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Contact: John Crosbie
For Release: June 7, 2000

Press Advisory
Video Conference on Whole School Reform Utilizes Interactive Technology To Assist Abbott Districts

Directions to Sites

To assist the urban schools (Abbott Districts) in understanding the educational technologies needed to support Whole School Reform, the State Department of Education will be sponsoring a videoconference on Thursday, June 8, 2000, which connects six sites throughout the state.

The video conference, which is scheduled to run from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., will allow viewers to observe actual lessons and communicate with practitioners who are implementing the featured Whole School Reform models. All of the 30 Abbott districts have been invited to view these events at six different sites. (Attached program announcement provides information on sites for viewing the event). The interactive system will enable viewers and presenters from around the state to interact throughout the presentations.

This initial trial of the new video portal is made possible through Access New Jersey , a partnership between Bell Atlantic and the NJ Department of Education. It leverages the $130 million provided by Bell Atlantic with the state-funded Distance Learning Network to provide both live and stored video resources for the schools. Bell Atlantic is dedicating some $7 million of the Access New Jersey funds for networking equipment that will allow schools and libraries in New Jersey to share distance learning activities via interactive video conferencing.

Four of the Abbott School Districts - Vineland, Jersey City, Trenton and Long Branch - will provide interactive video presentations on the whole school reform programs being implemented in their schools.

(State House Reporters are invited to view the videoconference at the DOE offices at 100 Riverview Plaza, in the first floor conference room.)