School Narrative

  • Flynn

     

    OUR SCHOOL MISSION STATEMENT
    The James J. Flynn School staff, together with families and the community, will encourage, motivate, challenge, and empower each student to gain the knowledge, skills, and values to become a responsible, well-rounded, sensitive, and self-respecting individual in an ever-changing, diverse society. 

     

    ABOUT OUR BUILDING

    The James J. Flynn School is a kindergarten to fourth grade elementary school located in the northeast section of Perth Amboy. The enrollment is approximately 850 students. The school is one story, air-conditioned, and handicapped accessible with a large media center, gymnasium, and cafetorium. The grounds include three large courtyards, playground areas, and on-site parking for faculty members. In addition to the general education program, the Flynn School offers Special Education, Gifted and Talented (G&T), and Bilingual programs. An enhancement to our instructional program this school year is intervention teachers at all grades who provide in-class support for students who do not have the skills for on-grade-level instruction. In this manner, students are given the opportunity to achieve the academic gains necessary to meet grade level standards.

    CURRICULUM
    All curricula meet guidelines set by the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), and New Jersey Student Learning Standards (NJSLS). As part of our district and school literacy initiative, a framework provides three tiers of instruction to include Reading Workshop, Guided Reading and Work Stations, explicit instruction in phonics, and a strong emphasis on vocabulary. Additional time is provided for an intervention block so teachers can work with small groups of children. Social studies and science is embedded into literacy. In Tier 1, Reading Workshop, the teacher starts with a grade-level read aloud, along with a skill-based mini-lesson, followed by students reading independently and conferencing with their teacher. During Tier 2, Guided Reading, students work in small groups with direct reading instruction from their teacher while other students work independently in stations that include reading, writing, vocabulary, and comprehension activities. Writing Workshop mirrors Reading Workshop with a similar format, however, students write independently. Reading Wonders is our balanced literacy program and includes reading, writing, listening and speaking. As an extension of classroom reading collections, all classrooms have access to the MyOn Reader, an online library with thousands of book titles. MyOn generates a list of titles for each student that matches the student's interest and reading level. Students have the opportunity to use MyOn in the classroom and at home. In mathematics, a 60-minute instructional block is scheduled per grade level. The mathematics program is My Math, which utilizes the use of hands-on activities so students can explore and discover math concepts through the constructivist approach to learning. Children are encouraged to work together to solve problems. Mathematics is made meaningful to the students by making real world connections. 

    ASSESSMENT
    In all grades, multiple assessments are used to determine whether or not students have mastered grade-level skills The third and fourth grade students take an annual statewide assessment, PARCC, which is administered online to assess students' critical thinking skills in literacy, mathematics and science. Fourth grade students also take the NJASK-New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge in Science. Our district is currently working on newly revised benchmark assessments for English Language Arts and Mathematics. The benchmark assessments are aligned to the curriculum, Common Core Standards, and New Jersey Student Learning Standards (NJSLS). These assessments are administered four times during the school year.
    Students also take Student Test of Achievement in Reading and Math (STAR) Assessment three times per school year and this provides grade-level equivalency information for the teachers to use during instructional planning.

    TECHNOLOGY
    Our teachers infuse technology in instruction in order to equip our students with 21st century skills.  Each room is equipped with an Interactive Projector System/SmartBoard and Multi-Media Podium that includes a MacBook or PC Laptop and a document camera. Each classroom has five mobile devices such as iPads and MacBook Airs. In addition, Smart Student Response Systems are used in conjunction with the Interactive Projector System at every grade level. Wireless technology is used throughout the school. The use of Chromebooks is embedded into the daily instruction.

     

    STAFF DEVELOPMENT
    The school provides professional development activities derived from the needs of our students. Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) are in place for our teachers to learn and work together to improve student achievement in all content areas. Teachers have common planning time during the school day as well as three times a month after school. During this time, they share their knowledge, focus on learning, and analyze data on student performance in order to improve instruction. 

    PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT
    The James J. Flynn School encourages parents and families to be actively involved in their children's education. Student academic progress is shared with the parents during conferences and presentations. Families have opportunities to participate in programs such as Family Literacy and Family Math Nights. Special topic workshops take place throughout the school year with an emphasis on family and child social-emotional growth and development as well as ways to enhance and support academic achievement. The Home School Liaison collaborates with the PTO to develop activities and provides information and resources to the families. During the school year, information on upcoming events is sent home and through the district communication system (School Messenger), personalized voice messages are sent to parents.  The school has a welcoming, friendly environment for our parents and community.

    Dr. Regina Postogna, Principal

    regipostogna @paps.net or (732) 376-6080