At its October meeting, the New Jersey State Board of Education heard updates and acted on the following items.

State Teacher of the Year: Joseph Nappi, a social studies teacher at Monmouth Regional High School, was honored by the State Board for being named the 2023-2024 New Jersey State Teacher of the Year.

New Jersey Partnership for Student Success Update: The NJPSS supports a statewide three-year effort that brings together experienced organizations with a goal to recruit, screen, train, support and engage an additional 5,000 caring adults in roles serving as tutors, mentors, student success coaches, wraparound service coordinators and post-secondary transition coaches. They will work in close coordination with parents, educators and others in roles that research shows result in academic gains, increased high school graduation rates, reductions in chronic absenteeism and improved student well-being and mental health.

New Jersey Student Learning Standards: The State Board adopted revised Mathematics and English Language Arts Standards. In ELA, the State Board moved discrete skills from one grade level to another for better alignment with developmental targets and revised expectations within strands to reflect developmental progression of a skill or concept over time. The State Board also clarified expectations and/or provided specific examples to assist in the achievement of the standards.

Special Education: The State Board officially proposed amendments to the special education regulations that will provide flexibility for school districts to provide related services virtually when a student is unable to attend school in person. This flexibility will ensure continuity of services to students with disabilities, prevent regression of skills during the period of home instruction and allow students to make progress on the goals and objectives in the student’s individualized education plan. The proposed regulation also sets forth the conditions for when related services can be provided to a student with a disability who is unable to attend school due to a temporary or chronic medical condition, when a school building or school district is closed and the school district has implemented its program of virtual or remote instruction, or if the student requires a mandatory period of isolation/quarantine for at least five days because the student has contracted a communicable disease or has been exposed to a communicable disease.

Controversies and Disputes: The rules revise procedures for the filing of petitions with the commissioner of education to hear and determine all controversies and disputes arising under the school laws. The rules also establish special procedures for specific types of controversies, including, but not limited to: tenure charges and denials of entitlement to attend school due to residency laws.