A message from Robert Zega, Woodbridge Township Public Schools Superintendent.
Woodbridge Township knows that a top-quality education system is invaluable for its younger residents, so a top-quality education system it provides. Woodbridge Township Public Schools include 16 elementary schools, five middle schools and three high schools, plus there are private school options at each level as well.
The 2017-2018 school year will bring some major changes. First and foremost is our 1:1 eighth grade iPad initiative. The planning for this initiative began years ago when we approved significant upgrades in our technology infrastructure, including our own fiber network and access points for every classroom. Then we purchased over 1,000 iPads for exclusive use for our eighth-grade students in our five middle schools. In addition to the iPads, we also provide web-based curriculum for math and science in eighth grade. We are proud to take our first steps into the realm of digital curriculum.
Another big change for us will be district-wide, full-day kindergarten. Although our community has been advocating for full-day kindergarten for several years, lack of space and financial constraints have been preventing us from expanding from half-day to full-day. After some careful budgeting, the acquisition of a renovated St. Cecelia’s school and the influx of over $5 million in state aid, we are now able to complete this expansion. Full-day kindergarten will begin in September 2018.
We are very proud of our continued dual enrollment programs. Our school district has cooperative agreements with several colleges and universities for students to take college courses in high schools. Current high school students can earn college credits from Syracuse, NJIT, Kean, Rider, Middlesex CC and Berkeley. We are one of the few New Jersey school districts to offer such a variety of dual enrollment courses.
We are proud of our continued success in Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Over the last five years, we have increased the number of students who take AP courses and also the number of students who score high enough on the AP exams to be eligible for college credits. 25 AP courses were offered in the three high schools during the 2016-17 school year. In May 2017, 1,358 AP tests were taken by 730 students.
Finally our construction projects are now in full swing. The residents of Woodbridge Township recently approved over $50 million in renovations to three school buildings (Ross Street Elementary School, Woodbridge Middle School and Oak Tree Road Elementary School). Oak Tree Road School will open in September 2018. We expect to break ground on our Ross Street. and Woodbridge Middle projects in spring 2018. We anticipate two calendar years of construction, and both projects being completed and ready for use in September 2020.
As a school district, we feel that we need to prepare our students for their futures, not our futures. To accomplish this, we need to make sure our students are exposed to the most progressive curriculum in the most learning-conducive facilities. We are making great strides this year to achieve this lofty standard. w