New Jersey Department of Education

The Road Forward

Engage, Recover, and Reimagine Education in New Jersey

The Road Forward features a series of initiatives that paves the way forward for our education community by investing heavily in identifying and addressing the academic and mental health impacts of COVID-19 on our students and educators. The Road Forward also represents the NJDOE’s commitment to providing the guidance and resources necessary to return to safe, enriching, fully in-person learning environments in the 2021-2022 school year.

  • School Year 2021-2022 Self-Assessment: District readiness to accelerate learning and provide supportive school climates
  • Learning Acceleration Guide: A compilation of learning acceleration principles and practices in New Jersey

  • ARP ESSER: On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the Federal American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) Fund, Public Law 117-2, into law. As with the previous ESSER funds available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA), the purpose of the additional funding is to support local educational agencies (LEAs) in preparing for and responding to the impact of COVID-19 on educators, students, and families. Additional information may be found on the NJDOE’s ARP ESSER webpage.

  • Support for summer educational programming

  • ESSER II: $1.2 billion in federal funds released in March 2021 to assist in safely reopening schools, measuring and effectively addressing significant learning loss, and taking other actions to respond to the impact of COVID-19 on educators, students, and families. As part of ESSER II, two grant opportunities will provide a total of $105 million to support districts in providing additional academic and mental health supports. Additional information may be found on the NJDOE’s ESSER II webpage.

  • Clearinghouse: To assist districts in leveraging these federal funds effectively, the DOE has posted to its website a clearinghouse of successful practices that New Jersey school districts have identified as notable achievements in mitigating the challenges posed by COVID-19. These district-reported successes are categorized by county, district size, and topic area to facilitate meaningful collaboration and learning opportunities between similarly-situated districts.

  • April 2021 Public Consultation: The ReinventED: Your Education, Your Voice survey aimed to identify the greatest challenges facing schools today and what is necessary to pave the way forward. It was a joint venture between GovLab at New York University and the DOE. The DOE has posted a public consultation summary to its website that includes a description of the engagement.


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