Our Commitment to You

During this public health emergency, NJSBA will maintain all consultative and informational services. You can reach NJSBA staff members via email during regular business hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Contact information is available here. Staff will be checking voicemail periodically throughout the day. In addition, staff members will be available through Webex meetings/personal rooms.

Our COVID-19 Resource Center includes resources from NJSBA, the latest news, and guidance from the New Jersey Department of Health, the New Jersey Department of Education, the National School Boards Association and other organizations.

Here is an important video message from NJSBA’s leadership, affirming the Association’s continue support of local boards of education and the state’s 1.4 million public school students.

NJSBA News and Online Programs

September Ready Fall 2020 Guidance for Arts Education A comprehensive, 126-page document from Arts Ed NJ offers practical guidance for educators and reinforces the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Visual and Performing Arts. Posted July 10

Permanent E-Procurement Rules Proposed A proposal by the N.J. Division of Local Government Services would make pandemic-related emergency regulations allowing online procurement platforms permanent. Posted July 10

NJSBA Develops Updated Board Policies as Districts Plan School Reopening New Jersey’s guidance on reopening schools, The Road Back: Restart and Recovery Plan for Education, makes several references to district policy in implementing health and safety protocols, instructional programming, scheduling and other functions. NJSBA has analyzed the report to identify areas in which board policy is appropriate, and has developed a set of sample documents to help boards update policies relating to health, safety, illness, and maintenance to address state guidance on screening, contact tracing and cleaning/disinfecting requirements. Posted July 8

Pandemic EBT Program Hunger Free New Jersey provides a fact sheet about a program to help families buy food for children who would normally receive free or reduced-price meals at school. Posted July 2.

The Road Back: Restart and Recovery Plan for Education The NJ Department of Education issues a 104-page blueprint to guide the reopening of the state’s public schools in September. Posted June 26.

NJSBA, Education Groups Identify Priorities for School Reopening  The Leadership for Educational Excellence, a coalition of the state’s major educational organizations, including the NJSBA, this week identified four priorities that must be met for the state to successfully reopen schools. In a June 17 letter to members of their respective associations, the leaders of the six LEE  organizations called for “clear and universal” health and safety guidelines to serve as the foundation for a school reopening plan. Posted June 18.

CARES Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Funds: Use of State Set-Aside Funds Identifies half a dozen target areas the New Jersey Department of Education will support with CARES Act funds, including, but not limited to, continuing to provide educational services such as remote learning while schools remain closed for in-person instruction, and developing and implementing plans for the return to normal operations. Posted June 18.

Superintendent Evaluation Deadline Extended  The NJSBA thanked Commissioner of Education Lamont Repollet and the state Department of Education for responding to its concerns and granting a 30-day extension of the deadline for the evaluation of school district superintendents by local boards of education. On June 17, the Department of Education announced a temporary rule modification, which moves the deadline for completing the evaluations from July 1 to July 31. Posted June 18.

Stronger Together: A Guidebook for the Safe Reopening of California’s Public Schools As California’s school districts plan reopening strategies, the state’s department of education issues a guidebook on subjects ranging from scheduling models to social-emotional learning, special education, and communication. Posted June 9.

 An Initial Guide to Leveraging the Power of Social and Emotional Learning: As You Prepare to Reopen and Renew Your School Community  The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) addresses SEL as education emerges from extended school closings. Posted June 9.

Updated State Aid Summaries On May 28, the Department of Education posted revised state aid summaries. School Board Notes, June 2, will include further information about the changes. Posted May 29.

Graduation Ceremonies: Updated In a May 28 memo, the Department of Education offers further clarification concerning graduation ceremonies, including drive-through observances. “… virtual ceremonies and drive-through/drive-in ceremonies that are otherwise compliant with Executive Order No. 142 may occur at any time.” Posted May 29.

Report on the Financial Condition of the State Budget for Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021 The Treasurer addresses the pandemic’s impact on state revenue and recommends strategies—including changes in school aid—to keep N.J. solvent through the extended budget year, which ends September 30. Posted May 25.

Searching for a New Normal: A Special Report on the Reopening of New Jersey’s Schools The NJSBA report addresses the safe reopening of schools, students’ mental health, academic and extracurricular programs, budgetary issues, and preparations for the future. Posted May 20.

CARES Act: Funding Update for School Districts The Grants Office, an NJSBA partner, provides direction on how New Jersey school districts can apply for their share of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) fund. The Grants Office also addressed the funding opportunity during a recent NJSBA Facebook Live event and an NJSBA Webinar. Posted May 17.

National School Boards Association Virtual Connections: Online Learning and Planning The American School Board Journal reports on the nationwide experience with virtual instruction and why districts that focused on emergency management and invested in technology are in the best position to weather the crisis. Posted May 17.

Virtual Summer School 2020: Guidance for District and School Leaders This information source from the Council of Chief State School Officers includes a planning guidePosted May 17.

The Changes We Should Expect to Take Place in Schooling In this NJ Spotlight Op-Ed, a prominent superintendent addresses  permanent changes that may result from the COVID-19 health and economic crisis. Posted May 4.

Parental Waivers for the Delivery of Remote or Virtual Special Education Services  An April 30 memo from the N.J. Department of Education states that requiring a waiver of present or future claims as a condition to implement a student’s IEP is prohibited. Posted May 1.

COVID-19 Guidance for K-12 Schools The N.J. Department of Health issued revised guidance for K-12 schools and child care facilities, updated April 28, includes information on sanitizing facilities, identifying populations most at risk, and preventing the spread of the disease. Posted April 30.

U.S. Department of Education Makes Emergency COVID-19 Relief Available for K-12 Education From School Board Notes, April 28.

A Letter of Appreciation and Support from NJSBA’s President  Posted April 14.OL

Online Programs

NJSBA is offering webinars, podcasts, videos and Facebook Live events focusing on the challenges facing local school boards and school districts during the current public health emergency. Check NJSBA’s Virtual Program Update for a listing of programs.

Conversations on New Jersey Education, NJSBA’s podcast program broadcast over BlogTalkRadio.com, will feature a series of interviews focused on school leadership during the COVID-19 health crisis.

Virtual Resources Webinar Series The webinar series will convey important information related to navigating through the COVID-19 health crisis and will highlight solutions available to help NJSBA members manage the virus’s impact on New Jersey’s educators and students.

Facebook Live NJSBA is hosting a series of Facebook Live events to address questions from boards, school administrators, and educators during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Board/District Operations

Code of Conduct for Remote School Board Meetings NJSBA’s Field Services staff has developed a sample Code of Conduct  providing guidance for remote public meetings and executive sessions. Local boards can download the document and adapt it as needed. Posted May 15.

USDOE Grants New Jersey COVID-19 Emergency Waivers The N.J. Department of Education identifies the federal requirements being waived and invites local school districts to comment by May 14. Posted May 1.

The CARES Act: Education Stabilization Fund Districts that receive Title I, Part A allocation are eligible for the federal relief funds, which will be available through September 30. Posted May 1.

Remote Budget Hearings: Information to Meet the Challenge NJSBA provides information and guidance on virtual public hearings, including Sunshine Law compliance, public participation, executive sessions, and available technology. Re-posted April 30.

COVID 19 – Supplemental Emergency Procurement Guidance The state’s Division of Local Government Services addresses ways to reduce in-person contact during the competitive bidding process. Posted April 16. 

Educator Evaluation During Extended School Closure The New Jersey Department of Education provides additional guidance regarding the evaluation of certificated staff. Posted April 16. 

Tips for Remote Board Meetings  Many school boards are conducting meetings via videoconference or livestreaming for the first time. Here are tips for board members to look and sound their best online. Posted April 14.

Child Nutrition Program Options during COVID-19 School Closures  An FAQ on the most recent options available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Posted April 10.

NJDOE Issues Revised Budget/Election Calendar In response to the Governor’s Executive Order 116, the education department has revised dates in the budget process for the state’s 13 April election districts. However, over 90% of school districts hold elections in November. For these districts, an important upcoming date involves public hearings on proposed budgets (April 24-May 7). Posted April 8.

Governor’s Order Waives Assessment and Evaluation Requirements Executive Order 117 affects eighth-grade tests, portfolio appeals, and the use of student growth data in teacher evaluations. Posted April 7.

FAQ: Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act The U.S. Department of Labor provides important information for school districts and other employers covered by the federal legislation. In addition, the State Department of Labor and Workforce Development addresses the applicability of the CARES Act to New Jersey workers and the payroll tax credit available to covered employers under the Families First Act. Posted April 8.

State Board Approves Remote Delivery of Special Education and Related Services The State Board approved a temporary rule modifying the provision of special education services during the current state of emergency. April 1.

Rules Governing Remote or Virtual Meetings  www.njsba.org/RunningRemoteMeetings  March 24.

Guidance on Virtual Meetings from Division of Local Government Services “In light of the Governor’s issuance of Executive Order 107, we have been strongly encouraged to conduct all public meetings subject to the Open Public Meetings Act exclusively using communications equipment (e.g., telephonic conference call-in connections, internet streaming, etc.) for the foreseeable future without providing a physical meeting place March 23.

Podcast: The Impact of COVID-19 on School Board Meetings – Legal Factors – NJSBA attorneys address government directives to combat the pandemic and how they affect a school board’s ability to conduct public business. Broadcast live, March 20, archived.

NJSBA Policies

Virtual Board Meetings and COVID-19  NJSBA’s Policy Service offers a new sample policy addressing electronic participation by members and the public during the current health crisis. March 20.

The following NJSBA sample policies may be of assistance:

  • 9322 Public and Executive Sessions – Virtual Board Meetings and COVID-19
  • 5141.2 Illness – Covers control of contagious diseases or conditions, amended to cover contact tracing.
  • 4112.4 Health — Exposure control plan and bloodborne pathogens.
  • 5141 Health – Covers preparation for the potential disruption of a pandemic flu outbreak, and includes a link to federal resources on pandemic influenza.
  • 6173 – Home instruction during the prolonged absence.
  • 1250 Visitors – Amended to prohibit most visitors during the pandemic recovery.
  • 3510 Operation and Maintenance of Plant, amended to include cleaning and disinfecting procedures for facilities and school buses.3541.33 Transportation- Amended to including overview of cleaning, disinfecting and social distancing on school buses.
  • 5141.3 Health Examinations and Immunizations – Amended to cover screening, personal protective equipment and social distancing.        
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State and Federal Guidance

CARES Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Funds: Use of State Set-Aside Funds Identifies half a dozen target areas the New Jersey Department of Education will support with CARES Act funds, including, but not limited to, continuing to provide educational services such as remote learning while schools remain closed for in-person instruction, and developing and implementing plans for the return to normal operations. Posted June 18.

The CARES Act: Education Stabilization Fund Districts that receive Title I, Part A allocation are eligible for the federal relief funds, which will be available through September 30. Posted May 1.

Parental Waivers for the Delivery of Remote or Virtual Special Education Services  An April 30 memo from the N.J. Department of Education states that require a waiver of present or future claims as a condition to implement a student’s IEP is prohibited. Posted May 1

COVID-19 Guidance for K-12 Schools The N.J. Department of Health issued revised guidance for K-12 schools and child care facilities, updated April 28, includes information on sanitizing facilities, identifying populations most at risk, and preventing the spread of the disease. Posted April 30.

Ensuring Children Have Access to Nutritious Meals During COVID-19 School Closures Recent guidance and information from the Food Research and Action Center. Posted April 21.

Educator Evaluation During Extended School Closure The New Jersey Department of Education provides additional guidance regarding the evaluation of certificated staff. Posted April 16. 

USDOE Provides Governors with Guidance on Emergency Ed Funds; N.J. to Receive $68.8 Million States can use proceeds to help school districts, colleges and early childhood centers most severely affected by the health crisis. Posted April 15.

FAQ: Use of Federal Education Grant Funds during Current Health Emergency The USDOE responds to questions about allowable uses of funds from existing grant programs that were earmarked for compensation, travel, and conference costs. Posted April 9.

FAQ: Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act The U.S. Department of Labor provides important information for school districts and other employers covered by the federal legislation. In addition, the State Department of Labor and Workforce Development addresses the applicability of the CARES Act to New Jersey workers and the payroll tax credit available to covered employers under the Families First Act. Posted April 8.

Governor’s Order Waives Assessment and Evaluation Requirements Executive Order 117 affects eighth-grade tests, portfolio appeals and the use of student growth data in teacher evaluations. Posted April 7.

New Information about the CARES Act and K-12 Education As part of the federal aid package, which includes $30 billion for K-12 Education, the USDOE will allow flexibility in the use of education funding for technology infrastructure, teacher training on distance learning, and other strategies. Posted April 7.

Addressing the Risk of COVID-19 in Preschool, Elementary and Secondary Schools While Serving Children with Disabilities A fact sheet from the U.S. Department of Education. March 21.

Responding to the Coronavirus A resource page from the National School Boards Association.

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Resources & Information

Mental Health and Wellness

Virtual Service Delivery in Response to COVID-19 Disruptions: Evaluation Guidance In a position paper, the N.J. Association of School Psychologists discourages the continuation of incomplete evaluations or the initiation of new evaluations that require in-person testing and/or observation until schools reopen. Posted May 6

National Child Traumatic Stress Network Pandemic Resources  NCTSN, created by Congress in 2000, offers information and resources for educators, parents and caregivers on helping children and school staff cope with the COVID-19 crisis. Posted April 24.

Care of Children during COVID-19 Separation The N.J. Department of Children and Families lists proactive steps to alleviate fear and stress if children are separated from parents during the pandemic. Posted April 19. 

After a Loss: Resources for School Districts NJSBA provides county-by-county contact information for the Traumatic Loss Coalitions for Youth and other mental health-related resources that school districts can consult during a tragedy. Posted April 17.

Tips for managing virtual instruction during the COVID-19 crisis In an article written for the NJEA, Dr. Maurice Elias of Rutgers University, the nation’s leading expert on social-emotional learning, advises educators on how to work with their students during this health emergency. March 21.

Technology

Best Practices to Stay Cyber Safe on Zoom The New Jersey State Bar Association offers safety tips on remote meetings. Posted April 7.

Broadband Options: COVID-19  Information on acquiring broadband service for students at home.

Additional Technology Resources A collection of free online resources, curated with help from our NJSBA TEC partners.

Communications

Preventing Child Abuse, Neglect and Domestic Violence During the Crisis The N.J. Department of Children and Families provides a social media toolkit to raise awareness of the signs of abuse. Posted April 29.

After a Loss: Resources for School Districts NJSBA provides county-by-county contact information for the Traumatic Loss Coalitions for Youth and other mental health-related resources that school districts can consult during a tragedy. Posted April 17.

Tips for Remote Board Meetings  Many school boards are conducting meetings via videoconference or livestreaming for the first time. Here are tips for board members to look and sound their best online. Posted April 14.

National School Public Relations Association/ Blackboard COVID-19 Best Practices, Tips and Resources  Includes “The Coronavirus Communications Crisis for Public Schools;” examples of COVID-19 communications from public schools; “Communicating to Your Communities During COVID-10: Top 10 Important Tips,” and other resources.

Communications Templates  Free COVID-19 school communication templates, including letters, media statements, news releases, website content on topics including extension of school closure, confirmed coronavirus case, thank you letter to community, and message to 2020 graduates from Donovan Group, a national school public relations firm.

Social Media Tips for Schools Regarding COVID-19  Five tips for using social media during the current crisis, from #SocialSchool4EDU

Coronavirus Outreach Plan  A five-step outreach plan for district leaders, includes advice to create an internal communications plan; form a steering committee for input on your communications; create consistent core messaging for all schools in the district and make sure materials are translated into languages spoken in your district.

Social Services

Poverty and COVID-19 The Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison offers resources on the public health crisis and its impact on vulnerable populations. Posted April 26.

Addressing Hunger During the Coronavirus Crisis Hunger Free New Jersey provides an update on the state and federal efforts to help schools feed students during the closure.  March 25.

New Jersey Department of Human Services Outlines Assistance Available A wide range of actions are being taken which help children and families, senior citizens, individuals with disabilities, and mental health and substance abuse disorder services. In addition, information on housing assistance can be found hereMarch 19.

Instruction

Unlock Student Potential: The Library Is Open! The N.J. Association of School Librarians and the N.J. Library Association offer virtual services to students and families during the public health emergency. Posted April 27.

Garden State Teachers to Give Lessons via NJTV Broadcast lessons to begin April 6.

7 Things Apprenticeship Programs Can Do during the COVID-19 Crisis The senior advisor at the Center for Apprenticeship and Work-Based Learning offers steps that sponsors and program providers can take now to ensure re-engagement when the current emergency ends. Posted April 3.

‘Educators on the COVID-19 Front Line’–NJSBA Podcast Learn about a district’s successful efforts to meet the challenges of “going virtual” on short notice and how its staff members are helping the community fight COVID-19. Broadcast date: April 2, 2020, 2 p.m.

Special Education

Virtual Service Delivery in Response to COVID-19 Disruptions: Evaluation Guidance In a position paper, the N.J. Association of School Psychologists discourages the continuation of incomplete evaluations or the initiation of new evaluations that require in-person testing and/or observation until schools reopen. Posted May 6.

Parental Waivers for the Delivery of Remote or Virtual Special Education Services  An April 30 memo from the N.J. Department of Education states that requiring a waiver of present or future claims as a condition to implement a student’s IEP is prohibited. Posted May 1

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Practical Resources During the Pandemic  The N.J. Department of Education lists resources available to teachers and parents during this period of remote learning and social distancing. Posted April 23.

NSBA: Urge Congress to Increase IDEA Funding during COVID-19 Crisis “Targeted” flexibility, funding and resources are key points of this advocacy effort. Sample letter to Congress included. Posted April 15.

State Board Approves Remote Delivery of Special Education and Related Services The State Board approved a temporary rule modifying the provision of special education services during the current state of emergency. April 1.

Home Resources

Family, Teacher, and Technology Resources Resources for students, families and teachers to enhance remote and online learning.  March 31

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