In February 2017, Future Ready Schools – NJ conducted the inaugural meetings of each of its three certification program task forces: Education and Classroom Practice; Technology Support and Services; and Leadership. More than 200 educators, educational leaders, and other educational stakeholders from over 100 districts and organizations throughout New Jersey came together to help define what “Future Ready” means, specifically in New Jersey’s schools, for each of the task force’s themes.
Future Ready Schools – NJ is a certification program based upon the design and experience of the successful Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification program and the established national Future Ready Framework. Each task force has taken on several relevant Future Ready ‘gears’ and their elements to determine the indicators of Future Readiness in New Jersey, the actions that can be taken by a school to be successful in each indicator, and the support, guidance, and resources required to take those actions.
The certification program, developed by a coalition of the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE), the New Jersey School Boards Association, and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, has been in development for a year. The program has been aided by $200,000 in seed funding from NJDOE, which was announced by then-Commissioner of education David Hespe on April 14, 2016.
Future Ready Schools – NJ is also supported by the Juniper Networks Foundation and has partnered with several major educational technology companies and educational associations including the New Jersey Education Association, New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association, the New Jersey Parent Teacher Association, the New Jersey Association of School Administrators, and the New Jersey Association of School Business Officials.
When the Future Ready Schools – NJ certification program launches in May 2017, the proposals of each task force will be available for schools to review, take action on, and submit evidence of their successful completion to receive points toward becoming certified as “Future Ready.” Applications for districts to commit to the Future Ready certification program, followed by the certification process by schools will begin in May. The first certification awards will be announced at Workshop 2017 at the Atlantic City Convention Center in October.
To keep up with the Future Ready Schools – NJ certification program, visit www.frsnj.org and follow Future Ready Schools – NJ on Twitter and Facebook at @FRSNewJersey.