Innovative programs in three New Jersey school districts have won recognition in the New Jersey School Boards Association’s 34th annual School Leader Awards. 

“This year, the School Leader Awards showcased creative and effective programs that New Jersey schools are using to meet the challenges of remote learning created by the COVID-19 school closure,” said Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod, NJSBA executive director. “Entries were judged on the level of innovation, and how well the programs met students’ needs in a remote learning environment. Congratulations to all involved for successfully serving their students during this difficult time.” 

The competition drew 35 entries from school districts across the state. Award winners, announced on Oct. 8, will be honored during a virtual ceremony later this year. The winners are: 

  • Burlington County Special Services School District – Transition Program  The goal of this program is to create strong, consistent connections with students and parents during the period of remote learning. The program ensures that students, who are working to gain increased independence, have the appropriate level of support to continue practicing job and life skills at home. 
  • Jersey City School District – Speech & Language Program  The Jersey City School District special education team created a website to enhance speech and language learning at home and to supplement teletherapy services. The program provides speech-language pathologists with resources to share with their colleagues, while giving parents an effective program for their children during the COVID-19 school closure. 
  • Livingston School District – Technology for a Change – Overcoming Through Innovation Students and staff from the Livingston Public Schools Departments of Technology and Family Consumer Sciences came together to address the shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) facing local medical workers. The goal of the initiative was to produce vital PPE materials for medical staff and first responders, using the technological skills students had gained in class. The program is an example of real-world application of the New Jersey Department of Education technology standards.  

Entries were judged by representatives of the New Jersey School Boards Association, New Jersey Association of School Administrators and New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association.