In recent weeks, the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) distributed a series of memoranda on a variety of issues affecting the operations of local school districts and charter schools. These included information concerning:
- New recess law—two memos were issued on this subject: One is an FAQ about the requirements of the law and the other provides further guidance for boards on the bill that went into effect starting with the 2019-2020 school year.
- Signage on buses—The NJDOE memo reminded districts that there is a law requiring contact information for the public be displayed on the rear of school buses concerning any driver misconduct in the operation of the school vehicles. NJDOE is currently drafting regulations concerning these requirements.
- Child abuse—A new law was enacted requiring the prominent posting of the toll-free number for the child abuse hotline in each school of the district. This new law is a companion to the existing law requiring mandatory reporting of child abuse.
- Student information—The Every Student Succeeds Act requires that local educational agencies receiving federal monies provide, upon request, certain student information to military recruiters, institutions of higher education and potential employers.
- Lead in drinking water—The NJDOE created a back-to-school package of resources for school districts to use regarding testing for lead in school drinking water and educating families on prevention, screening, and intervention related to lead exposure.
- School safety—A memo reminded districts to be vigilant about threats to school safety, particularly those over social media.
- Health policies and procedures—The NJDOE has compiled a listing of many of the requirements concerning immunizations and various health issues including meningitis, asthma, anaphylaxis, and others.
For further information on any of these memos, please contact your board attorney or the NJSBA Legal and Labor Relations Department at (609) 278-5254.