The “UnConference” is coming, and soon.
For educators from throughout New Jersey, and beyond, New Brunswick Public Schools will host “EdCampNJ 2017” on Saturday, November 18, at New Brunswick High School. There is absolutely no cost to attend the event, which will run for five hours (8 a.m. to 1 p.m.).
Unique to EdCamp is the stipulation that participants create their own session agendas as the event is beginning. The day is highlighted by person-to-person exchanges and hands-on education, and is built upon the principles of connected and participatory learning. Much of the discussion, though not all, will involve technology-based educational innovations.
Since the original EdCamp event in 2010, there have been more than 1500 EdCamps around the world, in 35 countries. Some draw as many as 1,000 attendees.
Participant-driven. Sessions are determined the morning of the event, and there are no pre-scheduled presentations or keynotes. The goal is to keep sessions spontaneous, interactive, and responsive to everyone’s needs.
Free to all attendees. This helps ensure that a wide variety of teachers and other educational stakeholders can attend.
Experience, not Experts. All teachers and education stakeholders are professionals, worthy of sharing their expertise in a collaborative setting.
Reliant on the Rule of Two Feet. Participants are encouraged to actively self-select the best content and sessions. EdCampers should leave sessions that do not meet their needs. This provides an effective way of “weeding out” sessions that are not based on appropriate research or not delivered in an engaging format.
Afterward, a follow-up session open to all attendees will be held on January 20, 2018.
“I was fortunate enough to attend an UnConference last year, and I realized immediately that I wanted to help bring the concept to our school district,” says New Brunswick Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Aubrey Johnson. “It’s ultimately about educators getting together and discussing the things that really matter to them. It’s laid back and fun, but at the same time it’s a serious opportunity to learn alongside your peers. EdCamp is all about educators getting together to discuss what really matters to them.”
Additional details, including online registration for the November 18 event, are available at this link.
Under Sprint’s 1Million Project, 300 eligible New Brunswick High School students recently received a free smart phone, tablet, or hotspot device featuring 3 GB of free, high-speed LTE data per month (unlimited data at 2G speeds after that), hotspot capability, and unlimited domestic calls/texts on the Sprint network. The project provides devices with internet access to high school students across the U.S. who otherwise wouldn’t have online access at home.
Pictured are various New Brunswick students receiving their free devices, along with instruction on usage and input on appropriate online communication protocol.
New Brunswick High School students will receive devices through the 1Million Project for a five-year-period.
New Brunswick Public Schools’ third of four 2016-17 “Superintendent's Parent Learning Night” sessions was held recently at New Brunswick High School. Approximately 150 parents and relatives, plus faculty, staff members, and administrators were on hand for the event – along with 40 student volunteers who helped with set-up and then provided support during the session. The Learning Nights are specifically designed to provide families with insight on how students learn and what they experience on a daily basis. The first of the four sessions was held in December at Roosevelt School, with the second following in February at Woodrow Wilson School.
A video slideshow of the high school’s Learning Night can be viewed at this link. Digital images are available at this link. Details on this school year’s concluding Learning Night – including date and locations – will be announced shortly.
The New Brunswick High School event was supported by six community partners – Live Well New Brunswick, the Puerto Rican Action Board, the State Theatre New Jersey, George Street Playhouse, the Google Community Leaders Program, and CoLAB Arts stART – and benefited from donations by Airgas Healthcare, Lincoln Park; Christopher Tullo, NBHS teacher; Coca-Cola, Monmouth Junction; Costco of North Brunswick; Destination Dogs, New Brunswick; Esquina Latina Restaurant, New Brunswick; The Green Turtle, North Brunswick; Home Depot, South Brunswick; Jonathan Casillas, New York Giants; Karen Selby, NBHS teacher; Shop Rite, Spotswood; State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick; US Foods, Perth Amboy; UTZ Quality Foods, Freehold; Whitney Museum, NYC.
One more New Brunswick High School student will attend an elite university this fall. Current senior Linnette Morel was recently accepted to prestigious New York University, in the heart of Manhattan. Earlier this year, Morel’s classmates Dilcia Hernandez and Jocelyne Cruz were accepted by the Ivy League’s Cornell University, while classmate Jadelyn Flores was accepted by Princeton University, also of the Ivy League.
NBEF, along with the efforts of our School Counseling Office, recently held a successful Scholarship Program Workshop at our high school. 65 focused and energized students submitted their scholarship applications, exceeding our initial goal of 50. The workshop -- which included pizza, prizes, and a $1,000 NBEF scholarship – was a lot of fun, and impacted the lives of our students. All photos in this album were taken by current student photographers from New Brunswick High School! #ALLIN4NB
New Brunswick Public Schools’ second of four 2016-17 “Superintendent's Parent Learning Night” sessions was held recently at Woodrow Wilson School. Approximately 300 parents, relatives, students, staff members, and administrators were on hand for the event, which was designed to provide families with insight on how students learn and what they experience on a daily basis. The first Learning Night was held in December, at Roosevelt School. Details on the next two Learning Nights – including dates and locations – will be announced shortly.
Our pre-school program has been highlighted in Pre-K Our Way’s latest newsletter! Our studies show that three and four-year-olds who attended our Preschool Program scored an average 12 points higher on recent assessments than their peers who did not attend a New Brunswick Preschool Program. We’re honored to #Prepare #Empower and #Inspire the youth of New Brunswick before they start school! #ALLIN4NB Click here for the newsletter!
A “real world” opportunity, complete with challenges
There’s a big difference between theory and a real world challenge – a lesson 15 New Brunswick High School engineering students have now learned firsthand.
With the district’s Paul Robeson Community School for the Arts in the midst of a multi-year construction and expansion project, high school teacher Patricia Chilelli perceived a unique instructional opportunity. She decided her Introduction to Engineering class would learn about municipal construction, as they undertook a long-term project focused on developing designs for a complete science lab… which would fit within the very specific constraints of the Robeson School architectural blueprints.
“With engineering, one of the most difficult considerations is that whatever is being created must exist within a surrounding environment,” Chilelli explains. “That’s true of bridges, highways, and also science labs. Since almost all the students were familiar with the Robeson School project, this seemed a great way to teach about making things ‘fit.”
Chilelli laid out very detailed guidelines – the lab would need to support science activities appropriate to the school’s population of fourth through eighth graders, while also accommodating a total of 24 students based on a specific space formula. Through support from the New Jersey Schools Development Authority (NJSDA), her class was able to monitor ongoing work in the area of Robeson School that their project addressed, via a mounted, internet-connected video camera
And fortunately for the 15 students – who were divided up among four distinct teams – they were even able to visit the site of their lab, thanks to a pair of in-district field trips coordinated by the NJSDA and New Brunswick Public School’s director of Facilities, Design, and Construction, Frank LoDolce.
“It was a lot of fun fitting the entire class with construction helmets and other safety equipment, then bringing them to the building site,” LoDolce says. “They were working on a range of different concepts, and walk around within the actual space gave them a much clearer vision of what would and wouldn’t work.”
The class’ four final plans and 3D models – one submission each from the teams Victory, Academy, JAGD, and IEJR – were presented during a June meeting of Superintendent of Schools Dr. Aubrey Johnson’s cabinet. All successfully addressed the challenging parameters Chilelli had established.
“Often, when you give students a complex, long-term assignment like this one, you don’t know what the final outcome will be,” Chilelli explained. “The most valuable, educational experience is the overall process – the success or failure of the engineering itself is decidedly secondary. But in this case, I’m proud to say the students did a fabulous job and each of their four science lab designs were terrific.
In collaboration with the City of New Brunswick and the New Brunswick Police Department, New Brunswick Public Schools has established an ongoing, in-class program at the high school to strengthen the relationship between students and local police officers. Here’s an overview video. https://vimeo.com/204234562
Last night, at Roosevelt Elementary School, New Brunswick Public Schools held the first “Superintendent's Parent Learning Night”, of which there will be four in the 2016-17 school year. Hundreds of Roosevelt parents and relatives attended, which provided insight into how students learn and what they experience on a daily basis.
District Superintendent Dr. Aubrey Johnson led a breakout session (one of three available to attendees) that was hands-on and science-focused.
Details on the three upcoming Superintendent's Parent Learning Nights will be made available in the coming weeks.
Representatives of New Brunswick Public Schools and the New Jersey School Development Authority (SDA), along with community and local government leaders – including New Brunswick Mayor James Cahill and Assemblyman Joseph Egan – gathered yesterday to mark the ceremonial groundbreaking for a two-year construction project at Paul Robeson Community School for the Arts. Upon completion in 2018, the school’s existing 59,400 square feet of space will be renovated, while a 60,000-square-foot, three-story addition will include 30 new classrooms and a new multi-purpose room. With construction underway, the school’s students are attending classes at an alternate school facility within the district.
The SDA is both managing and funding the construction, which has a projected cost of $47 million. To date, the SDA has invested approximately $270 million in completed New Brunswick school district projects.
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ (June 21, 2017) – As part of the New Brunswick Sister Cities Association educational and cultural exchange program, four Woodrow Wilson School students, two New Brunswick staff members, and a New Brunswick firefighter and his son recently traveled to the central European nation of Hungary.
There, the group spent the first day of its visit in the historic capital city, Budapest, and the remaining eight days of its stay in the renowned cultural center of Debrecen – with which New Brunswick has enjoyed a 25-year sister city relationship.
The four students who represented Woodrow Wilson School during this year’s cultural exchange trip were Ashley Caldwell, Erin Eckert, Sheila Nunez-Duran, and Levania Velsaco-Uscamaita.
“Any trip to a foreign destination is likely to be a powerful educational experience,” noted Dr. Aubrey Johnson, superintendent, New Brunswick Public Schools. “For years to come, these four Woodrow Wilson students will be able to talk about visiting historic places that very few Americans have seen.”
Accompanying the students as chaperones were Woodrow Wilson School teacher Annamaria Papp and Woodrow Wilson School Media Specialist Michael Leone.
Also joining the trip was New Brunswick firefighter Fred Obado and his son, Madden Obado. The Obado family has a long history of active involvement with the New Brunswick Sister Cities Association.
Encouraging involvement in educational, political, cultural, and economic activities, the New Brunswick Sister Cities Association works to build mutually-beneficial, cross-cultural relationships with its sister city.
On Friday, March 17, 2017 our AVID 9 students, along with six AVID seniors, visited our AVID 9 neighbors to the “North”. The North Brunswick AVID students and staff welcomed our students for an afternoon of team building and discussions led by the New Brunswick AVID seniors. Students from both schools worked together and solved all the various team building challenges given to them. Our seniors spoke about how AVID has helped them to be successful and their future plans. It was a wonderful afternoon and we look forward to visiting with our “neighbors” again. Please enjoy the pictures below.
New Brunswick Public Schools recently celebrated the 20th annual Read Across America Day, which is held each year on Dr. Seuss’ birthday. To mark the occasion, Dr. Aubrey Johnson, superintendent – along with district administrators, teachers, staff, and members of the community – visited classrooms throughout the district and read books to students. In addition, some classes participated in other activities celebrating the 113th anniversary of Dr. Seuss’ birth.
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — For weeks, rumors have floated around the city that some undocumented immigrants are afraid to go to work or school.
Aubrey Johnson, superintendent of New Brunswick Public Schools, said last night that he and his employees have the backs of all students, including undocumented immigrants. The district has various polices in place that protect students’ rights and privacy, he said.CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE
The New Brunswick Middle School Robotics Team won the prestigious “Project Presentation Award” and achieved 4th place in a very competitive field of 26 teams at the Regional FLL BoroBlast Robotics Tournament held at Hillsborough High School on November 19th.
The robotics program at the Middle School (which provides 6th through 8th graders with hands-on and inquiry based learning experiences that entail designing, building and programming robots), is sponsored by the New Brunswick Education Foundation in partnership with the New Brunswick Public Schools. We are all very proud of our students and coaches for their outstanding accomplishment