At its May monthly meeting, which was held virtually, New Jersey’s State Board of Education heard updates and took action on the following items:

Resolution in Honor of Physical Education and Sport Month

The State Board passed a resolution in honor of Physical Education and Sport Month. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that young people ages 6–17 years participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily. State law, N.J.S.A.18A:35-7 and 8, requires all students in grades 1-12 to participate in at least 150 minutes per week of health, safety and physical education. Research shows that physically active children are more likely to thrive academically and have improved behavior in school. The State Board also designated the week of May 1-7 as National Physical Education and Sport Week.

State Board Calendar of Meeting Dates

The proposed meeting dates for the upcoming year are listed here.

Resolution in Honor of Mrs. Margit Feldman

The State Board passed a resolution to posthumously honor Mrs. Margit Feldman. Mrs. Feldman, a concentration camp survivor, helped pass the state laws that created the New Jersey Holocaust Education Commission and mandated that curricula in New Jersey’s public elementary and secondary schools include instruction about the Holocaust and genocide. She was an original member of the New Jersey Holocaust Education Commission and a founding member of the Holocaust and Genocide Institute at Raritan Valley Community College. She died on April 14, 2020 at the age of 90, from COVID-19-related complications.

The State Board, with the recommendation of the commissioner, appointed the following persons to the following positions:

  • Kerlyn Espinal, deputy assistant commissioner, Division of Field Services
  • Anthony Wright, deputy assistant commissioner, Division of Student Services
  • Scott Henry, director, Office of Fiscal Policy & Planning, Division of Finance
  • Doug Cervi, executive director, Holocaust Commission, Division of Field Services

Annual Religious Holidays Calendar

Each year, the State Board prepares a list of religious holidays on which it shall be mandatory to excuse a student, in accordance with N.J.S.A. 18A:36-14 through 16. The list is a minimum list. Boards of education, at their discretion, may add other days to the list for the schools of their districts.

Swimming and Water Safety Endorsement

The State Board adopted regulations to provide a third option for the issuer of the water safety instructor certificate that candidates are required to hold to be eligible for a swimming and water safety endorsement to the instructional certificate and to be employed to coach, or to serve as coach, for interscholastic swimming and/or diving programs.  Specifically, the department amended N.J.A.C. 6A:9B-11.10, Swimming and Water Safety, to add the Flotation Aided Swim Training Program (FAST Swim ProgramTM) as one of three acceptable issuers of the Water Safety Instructor Certificate.  The other current issuers of the WSI certificate are the American Red Cross and YMCA.