School Leader, the official publication of the New Jersey School Boards Association, is published quarterly. The magazine is designed to give readers information that will improve their understanding of education policy, school operations, curriculum and educational issues at the state and federal levels. Each issue has a special section that is devoted to a timely topic. However, we welcome stories on all educational topics.

Our audience:

  • School Leader is mailed to 7,500 school board members, business administrators, superintendents, and principals.
  • State and federal government officials, education stakeholders, state organization leaders, university and college libraries, and reporters also receive it.

Stories must achieve one of the following:

  • Provide insight into educational issues and trends.
  • Help board members understand their roles and perform more effectively.
  • Convey information to help school boards deal with state and federal policies.
  • Show boards how to successfully improve student achievement, build relationships with their communities, set and evaluate policies, and carry out other aspects of school district governance.

Writers should:

  • Include biographical information with their submission, including full name, title, employer, daytime phone number and e-mail address. All submissions receive a tag line when they appear in print. For example, “John Doe is the superintendent of schools for ABC Township School District in XYZ County. He can be reached at (908) 555-1212,

Columns vs. stories – There is a difference:

  • Columns share the opinions of the author.
  • Stories are written in the third person and should be objective, offer new information, and limit opinions to those of the individuals interviewed, rather than reflect the opinions of the author.
  • For both columns and stories, authors should verify statements and attribute facts or opinions to a person, report or publication. (See “Forget the footnotes” below.)

Eliminate jargon:

  • Not all of our readers have education backgrounds, so please avoid specialized terminology. Subject matter should be carefully defined.  It is much better to treat a narrow topic in-depth than to treat a broad topic superficially.
  • Be direct. Write for School Leader in the same way you would explain the subject verbally to someone whom you were trying to help.

Forget the footnotes:

  • Magazine articles take a different approach than graduate school papers or legal briefs. So, please leave out footnotes or extensive bibliographies. If you believe it would benefit readers, a shortlist of suggested readings could serve as a sidebar to your story.
  • Often when a fact, statistic or quote would be significant enough to reference in a footnote, the information should instead be incorporated into the body of the story with simple attribution.  For example: “according to a 2005 Harvard University study” or “according to a 1995 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Jones vs. Smith.)

Editorial control:

We edit everyone in varying degrees for length, style, clarity, and content. Although we might reach out to the author for clarification, we will not seek the author’s approval on final edits.

Preparing your manuscript:

  • Cover and feature stories should be between 1,200 and 1,500 words.
  • Columns should be approximately 800 words.
  • Columns typically focus on school law, labor relations, technology, school district governance, policy, and legislation.
  • Manuscripts must be submitted by email and may be in MS-Word, RTF or plain text format.  Accompanying photos, charts, and graphs also should be sent by email, preferably in JPEG format.  

Acceptance and publication:

We will acknowledge your manuscript when we receive it. We make decisions to accept or reject submissions as quickly as possible. The review process usually takes between four and six weeks. A free copy of the magazine in which your story appears will be sent to you once published. 

We do not accept:

  • Advertisements cloaked as stories or columns, fiction, humor, poetry or book reviews.

Please send manuscripts to:

Janet Bamford, chief public affairs officer,  and/or Thomas A. Parmalee, managing editor.

For information, call (609) 278-5251.