The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) on Aug. 3 announced that five school districts and two charter schools have received Lighthouse Awards for substantial improvement in advancing educational equity.

The Lighthouse Award recipients were announced at the NJDOE’s Virtual Statewide Equity Conference. The following schools were honored, listed by the equity area where they showed improvement:

Increasing equity in postsecondary enrollment
Burlington CountyBurlington City School District
Hudson CountyWeehawken School District
Increasing diversity in the teacher workforce
Hudson CountyLearning Community Charter School
Somerset CountyWatchung Hills Regional High School District
Increasing equity in course enrollment
Union CountyThe Barack Obama Green Charter High School
Burlington CountyBurlington County Vocational School District
Increasing equity in disciplinary outcomes
Hudson CountyHoboken School District

The NJDOE launched the Lighthouse Award initiative in 2017 to recognize the advances made by New Jersey school districts and charter schools.

During the award term from August 2021 to August 2023, officials from Lighthouse districts will have the opportunity to participate in professional learning and networking opportunities, and they will lead professional learning events for educators throughout the state while providing insight to the NJDOE through policy discussions.

“I would like to congratulate the educational communities of the seven Lighthouse awardees,” said Kathy Goldenberg, president of the New Jersey State Board of Education. “I commend these school districts and charter schools for their commitment to student achievement and equitable outcomes. This recognition will allow educators from across New Jersey to learn and benefit from the practices of these seven school districts and charter schools during their 2021-2023 award term.”