Picture of Dr. Neely Hackett

The District’s Theme for the 2019-2020 school year is Rigor Begins with Relationships and is Anchored in Relevance. In Irvington, we believe that it is certainly possible for all students to become 21st Century thinkers and learners, productive citizens, and future leaders.

The primary purpose of the Irvington Public Schools is to improve student academic achievement by (a) implementing the District’s aligned Standards curricula; (b) providing staff development that promotes student engagement and academic rigor; (c) conducting data analysis to inform instruction; and (d) monitoring teaching and learning to ensure the alignment of curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

The following Core Beliefs guide our path to improving student achievement:

  1. Each student is entitled to a quality education that the entire community of invested stakeholders value, support, and enlarge by collaborating with one another.
  2. Teacher quality is vital to engaging students in relevant, authentic tasks and improving student achievement.
  3. Each student possesses the ability to achieve his or her potential in any learning environment when the adults provide the most appropriate supports for success.
  4. The educational environment must be safe, respectful, and guided by skilled administrators who focus on advancing teacher effectiveness and student achievement.

The 2019-2020 school year will focus on Restorative Practices. Restorative Practices provide a set of processes to build and develop self-efficacy, effective decision-making, and positive relationships. Since all learning is social by nature, strong relationships fostered by Restorative Practices play a powerful gatekeeping role. The fundamental unifying premise of Restorative Practices is that people are happier, more cooperative, productive, and more likely to make positive changes in their lives when those in positions of authority do things with them rather than to them or for them.

The District is dedicated to academic success through a rigorous and relevant curriculum that empowers students to become productive, responsible, and self-directed learners and citizens. The curriculum is designed to meet the individual needs of all students through authentic assessment, researched-based instruction, and responsive differentiation that encourages students to think critically and to connect all learning to life beyond the classroom.

Irvington Public Schools supports the goal of improving student achievement by providing quality professional development that opens the doors to improved teaching and learning through content rich, research-based instructional practices.  In-Service days are dedicated exclusively to the acquisition of knowledge and skills in an effort to refine the craft of our teachers for their work in the classroom. Teachers continue to make paradigm shifts by ensuring that students are provided with multi-dimensional instruction and high quality assessment.

Analysis of data is a process of examining data with the goal of discovering useful information, drawing conclusions, and informing our decision-making process. Data from curriculum programs, benchmark assessments, unit assessments, formative assessments, Power School student database are analyzed regularly to inform all decisions at the classroom, school and central office levels.

The District uses the Charlotte Danielson Framework for Teaching to evaluate the performance of teachers. The Framework provides an opportunity for teachers and administrators to work collaboratively to improve teaching and learning through on-going and targeted feedback related to planning and preparation, classroom environment, instruction, and professional responsibilities.

Our talented and dedicated administrators, teachers, and support staff work collaboratively to stage an arena in which we expect our students to excel.  Such an arena must be one that exudes a structured and safe environment conducive to learning; and, it is my expectation that given such an environment our students will do their part by reporting to school on time, following school rules, maintaining good attendance, and engaging in the learning process to the best of their abilities.

I am thankful and most appreciative of the support that we receive from our parents and guardians. I am committed to continuing to build strong supportive partnerships with them. Parental involvement plays an integral role in improving academic achievement. The District will continue to partner with parents to provide on-going feedback on the effectiveness of services to students inside and outside of the classroom. Superintendent’s Quarterly Forums are conducted to foster parental as well as community involvement. In addition, the District website, School Messenger automated phone system, surveys, and public access Channel 36 are used to communicate and seek feedback from parents and community stakeholders.

As the District’s educational leader, I look forward to strengthening partnerships with all stakeholders in our education community as we improve student achievement as well as the overall educational experiences for our students. Our community serves as a village to make our District a place of excellence and opportunity for all.

Dr. Neely Hackett