Dear Citizens of Woodbridge,
Beecher Road School is a Professional Learning Community that strives to maximize the learning and success of each child as we prepare them for the future. Student learning is, of course, dependent on the continuous learning afforded to our teachers.
The following highlights will provide a view into some of the ways we are preparing our Beecher students through the use of Technology. We will also highlight how our teachers are engaged in continuous learning and will also highlight the support that comes from our community through our town government, parents (PTO) and Woodbridge residents/clubs (Rotary).
The Woodbridge School District, for the last thirty years, has created a Technology Plan that drives both technology instruction and the use and maintenance of the current technology hardware in the district. The Technology Plan that is coming to a close this year sought to promote personal learning, creativity, and innovation among all members of the Beecher Road School Community. The District supported the needs of the faculty and staff to encourage and nurture students to become independent lifelong learners.
The adoption of the Student Data Privacy Act, PA 16-189, has changed the landscape of how technology is used and integrated in Connecticut classrooms. Our new District Technology Plan is centered around creating a Trusted Learning Environment, that implements high standards for student data privacy protections around five core practice areas: Leadership, Business, Data Security, Professional Development and Classroom. The district, as trusted stewards of both student and staff digital information, is consistently reviewing policies, procedures, and practices to ensure the safety and security of all.
Open Tech Lab
Last year, the technology center began an open Tech Lab for students in grades 5 and 6. Students are able to sign up with their classroom teachers based on their daily classroom schedules. Opportunities for students include animation, robotics, Coding (Scratch and Python), and a demo day to try out new and emerging software and hardware that is being tested for possible future use in Technology classes.
Coding For All
At Beecher Road School we offer students a wide variety of coding experiences throughout the grade levels, and many of those experiences don’t even involve a computer! Giving students experiences both with hands-on coding using robotics such as Code-a-pillar, Bee-Bots, and Cubelets combined with computer-based programs (Kodable, Scratch, and Python) allows students to learn and explore multiple ways to interact with technology. These experiences plant a seed for future learning and exploration. Students can find the areas and programming styles that interest them and delve deeper into them as they grow.
Traveling The World Without Leaving The Classroom
Students in grades 3 and 5 have recently gone on Google Expeditions to explore different parts of the world as part of their science classes and enrichment clusters. The technology team, in conjunction with classroom teachers and our STEAM teacher, have used our new Google expedition virtual reality goggles to transport students across the globe. These experiences have allowed for students to see the areas they are studying and get an up-close look at different parts of the world to better understand the concepts being taught.
Grade 2 Google
The second-grade team has added the use of iPads and Google classroom for their unit on local government and community helpers. Over the course of this two- week unit, students will ask questions to drive their own learning, and decide on a way to present their new found knowledge to their classmates. This project further integrates technology into the curriculum.
Digital citizenship is becoming an increasingly important piece of our students lives. We begin teaching digital citizenship beginning in Kindergarten through a variety of lessons. Digital citizenship skills are also taught outside of the technology center as well as through health and the D.A.R.E. program curriculums. Here at BRS we believe it takes the entire community to create a responsible digital citizen, and we continually strive to supply the background knowledge for all our students to build off of.
Grade six students are given a unique opportunity to become a member of a working news broadcast crew. In September students may apply by completing an application complete with an essay on their interest in the program and why they feel they would be an asset to the team. Throughout the year students are introduced to both the technological aspects of creating a broadcast, as well as researching information for segments, interviewing both peers and faculty, and presenting skills.
As a Professional Learning Community, Beecher Road School teachers continuously strive to increase their knowledge of teaching strategies and content to support their students. Professional learning takes place on Professional Development Days, afterschool meetings and grade level/department PLC meetings, among other times.
Beecher Road School continues to recognize and enjoy the support from our town. Beecher and the Board of Education continue to appreciate the high priority that the Town Boards of Finance and Selectmen place on Education funding as we prepare our students to become 21st century global citizens. Beecher also appreciates the support of our amazing PTO and organizations like Rotary. Rotary provides funding each year for dictionaries and our DARE program and the PTO provides thousands of dollars each year in support of curricular and cultural programs – all in support of student learning.
Pictured: Climbing Wall
By Robert F. “Bob” Gilbert, Superintendent of the Woodbridge School District