Final part of a Three-Part Series about Dr. Morel’s three E’s
Dear Hawthorne Community,
This article concludes my three-part series where I wanted to provide you with greater insight into my platform, which I call Dr. Morel’s three E’s. Here are my other TAPinto Hawthorne articles. On August 30th, I introduced myself to you as a Hawthorne Board of Education candidate. In my September 20th article, I focused on the first “E,” elevate student voices. The October 1st article was on the second “E,” ensure equity and inclusion. This article will be about the third “E,” expand educational opportunities.
The best organizations and companies are constantly innovating, and a failure to pivot from stagnant practices leads to ineffectiveness, and possibly become obsolete. Public school districts should be no different in its ability to adapt to change and be innovative. In my position with the NJ Department of Education, I have been privileged to visit and converse with educators across the state. I see and hear about all the remarkable practices they are implementing. Subsequently, I think about the wonderful and successful programs we have in our district, and then I think about how we can improve. How do we ensure that Hawthorne Public Schools becomes and remains a forward-thinking school district? What are ways that we can strengthen, elevate, and evolve current practices and programs? How do we ensure that we are always connected to and meeting the district’s mission and philosophy statements?
To answer these questions, and to expand educational opportunities, I would like to engage in collaborative conversations with my fellow board members, and with district administrators to discuss the following ideas:
- A challenge for the board remains how to provide innovative educational and extracurricular programs while being fiscally responsible for staying within the 2% tax levy cap. As such, we should continue to evaluate how funds are allocated. Continue to support the district’s efforts of seeking other revenue opportunities and shared services. As a board, we can propose hiring a grant writer on a retainer basis to seek out grant opportunities. We can propose that administration continues to implement sustainable measures and actions as detailed by Sustainable Jersey for Schools. As a board, form partnerships with local businesses, corporations, and local colleges and universities.
- As a board, support district administration to sustain a district culture that encourages creativity. I am thankful and appreciative of our teachers’ efforts to create innovative ways of delivering instruction to our students. John Hattie (2015) recently found that collective teacher efficacy, which is the collective belief of teachers in their ability to positively affect students, had the greatest positive effect on student learning. When teams of educators believe they can make a difference, exciting things can happen in a school. We need to support the needs of our staff with appropriate resources, and sustained, ongoing, professional learning opportunities. There are a variety of inventive approaches our district can consider pursuing, and in some cases have already implemented (e.g., makerspace, STEM). I would like for us to fully take advantage of the 1:1 initiative, and greater access to technology to pursue student-centered, personalized learning K-12. Other possible approaches, just to name a few, can be to utilize a universal design for learning framework, look into establishing International Baccalaureate program(s), design thinking approach, leveraging industry and trade professionals to enhance district curricula, and strengthen and encourage opportunities to support the development of students’ social and emotional needs.
When we collaboratively engage and seek input from our various stakeholders, ask difficult, thoughtful, poignant questions, think outside the box, we can be assured that the quality of our children’s education will strengthen and soar. Most importantly, we help each child reach their full potential.
If you would like to learn more about me and support my candidacy, please follow me on
Vote Alma Morel 2I for Hawthorne Board of Education, located on the far-right side of the ballot!