ONE STOP SHOP FOR TUTORIALS:
WELCOME TO THE OFFICE OF CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION
On this site, you find information pertaining to many of the initiatives and programs facilitated through this office, including:
Development, Evaluation, and Revision of Curriculum Documents
Development and Facilitation of Curriculum Benchmarks/ SGOs
Resources and Support for State & District Testing
Should you have any questions about any of these topics, or any other information pertaining to this office, please do not hesitate to contact me.
To get an idea what I personally think learning should look and feel like, feel free to view this video clip from Classroom Closeup of my math class in Burlington City. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did (and still do)! :)
Some of the initiatives within the Curriculum & Instruction Department include
Teacher Evaluation & the Danielson Model
In compliance with state regulation to choose a specific teacher evaluation model within the given parameters, Palmyra has chosen the Charlotte Danielson Framework for Teaching. Details on the teacher evaluation program from the NJ DOE are available on the initial EE4NJ page archived here or the new Achieve NJ page available here.
District Evaluation Advisory Committee (DEAC):
The district has effectively worked together to implement the new evaluation model, complete with SGOs, SGPs, and observation of teacher practice using the Danielson rubric. One component of ensuring effective collaboration has been the DEAC (District Evaluation Advisory Committee), which includes representatives from all stakeholder groups and is instrumental in keeping all stakeholders informed throughout the evaluation process. While the DEAC is no longer required by the state, the Palmyra School District still calls upon this committee as needed to collaboratively solve problems and make recommendations regarding the observation and evaluation process.
Palmyra DEAC team includes:
Catherine Blatchley (Teacher - CSS)
Ken Holloway (C.A.P.O., PMS Principal)
Melanie Gerner (Teacher – CSS)
Renee Hoffecker (Teacher - CSS)
Lianne Kane (Child Study Team Supervisor)
Brian McBride (Superintendent)
Jennifer McCoy (Counselor- PHS)
Amanda Milewski (Teacher-CSS)
Lynn Mills (Teacher - CSS)
Michele Reisinger (Teacher- PHS)
Lisa Sabo (PHS Principal)
Stacy Saia (Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction)
Lauren Schmidt (Counselor - PHS)
Octavia Lee (CSS Principal)
Danielle Willard (Teacher- PHS)
In addition to the Palmyra DEAC, each building has developed its own ScIP (School Improvement Panel), designed to ensure, oversee, and support the implementation of the district's evaluation, professional development, and mentoring policies at the school level. The ScIP also guarantees that teachers have a strong voice and significant opportunity to help shape evaluation procedures within each school.
Moving forward, additional information will be updated on the Achieve NJ Teacher Evaluation page, navigable via the menu on the left of this page.
Professional Development at Palmyra
Professional development has become a major focus in Palmyra Public Schools. We realize that the most impactful factor in a child's learning is their teacher, and that the most important component of effective teaching is meaningful, sustained, and relevant professional growth opportunities. We strive to provide a wide array of professional development offerings, spanning multiple modalities, methods, and topics. In the past years, staff have maximized the various types of professional development opportunities offered. Many staff members utilize online professional development through Simple K12 and various other platforms available to district staff.
In addition to online learning, staff participate in several in-service days over the course of the year that invited external experts in to speak with teachers on topics including special education, 21st Century Skills and Themes, effective instructional strategies, and targeting improvement in mathematical and literacy skills. Teachers are also encouraged to seek out external workshops for job-specific growth. Numerous teachers have taken advantage of this opportunity to bring back research-based ideas to the district and share them with their colleagues.
Additional information regarding professional development will be available on the Professional Development page, navigable via the menu on the left of this page. On this page, you will also find several resources for classroom activities and formative assessment. Enjoy!
New Jersey Student Learning Standards
The New Jersey Student Learning Standards include Preschool Teaching and Learning Standards, as well as nine K-12 standards for the following content areas:
As of the summer of 2020, the NJ State Department of Education updated the NJSLS for all subject areas except Math and Language Arts, which were last updated in 2016.
The state has required that all curriculum be updated with the 2020 NJSLS in time for implementation in the Fall of 2022. Palmyra School District is currently working to re-aligned the curriculum, instruction, and assessments to reflect the updated New Jersey Learning Standards.
NJ State Assessments - NJSLA for ELA, Math, & Science
Testing in Palmyra
Moving forward, all district and state testing will be managed through our Data Coordinator, Dr. Peter Lutchko. More information can be found on his page regarding state assessments, district-wide benchmarks, and data presentations on student outcomes.
View the full state testing schedule online through Dr. Lutchko's testing website here.
The core component of my responsibilities in Palmyra is the oversight of the district curriculum. Since I have arrived in Palmyra almost six years ago, the district has been working tirelessly to evaluate and revise its curriculum to support the evolving needs of the student population. Curriculum changes include ongoing efforts to align to the most updated state and national standards, incorporation of best pedagogical practices to support invested and engaged learning environments, and a shift toward backmapping to reach the big ideas and away from textbook-driven decisions. Curriculum is being re-written in a new format housed within the district's OnCourse system so that it can be linked directly to teacher's lesson plans.
Below are some valuable overall resources for curricular support that can be used by teachers, students, and parents.
Reading / ELA Resources Online
NJSLA Assessment Practice Opportunities
If you would like your child to take a practice assessment in preparation for the Spring NJSLA, they can find grade appropriate practice test here.
If you would like your child to practice individual problems by grade level, standard, or subject area, they can access NJ's Digital Library of Released Assessment Items here.