Ramsey Schools Eye AI: Fresh Faces and Forward Thinking Shape the Future

In its recent meeting, the Ramsey Board of Education discussed the evolving role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in curriculum and warmly welcomed fresh perspectives, including a student representative, to its team. The meeting, aligned with the New Jersey Open Public Meetings Act, had most board members in attendance, including Jennifer Burns, Nicholas Capuano, Ralph J. Caputo, Laura Behrmann, Andrew Seltzer, David Stitz, and Andrea Lamendola.

The Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment emphasized the swift pace at which AI technology is developing, remarking, “We’ve understood that the technology is progressing way faster than our understanding of it even can, so we have to be flexible and open.” He detailed recent district efforts to bridge the technological advancement with its implementation in education. Drawing attention to the district’s exploration of AI’s integration into instruction, he shared, “This spring we hosted a virtual parent information session. We have staff access to a self-paced course in using AI into instruction.” This initiative was further enriched by an in-depth training session led by instructional technology expert Greg Kulowick.

The Director’s approach to AI remained discerning, urging the need to thoroughly understand its implications. “Now the next step we have to do as a district is to gather stakeholders… and start to really compose what our approach will be to AI,” he stated. He also highlighted the proactive measures colleges have adopted regarding AI, pointing out, “Colleges have been on the forefront. They have great policies for what the learner’s responsibility is in the use of AI.”

While technology took center stage, the board’s agenda was diverse. The new student representative, Kayla O’Rourke, the elected Student Congress President for the high school, introduced herself. Expressing her enthusiasm and commitment to the role, O’Rourke underscored her passion for the Best Buddies program and her eagerness to bring a fresh student viewpoint to board discussions.

Staffing updates also took a slice of the spotlight. Lemma Taha was announced as the new director of school counseling, and the administrative team shared the nearing completion of their staffing roster for the upcoming academic year. The team is gearing up for the orientation of new hires later this month.

Additional innovations for the school district were introduced, including the launch of a new website and accompanying app. Touted for its enhanced functionality, parents and families were encouraged to download the app for updates. Addressing the digital shift, the board also shared improvements in communication tools, moving their agendas to a more user-friendly digital format.

The meeting didn’t miss touching upon infrastructural advancements. The Board Secretary’s report shed light on ongoing construction projects like the renovations of the RHS auditorium and media center, expressing optimism about their timely completion. However, anticipated delays were mentioned regarding AC installations at Tisdale and Hubbard.

Finally, diverse club activities were highlighted with the introduction of the South Asian Club, expected to celebrate South Asian culture with activities ranging from cultural awareness initiatives to food tastings.

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