January 30, 2023

Trenton, NJ –
The Murphy Administration today announced the launch of the New Jersey Partnership for Student Success (NJPSS), an initiative aimed at harnessing the energy of volunteers and community organizations to help students, educators, and schools overcome learning disabilities and other challenges to help in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Aiming to engage up to 5,000 individuals, the NJPSS will seek to recruit, screen, train and support tutors, mentors, student success coaches, round-the-clock service coordinators and post-secondary transition coaches. These individuals will work in coordination with educators, parents, and other stakeholders to accelerate student learning, empower educators, and strengthen partnerships in the community.

In the coming months, the Department of Education will expand the NJPSS initiative. The NJPSS website will serve as a central reference point for district administrators, educators, and parents to access resources, professional development opportunities, and funding opportunities to strengthen our education system. For example, in the coming months, the department will introduce three key funding options and guidelines, all aimed at academic recovery. These opportunities include a statewide high-impact tutoring program supported by at least $10 million in federal funding from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund, two targeted early literacy professional development programs, including the $2 million Program Reading Acceleration Professional Integrated Development (RAPID) provided in the FY2023 state budget and a complementary $3 million ARP ESSER-funded program targeting the upper elementary grades and guidance to maximize the Scheduling to address academic recovery.

“As schools across our state and nation deal with the impact of COVID-19 on both students and educators, we must address the challenges of our school community, including learning loss.” said Gov. Phil Murphy. “This initiative will provide members of the broader community with an opportunity to get involved in supporting the social, emotional and academic needs of students. I encourage interested individuals and organizations to learn more about how they can contribute to the success of our students by participating in the New Jersey Partnership for Student Success.”

“Accelerating student learning post-pandemic is paramount to ensuring students recover from the pandemic and meet and exceed educational goals.” said dr Angelica Allen McMillan, Acting Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Education. “Our New Jersey Partnership for Student Success initiative will leverage the support of our community to help our students succeed. The department will help coordinate NJPSS volunteers with schools that need to provide academic and comprehensive services.”

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately $4 billion in federal funding has been made available to New Jersey school districts to meet the pandemic-related needs of students and staff. The Murphy Administration has allocated nearly $270 million of its set-aside federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds to academic recovery initiatives.

The NJPSS aims to provide additional adults inside and outside of the school environment to advance student learning and address challenges that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Department of Education will support parents, educators and other stakeholders to accomplish tasks aimed at improving academic performance, increasing graduation rates and reducing chronic absenteeism.

The New Jersey initiative complements the National Partnership for Student Success, a recently formed federal coalition to support student well-being and academic recovery. The NJPSS follows President Biden’s call for more tutors and mentors in the 2022 State of the Union address to help students recover and thrive from the pandemic.

“The New Jersey Department of State is pleased to join the New Jersey Department of Education and other agencies in providing a range of services to students recovering from academic and mental health challenges due to the pandemic.” said Secretary of State Tahesha Way, whose department is seeking a federal grant to enable similar volunteer efforts to address student needs. “The Office of Volunteering at the State Department will work with New Jersey’s dynamic volunteer centers and nonprofit organizations to recruit, train and deploy volunteers to serve in classrooms, after school and during summer classes to serve students of all ages across the state support . Support is expected to include tutoring, mentoring and preparation for graduation and careers.”

To learn more about NJPSS and to apply to become a mentor, tutor or full service coordinator to offer additional support to students and educators, please visit the NJPSS website.

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