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Jackson School District Elementary Science Curriculum Earns School Leader Outstanding Program Award

Jackson School District Elementary Science Curriculum

Wins Outstanding Program Award

Robert Rotante, Shawn Levinson and Stephen Genco Accept School Leader Award for Outstanding Program

From Left, Director of Curriculum for STEM Robert Rotante, Assistant Principal Shawn Levinson and Superintendent of Schools Stephen Genco accept the Outstanding Program Award on behalf of the Jackson School District.


JACKSON - When it comes to creating an innovative and engaging program that allows students of differing abilities to thrive, it turns out there is a “science’’ to it.

That is why the Jackson School District’s Elementary Science Curriculum recently earned the Outstanding Program Award from the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) for this school year. This award is part of the School Leader Award program, in which district programs are evaluated for the level of innovation, how well they meet the specific needs of students, the relationship of the program to the state’s curriculum standards, and program results.

“Our curriculum was written by our very own staff, applying the very best lessons and approaches that are proven to really connect with the students of Jackson,’’ said Robert Rotante, Director of Curriculum for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) in  the Jackson School District. “Instead of multiple choice exams and vocabulary quizzes, students engage in problem-solving sessions that result in answers limited only by their imagination.’’

In the district’s science curriculum, every design challenge is constructed to allow groups of students to synthesize ideas and determine the best possible solution.  Team-based decisions are used to scaffold concepts - which means breaking up the learning experience into separate parts, and then proving students support to learn each part. This helps to ensure educators are reaching students of differing abilities.

“We are certainly proud to have earned this Outstanding Program Award because it recognizes the hard work by our staff to imagine and implement this innovative curriculum,’’ Rotante said. “Creating it was both an art and a science - and the results in our classrooms have been extraordinary. Our science classrooms are truly alive with innovation, exploration and learning.”