July 31, 2006
In January 2006, N.J.S.A. 18A:6-111 became law, requiring all public school teaching staff members to complete at least two hours of instruction in suicide prevention as part of the required 100 clock hours of professional development. This new law requires that such instruction be provided by a licensed healthcare professional with training and experience in mental health issues. Attached is a brief question and answer document that will assist you to comply with this new mandate. These materials will also be available at http://www.nj.gov/njded/aps/info/.
The law further requires that the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards for Comprehensive Health and Physical Education be revised to include suicide prevention. The department has identified standards and cumulative progress indicators (CPIs) that address suicide prevention and related mental health issues. Attached is a list of the strands and CPIs by grade level, with a brief explanation of suggested content to address suicide prevention. The document also provides links to sample activities found in the department’s Comprehensive Health and Physical Education Curriculum Framework. The standards and framework can be accessed online at http://www.nj.gov/njded/aps/cccs/chpe/.
Should you have questions about these new requirements, please contact Linda Morse, acting director, Office of Academic and Professional Standards, at (609) 984-5322.