Welcome to the Web site for the SAIL Parent Advisory Board of Montclair.
This is where caregivers, educators, and community leaders in Montclair share information related to Students Accelerated in Learning.
About the Parent Advisory Board
The Montclair Public Schools’ Department of Instruction established the board for the purpose of providing recommendations on matters related to project SAIL. The building principal of each K-8 school appoints two parents to serve on it. Meeting quarterly as a large group, its members work year-round in subcommittees. This Web site is produced by the Communication and Community Resources team and receives no funding or formal oversight from the district.
Summary of Recommendations of the SAIL Parent Advisory Curriculum Subcommittee, Spring 2007
The recommendations whose summary may be found below represent important first steps in having SAIL reflect the high standards that the Montclair school district brings to so many other areas. Neither demands nor criticisms, they represent research-informed suggestions made by parents committed to creating the best gifted and talented education possible in their community. We applaud the Department of Instruction in both soliciting these recommendations and taking them under advisement. Indeed, in June 2007, it announced a summer retreat during which it would work closely with the Parent Advisory Board to implement many of its ideas. Parents, despite summer being upon us, please stay in contact and add your voice to the conversation. Building principals, please know that our partnership with the district begins and ends with you—you appointed us to represent our schools, and we welcome your input and collaboration at all times. These recommendations should be viewed as the start of dialogue, not the end of it.
The members of the SAIL Parent Advisory Group curriculum subcommittee recommend:
1. the development of SAIL Articulation Records to facilitate
• continuity of effective instructional practices
• appropriate goal setting for gifted students
2. clarifying and strengthening the role of the school SAIL coordinators to include
• assisting other teachers in obtaining specialized materials, with access to special funds for this purpose
• helping other teachers find support to implement advanced instruction
• responsibility for maintaining records on each student
3. that in the short term, SAIL coordinators should be given release time and/or supplemental salary to enable them to effectively coordinate and support this program serving nearly 1/4 of the school population, and that the district should work towards the goal of hiring full time SAIL coordinators to provide support for this large district program
4. that differentiated instruction occur during parts of the school day that are designated as usual instructional time, not during lunch or recess or otherwise outside of usual instructional time
5. the district adopt a new district wide goal: “To meet the needs of all diverse learners within our district, including a strong special education program, an excellent core curriculum, and a leading program to address the special needs of gifted learners which will serve as a model to other districts.”
6. class assignments decided recognizing the special need of gifted students to work within an intellectual and social peer group, and to match students with teachers who can meet that particular child’s needs best
7. that the district provide organized, ongoing , district wide professional development focused on the particular needs of academically gifted learners, and in particular about differentiated instruction
8. the district adopt the "Gifted Program Standards" of the National Association for Gifted Children