Degrees and Certifications:
Dear Parents/Guardians and River Vale Community:
It is a great honor to serve the River Vale School District as your Superintendent of Schools. I always look forward to working with the Board of Education, students, staff, parents, and administration to continue our tradition of excellence here in River Vale! Some exciting things to look forward to this school-year include:
Portrait of a Graduate: In the 2015-2016 school-year, the River Vale community reached consensus on what we valued most for our students, which was helping to develop independent learners capable of personal and professional success, and helping children find and develop their passions. This past year, we worked to take those values and turn them into something identifiable - a Portrait of a Graduate. After parents, staff, and Holdrum's Student Council worked on draft ideas, student art teams at all three schools, with invaluable support from Mr. Garretson and Mr. Smith, created the final version for our school district, which will guide our goals in terms of what classroom instruction should look like for students.
Strategic Vision Plan: Along with our Portrait of a Graduate, the district also worked to develop a strategic vision plan, which includes key goals for the upcoming school-year. The Vision Plan outlines in practical steps a framework for taking the Portrait of a Graduate and transforming our curricular and instructional practices district-wide to match it. For the 2017-2018 school-year, we are going to focus on two areas emphasized the most by those who worked on the Portrait of a Graduate, improving students ability to collaborate and communicate, and really defining what we mean by that.
Educate 2B Mindfulness Program: Thanks again to a generous donation from the River Vale Educational Fund, the district's Educate 2B mindfulness program will be expanded in the 2017-2018 school-year so that over 70 staff members will have received training in mindfulness, breathing, and yoga to support students in our classrooms. This training from Educate 2B founder Allison Morgan represents an innovative and important way to help address mental health for all students in the district.
Being a "Leading" School District: In addition to being a member of the New Jersey Department of Education’s innovateNJ program, a state-wide program aimed at supporting innovation by fostering sharing and collaboration between districts, the River Vale School District is also a member of the Garden State Coalition of Schools, a public education advocacy group with roots in Trenton, and EdLeader21, a national consortium focused on integrating vital 21st Century Skills into the classroom. This is an important time in public education, and our district needs to be a leader in terms of what a great education should look like for all children in New Jersey.
In River Vale, we are committed to providing students a rich and balanced education that focuses on the important 21st Century Skills needed for success in an increasingly complex, global world. This is an exciting time in education, and together we can all make a difference in preparing River Vale's students for the world in front of them!
Rory McCourt, Superintendent of Schools