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The Family Connection


The Family Connection

September 2015

The start of a new school year is always an exciting time for families. As the New Jersey Department of Education seeks to keep families and communities informed about trends and current news in education, this new e-newsletter will be distributed on a quarterly basis.

For Parents:  Back-to-School Resources

Be sure to check out the New Jersey Department of Education's updated web pages, which contain useful information for families. You'll find:

Preparing Students for College & Career Success

One of the state's main goals is to ensure that all children are prepared for college and career. Our first step is setting rigorous academic goals (standards) that explain what children are expected to learn in each grade level. New Jersey has had standards for two decades, and they are regularly reviewed and updated. In fact, the standards are currently being updated this year. The next step is to implement methods to assess whether students are meeting the academic standards.

Last year, students throughout New Jersey began taking the PARCC test. The state has transitioned to this test because it focuses on critical thinking, problem solving and real-world skills that are more closely aligned with what students are learning in the classroom.  Want to learn more? Visit:

A Fresh Look at Standards

New Jersey is reviewing its academic standards in mathematics and English language arts – public input is encouraged!  We will be conducting community focus groups, regional listening tours, and an online survey to allow stakeholders to comment on the standards. Check the Standards Review section of the Department of Education's website for details on how to participate.

Supporting Military Families

For military families, moving can be exciting as well as filled with anxiety. Military families who are relocating can get connected to school liaison officers, special needs consultants, family life counselors and more. For more information, here are some back-to-school tools for military families.

AchieveNJ: Promoting Effective Instruction

Find out how your child's teachers are being supported in the classroom. Staffed by many former New Jersey teachers and leaders, the NJDOE's Office of Evaluation continues to support districts in implementing a system that recognizes outstanding educators and provides teachers and leaders with information on how to improve their craft. Learn more:

  • AchieveNJ website: provides evaluation resources and supports offered to school districts by the state. 
  • Achievement Coaches web page: highlights the leadership of some of our best educators and describes the $1.25 million invested in the new Achievement Coaches program last year.

New Sign-Language Law

In recently signed legislation, American Sign Language is now officially accepted as a world language that meets the graduation requirement. The new law is effective July 1, 2016 for the next school year.  If your child is interested in learning sign language, you can contact your child's school for more information.

Share this newsletter with your friends, and encourage them to sign up online
Questions or comments about this newsletter? Please send an email to the NJDOE.

NJ Department of Education, PO Box 500, Trenton, NJ 08625-0500, (877) 900-6960