Hybrid. Remote. Cohorts. Virtual events. Zoom. Social Distancing. Desk shields. Masks.

All of these once-unfamiliar terms likely conjure different memories and emotions in each of us.

Now, as we appear to be making our way out of the COVID crisis, the New Jersey School Boards Association plans to develop a video compilation to document this time in our state’s education history.

New Jersey students have proven that they can be brave, make big sacrifices, and aptly respond to help keep their families and community safe when called upon. NJSBA wants to ensure that their voices are heard and remembered.

The NJSBA is soliciting video entries from K-12 public school students, as well as teachers and district administrators, asking them to reflect on the unexpected times of joy during a deeply disruptive era; their lessons learned; and their newfound hopes and resilience as a new school year approaches.

Video submissions can be new or previously recorded footage that date back to March 2020. They can include solo or group performances via TikTok, poetry, rap, singing or words from the heart. Some questions to prompt your students might include:

  • How have you grown during the pandemic?
  • What did you learn about yourself?
  • What will you remember the most?
  • Were there moments that you remember when you surprised yourself with what you could accomplish in learning from home?
  • What skills have you gained as a result of remote learning?
  • What do you wish never to repeat again?
  • What did you miss the most during virtual schooling?
  • Were there any silver linings from this time? 

Additionally, school administrators are invited to share what they have discovered about themselves, their students and their staff. Maybe as an administrator, you rode a decorated yellow school bus to hand-deliver dozens of diplomas to your graduating seniors last year? Perhaps your district hosted an outdoor tented prom? Or, your teachers created an entertaining video to reach their remote-learning students to show how much that they missed them?

The three-minute or less video submissions should entail experiences, concerns and inspiration gained. Videos should be submitted online by Friday, July 23. All student entries must include a release form signed by a parent or legal guardian.

The NJSBA may use select entries for promotional purposes, resulting in internal and external coverage through a variety of communication channels including online platforms, social media, broadcast and publications.