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

Lighthouse Districts: Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan, the acting commissioner of education, announced the Lighthouse Districts award recipients. The Lighthouse awards recognize school districts and charter schools in New Jersey for illuminating the path toward educational improvement and equitable outcomes. The New Jersey Department of Education launched the Lighthouse Award in 2017 to recognize the advances made by New Jersey school districts and charter schools. The Lighthouse Award selection process takes place every two years. Congratulations go out to:

Palmyra Public School DistrictBurlingtonIncreasing Equity in AP/IB Enrollment
Philip’s Academy Charter SchoolEssexDiversifying the Teacher Workforce
Middlesex County Vocational and Technical School DistrictMiddlesexIncreasing Equity in Dual Enrollment
Morris County Vocational School DistrictMorrisIncreasing Equity in Dual Enrollment
Union County Vocational-Technical School DistrictUnionIncreasing Equity in AP/IB Enrollment

During the term, which runs until 2025, officials from Lighthouse Districts will have the opportunity to participate in professional learning and networking opportunities between Lighthouse Districts and charter schools, lead professional learning events for educators throughout the state and provide insight to the NJDOE through policy discussions.

For more information on these district presentations, please see this slideshow presentation.

Controversies and Disputes: The State Board discussed revisions to its regulations concerning controversies and disputes. These regulations set forth the rules of procedure established by the department for the filing of petitions with the commissioner of education to hear and decide controversies and disputes arising under school laws. This includes: the filing of tenure charges, the termination of sending-receiving relationships, appeals from decisions of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, denials of entitlement to attend school, review of penalties recommended by the School Ethics Commission, and hearings prior to suspension or revocation of school bus driver endorsements. The NJDOE is proposing the revision of some definitions and revising certain procedures to allow for the electronic filing of documents, among other changes.