On Thursday, Gov. Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) announced a new initiative that will use volunteers and community members to help students and educators navigate the challenges caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, according to a press release.
The New Jersey Partnership for Student Success (NJPSS) is slated to recruit individuals to improve student learning, community partnerships within schools and the educator experience.
Up to 5,000 individuals — including but not limited to tutors, postsecondary transition coaches and student success coaches — will be involved in the partnership, according to the release.
The initiative will be expanded by the Department of Education to incorporate additional learning opportunities for educators and administrators. One such program is a statewide tutoring program that will be federally funded with at least $10 million, according to the release.
NJPSS will also launch two early literacy professional development programs, each of which is focused on academic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Overall, the initiative’s goal is to strengthen student learning and mitigate pandemic-related challenges with additional adult presence in roles to improve academic performance, reduce absenteeism and increase graduation rates. NJPSS goes alongside the National Partnership for Student Success, which supports student academic recovery at the federal level.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic’s onset, New Jersey schools have been given approximately $4 billion to manage pandemic-related needs of staff and students, and approximately $270 million has been dedicated to academic recovery, according to the release.
"As schools across our state and the nation deal with the impact of COVID-19 on both students and educators, we must address the challenges facing our school community, including learning loss," Murphy said. "This initiative will create the opportunity for members of the broader community to get involved in supporting the social, emotional and academic needs of students."