Parent Connections

Parent Connections Parent Connections is a resource for parents on current education issues and debates. We all agree that our nation’s future depends on the quality of the education that our children receive today.
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While we all appreciate the importance of a great public education system, many people don’t understand how public policy decisions made by state and federal lawmakers can affect our education system –both positively and negatively. Parent Connections will serve as a resource to parents so that they can be better informed on educational policy debates such as school funding, testing, school choice

While we all appreciate the importance of a great public education system, many people don’t understand how public policy decisions made by state and federal lawmakers can affect our education system –both positively and negatively. Parent Connections will serve as a resource to parents so that they can be better informed on educational policy debates such as school funding, testing, school choice

Operating as usual

What was it like for Eight Graders this pass year to go to school during the pandemic? In a series of interviews in 12 d...
05/25/2021
Atlantic County Eighth Graders Discuss the School Year during COVID- #1

What was it like for Eight Graders this pass year to go to school during the pandemic? In a series of interviews in 12 different counties we find out. These students are one group from Atlantic County.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3dbMJWZgRk&t=14s

For years, county school boards associations have held what they called “Eighth-Grade Dialogues” in which they had students from local middle schools discuss...

March is Women's History Month and in honor of that NJSBA wanted to look at some female educational leaders.  They focus...
03/24/2021
Women’s Leadership in Education: The View from One N.J. District

March is Women's History Month and in honor of that NJSBA wanted to look at some female educational leaders. They focused by looking at one district, Mendham Borough in Morris County whose leadership team is comprised mostly of women. Enjoy this interview.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAgAEESV740

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAgAEESV740

While women comprise more than 70% of New Jersey’s education workforce, the number of women in leadership positions is below that figure. In one Morris Count...

With the dramatic increase in the number of students who are accessing their education remotely because of the pandemic ...
02/25/2021
School Law Today – Remote Instruction and Student Privacy

With the dramatic increase in the number of students who are accessing their education remotely because of the pandemic it brings with it questions on the important issue of student privacy and rights. In this podcat William Donia a partner in the law firm of Cooper Levenson discusses these issues with NJSBA's Ray Pinney.
https://www.blogtalkradio.com/njsba/2021/02/17/school-law-today-remote-instruction-and-student-privacy

One of the foundations of education law is the protection of students' privacy. With the almost overnight transition from in-person instruction to remote instruction, how are students' rights affected? What are the procedures that districts should follow, and what might be some actions to avoid? In....

In part two of this NJSBA series on Lessons Learned, three very accomplished teachers discuss their experience in the cl...
02/04/2021
Lessons Learned: A Reflective Conversation with Teachers of the Year (Part Two)

In part two of this NJSBA series on Lessons Learned, three very accomplished teachers discuss their experience in the classroom. In this segment they discuss teacher evaluations and student assessment as well as other issues.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEUuFEfCcg8&t=1s

In part two of an Education Matters video interview with the NJSBA’s Ray Pinney, three accomplished teachers – T.J. Belasco, the 2019-2020 Cape May County Te...

What is it like to be a teacher during the pandemic?  In this first in a two part series of interviews with NJSBA, the t...
02/02/2021
Lessons Learned: A Reflective Conversation with Teachers of the Year (Part One)

What is it like to be a teacher during the pandemic? In this first in a two part series of interviews with NJSBA, the two most recent state teachers of the year plus a county teacher of the year discuss the challenges they face, how their students are dealing with the pandemic.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bLfx6y74iE

The pandemic has brought dramatic changes to classrooms in New Jersey. In this Education Matters video interview with the NJSBA’s Ray Pinney, three accomplis...

The consolidation and regionalization of New Jersey's school districts has been discussed for years with little change. ...
01/27/2021
Examining the Possibility of a Countywide School System

The consolidation and regionalization of New Jersey's school districts has been discussed for years with little change. However in Salem County a feasibility study is being undertaken to look at the possibility of creating a countywide school district. In this video interview with NJSBA's Ray Pinney, Vito Gagliardi Jr. and Kerri Wright Principals with the law firm of Porzio, Bromberg, and Newman discuss the issues they will study along with the process in this study.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3z7iMJAnSE

The Salem Board of Chosen County Commissioners has hired a firm to examine the feasibility of a countywide school district, or some other structure. In this ...

During this pandemic one of the most difficult issues is having in person instruction. In this video we explore the stor...
01/20/2021
E M Dr Dario Sforza

During this pandemic one of the most difficult issues is having in person instruction. In this video we explore the story about how one district is doing it five days a week. Dr. Sforza the superintendent for the Carlstadt - East Rutherford Regional School District discusses the process with NJSBA's Ray Pinney.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBHxwqcwPIA

The pandemic has been a challenge for local school districts to meet not only the academic needs of the students but als...
01/15/2021
Meeting All the Needs of the Students During the Pandemic in Ocean City

The pandemic has been a challenge for local school districts to meet not only the academic needs of the students but also their social/emotional needs. In this interview Dr. Kathleen Taylor, the superintendent of the Ocean City School District in Cape May County discusses how her district is addressing those issues with NJSBA's Ray Pinney.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PowmFGcRQm8

The extraordinary demands of the 2020-2021 school year have challenged school district leaders to meet the academic – and social-emotional -- needs of their ...

n a very turbulent time it is easy to forget there is a lot of good in the world and good people.  One of those people i...
01/14/2021
Middlesex County Teacher Sends 800 Gifts—and Joy—to Her Students

n a very turbulent time it is easy to forget there is a lot of good in the world and good people. One of those people is Jen Olawski. Listen to her story about how she makes the holiday season a better for all her students. She is truly an inspiring teacher.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsIhuryfcxc

Every year, Jennifer Olawski, a health and phys ed teacher in the New Brunswick School District, makes sure that all her students get an educational gift for...

The experience of leading a school through a pandemic with hybrid and virtual learning is something that educators canno...
01/04/2021
Superintendents Share Lessons Learned During the COVID Crisis

The experience of leading a school through a pandemic with hybrid and virtual learning is something that educators cannot fall back on previous experience for guidance. In this video interview two superintendents from different ends of New Jersey, Kenyon Kummings from Wildwood City and Sarah Bilotti from North Warren Regional School District discuss their experiences with NJSBA's Ray Pinney. Hope you enjoy!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FOInThqaBA

In this Education Matters video interview, superintendents from the northern and southern parts of the state discuss the lessons they learned while dealing w...

What would happen if there was no Homecoming King and Queen?  Well the student body of one New Jersey High School decide...
12/10/2020
Knights of the Roundtable- West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North

What would happen if there was no Homecoming King and Queen? Well the student body of one New Jersey High School decided to do away with that tradition and create their own new tradition. Listen to these students discuss their thought process and reasoning for the change.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLX7W3reKpA&t=1s

At West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North, student council members were concerned that the traditional “king and queen” of the prom contest had grown outd...

11/12/2020
New Jersey School Boards Association

New Jersey School Boards Association

If you missed the Esports in Education Showcase at NJSBA's Virtual Workshop, catch the encore presentation!

Esports is more than just video games. It has created a place for students who don’t usually play sports to have a team and learn to strategize. It is also a great way to teach social-emotional learning and for students to find a pipeline to college.

This event will feature an esports competition in partnership with Horizon AVL and Garden State Esports. This live-action event will be a bracket-style tournament, completely live, and will include commentators that will follow the action in real-time. The game, Rocket League©, is a fast-paced vehicular soccer game making it critical for teams to communicate and scheme quickly as a unit. New Jersey’s Knollwood Middle School in Fair Haven, the first middle school in the country to create a video gaming team, will display why esports is such a fast-growing industry.

#NJSBAWorkshop

Have a student who is an aspiring film maker?  With today's technology students can do great filming with their phone ev...
11/12/2020
Attention Student Filmmakers!

Have a student who is an aspiring film maker? With today's technology students can do great filming with their phone even during the pandemic. In this interview Lauren Concar Sheehy the Executive Director of the Garden State Film Festival discusses an opportunity for students to submit their work. This is in partnership with NJSBA. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwanDm1UgeY

The New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) is sponsoring a newer category in the Garden State Film Festival (the state's largest film festival) called ...

With this being election week our thoughts should also focus on local public servants such as school board members.  One...
11/05/2020
Meet Irene LeFebvre, New Jersey’s School Board Member of the Year - YouTube

With this being election week our thoughts should also focus on local public servants such as school board members. One of the best examples of a devoted public servants is Irene LeFebvre from the Boonton BOE. Irene was named the New Jersey State School Board member of the Year by an independent out of state panel. I sat and talked with Irene about the role of the board member and why she like serving on the school board. We think you will enjoy this interview.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKkzZ75vPm4

Irene LeFebvre, from the Boonton Town Board of Education, is New Jersey’s School Board Member of the Year for 2020-2021. In this interview with the NJSBA’s Ray ...

Congratulations to Irene LeFebvre from the Boonton Board of Education in Morris County for being named the 2020-21 New J...
10/08/2020

Congratulations to Irene LeFebvre from the Boonton Board of Education in Morris County for being named the 2020-21 New Jersey State School Board Member of the year.

10/01/2020
Special Education Issues During the Pandemic - School Law

One of the many challenges facing school districts during the pandemic is the providing special education services with social distancing protocols and virtual learning. In this podcast Amy Houck Elco a Partner with the law firm of Cooper Levenson discusses the procedures to follow with NJSBA's Ray Pinney.
https://www.blogtalkradio.com/njsba/2020/09/29/special-education-issues-during-the-pandemic--school-law

https://www.blogtalkradio.com/njsba/2020/09/29/special-education-issues-during-the-pandemic--school-law

Special education practices changed overnight with the onset of the pandemic. Many districts are working to provide services virtually and with social distancing protocols while still following IEPs and adhering to other legal requirements. In this podcast, Amy Houck Elco, a partner with the law fir...

09/11/2020
The Pandemic’s Effect on Board of Education Meetings

The pandemic had an immediate impact on how board of education meetings were conducted. The virtual component is something that was a rarity before the pandemic but now is a necessity. How does this work with the Open Public Meetings Act? Listen in to this podcast at John Geppert and Carolyn Chaudry from the law firm of Scarinci and Hollenbeck discusses these issues with NJSBA's Ray Pinney.
https://www.blogtalkradio.com/njsba/2020/09/08/the-pandemics-effect-on-board-of-education-meetings

When COVID-19 first hit New Jersey, school board meetings went from being in person to virtual almost overnight. Even though the number of coronavirus cases has diminished recently, many boards are still meeting virtually. How can board meetings run more smoothly and still comply with the requiremen...

09/02/2020
Delivering Special Education Services During a Pandemic

The delivering of special education services and instruction is a major challenge during this unprecedented time with the pandemic. Dr. Gerard Crisonino who is both a Director of Special Education in the Jersey City School District as well as a school board member in another district. Discusses how to meet this challenge with NJSBA's Ray Pinney.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ferLJqEbEU&t=1s

Delivering remote instruction to special education students is especially challenging during the pandemic. In this video interview, Dr. Gerard Crisonino, dir...

08/18/2020
School Law During the Pandemic: Executive Order 175

Governor Murphy's latest Executive Order #175 changes the parameters for the reopening of schools. In this podcast Jonathan Busch from the Busch Group discusses the legal implications for school districts in New Jersey with NJSBA's Ray Pinney.

https://www.blogtalkradio.com/njsba/2020/08/18/school-law-during-the-pandemic-executive-order-175

Since the pandemic began, Executive Orders have governed most of our actions as school districts. What does the most recent—Executive Order 175—mean for school districts and what should they aware of as they move forward? In this interview, Jonathan Busch, of the Busch Law Group, discuss...

08/12/2020
Health Officers Discuss the Protocols for Reopening our schools

One of the biggest challenges in reopening our schools in person is meeting social distancing and health protocols. In this interview Megan Avallone, President of the New Jersey Association of County and City Health Officials (NJACCHO) and Peter Summers a member of the NJACCHO Executive Committee discuss COVID-19 health protocols.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dks49kxLrLI

Many of the guidelines for the reopening of our schools are health guidelines. In this interview Megan Avallone, New Jersey Association of County and City He...

One of the biggest concerns that school districts have when we reopen is the social-emotional well being of their studen...
07/21/2020
Social Emotional Learning Before and During the Pandemic: The Wingman Program in Bloomfield

One of the biggest concerns that school districts have when we reopen is the social-emotional well being of their students. In this short interview the district of Bloomfield discusses how they are using the Wingman program to help students during this pandemic. Ian Hockley also discusses the value behind the program.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqXvsBK6Bbw

The Wingman program is designed as a social emotion learning SEL program to help students make connections with each other. While it was introduced districtw...

06/30/2020
Superintendent Zywicki of Mount Olive Discusses Reopening Plans

Before Superintendent Robert Zywicki of the Mount Olive School District sat with Governor Murphy to discuss New Jersey's reopening plans for New Jersey he sat for an interview with NJSBA. In this interview he discusses the options he sees for his district in reopening schools.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AN7ENAfolY

Dr. Robert Zywicki, superintendent of the Mount Olive School District in Morris County, discusses the reopening plans for his district with the NJSBA’s Ray P...

06/17/2020
Confronting the Challenges Schools Face to Reopen Safely in the Fall

Maybe the biggest challenge facing school districts is how to reopen schools with social distancing restricts. In this important interview Dr. David Aderhold the superintendent at the West Windsor-Plainsboro School District discusses some of the 283 questions he came up with that need to be addressed before we open schools.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfsFo40sJxI

NJSBA's Ray Pinney speaks with David Aderhold, superintendent of the West Windsor-Plainsboro School District, about the current Covid-19 pandemic and the cha...

06/15/2020
Building Resilience in Our Students of Color

During this pandemic all students have been affected. Trauma affects education and the closing of schools has had a more negative impact on students of color. Dr. Melissa Sadin discusses the impact of trauma on students and what school districts can do to build more resiliency in their students of color with NJSBA's Ray Pinney.
https://www.blogtalkradio.com/njsba/2020/06/11/building-resilience-in-our-students-of-color

Traumatic events affect the learning process for all children, but children of color face even more obstacles. NJSBA's Ray Pinney interviews Dr. Melissa Sadin, author of a series of books on coping with trauma, and coauthor, with Nathan Levy, of Teachers' Guide to Trauma: 20 Things Kids with Trauma....

06/11/2020
Building Resilience in Our Students of Color

Trauma affects our students in the classroom. During this time period of school buildings being closed we know that it will have an impact on our students academically, not to mention their social emotional well being. This is disproportionately true for our students of color. In this podcast NJSBA's Ray Pinney discusses these issues with Dr. Melissa Sadin at 3pm today. Podcast is also recorded so you can listen at your convenience.
https://www.blogtalkradio.com/njsba/2020/06/11/building-resilience-in-our-students-of-color

Traumatic events affect the learning process for all children, but children of color face even more obstacles. NJSBA's Ray Pinney interviews Dr. Melissa Sadin, author of a series of books on coping with trauma, and coauthor, with Nathan Levy, of Teachers' Guide to Trauma: 20 Things Kids with Trauma....

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