KEEP Damion Frye on as the Principal at Seth Boyden Elementary School
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We are parents of students at Seth Boyden Elementary School in Maplewood, New Jersey, and we are demanding that Dr. Ficarra and the members of the board KEEP Damion Frye as the Principal of Seth Boyden Elementary School. In two short years, Mr. Frye has made tremendous improvements to the school. Some of his accomplishments include the following:
- Two math specialists co-teaching in all multi-age classes. This means classroom teachers are getting support from full-time, dedicated math experts, and students are receiving more differentiated supports.
- Creation of STEAM course for K-3rd each week.
- Creation of elective system for 4th-5th graders each week; options included Musical Theater, Advanced Art, Advanced Math, Engineering, Chorus, AV/Podcasting, Ukulele and African Drumming. One example of the excellence of this program is the current production of The Lion King which, by many accounts, is the best production the school has seen in many, many years. Amazing what can happen when resources are properly put to use and the arts are held in high regard!
- Introduction of small group instructional model which further ensures that ALL students are receiving the support and challenge that they require.
- Worked with PTA to encourage teachers to apply for mini PTA grants to encourage new programs
- Outdoor Learning has been furthered with the hiring of a part-time teacher for the garden, and through encouragement of teachers to take their kids into the outside classroom.
ACCESS and EQUITY
o By including musical theater in the school day, this allowed all students the opportunity to participate.
o Worked closely with the Community Engagement Specialist to inform parents of their child’s progress and abilities and special services that are available to help their child.
o Expanded opportunities for kids. One example is the circus program that benefitted all 4th grade students, which culminated in a school-wide assembly where students performed with professionals.
o Meaningful Black History Month Celebrations: For the past two years Mr. Frye has brought a multi-month, school-wide theme to Black History Month celebrations. Last year the entire school focused on the Harlem Renaissance, and this year the entire school learned about the Caribbean – both were joyous celebrations of culture and contribution and far exceeded what most schools typically do.
o Promotes mediation over suspension and reduced suspension rate from 19 in 2015-2016, 5 in 2016-2017 and 7 in 2017-2018.
o Reduced playground/recess incidents by training lunch aides and increasing paraprofessional involvement at recess. There is still work in this area, but the work has begun.
o Created after school activities for students not engaged in afterschool activities
* Boys/Girls Leadership Club decreased behavioral issues during school and increased homework completion
* Soccer program for selected students decreased behavioral issues during the school day
o Increased sense of community by implementing morning meeting for all grade 1-5 students
o Mr. Frye personally conducts home visits with all incoming Kindergarten families and delivers a new backpack to each child. He is the only principal in our district who goes the extra mile in forming this most important relationship with new students and families.
o Introduced concept of a Community Engagement Specialist into the district which position was created and has become an integral part of SB
o Rebranded Seth Boyden with not only a new logo but a new direction
o Emptied out every space of the building to ensure teachers and students can use every space available
o Gave up his own office to ensure teachers have a space to meet and plan together
o Introduced electronic signature into the building to increase safety
The Seth Boyden Community needs Mr. Frye to continue the programs and initiatives he has started. He has the support of a large percentage of families and teachers, and needs the SUPPORT of the district in order to be even more successful.
Today: Dr. John J. Benjamin is counting on you
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