TEACHNJ Act & School Improvement Panel (ScIP)

What is the TEACHNJ Act?

Source: AchieveNJ.org website

The TEACHNJ Act was signed into law by Governor Christie on August 6, 2012. The goal of the law is to “raise student achievement by improving instruction through the adoption of evaluations that provide specific feedback to educators, inform the provision of aligned professional development, and inform personnel decisions.”

TEACHNJ reforms the processes of earning and maintaining tenure by improving evaluations and opportunities for professional growth. It defines new requirements for educator evaluation systems, professional growth plans, and tenure decisions.

  • For all “teaching staff” members, the new evaluation rubrics must include four annual rating categories: Highly Effective, Effective, Partially Effective, and Ineffective. The law mandates implementation of new evaluation systems starting in the 2013-2014 school year. Additionally, evaluations are now all tied to multiple measures of student achievement and educator practice; multiple observations are required for all teaching staff members; and improved training and ongoing calibration & monitoring of observations to ensure correct implementation are changes included in the new law.
  • Educator feedback for professional growth and development is more individualized and focused on student learning needs.
  • Tenure decisions are now based on multiple measures of student achievement and teacher practice as measured by new evaluation procedures. For staff board-approved after 8/6/12, there is now a 4-year timeline for tenure acquisition; as well, tenure acquisition is now linked to evaluation rating. As an example, earning 2 ineffective ratings on the annual summative evaluation triggers tenure revocation charges.

TEACHNJ applies to “teaching staff” who currently work in NJ public schools. “Teaching staff” as defined by the law includes individuals in positions of:

  • Teacher
  • Principal
  • Assistant Principal/Vice Principal
  • Assistant superintendent
  • All school nurses
  • School athletic trainers
  • Other employees required to hold appropriate certificates issued by the board of examiners (Supervisors, Directors, Counselors, CST members, etc…)
What is The School Improvement Panel (ScIP)

Source: AchieveNJ.org website

Based upon the provisions of TEACHNJ Act and AchieveNJ, every school must establish a School Improvement Panel (ScIP). The role of the ScIP is to ensure, oversee, and support the implementation of the district’s evaluation, professional development (PD), and mentoring policies at the school level. The ScIP also ensures that teachers have a strong voice and significant opportunity to help shape evaluation procedures within each school.

Each ScIP must include the school principal, an assistant/vice principal or a designee if the school does not have one, and a teacher. As of SY15-16, teachers serving on ScIPs must have earned a rating of Effective or Highly Effective in the most recent evaluation. Until then, the teacher must meet local standards for having “a demonstrated record of success in the classroom.” The principal has final responsibility for ScIP membership but must consult with local association representative in determining a suitable teacher to participate. More staff members may be added to the ScIP, provided that teachers represent at least one-third of the total membership.

Members of our ScIP for the 2021-2022 school year include:

Whiton Elementary School

Stony Brook School


Kelly Boyle
Chris Derflinger
Lauren Hall
Danielle Puzzo
Danielle Shober
Chelsea Smith

Kathy Grant-Bontomase
Stephanie Formus
Robert Katz
Kristen Kries
Diane Litts
Nina Manger
Carrie Santoro

Matthew Barbosa
Marie Cinque
Wendy Michels
Danielle Puglisi
Beth Stanton
Suzanne Updegrove


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