At its December meeting, the New Jersey State Board of Education heard updates and acted on the following:
New Jersey Professionals Recognition — The State Board recognized the following individuals for their accomplishments:
- NJASA Superintendent of the Year William Smith, Point Pleasant Beach.
- NJASBO Business Administrator of the Year Stacy Garvey, Midland Park.
- Christopher Turnbull, Elementary School Visionary Principal of the Year, Elementary — Bear Tavern Elementary School, Hopewell Valley School District.
- Stella Nwanguma, Secondary School Visionary Principal of the Year, Winslow Twp Middle School.
- Miliken Award recipients:
- 2020: Taylor Potts Matyas, Freehold Township.
- 2021: Sarah Mae Lagasca, Newark.
- 2022: Shaina Brenner, Jackson Township.
- Retiring State Board Member — The State Board recognized the service of Ernest Lepore, a member of the State Board who is retiring, having served since 2004. He was recognized, in part, for his numerous accomplishments and his contributions to education in New Jersey through his qualities as an insightful, innovative policymaker and advocate for all children and educators, as well as his personal qualities of warmth, wit and his unconventional style.
- New Jersey Partnership for Student Success — The NJPSS is a system of supports and programs for students and educators to be used at the local level to meet the specific needs of each district. The NJPSS supports a statewide three-year effort that brings together experienced organizations with a goal to recruit, screen, train, support and engage an additional 5,000 caring adults in roles serving as tutors, mentors, student success coaches, wraparound service coordinators and post-secondary transition coaches.
- The NJDOE is proposing the New Jersey High-Impact Tutoring initiative, which is a high-impact tutoring program that is a research-based, effective method local districts can use to optimize learning acceleration. This project will optimize funding for targeted tutoring in mathematics and English Language Arts. The NJDOE will also provide targeted professional development to equip educators with resources and techniques to optimize learning acceleration.
- 2021-2022 Statewide Assessment Data Overview — NJDOE staff gave an update on statewide assessment results. Staff covered the 2022 results for the Dynamic Learning Maps, the assessment for those with significant cognitive disabilities, ACCESS for ELLs, the assessment for English language learners, the New Jersey Graduation Proficiency Assessment and the National Assessment of Educational Progress. While the global COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact on the 2022 NJSLA results, educators are credited with providing their students with social, emotional and academic supports during a historically challenging time caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency. New Jersey’s statewide testing results are mostly consistent with national trends.
- Bilingual Education – The State Board discussed updates to its regulations concerning bilingual education. All school districts are required to provide students who are identified as multilingual learners with the services they need to meet or exceed the New Jersey Student Learning Standards. These regulations describe the school district’s specific obligations to support multilingual learners. The chapter’s general provisions include definitions of terms related to bilingual education, the process for identifying students who may be multilingual learners, placement of multilingual learners in language instruction educational programs and the process for exiting a student from the program and multilingual identification status. The chapter also includes connections to other chapters in Title 6A of the New Jersey Administrative Code, which apply to all students. J.A.C. 6A:15 provides requirements for school districts to engage families, including notification of their children’s identification and placement into a LIEP, as well as the opportunity to be a part of the parent advisory committee. The proposed amendments will also ensure clarity in how bilingual education requirements intersect with general school district requirements related to inclusion, curriculum, equity, standards and educator certification by connecting N.J.A.C. 6A:15 with other chapters in Title 6A of the New Jersey Administrative Code (namely N.J.A.C. 6A:7, Managing for Equality and Equity in Education, N.J.A.C. 6A:8, Standards and Assessment, and N.J.A.C. 6A:9B, State Board of Examiners and Certification). These connections will help school districts better understand how the services and programs they provide multilingual learners are aligned to the systems that school districts already have in place for all students.
- Equality and Equity – The State Board discussed proposed updates to the rules governing equality and equity in educational programs to guarantee each student equal access to all educational programs, services and benefits of the school district regardless of the student’s race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, affectional or sexual orientation, gender, religion, disability, or socioeconomic status. The rules also provide an objective basis for evaluating a school district’s progress toward equality and equity in educational programs and provide the basis for district boards of education to identify areas in which technical assistance may be needed. The rules directly impact students by ensuring school districts provide for their basic rights to equitable treatment and services and to a quality education.