At its March meeting, the New Jersey State Board of Education heard updates and took action on the following items:

  • Resolution in Recognition of Gifted and Talented Students Month in New Jersey: The State Board declared March as “Gifted and Talented Students Month,” noting that the Strengthening Gifted and Talented Education Act was signed into law Jan. 13, 2020, and that the New Jersey Department of Education established the Strengthening Gifted and Talented Education Advisory Committee, consisting of five sub-committees to address law implementation, identification, programming, the intersectionality of cognitive and affective needs, and professional development to best identify and serve the needs of gifted students. The board also noted that the New Jersey Department of Education collaborates with the advisory committee, various New Jersey education organizations and gifted and talented education experts from across the country to provide technical assistance to educators on how to best support gifted and twice-exceptional students in New Jersey.
  • Resolution in Recognition of Social and Emotional Learning Day in New Jersey: The State Board recognized the second Friday in March as the fifth annual Social Emotional Learning Day in New Jersey. The day commemorates the importance of building SEL skills, such as self-regulation, positive relationships, and problem-solving. These skills are essential components to cultivating trauma-informed learning environments, which can help mitigate the impact of trauma, as well as promote protective factors for students to support them in their academic success.
  • Annual Report on the State Operated District of Camden: The State Board heard an update on progress in the Camden City School District. In its report, the district detailed its academic and fiscal progress. The district detailed its NJQSAC progress as well as progress toward greater student achievement.  The district highlighted its success with its career and technical education programs.
  • Appointments: The State Board appointed Laura Console as chief of staff and Keisha Golding-Cooper as director of the Office of Recruitment, Preparation and Certification. 
  • Interdistrict Public School Choice: The State Board approved the publication of a proposal to readopt with amendments the regulations concerning the interdistrict public school choice program. Proposed amendments are intended to clarify issues and questions raised by choice districts and parents. Additional amendments will implement a Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division decision that required the New Jersey Department of Education to enumerate the requirements for its review and approval of a sending district seeking to restrict student participation in the choice program.
  • Fiscal Accountability: The State Board approved the publication of its proposal containing changes to the fiscal accountability regulations that contain the fiscal accountability rules for school districts, charter schools, renaissance schools and approved private schools for students with disabilities to ensure that public funds for education are spent responsibly. These proposed regulations update terminology, titles and gendered language; replace or remove outdated references to statute and code; and implement enacted legislation. The proposal also clarifies rules by adding statutory references, amending language, or recodifying rules to a more appropriate location. Subchapters 16 through 22 are proposed for readoption as State Board of Education rules consistent with the original authority that established the regulations. The commissioner also will be proposing a simultaneous rulemaking for the readoption of subchapters 1 through 15.
  • Religious Holidays Calendar Resolution: Annually, the State Board must produce a list of religious holidays for which students may receive an excused absence in accordance with law. Boards of education, at their discretion, may add other days to the list for the schools of their districts. The State Board discussed the list that will be adopted at its May meeting.