Bruce Winkelstein

    Dear Parents,

    So begins another exciting year here Brookside School. As with every year, we strive to continue our tradition of attentiveness to students and excellence in learning. At the same time, we look to improve and grow. This year, our focus revisits some prior goals and also embarks on some new initiatives.

    Over the last five years, a significant focus for Brookside School has been language arts and literacy. Our first emphasis was on reading. This included basic comprehension, reading in the content areas, inferential thinking, and applying reading skills to novel text. In analyzing data, students here at Brookside have shown improvement and competency in this area. Last year, we focused our attention towards writing. Specific attention and training were put towards the reading/writing workshop model for language arts and content area writing for all other subjects. The adoption of the Common Core Standards by the State of New Jersey correlates directly with this initiative. As such, one of our main goals for this year continues to be the development of student writing both within language arts and across content areas.  Language arts teachers will continue to receive training and feedback on the use of the research-based readers/writers workshop model.  Content area teachers will meet regularly with the literacy coach and with grade level language arts teachers to review and analyze student work and develop instructional expertise.

    A second form of literacy in our sight is technological literacy. Brookside School is now a fully wireless environment. In addition to grade level laptop computers, students will now also have access to an iPad cart for specific projects as designed by the teachers.  Furthermore, every student at Brookside School will be assigned a Google account to allow for virtual learning via Google Drive. Not only will this make access to school assignments easier for students, but it also provides a platform for authentic collaboration between students and between students and the teacher. Finally, we will begin to explore ways to link school learning with the ubiquitous technology children utilize daily. A big part of this is our BYOD opportunity. Students, with proper approval, can bring their own devices to use as a learning tool in school.

    I am looking forward to an exciting and fruitful 2013-2014 school year. As always if you have any questions or concerns please contact me by phone at 201-327-2020, or by e-mail at bwinkelstein@allendalek8.com.

    Bruce Winkelstein