State Kindergarten-Through-Third-Grade Policies: State Profile

State Kindergarten-Through-Third-Grade Policies: State Profile - New Jersey

June 2018

This information was collected from state statutes, rules and regulations. A profile was sent to each state for review and modification, as needed.

Kindergarten Requirements
What is the compulsory school age? Age 6 N.J. Admin. Code § 18A:38-25
What is the state's kindergarten entrance age? LEA: may admit children aged 4 & 5, must admit children aged 5 to 6. The cutoff date must be after October 1. N.J. Admin. Code § 18A:38-5;
N.J. Admin. Code § 18A:38-5.1
What age exemptions or waivers exist for kindergarten entrance? Opt-in: Age 5, local school board decision. N.J. Admin. Code § 18A:38-5
Does the state require children to attend kindergarten? No- children are required to attend full-day kindergarten in Abbott Districts. N.J. Admin. Code §6A:24-3.2
Does the state require the district to offer kindergarten and if so, full or half day? What exemptions exist for districts? No. Abbott Districts are required to offer full-day kindergarten. N.J. Admin. Code §18A:44-2
How many hours are required for grades K-3? 2.5 hours for full-day kindergarten. 4 hours for grades 1-12. N.J. Admin. Code § 6A:32-8.3
Teacher Quality
What are the teacher-to-student ratio requirements for grade K-3? 1:25, 1:21 in K-3 Abbott Districts N.J. Admin. Code § 6A:32–8.3
What are the requirements for teacher training and professional development in reading? Professional Development: State Board of Education requires general education teachers in K-3 to complete at least 2 hours of professional development instruction on screening, intervention, accommodation, and use of technology for student with reading disabilities including dyslexia. Further professional development opportunities exist for teachers in Abbott districts, focusing on the elements of early literacy and assisting students with reading difficulty. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 18A:6-131;
N.J. Admin. Code § 6A:13-3.4
What are the requirements for teacher training and professional development in math? Not specified in statute, rules, or regulation
Does the state have an early learning endorsement or license specific to K-3? Preschool through grade three Endorsement, preschool through grade 3. Elementary School Endorsement, kindergarten through grade 6. N.J. Admin. Code § 6A:9B-9.3
School Readiness and Transitions
Are kindergarten entrance assessments required? Not specified in statute, rules or regulations.
What are states required to do with the results of the KEA? Not specified in statute, rules or regulations.
Are there programs in place to guide the pre-kindergarten to kindergarten transition process? District boards of education shall include transition programs in their preschool program plan.  N.J. Admin. Code § 6A:13A-6.1
Does the state have a statutory definition of school readiness? What do states use their definition of school readiness to inform? Not specified in statute, rules or regulation.
Assessment, Intervention and Retention
Are assessments required in grades K-3? Assessments in mathematics and language arts are required in grade 3. N.J. Admin. Code § 6A:8-4.1
What do the results of K-3 assessments inform? Commissioner must report to the state board on the results of assessments. The Department shall report annually to the State Board and the public on the progress of all students and student subgroups in meeting the NJSLS as measured by the Statewide assessment by publishing and distributing the New Jersey School Report Card. The department of education must report assessment results to district boards of education for students and student groups under their observation. N.J. Admin. Code § 6A:8-4.1
N.J. Admin Code § 6A:8–4.5
Are there interventions available beginning in kindergarten? What are the interventions available for students in grades K-3? District boards of education shall establish and implement a system for intervention and referral services. The intervention and referral system should be designed to assist students who are experiencing learning, behavior, or health difficulties and to assist staff who have difficulties addressing students' learning, behavior, or health needs. N.J. Admin. Code § 6A:16-8.1
Is there a third grade retention policy? Retention and promotion policies are determined locally. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 18A:35-4.9
Family Engagement
For those states with pre-kindergarten to kindergarten transition guidance, is family engagement a requirement? Yes, family engagement is included as a requirement of transition plans. N.J. Admin. Code § 6A:13A-6.1
For those states with third grade retention policies, is parental input required? Parental notification is required and parental appeal is allowed. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 18A:35-4.9
Social-Emotional Learning
Where is social-emotional development emphasized in statute? Social-emotional development is included in the teacher professional development standards. N.J. Admin. Code § 6A:9-3.3

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