Eleven school districts have been recognized by the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) for outstanding second language programs, in the areas of world language, bilingual, and English as a Second Language (ESL).

With assistance from the NJDOE, the New Jersey Supervisors of World Languages and the Statewide Advisory Committee for Bilingual and ESL Education developed criteria and reviewed applications to designate the exemplary second language programs. The selection process included extensive program review, as well as site visits conducted by state officials, college professors, and world language and bilingual/ESL program supervisors.

The districts were honored last week in a ceremony in Robbinsville.

“By honoring the work of these 11 districts for creating models for teaching world language, ESL and bilingual programs, we make it possible for other districts to replicate and build upon their success,” said Education Commissioner David C. Hespe. “I applaud those districts that are willing to share their best practices so that we can collectively improve second language programs for students in every school.”

The NJDOE recognizes exemplary second language programs every two years. The model programs will serve as resource centers for other districts for the next two years. Educators can visit the schools to observe exemplary practices in second language teaching, learning and assessment in the classroom. Administrators and teachers will also be able to network and discuss issues of mutual concern with staff, as well as have the potential for collaboration on their second language programs.

Of the 11 awards, six were presented for world language programs and five for bilingual/ESL programs.

The six districts receiving awards for world languages are:

CountyDistrict or Charter SchoolProgram
BergenEnglewood Public SchoolsElementary Immersion World Languages Program
HudsonHoboken Dual Language Charter SchoolDual Language Program
MercerPrinceton Public SchoolsK-12 World Languages Program
MercerWest Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School DistrictK-12 World Languages Program
MonmouthFair Haven School DistrictWorld Languages Program
MorrisWest Morris Regional High School DistrictWorld Languages Program

The five districts receiving awards for bilingual/ESL include:

CountyDistrict or Charter SchoolProgram
CumberlandVineland School DistrictK-5 Bilingual Program
MonmouthHowell Township Public SchoolsK-8 ESL Program
SomersetFranklin Township School DistrictK-4 and 9-12 ESL Program; K-4 Bilingual Program
UnionElizabeth School DistrictK-12 Bilingual Program
UnionLinden Public SchoolsK-12 ESL Program