Students of all ages are reporting increased levels of stress due to the pressures of academic performance. On Thursday, May 12, the New Jersey School Boards Association will host an informative half-day session at the Union County College Cranford campus (Roy Smith Theatre), on ways schools and students can cope with this pressure.

NJSBA invites school board members, administrators, educators, and parents to this program. Participants will have an opportunity to share views on the impact that the pressure for perfection is having on the students in their schools. The program is being offered as part of NJSBA’s new Equity in Excellence lecture series. More programs in the series will be announced later in 2016.

Keynote Speaker Dr. Maurice Elias of Rutgers University, the keynote speaker, is a nationally-recognized expert in community and preventive psychology and school intervention. He serves as director of clinical training in the university’s psychology department; as director of the Rutgers Social and Emotional Learning Laboratory, and director of the Collaborative, Rutgers Center for Community-Based Research, Service, and Public Scholarship. For five years, he directed New Jersey’s Developing Safe and Civil Schools Initiative, working with 250 schools statewide. Dr. Elias will discuss the causes of stress and the practices that staff and parents can use to help children navigate this difficult time in their lives.

What Schools Can Do After helping scores of students overcome the stress in their lives that led to formal interventions, the West Windsor-Plainsboro school district has made student social and emotional learning as important as academic success. Lee McDonald, director of guidance for the West Windsor-Plainsboro school district, will discuss the district’s proactive and comprehensive practices to help all students and staff meet today’s challenges in a healthy way.

Input from the NJSBA Health & Wellness Task Force The NJSBA Health and Wellness Task Force, comprised of representatives from education and public health organizations, consulted with professionals in the areas of nutrition, physical fitness, school climate and education to identify goals, strategies and best practices for the issue of health and wellness.  The group’s work resulted in the Health and Wellness Task Force report. Members of the task force will present strategies to address the whole child, including stress reduction, and the implementation of mindfulness techniques.

The program runs from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., with continental breakfast and registration starting at 8:30 a.m. This program offers two Board Member Academy credits.

Registration Information Member registration may be completed online, but only by the school business administrator, who must attach a scanned copy of the purchase order with the registration. School board members and other district staff that have previously been reported to NJSBA in the district census form may attend.

Additional district staff members are welcome to register online through Eventbrite using a credit card. (Staff should check with the school business administrator as to local district policy regarding reimbursement.)

For questions regarding registration, please email the NJSBA Member Services Unit at

Cost The registration fee is $40 per person and includes a continental breakfast.

For questions regarding this program, please email Vincent R. DeLucia, educator-in-residence/director of training and professional development, at