Every Student, Every Day
Welcome back to the start of the 2019-20 school year at Newark Central!
I have three pieces of information that I wanted to communicate as we get ready to feel the energy of the students and staff coming back to our schools.
First, we will be having a School Resource Officer (SRO) join our team in January. Until then, we will continue to utilize Swoop Security services, the same company we used last year. After the SRO starts, we will continue to use Swoop staff daily. In addition, we will be making changes to the drills we run, based on the experiences of school districts that have had active shooter events. Information about these changes will be communicated to students and staff as the year begins. The most fundamental change is that we will not have unannounced drills any longer, as we will be giving our staff permission to use judgement in real time as to whether running from, hiding from or countering a security threat is the most appropriate course of action. More specific information will be coming from each building as we move through the year and assess our progress. As I’m sure you understand, we will not be able to communicate all of the changes, as security measures need to remain confidential.
Next, here is a message from our Director of Technology, Jamie Sonneville:
“As you've probably heard, Newark CSD has been planning to purchase mobile devices for our students as part of our one-to-one initiative. This project has been a large undertaking that has taken the better part of three years to put together. We are very excited to announce that all of our devices have arrived and we are planning to roll most of them out at the start of this school year!
Before your child can receive their device, we ask that you read through our Mobile Device Handbook and fill out the form on the last page. This form will need to be returned to the classroom teacher at Lincoln School, Perkins School, and Kelley School. The Middle School and High School students will turn the form in when they pick up their laptop. If you prefer to fill out an online form, it can be found here: Mobile Device Handbook Online Form
Form Due Dates:
Lincoln School: September 6
Perkins School: September 6
Kelley School: September 6
Middle School: October 7
High School: September 9
Lincoln School: iPads to be stored in the classroom
Perkins School: iPads to be stored in the classroom
Kelley School: Convertible Laptops to be stored in the classroom
Middle School: Convertible laptops that will travel between school and home
High School: Convertible laptops that will travel between school and home
Specific details regarding this plan can be found in our Mobile Device Handbook
Details regarding the funding for these devices can be found here: Smart School Bond Act “
Last, because of the introduction of 1:1 devices, there is no longer any real need for students to have cell phones out during instructional times. All buildings will be restricting cell phone use during class times and our elementary buildings and Middle School will be more restrictive than our High School as to when students can use cell phones during non-instructional times. In addition to our own observations, we have had parents and students talk to us about how cell phone usage contributes to negative peer interactions and social media related pressures. There is also research that suggests that the further away a phone is from our students, the more they are able to concentrate in class. We will be monitoring this change in our practice throughout the year and look to staff, students and families for feedback about how this change is impacting learning and building culture.
I hope you all have a wonderful Labor Day weekend and look forward to seeing staff and students back school next week!
Matt Cook, Superintendent of Schools