At Ramtown School, we believe that a truly outstanding educational program is built upon a solid foundation of high expectations, academic rigor, innovative instructional practices, positive social interactions, and ongoing parental involvement. This composition of beliefs comprises the cornerstone on which our school operates. Our teachers strive to design progressive experiences that challenge and motivate our students to meet their optimal levels of academic success.
Staff members of Ramtown School are proud of their ongoing commitment to the highly effective planning, instruction, and assessment practices relative to students’ mastery of New Jersey’s educational standards. High levels of academic success are attained through a collective and collaborative review of student achievement data and through the analysis of learning trends associated with state standardized assessments and district-administered diagnostic testing results. The majority of our students have continued to score above state, cross-state and district factor group norms on these assessments.
Our school takes a tremendous amount of pride in all of our curricular content areas. Students and teachers work closely to effectively implement many components of tiered instruction and strategy grouping to more effectively address the variety of learning styles found within our classrooms. Due to our rapidly changing, technologically-based society, it is paramount that our teachers and students continue to adapt to the digital age in which we live. Life currently requires that our children be prepared to obtain information quickly, solve problems creatively, view perspectives globally, and interact in a variety of formal and informal settings.
We remain committed to the advancement of technology within the classroom setting as each student schoolwide continues to demonstrate advancements with digital learning environments. Students engage in the creation and development of algorithms in the “coding” process to further reinforce their impact on power applications and computer science. Students also engage in a variety of constructivist opportunities including school-wide S.T.E.A.M. Bowls and Enrichment Days, and cognitively complex tasks. Such experiences require them to carefully define, plan, create, test, reflect, and redesign. Students learn from a variety of coding and robotic tools: Sphero, Ozobots, Cubelets, Little-Bits, Scratch, and Code.org. Subsequently, using our learning management system, students choose their own pathway to their overall unit goal. At Ramtown, students and staff readily merge high quality learning experiences with Future Ready Themes associated with leadership, classroom practice, and technology support and service. While embracing the concept of “failing forward,” our educational stakeholders embrace risk taking and trial-by-error learning experiences to effectively evoke change relative to their progression and exploration with technology.
On a daily basis, students utilize Schoology as the main learning management system for both disseminating digital material as well as sharing student work between peers and their teacher. Through this platform, students are able to submit assignments, hold discussions with their peers, track their mastery of personalized goals, and participate and complete “Gamification” self-paced modules. Some digital highlights that students have been engaged in through the use of Schoology include: accessing leveled articles and links for research, watching tutorials for self-directed and self-paced learning, sharing student-created videos that express learning, and participating in online discussion boards to express ideas about topics at hand. Schoology has been successfully infused at a school level to further the evolution of our digital learners and expand their pathways toward more individualized learning opportunities. Quite simply, Schoology allows our school community to advance what’s possible in both a district and school-based learning network.
Students in media classes are routinely engaged in a variety of digital learning experiences and divergent thinking activities. Our Media Center Makerspace is driven by learner choice and allows students to collaborate, experiment, create, and share knowledge. This, in conjunction with our STEAM curriculum, offers students opportunities for creative problem-solving experiences. These opportunities target various learning modalities and offer a wide array of experiences. Such activities utilize the Engineering Design Process, allowing students to think creatively and collaborate with others to solve problems, test their ideas, analyze their work, decide upon improvements, and share their design products. Students’ active engagement is the centerpiece of all of our work.
Unquestionably, we believe that learning is a social and meaningful process. Consequently, School Improvement Panel (ScIP), Professional Learning Community (PLC), faculty, grade level, and data analysis meetings are routinely held to further the schoolwide benefits associated with collegiality, collaboration, and specified goal setting. In turn, administrators and teachers routinely meet to develop meaningful planning, instructional, and assessment strategies to more effectively impact the wide spectrum of learning needs of students at individual, class, and school levels.
We have continued to remain focused on addressing identifiable gaps in achievement that are recognized within particular student subgroups. School-wide, a leveled bookroom and class-based leveled libraries of various genres continue to expand and be integrated to more readily meet students’ diverse needs. Continuous efforts are made by teachers to create rigorous daily lessons that directly align with core educational standards. This clear and deliberate focus results in a deeper immersion of students in situations that lead to their development of higher level thinking and problem solving skills. In turn, such opportunities foster their creativity and allow them to apply information learned in class to scenarios in the real world. This success is reflected in students’ overall productivity both in and out of school. Quite simply, our commitment to the Ramtown students extends far beyond the walls of our classrooms. After-school learning opportunities supported by both the district and PTO, including, but not limited to: Student Council, Theater Week, Mad Science, Coding Club, and STEM-botics provide unique and genuine learning experiences for our students outside of the typical school day.
Ramtown School proudly houses a fully inclusive educational program in 3rd through 5th grade. Staff members work diligently to place students in learning scenarios relative to their strengths, interests, and overall learning profiles. To best ensure that all of our students are the benefactors of our mission to educate the “whole” child, we continue to foster a child-centered learning environment resulting in growth in all avenues of students’ academic and social-emotional development. This student constructivist approach has continued to place students’ safety, well-being, and academic achievement at the forefront of our educational mission.
The Ramtown School has continued to facilitate opportunities for educational stakeholders to work together to create an optimal learning environment. A collaborative bond between home and school continues to flourish in the best interests of our students. Our parents work diligently to demonstrate their support of the educational programs that their children experience on a daily basis. Our PTO is a highly active and positive component of the Ramtown School. It is through the hard work and dedication of this organization that we are able to consistently impact the students of our school in a positive manner. The collective efforts of administration, staff, and parents continue to be implemented to help ensure a positive experience for all of the families. Educational stakeholders work in an open and collaborative manner to help foster a positive culture and climate that benefitted our students, parents, and staff members. This partnership helps to ensure the sustainability of the attainment of our goals, and ultimately, our success.
The school-to-home relationships have resulted in many social, educational, and philanthropic experiences including, but not limited to: Make a Difference Day, Red Ribbon Week, holiday recess donations for each classroom, cultural arts programs, Veterans Day and parent/student lunch celebrations, collections for many local charitable organizations, and many PTO-sponsored after school social events for Ramtown families. Moreover, the PTO continues to donate a tremendous amount of its funds for educational items, resources, rewards, and activities for the students of Ramtown School.
At Ramtown School, we recognize that we have a responsibility to set challenging goals, design innovative lessons, and engage students in meaningful learning experiences. The comprehensive contributions of time, effort, and energy unquestionably exhibit the Ramtown School’s dedication to routinely promote an educational vision in which all stakeholders strive to make students life-long learners in a collaborative and respectful manner. In doing so, we continue to seek ways to effectively provide the opportunities necessary for them to succeed in an ever-changing society and work through challenges and changes faced, together in an open and collaborative manner. As evidenced by our annual culminating Evening of Excellence Event, it is through the commitment to the partnership between home and school that allows us to maintain the long-standing tradition of developing outstanding and motivated students who understand that with hard work and patience, they have the ability to achieve the highest levels of success.
It is a result of this commitment by our entire Ramtown School learning community through which all of our resources are utilized to provide each child with a first-rate education coupled with positive educational experiences that will hopefully stay with them for a lifetime.
Albert J. Bohrer, Principal