R.I.S.E. and Shine

Belleville Public Schools, New Jersey
By: | July 8, 2019
District Name: Belleville Public Schools
District State: New Jersey
District Website: bellevilleschools.org

Challenge: With nearly 60% of students receiving free or reduced-price lunch, leaders at Belleville Public Schools wanted to ensure that each child received a nutritious breakfast, too. Leaders also wanted to provide time each morning for educators to teach using differentiated methods and higher-order thinking objectives based on individual assessment data.

Initiative: The R.I.S.E., for “Realizing Individualized Student Enrichment,” and Shine program ensures that students are mentally and physically prepared for the school day. While all students enjoy a healthy, district-provided breakfast, educators analyze data from formative, summative and standardized assessments and from daily observations to formulate individualized student lesson plans. During a specified morning period, teachers may review important concepts with groups of students, provide individual remedial instruction, or pull students aside for special or supplemental instruction.

Impact: “The program has greatly strengthened the relationship between our teachers and students and has enhanced academic rigor throughout our daily lessons,” says Richard Tomko, superintendent. Nearly 70% of teachers surveyed said that R.I.S.E. was an effective way to allow students to work and challenge themselves independently.

Advice: Pursuant to the budget, other district leaders can launch similar programs using Title I funds along with free and reduced-price lunch rates and individual monetary assistance from private donors and district food service companies.