LITTLE EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — The Pinelands Regional School District will hold a public meeting next month on its participation in the pilot year of the state’s LGTBQ curriculum, school officials announced.
The meeting will be 6 p.m. Feb. 5 at the media center inside the junior high school, 590 Nugentown Road.
Pinelands was selected as one of 12 schools to pilot the curriculum before it goes into effect statewide in the fall.
This story has been updated with the latest date for the parent meeting.
“As a pilot school, our teachers, administrators, students and community members will be provided various forms of support while implementing the curriculum. Teachers will be given exclusive access to the LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum and provided instructional coaching,” Superintendent Melissa McCooley said in a letter to parents last Sunday.
“Our administrative team will be supported by a leadership coach regarding school law and best practices for LGBTQ-inclusive culture and climate in schools. Our community members will be provided community education programs through our partnership with Garden State Equality and Make It Better for Youth. Most importantly, our students will be exposed to instructional practices and lessons that are rigorous, accurate, inclusive and that align to Assembly Bill 1335 and the Core Content Curriculum Standards in the State of New Jersey.”
McCooley said that as part of the pilot, the LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum will be implemented in two eighth grade classrooms across all content areas, and that staff and students will be asked to give anonymous feedback regarding the curriculum and implementation.
The bill mandating the curriculum was supported by advocacy group Garden State Equality and signed into law last year, making New Jersey the second state with such a mandate.
Under the law, boards of education are required to include instruction that accurately portrays the political, economic and social contributions of LGBTQ people across all content areas for middle and high school-age students.