Last Reviewed by State Dept of Education: 12/1/2012
Contact us with corrections or additions New Jersey Last Updated: 9/29/2014
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Curriculum and Instruction
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Health Education
     Last Updated: 12/26/2011
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Mandate:   N.J.S.A.  18A:35-7 (1967) requires every pupil, except those in kindergarten, attending public schools to take courses in health education. N.J.S.A. 18A:35-8 (1967) require that all students in grades one through twelve participate in 150 minutes of instruction in health, safety, and physical education in each school week.  State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:8-5.1 (2002) clarifies this to mean that high school students must earn at least 3.75 credits in health, safety, and physical education during each year of enrollment (a total of 110 credits are required to graduate).

New Jersey has also legislated a number of content-specific mandates, including instruction on breast self examination in grades 7-12 (N.J.S.A. 18A:35-5.4, 1999); Lyme disease prevention (N.J.S.A. 18A:35-5.1, 1991); accident and fire prevention (N.J.S.A. 18A:6-2, 1967); suicide prevention (N.J.S.A. 18A:6-112 (2005); domestic violence prevention (N.J.S.A. 18A:35-4.23 (2003), and cancer awareness (N.J.S.A. 18A:40-32 and 18A:40-33, 1993). N.J.S.A. 18A:7F-4.3 (2008) also requires secondary schools to provide curriculum regarding the donation of lifesaving and life enhancing organs and tissues, as well as dispelling myths, providing accurate information about donation, and emphasizing indivudal responsibility.   

Other: State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:7-1.7 provides that “portions of classes which deal exclusively with human sexuality may be conducted in separate developmentally appropriate sessions for male and female students, provided that the course content for such separately conducted sessions is the same.”

     Last Updated: 12/26/2011

Curriculum Content: To help districts and schools reconcile these mandates, the state department of education developed the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards (CCCS) for Comprehensive Health and Physical Education (2009). Pursuant to State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:8-1.1 (2002), the CCCS "define what all student should know and be able to do by the end of their public school education." Additionally, State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:8-3.1 (2002) states, "district boards of education must ensure that curriculum and instruction are designed and delivered in such a way that all students are able to demonstrate the knowledge and skills specified by the Core Curriculum Content Standards." In other words, the standards are mandatory.

The standards are accompanied by a framework that is designed to suggest a variety of activities and strategies that may assist in the development of local curricula aligned with the CCCS. The New Jersey Comprehensive Health Education and Physical Education Curriculum Framework (2009) provides detailed suggestions for instructional strategies and assessment methods.
 
State Assessment Requirement: None.
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Physical Education
     Last Updated: 12/26/2011

Mandate: N.J.S.A 18A:35-7 (1967) requires every pupil, except kindergarten pupils, attending public schools to take courses in physical education and health.  The core standards establish requirements for students in grades K-12.  N.J.S.A 18A:35-7&8 (1967) requires that students in grades 1-12 receive 150 minutes (or 2 hours) of health, safety and physical education per week, prorated for school holidays.  Local school districts decide how many minutes per week are necessary in each area in order to achieve the core standards. State Board of Education Admninistrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:8-5 (no date available) requires 3.75 credits of health and physical education per year (out of a total 110 credits required) for high school graduation.

Exemptions: Determined by local school boards.  Per State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:14-4.1(f) (no date available) schools are required to provide alternatives in order for students with a disability to meet the physical education core standards.

N.J.A.C.6A:8-5.1 (2009) allows district boards of education to establish a process to approve individualized student learning opportunities that meet or exceed the Core Curriculum Content Standards, including those in physical education. This new regulation requires all high schools to adopt “option II” policies and procedures that permit a student or group of students to meet or exceed the core standards in any subject area through alternative activities. These activities may be school sponsored or accomplished outside the school. Documentation of the student’s achievement of the curricular objectives is required.


Curriculum Content: The mandatory CCCS for Comprehensive Health and Physical Education (2009) include instruction in identifying the short-term and long-term benefits of physical activity and engaging students in vigorous physical activity that develops all components of fitness.  Standards 2.5, Motor Skill Development, and 2.6, Fitness, must be met by the end of grades 2, 4, 6, 8, and 12.

Physical Fitness Assessment: None.

Asthma Awareness Education
     Last Updated: 12/26/2011

Standards 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, and 2.6 in the CCCS for Comprehensive Health and Physical Education (2009) require students in grades 2, 4, 6, 8, and 12 to receive instruction on communicable and non-communicable diseases and health conditions, diagnostic and preventive measures for diseases such as hepatitis, HIV, asthma, obesity, diabetes, and others, health and fitness services, the health risks of tobacco use and second-hand smoking on nonsmokers, and the impact of vigorous exercise and activity on personal fitness.

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Emotional, Social, and Mental Health Education
     Last Updated: 12/26/2011

The CCCS for Comprehensive Health and Physical Education (2009) outline required standards to be met by the end of grades 2, 4, 6, 8, and 12. Standard 2.1 requires that students learn social and emotional health skills. Standard 2.4 requires students learn about emotional and social changes associated with growing up and how to make and maintain healthy relationships. Standard 2.6 requires students learn the social and emotional benefits of regular physical activity by the end of grade 8.

Character Education: Standard 2.2 of the CCCS for Comprehensive Health and Physical Education (2009) requires that all students receive instruction in character development by the end of grades 2, 4, 6, 8, and 12.

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HIV, STD, and Pregnancy Prevention Education
     Last Updated: 1/19/2013

Mandate: New Jersey's state's core curriculum content standards are mandatory.  Standard 2.4 of the standards for Comprehensive Health and Physical Education (2009), titled Human Relationships and Sexuality, states, "all students will acquire knowledge about the physical, emotional, and social aspects of human relationships and sexuality and apply these concepts to support a healthy, active lifestyle.”  For example, by the end of grade 6, students will, "Determine behaviors that place one at risk for HIV/AIDS, STIs, HPV or unintended pregnancy."

N.J.S.A. 18A:40-42 (2007) requires public school districts to distribute to parents and guardians of students in grades seven an educational fact sheet about the causes, symptoms and means of transmission of HPV , and where additional information can be obtained.

Curriculum Content: Content standards relevant to HIV, STD, and pregnancy prevention are in state Core Curriculum Content Standards 2.1 through 2.4.  The Comprehensive Health Education and Physical Education Curriculum Framework provide detailed suggestions for instruction on HIV, STD, and pregnancy prevention and related content and skills. 

N.J.S.A. 18A:35-4.20 (2001) requires that "Any sex education that is given as part of any planned course, curriculum or other instructional program and that is intended to impart information or promote discussion or understanding in regard to human sexual behavior, sexual feelings and sexual values, human sexuality and reproduction, pregnancy avoidance or termination, HIV infection or sexually transmitted diseases shall stress that abstinence from sexual activity is the only completely reliable means of eliminating the sexual transmission of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases and of avoiding pregnancy."

N.J.S.A. 18A:35-4.21 (2001) goes on to stress that, "The [local] board of education shall include in its family life and HIV/AIDS curriculum instruction on reasons, skills and strategies for remaining or becoming abstinent from sexual activity.  Any instruction concerning the use of contraceptives or prophylactics such as condoms shall also include information on their failure rates for preventing pregnancy, HIV, and other sexually transmitted diseases in actual use among adolescent populations and shall clearly explain the difference between risk reduction through the use of such devices and risk elimination through abstinence."

State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:7-1.7 provides that “portions of classes which deal exclusively with human sexuality may be conducted in separate developmentally appropriate sessions for male and female students, provided that the course content for such separately conducted sessions is the same.”

Parental Approval: N.J.S.A. 18:35-4.7 (1979) gives parents the right to exclude a student from any part of health, family life or sex education with no penalties to credit or graduation (an "opt-out" policy). However, schools should provide alternative activities for students to meet the core standards. The New Jersey Department of Education recommends that parents and teachers work together to meet the curricular objectives.

State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:8-3.1(d) (2009) further states that, "district boards of education shall establish procedures whereby any student whose parent or guardian presents to the school principal a signed statement that any or part of the instruction in health, family life education, or sex education is in conflict with his or her conscience or sincerely held moral or religious beliefs shall be excused from that part of the course where such instruction is being given" (an "opt-out" policy).

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Nutrition Education
     Last Updated: 12/26/2011

The Model School Nutrition Policy (2005) requires every school's curriculum to include nutrition education. Also, the CCCS for Comprehensive Health and Physical Education (2009) includes nutrition progress indicators in Standard 2.1, which requires instruction in healthful and unhealthful foods, eating habits, weight loss and gain, and nutrition-related diseases by the end of grades 2, 4, 6, 8, and 12.

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Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drug Use Education
     Last Updated: 1/13/2013

N.J.S.A. 18A:40A-17(a) and State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-3.1(a)6, require school districts to establish educational programs on alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse for parents of enrolled students that are offered at times and places convenient to the parents.

Alcohol: State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-3.1 (2007) requires each district board of education to establish a comprehensive program of alcohol prevention, intervention, referral for evaluation, referral for treatment and continuity of care. N.J.S.A. 18A:40A-1 (1989) requires students to receive instruction on the nature of drugs, alcohol, anabolic steroids, tobacco and controlled dangerous substances and their physiological, psychological, sociological, and legal effects in each public school, grades K-12 in an age appropriate manner as part of a comprehensive alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use prevention program. The topic is addressed in detail in Standard 2.3 of the Content Standards for Comprehensive Health Education and Physical (2009).

Tobacco: State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-3.1 (2007) requires each district board of education to establish a comprehensive program of tobacco prevention, intervention, referral for evaluation, referral for treatment and continuity of care. N.J.S.A. 18A:40A-1 requires students to receive instruction on the nature of tobacco and its physiological, psychological, sociological, and legal effects in each public school, grades K-12 in an age appropriate manner as part of a comprehensive alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use prevention program. The topic is addressed in detail in Standard 2.3 of the Content Standards for Comprehensive Health Education and Physical (2009).

Drugs: State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-3.1 (2007) requires each district board of education to establish a comprehensive program of drug prevention, intervention, referral for evaluation, referral for treatment and continuity of care. N.J.S.A. 18A:40A-1 requires students to receive instruction on the nature of drugs, anabolic steroids and controlled dangerous substances and their physiological, psychological, sociological, and legal effects in each public school, grades K-12 in an age appropriate manner as part of a comprehensive alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use prevention program. The topic is addressed in detail in Standard 2.3 of the Content Standards for Comprehensive Health Education and Physical (2009). Executive Order 72 (2005) directs the Department of Education to incorporate steroid education into drug education programs currently being used in schools at the fifth, seventh and eighth grade levels.

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Injury and Violence Prevention Education
     Last Updated: 1/19/2013

Bullying/Harassment:  N.J.S.A. 18A:37-15 (2002) and State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.9 require each school district to adopt, post on its website and annually review and disseminate to parents a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation and bullying, which includes consequences and remedial actions for offenders. N.J.S.A. 18A:37-17 (2011) requires schools to establish bullying prevention programs and other initiative involving school staff, students, administrators, volunteers, parents, law enforcement and community members designed to create school-wide conditions for preventing and addressing HIB. N.J.S.A. 18A:37-20 requires each school to appoint a school anti-bullying specialist and each school district to appoint a district anti-bullying coordinator. N.J.S.A. 18A:37-21 requires each school to have a school safety team to address school climate issues such as HIB. N.J.S.A. 18A:37-29 requires each school district to observe a Week of Respect beginning with the first Monday in October of each year to recognize the importance of character education by providing age-appropriate instruction focusing on HIB prevention.

Dating Violence: N.J.S.A. 18A:35-4.3 (1979) calls for the Department of Education in consultation with an advisory committee to develop and establish guidelines for a sexual assault prevention education program that teaches sexual assault prevention techniques.  Standard 2.4 of the CCCS for Comprehensive Health and Physical Education Curriculum Framework (2009) requires students learn strategies that enhance respectful and healthy relationships and develop strategies to address domestic or dating violence and end unhealthy relationships.  N.J.S.A. 18A:35-4.23 (2003) allows local boards of education to include instruction on the problems of domestic violence and child abuse into the curriculum for elementary, middle, and high school students.

18A:37-33 (2012) requires school districts to provide dating violence education to students in order to prevent dating violence and address incidents involving dating violence.

Fighting/Gangs: Standard 2.1 of the CCCS for Comprehensive Health and Physical Education (2009) requires students to learn social and emotional health skills, including conflict resolution and prevention.  N.J.S.A. 18A: 35-4.26 (2006) requires each board of education to offer instruction in gang violence prevention and ways to avoid membership in gangs as a part of the Comprehensive Health and Physical Education (2009) curriculum.

Suicide and Other Self-Abuse Prevention: N.J.S.A.18A:6-112 (2011) requires that public school teaching staff members complete at least two hours of instruction in suicide prevention as part of the State Board of Education's professional development requirement, which must include information on the relationship between suicide and harassment, intimidation and bullying and reducing the suicide risk of students who are members of communities identified as having members at high-risk of suicide. In addition, Standard 2.1 of the CCCS for Comprehensive Health and Physical Education (2009) requires students learn social and emotional health skills, including strategies to deal with stress, rejection, and loss (which are factors leading to suicide). Additionally, mental health issues, such as depression, must be addressed by the end of grades 6, 8, and 12.

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Staff
Requirements for All Educators Regarding Health Education
     Last Updated: 1/13/2013

Professional Development: N.J.S.A. 18A:37-17b and c (2011) require each school district to provide training on the school district’s harassment, intimidation and bullying (HIB)) policies to full- and part-time school employees, volunteers who have significant contact with students and persons contracted by the district to provide services to students. The training must include instruction on preventing HIB on the basis of the protected categories enumerated in N.J.A.C. 18A:37-14. Information regarding the school district policy against HIB must be incorporated into each school’s employee training program and provided to full- and part-time school employees, volunteers who have significant contact with students and persons contracted by the district to provide services to students. N.J.S.A. 18A:37-22d requires each public school teacher to complete at least two hours of instruction on HIB as part of the State Board of Education’s professional development period.

N.J.S.A. 18A:12-33 (2011) requires harassment, intimidation and bullying (HIB) training for all school board members. N.J.S.A. 18A:26-8.2 requires HIB training for all school leaders. N.J.S.A. 18A:37-22 (2011) requires all teaching candidates seeking certification who have completed a teacher preparation program at a regionally-accredited institution of higher education and those seeking alternative certification to complete a program on HIB prevention. N.J.S.A. 18A:37-23 (2011) requires all candidates for administrative and supervisory certification to complete a program on HIB prevention. N.J.S.A. 18A:6-7.1 (2011) requires the crime of bias intimidation to be included in the criminal record check for all public school employment.
 

N.J.S.A. 18A:40A-15 (1989) and State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-3.1(a)4 require that each district board of education provide all educational staff members with in-service training in alcohol, tobacco, and other drug abuse prevention and intervention. The information must be updated annually.
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Requirements for Health Educators
     Last Updated: 12/18/2010

Pre-service Requirement: The minimum requirement for prospective health teachers in elementary grades prior to licensure is a bachelor's degree with liberal arts major or a pure science major. For prospective teachers in middle and high school, the state requires at least 30 coursework hours in health. The specific details of initial licensure are outlined in the Educator's Guide Certification in New Jersey (2004). Additionally, State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:9-9.2 (2004) allows a health education or health and physical education endorsement which both authorize the holder to teach health education in public schools. For an endorsement in health and physical education, State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:9-11.8 (2004) requires the candidate to fulfill a 30-credit sequence of courses and a minimum of 15 credits in health education.

Professional Development: Per State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:9-15.2 (2008), all teachers must complete at least 100 hours of continuing professional development for every five years of employment.

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Requirements for Physical Educators
     Last Updated: 12/18/2010

Pre-service Requirement: State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:9-9.2 (2004) allows a physical education or health and physical education endorsement which both authorize the holder to teach physical education in public schools.  For an endorsement in health and physical education, State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:9-11.8 (2004) requires the candidate to fulfill a 30-credit sequence of courses and a minimum of 15 credits in physical education.

Professional Development: Per State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:9-15.2 (2008), all teachers must complete at least 100 hours of continuing professional development for every five years of employment.

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Requirements for School Nurses
     Last Updated: 12/26/2011

Pre-service Requirement : N.J.S.A. 18A:40-3.3 (1999) states that a school district shall only employ persons holding an educational services certificate with an endorsement as a school nurse issued by the State Board of Examiners to provide nursing services in the public schools. It also states that such endorsements may only be issued to persons licensed as registered nurses. Additionally, State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:9-13.3 (2004) requires a candidate to hold a New Jersey registered professional nurse license, a bachelor's degree, current CPR and AED certificates, and complete a department-approved college curriculum or a program of studies outlined in the code for a school nurse endorsement that authorizes the holder to perform nursing services and to teach health-related areas in grades K-12. State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:9-13.4 (2004) possess the same requirements as stated in State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:9-13.3 except the requirement of an alternate program of studies for a school nurse/non-instructional endorsement. For licensure as a professional nurse, N.J.S.A. 45:11-26 (1966) requires the completion of a professional nursing course of study at an accredited school of professional nursing, the possession of a high school diploma, and the passing of a board approved examination.

School nurses may be employed as a substance awareness coordinator per State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:9-13.2 (2004).
 
Professional Development: Certified school nurses are considered teaching staff members and are thus required to fulfill 100 hours of professional development per State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:9 (2008).
 
Student-to-Nurse Ratio: There is no specific student-to-nurse ratio stipulated, but State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-2.3 requires there be at least one certified school nurse per district.
Requirements for Non-Certified Personnel to Administer Medication
     Last Updated: 10/11/2013

Pre-service Requirement: State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-2.1 requires each district board of education to develop and adopt written policies and procedures for the administration of medication to students and staff, which shall be developed in consultation with the school physician.

Professional Development: N.J.S.A. 18A:40-12.6 (2007) permits school employees, who have been trained by the nurse, to administer epinephrine in an emergency when the nurse is not present. It further requires the Department of Education, in consultation with the Department of Health and Senior Services to develop training protocols for the emergency administration of epinephrine, which are located at http://www.nj.gov/education/students/safety/health/allergies.pdf
 
N.J.S.A. 18A:40-12.14 (2009) permits school employees, who have been trained by the school nurse, to administer glucagon in an emergency when the nurse is not present. The legislation requires that designated employees shall only be authorized to administer glucagon, following training by the school nurse or other qualified health professional, when a school nurse is not physically present at the scene.
 
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Requirements for School Counselors
     Last Updated: 12/18/2010

Pre-service Requirement: School counselors are required to have a minimum of a master's degree from a regionally accredited college or university, and have either completed a department-approved graduate curriculum in school counseling or 48 credit hours in eight areas of study, described in detail in State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:9-13.8 (2004).

School counselors may be employed as a substance awareness coordinator per State Board of Education Code N.J.A.C. 6A:9-13.2.
 
Student-to-Counselor Ratio: None specified.
 
Professional Development: School counselors are considered teaching staff members and are thus required to fulfill 100 hours of professional development per State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:9.
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Requirements for School Social Workers
     Last Updated: 9/10/2009

Pre-service Requirement: School social workers are required to have a minimum of a master's degree from a regionally accredited college or university and have completed 30 credit hours in eight areas of study, described in detail in State Board of Education Administrative Code 6A:9-13.5 (2004).

School social workers may be employed as a substance awareness coordinator per State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:9-13.2.

Professional Development: None specified.

Student-to-Social Worker Ratio: No state policy. However, N.J.S.A. 6A:14-3.1 requires child study teams to include a school social worker.

Requirements for Food Service Personnel
     Last Updated: 7/14/2008

Pre-service Requirement: Requirements for food service personnel is handled by the NJ Department of Agriculture.

Professional Development: None specified.

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Requirements for Athletic Coaches
     Last Updated: 9/10/2009

Pre-service Requirement: State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:9-5.19 (2004) instructs school districts to permit any holder of a New Jersey teaching certificate to hold a position in the interscholastic athletic program so long as the position was advertised.  If no qualified and certified applicant is available, any person with a county substitute credential may serve as an athletic coach in the district in which he/she is employed.  The specific provisions are outlined in the code.

State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:9-5.18 (2004) states that persons assigned to coach swimming or diving teams shall hold a New Jersey instructional certificate that allows the holder to coach and shall meet the requirements as set forth in State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:9-11.12 (2004).  The chief school administrator of the employing district board of education shall annually notify the county superintendent of all persons assigned to coach swimming and/or diving teams and forward to the county superintendent copies of each valid American Red Cross or YMCA certificate required for every person assigned to coach swimming and/or diving.

Professional Development: None specified.

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Health Promoting Environment
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Wellness Policies
     Last Updated: 1/13/2013

Additional accountability requirements:  N.J.S.A. 18A:33-15 to 18 (2007) requires new school districts participating in any of the federally funded Child Nutrition Programs to submit their local policies to the state Department of Agriculture for a compliance check with the state's NJ School Nutrition/Wellness Policy (2005), which contains policy content requirements that go beyond Section 204. Schools that have already adopted the policy must annually certify as to its implementation in the school district.  Schools not participating in any of the federally funded Child Nutrition Programs are required to provide a signed certification that the nutrition standards within this policy are being followed.

Additional Content Requirements: Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 2:36-1.7 required districts to adopt a school nutrition policy by September 2006. By September 2007, districts had to comply with the NJ School Nutrition/Wellness Policy. Under this policy, foods defined by the USDA as having minimal nutritional value (FMNV), foods listing sugar in any form as the primary ingredient, and all forms of candy are banned from sale or free promotional distribution anywhere on school property during the school day.  This policy further applies to the federally reimbursable After School Snack Program.  Schools are also required to reduce the purchase of all products containing trans-fats.

Guidance materials: The state Department of Agriculture has produced a comprehensive Q&A document concerning all aspects of the required nutrition policy, including how it addresses federal Section 204 requirements. The Department also provides background concerning the adoption of the NJ School Nutrition/Wellness Policy and the rationale behind each component. A guidance and resource tool was developed to assist schools in implementation of the NJ Nutrition Policy, entitled “Wellness Rules in New Jersey Schools”.

The state Department of Agriculture has created a simple Wellness Policy Evaluation Tool for districts to use in assessing their success at meeting the goals of their wellness policy.

Other: None
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School Meals Program
     Last Updated: 8/5/2014

Food Services: N.J.S.A. 18A:33-3 (1986) allows local boards of education to install, equip, supply, and operate cafeterias or other agencies for dispensing food to pupils in public school not-for-profit. N.J.S.A. 18A:33-4 (1974) requires each school with 5% or more students eligible for free or reduced price meals to make available lunch for all school children enrolled in the School.  N.J.S.A. 18A:33-10 (2003) requires public schools with 20% or more students eligible for free or reduced price meals in the previous year to establish a School Breakfast Program.

Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 2:36-1.7 requires districts to adopt a school nutrition policy in compliance with the comply with the New Jersey School Nutrition/Wellness Policy. Under this policy, foods defined by the USDA as having minimal nutritional value (FMNV), foods listing sugar in any form as the primary ingredient, and all forms of candy are banned from sale or free promotional distribution anywhere on school property during the school day.  This policy further applies to the federally reimbursable After School Snack Program.  Schools are also required to reduce the purchase of all products containing trans-fats.

Adequate Time to Eat: The Model School Nutrition Policy recommends providing adequate time for student meal service and consumption. "Adequate" is defined as 20 minutes after the student is served.

School Breakfast: N.J.S.A 18A:33-10 (2003) requires any school that has 20 percent or more students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch to participate in the School Breakfast Program (SBP). One-year waivers may be granted by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture to schools that lack the staff, facilities, or equipment to offer the SBP.

Food Allergies: N.J.S.A 18A:40-12.6a (2007) requires the Department of Education, in consultation with the Department of Health and relevant experts to establish and disseminate to each local board of education and nonpublic schools guidelines for the development of policy guidelines for the management of food allergies in the school setting and the emergency administration of epinephrine to students for anaphylaxis.

Senate Resolution 111 (2003) urges school districts to provide education and information for students and staff on the severe dangers that are faced by children who are allergic to peanuts and urges all school districts to establish peanut-free areas in their cafeterias.

The Department of Education also provides guidance in Guidelines for the Management of Life-Threatening Food Allergies in Schools (2008).

Farm-to-School: No state policy.

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Competitive Foods in School
     Last Updated: 9/29/2014
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N.J.S.A. 18A: 33-16 (2007) prohibits the following items from being served, sold or given away anywhere on school property at any time before the end of the school day, including items served in the reimbursable After School Snack Program: (1) Foods of minimal nutritional value (FMNV) as defined as the USDA, (2) All food and beverage items listing sugar, in any form, as the first ingredient, (3) All forms of candy as defined by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture. Schools are required to reduce the purchase of any products containing trans fats beginning September 1, 2007.  In addition, by September 2007, all snack and beverage items, sold or served anywhere on school property during the school day (including items in a la carte lines, vending machines, snack bars, school stores, fundraisers and After School Snack Program) must meet the following standards:

  • No more than 8 grams of fat/serving (excluding nuts and seeds) and 2 grams of saturated fat/serving.
  • Beverages not to exceed a 12-ounce portion size (other than 2% or less milk or water), with whole milk not exceeding 8 ounces
  • Beverages in elementary schools limited to milk, water or 100% fruit or vegetable juices
  • In middle and high schools, at least 60% of beverages offered (other than milk or water) must be 100% fruit or vegetable juice
  • In middle and high schools, no more than 40% of all ice cream and frozen deserts shall be allowed to exceed sugar, fat and saturated fat standards.

The following exemptions to the policy apply:  (1) Foods and beverages served during special school celebrations or curriculum-related activities, with the exception of FMNV, (2) Medically authorized special needs diets, (3) School nurses using FMNV during the course of providing health care to individual students (4) Special needs students with IEPs that indicate a particular diet.

 

Fundraising Exemptions:

As of July 1, 2014, all fundraisers must meet USDA's Smart Snacks standards.

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Physical Activity Other Than Physical Education
     Last Updated: 12/21/2010

General Physical Activity Requirement: No state policy.

Recess or Physical Activity Breaks
: No state policy recommending or requiring recess.

Recess Before Lunch: The School Nutrition Policy recommends scheduling recess before lunch.whenever possible.

Walking/Biking to School: No state policy.

Organized Sports
     Last Updated: 9/20/2013

Interscholastic Sports:  NJAC 6A:16 requires a medical examination prior to participation on a school-sponsored interscholastic or intramural team or squad for students enrolled in grades 6-12.

Concussion or Sports-Related Head Injury: N.J.S.A. 18A: 40-41 through 18A: 40-41.3 requires the Department of Education to develop an interscholastic head injury safety training program. The program must include the following: (1) the recognition of the symptoms of head and neck injuries, concussions, and injuries related to second-impact syndrome; and (2) the appropriate amount of time to delay the return to sports competition or practice of a student-athlete who has sustained a concussion or other head injury. It also requires the Department of Education to develop an educational fact sheet about sports-related concussions and other head injuries, and requires public and non-public schools that participate in interscholastic sports to distribute the information annually to parents and guardians of student athletes, along with a signature acknowledging receipt. Furthermore, it requires each school district to develop a written policy concerning the prevention and treatment of sports-related concussions and other head injuries among student-athletes. To assist in this, the Commissioner of Education must develop a model policy applicable to grades K-12.

N.J.S.A. 18A: 40-41.4 (2010) requires removal of a student-athlete from competition or practice if he or she has sustained or is suspected to have sustained a concussion or other head injury. The student athlete may not participate in further sports activity until evaluated by a physician or licensed health care provider trained in the management and evaluation of concussions, and receives written clearance to return. N.J.S.A. 18A: 40-41.5 (2010) provides immunity from liability for school districts for the death or injury of a person due to the action or inaction of persons employed by or under contract with a youth sports team, provided there is an insurance policy of not less than $50,000 per person per incident, and a statement of compliance with the school district or nonpublic school's policies for the management of concussions and other head injuries.

Sports-Related Drug Testing: N.J.S.A. 18A: 40A-23 (2005) allows boards of education to adopt a policy for the random testing of the districts students in grades 9-12 who participate in extracurricular activities, including interscholastic athletics, or who possess parking permits for the use of controlled dangerous substances, including as defined in N.J.S.A. 2C:35-2 and 24:21-2 or alcoholic beverages, as defined in N.J.S.A. 33:1-1. The collection of specimens for alcohol or other drug testing is limited to the school physician, school nurse or a physician, laboratory, or health care facility designated by the board of education, with the cost being paid by the board, in a State-licensed collection station or clinical laboratory, in accordance with N.J.S.A. 45:9-42.26 et seq. and N.J.A.C. 8:44, 8:45 and 6A:16-4.4(c).

Executive Order 72 (2005) requires the Department of Education to work in conjunction with the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) to develop and implement a program of random testing for steroids of teams and individual students qualifying for championship games.  Under the NJSIAA policy, students are required to consent in writing to random testing before participating in interscholastic sports.  Tested athletes are to be selected from all athletes participating in championship competition.

Automated External Defribrillator:  HB 1608 (2012) requires each board of education and admninistrators of non-public schools to ensure that each public school has a defribrillator available in an unlocked location on school property with an identifying sign. It also requires a coach, athletic trainer or other designated staff member who is trained in cardio-pulmonary resucitation and the use of the defribrillator to be present during an athletic event or practice. It provides for immunity from civil liability for a school district and its employees. It requires a school board or administrator of a non-public school to establish an action plan for responding to a sudden cardiac arrest event.

Safe and Drug-Free Schools
     Last Updated: 1/22/2013

N.J.S.A. 18A:40A-10 and State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-3.1 (2006) require the establishment of a comprehensive program of alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse prevention, intervention, referral for evaluation, referral for treatment and continuity of care.

N.J.S.A. 18A:40A-10 and State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-3.1(a)5 and N.J.A.C. 6A:9-13.2 establish the requirements for the functions and the certification of student assistance coordinators. 
 
N.J.S.A. 18A:40A and State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-4 establishes the procedural requirements for alcohol and other drug abuse intervention, including policies and procedures, reporting and examination procedures for students suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or other drugs or steroids, and voluntary policies for the random testing of student alcohol or other drug use.
 
State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.1 (2006) requires each school district to develop and implement a code of student conduct that establishes standards, policies and procedures for positive student development and student behavioral expectations on school grounds, and, as appropriate and in accordance with State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.6, for conduct away from school grounds.

State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.2, 7.3 and 7.5 (2006) establish due process and educational requirements for short and long-term suspensions and expulsions. N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.6 establishes the parameters for imposing consequences for conduct away from school grounds.

State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.8 (2006) establishes standards regarding school district policies and procedures and school staff responses for unexcused absences, including truancy.

N.J.S.A. 18A:37-15 (2002) and State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.9 require each school district to adopt, post on its website and annually review and disseminate to parents a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation and bullying, which includes consequences and remedial actions for offenders. N.J.S.A. 18A:37-17 (2011) requires schools to establish bullying prevention programs and other initiative involving school staff, students, administrators, volunteers, parents, law enforcement and community members designed to create school-wide conditions for preventing and addressing HIB. N.J.S.A. 18A:37-20 requires each school to appoint a school anti-bullying specialist and each school district to appoint a district anti-bullying coordinator. N.J.S.A. 18A:37-21 requires each school to have a school safety team to address school climate issues such as HIB. N.J.S.A. 18A:37-29 requires each school district to observe a Week of Respect beginning with the first Monday in October of each year to recognize the importance of character education by providing age-appropriate instruction focusing on HIB prevention.

N.J.S.A. 18A:36-5.1 requires schools to observe School Violence Awareness Week during the week beginning with the third Monday in October of each year by organizing activities to prevent school violence including, but not limited to, age-appropriate opportunities for student discussion on conflict resolution, issues of student diversity, and tolerance.

State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-5 includes requirements regarding school safety and security plans, incident report of violence, vandalism and alcohol and other drug abuse, access to juvenile information, and removals of students for firearms offenses, assaults with weapons offenses and assaults on district board of education members or employees.

State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-6 includes requirements regarding law enforcement operations for alcohol, other drugs, weapons and safety, including the establishment of policies and procedures, a memorandum of agreement with law enforcement authorities, reporting students or staff members to law enforcement authorities, handling of alcohol or other drugs, firearms and other items, and the confidentiality of students or staff in alcohol or other drug intervention or treatment programs.

Fighting/Gangs
: State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-5.5, 5.6 and 5.7 (2006) requires each district board of education to adopt and implement policies addressing students who commit firearms offenses, assaults with weapons offenses and a non weapon-related or firearm-related assaults upon board of education members or employees. Students are to be immediately suspended from school.

Weapons
: N.J.S.A. 18A:37-8 (1995), known as the "Zero Tolerance for Guns Act," states that any pupil convicted or adjudicated for possession of a firearm or a crime while armed with a firearm or found knowingly in possession of a firearm on any school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored function shall be immediately removed from the school's regular education program for a period no less than one calendar year and placed in an alternative education program. N.J.A.C. 6A:16-5.5 (2006) requires each school district to adopt and implement policies and procedures regarding student offenses involving firearms, pursuant to the "Zero Tolerance for Guns Act."

N.J.S.A. 18A:37-2.2 (1995) and State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-5.6 (2006) state that any student who commits an assault with a weapon upon a teacher, administrator, board member, other employee of a school board, or another student on any school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored function shall be removed from the school's regular education program for not more than a calendar year, pending a hearing before the local board of education, and placed in an alternative education program.

State Board of Education Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-6 (2006) requires districts to adopt and implement policies and procedures that provide for the cooperation of law enforcement authorities with schools staff regarding matters involving substances, firearms and other deadly weapons.

Drugs and Alcohol:
N.J.S.A. 18A:40A-10 (1987) and State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-3.1 (2006) require the establishment of a comprehensive program of alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse prevention, intervention, referral for evaluation, referral for treatment and continuity of care.
 
N.J.S.A. 18A:40A-18 (1987) and State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-3.1(a)5 and N.J.A.C. 6A:9-13.2 establish the requirements for the functions and the certification of student assistance coordinators. (The title of substance awareness coordinator was changed to student assistance coordinator in N.J.S.A. 18A:40A in 2009.) 

N.J.S.A. 18A:40A-10 and 11 (1987) and State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-4 (2006) establish the procedural requirements for alcohol and other drug abuse intervention, including policies and procedures, reporting and examination procedures for students suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or other drugs or steroids, and voluntary policies for the random testing of student alcohol or other drug use.
N.J.S.A. 18A:40A-11 (1987) and State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-4.1 (2006) require school districts to adopt policies for the assessment, intervention, referral for evaluation, referral for treatment and discipline of students whose use of alcohol or other drugs has affected their school performance, or for students who consume or are suspected of being under the influence of substances in school or at school functions. This includes anabolic steroids.

State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-5.3 (2006) requires school employees who observe or have direct knowledge of an act of possession or distribution or being under the influence of alcohol or other drugs or an act of violence to file an incident report. N.J.S.A. 18A:40A-22 and State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-4.4 (2006) permit school districts to adopt policies and procedures for the random testing of students for the use of alcohol and controlled dangerous substances, including anabolic steroids, for students in grades 9-12 who participate in extra-curricular activities, including athletics or who possess parking permits.

Executive Order 72 (2005) requires the Department of Education to work in conjunction with the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) to develop and implement a program of random testing for steroids of teams and individual students qualifying for championship games. Under the NJSIAA policy, students are required to consent in writing to random testing before participating in interscholastic sports. Tested athletes are to be selected from all athletes participating in championship competition.

Collaboration with Law Enforcement: N.J.S.A. 18A:37-17 (2002) recommends schools and school districts adopt bullying prevention programs that include the involvement of law enforcement. State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-5.1 (2005) requires the chief school administrator to consult with law enforcement agencies and emergency management planners in the development of the district’s plans, procedures and mechanisms for school safety.

State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, and 6.5 (2001) require district boards of education to adopt and implement policies and procedures to ensure cooperation between school staff and law enforcement authorities in all matters relating to the unlawful possession, distribution and disposition of alcohol, drugs, and weapons and safety. Such policies are to include cooperation with the planning and conduct of law enforcement activities and operations occurring on school property, including arrest procedures and undercover school operations, and must be consistent with the policies and procedures established in State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-6 and with the format and content of the Uniform State Memorandum of Agreement Between Education and Law Enforcement Officials established by the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Education.
Bullying, Harassment and Hazing
     Last Updated: 1/22/2013

Bullying/Harassment: P.L.2010, c.122 (2011) defines harassment, intimidation and bullying and requires each school district to adopt a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying (HIB) on school property, at a school-sponsored function, on a school bus and off school grounds. The policy must define and prohibit harassment, intimidation and bullying; identify expectations for student behavior and consequences and remedial action for students committing HIB acts; describe procedures for reporting, notifying parents of alleged offenders and victims and investigating acts; address chief school administrator actions and reports to the board of education; identify parent rights to investigation findings and board hearings; and address board of education determinations on the chief school administrator’s report; and the range of ways schools will respond. Response plans must include an appropriate combination of counseling, support services, intervention services, and other programs. It must include a prohibition against and consequences and remedial action for a person who engages in reprisal or retaliation and for false accusation as a means of retaliation or HIB. It must include a statement of how the policy is to be publicized. It must require that a link to the policy be posted on the homepage of the district’s website, and a requirement that contact information for the school anti-bullying specialists and district anti-bullying coordinators be posted on district and school websites. The policy must be reviewed and reevaluated annually. In addition, a school administrator who receives a report of harassment, intimidation, or bullying from a district employee, and fails to initiate or conduct an investigation, or should have known of an incident and fails to take sufficient action to minimize or eliminate it, may be subject of disciplinary action.

N.J.S.A. 18A:37-15b (2011) requires all acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying to be reported verbally to the school principal on the same day when the school employee or contracted service provider witnessed or received reliable information regarding an incident. Acts must be reported by school personnel in writing within two school days of the verbal reports. The investigations must be initiated by the principal or their designee within one school day of the report, must be conducted by a school anti-bullying specialist, and must be completed within 10 days. The principal must inform parents of alleged offenders and victims. The results of the investigations must be reported to the superintendent of schools within two days of completion of the investigations, and reported to the board of education at the next board meeting. Parents or guardians of the students who are parties to the investigation are entitled to receive information about the investigation within 5 days after the report to the board. A parent may request a hearing before the board after receipt of the information. The hearing must be held within 10 days of the request. Whether or not the parents request a hearing, the board of education must issue a decision, in writing, to affirm, reject or modify the chief school administrator’s decision at the board meeting following its receipt of the chief school administrator’s report.  

N.J.S.A. 18A:37-20a requires each principal to appoint a school anti-bullying specialist. The responsibilities of the school anti-bullying specialist are identified in the statute.

N.J.S.A. 18A:37-20b requires each chief school administrator to appoint a district anti-bullying coordinator. The responsibilities of the district anti-bullying coordinator are identified in the statute.

N.J.S.A. 18A:37-21 requires school districts to form a school safety team in each school in the district. The purpose of the team is to develop, foster and maintain a positive school climate. The requirements for meeting, team functions and membership are included in the statute.
N.J.S.A. 18A:17:46 requires school employees observing or having direct knowledge from a participant or victim of an act of violence to file a report of the incident with the school principal in a manner prescribed by the Commissioner, and a copy must be forwarded to the chief school administrator (CSA). The CSA must report twice each school year (between September 1 and January 1 and between January 1 and June 30) to the board of education at a public meeting all acts of violence, vandalism, harassment, intimidation and bullying that occurred during the previous reporting period. The report must break data down the information identified in the statute by each school in the district, in addition to district-wide data. The report will be used to grade the school district in comparison with other schools in the district. The grades of each school must be posted on the homepage of the district's website. The Commissioner of Education is required to develop guidelines for a program to grade each school assessing its effort to implement policies and programs consistent with P.L.2002, c.122. The grade received by each school and school district must be posted on the district’s websites.

N.J.S.A. 18A:37-17a requires school districts to annually establish, implement, document and assess HIB prevention programs, approaches or other initiatives involving school staff, students, administrators, volunteers, parents, law enforcement and community members designed to create school-wide conditions to prevent and address HIB. N.J.S.A. 18A:37-29 requires school districts to observe a Week of Respect during the week beginning with the first Monday in October of each year to recognize the importance of character education. N.J.S.A. 18A:37-29 also requires age-appropriate instruction on HIB prevention throughout the school year. N.J.S.A. 18A:40A-17(b) requires training on the HIB policy to be provided to full- and part-time employees, volunteers who have significant contact with students and persons contracted to provide services to students. N.J.S.A. 18A:40A-17(c) requires information regarding the bullying policies to be  incorporated into a school's employee training program and provided to full- and part-time employees, volunteers who have significant contact with students and persons contracted to provide services to students. N.J.S.A. 18A:37-17(b) requires districts to develop a process for discussing the districts bullying and harassment policies with students. N.J.A.C. 18A:12-33 requires newly elected or appointed school board members to complete a training program on harassment, intimidation, and bullying in schools, including a school district's responsibilities. Board members are required to complete the program only once. N.J.S.A. 18A:26-8.2 requires school leaders (chief school administrator, principal, or supervisor endorsement) to complete training on issues of school ethics, school law and governance, which also must include information on the prevention of harassment, intimidation and bullying. N.J.S.A. 18A:37-22 requires all candidates for teaching certification and any person seeking certification through the alternate route to complete a program on HIB prevention. N.J.S.A. 18A:37-23 requires all candidates for administrative and supervisory certification to complete a program of HIB prevention. N.J.S.A. 18A:6-112 requires the two-hours of suicide instruction required in each professional development period to include information on HIB. N.J.S.A. 18A:37-22d requires school teachers to complete at least two hours of instruction on HIB prevention in each professional development period.

N.J.S.A. 18A:37-24 (2011) requires the Department of Education to develop a guidance document to assist in resolving complaints concerning student harassment, intimidation or bullying. The requirements of the guidance document are outlined in the statute. N.J.S.A. 18A:37-25 requires the Commissioner of Education to establish a formal protocol for the office of the executive county superintendent to investigate complaints that document allegations of violations of P.L.2010, c.122 and order corrective actions, as appropriate. N.J.S.A. 18A:37-27 requires the Department to develop an online tutorial on harassment, intimidation and bullying. N.J.S.A. 18A:37-28 requires the department to establish a "Bullying Prevention Fund" that will be used to provide grants to districts for harassment, intimidation and bullying prevention training. It designates the first week of October as a "Week of Respect." N.J.S.A. 18A:6-7.1 requires the crime of bias intimidation to be included in the criminal record check for public school employment.

N.J.A.C. 18A: 37-33 (2012) requires each school district to have a policy to prevent, and for responding to, incidents of dating violence.

In L.W. v. Toms River Regional Schools Board of Education (2007) the Supreme Court of New Jersey determined that a school district may be held liable under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) (N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 to -49) when students harass another student because of their perceived sexual orientation. The opinion states "When assessing a school district’s liability, the fact finder must determine whether the district, with actual or constructive knowledge of the maltreatment, took actions reasonably calculated to end the harassment."

Cyberbullying: N.J.S.A. 18A:37-14 requires "electronic communication" to be included in a school district's policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying. It defines "electronic communication" as a communication transmitted by means of an electronic device, including, but not limited to, a telephone, cellular phone, computer, or pager.

Hazing: As described in the required Memorandum of Agreement Between Education and Law Enforcement Officials (MOA), pursuant to State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-6.2(b)13, hazing may be considered to be bullying. Common bullying offenses include assault, harassment, threats, robbery, and sexual offenses. The MOA establishes that the school district must report to law enforcement officials any hazing incident that involves a criminal offense, and reminds school officials that hazing which involves the participation of a coach or a teacher may constitute child abuse in some circumstances.
Hazing is a separate offense under N.J.S.A. 2C:40-3. Hazing is a disorderly persons offense when the conduct, other than competitive athletic events, may place another person in danger of bodily injury. When serious bodily injury results, the offense is aggravated hazing, which is a crime of the fourth degree. The consent of the person hazed is not a defense. N.J.S.A. 2C:40-4. Any other criminal conduct under the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice also may be charged. N.J.S.A. 2C:40-5.
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Crisis Management/Emergency Response
     Last Updated: 1/22/2013

Reporting Incidents of Violence: N.J.S.A. 18A:17-46 (2001) and State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A: 16-5.3 require all school employees observing or having direct knowledge from a participant or victim of an act of violence to file a report describing the incident to the school principal, and a copy of the report must be submitted to the chief school administrator, who is required to submit a report to the Commissioner of each incident of violence, vandalism and alcohol and other drug abuse, utilizing the Electronic Violence and Vandalism Reporting System. The information to be included in the report is identified in the statute. N.J.S.A. 18A:37-15 (2002) requires all school districts to adopt a policy for reporting incidents of harassment, intimidation, or bullying. State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-5.3 requires the incident report to be on a form adopted for such purposes by the district board of education; however, the form must include all of the incident detail and offender and victim information reported on the State's Electronic Violence and Vandalism Reporting System. State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-6 and the required Memorandum of Agreement Between Education and Law Enforcement Officials require all criminal acts to be reported to law enforcement officials.

Response and Management Plans: State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-5.1 (2005) requires each district board of education to develop and implement comprehensive plans, procedures, and mechanisms that provide for safety in the schools of the district.  N.J.A.C. 18A:41-6 requires schools to hold a fire drill within 15 days of the beginning of the school year, as well as two active shooter, non-fire evacuation, bomb threat and lockdown drills, respectively. Schools may also hold shelter-in-place drills, reverse evacuation, evacuation to a relocation site, testing of school’s notification system and procedures as well as other emergency preparedness exercises beyond the specific drills required by the law.

Tobacco Use
     Last Updated: 1/22/2013

P.L.2009, c.182, P.L.2005, c.383, N.J.A.C. 13:28-6.14 and N.J.A.C. 8:6 prohibit any person from smoking or carrying lighted tobacco at any time on school grounds or on school buses or other vehicles owned or contracted by a board of education. State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-1.3 defines “school grounds” to include land, portions of land, structures, buildings, and vehicles, when used for the provision of academic or extracurricular programs sponsored by the school district or community provider and structures that support these buildings and other facilities, playgrounds, and recreational places owned by local municipalities, private entities or other individuals during those times when the school district has exclusive use of a portion of such land. N.J.S.A. 26:3D-61 (2005) requires the person having control of an indoor public place or workplace to place a clearly visible sign at the entrance indicating that smoking is prohibited therein. State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 12:100-13.4 (1997) also require the administrator of each school building to post signs indicating that smoking is prohibited except in designated areas.

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Air Quality
     Last Updated: 7/28/2009

N.J.A.C. 12:100-13.3 (1997) requires employers (which includes school districts according to N.J.S.A. 34:13A-3) to designate a person who is responsible for maintaining the HVAC system, implementing general or local exhaust ventilation in areas with potential chemical or particulate exposure, and assure that buildings without mechanical ventilation are maintained. N.J.S.A. 34:5A-10.2 (1997) also prohibits the use of hazardous substance in or on any public school building or grounds when children are expected to be present.

N.J.A.C. 12:100-13.5 (1997) requires employers to safeguard buildings that are occupied during renovation and construction work from the diffusion of dust, small particles, toxic gases and other harmful substances. The code further requires employers to check product labels of paints, adhesives, sealants, solvents, and other material to determine whether they contain volatile organic compounds and also requires at least 24 hours notification to be given to employees before work is performed on the building.

N.J.S.A. 52:27D-130.5 (2007) prohibits the issuance of a permit for reconstruction, alteration, conversion, or repair of any building or structure used for educational purposes if that structure was previously used for industrial, storage or high hazard purposes, a nail salon, dry cleaning facility, gasoline station, or is on a contaminated site or one suspected to be contaminated.  Certain exceptions to this rule are outlined in N.J.S.A. 52:27D-130.5 (2007). 

Pesticide Use
     Last Updated: 7/28/2009

N.J.S.A. 13:1F-22b (2002) requires the superintendent of the school district to adopt and implement a school integrated pest management (IPM) policy for the school property consistent with the Pesticide Control Act of 1971. N.J.S.A. 13:1F-23 (2002) requires each local board or school district to designate an IPM coordinator to carry out the school IPM policy. N.J.S.A. 13:1F-25 (2002) requires a local school board or principal to provide notification at least 72 hours before the application of pesticides to the parent or guardian of each student enrolled at each school and the staff members of the school. N.J.S.A. 13:1F-26 (2002) further requires the local school board to post a sign that provides notice of pesticide application in a prominent place in or adjacent to the location to be treated and at each entrance to the building or school ground to be treated.

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Playground/Facility Safety
     Last Updated: 9/16/2009

Playground Safety: State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.AC. 6A:26-6.3(e) provides that all construction or alterations of playgrounds, playground equipment and surfacing must comply with the playground safety subcode of the Uniform Construction Code (UCC) at N.J.A.C.5:23-11, and with N.J.A.C. 5:23-7, the barrier free subcode of the UCC.

Facility Safety: State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:26-6.3 provides that school construction shall be done in accordance with the UCC, except enhancements are required pursuant to that section in the following areas: general design and construction, entrances and exits, environment, safety, electrical power and communications, lighting, and plumbing.  State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:26-6.4 provides all additional requirements that pertain to the design and construction of school facilities housing preschool students.

Shared Use Agreements
     Last Updated: 4/14/2013

Code 18A: 4-12 (1967) authorizes a municipality to use lands when not required for school or state purposes as playgrounds or recreation centers for the children of the municipality, and the municipality is liable for any damage done to property. Code 18A: 20-34 (1967) authorizes local boards of education to permit the use of any schoolhouse and rooms therein, and the grounds and other property of the district, when not in use for school purposes, for the holding of social, civic, and recreational meetings and entertainments and other purposes approved by the board.

Code 18A: 20-22 (1967) authorizes local boards of education to join with the governing body of any municipality, or the board of chosen freeholders of the county in which the district is located, in acquiring, improving, equipping, operating and maintaining playgrounds, playfields, gymnasiums, swimming pools, and indoor recreation centers, and may appropriate money and pay over to that body or board money for any of such joint purposes.

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Student Services
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Screening for Health Conditions
     Last Updated: 1/22/2013

Vision and Hearing: N.J.S.A. 18A:40-4 requires a screening of hearing examination to be conducted on each pupil during the school year. State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-2.2(k) requires biennial screening for visual acuity in kindergarten through grade 10. 

Chronic Health Conditions: New Jersey does not require schools or districts to identify students with asthma. However, N.J.S.A. 18A:40-4 (1997) requires that the medical inspector, the nurse or a licensed medical and health care personnel, under the immediate direction of the medical inspector, examine each pupil in order to identify whether any physical defects exists, or in lieu thereof the medical inspector may accept the report of such an examination by a physician licensed to practice medicine and surgery within the state or by a nurse practitioner/clinical nurse specialist certified by the New Jersey Board of Nursing working in collaboration with a physician licensed to practice medicine and surgery within the state. State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-2.2 (2001) also requires students to receive a medical examination upon school entry, at least one time during each "developmental stage" (early childhood, pre-adolescence, and adolescence) and prior to participation on a school-sponsoredinterscholastic or intramural athletic team or squad for students enrolled in any of grades six to 12.

Body Mass Index (BMI) Screening: No state policy however. State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-2.2(k) requires annual height and weight screenings for each student in kindergarten through grade 12.

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Administration of Medications
     Last Updated: 10/14/2013

Staff Administration N.J.S.A. 18A:40-1 requires each district board of education to appoint a school physician and at least one certified school nurse to provide nursing services while school is in session. 

State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-1.4 (2001) states that each district board of education shall approve written policies and programs governing school functions, which includes the administration of medications to students under a physician's order and emergency administration of epinephrine to a student for anaphylaxis.  It further requires each district board of education to develop and adopt written administration of medication policies and procedures in consultation with a school physician.  New Jersey Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-2.1(a) 2 authorizes only the school physician, a certified or non-certified school nurse, a substitute school nurse, the student's parent or guardian, and the student (if approved to self-administer) to administer medication. 

Self-Administration of Asthma Medication: N.J.S.A. 18A:40-12.3 (2007) permits the self-administration of medication for asthma. The parents or guardians must provide written authorization for self-administration of medication, written certification from a physician that the pupil has asthma, written certification of the student's ability to self-administer, and a signed statement exempting the district from liability resulting from injury from self-administration.  N.J.S.A. 18A:40-12.3 (2007) permits a pupil who self-administers medication to carry an inhaler at all times, provided that the pupil does not endanger himself or other persons through misuse.

Self-Administration of Anaphylaxis Medication: N.J.S.A. 18A:40-12.3 (2007) permits the self-administration of medication for a life-threatening allergic reaction.  The parents or guardians must provide written authorization for self-administration of medication, written certification from a physician that the pupil has a potentially life-threatening illness or is subject to a life-threatening allergic reaction, written certification of the student's ability to self-administer, and a signed statement exempting the district from liability resulting from injury from self-administration.  N.J.S.A. 18A:40-12.3 (2007) permits a pupil who self-administers medication to carry a pre-filled auto-injector mechanism at all times, provided that the pupil does not endanger himself or other persons through misuse.

N.J.S.A. 18A:40-12.5 (2007) requires each board of education or chief administrator to develop a policy for the emergency administration of epinephrine via a pre-filled auto-injector mechanism to a pupil for anaphylaxis.  The policy must require the placement of a pupil’s prescribed epinephrine in a secure but unlocked location easily accessible by the school nurse and designees, the school nurse or designee to be promptly available on site at the school and school-sponsored functions in the event of an allergic reaction, and the transportation of the pupil to a hospital emergency room by emergency services personnel after the administration of epinephrine.

N.J.S.A. 18A:40-12.5 (2007) requires each local board or chief administrator to inform parents or guardians in writing that if the administration of epinephrine procedures are followed, the district and its employees shall have no liability as a result of any injury arising from the administration of the epinephrine to the student. The parents or guardians are then required to sign a statement acknowledging their understanding of this statute.

N.J.S.A. 18A:40-12.6 (2007) acknowledges that the school nurse shall have the primary responsibility for the administration of the epinephrine; however, the school nurse shall designate, in consultation with the board of education, or chief school administrator of a nonpublic school, additional employees of the school district or nonpublic school who volunteer to administer epinephrine via a pre-filled auto-injector to a pupil for anaphylaxis when the nurse is not physically present at the scene.

N.J.S.A. 18A:40-12.6c (2007) requires the Departments of Health and Education to develop training protocols for volunteer designees to administer epinephrine in public and non-public schools when the school nurse is not physically present at the scene. 

N.J.S.A. 18A:40-12.7 (1997) each public and nonpublic school shall have and maintain for the use of pupils at least one nebulizer in the office of the school nurse or similar accessible location.  In N.J.S.A. 18A:40-12.8 (2001) the state further requires the State Board of Education, in Consultation with the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, to adopt regulations requiring each public school board of education to develop policies for the administration of asthma medication through the use of a nebulizer by the school nurse or other person authorized by regulation and require an asthma treatment plan for pupils authorized to use asthma medication.

N.J.S.A. 18A: 40-12.11 (2009) requires that each public school address the management of diabetes in the school setting and establishes that the school nurse is the appropriate personnel to provide care for a student with diabetes, to coordinate the care and educate school staff in the monitoring and treatment of symptoms, develop an individualized health care plan and an emergency health care plan, and consult and coordinate with the student’s parents or guardians and health care provider to establish a safe, therapeutic environment. Management of students with diabetes in the school setting can be accessed at http://www.state.nj.us/education/edsupport/diabetes

N.J.S.A. 18A:40-12.14 (2009) acknowledges the school nurse shall have the primary responsibility for the emergency administration of glucagon to a student with diabetes who is experiencing severe hypoglycemia and also requires the school nurse, in consultation with the board of education, to designate additional employees of the school district who volunteer to administer glucagon when the school nurse is not physically present at the scene. N.J.S. A. 18A: 40-14 further requires that the school nurse or other qualified health care professional train the designated volunteers to be able to administer glucagon. 

The state department of education offers a "Frequently Asked Questions" fact sheet on administration of medication at school.

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Counseling and Mental Health Services
     Last Updated: 1/22/2013

Requirement to Provide Services: State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:14-3.9 (no date available) requires counseling services be provided by an appropriately certified and/or licensed professional to a student with a disability when required for the student to benefit from the educational program.

Intervention and Referral Services: State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-8 requires school districts to establish and implement a coordinated system in each school building in which general education students are served for the planning ad delivery of intervention and referral services that are designed to assist students who are experiencing learning, behavior or health difficulties and to assist staff who have difficulties addressing students’ learning, behavior or health needs. Districts must choose a multidisciplinary team approach for planning and delivering these services.

Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying: N.J.S.A. 18A:37-15b(6)(7) requires school district’s harassment, intimidation and bullying policies to include the range of ways in which a school will respond to identified HIB incidents that must include an appropriate combination of counseling, support services, intervention services and other programs. N.J.S.A. 18A:37-15b(5) permits the principal to discuss with parents of alleged offenders or victims of HIB, as appropriate, the availability of counseling and other intervention services.

Identification of Students with Mental or Emotional Disorders: State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:14-3.9 (no date available) requires school districts to provide students with disabilities, including emotionally disturbed students, counseling services.  Counseling is to be done by district personnel is to be done by certified school psychologists, social workers, or guidance counselors.  N.J.S.A. 18A:46-11 (1967) require each local board of education to employ a psychological examiner to work jointly with special education personnel in carrying out procedures of diagnosing and classifying psychological or other service needs.

Substance Abuse: N.J.S.A. 18A:40A-10 and 11 and State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-4 require school districts to adopt a substance abuse referral and intervention process. State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-3.1 (2001) requires each district board of education to establish a comprehensive program of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug prevention, intervention, referral for evaluation, referral for treatment and continuity of care. N.J.S.A. 18A:40A-18 and State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-3.1(a)5 establishes the mandated functions and State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:9-13.2 establishes the certification requirements for substance awareness coordinators (SACs), should the district choose to employ the services of a SAC. (The title of substance awareness coordinator was changed to student assistance coordinator in N.J.S.A. 18A:40A in 2009.)

HIV, STD, and Pregnancy Testing and Counseling: N.J.S.A. 18A:6-112 (2005) requires that public school teaching staff members complete at least two hours of instruction in suicide prevention as part of the State Board's professional development requirement.

State guidance for delivery of school based student intervention and referral services, which are required by State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7 (no date available) include recommendations for recognizing and addressing student learning and health programs related to sexual health.

New Jersey does not otherwise require or prohibit schools or districts to provide voluntary HIV, STD, or pregnancy testing or counseling services to students.  Teachers or counselors are not prohibited from discussing any topics with students.

Immunity of Liability: No state policy.

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Immunization
     Last Updated: 1/23/2013

Detailed, current information about immunization requirements by state is maintained by the National Network for Immunization Information.  Select your state from the drop down box under "Search for State Vaccine Requirements for School Entry.”  In addition to the immunization requirements listed, recent rules passed by the Public Health Council in 2007 require children attending childcare centers and preschools to receive annual influenza vaccinations and a pneumococcal vaccine beginning in 2008.  In addition, children enrolled in sixth grade or transferring into a New Jersey school from another state or country will be required to receive a booster dose of the diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine as well as one dose of meningococcal vaccine. 

N.J.A.C. 6A:16-2.1 (a)1 requires each district board of education to develop and adopt written policies, procedures and mechanisms for the provision of health, safety and medical emergency services, including the annual review of immunization records for completeness pursuant to N.J.S.A. 8:57-4.1 through 4.20

Exemptions:  N.J.A.C. 8:57 –4.3 allows for exemptions to immunizations.  Objections to vaccination based on grounds which are not medical or religious in nature and which are of a philosophical, moral, secular, or more general nature are unacceptable.

Religious Exemptions:
N.J.S.A. 26:1A-9-1 provides an exemption for pupils from mandatory immunization "if the parent or guardian of the pupil objects thereto in a written statement signed by the parent or guardian upon the ground that the proposed immunization interferes with the free exercise of the pupil's religious rights.”  This exemption may be suspended by the State Commissioner of Health during the existence of an emergency as determined by the State Commissioner of Health.

All schools, childcare centers, and local health officers may be advised that the religious exemption extends to private, parochial, and public institutions.  Those children with religious exemptions may be excluded from school during a vaccine-preventable disease outbreak. 
 
Medical Exemptions: N.J.A.C. 8:57 – 4.3 allows for exemptions to immunizations which are medically contraindicated. A written statement shall be submitted to the school, preschool, or child care center from a physician licensed to practice medicine or osteopathy or an advanced practice nurse (certified registered nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist) indicating that an immunization is medically contraindicated for a specific period of time, and the reason(s) for the medical contraindication, based upon valid medical reasons as enumerated by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) or the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines.

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Accommodation
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Staff with HIV
     Last Updated: 9/16/2009

N.J.S.A. 10:5-5(q) (1996) and 10:5-29.1 (1984) statutes against discrimination include HIV infection and AIDS under the definition of "handicapped" for protection from discrimination in employment. State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A-7 et seq. requires that school districts provide equality in employment and contract practices, regardless of disability among other factors.

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Students with HIV
     Last Updated: 12/26/2011

Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-1.4 (2007) requires that each local district board of education shall approve written policies and programs on a number of topics, including "Assurance that any student with HIV infection or AIDS or who lives with or is related to someone with HIV or AIDS is not excluded from general education, transportation services, extra-curricular activities, athletic activities, assigned to home instruction 

Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 8:61-2.1 (2004) prohibits schools from excluding a student from instruction or school services due to HIV infection.

Pregnant or Parenting Students
     Last Updated: 9/16/2009

State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:7-1.7(a)6 (2008) requires school districts to assure equity by, among other requirements, “Ensuring that a student is not discriminated against because of a medical condition.  A student shall not be excluded from any education program or activity because of a long-term medical condition unless a physician certifies that such exclusion is necessary.

If excluded, the student shall be provided with equivalent and timely instruction that may include home instruction, without prejudice or penalty.”  New Jersey does not have a state law or administrative rule that specifically addresses attendance for pregnant or parenting students, nor does the state require districts to offer alternative programs for such students.  The state also does not have any laws prohibiting teachers or counselors from discussing any specific topics with students.

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Individual Health Plan for Students
     Last Updated: 1/23/2013

N.J.S.A. 18A:40-12.8 requires that an asthma treatment plan prepared by each pupil's physician for all pupils authorized to use asthma medication or a nebulizer.  Both N.J.S.A. 18A:40-4 (1997) and State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-2.4 also require a health record to be kept for each pupil.  State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-2.3(b) requires the certified school nurse to write and update at least annually, the individualized health care plan and the individualized emergency healthcare plan for students’ medical needs and instructing staff as appropriate;.

N.J.S.A. 18A:40-12.12 requires the school nurse to develop an Individualized Health Care Plan for a student with diabetes, in consultation with the parent or guardian of the student with diabetes and other appropriate medical professionals, which is consistent with the recommendations of the student’s health care providers and which sets out the health services needed by the student at school and is signed by the parent or guardian and the school nurse; and an Individualized Emergency Health Care Plan  which outlines a set of procedural guidelines that provide specific directions about what to do in a particular emergency situation and is signed by the parent or guardian and the school nurse.
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Coordination/ Implementation
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Coordinating or Advisory Councils
     Last Updated: 12/26/2011

State-level: N.J.S.A. 18A:35-4.4 (1979) requires the commissioner of education along with the Department of Community Affairs, Division on Women, to appoint an advisory council to assist and advise the state board of education in developing and implementing an educational program for the prevention of sexual assault.

Chapter 303 (2004) establishes the New Jersey Obesity Task Force to study and evaluate, and draw up recommendations relating to obesity prevention among New Jersey residents, with specific attention to children and adolescents.

 

Local-level: No state policy.

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School Health Program Coordinators
     Last Updated: 9/16/2009

State-level: No state policy.

Local-level: Schools may employ a substance awareness coordinator. This requires a minimum of a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education as well as a valid New Jersey or out-of-State standard certificate as school psychologist, school social worker, school counselor, director of school counseling services, or school nurse and evidence of graduate study in specific areas. Further requirements are outlined in State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:9-13.2.

Confidentiality
     Last Updated: 12/26/2011

Student Health-Related Records: State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-1.4 requires that each local district board of education shall approve written policies and programs on a number of topics including student health records.  42 CFR Part 2, N.J.S.A. 18A:40A-7.1 and 7.2 and State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-3.2 establish or cite standards for the protection of student substance abuse information.  State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:32 (no date available) places the responsibility of maintaining the security of pupil records with limited access onto the chief school administrator.  N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.10 (2005) establishes rules for the transfer of disciplinary records and identifies all federal and state requirements pertaining to student records and cites all applicable student records and confidentiality requirements.

N.J.S.A. 26:5C-7 establishes standards for confidentiality and disclosure of records with HIV identifying information.  State Board of Education Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-1.4 requires that school districts meet these standards.  State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 8:61-2.1 requires that schools meet these standards.

Student Health-Related Services: N.J.S.A. 6A:16-1.5 (2001) requires district board of education employees with knowledge or access to information about students with HIV or AIDS to comply with restrictions for sharing said information as required by Federal and State statutes and regulations.  If the student is 12 or older, HIV and/or AIDS information may only be shared with prior written consent of the student, parent, or guardian, and only for the purposes of determining an appropriate educational program for said student.

Limitations on Student Surveys
     Last Updated: 7/28/2009

N.J.S.A. 18A:36-34 (2001) requires that certain school surveys that ask questions concerning certain matters (including sexual and illegal behaviors) provide at least a two-week prior parental notification, provision for parental review of the instrument on request, and documented active parental permission.

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