The Butler Public School District takes great pride in its commitment to provide a vibrant and safe learning environment for all of our students, enrolled in our grades, Pre K through twelve. The districts curriculum provides a broad range of instruction in accordance with the N.J. Department of Educations Core Curriculum Content Standards and the new Common Core State Standards. Additionally, students have a wide range of choices regarding participation in a variety of athletic and extracurricular activities. Our programs are based on principles that provide opportunities for all students to develop character and leadership skills, while becoming responsible citizens who engage in meaningful community service activities. Butler High School was recently recognized as one of the Top 100 High Schools in New Jersey by the New Jersey Monthly magazine, and the school appeared on that magazines list of New Jerseys Most Improved High Schools.
The school districts Local Professional Development Committee continues to provide support and training for both our novice and veteran teachers. In addition to providing mentor training, the district initiated in the 2009-10 school year, several school and district-wide teacher training programs. As part of this multi-year schedule, our teaching staff, both regular education and special education, grades Pre-K through 12, will complete teacher training in Differentiated Instruction, Essential Elements of Instruction, Curriculum Development, Technology and Standards Based Math Instruction and the Columbia readers and Writers Workshop in the area of Language Arts Literacy.
Annually, our administration and faculty engage in the analysis and review of district standardized testing results, and in reviewing district curriculum at all schools. This planned and coordinated activity ensures alignment between the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards [NJCCCS], the new national standards, our district curriculum and the many state and national standardized tests which our students experience. The purpose of these analysis and review activities is to improve our students performance and achievement levels on these state and national assessments. While we are proud that our New Jersey state test results at all of our schools typically indicate that we have met Adequate Yearly Progress [ or AYP requirements for district and student performance required by the No Child Left Behind legislation], we realize that consistent, concentrated district improvement efforts are needed if we are to extend level of student performance and achievement.
The use of technology by teachers and administrators continues to expand. In addition to the administrative uses for communication, budgeting and student record-keeping, teachers continue to explore innovative ways to include technology in their lessons. Students develop proficiencies in age-appropriate software applications, such as Study Island at both Richard Butler Middle School and Aaron Decker Elementary School. We have just recently begun using Achieve 3000 software aimed at increasing student reading, writing and thinking skills at all three schools. The districts web site continues to offer vital information about the school district for students, parents and community residents. We also recently completed a project to update to the districts electronic computer network, using funding totaling 40%, through a grant program from the New Jersey Department of Education. This project will enable us to operate our network more effectively and efficiently, as well as enable us to use more sophisticated software, aimed at increasing student achievement and learning. We have also used this network upgrade to expand and improve upon building safety levels by using security cameras and other safety measures. Working cooperatively with local partners and first responders such as the Butler Borough, the Butler Police, Fire, and Office of Emergency Management Departments, the school district was awarded an approximate $178,000 federal Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools [REMS] grant that has been almost completed and which was utilized to provide emergency response training, as well as allowing us to install cameras and other electronic security measures in the schools.
The school district and the Borough of Butler are currently involved in several Shared Service agreements, involving field maintenance, the use of a field storage facility and recently completed installation of a fiber optic network connecting all school buildings. The district also engages in several Shared Service agreements with the Bloomingdale school district, beyond the send-receive high school experience, including sharing of school Library oversight, Special Education and sharing the services of the Student Assistance Counselor.
The Butler Public School District is fortunate to have a dedicated, committed group of teachers, administrators and support staff members. Our faculty and staff members continue to focus upon meeting the diverse needs of our students. Our faculty, staff and administration give selflessly of their time and energies to maintain high levels of student achievement and are committed to making sure the educational needs of the students and the operational needs of our district are well met.