At its March meeting, the State Board of Education heard updates and took action on the following items:
- Start Strong Assessment Presentation, Part II The State Board reviewed the results of the Start Strong Assessment; data collected from the tests can be viewed here. The Start Strong Assessment is an optional classroom assessment that helps districts gather standards-based data and provide a snapshot of the support students are likely to need. State level results are limited because it was an optional assessment, sample size was small, demographic information was not collected and location information was not available. The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) has said it will enhance the statewide data system in the future by identifying multiple sources of high-quality assessment data for educators to use to mitigate learning disruptions that occurred as a result of the pandemic.
- Resolution in Recognition of Gifted and Talented Students Month in New Jersey The resolution recognizes the gifted and talented students of New Jersey, as well as their parents, teachers, and school leaders who are working to ensure that these students have equitable access to the resources and opportunities they need to achieve. The “Strengthening Gifted and Talented Education Act” was signed into law by Gov. Murphy on Jan. 13, 2020. The NJDOE established the Strengthening Gifted and Talented Education Advisory Committee, comprised of five sub-committees that provide recommendations and guidance on the law’s implementation, identification of students, programming, the intersectionality of cognitive and affective needs, and professional development.
- Resolution in Recognition of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Day in New Jersey The State Board recognized March 26, 2021 as SEL Day in New Jersey. Social and emotional learning is the process through which young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions, achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.
- Career and Technical Education The State Board unveiled a new logo for Career and Technical Education following a statewide contest to develop the logo. Newark Vocational High School ninth-grade student Neshawn Perkins was announced the winner of the CTE Logo Design Contest.
- List of Religious Holidays By law, the New Jersey Commissioner of Education must prepare a list of religious holidays on which it shall be mandatory to excuse a student. The list, however, is to be a minimum list. 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 and will take action on it at a future meeting.