For those of you joining our Attales Family for the first time this year, I want to briefly introduce myself. My name is Kevin Burns and I am the proud Principal of the Emma C. Attales Middle School. Along with my wife, Beth, and three children, Halle, Sean, and Jack, I am a longtime resident of Absecon. My wife and I believe in the Absecon School District, its outstanding staff, and have always been very happy with our experience both in Absecon and with the Absecon Schools. Over the course of my career, I was a teacher for twelve years and spent the last nine years in administration both at the high school and middle school levels. I feel blessed to now be a part of the Absecon School District and to have the opportunity to make a positive impact on my hometown. After working in and contributing to other surrounding communities for the last 20+ years, it gives me great pleasure to finally say…I am home.
It is an exciting time to be a part of the Absecon School District. Recent happenings this summer include revitalizing our STEAM lab as well as hiring a STEAM teacher whose degree and certifications are specific to the field of STEAM, hiring two new math teachers, deploying 125 new chromebooks throughout the school as well as 12 new 70” TV’s in our classrooms equipped with new chrome tablets integrated with Airtrain to enhance teaching/learning, new lockers in our 6th grade classrooms, piloting two new math programs, moving to one “Family Lunch” including adding outside eating areas, and more. Probably the biggest change students will see is to our master schedule. As we discussed at our various community presentations on the new schedule, we are moving to a 4-day rotating block schedule for the 2019-2020 school year. Our new master schedule is designed to increase instructional time while creating more efficiency during the day, to provide the support as well as challenge that our students need to help close our achievement gaps, to bolster our special area course offerings, to provide grade/course specific flexibility in scheduling as well as teacher planning time, and to create opportunity for student choice with the introduction of elective courses driven by student and staff input. We will also be moving to one “family lunch”. Our new bell schedule is posted on our website and is included below.
In addition to the above, we will also be embarking on our first year as part of two exciting programs. First, we applied for and were accepted into the School Climate Transformation Project (SCTP). SCTP is an initiative through a partnership between Rutgers University and the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) designed to provide support to schools in developing a positive and inclusive school climate. Second, we also applied for and were accepted into the next Connected Action Roadmap (CAR) cohort, which is an initiative through the NJDOE. CAR and NJDOE staff will work with our school in developing professional learning communities that will connect standards, student learning, assessment, professional learning, educator effectiveness, and school climate and culture.
As I stated last year, my goals remain pretty simple: to create and foster a family atmosphere and positive culture that is conducive to teaching and learning, to provide the support our students need to thrive in both the academic learning environment as well as the social and emotional learning environment, and to work with students, staff, and community to continue the excellence that we have all come to expect from the Emma C. Attales Middle School. If you were part of our Attales Family last year then you know we did a lot in terms of developing that family atmosphere and positive culture through our “Family Meetings”, “Thank You” events, service learning projects, and our philosophy of “feeding the good wolf”. We will continue with this mission in the coming year. I encourage you to visit our Attales website (www.abseconschools.org > Principal’s Corner) for more information and pictures/videos from these great events.
I am very much looking forward to working with the staff, Dr. Dooley, fellow administrators, the BOE, and you, the community, to continue where we left off in, together, creating something special at the Emma C. Attales Middle School.
Emma C. Attales Middle School