By Dr. Larry Feinsod

In my 40+ years as a school district superintendent, executive county superintendent and, more recently, NJSBA executive director, I’ve never missed annual Workshop. The value of this premier professional development conference—specially designed for New Jersey’s local school district officials—is unmatched. The conference advances effective school district governance, sound decision-making, and the growth and well-being of our state’s 1.4 million public school students.

Today, the challenges presented to school leaders by the public health emergency make Workshop more critical than ever. This year, Workshop’s learning opportunities will continue. Special thanks to our co-sponsors, the New Jersey Association of School Administrators and the New Jersey Association of School Business Officials.

For 2020, we are designing an innovative three-day virtual program of interactive training and information sessions and resources, to take place Oct. 20 through Oct. 22. The conference will offer:

  • 100 Training Sessions, on multiple tracks. These programs are specially designed for online learning to ensure maximum engagement and effective delivery of training and information. Topics will include remote special education instruction, hybrid learning platforms, legal and policy factors related to online learning, school board governance during the pandemic, labor relations, arts education, food service distribution and delivery, inherent bias and equity, social and emotional learning, and many more.
  • Credit toward certification programs, including the NJSBA Board Member Academy, Sustainable Jersey for Schools, and the Qualified Purchasing Agent and Educational Facilities Manager designations.
  • An interactive Exhibit Floor, where you can learn about products and services available to help you serve your students during these unique times.
  • County School Boards Association networking events.
  • Evening events highlighting the talents of New Jersey’s students, including a film showcase, arts in education, and even eGaming.

Best of all, the learning opportunities will not end on October 22. The entire Workshop program will be available on demand for a full year, making the annual conference an indispensable resource as we address the challenges that lie ahead.

It was not until I became NJSBA executive director that I realized the hard work and creativity necessary to deliver the annual event. We are investing the same level of energy and commitment in the design of Virtual Workshop 2020. The result will be a professional development experience that will benefit local school board members and administrators throughout the 2020-2021 school year and well into the future.

Registration for the three-day event opened on Aug. 3. Visit virtualworkshop.njsba.org  for registration information, and return to that site for updates on Workshop 2020 offerings.

I am excited about the innovative Workshop 2020 program and am confident that you will share my enthusiasm. As always, I look forward to seeing you at Workshop!

These are my Reflections. I look forward to hearing yours. Contact me at feinsodreflections@njsba.org. Follow me on Twitter: @DrLarryFeinsod.

August 6, 2020

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