Union City School District (17-5240)

Union City School District

Report Card Narratives
New Jersey Department of Education
UNION CITY (17-5240)
The vision of the Union City School District is focused on achieving one crucial goal, which is to enable all of our students to acquire the skills, understandings and attitudes needed to be productive and successful members of our society.

Perhaps one of the most compelling reasons for the success of our vision has been to focus on the national Common Core State Standards (CCSS) & Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). These standards ensure the success of all our children by setting higher expectations, redesigning rigorous curricula that go far beyond basic skills, and establishing learning environments that facilitate active student learning.

The Union City School District is currently being highlighted as a high performing school district not only at the state level but nationally as well. Chronicled in "Improbable Scholars", a book by Dr. David Kirp, it is identified as a model for sustained academic achievement.

To compete in our global, information-based economy, students must be able to solve real problems, reason effectively, and make logical connections. Embedded in our approach to education is an image of children, families, community and teachers working together in making our schools dynamic and creating democratic learning environments. All stakeholders strive to provide high-quality, equitable educational opportunities to all children in our schools. By encouraging the maximum human and intellectual development of our children, the Union City School District promotes a commitment to equity and excellence.

A major focus of the district is to support early literacy, which begins with pre-reading development of pre-school age children and continues with the five dimensions in early reading into the primary grades. Another important undertaking is our mathematics initiative, in which technology integration, hands -on activities, and interdisciplinary projects are structured to improve math achievement in grades Pre-K through twelfth grade.

The Eugenio Maria de Hostos Early Childhood Center, which opened seven years ago, continues to be a model for Early Childhood Education. The center services nearly three hundred pre-school through kindergarten students in a state of the art facility. Age-appropriate learning opportunities and a dedicated highly qualified staff ensure that our youngest population gets the positive learning experiences necessary for future academic success.

Union City High School, our new state-of-the-art high school includes among its many facilities a magnificent 900-seat performing arts auditorium, a wonderful modern media center, and a spectacular sports field, encompasses grades ten through twelve, while ninth grade students attend the Jose Marti Freshman Academy. The Academy for Enrichment and Advancement provides opportunities for uni quely gifted and talented students in grades nine through twelve. The Alternative Design Academy provides at-risk students with positive learning experiences, which includes the arts.

A continuing goal for the district is professional development, which is based upon the data analysis derived from the district curriculum and students academic strengths and weaknesses. Topics include implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying Policy (HIB) and integration of technology into the learning environment. Consultants such as School Improvement Network- (PD 360 Framework) provide enhanced pedagogical content knowledge across the curriculum.

A major district initiative has been the deployment of a system of academic coaches for the at-risk groups of Special Needs students and English Language Learners. In addition, Math Coaches and LAL Coaches have been employed for those subject areas. The role of the coaches is to provide professional development to teachers and assist in building teacher capacity to address academic achievement. They promote a structured, student-centered approach utilizing research-based strategies, techniques and interventions. The coaches model effective lessons and co-teach, plan, and partner with teachers to implement standards-based lessons.

Federal and State grants such as No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and the 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) Grant, have been implemented in the Union City School District for many years. These programs provide high quality educational and enrichment programs that enable students to improve academic achievement and promote positive behavior and appropriate social interaction. The grants offer a diverse array of activities, which include academics, social and emotional learning, character education, recreation, cultural and artistic classes, youth development activities, and literacy related activities for families.

Exciting and challenging changes are at hand. We look forward to the challenge and are confident that this educational design will promote sustained academic achievement for all Union City Students.

Mrs Silvia Abbato
(201) 348-5851