Linden Public Schools Named one of 34 “Districts of Distinction”

(above) Pictured is a summer professional development session that helped teachers and administrators develop classroom strategies that empower students to shape their own educational success.

Linden Public Schools Honored Nationally as One of 34 “Districts of Distinction”

Submitted by Gary Miller

The Linden Public School system has been included among 34 “Districts of Distinction” nationwide for its innovative ideas to solve challenges and support students.

Honorees were chosen by District Administration magazine, which provides school district leaders with critical information for district management.

“We are very happy to have been honored as one of the Districts of Distinction,” said Acting Superintendent Denise Cleary. “As an administration, it is our mission to provide our teachers and support staff with the tools they need to ensure that every student has a learning environment that allows them to excel in the classroom and beyond. This honor highlights the initiatives we have taken to ensure that we continually meet or exceed that goal.”

The “Districts of Distinction” program was established by District Administration Magazine to honor school districts that are leading the way with new ideas that solve challenges. Honorees are selected based on quantifiable results and the replicability of their initiatives. The July 2019 Districts of Distinction honorees were selected by the magazine’s editors from numerous nominations.

“These districts have developed innovative programs to support students in their education and well beyond the classroom,” says JD Solomon, editorial director of District Administration magazine. “We hope our readers are inspired by the efforts of these honorees to create successful initiatives in their own districts.”

The Linden administration was chosen because of its use of Instructional Leadership Teams – teachers, instructional coaches, and administrators who work together to connect standards, student learning, assessment, professional learning, and school culture.

The teams, which began in 2016 as part of a five-year strategic plan, analyze data during summer sessions to develop action plans and instructional strategies. Collective efficacy has encouraged additional collaboration in instruction.

“Teachers receive targeted professional development, coupled with opportunities for peer collaboration, allowing educators to share their ideas and gain new insights and perspectives,” Cleary said.

Over the past three years under the program, the number of students who have met or exceeded expectations on English Language Arts assessments has increased at three times the state rate.

Photos by Linden Public Schools

(above) Professional development sessions and teacher collaboration were highlighted in choosing Linden Public Schools among 34 “Districts of Distinction” nationwide. Pictured are School No. 2 Principal Atiya Perkins, Vice Principal Rachelle Crawley, and instructional coach Patricia Kowalski working together at a summer planning session with other district faculty.

(above) Instruction rounds in which teachers model lessons for their peers to observe and offer feedback on are among the collaborative efforts highlighted in choosing Linden Public Schools among 34 “Districts of Distinction” nationwide. Pictured is McManus Middle School Principal Peter Fingerlin observing as teacher Aimee Bass works with students.

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