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For Release: June 3, 2004


DOE Celebrates 2003-2004 Best Practices/Star Schools

2003-2004 Best Practices & Star School winners.

The Department of Education today honored the 2003-2004 Best Practices/Star Schools at a recognition ceremony/luncheon at The Ramada Inn Conference Center in East Windsor, NJ.

The Best Practices/Star Schools program highlights outstanding classroom practices and model schools of excellence throughout New Jersey.

"The recipient schools showcase programs that work to prepare students for higher education and develop skills needed for lifetime learning," Commissioner of Education William L. Librera said. "The winning schools should feel proud that they are part of a growing state trend regarding innovative and locally developed classroom practices that promote student achievement."

Today's ceremony honored seven Star Schools and 54 Best Practices selected from a field of approximately 700 applications. Star Schools selected span the state.

The Best Practices programs selected covered a range of activities, from safe learning environment programs to diversity/equity programs to the Arts and Visual Performing. Applications for Best Practices / Star Schools are first reviewed by the county offices of education for compliance with laws, regulations and department policy. Then, the applications are submitted to the Department of Education, where panels of experts (involving approximately 300 administrators and teachers) review the work of their peers and rate each application. A second peer review of the highest-scoring applications is then conducted. In the final phases, the focus of the evaluation returns to the county and local levels. The process culminates in 60 site visits by panel members to verify information in the applications.