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One Year Later: Brower to Carry Out a Mission in Next Phase as Super

'Listening and Doing' forums to begin in January

A year ago Nov. 15, Superintendent Dr. Sandra Brower took her first steps into the Lacey Township School District.

The highlights of her first year fall back to all that was accomplished during the transition period—listening and learning, she said.

“We made a lot of changes,” she said.

That first year was a time for Brower to get to know the community, its expectations and its desires, she said.

“I have learned Lacey is unlike any other district. It’s about involvement, tradition and cherishing the things that make Lacey different,” she said. “You don’t change those things but keep them intact and build on them.”

But the year also was one of challenges with the loss of student Ana Kopack and Hurricane Sandy, she said.

“To watch the community come together when we’re hurting was remarkable,” she said. “Our parents are raising students to be responsible and to give back.”

Not only did Brower “listen and learn,” which was the title of her first phase of work in Lacey, but the district took action in areas of staffing, technology and resources, she said.

Changes were enacted from new technology and a special services director to restructuring the administration and supporting new employees with an intensive development program, she said.

Since Brower has been superintendent, the district also has increased resources to classrooms with promethean boards, enacted backend systems to create more efficiencies, focused on professional development, embarked on a curriculum mapping project, implemented a kindergarten pilot program, hired new principals, modified the school district calendar and kickstarted a virtual learning program.

Currently the district is working to combat its dropout rate, which Brower is closely monitoring, she said. Administration is debriefing on every case and profiling students from start to finish to determine why a student dropped out or may drop out, if they can complete school and how the district can help.

“It’s a huge task,” she said. “I’m taking it very seriously. This has my full attention.”

With the new Four initiative, one that calls for students' involvement in four extracurricular activities in or outside of school, Brower believes that will help in addition to the virtual learning program and two new substance abuse counselors.

“I’m really proud of the board’s support for what we’ve done this year,” she said.

Brower will be initiating her “Listening and Doing” phase in January with a forum for the public, she said. There will be one in each school.

“It’s about the next step,” she said.

Through these sessions, Brower will learn the community’s wants and needs. This phase is ultimately about “carrying out a mission,” she said.

“It’s going to be me creating a list,” she said. “I have done that already but it’s going to be actionable items.”

In the upcoming year areas of focus include: a teacher evaluation program, work on implementing a full kindergarten program, taking stock on new programs such as enVision Math, further work in the technology department, analyzing data and setting improvement goals for student achievement and enhancing the Gifted and Talented program.

“We have three things we’re working on unveiling,” Brower teased, declining to be more specific.

In January, Brower will be presenting a State of the State on the district’s Curriculum Mapping Project and another on the Kindergarten Pilot

“It’s not as flashy but a lot is going on in the second half of the year,” she said.

maryann pietruska December 10, 2012 at 06:52 PM
To go along with the 4 Initiative, keep in mind that both Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts are very active in Lacey. There are activities for all levels of interests and abilities here. FOr information, contact the local councils. There is plenty of time to join and participate in the up coming activities....
Willy Nilly December 10, 2012 at 10:08 PM
That "4 for 4" initiative is hogwash! My child was FORCED to particpate in 4 clubs that she doesn't even want to be apart of and waste her own time!
Tim O C December 10, 2012 at 11:00 PM
http://www.schooldigger.com/go/NJ/schools/0810005935/school.aspx
Fedupwithlacey December 11, 2012 at 12:56 AM
Did she also mention that she has taken the game farm kids into our schools??? Has she mentioned the problems they have caused not only to the teachers but to our students that are trying to learn?? No she DID NOT! She hides a lot!
Tim O C December 11, 2012 at 02:30 AM
Dont hide the TRUTH Lacey Township High: Stop deleting my post SchoolDigger Ranks Lacey Township High 257th of 389 New Jersey public high schools. (See school ranking list H
Tim O C December 11, 2012 at 02:32 AM
70 Mil a yr fLacey Township High: SchoolDigger Ranks Lacey Township High 257th of 389 New Jersey public high schools. (See school ranking listor this?
4Liberty December 11, 2012 at 03:57 AM
Time 4 her 2 go. Save the taxpayers’ money. 21 counties, 21 school district = 21 sups of schools.
JOHNNY Done it December 12, 2012 at 05:51 AM
I dont see that nothing is better other than than more people have doctorates ( probably exceeding the # of doctors in the ER at CMC) which turn causes a higher pays scale which leads to tax increases...
Lacey Mom December 14, 2012 at 03:54 AM
Sorry but get your facts straight, the kids that are over at the Game Farm DO NOT ATTEND our school district, they are kids that are part of the Juvenille Justice Commission that atted their own school on site at the Game Farm. The youth there are not even residents of Lacey Township or even Ocean County. So before you start saying something thats not true you should know the facts!!!!!!!!!!
Lacey Mom December 16, 2012 at 02:55 AM
Could you tell me more about this game farm school
Lacey Mom December 16, 2012 at 03:10 AM
I never knew this school was in our town. Where is the school located? Where do these children come from? I Have a child in preschool in that area and never knew this existed. I just wanted to know more facts.

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