School districts across the state are working tirelessly to develop reopening strategies for the 2020-2021 school year.

To assist in planning, ELFNJ sponsored a four-part series to help boards work through the many questions surrounding a return to school and long-term planning.

Starting on June 16, a panel of award-winning educators held “Legacy Shaping Lessons: Women Educators Examine Legacy-Shaping Leadership,” a discussion about successful leadership and the practices that impact performance and ultimately shape legacy.

On July 29, presenters from the Public Consulting Group, an ELFNJ donor, led a discussion about operational considerations for special education when developing school reopening plans. Their presentation, “Key Decisions for Special Education During COVID-19,” covered topics including COVID-19-specific policy development for close interactions with students with disabilities while supporting learning, and maintaining compliance with local and state regulations.

The Public Consulting Group also held two more sessions. On Aug. 5, “Understanding Special Education Cost Drivers Upon School Reopening,” explored the potential cost drivers of special education budgets upon reopening from the COVID-19 school closures. Topics included innovative approaches to delivering special education services while managing costs, as well as additional considerations for reopening.

The final session of the series was held on Aug. 12. “Special Education Performance Indicators for Reopening” discussed the importance of establishing key performance indicators for special education to monitor student and district progress post-reopening.

All of the sessions within the series were recorded and can be found along with various downloadable resources here.