Sustainable Jersey logoAll six Mount Olive schools were recently recognized for their effective use of digital learning tools and their commitment to sustainability. Each school was awarded a Digital School Star and earned bronze certification from Sustainable Jersey, an organization that helps schools become environmentally friendly buildings, foster positive school environments, and prepare students for the challenges they will face in the future.

Mount Olive School District is one of just a handful of districts in the state to have all of its schools earn a Digital School Star.

“Digital Star recognition for all six buildings is a testament to the hard work of our teachers and amazing IT staff to make digital learning a vital piece of the instructional and assessment process,” said Superintendent Robert Zywicki, Ed.D. “Mount Olive has been an instructional technology leader for some time; however, over the past three years, that commitment has strengthened and has truly been transformational. It’s part of who we are now.”

According to Zywicki, teacher and student familiarity with digital learning applications and computer devices was an asset during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when schools closed and transitioned to remote instruction.

“Our prowess with technology and various digital learning tools helped make our remote instruction efforts easier than many other districts,” said Zywicki. “It certainly had its challenges, nevertheless. But without the strong tech foundation that we had developed, it would have been so much more difficult, especially considering the size of the district.”

The Digital Schools program is offered in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Education and the New Jersey School Boards Association. It builds on the foundation of Future Ready Schools – New Jersey, a discontinued organization that helped schools harness the power of instructional technology and student assessment data to improve learning. All Mount Olive schools received Future Ready certification in 2019.

To earn a Digital School Star, each school submitted a comprehensive application detailing its efforts in a dozen action areas. These included:

  • Application of digital learning tools and content
  • Teaching of digital citizenship
  • Data safety and security
  • Infrastructure
  • Equitable access to digital learning

Among the highlights cited were the district’s advanced wireless network, 1:1 Chromebook deployment to students, extensive use of the Google educational suite of applications and resources, development of a personalized success plan for each student, hybrid learning practices, and various digital communications vehicles (e.g., school newsletters, regular use of social media, superintendent’s weekly blog and frequent video messaging).

A more extensive application in 22 assessment categories was completed to earn sustainability certification. Among the categories were:

  • Energy efficiency for school facilities
  • Energy tracking & management
  • Healthy food choices
  • Promotion of locally grown foods
  • Green cleaning policy & plan
  • Classroom cleanup practices
  • School Culture and climate needs assessment
  • Social emotional learning
  • Education for sustainability
  • Programs to promote physical activity
  • Indoor air quality review
  • Green purchasing policy

 

Sandshore Elementary School

Sandshore Elementary School
498 Sandshore Rd
Budd Lake, NJ 07828
973-691-4003

Visit Website

Mountain View Elementary School

Mountain View Elementary School
118 Cloverhill Drive
Flanders, NJ 07836
973-927-2201

Visit Website

Chester M. Stephens Elementary School

Chester M. Stephens Elementary School
99 Sunset Drive
Budd Lake, NJ 07828
973-691-4002

Visit Website

Tinc Road School

Tinc Road School
24 Tinc Road
Flanders, NJ 07836
973-927-2203

Visit Website

Mt. Olive Middle School

Mt. Olive Middle School
160 Wolfe Road
Budd Lake, NJ 07828
973-691-4006

Visit Website

Mt. Olive High School

Mt. Olive High School
18 Corey Road
Flanders, NJ 07836
973-927-2208

Visit Website