Whole School Reform
State regulations pertaining to schools in the Abbott districts presume that elementary schools will implement a national model of Whole School Reform (WSR) to assure universal literacy by third grade and attainment of the Core Curriculum Content Standards (CCCS) at every grade level. For eligible schools under certain circumstances, however, a school may apply to the Commissioner, if it decides that its Abbott goals will be achieved better with an alternative WSR design.
In accordance with N.J.A.C. 6A:10A, Improving Learning and Literacy in Abbott Districts, schools in the following categories are eligible to apply for an alternative WSR design:
- High-performing schools that are schools in which the percentage of general education students attaining proficiency on the Language Arts Literacy (LAL) section of the 2002 Elementary School Proficiency Assessment (ESPA) exceeds the statewide percentage, as may be adjusted by the Commissioner.
- Schools that did not have a whole school reform (WSR) contract in 2002-03 are expected to have reinstated their original WSR model in the current school year. The Commissioner and superintendent will collaborate with the School Leadership Council (SLC) to examine each school without a contract to determine if the school should adopt another WSR model, or if a WSR model is not available that meets its needs, implement an alternative WSR design.
- Schools and model developers that file a complaint with the Commissioner of Education, asserting failure of the other party to comply with the WSR contract will undergo a review of the issues by the Commissioner with the intent of directing actions required to ensure satisfactory performance of the contract and to determine if the contract should be continued or modified. If performance under the contract is not feasible, the Commissioner may authorize the school to apply for an alternative WSR design.
- Low-performing schools are those in which 50 percent or more of general education students were not proficient on the Language Arts Literacy (LAL) Section of the 2002 Elementary School Proficiency Assessment (ESPA). These schools will undergo an assessment by a Performance Assessment Team. If the Performance Assessment Team, working with a low-performing school and its central office, determines that satisfactory results cannot be achieved with the current WSR model, it may recommend an alternative WSR design as part of the agreement reached with the school. Once the agreement is approved by the Commissioner, the alternative WSR design may be implemented.