SENATE, No. 2486

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED MAY 14, 2020

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator† STEPHEN M. SWEENEY

District 3 (Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senator Greenstein

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Establishes Clayton Model Pilot Program in DOE to provide school-based social emotional learning to students in grades kindergarten through five at certain public schools.

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

 


An Act establishing the Clayton Model Pilot Program in the Department of Education.

 

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

 

†††† 1.††† a.† There is established a five-year Clayton Model Pilot Program in the Department of Education.† Under the pilot program, a universal, school-based, social emotional learning program shall be provided to public school students in grades kindergarten through five to help enhance positive youth development and academic achievement.† The pilot program shall be implemented through two educational strategies. The first strategy teaches students about processing, integrating, and selectively applying social and emotional skills.† The second strategy involves fostering studentsí social emotional development by creating safe and caring learning environments using tiered supports that incorporate peer and family activities, improved classroom management and teaching practices, and whole-school community-building activities.

†††† b.††† The Commissioner of Education shall select three counties to participate in the pilot program.† The commissioner shall select either Morris County or Sussex County to represent the northern area of the State, either Middlesex County or Ocean County to represent the central area of the State, and Gloucester County to represent the southern area of the State.

†††† In each of the selected counties, the commissioner shall identify 10 schools for participation in the pilot program.† The schools shall be identified in collaboration with the Clayton School District and the Senator Walter Rand Institute for Public Affairs at Rutgers University-Camden.

†††† c.†††† The commissioner shall establish a steering committee that shall be responsible for providing accountability and guidance on policies and practices associated with the implementation of the pilot program.† The steering committee shall include the following members: a representative of the Department of Education appointed by the commissioner; a member of the public with expertise in issues related to the work of the steering committee appointed by the Senate President; a member of the public with expertise in issues related to the work of the steering committee appointed by the Speaker of the General Assembly; the Superintendent of Schools of the Clayton School District, who shall serve ex officio; the Director of the Child Connection Center, who shall serve ex officio; and a representative of the Senator Walter Rand Institute for Public Affairs at Rutgers University-Camden appointed by the commissioner upon the recommendation of the institute.

†††† d.††† The commissioner shall initiate the pilot program in phases and provide for full implementation by no later than the third year of the pilot program.† The Clayton School District shall serve as the model site for the pilot program, support the accurate communication of the model to administrators and teachers in schools participating in the pilot program, and design and conduct the training for county-level social emotional learning coordinators.† The county special services school district in each of the counties selected for participation in the pilot program shall be responsible for the management of the social emotional learning programming in its county under the pilot program.† The county special services school district shall hire social emotional learning coordinators at the county level who shall train and organize the placement of social emotional learning specialists, including social workers, behavioral health care providers, or other social emotional learning professionals, who shall provide social emotional learning supports at the school level under the pilot program. †The placement of social emotional learning specialists in participating schools shall be in collaboration with the Department of Education.†

 

†††† 2.††† a.† The Senator Walter Rand Institute shall develop and implement a comprehensive evaluation of the pilot program that measures outcomes for students, schools, and families and assesses the fidelity of the training and implementation of the model.† The evaluation shall also include a cost-benefit analysis of the pilot program.† The institute may conduct its evaluation in collaboration with such social emotional learning experts, researchers, and evaluators at Rutgers University and other institutions of higher education, as the institute deems appropriate.

†††† b.††† No later than six months following the conclusion of the pilot program, the institute shall report the results of the evaluation to the Commissioner of Education and the steering committee.

 

†††† 3.††† The commissioner shall report to the Governor, and to the Legislature pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), after the receipt of the evaluation from the Senator Walter Rand Institute, on the implementation and effectiveness of the pilot program.† The report shall include the commissionerís recommendation on the advisability of the programís continuation and expansion to additional public schools in the State.†

 

†††† 4.††† This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† The Clayton Model was developed in the Clayton School District in Gloucester County and is a responsive, trauma-informed intervention program used to promote student development and success.† The Clayton Model has been shown to improve significantly studentsí social and emotional health, academic performance, and caregiversí supports.† This bill would create a five-year pilot program in the Department of Education to expand the Clayton Model to 10 public schools in each of three counties.† The Commissioner of Education will select either Morris or Sussex County to represent the northern area of the State and either Middlesex or Ocean County to represent the central area of the State.† Under the bill, Gloucester County will represent the southern area of the State.

†††† The commissioner will establish a steering committee that will be responsible for providing accountability and guidance on policies and practices associated with the implementation of the pilot program.† The steering committee will include the following members: a representative of the Department of Education; two members of the public with expertise in issues related to the work of the steering committee, one appointed by the Senate President and one appointed by the Speaker of the General Assembly; the Superintendent of Schools of the Clayton School District; the Director of the Child Connection Center; and a representative of the Senator Walter Rand Institute for Public Affairs at Rutgers University-Camden appointed by the commissioner upon the recommendation of the institute.

†††† Under the pilot program, the Clayton School District will serve as the model site, support the accurate communication of the model to administrators and teachers in schools participating in the pilot program, and design and conduct the training for county-level social emotional learning coordinators.† The county special services school district in each of the counties selected for participation in the pilot program will be responsible for the management of the social emotional learning programming in its county.† These districts will hire the social emotional learning coordinators at the county level who will be responsible for training and organizing the placement of social emotional learning specialists, such as social workers, behavioral health care providers, or other social emotional learning professionals, who will provide the social emotional learning supports at the school level.

†††† The Senator Walter Rand Institute will be responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive evaluation of the pilot program that will include a cost-benefit analysis.† A report of the results of the evaluation will be provided to the Commissioner of Education and members of the steering committee no later than six months following the conclusion of the pilot program.† After receipt of the evaluation from the institute, the commissioner will report to the Governor and to the Legislature on the implementation and effectiveness of the pilot program, and will include in the report a recommendation on the advisability of the programís continuation and expansion to additional public schools in the State.