The Elementary and Secondary Education Act is our country's most important education law. In December 2015 this law was revised and is now called the Every Student Succeeds Act. Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was designed to make changes in teaching and learning that will help our students achieve more in school.
The law requires that all schools receiving federal funds must inform parents of their right to ask schools about the qualifications of their childs teachers. Our school receives federal funding and we are happy to share this information with you.
We believe that nothing is more important to your childs education at school than having a well-prepared and highly qualified teacher. The law requires that all teachers must meet a specific legal definition of highly qualified in order to teach in schools that receive federal funding. The legal definition of a Highly Qualified Teacher has three parts. It states that the teacher must have the following:
1. A four-year college degree
2. A regular teaching certificate/license; and
3. Proof of their knowledge in the subject they teach
New Jersey has some of the most qualified teachers in the country, and we are extremely proud of the quality of the teaching staff in the Voorhees School District. All of our regular teachers have college degrees and many have advanced degrees. The state of New Jersey has always required a teaching certificate/license for all teachers. In addition, every teacher continues his or her own learning through professional development activities and our teachers are evaluated each year to make sure that their teaching skills remain at the highest possible level.
Most teachers already meet this legal definition of highly qualified. All teachers hired after the beginning of 2002/2003 school year were required to meet this definition. Veteran teachers, hired before the 2002/2003 school year met this criteria of highly qualified as of the end of 2006.
To ensure that every child in every classroom has a highly qualified teacher, the state of New Jersey and our school district are working together to help teachers meet the requirements of the federal law by providing several options. Teachers will soon be able to take a new test, or they can demonstrate their expertise through a combination of college coursework, professional development activities and experience.
A highly qualified teacher knows what to teach, how to teach and has a full understanding of the subject matter being taught. We believe that every teacher in our school is fully qualified and dedicated to teaching your child, and we will do everything possible to help our teachers who may not yet meet the legal definition required by the federal government.
I encourage you to support your childs education and communicate with his or her teacher on a regular basis. By partnering together-families and educators-we can provide your child with the best education possible.