The latest issue of the New Jersey School Boards Association’s School Leader magazine, available online, features a cover story on how schools can step up to serve non-English speaking families.

“Speaking Their Language” looks at how local districts, including Roselle, Washington Township (Gloucester), West Deptford, Vineland, and Camden, reach out to non-English speaking families with forms and resources in multiple languages, board meetings with Spanish subtitles, and resources geared to them.

The districts also discuss the importance of understanding cultural differences of non-English speaking families. “This particular population of students and families is not going to come to you,” said Dr. JoAnne Negrin, supervisor of bilingual, ESL, world languages, and the performing arts at Vineland Public Schools in Cumberland County. “They’re not going to complain. They’re not going to self-advocate necessarily, so it’s up to us that we are knowledgeable about what they should be receiving and making sure that they have a seat at the table.”

Data from the New Jersey Department of Education  The magazine also highlights how board members can use the state’s School Performance Reports to spark discussion and action in their districts. The reports are a rich source of data and information for boards.

Other School Leader articles feature an interview with special education experts who discuss what those students need now; the leadership lessons that Ray Pinney, director of county activities and member engagement at NJSBA, learned on a 196-mile run across New Jersey; a look back at the career of the recently retired NJSBA Executive Director Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod; and an update on how New Jersey’s YMCAs served students during the pandemic.

School Leader is published four times a year and mailed to all New Jersey board members. It is also online here.