Our Future Ready Journey: Growth in the Face of Unparalleled Challenges
Though we understood the district’s Future Ready journey was preparing our school community for something bigger, what we failed to realize was that bolstering our technological infrastructure and investing in the personalized learning goals of our students and staff would help us lead the way in a national transformation of the educational system.

As we reflect upon our journey toward Virtual Home Instruction and the last four weeks of implementation, it has become evident that our school district was uniquely positioned to structure an online learning environment that would benefit our school community and ensure learning would continue while we did our part to flatten the curve.

When the plan was initially created four-weeks ago, the focus was to capitalize on our current infrastructures, both hardware and in a human-capacity. Our goal was to ensure that learning experiences were aligned to state standards and our current instructional models, while progressing the content.

The Future Ready journey provided us with the tools, capacity, insights and mindset to effectively implement a viable model in a short period of time. More importantly, it has enabled us to continue to reflect upon the initial model and enact practical changes that continue to benefit our school community.

To read more about the growth of our school community please follow the link.
Dr. George's Corner Podcast: The Impact of Student Voice
Episode 2 of Dr. George's Corner Podcast, features High School North Principal, Dr. Patricia Cartier, and High School South Principal, Mr. Matthew Kirkpatrick.

The trio speaks about the impact student voice has on the educational experience offered by the district, as well as the important role student input plays in this virtual learning environment.
In this episode, Dr. George, Dr. Cartier and Mr. Kirkpatrick urge students to reach out to them, school counselors and teachers via email regarding the different concepts discussed within.
Student Web Series Features HS North Classmates Discussing Social Distancing
High School North student Sophia Haber Brock has launched a web series in which she interviews different members of the community each week.

She has already spoken to Middletown Mayor Tony Perry, as well Monmouth County Freeholder Susan M. Kiley.

But her latest episode features classmates in a round table discussion about the emotional impact of the isolation that accompanies social distancing mandates.
Virtual Home Instruction Internet Technology Support
During Virtual Home Instruction days the district internet technology team is available to answer your technical support questions. Please email technology@middletownk12.org with any questions or concerns.

For device repairs, technology team members are available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the lobby of High School North from 8 a.m. to Noon . For more information please follow the link .
Navesink Students Answer the Question: What Can I Do During These Times of Quarantine?
School Nurses Launch Virtual Food Drive for Middletown Helps Its Own
Our school nurses have launched a virtual food drive for  Middletown Helps Its Own . Donations can be submitted to help purchase food for community families in need through Venmo: Middletown-Helpsitsown or through the mail to 66 Main St. Port Monmouth, NJ 07758.

In the meantime, check out what our nursing team has been up to in the video to the right, and a wonderful article written about their journey by The Relentless School Nurse.
District STEM Specialists Help Fight Against COVID-19 Coronavirus
District STEM specialists Jeanette VanFechtmann and Marc Seigel have joined the local and national battle against COVID-19 Coronavirus.

Both have used 3D printing devices, the same type of equipment they help our students complete projects with, to develop products for healthcare workers to fight this pandemic.

Over her spring recess, VanFechtmann printed several ventilator manifold parts and donated them to Project C.U.R.E., a non-profit organization based in Colorado that aids healthcare centers and hospitals across the nation.

Earlier this week, Middletown Mayor Tony Perry lauded the efforts of Seigel, who partnered with members of the Middletown Township Public Library to create 100 face shields to be distributed to nurses and doctors at Bayshore Medical Center.

Thank you to both of these teacher-leaders for their efforts to support those on the front lines of this fight.
32 District Students Earn
New Jersey Seal of Biliteracy
The Seal of Biliteracy was an initiative started by Californians Together in 2008 to acknowledge and award bilingual and multilingual students. In 2011, it officially became legislation in California and now multiple states throughout the nation have implemented a statewide Seal of Biliteracy. On January 19, 2016, New Jersey became the 17th state to implement a legislated statewide Seal of Biliteracy. By achieving the Seal of Biliteracy, students demonstrate that they are able to speak, read, comprehend and write in two or more languages at a high level of proficiency.

The following students have been recommended to receive the New Jersey Seal of Biliteracy.
High School North
  • Veronica Enny, Latin
  • Patryk Burdzy, Polish
  • Gabriel Lubrano-Lavadera, Italian
  • Janis Zellmer, German
  • Elena Lichtenstein, German
  • Kayla Treacy, French
  • Felicia Marks, French
  • Ivanna Voloschak, French
  • Yazemin Yilmaz, Spanish
  • Isa Yilmaz, Spanish
  • Luz Vargas, Spanish
  • Jada Tulloch, Spanish
  • Fatima Otarola, Spanish
  • Naomi Masonh, Spanish
  • Isabella Lopez, Spanish
  • Digna Cortez-Linares, Spanish
  • Riley Lavelle, Spanish
  • Peter Gauld, Spanish
  • Sara Deuidicibus, Spanish
  • James Davis, Spanish

High School South
  • Carly Ahl, Italian
  • Hannah Koller-Bottone, Italian
  • Michelle Coyoti-Varela, Spanish
  • Naaima Abd-Elhameed, Spanish
  • Laura Durante, Spanish
  • Nicole Gugliemi, Spanish
  • Bridie Howlett, Spanish
  • Julia Kelly, Spanish
  • Gabriella Lewald, Spanish
  • Angel Lozada, Spanish
  • Elizabeth Reavey, Spanish
  • Chloe Smith, Spanish

YMCA Cleared by State
to Open Childcare Center
The YMCA of Greater Monmouth County received state approval to open its licensed child care center at the Freehold Family YMCA for children of essential workers. Emergency child care is available from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, for children 3 months to 13 years old.

The Y is offering a safe place for children to learn and thrive as they recognize the hardship that families are facing during this crisis.  Staff and students are following CDC health and safety guidelines, and there are school nurses volunteering to conduct wellness checks upon arrival and throughout the day. Students have time for their virtual school work, as well as STEAM and physical activities throughout the day.

Please reach out to the Y at  afterschool@ymcanj.org  with any questions or to register and click the flier to the right to expand it for more information.
District Director Offers Overview & Answers FAQs About Imagine Learning
Check out the video to the right in which District Director of Staff Development & Special Programs, Jessica Alfone, offers the school community a comprehensive look at the Imagine Learning platform, providing answers to many frequently asked questions.
District STEM Specialists Help Fight Against COVID-19 Coronavirus
District STEM specialists Jeanette VanFechtmann and Marc Seigel have joined the local and national battle against COVID-19 Coronavirus.

Both have used 3D printing devices, the same type of equipment they help our students complete projects with, to develop products for healthcare workers to fight this pandemic.

Over her spring recess, VanFechtmann printed several ventilator manifold parts and donated them to Project C.U.R.E., a non-profit organization based in Colorado that aids healthcare centers and hospitals across the nation.

Earlier this week, Middletown Mayor Tony Perry lauded the efforts of Seigel, who partnered with members of the Middletown Township Public Library to create 100 face shields to be distributed to nurses and doctors at Bayshore Medical Center.

Thank you to both of these teacher-leaders for their efforts to support those on the front lines of this fight.
Our Future Ready Journey: The Work Continues
Our journey began in fall 2014 in the back of the middle school media center. A small group of administrators and teacher-leaders who shared a passion for educational technology, met for the first time to discuss best practices and how to empower educators and students to use our brand new one-to-one devices effectively and meaningfully.

( NOTE: Please listen to a new podcast by Dr. George by following the link to the right)
After a few productive meetings of sharing ideas (and fears), one member of the team pulled up the Alliance for Excellent Education’s website, which showcased the new Future Ready Schools’ Framework. The seemingly daunting task of implementing equitable digital learning was organized simply into seven “gears,” and at the center of the framework was the phrase, “Personalized Student Learning.”

It was on this day, in that moment, that things started to click for those of us who realized technology’s growing role in education, but had not yet realized its full potential. Technology was not about the latest and greatest apps or hardware; it was (and is) about how it can transform a teacher’s classroom into one where every student has the skills, resources, and information at their fingertips to accomplish their individual goals and succeed as unique learners. However, there was important work that needed to be done in order to get to this level of learning. So what was our first step? Commitment; to the shared vision and to the process of change. By first completing the Future Ready district self-assessment, we were able to identify areas of strengths and weaknesses that would help guide our strategic planning, school and district goals, professional development, budgeting, and technology infrastructure. By early 2015, Middletown Township Public Schools was committed to becoming a “Future Ready” district.

To continue reading about our school community's journey to virtual learning, please follow the link .
Fun, Free & Creative Ways to
Contend with Social Distancing
The isolation of social distancing may seem overwhelming at times, but plenty of activities are emerging for students and families to fill their time in fun and creative ways.

Earlier this week a video of Ocean Avenue fifth grade student Leah Johnson was circulated on the district’s social media platform and celebrated by the greater school community. The video featured Johnson in her backyard delivering a graceful rendition of the well-covered Leonard Cohen classic “Hallelujah.”

The vocal showcase, which you can watch here , was Johnson’s response to a recent challenge articulated by MTPS Arts Academy Director Steven Graziano. Earlier this month Graziano posted a YouTube video that prompted Middletown students to tap into their creativity in whatever media they are most passionate about, capture their work in a video clip or photo, posting it to Twitter with the hashtag #MTPSArtsChallenge, and tagging @MTPSArts and @MTPSpride.

To find more fun activities and challenges to enjoy by community partners like The Middletown Arts Center, Historical Society, Public Library, our own MTPS Library and more, please follow the link .
Supporting our Students' Emotional Wellbeing
The importance of social and emotional learning (SEL) for students has come to the forefront during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our support staff, consisting of Social Behavior Support Specialists, Guidance Counselors, Student Assistance Counselors, and School Nurses, has risen to the challenge of maintaining and augmenting SEL in a virtual setting.
The support staff has worked collaboratively to create combined Google Classrooms complete with social-emotional support, health updates and activities that offer meaningful messages of hope and perseverance. Schools have designated days to highlight the importance of students' social and emotional wellbeing through instruction on stress reduction techniques such as mindful breathing and yoga, as well as practices to promote positive self-image. Students continue to engage in character education activities through interactive lessons modified for virtual learning, and more than 1,900 students have signed the Student Civic Pledge to Support Social Distancing .
Supporting our students emotionally is a top priority for our district. Since transitioning to an online platform of learning, the support staff has established Google appointments that provide students an opportunity to participate in telecounseling/teletherapy sessions. Support staff members are also participating in Google Hangouts and regularly communicating with students to monitor their social and emotional wellbeing. If needed, mental health resources are offered through our partnership with the YMCA and CPC, as well as other local mental health organizations. YMCA counseling in all schools is continuing virtually as well as CPC counseling at the high schools. Additionally, student organization advisors and athletic coaches are providing students with opportunities to participate in virtual clubs and athletic activities that allow students time to connect with their peers and continue to pursue their interests.

For more information please follow the link .

Social-Emotional and Mental Health Resources
Students Pursues Passion, Launches Web Series on Endangered Animals
Like our local version of Steve Irwin, Nut Swamp Elementary School student Grady "The Explorer" has launched his own show to educate the school community.

Saving Wild Animals with Grady the Explorer aired its first episode on Friday, April 17th. It focuses on the Speckled King Snake and you check it out by following the link to the right. Great work Grady!

If your student would like to launch their own web series, please contact your school's education technology specialist.
A Discussion on Student
Interventions & Revised Schedules
During the April 14 meeting of the Parent Information Committee, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources & Curriculum, Kim Pickus, discussed student interventions in the virtual learning environment, as well as the revised daily educational schedules implemented by the district.

For more information please follow the link to the right.
Parents & Guardians Play
Pivotal Role in Virtual Learning
In his  March 26 letter to the community, Superintendent of Schools, William O. George III, Ed. D., praised the remarkable virtual learning effort put forth by the school community during this unprecedented time.

In addition to students, teachers and staff, Dr. George applauded the work of district parents and guardians, who have been thrust into a large educational support role.
Damien Font, a third grade teacher at Middletown Village Elementary School, explained that the working relationship between teachers and parents is stronger than ever.

“I’ll be doing a small group lesson in a Google Meet, and when I see parents in the background I’ll ask them to lean in and join us. I need them to understand my goals so that if they need to work one-on-one with their student later on, they can. Our parents are helping to reinforce our lessons. They’re our co-teachers right now, and they’re doing an incredible job,” said Font.

One of those parents is Pamela Brett, who has elementary and middle-school aged children in the district.

Brett, an educational consultant both in and outside of New Jersey, said she is “completely blown away by how well prepared and organized” the roll out of the district’s virtual learning plan has been. She credited the technology experience her children have gained in their respective classrooms for the successful transition to Virtual Home Instruction, as well as the technical knowledge of the district’s teaching staff, which has enhanced the support she is able to provide her children.

To continue reading this article please follow the link .
Follow Along With MTPS
Virtual Library Launched with Reading Challenge
Schools may be closed by the district's library staff is still working to support our school community, providing avid readers of all grade levels the most up to date information and resources about how to get your reading fix during Virtual Home Instruction days.

Be sure to visit the MTPS Virtual Library by following the link.

While perusing the database of entertainment and educational materials, please consider participating in the MTPS Reading Challenge.

The district library staff is asking students, parents and teachers to post a photo, drawing, or video to your Twitter account, and be sure to tag your school librarian and the Middletown Township Public School district account ( @MTPSpride ).
District Announces Revisions to Daily Educational Schedules During Virtual Home Instruction
Over the past week the District has announced a series of practical revisions to daily educational schedules of our K-12 students.

These revisions were informed by feedback provided by various community stakeholders, and data collected since the March 16th launch of the MTPS Virtual Learning Plan.

Please visit the links below for more information regarding these revisions.

Please note that the schedule revisions are only suggested schedules. The district's leniency protocols will remain in place, allowing students the flexibility to work through assignments at their own pace and at a time that is most convenient. Assignments will still have an 11:59 p.m. deadline on the day they are assigned, and teachers will continue to post all assignment at the beginning of each day, regardless of the scheduled block time.

MTPS Nurses Step Up to Serve the Greater Community
Middletown school nurses care a great deal about their community, which is why their nursing hearts have called them to duty to serve as public health nurses for the greater community.

In cooperation with the Middletown Township Board of Health, the district's 19 school nurses are stepping up to participate in a collaborative approach to communicable disease management and investigations during this pandemic. The group is trained to work with the local health department on communicable disease investigations of individuals reported to be COVID-19 positive. School nurses are providing COVID-19 mitigation education and counseling on isolation/quarantine strategies, as well as offering case management resources for issues that many people face, such as food insecurities, financial challenges and mental health referrals.

This public health partnership is an essential component of school nursing practice, targeting surveillance, health education and risk reduction. It is our hope that these efforts will help to contain the spread of COVID-19 between household members and close contacts in our community, while also decreasing admissions to our already overburdened hospital systems.
This is primary prevention at its best, demonstrating an aspect of school nurses’ public health practice that can be easily implemented. However, a partnership with the local health department is imperative to achieve optimal outcomes, so we appreciate the partnership we have developed with Rich DeBenedetto, Middletown Township Board of Health Director. School nurses are hopeful that this public health project and training program will serve as a model for other communities to replicate, allowing school nurses to relieve overburdened health departments and provide education to those positive or at risk for COVID-19 in a timely manner. With these strategies in place, school nurses can dampen the curve of the spread of this virus at the household and community level with the hope of keeping as many people out of the hospital as possible.

For additional resources and information from our nursing staff, please visit the new Virtual Health Office by following the link .
MTPS Maintaining the Routine
During Virtual Home Instruction
Since the March 16th launch of Virtual Home Instruction, district educators and administrators have focused on maintaining a sense of normalcy for students operating in an abnormal educational environment.

Embracing digital tools and tapping into their own creativity has allowed educators to preserve daily staples like morning announcements, morning meetings, reading circles and meetings between extracurricular groups have remained a regular part of our students’ days.

“Before we set out, I sent a letter to our parents letting them know how important it is during this time to stick to the routine,” said Harmony Elementary School Principal Erik Paulson. “Every morning, everyone walks through the entrance at Harmony. Students and parents are able to see me. They’re used to that. No one is walking in right now. This is something none of us have experienced before. But we can still engage with our students. They can still see me in the morning. That’s part of the routine.”

To help place students in the proper state of mind for a new day of Virtual Home Instruction, Paulson and his colleagues have made it part of their own routine to create  videos  or  live streams  on  YouTube Facebook  and  Twitter  as a way to generate that face time with their respective school communities.

To learn more about our school community's journey, and the actions that led to the March 16th launch of Virtual Home Instruction, please follow the link .
April BOE Meeting Date & Time Changed
The Board of Education meeting scheduled for April 22nd has been postponed until Wednesday, April 29th. Executive session will begin at 6 p.m. followed by the public session at 7 p.m.

On March 18th, the Board of Education and District Administrative Team met at High School North for the regularly scheduled Board of Education Workshop/Voting Meeting.
Follow the link to the right to review the meeting.
Mayor Tony Perry Thanks School Community for Efforts During
Virtual Home Instruction
Middletown Township Mayor Tony Perry delivered a video address to the school community, commending the efforts of students, parents and teachers during Virtual Home Instruction.

For more information and resources from Middletown Township, please follow the link .
New Parent Information Committee Meeting Video Now Available
Please follow the link to review the April 14 meeting of the district's Parent Information Committee by following the link to the right.
MTPS Educator Offers Soundtrack
for Virtual Home Instruction
Thompson Middle School social studies teacher Michael Carlo has tapped into his creativity to soundtrack the Virtual Home Instruction experience. Click the link to see his Week 2 video.
Has your Student Taken the Pledge? Follow the Link for More Information
Middletown Township is urging residents to to opt into Nixle to receive emergency communications and real-time alerts. For more information and additional township news alerts please visit www.middletownnj.org
River Plaza Honors Beloved Teacher
Margaret Morin with Reading Bench and Library
On Thursday, March 5th, the River Plaza Elementary School community came together for the dedication of a new reading bench and little free library in honor of its former first grade teacher, Mrs. Margaret Morin.

Morin passed away on Oct. 2, 2019 after teaching for 40 years at River Plaza.

Morin had a passion for launching special projects, such as the school's annual Dr. Seuss Day celebration.

In honor of that passion, the bench was designed to rest on two pillars of books, and the library was decorated with some of Dr. Seuss' most beloved characters.
To learn more about Brenna and her opportunity to represent her troop, school, and community, please watch the video to the right.
YMCA Offers Services to all District Students
The Community YMCA of Greater Monmouth County
is currently providing a multitude of services for district students.

Enrollment in the YMCA Y-Kids before and after school program is serving more than 1,000 students daily at each
of the District's 12 elementary schools.

The YMCA also offers various school-based counseling programs and social services, and is currently serving more than 100 district students. As of January 2020, these
services are being offered district-wide.

For additional information about YMCA services, please follow the links below.

The News Stand
Student Journalists at Work
On Jan. 22nd the District's 2020-2021 School Calendar was adopted. To view the calendar please visit  www.middletownk12.org/Calendar
Interested In Employment
Opportunities with the District?

Throughout the year new employment opportunities arise for educators, paraprofessionals, and more.

Learn more about new openings by visiting www.middletownk12.org/JobPostings
District Honored at 2019 NJSBA Workshop
Educators across the District are engaging students in personalized learning opportunities that build the skills necessary to one day flourish during college studies, a trade school education or in a rapidly evolving global work environment.

The District was recognized for this forward-thinking approach on Sept. 16th during a ceremony at the 2019 New Jersey School Boards Association Workshop in Atlantic City. Read more at the District website.
Learn More About Substitute Teaching
If you are interested in a flexible employment option that fits your lifestyle, a substitute teaching position may fit well with your lifestyle.

If you would like to learn please connect with Middletown Township Public Schools District Manager Deanna Scanlon at dscanlon@ess.com