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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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New Jersey Launches Resources to Help Schools Teach Climate Change Across K-12 Classrooms

Flooding on Park Boulevard

By Press Release

TRENTON – The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) announced that it has made available extensive online resources that school districts and educators can use to incorporate climate change education across K-12 classrooms beginning in the 2022-2023 school year.
According to a governor’s office release, in June 2020, First Lady Tammy Murphy announced that the New Jersey State Board of Education adopted her initiative to make New Jersey the first state in the nation to incorporate climate change across its revised state K-12 learning standards. The NJDOE establishes the New Jersey Student Learning Standards (NJSLS), which determine what schools are required to teach in nine content areas across each grade level.
With the adoption of the 2020 NJSLS, climate change education will be incorporated across seven content areas—21st Century Life and Careers, Comprehensive Health and Physical Education, Science, Social Studies, Technology, Visual and Performing Arts, and World Languages. The two remaining content areas, mathematics and English language arts, have not yet been eligible for review under the Murphy administration given the five-year review cycle. 
The resources announced Oct. 7 will help educators meet the new climate change requirements so they can prepare students to understand how and why climate change occurs, the impact it has on our local and global communities, and to respond to climate change with informed and sustainable solutions. 
“For a long time, many viewed climate change as an abstract problem, but here, in New Jersey, we are already experiencing its devastating effects, including extreme flooding from recent storms,” stated Murphy. “This generation of students will feel the impact of climate change more than any other, and beginning in the 2022-2023 school year, our students will be the first and only in the nation to have climate change education incorporated at every grade level. By providing these resources to our educators, we are, in turn, equipping the leaders of tomorrow with the critical tools they will need to face the real-life challenges of climate change.”
“New Jersey’s groundbreaking academic standards, and the accompanying resources that we are releasing today, will give educators, parents, and other stakeholders greater tools and information on the impacts of climate change,” stated Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan, acting commissioner of Education. “Students throughout New Jersey will enhance their understanding of how climate change poses a threat to our environment, and actions necessary to mitigate the threat.”
The NJDOE’s Climate Change webpage provides resources such as: 

  • Instructional resources – such as webinars, instructional strategies, literature, and standards-based lessons – by grade level and by subject
  • Links, videos, highlights and news stories to innovative lessons on climate change occurring in New Jersey schools
  • Activities and projects for students in and out of the classroom
  • Opportunities for students to take part in community engagement
  • A link to the first lady’s climate change webpage
  • A portal for educators and other stakeholders to share their stories, feedback and resources

Educators and other members of the public can obtain more information from the NJDOE’s Climate Change Education Resources website.

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