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EMS English Class Holds Transcontinental Discussion


EMS English Class Holds Transcontinental Discussion

EMS 7th Grader communicating with UK Students

ROXBURY, NJ (September 27, 2019) – Seventh graders in Kim Farina’s English class at Eisenhower Middle School in Roxbury Township embarked on a new venture last week, communicating with students across “the pond”. 

It began at 7:45 in the morning with Alex McFarland, Roxbury’s System's Administrator troubleshooting any last-minute issues to make sure that when students arrived for Farina’s class everything would work smoothly.  

It would be the first live face-to-face chat Farina’s students would be having with their counterparts in the United Kingdom, so it was important to make sure everything went well. 

EMS 7th Grade Groups on transcontinental discussions Farina is no novice to transcontinental discussions. In the past, she and her students wrote back and forth with a school in Japan. This, however, would be the first time students would be talking in real time. 

Farina set up this “getting to know you” session so she could use it to build larger conversations about common texts in the future and hopes to have another session grounded in a common reading shared between the students in the UK and Roxbury in October.

Students were buzzing with excitement as they arrived and settled into their groups anxiously awaiting their counterparts outside of London to log on. Each student came equipped with a number of questions to help them better understand their new friends across the Atlantic. 

A flurry of conversation began as soon as the British students logged on. Students on both sides were fully engaged in the cultural dialogue. Throughout the class, Farina and McFarland walked around the room making sure that both academic and the tech side of things were running as they should. 

By the end of class, it was evident that students had energetically engaged in their first of hopefully many cross-cultural dialogues using face-to-face transcontinental discussions. 

Onlooker, Chris Zegar, Roxbury’s Director of Instructional Innovation and Planning shared, “Ms. Farina left excited and proud of how thoughtful and engaged her students were during the lesson. She should feel that way. It was a great example of what can be done when we combine new technological capabilities, engaging lessons, and thoughtful conversations.” 

PHOTO ATTACHED (courtesy of Roxbury Schools)


For more information, contact: Roxbury Community School/Community Relations Coordinator Ann Rhodes at or 973-584-7699.



Roxbury Public Schools is a K-12 school district preparing the children of today for tomorrow. As a dynamic and thriving district, in partnership with a supportive and collaborative community, Roxbury Public Schools inspires and empowers all learners to flourish as ethical and global citizens in the 21st century. The district serves students throughout Roxbury Township, New Jersey, including the areas of Landing, Kenvil, Succasunna, Ledgewood, Mount Arlington, Port Morris, Flanders, and Wharton. Connect with us online at or on Facebook at