By Commissioner Christopher D. Cerf, New Jersey Department of Education
Last month, Hurricane Sandy affected our state in a more significant way than any of us could have imagined. While our schools have done a tremendous job reopening quickly after the storm to help students return to normal routines, we know that many communities continue to confront significant challenges and will take a long time to recover. We are committed to helping any family that was displaced by the storm learn about the options available to them and ways that the state can help. If you have any questions about how the storm has affected your child, you can reach our Hurricane Sandy hotline at 609-292-2070. In this newsletter, we are also including a number of ways that you can help recovering schools through donations or other support.
The New Jersey Department of Education has one singular focus – ensuring that every student, regardless of zip code, graduates from high school ready for college and career. Specifically, that means ensuring that all students, by the time they graduate from high school, have the knowledge and skills to be successful in whatever post graduation plans they set for themselves. At the state level, we have undertaken a number of initiatives to support this effort. They include building new Regional Achievement Centers to work with our lowest-performing schools to help them turn around; setting higher standards for what every child should learn in grades K-12; providing districts with the tools to make sure they are able to attract and retain the best educators; providing schools and parents new and more helpful dataon how their students and schools are performing; and ensuring that schools have theresources they need to be successful through the largest appropriation of state aid to K-12 public education in New Jersey history.
Beyond the work of schools, school districts, and the state, families are critical to helping children become college and career ready. We are committed to supporting you in that effort, and we have a section of our website dedicated to tools and resources for parents as they partner with schools and their children to help them succeed. If you have any questions, you can contact us directly at [email protected] with any questions that you have.
We hope that this information is helpful. And thank you for the work you do every day to help all of our children in New Jersey be successful.
Christopher D. Cerf