Sustainable Jersey for Schools is pleased to announce the formation of the Sustainable Jersey Digital Schools Program. The program is funded in part by the New Jersey Department of Education and the New Jersey School Boards Association and endorsed by New Jersey Leadership for Educational Excellence. It will build on the legacy of the Future Ready Schools - New Jersey (FRS-NJ) program by integrating FRS-NJ topical areas and content into the Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification program, which the original FRS-NJ program was modeled after.
Education is a pillar of sustainability. Students must master technology to become productive citizens, educators must master technology to become effective teachers, and schools must become adept at using technology to address distance learning and communications with parents and communities. COVID-19 has also shown us how disparities in access to technology among students and schools are exacerbating existing social inequality. The Digital Schools Program will strengthen support for schools, educators, and students in meeting the challenges of digital learning and help bring about a sustainable future for us all.
A new slate of Sustainable Jersey for Schools actions that encompass the former FRS-NJ indicators will be developed. For schools already active in Sustainable Jersey for Schools, the new actions will provide opportunities to earn more points and achieve higher levels of certification. For districts formerly active in the FRS-NJ, progress made in completing FRS-NJ program requirements during the past two years will count toward meeting the new action requirements if the standard is met. In addition, access to increased professional staff support, detailed guidance material, training, technical assistance, and access to ancillary funding sources will be provided.
Laurence Cocco, former director of Educational Technology at the NJDOE, will lead the Digital Schools Program. Educational stakeholders will be included in the transition of FRS-NJ into the Digital Schools Program to ensure that its integrity, authenticity, and efficacy are preserved and enhanced. The new Digital Schools actions will be integrated into the Sustainable Jersey for Schools Program for the 2021 certification cycle that will kick-off in January 2021. For more information, contact Larry Cocco at (609) 771-2802 or email@example.com.