[First Reprint]

ASSEMBLY, No. 4710

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED NOVEMBER 26, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  PAMELA R. LAMPITT

District 6 (Burlington and Camden)

Assemblyman  ANDREW ZWICKER

District 16 (Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset)

Assemblywoman  VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE

District 37 (Bergen)

Senator  JAMES BEACH

District 6 (Burlington and Camden)

Senator  SHIRLEY K. TURNER

District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblymen Schaer, DePhillips, Assemblywoman Jasey, Assemblyman A.M.Bucco, Assemblywoman Downey, Assemblyman Houghtaling, Assemblywomen DiMaso, Reynolds-Jackson, Lopez, Senators A.R.Bucco, Gopal, Cunningham and Greenstein

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     “Strengthening Gifted and Talented Education Act”; establishes school district responsibilities in educating gifted and talented students.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As amended by the Senate on June 27, 2019.

  


An Act concerning gifted and talented students and supplementing chapter 35 Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    This act shall be known and may be cited as the “Strengthening Gifted and Talented Education Act.”

 

     2.    As used in this act:

     "Gifted and talented student" means a student who possesses or demonstrates a high level of ability in one or more content areas when compared to his chronological peers in the school district and who requires modifications of his educational program if he is to achieve in accordance with his capabilities.

     "Instructional adaptation" means an adjustment or modification to instruction enabling a student who is gifted and talented to participate in, benefit from, and demonstrate knowledge and application of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards in one or more content areas at the instructional level of the student, not just the student’s grade level.

 

     3.    a.  A board of education shall ensure that appropriate instructional adaptations and educational services are provided to gifted and talented students in kindergarten through grade 12 to enable them to participate in, benefit from, and demonstrate knowledge and application of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards at the instructional level of the student.

     b.    A board of education shall:

     (1)   ensure that appropriate instructional adaptations are designed for students who are gifted and talented;

     (2)   make provisions for an ongoing kindergarten through grade 12 identification process for gifted and talented students that includes multiple measures in order to identify student strengths in 1[various] intellectual ability, creativity, or a specific1 academic 1[areas] area1. 1[A student shall not be required to meet all considered measures in order to be identified as gifted and talented.  To assure] School districts shall ensure1 equal access to a continuum of gifted and talented education services 1[, the] . The1 identification process shall include consideration of all students, including those who are English language learners and those with Individualized Education Plans or 504 plans;

     (3)   1[maintain a list of students identified as gifted and talented in each grade for each school in the school district;

     (4)]1  develop and document appropriate curricular and instructional modifications used for gifted and talented students indicating content, process, products, and learning environment, and including 1, but not limited to,1 additional education activities such as academic competitions, guest speakers, 1[or] and1 lessons with a specialist.  1[The modifications shall be identified in staff and student schedules, lesson and unit plans, and budgets for educational materials]1;

     1[(5)] (4)1  take into consideration the 1[Pre-K-Grade 12]1 Gifted Programming Standards 1, Position Statements, and White Papers1 of the National Association for Gifted Children in 1[developing programs for] identifying and serving1 gifted and talented students;

     1[(6)] (5)1  provide the time and resources to develop, review, and enhance instructional tools with modifications for helping gifted and talented students acquire and demonstrate mastery of the required knowledge and skills specified by the standards at the instructional level of the student; and

     1[(7)] (6)1  actively assist and support professional development for teachers, educational services staff, and school leaders in the area of gifted and talented instruction.

 

     4.    a. The Commissioner of Education shall appoint a coordinator for gifted and talented 1[programs] services.  The coordinator shall have teaching experience and specialized knowledge in gifted and talented education. The coordinator shall be responsible for providing support by identifying and sharing research and resources to school districts as they develop, implement, and review their local gifted and talented services1. The coordinator shall be responsible for reviewing the 1information about1 gifted and talented 1[programs implemented in] services provided by1 each school district to 1[ensure compliance with] support implementation of1 the provisions of this act.

     b.    Each school district shall file with the coordinator a report 1[within the first full school year following the date of enactment and every three years] by October 1, 2020 and1 thereafter on a schedule that coincides with the school district’s New Jersey Quality Single Accountability Continuum review pursuant to section 11 of P.L.1975, c.212 (C.18A:7A-11).  The report shall include, but not be limited to:

     (1)   the gifted and talented continuum of services, policies, and 1[curriculum] procedures1 implemented in the school district;

     (2)   the total number of students receiving gifted and talented services in each grade level 1[and the total number of students who have applied for acceptance into the program.  The data shall also be] kindergarten through grade 121 disaggregated by race, gender, special education designation, and English language learner designation 1[, with an individual student being counted only once]1;

     (3)   the professional development opportunities provided for 1teachers, educational services staff, and school leaders about1 gifted and talented 1students, their needs, and1 educational development; and

     (4)   the number of staff employed by the school district whose job responsibilities include identification of and providing services to gifted and talented students.

 

     5.    a.  1[The Commissioner of Education shall develop a protocol pursuant to which an individual may submit a complaint alleging that a school district is not in compliance with the provisions of this act, and the executive county superintendent of schools shall investigate the complaint. The protocol shall also include procedures for remediating gifted and talented programs in school districts found to be in noncompliance.

     b.    A complaint submitted to the executive county superintendent pursuant to this section may only allege noncompliance that has occurred within one year prior to the date that the complaint is submitted.  The complaint shall include:

     (1)   a  statement that the identified school district is not in compliance with the provisions of this act, and the specific facts on which the allegation of noncompliance is based; and

     (2)   the name, address, and contact information of the complainant.

     c.     The executive county superintendent shall complete the investigation within 60 calendar days after receipt of the complaint and issue a written decision with proposed remediation, if necessary, to the complainant and the school district] An individual who believes that a school district has not complied with the provisions of this act may file a complaint with the board of education.  The right to file a complaint shall be set forth in the board’s policy on gifted and talented education.  The policy shall be linked to the homepage of the board’s Internet website.  The board shall issue a decision, in writing, to affirm, reject, or modify the district’s action in the matter.

     b.    The individual may then file a petition of appeal of the board’s written decision to the Commissioner of Education through the Office of Controversies and Disputes in accordance with N.J.S.18A:6-9 and the procedures set forth in State Board of Education regulations1.

 

     6.    A school district shall make detailed information available on its website regarding the policies and procedures used to identify students as gifted and talented and the continuum of services offered to gifted and talented students.  The information shall include the criteria used for consideration for 1[participation in] eligibility for1 the gifted and talented 1[program] services1, including the multiple measures used in the identification process 1to match a student’s needs with services1 , and any applicable timelines in the 1[selection] identification1 process.

 

     1[7. A student record shall document that the student has been identified by the school district as a gifted and talented student.]1

 

     1[8.] 7.1     This act shall take effect in the 1[first full school year following the date of enactment] 2020-2021 school year1.