NJSBA’s Virtual Workshop 2021 organizers have mined data from the 100 professional development programs to pull together a list of the most-watched sessions for those still interested in registering.

The entire conference, including most sessions, is available for on-demand viewing until Dec. 28 for registrants who log into the digital platform.

NJSBA’s Virtual Workshop, co-sponsored by the New Jersey Association of School Administrators and the New Jersey Association of School Board Officials, showcases three keynote speakers. Each kicked off one of the three conference days at 9 a.m.

They include:

  • Tuesday, Oct. 26: Maura Baker, a 16-year-old junior from West Orange High School, serves as the student representative to the New Jersey Board of Education. Baker provides the audience with a candid assessment concerning the social and academic challenges that she and other students face during a school year that is anything but typical.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 27: Alisha De Lorenzo, an expert in cultivating productive and healthy school climates and cultures, is a former longtime educator and a licensed professional counselor. She shares social and emotional tips for improved student learning, leadership, relationships and overall well-being.
  • Thursday, Oct. 28: New Jersey Department of Education Acting Commissioner Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan, is the state’s chief of pre-K-12 public education, encompassing 1.4 million students. She has led schools, districts, a county education department and has even served as a college board of trustee member. Dr. Allen-McMillan provides school leaders with a detailed snapshot of new state initiatives and plans.

Check out the other most-watched training sessions from NJSBA’s Virtual Workshop 2021:

Knowing Your Ethical Obligations and Avoiding Complaints School board ethics complaints cost districts time and money. These disruptions often result in attorney fees, create public relations issues and affect an entire school board and superintendent. In this seminar, learn how to avoid ethics complaints and resolve disagreements without incurring needless expenses.

Best Practices in Boardsmanship The board of education’s role is to ensure that a public school district is well run. In practical terms, how does a board member know the appropriate information to ask to make an informed decision? A superintendent and two board members share examples of best practices that they have experienced while serving their districts.

Understanding the Impact of Your Leadership Voice Your voice as a leader can impact and influence your school board, your district, and your community. Elevate your communication style awareness and determine how it may be misperceived. Leave with a plan to better engage and connect with others.

Everything ESSER: An Overview of the Federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Program More than $4 billion in national emergency funds have flowed to New Jersey schools over the last year. This presentation will provide an overview of funds available under the federal American Rescue Plan’s ESSER program, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and for homeless children and youth. Review the required application process, the allowable uses of funds and the federal reporting requirements.

Creative Approaches to Saving Energy in Schools New Jersey school leaders are implementing innovative sustainable energy practices, from student-oriented energy-saving programs to comprehensive facility improvements. This panel features impressive and inspiring efforts by school administrators, facility managers and teachers to integrate sustainable energy into the curriculum, daily district operations and beyond, resulting in tangible impacts for their students and greater communities.

An Ethics Update and Potential Minefields for Board Members Hear about recent ethics decisions involving school board members and learn the best ways to avoid complex ethics issues. This presentation includes an interactive discussion and references other challenging matters that board members face.

What Is Critical Race Theory? While critical race theory is not taught in pre-K-12 public schools in New Jersey or across the nation, it has gained considerable public attention. Critical race theory is an academic exercise first developed in American law schools to analyze the evolution of laws adopted in our nation and their impact. In this seminar, participants learn about the three components of critical race theory and are introduced to culturally responsive teaching, which helps all students, regardless of their background, feel accepted and understood, which is necessary for effective learning.

Strategies for Capital Planning Projects Join us for the latest in our always popular capital project planning session. We cover the ins and outs of capital project planning, strategies for success, pitfalls to avoid and ever-changing priorities during these challenging times. We discuss the need to stay on track and not to lose sight of the big picture. New discussion topics include the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ return to school guidance, the New Jersey Department of Education’s updates for long-range facilities plans and related matters.

You’re a New Business Administrator: What You Need to Know School district business administrators wear many hats, including the oversight of facility maintenance and upgrades. Differentiating what constitutes maintenance from capital projects is critical. This session reviews the difference between the two, the statutory requirements for governing facilities, and the history of the New Jersey Department of Education’s Office of School Facilities division. Learn about obtaining the necessary local building permits and state approvals for district projects. Hear from a seasoned business administrator and those with experience in navigating the process and paperwork involved in these matters.

A School Board’s Role as a Policy Maker: Policy Review, Development and Oversight Effective policymakers understand the boundaries between school board oversight and the day-to-day operations of a school or district. Information and resources presented cover: identifying and establishing the policy priorities; developing policy; policy oversight; ongoing manual maintenance. This session includes a slideshow presentation and case studies.

There’s more! Workshop 2021 includes student performances, an interactive exhibit floor and various informative, professional development sessions. Topics include digital and distance learning, equity, cybersecurity, cost-savings, school finance and shared services, technology, sustainability, and integrative STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts and math), just to name a few.

How to view the courses Once logged into the Workshop 2021 digital platform, click “Enter” and then “Auditorium.” On the main stage’s big screen, click the yellow banner titled “Click Here to View and Join Sessions.” You can type keywords in the white bar on top of the page, above the date, to locate the sessions that interest you.

Registration is still open The group rate includes up to 25 team members for $900, including school board members, superintendents, school business administrators, educators and district staff. The individual rate is $450 per person. Business administrators must handle registration.

For more information, visit Virtual Workshop.