As school board members, it almost goes without saying: We believe in education!

We approve curricula, textbooks, and make staffing recommendations. We review test results and work tirelessly to ensure academic programs accommodate all students. While we can’t guarantee every child will succeed, we can ensure that every student has an equal opportunity to do so.

As board members, we also make sure school staff can access up-to-date professional development resources. We approve staff development days in school schedules, so everyone can collaborate and learn from each other.

While it’s critical that we do all these things, we must take time to ask: How do we provide that same type of nourishment for ourselves?

We need to know so much about so many different areas to effectively manage our local districts and advance the achievement of all New Jersey students. Just like those we serve, we need access to professional development that covers how to effectively manage school operations. We also need time to collaborate and connect with peers who face similar challenges.

Particularly over the past two years with COVID-19, getting nourishment as a school board member has been more important than ever. We’re facing challenges that we never thought we’d have to face.

We are so very fortunate to have access — at a low cost or no cost at all — to all the nourishment that NJSBA provides through its many trainings, programs, webinars, news updates and other resources.

I encourage you to take advantage of all the training and opportunities NJSBA provides, so we can continue to meet the sacred responsibility of educating our children. Highlights include:

County meetings: Five times a year, each of our 21 county school boards associations hold programs addressing timely educational topics. Recent topics include social emotional learning, educational equity, communicating with the community and managing difficult meetings.

Online University Hub: The Online University Hub is a subscription-based, remote learning hub of more than 100 courses across 30-plus learning paths designed for school leaders, staff, educators and other school professionals.

Training through your field service representative:  FSRs can conduct retreats for individual boards on topics ranging from improving board/superintendent relations to teamwork, conflict resolution skills and more.

Webinars: Online programs address topics of critical importance to boards, including policy, grants support, school technology, board governance, sustainability and more.

Podcasts: NJSBA’s podcast program, “Conversations on New Jersey Education,” explores educational issues and the impact of state-level politics on New Jersey’s schools.

So, as you roll up your sleeves and continue the hard work of being a school board member, take time to  nourish yourself with the many resources NJSBA provides, including the informative articles in this latest issue of School Leader.