starfish, which offers yoga, STEM
activities, music therapy and other
soothing exercises for homeless and
District Administration



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration February 2018

District Administration February 2018 - Intro
District Administration February 2018 - Cover1
District Administration February 2018 - Cover2
District Administration February 2018 - 1
District Administration February 2018 - 2
District Administration February 2018 - 3
District Administration February 2018 - 4
District Administration February 2018 - 5
District Administration February 2018 - 6
District Administration February 2018 - 7
District Administration February 2018 - 8
District Administration February 2018 - 9
District Administration February 2018 - 10
District Administration February 2018 - 11
District Administration February 2018 - 12
District Administration February 2018 - 13
District Administration February 2018 - 14
District Administration February 2018 - 15
District Administration February 2018 - 16
District Administration February 2018 - 17
District Administration February 2018 - 18
District Administration February 2018 - 19
District Administration February 2018 - 20
District Administration February 2018 - 21
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District Administration February 2018 - 60
District Administration February 2018 - Cover3
District Administration February 2018 - Cover4
District Administration February 2018 - 66
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