Every day — in good times and bad — your district’s communications efforts are vitally important to the success of your schools. Join us Friday, June 2 at the New Jersey School Boards Association’s headquarters in Trenton for the 2023 School Public Relations Forum.

Download this flier to see the full agenda.

Among the presenters will be communications professionals at a must-see session, “Cresskill’s Perfect Storm: Communicating with the Community through COVID, a Flood and a Bond Referendum.”

Like most school districts in the state, Cresskill was looking forward to getting back to in-person learning in September 2021. But on the evening of Sept. 1, the remnants of Hurricane Ida caused widespread flooding through the region – including at the Cresskill Middle/High School. Nearly every part of the school was covered by anywhere between one and three feet of floodwater, rendering it unusable.

The district scrambled to provide virtual learning for students while it searched for alternate locations for in-person learning and grappled with the repair and restoration process.  A huge obstacle: The district needed to pass a $21.6 million bond referendum to restore the building before FEMA would provide reimbursement for a large portion of project costs.

This session will feature the following people from Cresskill:

  • Dr. Peter J. Hughes, superintendent.
  • John Massaro, middle/high school principal.
  • Dawn Delasandro, business administrator/board secretary. 
  • Denise Villani, president, Cresskill Board of Education.
  • Mary Klein, vice president, Cresskill Board of Education.

They will be joined by Laura Bishop, managing principal of Laura Bishop Communications, who will team up with her colleague Nina Contento to share insights on how the firm helped guide Cresskill through the process. Together with school officials and staff, Bishop and Contento will discuss how the district kept the community informed and engaged through the ordeal. They will also talk through the lasting lessons of the experience for the Cresskill school district.

Registration Details The Annual School Public Relations Program will take place at NJSBA Headquarters from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Breakfast and lunch will be served. This program offers three Board Member Academy credits and has a member fee of $99 per person.

Spots are limited – don’t let this opportunity pass you by! Ask your school business administrator to register you today.