The NJSBA Board of Directors met on Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, at the Association’s headquarters in Trenton.
Action Items The Board of Directors approved the following action items:
- Extension of payment of membership dues for Board of Directors members’ boards to the Nov. 15, 2019 Board of Directors meeting.
- 1st reading, waive the 2nd reading on the revisions to GO Policy 8107, Loss of Membership Rights –
Changes the date for NJSBA to restrict member services to districts that are not in good standing from Jan. 1 to Oct. 15. The Bylaws provide that dues are to be paid within 10 days of the district’s first meeting of the fiscal year, or July 31, whichever is later. Changing the date from Jan. 1 to Oct. 15 of NJSBA’s fiscal year to restrict member services to districts that are not in good standing provides districts several months to make payment of their dues and is consistent with the Bylaws directing that Officers and Board of Directors members are subject to losing their NJSBA positions when their local board has not paid its dues by the reorganization meeting held in September of the fiscal year, and that any district that has not paid its dues loses its representation in the Delegate Assembly.
- 1st reading, waive the 2nd reading on the revisions to GO Policy 4154, Extended Leave
Leave under the Family Leave Act (NJFLA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) revised to comply with New Jersey state law.
- Grant request of the Educational Leadership Foundation of New Jersey for funding through the Alliance for Competitive Energy Services (ACES) for a grant for $150,000, for fiscal year 2019-2020 to cover the costs for the 2019-2020 county school boards associations’ meetings.
- Open session minutes of the May 10, 2019 Board of Directors meeting.
- NJSBA Legislative Committee appointments.
Executive Director’s Report Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod provided a report on NJSBA activities and progress toward the goals of the current strategic plan.
- Membership Participation – NJSBA is off to a very good start this year. Member participation in September activities has been very healthy. The Legislative Committee met on Sept. 14, with over 60 people in attendance. In addition to the updates and discussion of state and federal legislation, attendees heard a presentation on student assessments. There was an excellent turnout for the CAL meeting on Saturday, Sept. 21. Leaders of the state’s 21 county school boards associations heard a presentation on social-emotional learning. Eleven counties met in September, and overall attendance was up by 9.5% compared to their first meetings in 2018.
- Membership Dues Update – As reported previously, non-dues revenue is at an all-time high – 36.6%. Nonetheless, NJSBA is still primarily a dues-supported organization, and the rate of dues payment serves as another indicator of member support. As of today, over 95% of the state’s school districts have paid their dues.
- Military Opportunities Day 2019 – As part of NJSBA’s relationship with the Army, each year since 2016, NJSBA has promoted Military Opportunities Day. As part of their efforts to help students prepare for post-secondary college and careers, NJSBA encourages schools to provide information on the wide range of opportunities offered by the U.S. Armed Forces, including scholarships, training and certification in more than 200 areas. The Leadership for Educational Excellence (LEE Group), a coalition of the state’s major educational organizations, distributed a letter encouraging school district leaders to hold a Military Opportunities Day.
- Sustainable Jersey for Schools – Launched in 2014 by founding partners NJSBA and the Sustainability Institute at The College of New Jersey, this initiative has grown to include 57% of the state’s school districts, representing 872 schools. Sustainable Jersey has distributed over $1.8 million in small grants to school districts and enabled them to initiate 5,000 sustainability actions.
- Future Ready Schools – The administration of Future Ready Schools-New Jersey is being moved from the New Jersey Institute of Technology to Sustainable Jersey. NJSBA believes this change will make Future Ready Schools even more successful. Future Ready Schools was founded by three partner organizations – NJSBA, the New Jersey Department of Education, and the New Jersey Institute of Technology. NJIT will remain a founding partner.
- Career-Focused Learners – In 2018, an NJSBA task force reported on educational opportunities for the career-focused learner. Today, we continue to work with the business community, the governor’s office, and other educational groups to explore concepts such as apprenticeships, micro-credentialing, and dual enrollment. The NJSBA is seeking volunteers to serve as ambassadors who will speak at board meetings and other venues about the need to expand educational opportunities for students who do not plan to enroll in four-year colleges immediately after graduation.
- 2019-2020 Goals:
- NJSBA Online University – NJSBA, in partnership with the Rutgers University Division of Continuing Studies, will develop an online university. Rutgers will provide in-kind services to develop online programs covering mandated training and other areas of professional development.
- New Association Management System – NJSBA will implement a new Association management system that will serve as a membership database. It will provide reliable program registration and enable members to track progress toward Board Member Academy Certification. Last year, the Board of Directors approved an appropriation for the new system, developed by Cobalt, a company with extensive experience in developing management systems for associations.
- Educational Equity – During 2019-2020, NJSBA will focus training and information on the concept of educational equity. The goal is to promote the ability of local boards of education to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student population.
- Mental Health Services in the Public Schools – This year’s goals also focus on the positive impact of effective mental health services and early intervention strategies on student health and wellness, school climate and school security. The key initiative is the study, “Building a Foundation for Hope,” which is the product of the NJSBA Task Force on Mental Health Services in the Public Schools. This is an impressive report with over 70 recommendations in nine areas, including social-emotional learning, school climate, community relations, curriculum, professional development and equity. The initial rollout will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 15 at Highland Park High School. In addition, a special Workshop group session will be devoted to the report. That session will take place on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. in Room 304 of the Atlantic City Convention Center.
- Workshop 2019 – Workshop 2019’s keynote speaker will be Ian Hockley. Ian founded a non-profit group called “Dylan’s Wings of Change” and named the group in honor of his son, who was one of the children killed in the Sandy Hook mass shooting. The organization works to develop youth leadership in schools through a program called “Wingman,” which teaches children to be empathetic, courageous and inclusive. Workshop 2019 is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 21 through Thursday, Oct. 24 and will feature more than 300 training and information sessions, including expanded Monday programming. Information, including program and hotel registration, is available on the Workshop website.
- Advocacy – Murphy announced that New Jersey became the first state in the nation with universal access to arts education. The current legislative session ends on Jan. 13. The new session will start six weeks later. The NJSBA Legislative Committee will be presenting its Advocacy Agenda for the new legislative session at the January 2020 meeting of the NJSBA Board of Directors for approval.
- Other pending legislative items:
- There is $10 million in the state Department of Community Affairs budget for feasibility studies on consolidation and shared services. School districts can apply for the funds.
- Mallory’s Law S-3433 revises provisions required in school district’s anti-bullying policy; it provides for civil liability of a parent of a minor adjudicated delinquent for cyberharassment or harassment; and increases certain fines against parents. The bill passed the State Senate but has not moved in the Assembly.
The Board of Directors recognized the new officers elected at the May 2019 Delegate Assembly: President Michael R. McClure, Vice President for County Activities Bruce R. Young; Vice President for Finance Tammy Smith; Vice President for Legislation/Resolutions Karen Cortellino, M.D.; and Immediate Past President Dan Sinclair. The new slate of officers’ terms are from May 2019 to May 2021.
The board introduced the following new members: Noel Naylor, alternate, Atlantic County; Harry Litwack, member, Burlington County; Erica Campbell, alternate, Burlington County; Michelle Kennedy, member, Cumberland County; Paul Breda, alternate, Morris County; Richard Casey, alternate, Ocean County; Marie Bilik, member, Sussex County; Brendan Galligan, member, Union County.
The board also recognized Melanie Biscardi, Ocean County and Dominick Miletta, Salem County, appointed to move from the alternate position to member position of their respective counties.
In addition, the Board of Directors received reports from the president, vice president for county activities, vice president for finance, vice president for legislation/resolutions, and immediate past president.
Information items included Executive Director’s Goals for 2019-2020, GO/4154R – Extended Leave, GO/8107R – Loss of Membership, legal case summary, member dues update 2019-2020, November 2019 Delegate Assembly update, president’s and officers’ reports.