Upper Freehold Regional School District
Report Card Narrative
The Upper Freehold Regional School District provides all students with a comprehensive learning environment in a nurturing and personalized setting. The district is distinguished by an emphasis on academic excellence, instructional best practice and the development of both creativity and character. Serving approximately 2,400 students, the district provides all students with a rich, rigorous, comprehensive and truly caring educational experience.
The districts families are served by three schools. Students in pre-kindergarten through grade 4 attend Newell Elementary School, and students in grades 5-8 attend the newly opened, state-of-the-art Stonebridge Middle School. The Allentown High School (AHS) welcomes students from Allentown, Upper Freehold, and Millstone as well as Choice students from communities within a twenty mile radius of our campus. Allentown High School operates on a modified block schedule with some classes meeting for a semester and others meeting every other day for a full year. All members of our learning community are inspired and highly motivated to work together for the common good of all the children we receive.
The district is known for the innovation and excellence of its programs at both the K-8 and high school level.
Our language arts program at the K-8 level is based on the Teachers College model of reading and writing workshop. Students receive explicit instruction in reading and writing strategies but then practice those strategies in high quality literature at their own reading level or on writing topics they have chosen themselves. Students also receive explicit phonics instruction through the Fundations Program at the K-2 level and engage in Word Study in grades 3-8. At the high school level, students have the opportunity to take honors and AP English as well as numerous electives ranging from Creative Writing to Literature and Film.
Our elementary Envisions Math Program balances quick and accurate computation with creative problem-solving. The program has a strong technology component with video clips and smartboard graphics serving as integral aspects of the instructional process. Students with demonstrated motivation and high ability in mathematics are eligible to participate in the Advanced Level Math program, which serves grades 3-7. Many of those students then go on to take Algebra in grade 8. Once in high school, students pursue requirements in algebra, geometry, and algebra II. They also can challenge themselves with courses such as pre-calculus, AP calculus, and AP statistics.
The district is committed to a hands-on science program that builds on students natural curiosity and challenges them to observe, question, explore and problem-solve. The program is kit-based at the K-6 level and has a strong laboratory component from seventh grade through high school. At the high school level, most students take biology followed by chemistry. Students have the option to take a number of electives such as forensic science. They may also qualify to take Advanced Placement courses in biology, chemistry, physics, and environmental science. The district is especially proud of its Choice Program in agricultural science, which uses the new, highly rigorous Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE).
Our newly revised social studies program uses the award winning Social Studies Alive! curriculum at the K-4 level. This curriculum, published by TCI, engages students with important information and concepts through movement, music, and a variety of creative and cooperative activities. In grades 5-7, students delve into American History beginning with exploration and colonization and continuing through Westward Expansion, Industrialization, and World War II. Students also are given special instruction in a short geography unit entitled Mapping Our World. In eighth grade, students delve into the study of ancient civilizations, which then flows into their exploration in ninth grade of world cultures. Once students complete the required high school courses of US I and US II, they have the opportunity to take a variety of APs and electives including AP Economics, AP Psychology, AP US History, AP European History, Crime and Justice, Genocide, Current Events, and a newly added US III course, which focuses in greater depth on the last 50 years.
The goal of our World Language program is oral and cultural proficiency. We want our students to truly speak the language they study and to have an appreciation for the history and culture associated with it. In grades 1-8, our focus is on Spanish. We have developed thematic units on topics such as school, family, food, and travel. Students learn through music, movement and visual media and are given numerous opportunities to speak and present. At the high school level, the World Language offerings are expanded to include Spanish, Italian, French and Latin.
Fortunate to have both talented teachers and talented students, the district has an outstandingly successful program in the arts. Music and art education are provided for all students in grades K-8. Parents support a district developed curriculum called Meet-The-Artist which offers art history workshops for students in grades K-2. Students have elective opportunities at the middle school such as digital photography and digital music. Once in high school, they can take courses ranging from graphic design to AP Studio Art. More than half of the students at the middle school are members of the choir. Those students can continue pursuing their vocal talent at the high school as part of our award-winning Concert Choir. Instrumental music begins for students in grade five. Once at the high school, those students can join our Symphonic Band, Jazz Band and Marching Band. Students perform in musicals beginning in elementary school. They shine on the stage in middle school and go on to perform at an exemplary level in shows such as Aida and Les Miserable.
Gifted & Talented
The G&T program is designed to provide differentiated enrichment based on students identified needs. Using Joseph Renzulli‟s School-wide Enrichment Model as a framework, we have created three tiers of enrichment for our students, K-12. Those tiers include the following:
Tier 1: Enrichment Within the Regular Classroom; Tier 2: Enrichment Beyond the Regular Classroom including experiences that are good for all, interest based, and that bring together like-minded students to come together for intellectual conversation, challenge, and in-depth learning; Tier 3: Advancement Beyond Grade Level
Mathematics Enrichment, K-8
In addition to the Tier 1 enrichment that will take place through differentiation in the regular classroom, the following mathematical opportunities are also available: Grades, K-2: Math for All Minds that groups students by skill level for short math cycles that focus on using math to solve real-life problems; Grades, 3-7: Advanced Level Math Classes that meet every day bringing together students with a demonstrated readiness to learn math at a faster pace. The ALM classes cover the grade-level curriculum in three or four days each week and use the additional days to work math problems that extend students thinking and provide opportunities for students to apply their mathematical skills. Grade 8: Algebra Students with a demonstrated ability to pursue math at an accelerated level take Algebra in lieu of the regular Grade 8 mathematics program. Students successful in Algebra typically go on to take Honors Geometry in ninth grade.
Technology is integrated throughout the curriculum. Half the classrooms at the high school and virtually all of the classrooms at the elementary and middle school are equipped with a Smartboard. All of the schools have multiple computer labs as well as portable laptop carts. All of the schools have wireless access and all of the teachers are assigned a laptop. The district has engaged in extensive professional development in the area of Web 2.0 and is proud of the many ways teachers are using technology to foster communication, creativity, and collaboration.
The Upper Freehold Regional School District is consistently working to provide students, teachers and staff with an optimal learning environment. The following success indicators represent initiatives that have proven to be effective in stimulating academic rigor and enhanced student achievement:
Teachers are active participants in professional development seminars offered annually by administrators, faculty, master teachers, and visiting consultants as part of the districts Professional Development Forum.
Faculty and administration work as colleagues to examine data as the basis for making decisions about curriculum, instructional materials, and teaching techniques.
Elementary/middle school PTA organizes and funds numerous school activities, including educational assemblies, book fairs, family nights, as well as content based activities in the sciences, social studies, and humanities.
Community members and school staff work together to promote excellence in the instruction of talented youth.
Math and Writing Labs are in place at the high school to reinforce writing and math skills.
Sixteen Advanced Placement Courses are offered at the high school, including AP Literature, AP Chemistry, AP Calculus, and AP European History. A large number of students obtain college credit for AP courses as a result of their strong performance on the AP examinations.
Teachers infuse information literacy and career awareness into the curriculum.
Character Education Programs promote Cooperation, Assertiveness, Respect/Responsibility, Empathy, and Self-Control.
The Upper Freehold Regional School District Comprehensive Five-Year Technology Plan includes the expansion of a platform to support the website, enable online course presentation, and maximize the integration of SmartBoard technology in all classrooms.
Special education inclusion services are offered throughout the district.
TV production elective courses are offered at AHS and taught by a highly trained instructor.
Curriculum maps for all areas of study. K-12 are in place and are revised on an ongoing basis.
Students in the Agricultural Science program, a local initiative that is part of the state-wide Choices option, are consistently recognized at the State and National level for their high achievement as one of the finest FFA Chapters in New Jersey and the nation.
A district Child Watch program offers an extended-day program of child care
The AHS Student Council named first in the state for contributing to the State Student Council Charity.
Recognition our Redbird Robotics team received for their success in regional competitions.
For additional information relative to the programs, activities, and opportunities found in the Upper Freehold Regional School District please visit our website www.UFRSD.net.
Dr. Richard Fitzpatrick
Superintendent of Schools
609.213.2869 extension 3201