Plainfield Public Schools (39-4160)

Plainfield Public Schools

District Report Card Overview 2016 – 2017
The Board of Education of the city of Plainfield provides a comprehensive educational program predicated on the Core Curriculum Content Standards for students in grades Kindergarten through Twelve. A full-day Preschool Program for three and four year olds is provided through collaboration with community Day Care Centers, in addition to a few Pre-Kindergarten classes in the public schools. The District addresses the needs of the "whole child" by offering an exhaustive program for exceptional children in the areas of Special Education both in and out of district; and magnet programs for intellectually gifted, artistically, and musically talented students. Furthermore, enrichment and basic skills tutorial opportunities are provided for students before and after school. A variety of school to work and college transition programs that included college credits and actual work experience were offered in grades 9-12 for day students attending Plainfield High School, and for students in the Alternative School program as well as vocational and special education for disabled youngsters.
English Language Arts
Grades K-5 literacy program is based on the LAL Common Core State Standards. The goals for 2016-17 include: ongoing curriculum development in all components, of technology to enhance learning, and continue best practices in literacy strategies such as Readers’ Workshop, Writers’ Workshop, and Guided Reading.
Grades 6-8 literacy program is based on the LAL Common Core State Standards. The goals for 2016-17 include: ongoing curriculum development in all components, implementing technology to enhance learning, and continue best practices in literacy instruction including implementation of Readers and Writers Workshop models and small group targeted instruction.
Grades 9-12 English program is based on the LAL Common Core State Standards and the curriculum is aligned to the NJCCSS. It is designed to prepare students for graduation, college and career readiness, and pass the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). The curriculum addresses all components of a balanced literacy approach to English/Language Arts instruction, including reading, writing, listening, speaking, viewing, and the use of technology. Plainfield High School, Barack Obama Academy, and PAAAS students are required to complete a minimum of four English courses for graduation. Students are offered honors and/or Advanced Placement courses.
Life Careers
The life career framework is aligned to New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards, cross curriculum, integrated, and embedded as accumulative learning experience in grades K-12. The 21st Century Life Career courses are deeply embedded in the high schools through the guidance curriculum. Content taught skills implemented include self-respect, initiative and self-direction, flexibility and adaptability, acceptance of responsibility, integrity, social and cross-cultural skills, accountability, leadership, ability to navigate, and exposure to technology. Some strategies utilized will include digital media such as graphical audio and visual through presentations. Content will enable students to learn how to integrate and evaluate multiple sources of data through strategies such as visually and quantitatively. Academic relations to careers in Civic Duties are taught through the use of effective approaches and methods. Some resources but not limited to the following will be utilized to implement the program: Career Development Guides, Working in the 21st Century, and Partnership with Kean University and Paterson University, etc. The goal is to expose students to life career courses that will enable them to transition from school to successful adulthood, maintaining and utilizing workforce skills learned to meet required obligations.
The district’s science program provides a variety of inquiry-based experiences that foster conceptual understanding. Through developed science lessons and laboratory experiments the district will adopt the 5-E Instructional Model (Engage, Explore, Explain, Evaluate, Extend), which helps students develop a deeper understanding of scientific concepts. The 2016-17 School Year will embrace a standards change from the 2010 NJCCCS Science to the Next Generation Science Standards.
Expectations for the 2016-2017 School Year-
Grade bands will focus on the following:
• Grades K-8 science program: the elementary level is based in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and state assessments. A newly revised district curriculum infuses hands-on instruction, technology, and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to teach science concepts and make real world connections.
• Grades 9-12 science program: the high school level is based in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and state assessments. At the high school level, students take three years of science to fulfill graduation requirements. The comprehensive biology program is updated with an emphasis on meeting standards and exceeding expectations.
• Information Technology will inspire students to interact with the most relevant biology content, and fully prepare them to pass the state exam. The high school chemistry program utilizes differentiated instructional strategies to accommodate the learning needs of all students at all levels while facilitating their understanding of chemistry concepts. Chemistry program includes integrated math supports, laboratories and demonstration lessons, and technology resources.
• Plainfield High School has created an Allied Health Academy, in partnership with John F. Kennedy Medical Center: Muhlenberg Campus, to allow students to accelerate their learning in the field of science, prepare them for immediate careers, and graduate high school with college credits and coursework.

Social Studies
The Social Studies framework is aligned with the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards and implemented cross-curriculum and provides multicultural experiences across all areas of content disciplines. In addition, the program provides a meaningful and relevant comprehensive social studies education which is embedded in the humanities to promote civic competence, a rich scope and sequence content, and technology resources in grades K- 12. The elementary curriculum also infuses exposer to people, places, and events which have impacted history. On the secondary level, the following unit topics are embedded: civics, economics, geography, history, government, citizenship, current events, and global historical content inquiry. American History courses are emphasized in the eighth grade. Additionally, the high school social studies program is aligned to the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards and the LAL CCSS. For graduation, high school students are required to obtain three courses in social studies. Required courses include US History I and II, World History, Amistad, Economics, and American Government. Elective courses offered are, Latino Perspective, Sociology, Anthropology, and Women’s Studies. Some resources will include utilization of the NJ Amistad Commission Interactive Curriculum, content presentations by presenters, relevant professional development for staff to enhance instruction, information form the Library of Congress, and appropriate field trips.
Health and Physical Education
The health and physical education program is aligned with Core Curriculum Content Standards and promotes intellectual, social, emotional and physical development in all grades K -12. The program promotes team spirit, good sportsmanship, self-control, and respect for the rights of others. Extra-curricular programs are offered districtwide to all grade levels. Programs such as junior and senior varsity sports teams, an athletics program to support athletic tutoring is provided. Completion of applications, and scholarships opportunities are implemented on the secondary level. Elementary level physical education programs are implemented as after school extra-curriculum activities. After school sports promote positive environments which are conducive to learning, enjoyment, and self-confidence building through effective participation. As a major objective of the health and physical education program, the District’s goal is to provide a balanced sequential program for all ages of students which promotes intellectual, social, and emotional growth. The District will continue to strongly implement all of the NJCCCS revisions from 2014. The District will become familiar with strategies utilized by the National Alliance for Youth Sports, Adapted Physical Education National Standards (APENS), and continue to implement the President’s Challenge Program, etc. Some resources will include utilization of presentations by presenters, partnership with Kean University “Safe Walk to School”, competition sportsmanship games between appropriate age levels, relevant professional development for staff to enhance instruction, and appropriate field trips. The nurses, social workers, and guidance counselors will utilize some of the following resources to enhance their programs Adolescent and School Health, Educational Dating/Dating Violence Programs/literature, information from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and date/presentations relevant to sports related concussion.
All district curricula include cross-curricular connections, the 21st Century Life and Careers and Technology Integration. The district adopted and is in the process of developing online portfolio based technology projects. Technology integration includes the use of academic intervention programs as well as instruction in computer applications.
Expectations for the 2016-17 School Year
Grade bands will focus on the following:
• Grades K-1 program:
o 30 minutes per week: basic computer operations including introduction to keyboarding, computer basics, coding
• Grades 2-5 program:
o 45-60 minutes per week: basic computers, web browsing, spreadsheets, presentations, prescriptive keyboarding, coding
• Grades 6-8 program:
o Minimum of 8 weeks of intermediate computer skills, advance spreadsheets, presentations, advanced keyboarding, multi-media. Development of grades 6-8 elective courses including coding, robotics, digital media
• Grades 9-12 programs:
o Development of high tech courses

In 2016-17, additional preparation on cross-content technology base project, an example project based activity is ROCK STAR (Second Grade).
In this project (ROCK STAR), students sort and classify rocks based on size, texture and color. They will then watch a video explaining the three main types of rocks. Students will explore interactive animated websites to learn more about rocks and the rock cycle in a virtual environment, and then create an acrostic poem based on words they learned from the websites. Students will print their poems, illustrate them, and share them with the class.
The curriculum is aligned to build conceptual understanding while developing number proficiency and fluency. The standards based instruction includes the use of developmentally appropriate practices in a centers-based classroom environment. In grades 1-5, the continued focus will be the implementation of a centers-based classroom environment that provides tiered instructional support via whole-group practice, guided practice, and cooperative learning opportunities.
Grades 6-8 math program will implement New Jersey Common Core Standards (NJCCS), and state assessment by July 1, 2016. Goals of the program is to build conceptual understanding with a targeted focus on developing reasoning skills and increase the percentage of students of students enrolled in Algebra 1 for Grade 8. In grade 7, mathematically prepared students are enrolled in Pre- Algebra 1, subsequently Algebra 1 in grade 8.
Grades 9-12 mathematics program will implement New Jersey Common Core State Standards (NJCCS), and state assessments by July 1, 2016. Plainfield High School, Barack Obama Academy, and PAAAS will offer a variety of courses to satisfy the state graduation requirements in mathematics. Mandatory state required courses include Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra II. In addition, the program develops 21st skills for global readiness. In partnership with Union County College, a transition program has been established for Dual Enrollment opportunities. Other courses include: Pre-Calculus, Calculus, College Algebra, Career and College Readiness, and SAT Prep. There will be a continued focus on improving instruction through implementation of mathematical practices and “habits of minds “strategies, building capacity within school by developing model teachers, and increase the use of technology for instruction
Visual Performing Arts
The program promotes opportunities for all students to learn the characteristics of the visual arts through the implementation of symbols, meaningful images, visual expressions, student acquisition, and fluency in building skills in thinking, communicating, reasoning, investigating, and conceptualization. Students on various grade levels participate in local and state performances. The District has expanded its Plainfield Academy for the Arts and Advance Studies (PAAAS) to include stage design and professional performances. District secondary schools perform in national competition events. Strategies of implementation will include, but not limited to continuation of student performance and appreciation the arts in dance, music, theatre, and visual arts; utilization of appropriate technology; through comprehension of arts philosophies and analysis; techniques to critique; and cross content appreciation of art history. Some resources will include NJPAC, live performances, school gallery programs, The Kennedy Center Arts Edge, New York Museum of Art, Kean University, local areas of relevance, Morristown New Jersey Embroidery, Print & Screen Association, and National Endowment for the Arts.
Bilingual Education/ESL/World Languages
The Plainfield Public Schools has implemented a Dual Language program district-wide. This year, the district is utilizing a two-way immersion and a one-way developmental model in grades K-5 across all schools. Dual Language Immersion and One-way Developmental models are research-based educational models which offer students the opportunity to develop proficiencies in all subject areas as evidence by mastery in the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards and the Common Core State Standards in English/Language Arts and Mathematics, while simultaneously acquiring a second language.
The goals of the Bilingual Education program are:
• to promote bi-literacy (read and write at grade level or above in English and the native language)
• to set and maintain high expectations for all students, ensuring a rich and demanding curriculum with appropriate assistance and support.
ESL and World Languages are components of our district language development programs. The ESL program utilizes certified staff to push into and support English language learners in all classroom instruction a minimum of one period per day. The ESL program provides support to students in our Bilingual program as well as students that do not receive native language instruction but are entitled to ESL services in the General Education program.
The World Language Program is based on the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards and Model Curriculum, and aligned to the Five Cs of Foreign Language Education: Communication, Culture, Connections, Comparisons, and Community. In the elementary schools, the district offers Spanish instruction. In the middle and high schools, the district offers Spanish and French. At the high schools, a minimum of ten credits in World Languages must be earned for graduation requirements. World Languages Levels 1-4, as well as Advanced Placement, is offered in high school. In addition, a special track that offers Spanish for native language speakers has been implemented to meet the needs of our growing student population.