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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New Jersey Language Programs Honored by NJ Department of Education

Trenton, NJ - The NJ Department of Education today honored ten New Jersey districts for their outstanding second language programs. The districts, which were recognized at a ceremony in the Rutgers Student Center in New Brunswick, will serve as models of best practices in world languages programs and bilingual and English as a Second Language (ESL) programs for English language learners.

The department began this recognition program in 2004. "Helping English Language Learners master English proficiency skills and helping all of our students learn second languages is crucial to ensuring all of our students are ready for the demands of the 21st century," said Acting Commissioner of Education Christopher Cerf. "We are pleased to recognize these outstanding programs and educators, which will serve as exemplars for others to learn from and model."

The outstanding programs were selected based on criteria developed by the New Jersey Supervisors of World Languages and the Statewide Advisory Committee for Bilingual and ESL Education, with assistance from the New Jersey Department of Education. Programs were selected based on their demonstrated success in developing students' second language skills and their implementation of effective programs and instructional practices that led to student achievement in a second language.

These criteria included teacher instructional skills, use of standards-based curricula, and support for the program by the school leadership and the community. The model programs were selected from a field of applicants by panels of educators and department staff that reviewed applications and visited the programs. Each program will serve as a resource center for other districts over the next two years. Educators visiting the centers will have opportunities to observe exemplary practices in second language teaching, learning and assessment.

Administrators and teachers will also be able to discuss issues of mutual concern with staff from the centers, as well as the potential for collaboration on their second language programs. Plaques commemorating the selection of the districts as model programs were presented at today's ceremony.

The four districts receiving awards for world languages are:

  • Englewood Public Schools, Bergen County- Elementary Immersion World Languages Programs 
  • Fair Haven School District, Monmouth County- World Languages Program 
  • Princeton Public Schools, Mercer County- K-12 World Languages Program 
  • West Windsor-Plainsboro Public Schools, Mercer County- K-12 World Languages Program

The six districts receiving awards for bilingual and English as a Second Language (ESL) programs include: 

  • Clifton Public Schools, Passaic County- K-12 ESL Program with Bilingual Support Program 
  • Howell Township Public Schools, Monmouth County- K-8 ESL Program 
  • Linden Public Schools, Union County- K-12 ESL Program 
  • River Edge Public Schools, Bergen County- K ESL Program 
  • Roselle Public Schools, Union County- 1-4 Bilingual Program in Harrison Elementary School
  • West Windsor-Plainsboro Public Schools, Mercer County- 6-12 ESL Program