About Valleyview

Valleyview Middle School is the instructional home for Denville's sixth, seventh and eighth grade students who are placed on INTERDISCIPLINARY INSTRUCTIONAL TEAMS. Instructional Teams allow for a more student-centered approach by creating "schools-within-the-school", whereby the same group of CORE INSTRUCTORS (MATH, SCIENCE, SOCIAL STUDIES and LANGUAGE ARTS) share the same group of students. In addition to making school more student friendly, TEAMING enables staff to plan for time allotment flexibility in subject matter presentation and gives them the option of combining their expertise and course content to integrate the disciplines and interface common areas of instruction. This integration not only provides countless opportunities for enrichment but also, it is hoped, raises the learning curve. Valleyview is in its eighth year of TEAMING. Valleyview students have a minimum of 360 periods of LANGUAGE ARTS/READING and 270 periods of MATHEMATICS yearly. Also, students who demonstrate a high level of proficiency in each of these areas are placed in ADVANCED LEVEL classes.

The school's MISSION STATEMENT identifies five tenets the staff aspires for each student: to be socially responsible to themselves, the school and the community; to demonstrate a strong work ethic; to value a generosity of spirit; to be capable of critical thinking and decision making; and to be academically and emotionally prepared to REACH their potential. 

Another vital part of the school is its ADVISORY PROGRAM. The ADVISORY is a program which has as its primary focus the affective development of the students. It also seeks to ensure that every student in the school is known well by at least one adult. Small groups meet with their ADVISOR three times weekly for twenty-minute periods. A closely scripted curriculum deals with such issues as character, values and fostering and maintaining healthy peer relationships. Among the more academic issues addressed are the improvement of listening skills and the setting of goals. A critical component of the PROGRAM is community service which features a SENIOR CITIZEN OUTREACH PROGRAM. The program, which has been replicated by several area schools, recently underwent a major revision. Working in tandem with the Princeton Center For Leadership Training, four Valleyview teachers engineered major revisions to the program. For example, the eighth grade is divided into the following themes: GETTING TO KNOW YOU; DEVELOPING COMMUNICATION AND LEADERSHIP SKILLS; MANAGING CONFLICT (which contains a heavy emphasis on bullying); BUILDING TEAMS AND SOLVING PROBLEMS. The program begins in mid-October and ends the third week in May with a community service activity. 

In addition to a vigorous curriculum which addresses both the cognitive and affective development of its students, Valleyview offers an extensive extra-curricular program of clubs and activities which enhance the students' school experience. Students are able to remain after school throughout the year to engage in the following CLUB experiences: DRAMA, SCIENCE, ART, IA/TECHNOLOGY, FORENSICS, CHESS, and AEROBICS/YOGA. Journalistic opportunities are offered through membership on the staffs of the LITERARY MAGAZINE, SCHOOL NEWSPAPER or YEARBOOK. 

Additionally, the BUILDERS' CLUB and the STUDENT GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION provide opportunities to develop leadership skills and to become involved in community service activities. A full range of INTERSCHOLASTIC SPORTS (CROSS COUNTRY, SOCCER, BASKETBALL, BASEBALL, SOFTBALL and WRESTLING) is available to those who make the school teams and an extensive INTRAMURAL PROGRAM is operational for those who do not. The School's CHEERLEADING SQUAD is a highly competitive one which competes at the national level each year. 

In addition to the aforementioned CORE SUBJECTS, all students receive instruction in ART, FAMILY LIFE, INDUSTRIAL ARTS/TECHNOLOGY, LIFE SKILLS I and II, MUSIC, PHYSICAL EDUCATION, SPANISH and FRENCH. Academically talented (EXPO) students meet throughout the school year with an instructor who designs activities tailored to their specific needs, interests and abilities. 

A major new focus for the district and at Valleyview has been a partnership with IDE (Innovative Designs in Education), a company that specializes in teacher training with emphasis on problem-based learning and technology. Eight staff members went through a full week of their training last summer; five additional members received partial training (three days). They have been developing lessons that use the problem-based strategy with new wireless laptops and classroom SmartBoards. The SmartBoards are interactive white boards that teachers and students can use with a computer. Web sites, documents and various graphics can be displayed; users can also handwrite, type, draw and erase directly on the SmartBoards as well as save their original and modified work. Early indications show a good deal of enthusiasm being generated by both the staff and students. 

Technology use at Valleyview has continued to expand effectively through enthusiastic teacher training and implementation coupled with the addition of many laptops and SmartBoards. Thirty-one teachers participated in week-long summer training sessions conducted by IDE (Innovative Designs in Education) where they learned strategies and procedures for greater student involvement in learning, frequently through integration of technology. They developed units of instruction that will be used at various stages of the school year. The IDE trainers will routinely visit the schools to mentor the teachers as they put their lessons into practice. The IDE partnership began last year when our first group of fourteen teachers went through the training. Their positive response led another seventeen teachers to join the training this year. 

Other items of special significance relating to Valleyview's technology use: 
• Our wireless network has been upgraded to provide support for the additional wireless laptops in use throughout the building. 
• As part of the IDE program we have added approximately 100 laptops and sixteen SmartBoards and projectors for the use of the trained teachers. 
• Many of our texts in Science, Social Studies and Math have on-line or CD/DVD components that allow students to access the text, relevant websites, pre and post-tests and more without carrying the text to and from school. 
• We have provided Internet Safety training for parents which will be repeated later this year. Students receive similar training in the computer classes with our Student Resource Officer from the Denville Police Department, Officer Jeff Tucker. 
• Many of our teachers have continued with other training using the Educational Technology Training Center at the Morris County School of Technology. Several are also attending graduate courses.

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