OLD FARMERS ROAD SCHOOL
Our child-centered, K through 5th grade school is one of three outstanding elementary schools in Washington Township - Long Valley. Our commitment is to educate the whole child, taking care to meet his/her academic, social, emotional, and wellness needs. We provide our students with a life-long love of learning and a challenging educational program that develops skills and knowledge necessary to lead successful, meaningful lives. In order to accomplish these goals, our highly qualified educators employ a variety of strategies and techniques: hands-on activities, learning centers, workshop formats, cooperative learning, small group, and direct instruction to meet the individual needs of learners. In 2015-16 we celebrated our 50th anniversary with many events and programs scheduled throughout the school year. In the fall of 2018 Old Farmers Road School was awarded the National Blue Ribbon School Award. OFRS was the only school in Morris County to be recognized with this honor and was 1 of only 5 public elementary schools in the state of New Jersey to be recognized in 2018 with a National Blue Ribbon School Award.
Following Core Curriculum and the Common Core Standards, Old Farmers Road School offers a balanced literacy program that integrates reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing across the curriculum. We use the Reading A to Z supplemented with Fountas and Pinnell and Good Habits Great Readers programs to anchor reading instruction in the primary grades. Many teachers are also trained in the Orton-Gillingham reading techniques. Guided reading, shared reading and writing, reading aloud, interactive writing experiences, independent reading and writing, spelling, phonics instruction, and academic vocabulary development are all valued components of the balanced literacy approach at Old Farmers. All of our teachers embrace the Empowering Writers program. Everyday Mathematics serves as the basis for our mathematics instruction in grades K-5 along with Rocket Math and Connected Math in grade 5. Additional components of our core curriculum include FOSS Science (guided discovery), Social Studies, Health, and a full complement of Related Arts: Music, Physical Education, Computer Technology, Art, Library Media, and Spanish. Teachers work collaboratively to develop a “Learner Active” environment. Standardized monitoring of student progress includes the NJSLA science, language arts and mathematics exams in grades 3, 4, and 5. Additional standardized performance assessments include Running Records, Measures of Academic Progress (grades 1 and 2), Cognitive Abilities Testing (grades 2 and 4) as well as publisher designed evaluations. Our teachers are also members of Professional Learning Communities, based on the work of DuFour; this initiative allows them the opportunity to work as a structured collaborative team toward the goal of continuous improvement.
We value the Arts at Old Farmers Road School. Third grade students participate in a Recorder Concert and all fourth grade students participate in Chorus. Fifth grade students have opportunities to participate in Band, Chorus, and Orchestra. There are three concerts planned each year. Every spring our art teacher partners with parents and spearheads a school wide art show showcasing multiple creative examples of student art work.
Students’ special needs are also met through the services of two Literacy Specialists, an Intervention and Referral Services Committee, as well as a Child Study Team. The CST works closely with a group of highly qualified special education teachers for students that have a learning disability. In addition, special math assistance is available to students who qualify. Character development at Old Farmers is a continuous process. Our school is a place that encourages and recognizes the positive contributions of our students and staff.
Enrichment experiences in the form of the Talented and Gifted program are offered to those who meet qualifying standards. Beginning in grade 3, some students also take part in Continental Math League and National Science League. Before heading to the middle school, students screened for placement in 6th grade Accelerated Mathematics. Another enriching experience at Old Farmers Road School is our flower and vegetable garden, which is supported by volunteers.
Maintaining a strong home/school partnership enhances our students’ attitudes toward school and learning. Therefore, parent involvement is a fundamental component of our School. The Old Farmers Road PTA provides substantial support for both classroom teachers and special programs and projects that could not otherwise be achieved. The PTA regularly purchases technology enhancements. The PTA continues to bring exciting and educational assemblies to Old Farmers. For example, the PTA brings children’s authors to discuss their books and the craft of writing. The PTA also funded assemblies related to Lenape Indian Studies, Liberty Science Program, Laser Spectacular, Reptile, and Penguin Programs as well as other experiences. In addition, the PTA also takes the lead in coordinating the Annual Trick or Truck, Walk-a-thon, Holiday Boutique, Book Fair, and Spring Fair. Furthermore, the PTA sponsors mini-grants up to $500.00. We are very fortunate to have such a devoted educational partner! Another group that supports all of the Washington Township Schools is the Municipal Alliance. The Municipal Alliance works closely with the school counselor. Senior citizen volunteers are yet another measure of the bond we foster with the greater community. Grandparent POWER volunteers are a regular part of the fabric of our school and make valuable contributions. Additionally, we have a strong bond with the Washington Township Veterans’ Association Post 1776. Multiple times a year we host patriotic flag raising ceremonies and collect for the troops.
In closing, the Old Farmers Road School is known for its high academic standards, nurturing environment and family/community involvement. In keeping with the District’s mission for developing a Community of 21st Century Learners, the Old Farmers Road School community is dedicated in providing a stimulating and compassionate learning environment to all our students.
Mr. Joseph Ciulla, Principal
“Caring is Cool at Old Farmers Road School”