Our Dr. Herbert N. Richardson School is an elementary school for children in Grades K-4. Our goal is to have all students performing at grade level or above in English, language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. By performing at grade level or above in these core subjects, we will be able to lay down a solid academic foundation enabling our students to be fully prepared for the middle school and beyond. We purposely say “our” Dr. Herbert N. Richardson School because we believe that the school belongs to all of us and by all of us we mean: Staff + Parents/Families + Students. As a united force, we believe that our efforts will allow us to realize our mission.
Our curriculum is aligned to the New Jersey Student Learning Standards and includes a balanced literacy block with integration of social studies and science. In addition, our K-4 classes utilize thematic units that provide teachers with a resource guide for planning literacy instruction that integrates reading and writing skills in the content areas. Aligned with the NJDOE model curriculum, our resources serve as a tool for linking instruction to the standards. Our K-4 reading initiative ensures that a balanced literacy block is in place. An intervention teacher comes in during the literacy block to be an active part of the guided reading process, as well as deliver targeted interventions in flexible group settings. Each classroom has leveled reading materials that are thematically labeled. Learning stations are strategically placed within the classrooms with motivational learning activities for the students.
Our mathematics curriculum allows for rigorous instruction and affords students ample opportunities to engage in higher-order thinking skills by applying learned skills to real world settings. Problem based lerning promotes students to work collaboratively while teachers foster a student-centered and student-driven learning environment. Our curriculum and pacing guides are aligned to the New Jersey Student Learning Standards and ensure that our students are exposed to the critical skills that they must develop at each grade level and throughout their K-12 educational experience. It is the expectation that our guides are used at the classroom level to address skills that are essential to ensure endurance, leverage, and readiness for the next level of learning among all students. For math grades K-4, we use the My Math series by McGraw Hill.
Through collaboration with district curriculum directors and supervisors, we are proud to say that we have an extensive range of programs that meet the varying needs of our diverse student population. We have self-contained special education classes as well as inclusion classes in each of our grades. We have a Gifted and Talented Class in Grades 3 and 4. We work in collaboration with the Dual Language Program to ensure there are dual cohorts in Grades K-4. We also have various transitional bilingual education classes in each of our grades to include two classes for Students with Interrupted Formal Instruction (SIFE).
Updated technology has been infused into each classroom. Every classroom in Grades 2-4 is one to one with Chromebook devices. All kindergarten classrooms are equipped with iPads. Smart/Epson interactive projection white boards are being utilized throughout all classrooms. All classrooms throughout the building are also equipped with an overhead document camera. Students all have the ability to use Apple devices such iPads, MacBook Air, and iPods to reinforce skills, conduct, research, and complete classroom assignments. Classrooms are setup with wireless AP’s to handle all wireless devices. Our technology educator collaborates with our technology coordinator to ensure that all the technology instructional needs are being met. We have a Computer Technology Lab that augments our School Library. Teachers also have access to mobile devices that can be utilized in classrooms. Richardson teachers provide professional development on programs and equipment during our Professional Learning Communities and other scheduled times throughout the fabric of the day.
We currently have a before and after school program available to assist our students. Classroom teachers have the opportunity to take a small group of struggling students and work with them on specific skills in order to better meet their academic needs. This program is available to all grade levels and is structured to reach our at-risk students. It offers an academic focus with smaller classes. Our Enrichment programs expose our students to extra-curricular activities, which not only complement our school goals, but also ensure students are having fun while building academic and social skills. Classes such as Cheerleading, Choir, Coding, Dance, Goodwill Ambassador’s Club (community service centered) and several other offerings expose our students to enrichment they might not get outside of the school environment.
Through our aggressive parent outreach program, parental involvement has significantly increased. In collaboration with administrators and teachers, parents have galvanized their efforts to gain Board of Education approval for various items to ensure they are part of the educational process. We enjoy an effective partnership with our PTO and this partnership ensures that the PTO is available to sponsor various academic and social events throughout the school year. A Parent Resource Room was added to our building so parent workshops and trainings can take place to address their concerns and interests. Two Parent Kiosks are available in accessible areas so parents can connect to our Parent Portal in the event they do not have access to the Internet at home.
The Richardson School is proud to be the home for district-run Health Clinic. The clinic provides families with access to health care services such as vaccinations, physicals, and much more several evenings each week and on Saturday mornings.
Mr. Edwin Nieves