In 2014, the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) released “What Makes Schools Safe,” the final report of the NJSBA School Security Task Force.  The highly regarded report, which made 45 recommendations in the areas of security personnel; school climate; policy and planning; communications; training in school security; physical security, and financing, has had a lasting impact.  The report helped inform the state’s own school security task force. In addition, legislative recommendations made in the report have been enacted into law.

After the February 2018 Parkland, Florida school shootings, NJSBA President Dan Sinclair and NJSBA Executive Director Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod requested that the report be updated, focusing on new developments in school security and continued areas of concern.

At Workshop 2018, on Tuesday, Oct. 23 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., the task force will present the revised report, which makes additional recommendations for school districts and state and local governments.  The program, “NJSBA School Security Task Force Update,” will take place in Room 304 at the Atlantic City Convention Center.

That program is only one of approximately 30 programs at this year’s conference that will focus on school security and safety, including some from experts at the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE).  Below is a sampling of some of the programs that will be available:

Wednesday Oct. 24  

Using a School as a Shelter During a Natural Disaster
10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., Room 321
Presenters: Thomas Gambino, Ed.D, school security specialist, NJDOE;  Jeff Gale, school security specialist, NJDOE

Unleashing the Potential of Data Through Governance
11 a.m. – 12 p.m., Room 417
Presenters: Evan Linhardt, chief information technology officer, NJDOE; Katherine Villari, executive director, Data Management Office, NJDOE

Schools and Municipalities: Working Together for Student Safety
2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., Rooms 305/306
Panel discussion sponsored in cooperation with the New Jersey State League of Municipalities.
Moderator: Hon. James Cassella, mayor, East Rutherford; president, NJLM
Panel: Donald Webster Jr., immediate past president, NJSBA; chairman, NJSBA School Security Task Force; Steven Forte, superintendent, Denville Township School District and Christopher Wagner, chief of police, Denville Township

Enhancing School Safety Through Policies and Procedures
4 p.m. – 5 p.m., Room 417
Presenters: Jeffrey Gale, school security specialist, NJDOE; Dr. Thomas Gambino, school security specialist, NJDOE and Ben Castillo, director of Office of School Preparedness and Emergency Planning, NJDOE