PISCATAWAY, NJ – In a year filled with accolades for Piscataway Township Schools, including being chosen as a Magna Award winner last spring by the National School Board Administration (NSBA), the district can add being nationally named a ‘District of Distinction’ by District Administration magazine.

Piscataway was chosen for its initiatives with its ESL (English as a Second Language) program, school officials announced in a news release on Thursday. It is one of 54 school districts nationwide to be honored with the award this year.

“The ESL program was selected for its comprehensive cradle-to-career perspective that includes language immersion at the preschool, more than 60 ESL-endorsed teachers at the elementary level, and Piscataway High School’s ESL Academy, offering additional academic classes to ESL students and cultural classes for their families,” said officials. “The district’s overall goal is to ensure that students continue to achieve academically while assimilating to a new culture and a new language.”

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“We are so pleased to once again see the guidance of our Board and the efforts of our staff receive national recognition,” said Teresa M. Rafferty, Superintendent of Schools. “As a district, we strive to inspire every student to reach their academic potential and this includes our ESL learners. We make both language fluency and academic progress equal priorities for these students.”

This is the third national recognition for Piscataway’s ESL program. In September 2015, the District was recognized as a “Bright Spot in Hispanic Education” by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. In March 2016, Piscataway’s ESL Program received a first place Magna Award from the NSBA.

"More than 60 different languages are spoken in homes throughout Piscataway and the district celebrates this rich diversity," said school officials. In addition to ensuring academic assimilation and achievement, every Piscataway school encourages students to share cultural traditions through special events, school assemblies and other programs.

‘Districts of Distinction’ honors school districts that are leading the way with new ideas. It recognizes initiatives that yield quantifiable benefits and could be replicated by other districts.

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