On Target Sept 2019
Partnership Corner Sept 2019
  • Public Consulting Group

     PCG, Making a Difference in

    New Jersey Education   




    Since its founding 33 years ago, PCG’s top priority has been delivering solutions to problems that matter in the public sector, across the areas of education, health, human services, and workforce development.


    We are honored to be entrusted with this work, particularly here in New Jersey, where our partnership with the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) is approaching its 15th year.


    Committed to Supporting the Success of New Jersey’s Students, Educators, Schools, and Districts


    In 2005, NJDOE selected PCG to oversee implementation of New Jersey’s Statewide Longitudinal Data System, NJ SMART. That same year, the State partnered with PCG to administer certain aspects of their school-based Medicaid programs. Over the past 14 years, our team has proudly delivered day-to-day operations, technical development, district training, and customer service associated with NJ SMART. We have also oriented, trained, and supported thousands of healthcare service providers and administrators from over 350 participating districts and charter schools in the administration of the State’s school-based Medicaid programs.


    This longstanding partnership has helped district and state personnel effectively leverage federally mandated data collections and calculations to better understand and address local successes, gaps, and needs – all to ensure student success and performance improvement. Today, New Jersey is a national leader in data quality and the informed use of data to drive student and school success. PCG’s collaboration with the State, and the use of our web-based cost reporting and billing technologies (via EDPlanTM) has helped New Jersey realize over $1B in Medicaid reimbursement since 2005.


    More than half of New Jersey districts use EDPlan, a suite of tools and services from PCG that helps educators promote a plan for student success—in special education, academics, behavior, and beyond. In addition to our technology solutions, we also work with rural and suburban districts across the state to conduct comprehensive special education program reviews, which involve a review of current practices, actionable recommendations to improve compliance and student progress, and implementation support.


    In February 2017, in response to districts’ expressed need for additional supports in meeting the specific needs of students with disabilities and calls for clearer measures of what success looks like, we were proud to sponsor the first annual New Jersey Special Education Summit, focused on helping schools address the challenges of creating and sustaining inclusive learning environments. Since then, this annual event—founded on the transformative power of continuous learning, collaboration and idea sharing among peers—has focused on topics of critical importance to New Jersey educators such as “Exploring Disproportionality” in 2018 and “Teaching, Learning, and Leading in an Inclusive World” in 2019. We look forward to bringing together New Jersey educators and administrators with national experts for the fourth New Jersey Special Education Annual Summit in 2020.


    Passionate about Ensuring New Jersey’s Schools Are Safe and Secure - America's Safe Schools Week is October 21-27, 2019


    As we approach the 35th anniversary of America's Safe Schools Week held from October 21-27, 2019, an observance originally established by the National School Safety Center (NSCC) in 1984, the need for safe and secure schools has never been greater than it is today.


    With the number and magnitude of violent acts in schools continuing to increase, schools have been grappling with how to develop policies and adopt systems that assess threats of school violence. Along with physical security and emergency management, threat assessment is an integral part of an effective and comprehensive school safety approach.


    The National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC) was formed in 2000 by the U.S. Secret Service as an entity "to provide guidance on threat assessment and training, both within the Secret Service and to its law enforcement, public safety, and academic partners." In particular, the NTAC has committed resources to design best practices around threat assessment in schools. According to the NTAC, the goal of a student threat assessment is to identify students of concern, assess their risk for engaging in violence or other harmful activities, and identify intervention strategies to manage that risk.


    Throughout the country, many states, including Texas, Virginia, Florida, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania, have mandated behavioral threat assessment teams in schools. In New Jersey, similar legislation has been introduced in both houses of the legislature though these bills remain in committee and have not yet been enacted. Despite this, we believe it is imperative that every New Jersey school district prioritize the development of an effective and comprehensive school safety approach that incorporates threat assessment.