TOMS RIVER REGIONAL (29-5190)

TOMS RIVER REGIONAL

Toms River Regional is the largest suburban school district in the state, with a population of approximately 16,000 students learning in a pre-kindergarten early learning center, twelve elementary schools, three intermediate schools and three high schools. Despite its size, the district takes enormous pride in providing a neighborhood school concept with high-quality educational programs, facilities, and services for students from our four sending towns of Beachwood, Pine Beach, South Toms River, and Toms River.

Toms River Regional Schools are, above all, pupil centered. We recognize the school as a place where individual abilities, interests and traits are nurtured and where all students are offered individualized opportunities in diverse fields of knowledge to make life richer and more satisfying. Recognizing that learning is constructed through a student's personal background, the curriculum of Toms River Schools embraces authentic experiences through challenging class activities, extra-curricular events, social functions, and community service projects.

The staff of Toms River Regional School District places considerable importance in on-going curricular review and revision. District curriculum is developed collaboratively with our community stakeholders with the aid of national and state professional organizations. It encompasses a scope and sequence inclusive of all grade levels (pre-K through 12) and learning styles, and is designed to meet or exceed state standards, which include the Common Core State Standards, New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards and the upcoming Next Generation Science Standards.

Program assessment and student achievement are measured through formal and informal means based on both formative and summative criteria. We expect that the implementation of new state-level assessments in 2015, including PARCC, will provide the district with valuable information on student achievement to guide instruction and prepare for the 2015-2016 implementation. District level assessments, whether commercially produced instruments or locally developed common quarterly assessments, help improve student programs and staff development and inform placement. The district offers the PSAT to sophomores and juniors free of charge and supports success on the SAT, with plans to provide additional support for the newly revised SAT in 2016.

Highly effective teachers are the district's greatest asset. Improvement of instructional strategies, content knowledge, and use of resources remains a focus of sustained and targeted professional development, which is informed by staff committees and surveys; national, state, district, and building goals; and current research in resources and pedagogy. Professional learning opportunities include in-district workshops and articulations; memberships in consortia that provide off site training; paid consultants; and other outside conferences and workshops. These activities allow staff members to network with colleagues across the district and on a regional and statewide basis, and are supported through local funds, state and federal grants, and partnerships with New Jersey universities, colleges, and businesses.

Toms River Regional School District targets several critical areas each year in its district and building goals. In 2014-2015, these were focused on student achievement, educational technology, culture and climate, and the new implementation of full day kindergarten and freshmen academies. Each school has a School Improvement Panel (ScIP) to recommend action steps to meet its instructional and curricular performance goals, and a District Evaluation Advisory Committee (DEAC) meets periodically to review district-wide evaluation and performance data.

Our schools are committed to providing effective and innovative resources to deliver instruction. Pilots and model classrooms continue to be established to assess new curriculum components. Investments in educational technology will provide greater access to online resources; increase collaboration, creativity, and productivity; and support online assessments and data analysis to provide quicker feedback on student learning. The district has increased bandwidth and wireless access, and made more devices available to access the internet in each school (ex. Chromebooks, iPads). Assistant Superintendents, Directors of Curriculum and Supervisors have been assigned to support specific groups of staff and students, and meet regularly to coordinate their efforts.

There is a strong correlation between student involvement in school activities and academic performance. Numerous programs, extra-curricular and co-curricular activities provide an important role in the development of the whole student. These include academic clubs and competitions, service learning opportunities, athletics, and activities showcasing the arts.

Parents, students, community members, and staff are kept abreast of academic information and school activities through a communication network that includes online, print and televised media. Administrative and professional staff are available to parents and the community at-large through regularly scheduled parent conferences and Parent-Teacher Organization meetings. The Genesis Parent Portal is being used increasingly to support communication among schools, students and parents.

The Toms River Regional School District is preparing our students for success in a global 21st century community through delivering high quality curriculum and instruction in a progressive, safe, and innovative educational environment. Our district is committed to the premise that all students can achieve high academic standards with the guidance of well-trained instructional and support staff working seamlessly with our families and community.