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Howell school district recognized by Sustainable Jersey for Schools

HOWELL – All of the schools in the Howell K-8 School District have met the requirements to achieve silver level certification and a Digital Schools Star recognition from Sustainable Jersey for Schools.

Sustainable Jersey for Schools is a certification program for public schools in New Jersey. It was launched by Sustainable Jersey, an organization that provides tools, training and financial incentives to support and reward municipalities and schools as they pursue sustainability programs, according to a press release.

To date, 373 school districts and 1,025 schools are participating in the program. Sustainable Jersey for Schools has awarded more than $2.4 million in grants to schools and school districts, according to the press release.

Howell Superintendent of Schools Joseph Isola said, “Sustainable Jersey and the Digital Schools Star program focuses on developing a culture of sustainable practices within instruction and learning.

“Through the certification process, the program allows school districts to review their current sustainable and digital practices and reflect on developing areas of their work.

“In partnering with the Sustainable Jersey program, we were able to build upon our sustainable practices and advance our work with the Digital Star program.

“We were able to leverage our technology and push forward on personalized instruction, while incorporating the action steps within the digital learning roadmap. This work has proven to benefit our students and our entire community,” Isola said.

Thirty-seven schools from nine school districts were the first schools in New Jersey to earn Digital Schools Star recognition as part of their Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification, according to the press release.

Laurence Cocco, senior program consultant for Sustainable Jersey Digital Schools, said, “The importance of digital remote and hybrid learning to sustainability and resiliency has never been more evident. To help strengthen support for schools, educators and students in navigating the opportunities and challenges of digital learning, the Digital Schools program was created, integrating new content into Sustainable Jersey for Schools.”

A Digital Schools Star embraces the mindful implementation of effective digital learning and communication tools, resources and practices; a commitment that is evident in its mission, culture, classrooms and interactions with its stakeholders, according to the press release.

Star schools document their successful digital learning strategies in the action areas of leadership, learning practices, technology access, school culture and climate, and student learning in order to qualify for Star recognition.

Sustainable Jersey for Schools, a program for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade public schools in New Jersey, is voluntary, according to the press release.

Each Howell school that is certified at the more advanced silver level submitted documentation to show it has completed a balanced portfolio of the program’s sustainability actions, attaining a minimum of 350 points of sustainability actions, according to the press release.

Once a school is certified, the certification is good for three program years.

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