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Contact: Richard Vespucci
For Release: October 18, 2000

New Jersey Educators Learn High-Tech Methods
to Share Their Award-Winning Successes

Approximately 30 local educators responsible for programs that have won awards and recognition from the New Jersey Department of Education are participating in a special training academy designed to help them use new ways to spread the word about their successes.

The educators are the first participants in the Best Practices Academy. Three regional academies began last week at the educational technology training centers (ETTCs) in Passaic and Atlantic counties. The two academies in Passaic County and the one academy in Atlantic County will run for four days each during this month and conclude in early November. All participants were winners of Best Practices Awards from the Department of Education in the 1999-2000 school year.

Each Best Practices Academy will host a 30-hour course giving Best Practices developers opportunities to create multimedia web sites highlighting their model practices. Each teacher-produced website would be complete with graphics, sound, video, downloadable curriculum materials, and links to applicable resources.

"I know from my personal visits to schools that New Jersey classrooms are full of energetic and innovative educators dedicated to serving the learning needs of their students," said Governor Christie Whitman. "I also know that educators covet their Best Practices Awards and want to share their ideas with their colleagues throughout the state.

"Through the Best Practices Academies, educators will learn how to reach more people in new ways through the effective use of technology," Gov. Whitman said.

"One of the main goals of the Best Practices / Star Schools program is to disseminate and share information about exemplary practices to promote student achievement and school improvement," said Commissioner of Education David Hespe. "Participants in the academies will be able to help meet this goal and satisfy their commitment to replicate and expand upon their best practices.

"The department is proud to sponsor the academies and will cover all tuition costs involved," Commissioner Hespe said.

Academy participants may seek to apply the 30 hours of training received at the Best Practices Academy toward their 100-hour professional development requirement.

For more information on the Best Practices Academy, contact the Office of Innovative Programs, 609-777-0800 or visit the Office of Innovative Programs on the New Jersey Department of Education website:

NOTE: Attached is list of academy participants.