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NJDOE site visit crew June 7 2023
From left to right, Intermediate East Principal Bryan Madigan, Supervisor of Ed Tech Tiffany Lucey, NJDOE Education Program Development Specialist Simone Wong, NJDOE CTE Program Specialist David McNair, Director of K-12 Curriculum Adrienne Gold, ELA Supervisor Christy Downs, and Assistant Superintendent Pat Thomas came together June 7 to investigate and celebrate the district's Bridge to the Future grant program.

June 7, 2023-- The Bridge to the Future (B2F) program debuted in 2021 as part of the New Jersey Department of Education's Middle Grades Career Awareness and Exploration grant.

The program-- which aims to introduce career and technical educational to intermediate students, streamlining the career pathway to and through high school-- is completing its second year, and embarking on its third and final iteration in 2023-2024. To this point, B2F has had a huge impact on students, who've visited OCC to learn from professionals about high-wage careers, spent time with high school mentors enrolled in high-level CTE and construction classes, participated and competed in student tech organizations thanks to the funding provided through the grant, and so much more.

It seemed, therefore, like the ideal time for the NJDOE to check in and see first-hand what students and staff have been up to.

NJDOE CTE Program Specialist David McNair and his colleague Simone Wong, education program development specialist, visited Intermediate East and Intermediate North today. Students presented some of the projects and initiatives they've been working on through the grant, and McNair and Wong had the opportunity to ask questions about what they've been learning, and the impact it's had.

Supervisor of Educational Technology led the tour, and also in attendance were Assistant Superintendent Pat Thomas, Director of 6-12 Curriculum Adrienne Gold, and school administrators.

The program is living up to its name, as many students have developed a passion for one or more career-based subjects, and plan to continue pursuing those passions through high school and beyond. The district is immensely grateful to the NJDOE for this ongoing opportunity to positively affect the lives and life trajectories of Toms River students.

Additional photos of today's visit are below.

McNair and students at IE
David McNair talks with students at Intermediate East studying life skills, a course buoyed by support from the Middle Grades Career Awareness grant.
NJTSA students at Intermediate East

Intermediate East students who participate in NJTSA present to NJDOE reps about SCAN-EZ, their award-winning project. Membership in student organizations like NJTSA is made possible through B2F funding.

NJDOE site visit June 6 2023 photo 7

 As life skills students work behind him, David McNair snaps photos of the projects featured throughout the classroom.