I'd like to point out the exceptional work that our TV & Video Production students are doing with the K-12 winter concerts this holiday season. Each of our school concerts, eight concerts in total, are being recorded for additional broadcasts throughout December and January. It is great to watch these students in action, under the direction of Mr. Frank Flegeal, producing, directing and recording each production from the studio control room. We also don't want to forget the wonderful job our camera people are doing "in the field."
Actually, our students have been doing this for a number of years now. A new dimension has been added this year as we are broadcasting the concerts live on HV-TV Channels 19 (Comcast) and 32 (Verizon) as well as on the Internet on the HV-TV webpages at http://www2.hvrsd.org/News/HVTV
. We've had a few live broadcasts in the past but those broadcasts couldn't be viewed outside of Hopewell Valley by Comcast subscribers or outside of Mercer County by Verizon subscribers. Graduation last June was our trial of broadcasting out to the world via our website. It worked out great and we had family members all over the world tune into our graduation online. Now, our winter concerts will enjoy the same exposure. In fact, even our message board that is running when there is no scheduled program, is live as well. HV-TV is live 24/7!
We will be re-broadcasting our winter concerts for your enjoyment and we look forward to additional programming so keep tabs of future HV-TV scheduling by checking our program guide on the HV-TV website.
The pace of technology change is beyond what we can humanly stay on top of...if we try to stay on top of all of it! As educators, we need to look at technology that can best assist students in meeting the goals of the curriculum, is easy to use and manage, and can produce positive student outcomes.
One can become quickly inundated with information and resources that are gathered through web-based sources. I have quickly come to rely on the shared experiences of other educators that are communicated via specific educational technology journals and Twitter. Adapting and adjusting technology teaching practices that have already been proven successful saves time in trial and error. Of course you can't get totally away from the trial and error and we must still put on the table new ideas that we generate ourselves, but the bottom line is this, we need to stay abreast of new educational technologies that benefit our students and teachers and we need to do so in way that minimizes our research time and maximizes student achievement.
This is easier said than done....there is just so much, so much, information out there on the use of technology in the classroom. We need to adopt best practices where and when appropriate and empower our staff to try new ideas in the classroom and share what works and what does not work. If we are true to this, then it is inevitable that we, as a school district and department, move forward with technologies enhancing our curriculum and preparing our students for their future.
Now, with a couple of days behind us since the Class of 2012 has graduated, sights are now fully set on priorities for this summer that will move us ahead for the 2012-2013 school year. Those who think summer is a time for administrators in the Hopewell Valley Regional School District to relax...let me tell you differently! :)
The following are just some of the many items on the radar for work this summer for the Business, Practical Arts, Media and Educational Technology programs: iPad hardware implementation K-12, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) pilot, curriculum writing for various courses, training for iPads and BYOD, software and apps purchased and installed, Carl D. Perkins vocational grant application, online training web site design and content for a training repository for staff, parents and students, final testing, implementation and training for our upgraded multimedia delivery system and the list goes on and on!
These are exciting times for us and hectic as well. This is what we live for and we enjoy what we do. With the primary focus on students and programs, we seek to provide the very best possible so that our students can 1) learn and learn effectively, 2) ensure that they are 21st century learners and 3) be ready for the "real world" that awaits them!
May everyone have a great summer and enjoy family and friends as you refresh yourselves with your vacations and getaways!
Each year, we provide a public forum to discuss the issues and trends related to the topic of Internet safety. On May 16th, we will hold an Internet Safety presentation in the Performing Arts Center at CHS. (See details below.)
I encourage parents and community members to attend and ask questions. Technology is integral to our lives today. We believe, at school and at home, technology skills and usage is important. At the same time, technology use with our kids needs to be monitored and not just for safety reasons. Do you know that youth spend on average between 6 and 9 hours a day in front of a screen using entertainment media? Over half of that is watching television. So, not only do we want to monitor our kids for online safety, there is a health and wellness component too!
It is my hope that you'll join us for this informative evening. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact my office at 737.4000 x3528.
Below is the press release:
Internet Safety Presentation, May 16th, 7:30 pm
Should our children be on Facebook? As parents, what concerns do we have with smart phones? What are our schools doing to protect students from inappropriate Internet content and behavior?
The Hopewell Valley Regional School District invites parents and interested community members to a special evening presentation on these timely and important issues on Wednesday, May 16, at 7:30 p.m. at The Performing Arts Center at Hopewell Valley.
Douglas Brower, district supervisor of educational technology, will explain what students are learning in the classroom about acceptable online behavior as well as how the school district is safeguarding students from SPAM and objectionable websites. Brower will be joined by the Hopewell Township Police Department who will cover the safety implications of camera-equiped cell phones and smart phones, share suggestions for parents to properly support the use of technology in the home, and review the role the police department plays to ensure the safe use of technology by all.
There will be an opportunity for attendees to ask questions of the presenters
It was great to see all the parents that came out earlier this week for the 8th Grade Parents Night. This was an orientation to parents about the high school programs that are available beginning in 9th grade as their sons/daughters cross the street from Timberlane to Central High School.
In the Business and Practical Arts Department at CHS, there are a few updates to courses that I'd like to share.
1. Introduction to Computer Science Using Java. This updated course will be the foundational course for possible future computer programming courses including AP Computer Science. This course introduces the programming and object-oriented techniques of Java.
2. Baking and Pastry Arts. We have taken a good look at our foods courses in our Family and Consumer Sciences program. We have deleted from our Program of Studies Foods for Fitness and Pacific Rim as we can embed those standards and objectives into our other courses. Baking and Pastry Arts came about as 1) we don't include this in any other courses we teach in the program and 2) we have a specially trained teacher in culinary arts who would bring that expertise to her students in a dynamic way. Baking and Pastry Arts will be an exciting new addition to the program!
3. Cooperative Work Experience. So many of our students work part-time during their junior and senior years. No matter why they are working, there are many reasons, students can turn this experience into credits and experience that colleges love to see on applications. It makes for a well-rounded student, building on career interests, providing funds for college and leisure and building on a positive work ethic. Working with our teaching staff, students will receive personal and business skills that will build on a foundation that prepares for the future.
Students and parents! Make sure you ask the questions you need to ask and pursue further information to ensure that your sons/daughters choose the appropriate elective classes in Business and Practical Arts. Remember too, that this can be done outside of school hours so why not take advantage?
Selection of courses at CHS for the 2012-2013 school year is coming up in a few weeks. From February 20 to February 27, students will make their initial picks for their courses next year. (For further information on this, visit the Counseling pages
on this topic). Through the month of March and into April, students will meet with their counselor to review the course selections for next year and make adjustments where appropriate.
The course selection process should not be a quick 5 minute task. Course selection for students needs to have guidance and direction from a number of people...counselors, current and former teachers and especially parents! I can not understate the need for parental involvement in their son/daughter's course selection for the next year. Parents career experiences, insight into their child's hopes, dreams and interests all have meaning that can help guide the student into making the right course choices. Hopewell Valley Central High School continues to offer one of the most comprehensive high school programs in New Jersey. This includes the variety of electives in Business and Practical Arts. Here is an opportunity for students to explore new areas of study as well as continue with courses in Business and Practical Arts that build on previous learning and successes.
The Business and Practical Arts Department at CHS and Timberlane Middle School has a lot to offer everyone. Students...don't make the mistake of saying "I should have taken _____" because you didn't take the time to choose your courses seriously. Students have the opportunity to pursue current interests inside and outside of the high school for credit. For the right courses to be taken, dialog is important to set the foundation for a direction for their future.
Let's not make the assumption that every CHS student knows exactly what they want to do for college and career. Here in high school is where it is best to explore, not in college. It amazes me the number of CHS graduates that enroll in business programs in college without having marketing, entrepreneurship or business law in high school. For some, that may not have been the right decision. In these times, isn't it more prudent to explore and "test the waters" now in high school, not in college? I submit to you that the answer is yes!