Belmar Elementary School District (25-0270)

Belmar Elementary School District

Belmar Elementary School is located in the small seashore town of the Borough of Belmar. Established in 1872, the community was originally known as Ocean Beach, but the name was later changed to Belmar, French for “beautiful sea.” Today, Belmar is a popular destination for beach-goers. With a train stop on the NJ Transit North Jersey Coast line, Belmar is both commuter-friendly for residents, as well as an easy weekend retreat for visitors. The Borough of Belmar has approximately 6,000 year-round residents, with a population that increases considerably during the summer season. Belmar is 1.7 square miles, of which .7 square miles is water, including a municipal marina and 1.0 square miles is land. Belmar is governed under the Small Municipality Plan form of government under the Faulkner Act. The governing body consists of a mayor and four council members. The school also provides for the educational needs of students from the neighboring community of Lake Como, a small interior municipality which has a total area of 0.3 square miles. The government consists of a Mayor and a six member Borough Council. One of the many strengths of the district is the working partnership between the Belmar and Lake Como mayors and councils, who work in collaboration with school administration and the board of education to support an effective partnership to benefit the students of Belmar Elementary School.

Belmar School District is a single attendance school district providing for the educational needs of 536 students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade from the communities of Belmar and Lake Como. The school was constructed in 1909 and has had additions built in 1929, 1949, 1969 and 1993. The school underwent renovations during the summers of 2006 and 2007. Students from the Belmar and Lake Como communities who attend public high school are assigned based on sending/receiving relationships to either Manasquan High School or Asbury Park High School. Students may also attend one of the Career Academies in the Monmouth County Vocational School District, which are Academy of Allied Health & Science (AAHS), Biotechnology High School (BTHS) Communications High School (CHS), High Technology High School (HTHS), and Marine Academy of Science & Technology (MAST), as well as Red Bank Regional High School. Belmar Elementary School is guaranteed placement of one qualified applicant from each town of Belmar and Lake Como. Additional applicants may also be pulled from a county-wide pool.

The school prides itself on its rigorous, comprehensive instructional program driven by the Common Core Standards in English Language Arts and Math, Next Generation Science Standards for Science, and the NJ Core Curriculum Content Standards for all other subject areas and related arts, while offering students additional opportunities to participate in a rich variety of co-curricular and extracurricular activities, including athletics, Peer Leaders, Band, Youth Government, Environmental Club, Drama, Literary Magazine Club, and more. Beginning in the 2013-14 school year, the district’s robust technology plan initiated a 1:1 Chromebook investment for students in grades 5-8, continuing in the 2016-17 school year to parlay this success with 1:1 Chromebooks for students in grades 3 & 4, as well. Teachers have the benefit of being trained in Google Apps for Education by our on-site technology coordinators who are Google-certified teachers/trainers. Our range of instructional programs meet the diverse needs of our student population. Our SAM (Students Achieving More) program challenges students identified as gifted in grades 4-8 through a hybrid instructional plan of high-interest topics and trips designed to enhance and enrich the curriculum. TIP (Targeted Intervention Program) is facilitated through Title I funds for students identified as “at risk for literacy” in grades K-4 through Wilson Fundations, a systematic phonics programs that provide students with a foundation for reading and spelling success. Action 100, an independent reading program based upon a reader’s workshop instructional model of independent reading and teacher conferencing time, provides for small group and individual instructional time based upon students’ customized need in grades PreK-8. Building upon the rigorous expectations of the Common Core Standards in attending with precision to mathematical understanding and justification in Algebra, students in grade 7 have the opportunity to participate in Pre-Algebra, while students in grade 8 may enroll in Algebra I. The district has embraced the STEM and Maker Movement by incorporating an emphasis on interdisciplinary lessons grounded in the engineering design process, as well as offering a collaborative Maker Fest each spring to challenge students in grades 5-8 to think deeply about global issues and develop innovative solutions to address these concerns. The common thread that unifies all of our services and programs is the commitment of this district to assist every student to achieve success, paying particular attention to disparities between subgroups, and to provide early interventions for those students who are at risk of not reaching their full potential.

The strength of this district lies in a resourceful and responsive staff that works in partnership with students, parents, and community organizations, including an active PTO, to meet the needs of all of our children to create a 21st century environment of learning that promotes inspiration, motivation, exploration, and innovation. Our mission statement, “Inspired, United, Prepared, Soaring To Excellence” clarifies the common understanding all of our stakeholders have in planning for the vibrant future of our school and students.