New School Year Ushers in Second Cohort of Program

Aug. 15, 2018-- Last year Toms River Regional Schools began piloting Learner-Activated Technology-Infused Classrooms (LATIC), an educational philosophy developed by Nancy Sulla and espoused by her Innovative Designs for Education Corporation (IDE). It was, in fact, LATIC that inspired the district to pursue and ultimately win a Steelcase Education grant to remodel a classroom at High School North into an Active Learning Center. As the district introduces its second cohort of teachers to the program, IDE’s Gina Vodola visited the offices at 1144 Hooper Avenue yesterday to train high school administrators.

Championed by 6-12 Director of Curriculum Norma DeNoia, LATIC embodies the direction of Toms River Regional Schools over the past several years, but brings it more clearly into focus and provides the necessary training and resources, allowing colleagues to turnkey methods and branch the philosophy district-wide. Its principles include empowering students to take ownership of their learning; cross-curricular units; pushing students’ thinking through collaboration and by building relationships; and encouraging instructors to cede some control of the classroom in the interest of student voice and choice. Tuesday’s training was modeled likewise, with administrators freely moving about, sharing ideas, and driving the discussion. Photos below.

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IDE's Gina Vodola sits with High School North Principal Ed Keller (right) and Assistant Principal Christopher Madigan to discuss LATIC concepts.

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As part of the training's collaborative exercises, World Languages Supervisor Adrienne Gold jots down her colleagues' ideas for classroom strategies to promote student responsibility.

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Administrators from High School East-- from left to right, Science Supervisor Charlie Evers; Assistant Principal Erin Anders; and Assistant Principal Kevin McCann-- listen in on the importance of benchmarks and deconstructing units.

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LATIC proponent and TRRS Director of 6-12 Curriculum Norma DeNoia, seated next to Science Supervisor Charlie Evers, joins the discussion.

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Gina Vodola of Innovative Designs for Education helped explain and model LATIC for district administrators.

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LATIC is a change of course from traditional methods of teaching, and it does not come unsupported, offering a number of resources for educators.

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From left to right, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Marc Natanagara, High School English Supervisor Tonya Rivera, and High School Math Supervisor Sissy Crowley talk LATIC strategies.

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Posters throughout the district conference room allowed administrators to share their thoughts and opinions.

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World Languages Supervisor Adrienne Gold (left) and English Supervisor Tonya Rivera have helped implement and promote LATIC since the pilot began last year.

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