NORTHFIELD — District Superintendent Pete Bretones wants to establish a pull-out gifted and talented program, a more selective accelerated math program in grades 6 to 8 and a program of positive reinforcement to improve school climate.
Atop Bretones' list of goals, which he presented to the school board recently, is introducing a pull-out gifted and talented program for the 2018-19 school year.
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The superintendent said his plan includes gifted and talented scheduling, personnel and curriculum. The state Department of Education requires that all districts have a G&T program for students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Bretones said a pull-out G&T program at the Northfield Community School would improve the district’s ability to provide opportunities to students who meet the NJDOE definition of gifted and talented.
At the same time, Bretones said that must be balanced with ensuring that all students in the district are challenged academically.
Meanwhile, Bretones wants to rework the district's accelerated math curriculum by April 30.
Before the school year began, parents brought complaints to the Board of Education about changes in the program, which allows the top math students to take algebra I in eighth grade.
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The superintendent said they will develop criteria to identify students entering grades six through eight that demonstrate their potential to do well in an accelerated math class starting with the 2018-19 school year.
Bretones told parents he wanted a program that relied more on the performance of students and less on subjective measures such as teacher recommendation.
Finally, by school year’s end, the superintendent wants to create a blueprint for positive behavioral interventions and supports. The plan is to improve the culture of the school district by addressing students' social and emotional needs.