The Sustainable Jersey Digital Schools program was created in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Education and the New Jersey School Boards Association and endorsed by New Jersey Leadership for Educational Excellence. It builds 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.
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.
Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification is required to achieve special Digital Schools recognition. The first certification cycle that includes the opportunity to earn recognition as a Digital School begins on January 15, 2021. Schools will have until June 21 to submit their final application. Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification with Digital Schools recognition is awarded when a school successfully documents completion of actions including new Digital Schools actions. Schools that had achieved Future Ready Schools – New Jersey certification prior to 2020 can receive up to 15 points towards certification under the Future Ready Schools – New Jersey action contained within the Learning Environment Action category. A school must earn minimum of 150 points to achieve Bronze level certification. Digital Schools recognition will be based on a to-be-determined number of Digital Schools actions. Schools that are already Sustainable Jersey certified will be able to leverage their existing approved actions in 2021 and submit the required minimum Digital Schools actions for the special Digital Schools recognition.
The new slate of Digital Schools actions is under development and will be unveiled during a Sustainable Jersey Digital Schools webinar on December 15 at 10 am. Additional informational webinars on January 12, February 9, March 9, and May 11. Information regarding these webinars will be posted on the Events page as it becomes available.
Laurence Cocco, NJDOE Former Director of Educational Technology, leads 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.