58 LONGISLANDPRESS.COM • JANUARY 2019
South Huntington Union Free School
District (SHUFSD) is one of a growing
number of school districts that have
embraced technology and engineering
along with the more historically common
subjects of math and science. These four
academic disciplines – commonly referred
to collectively as STEM – present students
with some of the greatest opportunities for
good jobs when they graduate.
But few school districts on Long Island or
elsewhere have quite the level of technology
resources that SHUFSD provides its
approximately 6,000 students at seven
schools: Birchwood Intermediate School,
Countrywood Primary Center, Maplewood
Intermediate School, Oakwood Primary
Center, Silas Wood Sixth Grade Center,
Stimson Middle School and Walt Whitman
We recently caught up with Dr.
Jared Bloom, the district’s assistant
superintendent for instruction and
curriculum, who discussed the
importance of tech, the district’s
mission and more.
Q: What makes your school
Jared Bloom: We are one of the
most innovative school districts
on LI and probably around the
country because of the use of cutting-edge
technology that we provide to our students.
We believe in preparing our students for their
tomorrow rather than our own. What makes
us unique is we create unique partnerships
with innovative companies on the Island and
around the country. We provide students with
access to coding and augmented reality and
virtual reality and all of the latest technology
that will help them as they grow and as they’re
South Huntington UFSD: preparing students for
future success with STEM and more
moving off to college and then to
industry. We start coding in pre-K
and we have afterschool coding
programs starting in kindergarten.
By the time students are in sixth
grade, they are in coding classes
that every student takes. We
are building a state-of-the-art
cybersecurity center, which will
open next year.
Q: What’s the main goal of the cybersecurity
JB: We know that is an area right now that is
in desperate need of skilled workers and so we
want to make sure that our students have the
edge. There’s a lot of jobs that are going to be
open on LI. Amazon’s going to be opening in
Queens and we want to make sure that our
students are prepared for
the jobs that are coming. I
think there’s a statistic that
came out recently that 75
percent of the jobs that
will be out by the time our
don’t exist currently. So,
we constantly have to
evolve and meet those
needs as a school district.
Q: How would you say
things have changed at
the school district over the years?
JB: One thing that’s changed is the amount
of technology that is available to students
and our ability to connect and be current
with what’s happening around the country
in terms of technology needs. We continue
to evolve. Every student in sixth through
10th grade currently has a Chromebook
that they take home every single day. So that’s
definitely a shift.
Q: What would you say has
remained the same?
JB: We continue to innovate. We
continue to strive for excellence.
And we continue to provide our
families and our students with
24/7 wraparound support. That’s
who we are as a school district.
That’s who we continue to be.
Q: What would you say is the mission of
your school district?
JB: Empower all children to maximize their
potential by teaching them the necessary
academic skills; enabling them to develop
the positive social and moral skills necessary
to become contributing members of society;
providing them with a safe and secure
environment where everyone is treated with
Q: How did you get started in education?
JB: I was in the dot-com industry before I
moved into a teaching career as an English
teacher in New York City. I had a passion
for reading and a love of learning. And when
I decided to make a career change to make a
difference in city schools, that’s sort of how
I got in. I was always that teacher that was
using the latest and greatest. I had one of the
first Smart Boards in the school that I was
teaching in. And I was always looking for the
newest technologies that I can use to improve
the lives of my kids.
Q: What is the biggest challenge of your
JB: I think the biggest challenge is making
sure that students and teachers in our
community have the tools and resources
necessary for every child to have the best
education in South Huntington.
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Dr. Jared Bloom