Beginning with the 2022-2023 school year, New Jersey schools will become the first in the nation to incorporate climate change curriculum into K-12 classrooms — and now school districts and educators can take advantage of extensive online resources to carry out that mission thanks to the New Jersey Department of Education.

The NJDOE’s Climate Change webpage provides:

  • Instructional resources, such as webinars, instructional strategies, literature and standards-based lessons — by grade level and by subject.
  • Links, videos, highlights and news stories to innovative lessons on climate change occurring in New Jersey schools.
  • Activities and projects for students in and out of the classroom.
  • Opportunities for students to take part in community engagement.
  • A portal for educators and other stakeholders to share their stories, feedback and resources.

The NJDOE establishes the New Jersey Student Learning Standards, which determine what schools are required to teach in nine content areas across each grade level. With the adoption of the 2020 NJSLS, climate change education will be incorporated across seven content areas – 21st Century Life and Careers, Comprehensive Health and Physical Education, Science, Social Studies, Technology, Visual and Performing Arts, and World Languages.

The two remaining content areas, mathematics and English language arts, have not yet been eligible for review under the Murphy Administration given the five-year review cycle. The resources will help educators meet the new climate change requirements so they can prepare students to understand how and why climate change occurs, the impact it has on local and global communities, and to respond to climate change with informed and sustainable solutions.

“New Jersey’s groundbreaking academic standards, and the accompanying resources that we are releasing today, will give educators, parents, and other stakeholders greater tools and information on the impacts of climate change,” said Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan, acting commissioner of education. “Students throughout New Jersey will enhance their understanding of how climate change poses a threat to our environment, and actions necessary to mitigate the threat.”

Thought Leader Committee on Climate Change The New Jersey School Boards Association, in partnership with Sustainable Jersey, is leading a Thought Leader Committee on Climate Change, which is discussing what educators need to teach the subject of climate change to students in grades K-12. The group will be releasing a white paper on the topic in coming weeks.