NJDOE News
For More Information Contact the Public Information Office:
    Richard Vespucci
    Jon Zlock

    609-292-1126

For Release: July 29, 2003


DOE Announces Deadline for Governor’s Schools of Excellence Applications;
Date Set for Friday, August 29 — Applications Now Online

The Department of Education this month announced that Friday, August 29 is the application deadline for the Governor’s Schools of Excellence program. An application is found online here: (http:///www.nj.gov/njded/news/0729gse_a2.pdf).

Districts were notified on July 14 through a letter from Assistant Commissioner of Education Richard Ten Eyck. In the letter, Ten Eyck explains the guidelines for the Governor’s Schools of Excellence program (http://www.nj.gov/njded/news/0729gse_a1.pdf).

The Governor’s Schools of Excellence program, announced in November 2002 and a key component of Governor James E. McGreevey’s education reform agenda, provides up to 25 awards of $25,000 each to schools that have demonstrated significant improvement over at least the last two academic years.

"This program, like the teachers who led New Jersey to the forefront of education in 2002, will continue to pave the way so that we can and will make this state the premier state to teach in the nation," Governor McGreevey said in November. "We can and will take every possible opportunity to celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of our teachers and our schools."

"The Governor’s Schools of Excellence program celebrates schools that are steadfast in improving and providing the very best for their students," Commissioner of Education William L. Librera said. "While we have myriad schools throughout the state who demonstrate success on a daily basis, this important program celebrates the steps some schools have taken to improve, and the hope that they will be at the forefront of education in the future."

The awardees can use the funds for educational purposes, such as enhancing student achievement and/or continuous school improvement. In order for a school to qualify for the Governor’s Schools of Excellence program, schools must demonstrate significant improvement in academic achievement as measured by state test scores, standardized test scores, and/or other relevant measures of achievement.

In addition, schools must show they have seen progress in at least five of the following areas:

  • Outstanding growth in literacy measures as evident in state test scores, standardized test scores, and/or relevant measures of achievement;

  • Meaningful improvement for parental involvement in school matters evident in both quality and quantity;

  • Improvement in student attendance, graduation rates, retention rates, and/or dropout reduction;

  • Reduction in measures of violence and vandalism;

  • Creative as well as increased and documented involvement with partnerships and/or the community;

  • Creative and increased use of technology as a tool for learning;

  • Demonstrated improvement in the quality of professional development;

  • Demonstrated success in providing better learning opportunities for specialized populations; or

  • Other category – this is an area where a school may provide particular documentation of significant improvement that does not fit any category described above.

The original application and 4 copies must be received by the local county superintendent’s office no later than August 29, 2003. Any questions can be forwarded to Nancy Weiss in the Office of Innovative Programs and Schools at (609) 943-5203 or via e-mail at nancy.weiss@doe.state.nj.us.

For more information, please contact the Department of Education’s Public Information Office at (609) 292-1126.