PHOTOS: U.S. Congressman Chris Smith Meets Lakewood BOE

PHOTOS: Republican Congressman Chris Smith was in Lakewood on Friday to meet the heads of the School District. Smith (NJ-04), met with the officials in hopes of improving the failing Lakewood schools, and in hopes of securing more federal ans state aid for the district.

“Our working partnership shares one, overarching goal: improving educational opportunities for all Lakewood school children,” said Congressman Chris Smith. “I am encouraged by the valuable, useful exchange of ideas and look forward to assisting the new school board, which has already made great strides.”

Board President Carl Fink says, “We are working together for the good of all the children. It was a good meeting and I am looking forward to making progress. We are bridging the gaps between all the communities.”

Smith told the group he had spoken directly to the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Education Chris Cerf, who agreed to come to Lakewood with a presentation of the department’s newly forming Regional Achievement Centers (RAC) educational program. The Commissioner told Smith he would bring top RAC staff to work with the board to find ways to help Lakewood with resources and educational tools, even prior to the official kick-off of RAC expected this summer.

They also discussed ways the district could better identify and appropriately apply for federal and state grants.

“The fact that all of us are on the same page working in the same direction is what this is all about,” Singer said. “This cooperation works to the benefit of all the students.”

Smith and Fink said they would all work together to coordinate the meeting with the Commissioner, school board members and district officials to ensure that Lakewood receives as much benefit as possible out of the RAC program.

The meetig was held at the Lakewood School Board offices and was attended by (pictured L-R) School Superintendent Lydia Silva, Board Member Chesky Seitler, Board Attorney Steven Edelstien, Board President Carl Fink, Congressman Chris Smith Senator Bob Singer and Committeeman Steven Langert. TLS.

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  1. For the first time in 12 years we actually have a full functioning and active BOE.Thank You LAC You guys have done a great job in putting Lakewood back on track

  2. Stabilize, Stabilize, Stabilize.
    Improve, Improve, Improve.
    Vo-Tec, Vo-Tec, Vo-Tec.
    Programs, Programs, Programs.
    Cost Management, Cost Management, Cost Management.
    State Aid, State Aid, State Aid.
    Cut Dropout Rate, Cut Dropout Rate, Cut Dropout Rate.
    Improve Graduation Rate, Improve Graduation Rate, Improve Graduation Rate.
    Improve Transportation System, Improve Transportation System, Improve Transportation System.

  3. I have been attending the BOE meetings and I must say this board is making a difference. Professionalism and pride is back in Lakewood.
    A few moves in the right direction is all it took.
    Is the commissioner really coming to Lakewood?. Please continue to up-date us.

  4. The RAC that will work with Lakewood High School (LHS) in 2013 will pay special attention to eight turnaround principles adopted largely from the experience of Union City. Union City is the one Abbott district that significantly narrowed the achievement gap.

    I visited Stanley Sanger, superintendent of Union City, and John Bennetti, principal of Union City High School. They explained their method and what we will need to do next year Lakewood High School.

    Each individual class is wrapped around constantly updated data. Instruction is differentiated for each individual student. Classes are broken into groups and those groups are constantly regrouped.

    Union City purchases the full battery of testing in every grade so that results include a breakdown of scores into clusters for each student. Reports are then disclosed to teachers and they are shown how to use them. Coaches are hired to help teachers in the grouping and remediation. Groups are refined after the first grouping, after the teacher gives his or her first assessment.

    They use district benchmarking, every 8 to 10 weeks, giving a multiple-choice test fed into a modern ScanTron or other device to spew out data about which questions are missed. Assessments are aligned to the state standards to modify curriculum, which is scoped and sequenced to the standards. The class is regrouped after data is hand delivered to teacher, emailed, and posted on a central district database. Teachers give their routine assessments and quizzes to modify the regrouping of the students.

    High school subject supervisors are in-house, assigned to a single school, and meet with teachers every week. They modify the curriculum and give mini-lessons to help teachers in presenting materials to one group of students or another depending upon what the data indicates. They spend time in each classroom every day and hold meetings with teachers to discuss intervention.

    The most important difference between Union City and other districts is the abandonment of textbook driven curriculum. Supervisors do not even look at the textbook as they write the curriculum, which is constantly updated, again driven by data and the state standards with a goal toward helping students pass the graduation test.

    Union City holds distinct HSPA class periods during school and after school. It uses peer tutoring by honors students, not just PALS students, but students who have excelled in a subject area.

  5. I would like to add that PALs in LHS is a structured learning program that raises the self-esteem of students through their assignment as teacher aids and the performance of other services. It was a poor comparison. PALs is not a peer-tutoring program. The last paragraph should read”

    “It uses peer tutoring by honors students who have excelled in a subject area. “

  6. i hope that with chris smith coming to lakewood, he can see that the board only represents the jewish priviate schools and the interests of their children only and in no way reflects the concerns views and opinions of the other section of the community. I pray that he sees that and helps to make a few changes as far as the representation on the board just saying.

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