At its December monthly meeting, the New Jersey State Board of Education received updates and acted on the following items:

N.J. State Board of Education Recognition Presentation

The State Board of Education recognized the following schools and individuals for their accomplishments:

2021 Superintendent of the Year

  • Scott Rocco, Hamilton Township School District

2021 School Business Administrator of the Year

  • Frank Ceurvels, Ramapo Indian Hills Regional School District

2021 Visionary Principal of the Year – Elementary Level

  • Annie Corley-Hand, Mary Kay McMillan Early Childhood Center, Berkeley Heights School District

2021 Visionary Principal of the Year – Secondary Level

  • Kwame Morton, Cherry Hill High School West, Cherry Hill School District

2021-2022 State Teacher of the Year Finalists

  • Lynne Bussott, Second grade teacher, Governor Charles C. Stratton School, Swedesboro-Woolwich School District
  • Alyssa Geary, Special education and English teacher, Red Bank Middle School, Red Bank Borough School District
  • Faith Roncoroni, English teacher, Phillipsburg High School, Phillipsburg School District

2021 National Blue Ribbon Schools

  • Academy for Information Technology, Union County Vocational-Technical School District
  • Hillside Elementary School, Closter School District
  • John F. Kennedy Elementary School, Jamesburg School District
  • Lucy N. Holman Elementary School, Jackson School District
  • North End Elementary School, Cedar Grove Township School District
  • Torey J. Sabatini Elementary School, Madison School District
  • Walter M. Schirra Elementary School, Old Bridge Township School District  
  • Wemrock Brook School, Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District
  • Weymouth Township Elementary School, Weymouth Township School District

National Green Ribbon Schools

  • Switlik Elementary School, Jackson School District
  • Winslow Township Middle School, Winslow Township School District

Bilingual Education  The State Board voted to publish a proposal for comment by the public concerning bilingual education. The department is proposing to amend the process for identifying an eligible English language learner to ensure districts use a “multi-step process” at the time of enrollment that includes: administering the statewide home-language survey instead of a district-selected screener and conducting a records review. The proposal also includes language addressing the needs of English language learners with disabilities. The proposal would address ELLs with a disability that makes it impossible for them to be assessed in a particular domain because there are no appropriate accommodations for assessment.  These students may be exited from ELL status based on scores in the remaining domains in which they were assessed.

Certification Regulations The State Board adopted a resolution stating its intent to comply with the requirements of P.L. 2021, c. 224 requiring the state board to authorize in three months the issuance of a limited certificate of eligibility with advanced standing to a teacher candidate who is part of a pilot program permitting flexibility concerning the eligibility for teacher candidate certification. The purpose of the new law is to try and increase the pool of certified teachers. However, the requirements of the Administrative Procedures Act, which governs how the state board adopts its regulations, may require more time than the three months allotted for the issuance of these certificates.

New Jersey Graduation Proficiency  The State Board discussed a resolution on the establishment of cut scores for the state graduation proficiency test, called the New Jersey Graduation Proficiency Assessment, to ensure it is carried out in accordance with industry best practices in large-scale assessment and to determine the test’s validity and the theoretically appropriate performance level-cut scores. If approved at its January meeting, the new cut scores would go into effect immediately and apply to the March 2022 administration of the test for 11th grade students.