Superintendent

Dr. Scott Rubin
 
Superintendent of Schools
 
 
908-709-6202
 
 
 
Diana Chiu
 
Executive Asst. to the Superintendent of Schools
 
 
908-709-6202
 

Dear Cranford Parents/Guardians:

 

I hope this correspondence finds you and your family well. The District is excited to welcome students to the 2021-2022 school year, featuring full-day, in-person education, everyday!!   The school year will be filled with exciting activities, events, and initiatives that will enrich educational opportunities for all students.   

 

The District continues to focus on safely providing as close to a normal school year as possible and permitted.  Towards this end, I released The Plan Forward: September 2021 on August 19.  Please note that subsequent to my last correspondence, the NJDOH / NJDOE updated its guidance, to include an exception to the close contact definition. 

Close Contact Definition: defined as being within 6 feet of someone with suspected or known COVID-19 for 15 or more minutes during a 24-hour period.”

 

New Exception: “In the K–12 indoor classroom setting, the close contact definition excludes students who were within 3 to 6 feet of an infected student (laboratory-confirmed or a clinically compatible illness) where both the infected student and the exposed student(s) correctly and consistently wore well-fitting masks the entire time. This exception does not apply to teachers, staff, or other adults in the indoor classroom setting.”

We will be incorporating the new guidance into our contact tracing procedures.

Additionally, I am excited to share some of the PreK-12 highlights for this upcoming school year:

 

Strategic Planning

  • The District is in year 4 of its implementation of the 2018-2023 Strategic Plan.   We will continue to engage the community in reflection and dialogue as we all participate in the shared responsibility of “Growing Tomorrow’s Leaders Together.”  The full plan can be accessed on the District website located here: Strategic Planning.

 

School Scheduling Information

Please see the School Scheduling Information.

 

Safety and Wellness

  • The District continues to provide training for our faculty through a Youth Mental Health First Aid Program.  All new teachers and continuous opportunities for our current faculty will be offered to participate in an 8-hour course that teaches staff how to help students who may be experiencing challenges in the areas of mental health and substance use.  The training helps individuals identify, understand and respond to signs of addictions and mental illnesses.  Approximately 200 faculty members have already been fully trained in the program!

  • The Cranford School Counseling Corner is the district school counseling website which provides helpful resources and links related to your child’s age development and also  provides resources for parents and guardians.  Please check the website often as it will be updated throughout the year.

  • No Place for Hate, sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League, is a self directed program for grades K-12 that assists all members of the school community in providing an inclusive and equitable learning environment while also decreasing acts of bias and bullying.  Each Cranford public school was awarded the No Place for Hate designation in 2020-2021 and we will continue to provide programming that supports this initiative each year moving forward.

  • One additional 6th grade school counselor has been hired and will share time between Orange Avenue School and Hillside Avenue School to help students through the delivery of social and emotional classroom lessons as they transition from elementary to middle school.

  • All of the Cranford Schools participate in the School Climate Transformation Project, through a partnership with Rutgers University and the State Department of Education.  Students, faculty and parents participate annually in a school climate survey and the results guide the creation of action plans at each grade level, reflective of current trends and issues, to continually improve our culture and climate.  You can read more About the Climate Transformation Project here.

  • Cranford Public Schools is the recipient of a grant from the Cranford Fund for Educational Excellence (CFEE) which will allow the District to partner with Imagine, A Center for Coping and Loss in Mountainside to provide training for our students and professional development for our faculty, to support one another as we return to school this year.

  • The District continues to implement Full Value, a behavioral commitment that inspires and encourages individuals to expect the best from themselves and their interactions with others.   A group of 25 faculty members were trained in June as our sustainability group to continue this work at each school over the next year.  The principles of Full Value is the umbrella under which Cranford Public Schools operates, so that we value ourselves, value each other and value our future.   

  • Project Adventure continues to be infused into the fitness curriculum, grades 6-12.  The initiative provides students an opportunity to work cooperatively, challenge themselves in a supportive environment, improve self-esteem and learn creative approaches to problem-solving.  The fitness teachers have already been trained in this instructional strategy and it will be rolled out in grades K-5 in 2021-2022.

 

Curriculum / Instruction

  • The District will continue its focus on early literacy intervention and expand it through grade 5; the District also received a grant to participate in the Data-Driving Instructional Coaching Model (DDICM) project with the NJDOE and Rutgers University to assist in creating a robust coaching model for K-3 staff.

  • K-5 Staff will receive embedded training on the Ready Math program and students will now have the benefit of the new Math Intervention Team for coaching and small group lessons.

  • Curricula have been updated for Science and Social Studies in grade 3-5, World Languages, and many elective courses.

  • New curricula are being developed to help provide middle school students with stronger executive functioning skills.

  • The District will implement Year 3 of its District Data Plan.

  • A new committee has formed to discuss how we assess and grade students across the district.

  • The High School will continue its work with the NJ Coalition for Inclusive Education to further foster an environment where children with disabilities and learning differences are welcomed as classmates, valued as learners and empowered to succeed.

  • The District provided Math and ELA support in grades K-5 to approximately 200 students this summer with in-person On Ramp support classes.

  • This year Cranford High School as well as OAS and HAS will be kicking off their inaugural ESports seasons.  As members of the Garden State ESports League, we will be competing in the Union County Conference in games like Rocket League, Overwatch, and League of Legends!

 

Engagement

  • The District will hold virtual Coffee and Conversation with the superintendent meetings on Wednesday, November 17 and Wednesday, April 6 from 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm.  These informal meetings will provide a forum to discuss topics that are important to the school community.

  • As part of the District’s goal to increase meaningful stakeholder engagement to enhance practices, structures and, ultimately, student learning, each school sends out climate and culture surveys, including a section on engagement in the spring to gauge current sentiments around engagement.  Responses will help inform future engagement efforts.

  • The District will continue to enhance communication through the District website and social media in partnership with our student led communications design team who is responsible for designing and updating all district websites, harnessing social media applications as well as developing additional apps to further communication and engagement efforts.

 

Technology and Infrastructure

  • Cranford Public Schools is a one-to-one computing school district where all students and teachers have access to a Chromebook. This accomplishment provides teachers and students additional opportunities for innovation, communication, and collaboration.  

  • The technology department added an extra layer of cyber security protection for our students and staff through the upgrading to a new firewall with unified threat management security.  

  • New interactive Smartboard flat panels will be installed in each classroom districtwide.

  • The District will be using IEP Direct and 504 Direct, a system that will improve teacher access to special education student information and promote greater collaboration to meet specific individual educational needs.

 

Our first priority is the safety of our school community.  Please be sure to read the attached letters regarding the visitor entry protocols and the Board policy regarding permitted items at highly attended public events.  I appreciate your partnership in supporting our security procedures so as to provide an even safer community.  Additionally, please be sure to update and verify your emergency information in InfoSnap prior to the first day of school.  It is imperative that we have the most current information so that we can best provide for your child.

 

The PTA (Parent Teacher Association) is a wonderful organization and a crucial part of our school community. They plan special events, provide cultural arts experiences, offer an organized venue for parents to have direct feedback into the academic and social programs we offer and provide endless support. We, as a school community, would be at a great disadvantage without this organization and the resources it provides.  Please be sure to join this terrific organization. We all benefit from your support and involvement!

 

Attached please find a packet with the following information: Visitor entry protocol letter; Permitted Items at Board-Sponsored Public Events Policy #9160.1 and accompanying letter; 2021-2022 school district calendar, school district closing, delayed opening schedules and emergency/crisis protocol information; HIB specialist information and a copy of the district HIB Policy #5512; Internet Safety and Technology Policy #2361.

 

You will continue to receive information from your child’s principal which will be specific to your particular school.  Should you find there is any additional information that you need, please check the school district website www.cranfordschools.org or contact your child’s principal directly.  

 

We look forward to working with you and your children and thank you for your continued support of Cranford Public Schools.

 

As always, please contact my office if you have any comments, questions and /or concerns.   I look forward to an academically rigorous, productive, and rewarding school year!

 

Warmly,

Dr. Scott Rubin

Superintendent of Schools