The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) announced five school districts and two charter schools are recipients of Lighthouse Awards for substantial improvement in advancing educational equity.
The seven Lighthouse Award recipients were announced today at the NJDOE’s Virtual Statewide Equity Conference.
“Equity in education can take many forms, and the Lighthouse Award recipients have improved equity in their academic offerings, the teaching workforce, and school climate,” said Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan, Acting Commissioner of Education. “They are true exemplars of Governor Murphy’s vision for a stronger, fairer New Jersey.”
Officials said the NJDOE launched the Lighthouse Award initiative in 2017 to recognize the advances made by New Jersey school districts and charter schools.
The focus of the Lighthouse Award for 2021 is improvement in educational equity to support Governor Phil Murphy’s vision for a stronger, fairer New Jersey. The NJDOE selected local education agencies based on their improvement in one of the following areas: • Increasing diversity in the teacher workforce.
• Increasing equity in disciplinary outcomes.
• Increasing equity in course enrollment (Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), Career and Technical Education (CTE));
• Increasing equity in postsecondary enrollment. The seven Lighthouse award recipients showed strong improvement because they engage their educational community and use data to individualize supports.
This award recognizes the hard work of all stakeholders in their educational community, including district and school leaders, teachers, students, parents, and school community members. Local education agencies have been chosen by the NJDOE based on data analysis and a review of their “Equity Stories.”
“I would like to congratulate the educational communities of the seven Lighthouse Awardees,” said Kathy Goldenberg, President of the State Board of Education.
“I commend these school districts and charter schools for their commitment to student achievement and equitable outcomes. This recognition will allow educators from across New Jersey to learn and benefit from the practices of these seven school districts and charter schools during their 2021-2023 award term.”
During the award term from August 2021 to August 2023, officials from Lighthouse Districts will have the opportunity to participate in professional learning and networking opportunities between Lighthouse districts and charter schools.
Officials will also be able to lead professional learning events for educators throughout the state, and provide insight to the NJDOE through policy discussions.
The 2021 Lighthouse Award recipients, listed by the equity area for which they are being recognized include.