The NJDOE is collaborating with Rutgers University to provide technical support to schools in fully integrating social-emotional and character development (SECD) throughout their educational programs. a primary tenet of the project is that successful performance of students can be enhanced through supportive SECD programs and services that are designed to increase coordination and decrease program and service gaps and overlap among SECD and other educational initiatives.
The training, technical assistance, and other supportive services and resources provided or coordinated by Rutgers University are intended to assist school staff in organizing the various resources, programs, and services to create strong SECD conditions, designed to result in reduced at-risk student behavior, the development of positive learning climates and improved academic performance among students in participating schools. A key component of this project is the comprehensive evaluation of DSACS services in a cohort of 60 schools by tracking particular behavior indicators both prior to and after DSACS services have been provided and the SECD programs in the schools have been cohesively administered; this is in addition to the ongoing services provided to the over 200 schools that are currently participating in the project.
The DSACS initiative is aligned with and can assist districts in meeting the requirements of N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.1, Codes of Student Conduct; the New Jersey Quality Single Accountability Continuum (QSAC), which is the state school monitoring system; and N.J.A.C. 6A:16-3, Comprehensive Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Abuse Programs; N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.7, Intimidation, Harassment and Bullying, and N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.7 Attendance, which includes the requirements for addressing unexcused student absences and student truancies.