Morristown, NJ

Bridge Year Pilot Program Offers Class of '21 & '22 an Extra Year of High School

Morristown Minute

NJ DOE is Taking Public Comments on the New Rules for the Proposed Bridge Year Pilot Program.

The program would require all public high schools to offer students in the graduating classes of 2021 & 2022 an extra year of schooling.

At its April 6, 2022, public meeting, the State Board of Education published updated rules for their proposed Bridge Year Pilot Program.

The pilot program requires each school district with a high school to offer students in the graduating classes of 2021 and 2022 the opportunity to pursue a bridge year during the year immediately following their senior year of high school to address learning loss and missed opportunities in extracurricular activities, including spring sports programs, due to the circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Bridge Year Program would also require all public high schools, and participating private high schools, in New Jersey to designate a staff member as the schoolwide bridge year liaison. The proposed rules are direct that there is no requirement for high schools to hire an additional employee to fill the position of bridge year liaison.

Additionally, students participating in the program would be eligible to take part in graduating ceremonies with their class year (’21 or ’22), or at the end of the student’s bridge year.

However, the rules also state that high schools will not issue a diploma to participating students until the conclusion of the student's bridge year.

New Jersey’s high schools (all public high schools and participating private schools) would still be required to release students’ final transcripts and other records as necessary, if a student initially decides to pursue a bridge year, but decides not to complete the fall or spring semester.

Schools would be required to indicate in the New Jersey Standards Measurement and Resource for Teaching (NJ SMART) data system, by June 30, whether students in the 12th grade are participating in the bridge year program. This subsection of the published new rules does not apply to participating private high schools.

The bridge year program would create a curriculum of nine to twelve credits per semester that focus on preparing students for “high-skill, high-wage, or in-demand occupations.” 

For each semester of the bridge year, students will be allowed to take up to three of the required 9-12 credits at a college or university within or outside of the State of NJ.

Bridge Year students can opt for independent study, online learning, and “structured learning experiences” to meet credit requirements, and they won’t have to take part in any health, safety, or physical education required by the state.

For the entirety of the proposed rules for the Bridge Year Program, click here.


For updates, subscribe to our free newsletter!

Follow Morristown Minute on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more state and local updates.

Comments / 4

Published by

A local news source for Morristown residents - covering the news that impacts you and your neighbors.

Morristown, NJ

More from Morristown Minute

Comments / 0