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To support the needs of multilingual learners, the New Jersey Department of Education’s Office of Supplemental Educational Programs developed a new website that provides guidance and resources for local educational agencies. The guidance includes information on identification and exiting procedures, assessment, preschool multilingual learners, NJ SMART requirements as well as additional resources, according to an advisory.

In July 2023, the New Jersey State Board of Education approved the adoption with amendments of N.J.A.C. 6A:15, Bilingual Education, which sets forth the requirements for local educational agencies that identify students as multilingual learners (previously referred to as English language learners). A brief summary of the key regulatory changes can be found on the New Jersey Department of Education website.

The amendments to N.J.A.C. 6A:15 incorporate state and federal laws that require all LEAs to ensure multilingual learners can participate meaningfully and equally in educational programs. Multilingual learners are held to the same rigorous, standards-based curricula and assessments as their English proficient peers as they are acquiring the English language.

Questions regarding the requirements or the resources being made available can be sent via email to the Office of Supplemental Educational Programs.