Brigantine Public Schools (01-0570)

Brigantine Public Schools

The Brigantine Public Schools' Mission Statement declares that we will "nurture the development of productive citizens who will be prepared to take their places as contributing members of 21st century society." Our schools are comprehensive 21st Century educational facilities that service students in grades PK-8. We maintain rigorous academic standards that enable our students to master the Common Core State Standards and the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards while successfully transitioning our students into positive contributing citizens within the school and larger community.

The Brigantine Public School District continues to be directly affected by the casino industry of Atlantic City as a community possessing the aesthetic appeal to attract second property homeowners. Our District began the process of reviewing our current Strategic Plan and implemented strategy discussions to build a framework of a new Strategic Plan that would guide our District into the future. We examined the effects of the casino industry and local economy on our District while continuing the preparation of students for the expanded array of skills they will need to compete in a global economy and workforce.

The Brigantine Public Schools continue to strive to provide a world-class education for students, implementing the expansion of technology and support for instruction. This movement has always been a large piece of the foundation of the educational programming for students in our District. Programs in both the Elementary and Middle Schools will redirect the primary focus of instruction towards 21st century learning, teaching, and leadership and continue to recognize students as digital learners. The District recognizes the shift that the PARCC assessments and standards changes are requiring and have focused on literacy instruction through Writer’s Workshop and Leveled Reading and extended math instructional time and redesigned mathematics course sequencing at the Middle School. We continue, however, to be at the forefront of technology integration through redesigned curricula, learning environments that promote creativity and cohort learning, the study of professional graphics, tablet-based learning, desktop interactive lessons, and dual-platform application that develops student engagement. The District has successfully integrated Smart Boards for whole-class instruction, implemented mobile iPad 2 Labs in both the Elementary and Middle schools, Google Chromebooks in both schools, STEM labs, special class offerings that include student troubleshooting of computer design and system upgrades, content-based research activities across the curriculum, TV Studio Production within our Gifted and Talented Education program, as well as the exploration of other learning opportunities via online methods. We continue to strive for programmatic excellence while supporting the skill-set necessary for student success in secondary school and beyond.

As part of our drive to support the development of well-rounded creative learners with an appreciation for the Arts, we continue to support the District-level instrumental music programs. The Elementary School music department continues to offer learning opportunities that cross cultures and instruments. Third and fourth grade students are instructed to read music and play the keyboard as part of the music curriculum. The Middle School continues to provide a curriculum that includes a twenty-four station keyboarding lab, instrumental music lessons, and units of instruction through technology-based applications and programs supporting artistic understanding. Beyond the classroom, a large number of students in the Elementary and Middle Schools receive instruction in guitar or violin, and the band and choir at the Middle School continue to be comprised of almost one-third of our student population.

As part of our support for job-embedded and long-term teacher professional development, our District-level and school level professional development plans cross pollinate with individual staff improvement plans to direct our professional learning initiatives. Experiences that enhance teacher knowledge, increase classroom expertise, and ultimately improve student learning will always be our focus. Our instructional environments are designed to develop responsible, independent, technologically proficient, culturally enriched and socially productive learners. We continue to examine classroom learning space and functionality. We support the growth of students through providing a professional vision for our staff that defines excellent classroom practice. Administrators and staff strive to reach the standards of the Rhode Island Model definition of highly effective classroom practice. Student Growth Objectives, benchmark designs, formal and informal assessment strategies, and professional goals are embedded in our in-house training and partnership with the SRI/ETTC at Stockton University. Our vision and mission remain to refocus instruction to meet the demands of the 21st century classroom and learner.

Our facilities continue to be a focus of our vision and mission as well. Green initiatives through two upwind pole mounted wind turbines as well as 1,170 photovoltaic 240 watt solar panels help reduce our carbon footprint while generating average energy savings in excess of $100,000. ROD Grant applications and projects were finalized and approved. Project work includes facilities’ upgrades in specific categories with forty percent state-funding that include - exterior wall waterproofing, ADA compliance upgrades, drainage maintenance, upgrade of building controls systems, HVAC work, and security upgrades. Our Strategic Plan focused on many factors and one being extending the life-span of our campus and buildings in a fiscally responsible manner while continuing to provide excellent educational facilities to the students, staff, and entire community.

Ultimately, the Brigantine Public Schools remain dedicated to educational excellence. Although many community members and families have been affected by the local economic hurdles as well as continuing to recover from Superstorm Sandy, our District and schools are committed to our students, families, and the community. Our Board of Education, administration, staff, and community work collectively to support student growth. Classroom practices, co-curricular offerings, and the overall Brigantine educational experience build a foundation of the values of civic-mindedness, creativity, social awareness, content knowledge, leadership and compassion for others.

We are Brigantine.