Descriptions of NJDOE Offices

Office of Commissioner of Education

Office of Chief of Staff

Office of Policy and External Affairs

Office of Operations and Legal Affairs

Division of Administration and Finance

Division of Student and Field Services

Division of Charter Schools, School Choice, and Educational Technology

Division of Academics

Division of Teacher and Leader Effectiveness

Division of Data, Research, Evaluation and Reporting

Division of School Improvement

Office of Commissioner of Education Top Arrow

Acting Commissioner: David Hespe
phone:  (609) 292-4450
fax:  (609) 777-4099

Office of Chief of Staff Top Arrow

Chief of Staff: William Haldeman
phone:  (609) 633-6681

The Chief of Staff oversees special projects for the Commissioner.  He is in charge of the State Board Office and the Office of Project Management, and coordinates department initiatives across divisions.

Office of the State Board Top Arrow

The office serves as a liaison between the Commissioner and the State Board of Education and between the state board and the public. It provides support services to the state board by coordinating the board's meetings and public testimony sessions. It also coordinates the board's special projects and committees.

In addition, the office is responsible for the administrative code review process. For state board-related activities, it provides administrative services, and it also prepares and conducts orientation for new board members and senior staff.

NOTE: The State Board Office does not oversee the issuance of educator licenses/certificates, General Educational Development (GED) test results or high school transcripts. For educator licenses and certificates, please contact the Office of Licensure and Credentials at 609-292-2070.  For GEDs, please contact the GED Testing Office at 609-777-1050.  For high school transcripts, please contact the school district or charter school from which the student graduated.

Director: Diane Shoener
phone: (609) 984-6024 and 292-0739 (voice mail)
fax: (609) 633-0267

Office of Project Management Top Arrow

The office provides support services to all offices across the department to bring consistent planning to the organization's initiatives and operations. The office assists each office in developing short-range and long-range plans working to ensure these plans align to the department's strategic goals. It also works with these offices to support their needs for improving the implementation of their projects and programs.

Director: Jim Palmer
phone:  (609) 292-3276

Office of Policy and External Affairs Top Arrow

Chief of Policy and External Affairs: Justin Barra
phone: 609-292-1126
fax: 609-984-6756

The Office of Policy and External Affairs is responsible for communicating the work of the department to parents, educators, the media, and the general public through the Office of Public Information and the Office of Strategic Partnerships.  The Office of Policy Development is responsible for researching and developing new policy initiatives for the department and for managing certain cross-divisional work within the department.

Office of Public Information Top Arrow

The office is responsible for communicating the work of the department with members of the media and the general public. It serves as the primary point of contact for all media inquiries and also disseminates information through press releases, public events, press conferences and interviews. It also oversees the development and quality control of the department's Web site and all OPRA requests.

Director: Mike Yaple
phone: 609-292-1126
fax: 609-984-6756

Office of Strategic Partnerships Top Arrow

The office is responsible for directly communicating the work of the department with educators, families and other external partners through proactive and frequent outreach.  The office manages newsletters, programs, and communications campaigns to transparently share department initiatives.  The office also builds partnerships with external organizations to support the work of the department.

Director: Vacant
phone: 609-292-1126
fax: 609-984-6756

Office of Policy Development Top Arrow

The office is responsible for researching and developing new policy initiatives for the department.  In addition, the office manages the research, development, and execution of a number of policy initiatives that are cross-divisional and not currently overseen by any division within the department.

Office of Operations and Legal Affairs Top Arrow

Chief of Operations and Legal Affairs: Vacant
(609) 341-3613
fax: (609) 777-4538

The Office of Operations and Legal Affairs oversees the Offices of Legislative Affairs, Controversies and Disputes, and School Ethics.  In addition, this office is in charge of the Division of Administration and Finance which comprises the Offices of Budget and Accounting and Grants Management, School Finance, School Facilities, and Fiscal Accountability and Compliance.

Office of Legislative Affairs Top Arrow

The office primarily coordinates the department's responses to state and federal legislation. This office is also responsible for the department's interactions with the state Legislature, the federal government and other government entities. The legislative office is also involved in developing many of the department's policy initiatives. Lastly, the office serves as the main interface with education advocates around the implementation of the department's initiatives.

Director: Barbara Horl
phone: (609) 292-6038
fax: (609) 777-2077

Office of Controversies and Disputes Top Arrow

The office assists the Commissioner in fulfilling the responsibility to decide, through the contested case process, disputes arising under school law and regulations.   Types of cases include student discipline, student residency, tenure/seniority claims, tenure charges, abuse of discretion by district boards of education, transportation disputes, bidding disputes, appeal of New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) decisions, review of penalties recommended by the School Ethics Commission, severance of sending-receiving relationships, audit appeals, tuition and state funding disputes, and issuance of bonds for necessary facilities following defeated referenda.  Effective July 2008 (P.L. 2008, c. 36), the office also assists the Commissioner in deciding appeals from Board of Examiner decisions and School Ethics Commission decisions. The office also responds to requests from the public for information about the school laws and procedures for appeal to the Commissioner.

Director: Kathleen Duncan
phone: (609) 292-5705
fax: (609) 292-4333

Office of School Ethics Top Arrow

The School Ethics Commission ("Commission") was created pursuant to the School Ethics Act ("Act"), N.J.S.A. 18A:12-21 et seq.  The Commission consists of nine individuals appointed by the Governor.  It is established in the department of Education and staffed by department employees. The Commission is responsible for enforcing the provisions of the act, which governs the ethical conduct of school officials (i.e., board members, charter school trustees, district and charter school administrators and certain employees of the New Jersey School Boards Association). The majorgoals of the Commission's office are to: 1) review and investigate complaints, conduct hearings as necessary and render determinations by issuing written decisions; 2) provide written advisory opinions to school officials; 3) enforce the requirement that all school officials file annual disclosure statements setting forth their financial and personal connections; and 4) enforce the requirement that all board members/charter school trustees attend training in accordance with the act. If a violation of the act is found, the Commission may recommend to the Commissioner the reprimand, censure, suspension, or removal of the school official.  The Commission holds its monthly meetings in Trenton on the fourth Tuesday of each month, except for December, when it is held on the third Tuesday.

Acting Executive Director: Joanne Restivo
phone: (609) 984-6941
fax: (609) 633-0279

Division of Administration and Finance Top Arrow

Assistant Commissioner: David Corso
phone:  (609) 292-7671
fax:  (609) 633-9553

The Assistant Commissioner of the Division of Administration and Finance oversees the activities of the following offices:  Budget & Accounting and Grants Management; School Finance which includes Budget Review and Fiscal Monitors, Fiscal Policy and Planning, Education Funding and Student Transportation; School Facilities; Fiscal Accountability and Compliance; Information Technology; Human Resources; and Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action.

Office of Budget & Accounting and Grants Management Top Arrow

The Executive Director of the Office of Budget & Accounting and Grants Management oversees the activities of both offices.  The Executive Director also functions as the department's Chief Fiscal Officer who is responsible for the following functions:  planning, organizing, and directing the department's annual budget request; monitoring department accounts to ensure that there are sufficient funds; collecting federal and other department revenues; preparing required state and federal financial reports; and overseeing the accounting and purchasing activities of the department.

Executive Director: David Joye
phone: (609) 984-4900
fax: (609) 292-1221

Office of Grants Management Top Arrow

The office provides assistance to agencies and department program offices through the establishment and maintenance of systems to plan for, acquire, award and manage grant funds in a fair and equitable manner to support initiatives that promote academic excellence, teacher and leader effectiveness, school innovation and choice, and accountability. The office is responsible for three broad functions in support of an efficient, effective and accountable grants management system: (1) planning -- working collaboratively with program offices to design subgrant programs that are consistent with the department's goals and priorities; (2) subgrant implementation -- supporting the implementation of individual grant projects to promote educational success; and (3) oversight and compliance -- ensuring that the department's grants management system, including the management of subgrant programs, will withstand the tests of audit and public scrutiny.

Director: Anne Corwell
phone: (609) 633-6974
fax: (609) 777-1051

Office of School Finance Top Arrow

The Director of the Office of School Finance oversees the activities of the following offices: Office of Budget Review and Fiscal Monitors, Office of Fiscal Policy and Planning, Office of School Funding, and Office of Student Transportation.

Director Yut'se Thomas
phone: (609) 292-4421
fax: (609) 292-6794

Office of Budget Review and State Monitors Top Arrow

The office administers the budget review and approval process for at-risk districts, including the currently designated School Development Authority (SDA) districts and districts identified under the New Jersey Quality Single Accountability Continuum (NJQSAC).  The office is responsible for evaluating an at-risk district and in conjunction with the district's administration, for developing specific solutions in an At-Risk Improvement Plan; monitoring the full implementation of the plan; and validating the appropriate use of district fiscal resources so as to ensure the successful and sustainable rehabilitation of the district and ultimately its exit from an at-risk status.  The office works closely with other program offices and the county offices to monitor and intervene when required to ensure the targeting of resources to student needs in the most efficient and effective manner.  The office also manages the activities of the state monitors who are appointed under the School District Fiscal Accountability Act by the Commissioner to serve in districts that have severe financial issues and concerns.  The office assists districts in implementing fiscal programs designed to help them emerge from deficits and in achieving fiscal and operational integrity. 

Budget Manager: Glenn Forney
phone: (609) 943-4115
fax: (609) 292-6794

Office of Fiscal Policy and Planning Top Arrow

The office is responsible for the development and maintenance of fiscal policy for New Jersey's public school districts and private schools for students with disabilities.  It is responsible for all finance-related policy development and legislative analysis and planning, including development and maintenance of administrative code.  The office administers the annual school budget process and the defeated school budget process.  The office is responsible for collecting annual budget data, audit summary data, and school register summary data; and for preparing the annual Certified Public School Tuition Rates and Private School Tuition Rates.  The office develops and maintains the audit program, containing all annual audit policies, standards and guidelines consistent with generally accepted governmental auditing standards, as well as state laws and regulations.  Additional responsibilities include the development of technical publications, forms, and training programs in budgeting, reporting, and fiscal administration; the development of audit plans and programs to determine compliance by local school districts, private schools for students with disabilities and other educational agencies with state and federal laws and regulations; and the issuance of guidance and pronouncements on generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).

Acting Director: Mike Mindlin
phone:  (609) 292-7131
fax:  (609) 292-6794

Office of Education Funding Top Arrow

The office administers the state aid funding system for all public and nonpublic schools.  It collects and validates the necessary data and then calculates, disburses and accounts for the various state aid programs pursuant to the School Funding Reform Act of 2008 (SFRA), state aid for services to nonpublic school pupils, state aid pursuant to the State Facilities Education Act and other statutory aid programs.  Several important data collections including the ASSA, Charter School Enrollment, Debt Service, State Facilities Pupil Count, Nonpublic Schools Reimbursement Data, and FICA Reimbursement data are administered by this office.  The office also conducts research related to school finance issues; performs state aid simulations relative to future school finance trends; prepares several reports including the "Educational Adequacy Report," the annual Taxpayers Guide to Education Funding, annual federal fiscal data including the Common Core Data (CCD) and other National Public Education Financial Survey (NPEFS) data; studies and develops the District Factor Grouping report; analyzes proposed legislation; prepares fiscal notes assessing the fiscal impact of legislative initiatives; and responds to a variety of constituents about state aid and the formula used to calculate that aid.

Director: Cindy Lee
phone: (609) 984-4948
fax: (609) 292-6794

Office of Student Transportation Top Arrow

The office is responsible for developing regulations and procedures for safe and efficient student transportation services.  The office monitors, analyzes and evaluates local districts' transportation systems and keeps the necessary records in order to increase the safety, cost-effectiveness and accountability of transportation operations.  The office performs a fiscal function by administering the supplemental nonpublic transportation aid, collects and validates various data necessary to calculate state aid for student transportation, and conducts studies to identify operational trends and efficiencies.  The office develops training programs, provides guidance and oversight in the consolidation of public and nonpublic school transportation services among districts and other agencies, and oversees the administration of transportation contracts.  The office assists the county offices in the analysis of school district operations with the goal of developing and implementing programs of shared services wherever possible.

Planning Associate: Dot Shelmet
phone: (609) 984-5757
fax: (609) 633-9790

Office of School Facilities Top Arrow

The office is responsible for developing and maintaining the educational adequacy and efficiency standards for school facilities, as well as approving educational specifications, schematic plans and determining the preliminary eligible costs for school facilities projects.  The office manages the development of long-range facilities plans for all schools, and administers all school facilities regulations.  In addition, it reviews leases and lease-purchase agreements for school facility acquisition and construction to assure efficiency, as well as compliance with law and regulation.

Director: Bernard E. Piaia, Jr.
phone: (609) 984-5351
fax: (609) 943-5920

Office of Fiscal Accountability and Compliance Top Arrow

The office, which was formerly the Office of Compliance Investigation, acts on the Commissioner's behalf in the receipt, exchange, review and investigation of information relevant to the efficient supervision of all schools of the state receiving support or aid from federal and state appropriations in accordance with N.J.S.A. 18A:4-23.  The office is responsible for all investigative and many auditing functions conducted by the department, as well as criminal background checks of applicants for positions in New Jersey schools.

Director: Robert Cicchino
phone: (609) 984-5593
fax: (609) 396-2032

Office of Information Technology Top Arrow

The office develops and maintains the department's systems for collecting and analyzing information for decision-making purposes and for collecting information from school districts to satisfy state and federal reporting requirements.  In addition, it develops and maintains the department's office technology systems to ensure that all staff members have the technology resources that will enable them to perform their functions effectively and efficiently.

Director: Lorraine Clapper
phone: (609) 633-9773
fax: (609) 633-9865

Office of Human Resources Top Arrow

The office consists of two sections.  The Compensation, Benefits and Leave section is responsible for all payroll functions, salary adjustments, administration of health and dental benefits with the NJ State Health Benefits Program, active employee pensions questions, disability retirement, risk management, donated leave program, sick leave of absence (including but not limited to Federal Medical Leave and State Family Leave), workers compensation and the Employee Advisory Service.

The Recruitment, Classification and Exams section is responsible for recruitment, the certification process, new hires, pension enrollment, orientations, promotion/title changes, resignations, service retirement and separations, position work (including but not limited to classification appeals), probationary process, Employee Performance Assessment Review (PAR) and the Employee Service and Recognition Award Programs.  In addition, the Office of Human Resources is responsible for the administration of the eCATS time-keeping system and position control.

Director: Dodi Price
phone: 609) 943-5553
fax: (609) 292-7278

Office of Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Top Arrow

The office provides management and oversight of the Discrimination Appeals process, along with mediation and conflict resolution. The EEO/AA office advises the Commissioner on all matters related to compliance with the New Jersey State Policy Prohibiting Discrimination in the Workplace (State Policy).  The office develops the EEO/Workforce Development Plan for the department, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 11A:7-8. In addition, this office is responsible for providing mandatory state policy training to all employees, including Marie Katzenbach School for the Deaf and for developing and implementing affirmative action programs designed to promote cultural awareness and diversity in the workforce.  The EEO/AA Office is responsible for ensuring compliance with the Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  This office investigates ADA discrimination complaints as well.  The EEO/AA officer monitors all hiring policies and practices, including recruitment, selection and retention of employees.

Manager: (vacant)
Phone: (609) 292-5985

Fax: (609) 292-1221

Division of Student and Field Services Top Arrow

Assistant Commissioner: Susan Martz
phone:  (609) 292-9899
fax:  (609) 633-1046

The Assistant Commissioner oversees the County Offices of Education, and Offices of Student Support Services, Special Education, Career and Technical Education, and Title I, including English language learners, homeless students, migrant students and students in state facilities. The division oversees the distribution and expenditures for the federal grants in these areas as well as provides training and technical assistance.   Also under this division are the Marie H. Katzenbach School for the Deaf and the Holocaust Commission.

County Offices of Education Top Arrow

The county offices are the focal point of general support, oversight and routine communications between local districts and the department's central office. Each county office is led by a County Superintendent of Schools and has a core staff, which includes a County School Business Administrator, an Education Specialist and a County Child Study Supervisor.  County office staff:

  • support districts in responding to questions, advising them on improvement plans;
  • respond to community, legislative and parental concerns;
  • evaluate and monitor all public school districts through the New Jersey Quality Single Accountability Continuum (NJQSAC);
  • review and approve district budgets;
  • review school buildings to ensure compliance with health and safety codes;
  • review and approve district transportation contracts;
  • coordinate the process for licensure of education staff and issue county substitute certificates;
  • conduct special education program reviews;
  • provide technical assistance to school districts, boards of education and parents on a variety of topics; and
  • assist department divisions in securing required data

Contact Person:  Pam Castellanos
phone:  (609) 984-6755
fax:  (609) 292-3830

Office of Student Support Services Top Arrow

The Office of Student Support Services (OSSS) supports the positive development of K-12 students, with a focus on health, behavior, school culture and climate, and social-emotional skills. The office issues policy papers and publications, produces reports and provides policy guidance, web resources, professional development and technical assistance to educators. These efforts promote positive student expectations and conduct, safe and supportive learning environments, healthy life choices, student engagement, attendance, and the development of social skills and competencies. The office provides leadership through regulations and responds to concerns in the areas of student conduct, including substance abuse, violence, bullying, truancy, and other risky behavior; school safety, including law enforcement operations; intervention and referral services for student learning, behavior and health problems; school health services and student health, including HIV, STD and pregnancy prevention; afterschool and summer programs; alternative education programs; home or out-of-school instruction and the education of neglected and delinquent youth and students in state facilities. Through the facilitation and monitoring of over 60 grants in excess of $60 million, interagency initiatives, technical assistance, professional development opportunities and guidance, the office promotes the effective implementation of research-based practices, the strengthening of health and student support services, and coordination and use of community resources.

Federally-funded grant programs administered include: Title I, Part D, Neglected & Delinquent; 21st Century Community Learning Centers; and a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for HIV/STD/Pregnancy prevention to conduct the biennial New Jersey Student Health Survey and School Health Profiles Survey. The OSSS oversees funding to state agencies under the State Facilities Education Act which supports educational programs for youth residing in state facilities.  The mission of the OSSS is advanced through strong collaborative partnerships established with the Departments of Health, Children and Families, Human Services, Law and Public Safety, and Corrections; the Juvenile Justice Commission; the Administrative Office of the Courts; state advisory boards and commissions; and institutions of higher education.

Director: Nancy Curry
phone: (609) 292-5935
fax: (609) 633-9655

Office of Special Education Top Arrow

The office implements state and federal laws and regulations governing special education to ensure that pupils with disabilities in New Jersey receive full educational opportunities. It provides statewide leadership through the development of policy and implementation documents and provides guidance to school districts and parents regarding the implementation of special education programs and services. The office is responsible for administering all federal funds received by the state for educating pupils with disabilities ages 3 through 21. It also monitors the delivery of special education programs operated under state authority, provides mediation services to parents and school districts, processes hearings with the Office of Administrative Law, and conducts complaint investigations requested by the public. In addition, the office funds four learning resource centers (LRCs) that provide schools and parents with information services, materials circulation, technical assistance, consultation services and production services. The office also plans and implements program and personnel development activities in areas such as implementing the least restrictive environment provision, planning the transition of students with disabilities from school to adulthood, planning programs and services for preschool children with disabilities, developing Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and accessing individual rights and entitlements.

Director: Peggy McDonald
phone: (609) 292-0147
fax: (609) 984-8422

Office of Title I Top Arrow

The office administers federally funded programs in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) which include the following: Title I, Part A: Improving the Education of the Disadvantaged; Title III: Language Instruction for Limited English Proficient Students and Immigrant Students; Title I, Part C: Education of Migratory Children; and Title X, Part C:  McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Improvements Act.  The office consists of three bureaus: ESEA and Title I, School Improvement, and Bilingual/ESL Programs.  The office coordinates the implementation of the federal legislation, regulations, and polices, provides technical assistance to districts, and coordinates the review and resolution of appeals and complaints   The office is responsible for the distribution of grant funds, development of program guidance, the collection and dissemination of program data, the monitoring and oversight of ESEA program and funds, and the state's system of support to Title I low-performing schools.

Additionally, the office administers state programs for Bilingual Education (N.J.A.C. 6A:15) and the Education of Homeless Children (N.J.A.C. 6A:17-1.1 to 2.9).

Director: Karen Campbell
phone: (609) 943-4283
fax: (609) 292-4319

Office of Career and Technical Education Top Arrow

The office provides leadership for the state's career and technical education system.  The office also administers funding provided under the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006.  Career and technical education programs prepare students to succeed as global citizens for career opportunities for the 21st Century and to support healthy economic growth within the state.

Director: Marie Barry
phone: (609) 633-0665
fax: (609) 984-5347

Office of Quality Single Accountability Continuum Top Arrow

The Quality Single Accountability Continuum (QSAC) is the department's monitoring and evaluation system for public school districts. It is a single comprehensive accountability system that consolidates and incorporates the monitoring requirements of applicable state laws and programs and complements federally required improvements. The system focuses on monitoring and evaluating school districts in five key components that, based on research, have been identified to be key factors in effective school districts.  There are five areas of evaluation: instruction and program, fiscal management, operations, personnel and governance.  All districts must complete an annual Statement of Assurance (SOA) and districts undergoing a full QSAC once every three years must also complete a District Performance Review (DPR).
Contact Person:  Pam Castellanos
phone:  (609) 984-6755
fax:  (609) 292-3830

Marie H. Katzenbach School for the Deaf Top Arrow

The school provides educational and vocational services to deaf and multiply-disabled deaf and hard-of-hearing children from birth through age 21. Residential services are provided to about half of the school's student population on a four-night-a-week basis. Special programs to broaden the population served by the school include pre-school-age deaf, emotionally disturbed and deaf-blind students.

Superintendent: Dr. Angel Ramos
phone: (609) 530-3112
fax:  (609) 530-5791

Holocaust Commission Top Arrow

The commission, founded in 1982, has as its main task the responsibility of implementing the Holocaust/genocide mandate passed in 1994.  This is accomplished by coordinating teacher training programs statewide and by developing curriculum guides for the classroom.  The overall goal is to remember the victims of genocide and reduce the evils of bias, bullying, bigotry and prejudice in schools.

Contact Person: Paul Winkler
phone:  (609) 292-3993

Division of Charter Schools, School Choice, and Educational Technology Top Arrow

Assistant Commissioner -- Chief Innovation Officer: Evo Popoff
phone: (609) 341-2764 or (609) 292-5042
fax: (609) 292-4708

This division is responsible for development of various types of public school choice in the Offices of Charter Schools, Interdistrict School Choice, and Educational Technology.

Office of Charter Schools Top Arrow

The office is responsible for developing policy and implementing the department's oversight of charter schools statewide.  The office is also responsible for developing and implementing policies to review, revoke, surrender, renew, and develop applications and approval processes and procedures for all charter schools. A charter school is a public school operated under a charter granted by the Commissioner. It is independent of the district board of education and is governed by a board of trustees.

Director: Harry Lee
phone:  (609) 292-5850
fax:  (609) 633-9825

Office of Interdistrict Choice and Nonpublic Schools Top Arrow

The office is responsible for operating the Interdistrict School Choice Program as approved under the Interdistrict Public School Choice Program Act of 2010 18A:36B.  The office reviews district applications, supports choice districts in program implementation, and maintains a parent information phone line and website with student application timelines, processes, forms, and links to approved choice districts.  The office also manages several state-funded nonpublic school programs, including nursing, textbooks, and various student support services.

Director:  Jessani Gordon
phone: (609) 292-3043
fax:  (609) 777-1051

Contact Person – Nonpublic Schools: Greg Kocher
phone: (609) 633-0251

Office of Educational Technology Top Arrow

The office drives innovation through the development and implementation of progressive policies, strategies and practices that effectively integrate educational technology throughout all learning environments.  Current projects include the New Jersey Schools Broadband Consortia Initiative and online learning policy development.

Director: Laurence Cocco
phone: (609) 633-1693
fax: (609) 292-5202

Office of School Innovation Top Arrow

The Office of School Innovation guides and facilitates statewide exposure to innovative programs, practices, and instructional models.  Serving as the creator and manager of the state's innovateNJ initiative, this office leads the charge in interdivisional collaborative conversations around innovation on a local, national, and international scale.  Utilizing the innovateNJ website as a centralized online repository for school innovation, this office fosters student growth toward college and career readiness through its Community, Clearinghouse and Initiatives tenets.  Uncovering the ways in which New Jersey educators can use technology to undergird traditional instructional best practices, coupled with exposure to classroom models such as personalized, competency based, blended, and flipped structures, our goal is to ensure that 21st century skill attainment is a standard equitable practice.

Director: Takecia Saylor
phone: (609) 633-3965
fax: (609) 292-4708

Division of Academics Top Arrow

Assistant Commissioner – Chief Academic Officer: Tracey Severns
phone:  (609) 633-2766
fax:  (609) 292-4708

This division has responsibility for the Offices of Literacy, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), Standards, and Division of Early Childhood Education. It is charged with the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards (NJCCCS) with the ultimate goal of providing a path for students to become college- and career-ready as they graduate.

Office of Standards Top Arrow

The office oversees the long-  and short-term planning of all office activities regarding support for the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards (NJCCCS). Support includes professional development to facilitate state-wide quality implementation of the standards using technology throughout the state. This professional development will be ongoing, aligned, and embedded to best support districts throughout the state with their needs as they implement the CCSS and the NJCCCS. The office reviews and analyzes research and current literature to ensure that programs reflect current theories and research-based practices and keeps abreast of trends and emerging issues.

Office of Literacy Top Arrow

The office oversees the implementation of the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects, and the development and implementation of the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards for World Languages; Social Studies, and Visual and Performing Arts. Content specialists work with the field to write model curricula, develop model lesson plans and instructional materials, provide professional development and offer technical assistance in the field's implementation of state policy initiatives related to the humanities. Content specialists train and work with Regional Assistance Center (RAC) staff.

In addition, the office works in tandem with the Office of Assessment to develop the NJASK 3-8 and HSPA English Language Arts content.  The director and staff also work with the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and Achieve leadership on a wide range of issues and committees leading to the PARCC assessment in 2014-2015. The office provides support and content expertise to the Offices of Bilingual Education and the Special Education through joint projects and professional development opportunities to improve student outcomes.

Director:  Mary Jane Kurabinski
phone: (609) 633-1726
fax: (609) 292-7276

Office of STEM Education Top Arrow

The office is structured to ensure coherence across standards, curriculum, and assessments and provide high-quality support to districts and schools to advance student achievement in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), and health and physical education.

Director:  Meghan Snow
phone:  (609) 984-6498

Division of Early Education Top Arrow

The focus of the divisionis to enhance social, emotional, physical, and academic development of New Jersey's children -- preschool through third grade -- by providing leadership, resources, and professional development in support of high-quality early childhood programs within a comprehensive, collaborative program. The division is responsible for preschool through third grade policy and practice through:

  • Development and alignment of teaching, learning, and program standards and guidance based on current research on early childhood education;
  • Provision of modules and other materials designed to facilitate the implementation of each component of high-quality preschool and K-3 programs;
  • Tracking and adjusting progress through a continuous evaluation and improvement cycle; and
  • Regional and on-site support to key staff in schools and districts.

Preschool Education Top Arrow

The office is charged with supporting preschool programs in 146 school districts in a mixed delivery system of private providers, Head Start and school districts (former Abbott, Early Childhood Program Aid, and Early Launch to Learning Initiative districts).  Each education specialist works with approximately two counties to support optimal preschool programs and child outcomes. In addition to working with the districts, each program specialist has an area of specialization related to early childhood education, e.g., early literacy, assessment, math, science, dual language learners, transition, intervention and referral, inclusion of children with special needs, community/social services and a related district staff position on which to focus.  The division reviews preschool budgets to guide the use of Preschool Education Aid.  The office oversees the work of the inter-department NJ Council for Young Children and houses the Head Start Collaboration director, in order to coordinate the state's Head Start collaboration.

K-3 Education Top Arrow

The office supports kindergarten to third grade education by developing policies, guidance documents and professional development around standards, curricula, child assessment, and teacher evaluation, and providing information and supports for improving quality of instruction.  Early childhood staff collaborate with educators to create guidelines and policies around early childhood education, and provide regional professional development to superintendents, and preschool through third grade administrators and teachers.

Administrator: Ellen Wolock
phone: (609) 777-2074
fax: (609) 777-0967

Division of Teacher and Leader Effectiveness Top Arrow

Assistant Commissioner – Chief Talent Officer: Peter Shulman
phone:  (609) 292-2400
fax:  (609) 633-0160

The division is tasked with developing and implementing an integrated reform strategy to staff our classrooms and schools with effective educators. This division has responsibility for the offices of Recruitment and Preparation, Certification and Induction, Evaluation, Professional Development, and Retention and Recognition.

Office of Recruitment and Preparation / Rewards and Recognition Top Arrow

The office will ensure that the most effective educators are brought to and stay in New Jersey schools and that every educator in New Jersey is well-trained and prepared to begin teaching effectively on their very first day in the classroom.  The office focuses on the following areas:

  • Enhancing recruitment efforts by building and expanding pipelines of teacher and principal candidates for New Jersey's high-need Priority and Focus Schools, revamping the state's online education recruitment system - NJHire, serving as the state liaison for federal loan forgiveness programs, and creating a state-wide teacher recruitment campaign.
  • Enhancing preparation efforts by partnering with institutes of higher education and alternative route programs to ensure that the content, pedagogical and clinical portions of the curriculum adequately prepare candidates for positions in diverse schools and subject areas. 
  • Identifying, recognizing and retaining educators who are highly effective in their work.

Director: Kristin Brown
phone:  (609) 984-4966
fax: (609) 943-4752

Office of Certification and Induction Top Arrow

The office is primarily focused on providing high-quality customer service to prospective and current educators eligible for certification in New Jersey public schools.  The office focuses on the following areas:

  • Certification - The office processes, reviews and evaluates all pertinent information relating to individuals' eligibility for certification.  They also issue initial, provisional and standard certificates to qualified Pre-K through Grade 12 educators.  The office issues GED diplomas to qualified individuals, and issues educational qualification certificates to morticians and chiropractors.
  • Educator Induction - The office coordinates the induction of new public school educators through the provisional teacher and school administrator programs.
  • Highly-Qualified Teacher Requirements - The office provides technical assistance on federal highly qualified teacher (HQT) requirements, and annually updates the state HQT plan, per federal requirements. 
  • Certification Appeals and Revocation - The office supports the State Board of Examiners, which hears appeals of certification decisions and which revokes or suspends educator certificates.
  • Alternate Route Preparation Program Approval - The office reviews, evaluates and approves alternate route preparation programs and coordinates the New Jersey federal Troops to Teachers program.

Director:  Robert Higgins
phone: (609) 292-2070
fax: (609) 984-3356

Office of Evaluation Top Arrow

The office is responsible for the educator evaluation system in New Jersey. As a new office, it is responsible for developing the policy and designing and implementing the evaluation system for teachers, leaders and, ultimately, all school personnel. The office will oversee the statewide rollout of the new evaluation system, and monitor and refine the system over time. The evaluation system must be one that establishes clear standards for excellence, and that is rigorous, valid and fair. Educator effectiveness will become a key metric for use in supporting professional development and professional preparation programs, for informing personnel policies, and to help attract and retain the most effective educators.

Director: Tim Matheney
phone: (609) 633-8014
fax: (609) 633-0160

Office of Professional Development Top Arrow

The office improves teacher and school leader effectiveness by developing, implementing, supporting and/or evaluating policies and programs to ensure high-quality professional development for New Jersey educators in support of student learning needs, staff capacity-building, school and district goals, and state initiatives. In particular, the office focuses on the following areas:

  • Professional Development (PD) - The office provides support, guidance and technical assistance on the state's professional development requirements for teachers and school leaders, supports development of effective PD plans, and coordinates the work of state-level advisory boards on PD.  The office works with association partners to ensure high-quality professional development throughout the state.
  • Mentoring - The office provides guidance and support to districts in developing mentoring plans and mentor training requirements.
  • Professional Standards - The office coordinates state policy related to professional standards for teachers, school leaders, and professional development.

Director: Cathy Pine
phone: (609) 943-3267
fax: (609) 633-0160

Division of Data, Research, Evaluation and Reporting Top Arrow

Assistant Commissioner – Chief Performance Officer: Bari Erlichson
phone:  (609) 292-6037
fax:  (609) 292-6483

This division has supervision of research programs for the interpretation and analysis of statistical data including financial and student academic performance data. It also oversees the development of the student database (NJSMART) which will provide data for the growth model to be used in the new teacher evaluation system.   It oversees the annual submission of data to the federal government and is developing new student performance metrics to evaluate schools and districts.

Office of Educational Data Management Top Arrow

This office will oversee the development, planning, and quality control of data.  It will oversee the production of data through NJ SMART and coach end-users in the use of data for state and federal reporting mandates.  The office will continue to streamline and phase out old data collections and establish coherent data governance processes and procedures across the department.  It will also build robust research, evaluation, and reporting functions that will include new ways of using performance metrics to compare schools.

Office of Student Performance Metrics Top Arrow

This office will supervise research programs for the collection, analysis, and interpretation of statistical data in order to meet diverse and changing educational needs in areas such as determining whether student achievement data indicate that they are college- and career-ready upon graduation.  It will evaluate programs and fiscal data related to state and federal formula aid and discretionary grant applications and allocations.  It will assist in developing the student growth metrics necessary to inform the new teacher evaluation system to meet the federal mandate in 2013-14. It will also monitor the academic progress of charter schools and schools that are in need of improvement.

Office of Assessments Top Arrow

The office is responsible for administering the statewide educational assessment system, which includes the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA), the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (NJ ASK), covering grades 3 through 8, and the Alternate Proficiency Assessment (APA).  Language arts literacy and mathematics are assessed at each grade level, while science is assessed in grades 4 and 8, along with a biology end-of-course assessment at the high school level.  These assessments are used to measure student progress in achieving the Core Curriculum Content Standards (CCCS) and to meet state and federal accountability requirements.  All assessments are aligned to the Core Curriculum Content Standards and related student progress indicators.  The Alternate Proficiency Assessment (APA) serves students with severe cognitive disabilities.

Director: Jeffrey Hauger
phone: (609) 984-6311
fax: (609) 633-3707

Division of School Improvement Top Arrow

Office of School Improvement Top Arrow

The office supports the Regional Achievement Centers (RACs), which are responsible for developing and implementing initiatives to improve student achievement in the state's lowest-performing schools.  These offices are responsible for creating customized school improvement plans and delivering interventions that will accelerate student learning and narrow the achievement gap.   The RACs partner with struggling schools and their districts to set clear goals for student growth, put proven turnaround principles into action, and use data to drive decision-making and accountability. Overall, the mission for these offices is to provide high-impact support to ensure that all students are prepared for success in college and career. 

Contact Person: Rochelle Sinclair
phone:  (609) 954-5063
fax:  (609) 292-4708

Regional Achievement Centers Top Arrow

Scott Rixford
Passaic County Office of Education
501 River Street
Paterson, NJ 07524

Gayle Griffin
Learning Resource Center – North
7 Glenwood Avenue, 2nd Floor
 East Orange, New Jersey 07017

Tim Capone
New Jersey Department of Education
100 Riverview Plaza, 3rd Floor
Trenton, NJ 08625

Mario Barbiere
Monmouth County Office of Education
60 Neptune Blvd., 2nd floor
Neptune, NJ 07753

Dave Hardy
Camden Board of Education
201 North Front Street, 4th floor
Camden, NJ 08102

Bob Bumpus
Gloucester County Office of Education
254 County House Road
Clarksboro, NJ  08020