How to Apply for NJ Schools to Watch

The application window is now closed. Check back in the Fall of 2020 for more information.

*If your school has an application in progress, please be sure to contact us at:

New Jersey Schools to Watch® is part of the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform that provides a protocol to identify high-performing middle level schools willing to serve as models and provide mentorship to other schools serving middle grade students.

New Jersey Schools to Watch® are not perfect, but they are on a trajectory toward excellence and have a passion for sharing what works on their campuses. Schools should only apply if site-level administrators will embrace the mentorship role and willingly advise staff from other schools who will call, visit or email.


1. Complete this Principal's Checklist to guide you in your application decision: Principal's Checklist

2. Review the Schools to Watch criteria to assess your school's readiness in each of the four focal areas: criteria.pdf

3. Email: for information on how to access the complete Self-Study and Rating Rubric online. This Rubric is a school-wide process and should involve the entire staff. Your individual staff members must complete the Rubric online and results will be sent to your school’s designated team leader. You can also access the Self-Study and Rating Rubric for informal use and self-study with your faculty, but the electronic version is required if you are submitting the application: Schools to Watch Rubric

4. If you believe your school meets or exceeds the criteria on this Self-Study Rubric and you have positive responses to the Principal's Checklist, we encourage you to submit an application for 2019-2020 academic year.

5. Should you decide to apply for Schools to Watch® designation a staff team must complete the full application, including the written narrative. Applications prepared by external grant writers or paid consultants will not be accepted.


Applications must be submitted in ONE Word Document file to:

A confirmation email will be sent upon receipt of the application.

The application form for NJSTW 2019-2020 is now available and can be downloaded here:

NJSTW Application 2019-2020

Please contact Frank Corrado or Gail Hilliard-Nelson at to discuss questions about applying.