The Educational Leadership Foundation of New Jersey will host free training to support school districts in tackling pandemic-related learning challenges through its Back to Backpacks: A Leadership Guide to the New Normal series.

The series of programs will provide the necessary tools educators can use to examine schooling for special needs; focus on social and emotional learning and overall student mental health, and explore ways adults can work together to drive student engagement and success.

The sessions are scheduled from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on the following Thursdays:

April 22: Addressing Special Education Pandemic Reopening Challenges  A panel that includes a special education director, a superintendent, and educators who work with students of all classifications will share the best practices to address the academic and social-emotional needs of those with disabilities.

April 29: To Learn, a Student Must Feel Valued and Welcomed  Students who are not emotionally healthy will not perform to the best of their abilities. Saint Elizabeth University professors Liz Warner and Trish Heindel, leaders of the N.J. Culture & Climate Initiative, will lead this seminar focusing on the importance of social-emotional learning. They will be joined by district leaders to discuss strategies for all age groups and explore how to facilitate a healthy return to school for all.

May 6: Adult Collaboration Does Make a Difference in Student Outcomes  NJSBA has been a leader in the New Jersey Public Schools Labor-Management Collaborative research project since it was established in 2013. Research finds that districts in this collaborative responded to the pandemic more rapidly, efficiently, and effectively than other districts due to the structures and professional relationships they established through their work with the collaborative. Board members, superintendents, and teachers from several districts will present their academic and social-emotional learning plans and address learning gaps for the return to in-person schooling.

Registration Information School board members, superintendents, and others included on the census may register online for this training program using the links above.

Non-member district staff members may also register by clicking “Get Started” to create an account in NJSBA’s online portal.

Registrants will receive an access link and further instructions via e-mail prior to the meeting.

For questions, please email Lucia Gershman.