State Board of Education Update

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After several snow cancellations, the State Board of Education met on April 11th. State Board President Arcelio Aponte and Acting Commissioner Lamont Repollet recognized the contribution of long-time State Board of Education member Edithe Fulton for her contributions to education. Fulton’s term had recently expired.

The Board then considered the topic of school security. Ben Castillo, Director of the NJDOE Office of School Preparedness and Emergency Planning (OSPEP) and Nancy Curry, Director of the Office of Student Support Services reviewed the existing legal, regulatory and best practices foundation of New Jersey’s school security efforts.  In describing the efforts of the OSPEP, Castillo informed the State Board members that OSPEP has conducted over 800 Active Shooter Drill observations since 2014, led over 300 professional development sessions to school staff, responded to numerous school and district level technical assistance requests, conducted on-site security observations and assisted in the development/review of school safety and security plans (SSSP) across the state. He reviewed existing statutes and regulations including requirements including the legislative establishment of a School Security Specialist Academy, (N.J.S.A 18A:43.2-43.3).  The first Academy training, which must be attended by the superintendent-designated school administrator for the district, will take place on June 1 with subsequent trainings this summer.

Curry discussed the annual requirement that all districts consult with and execute the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between Law Enforcement and the Schools.  She also discussed training and guidance resources for schools on the question of security, including the issues of prevention and intervention, focusing on the newly-created NJ Tiered System of Supports (NJTSS) under the NJ Every Student Succeeds Act plan.  For more information on available resources, click here

Next, the State Board members heard from the leaders of the state-operated school districts of Paterson and Newark.

Action items for the day included:

  • Adoption of amendments to the Standards and Assessment Code addressing implementation of the State Seal of Biliteracy (N.J.A.C. 6A:8). The code was developed in response to creation of the Biliteracy Seal via legislative action, N.J.S.A. 18A:4-15 and P.L. 2015, c. 303.
  • Approval of a Resolution to Revise the Timeline for edTPA Qualifying Cut Scores for Novice Teachers to Receive Certification. The State Board agreed to extend the timeline to set cut scores for novice teachers to receive certification by one year.
  • Religious Holidays Calendar – The State Board reviewed the proposed list of religious Holidays/Calendar for the upcoming school year, but did not formally adopt the list at this meeting.Approved seal of biliteracy code amendment
    Diana approved
    Edtpa- revise the timeline – cut score- add one more year, 2018-19
    Why- too many candidates from alternate route- want to perform at similar levels with traditional route before add the cut score.
    Extends the cut prime for one year.
    Religious holidays calendar -discussion level. No questions regarding the list.