NJSBA is offering webinars, podcasts, Facebook Live events, and virtual conferences focusing on the challenges facing local school boards and school districts during the current public health emergency. Join the events live, or access the archived events at your convenience.
NJSBA is hosting a series of Facebook Live events to address questions from boards, school administrators, and educators during the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit the NJSBA Facebook page to tune in.
I-STEAM and Sustainability Lesson, Wednesday, May 20 at 10 a.m. Join us for a live discussion with John Henry and representatives from the New Jersey Clean Energy Program to learn about ways to virtually to reduce energy costs for school facilities. The Smart Start program continues to run and is processing applications for incentives, while other programs are operating with virtual elements where practical. As more people are at home, utility bills will rise to handle the increased demand. We’ll also discuss what can be done at home with student involvement.
Update from the Field, Thursday, May 21 at 10 a.m. Theresa Lewis, NJSBA field service representative, will answer pressing questions on school district governance and board operations.
Wellness Series with Alisha De Lorenzo, Friday, May 22 at 1 p.m. The current experience of COVID-19 has introduced stress to our bodies, minds, and emotions in unprecedented ways. Without even knowing it, we hold this stress deep in our bodies. Join us for the opportunity to move any dis-ease out of our systems through the practices of breathing, movement, and mindfulness.
Podcast: Conversations on New Jersey Education
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.
Conversations with Educators on the COVID-19 Front Lines
North Warren, Tuesday, May 19 at 3 p.m. North Warren Regional School District is a rural 7-12 regional school district in the hills of Warren County. How did the switch to virtual learning affect this sprawling district? What were the most difficult challenges in that transition and what are the challenges they see as they move forward? In this podcast, Sarah Bilotti, North Warren’s superintendent, discusses these and other issues with NJSBA’s Ray Pinney. Listen Online
Wildwood City, Thursday, May 21 at 3 p.m. Most New Jerseyans know Wildwood as a resort community with a lovely boardwalk and sprawling beaches but it is also home to a pre-K through 12 school district. This district has a unique school population and the school closures and switches to remote learning created special challenges –particularly for meal distribution and virtual instruction. In this podcast, J. Kenyon Kummings, Wildwood City superintendent, discusses how the district met the challenges with NJSBA’s Ray Pinney. Listen Online
Virtual Resources Webinar Series
The Virtual Resources 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. View upcoming and past events on our webinar page.
Policy? Regulation? Bylaws? Wednesday, May 20 at 11 a.m. Please join us as we review the importance of being a policy-making board and how bylaws direct board governance. Gain a better understanding of the difference between policy, regulations, and bylaws. A sample Code of Conduct for Virtual Meetings will also be available for board consideration. Register Now
NJSBA Charter School Update, Thursday, May 21 at 11 a.m. Join us as NJSBA staff discuss hot topics that impact Charter Schools, such as recent court decisions, personnel issues, legislative updates, training opportunities, and board governance. Register Now
Recent Online Events
Conversations with Educators on the COVID-19 Front Line
Food Distribution One of the biggest challenges many school districts faced when schools closed was that they still had to dispense meals to their students. In this podcast, Mark Gengaro, director of climate and security for the Clifton Public Schools, discusses with NJSBA’s Ray Pinney how that district organized and planned to open three locations for food distribution; then how they made changes to deal with the challenges of social distancing and shifting circumstances. Listen Online
Teaching PE Teaching physical education virtually is a challenge, but it is a challenge the Middlesex County Teacher of the Year, Jennifer Olawski from New Brunswick, meets every day. Listen in as NJSBA’s Ray Pinney discusses with Jennifer how and the district use physical activity to reduce stress for students and staff, and how she checks in with students on their social-emotional needs. Listen Online
The Role of the Principal What is the role of the building principal when the instruction is not occurring in the building? What are the challenges facing principals in making sure instruction is delivered, and the social-emotional needs of the students are met? In this interview, Dr. Paul Christopher, who has more than 30 years of experience as a principal, and is currently the principal of Class Academy High School, which is part of the Monmouth County Vocational School district, discusses these and other issues with NJSBA’s Ray Pinney. Listen Online
Teaching AP Classes Even if you are a teacher with superb technological skills, moving from in-classroom to virtual instruction is a challenge. Katherine Poerner, who teaches Pre-AP U.S. History I and AP U.S. History II at Pinelands Regional High School, discusses meeting the challenges of virtual learning with her students with NJSBA’s Ray Pinney. Listen Online
Long Branch School District The school district of Long Branch is a diverse waterfront city located in Monmouth County. When making the switch to virtual instruction, how did they address the needs of families with limited Internet access or limited devices? What about the dispersion of meals? Join host, Ray Pinney, for a discussion with Long Branch Superintendent, Dr. Michael Salvatore, to find out how the district is addressing the needs of all students. Listen Online
Westfield School District Westfield is a large K-12 district located in Union County. Learn about how the district made the switch to virtual instruction and also partnered with the municipal government on making the community safer and healthier. Join host, Ray Pinney, for a discussion with Westfield Superintendent, Margaret Dolan, on ways that the district is addressing the health crisis while meeting the needs of the students. Listen Online
Keyport School District Unfortunately, the district of Keyport is no stranger to dealing with natural disasters. It was one of the districts hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy. However, COVID-19 presents unprecedented challenges. How did the superintendent prepare the staff, students, and community for the challenge? In this podcast, Dr. Lisa Savoia, Keyport superintendent, discusses her district’s preparation for COVID-19 and virtual learning. Listen Online
Clifton School District The City of Clifton is a large, diverse community in Passaic County. Superintendent Dr. Danny Robertozzi was in the district for less than 10 months. How did he rally the staff and students to transition to a new way of delivering education? In this podcast, Superintendent Robertozzi discusses how his district addressed the crisis with NJSBA’s Ray Pinney. Listen Online
Ramsey School District Like many districts, the school district of Ramsey made a great effort to make sure that their delivery of instruction virtually was the best that it could be. The superintendent Dr. Matthew Murphy, however, gave equal importance to meeting the social-emotional needs of the students as well. In this podcast, Dr. Murphy discusses how his district addressed the crisis with NJSBA’s Ray Pinney. Listen Online
Sussex County Educational Services Commission Since schools closed, one of the biggest challenges facing districts has been meeting the needs of our special education students. Andrea Romano is the superintendent of the Sussex County Educational Services Commission, which serves the needs of these students. Ray Pinney, NJSBA director of member engagement, will talk with Andrea about these challenges and the steps that Sussex County ESC has taken to provide students with the best virtual education. Listen Online
Mount Olive Public Schools Transitioning a school district to virtual learning on short notice has involved a Herculean effort. In this podcast, Dr. Robert Zywicki, superintendent of the Mount Olive Public Schools, will join NJSBA’s Ray Pinney to discuss the district’s efforts to overcome the challenges and provide quality instruction. Dr. Zywicki will also explain how the school district’s staff is helping the effort to fight COVID-19 by building face shield components for personal protective equipment. Listen Online
Pinelands Regional School District Like many districts, the Pinelands Regional School District has made a great effort to ensure that their delivery of virtual instruction was the best that it could be. They also had to make sure that they could deliver more than 7,000 meals per week as well. In this interview, the Pinelands superintendent Dr. Melissa McCooley discusses with NJSBA’s Ray Pinney how her district has addressed the crisis and dealt with the needs of their students. Listen Online
Kingsway Regional School District Kingsway Regional School District in Gloucester County has worked hard to continue providing top-notch instruction to their students during this public health emergency. Kingsway, a sprawling regional district, must communicate with students and parents from four different communities. Dr. James Lavender, the superintendent, discusses with NJSBA’s Ray Pinney how his district has addressed the communication issues, as well as the educational issues, brought on by the COVID-19 crisis. Listen Online
Hamilton Township School District Hamilton Township in Mercer County is one of New Jersey’s larger school districts, with more than 11,000 students. The superintendent, Dr. Scott Rocco, has led the district through the transition from classroom learning to remote learning with high marks and has partnered with the municipal government to inform the community of the ongoing efforts to battle COVID-19. Join us for a discussion with Dr. Rocco.
A Conversation with NJEA President, Marie Blistan Seemingly overnight, education in New Jersey went from brick and mortar to virtual instruction. Teachers had to adapt quickly. In this interview with NJSBA’s Ray Pinney, Marie Blistan, NJEA president, discusses the impact the change has had on her membership, how the education community came together, and what concerns the NJEA may have as we continue through this outbreak.
With Unanswered Questions, Advocacy Matters More than Ever In these historically unsettled times, COVID-19 has already disrupted the delivery of education to our students. And now, with the recent announcement that the budget year will be extended to Sept. 30, major changes are in store for districts’ finances. Meanwhile, A-3902, if approved by the state Senate, would delay municipal payment of taxes to school districts, and the State Board recently discussed major changes to the delivery of special education services. Please join host Ray Pinney for a podcast as representatives from the NJSBA’s Governmental Relations Department discuss these rapidly evolving issues.
Podcast: The Impact of COVID-19 on School Board Meetings – Legal Factors – With the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in curfews, school closures, and other efforts to keep people apart, how does a Board of Education operate? Can board members participate remotely? Can you ban the public? Join NJSBA’s host Ray Pinney as he discusses these and other issues surrounding board meetings during this difficult time with Carl Tanksley, Director of NJSBA’s Legal and Labor Relations Department, and John Burns a Counsel with NJSBA. Listen Now
Facebook Live: I-STEAM and Sustainability Lessons, with John Henry Join John Henry, NJSBA I-STEAM and Sustainable Specialist, Ben Wurst, Conserve Wildlife Foundation (CWF) biologist and Stephanie DAlessio, CWF Director of Education for a special Livestream broadcast from the Barnegat Light Osprey Cam. We will discuss CWF’s work of monitoring ospreys, their life history and special adaptations, and their incredible recovery from around 50 to over 800 ospreys in New Jersey – while streaming live video from the Osprey Cam. Links and resources for CWF’s webcams (including peregrine falcons and bald eagles, as well as ospreys) will be shared for use in the classroom.
Facebook Live: Legislative Update Jonathan Pushman, NJSBA’s Legislative Advocate, will discuss advocacy in the age of COVID-19 and will provide an update from Trenton. Join us on NJSBA’s Facebook page.
Facebook Live: I-STEAM and Music, with John Henry, Join NJSBA, the Rock and Roll Forever Foundation, and Lake House Studios for a discussion on ways music can encourage and engage students and how music connects us even when we must be apart. You will also learn how to participate in a STEAM Tank “at Home” Challenge, focused on music.
Facebook Live: Policy Update – NJSBA Policy Manager Steve McGettigan and Policy Consultant Jean Harkness will share frequently asked policy questions and will field questions from the live Facebook audience.
Facebook Live: Update from the Field — Gwen Thornton and Kathy Helewa, NJSBA field service representatives, answer pressing questions on school district governance and board operations.
Facebook Live: “Legally Speaking”– NJSBA Counsel, John Burns, will share responses to the questions being received through the Association’s Attorney of the Day service during the current crisis. Join us on NJSBA’s Facebook page.
What Every Board Member Should Know About QSAC “What is QSAC and how does it apply to my board responsibilities?” The Quality Single Accountability Continuum (QSAC) allows the NJ Department of Education (NJDOE) to identify High Performing school districts across the state. The NJDOE’s assessment of the board’s role in governance is a key factor in the district obtaining a high performing designation. Tune into this webinar for a short primer on the board’s role in QSAC’s governance assessment. Watch Now
A Discussion Regarding the Software and Services that Enable Distance Learning With Governor Murphy’s order closing schools for the remainder of the school year and the uncertainty of what the future may bring, school districts need to ensure that they are prepared to continue distance learning. Join us for a discussion with school leaders on the software and services available to districts to help provide distance learning more effectively. Watch Now
Board Member Self EvaluationsThe value of conducting a board self-evaluation is especially critical this year. Your board has had to learn new ways to meet and communicate, develop policy, provide oversight, and govern effectively. The self-evaluation will assist in providing an analysis of your strengths to enable the board to meet the challenges that lie ahead. We will discuss NJSBA’s online tool for the Annual Board Self-Evaluation (BSE), including what the BSE covers, why boards should complete the BSE, the benefits of completing the BSE, ways to use the results of the compiled document, and how to complete it online. Watch Now
Training to Stay Ahead of the Curve on IT Solutions With the IT framework ever-changing, educating yourself on the most up to date training can keep you one step ahead. We will discuss offers on a robust portfolio of training offerings covering a range of products and allowing for a multitude of delivery options. We will also discuss available discounts to help make digital learning more accessible. Watch Now
Recent Funding Made Available to the Education Sector With the recently approved CARES Act and the changes made to the E-Rate program, money is available to help states and local communities respond to the coronavirus pandemic and alleviate the severe economic distress that has come with it. Billions of dollars in grants money, along with funding from E-Rate, are available to the education sector, and most of these funds are intended to be distributed quickly. Join us as we analyze available grant and E-Rate funding, and discuss how these funds will be distributed across the public sector landscape. Watch Now
Webinar: Internet Access for All Students During the COVID-19 Crisis We’ll review paths to acquiring Internet services for students. We will also learn what steps the Federal Communications Commission has taken to ensure that unavoidable short and long-term delays do not put applicants’ E-rate funding support in jeopardy. Watch Now
Webinar: Remote Collaboration During a Crisis Learn how to better collaborate with district staff and board members during the COVID-19 health crisis. We will also review the use of online tools for supporting virtual school board meetings. Watch Now
Webinar: Online Learning: How to Protect Your District’s Data During the COVID-19 Crisis Cybersecurity is becoming more challenging for districts with so many schools delivering education programs virtually. Learn about comprehensive, easy-to-manage solutions for the physical and cybersecurity challenges facing K-12 schools and districts, and ways to strengthen your district’s security posture while making the most of E-rate funding. Watch Now
A Day in the Life of a Distance Learning Student In this webinar, we will feature a panel of school board members and technology professionals as we adventure into the Day in the Life of a Distance Learning Student. The presentation will reveal, from the student perspective, what it is like to participate in a successful online learning community. We will also explore NJSBA resources to support technology infrastructure and online learning communities. The webinar will conclude with a Q&A session, which will provide an opportunity for participants to share their own distance learning experiences. Watch Now