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The New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) presents a forum to explore education issues and the impact of state-level politics on New Jersey’s public school districts, hosted by Ray Pinney, of NJSBA. The format brings together state and local education leaders for a lively dialogue on the latest developments. Our children’s education is too important not to discuss and debate. To learn more about NJSBA, visit https://www.njsba.org.
 
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show series
 
On March 26, the governor signed legislation requiring parents to be notified in writing if their child under the age of 18 is arrested for possessing or using marijuana. How will this latest change affect the legalization of marijuana, which voters overwhelmingly approved in November 2020? When will marijuana be available in New Jersey? What shoul…
 
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 this podcast interview, William Donio, a partner w…
 
With school districts moving from hybrid to remote learning and then back again during the pandemic, job responsibilities of district staff have been constantly changing. Boards of education have had to navigate through unique personnel issues during the health emergency as they try to provide the best possible education for their students. In this…
 
Earlier this year, Paterson School District officials worried that a shortage of devices would prevent many students from learning online. In this podcast, the NJSBA’s Ray Pinney interviews Paterson Superintendent Eileen Shafer, and Jerry Scacchitti, regional vice president for Trox who explain how they worked together to help Paterson find the dev…
 
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 firm of Cooper Levenson, discusses the issues with th…
 
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 requirements of the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA)? Are vir…
 
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, discusses the legal implications of Executive Order 175 with NJSBA’s …
 
Despite virtual meetings and the pandemic, negotiations between the board of education and the local bargaining unit still have to take place. Should you hold the sessions remotely or in person? What are the issues that pandemic adds to the mix? How long of a contract should you agree too? In this podcast, Philip Stern, Esq. from the firm of DiFran…
 
The guidelines for the reopening our schools recommend strict social distancing protocols. How does that work with a school district’s requirement for various safety drills such as active shooter drills, fire drills and lockdowns? In this podcast, Kevin Craig, assistant vice president of safety, security, and investigations with Porzio Compliance S…
 
Special education students and educators have faced extraordinary difficulties with the school closures – and face even more challenges with the reopening of schools. With a new school year beginning, there is a need to evaluate and assess the status of special education students. Which students need assessments? What are the challenges of performi…
 
Colleen Maguire is the new Chief Operating Officer for the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA). She is the first woman to lead the 102-year old association. In this podcast, Maguire will discuss the importance of athletics for students and how the NJSIAA is moving forward, cautiously, toward the possibility of a fall seas…
 
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 Wish Their Teachers Knew. Dr. Sadin will discuss t…
 
Meeting the educational and social-emotional needs of special education students is perhaps the most daunting challenge our districts have faced in the transition from in-person instruction to remote learning. Dr. Gerard Crisonino, director of special education at the Jersey City School District, and a school board member in the Berkeley Heights Sc…
 
The Town of Dover in western Morris County is a diverse community that was hit hard by the COVID-19 outbreak. How did the switch to virtual learning affect this district? What were the most difficult challenges in the move and what are the challenges they see as they move forward? In this podcast, Dr. James McLaughlin, superintendent and Christina …
 
Most New Jerseyans know Wildwood as a resort community with a lovely boardwalk and sprawling beaches but it is also home to a pre-K through 12 school district. This district has a unique school population and the school closures and switch to remote learning created special challenges –particularly for meal distribution and virtual instruction. In …
 
North Warren Regional School District is a rural 7-12 regional school district in the hills of Warren County. How did the switch to virtual learning affect this sprawling district? What were the most difficult challenges in that transition and what are the challenges they see as they move forward? In this podcast, Sarah Bilotti, North Warren’s supe…
 
Teaching physical education virtually is a challenge, but it is a challenge the Middlesex County Teacher of the Year, Jennifer Olawski from New Brunswick, meets everyday. Listen in as NJSBA’s Ray Pinney discusses with Jennifer how and the district use physical activity to reduce stress for students and staff, and how she checks in with students on …
 
One of the biggest challenges many school districts faced when schools closed was that they still had to dispense meals to their students. In this podcast, Mark Gengaro, director of climate and security for the Clifton Public Schools, discusses with NJSBA’s Ray Pinney how that district organized and planned to open three locations for food distribu…
 
Even if you are a teacher with superb technological skills, moving from in-classroom to virtual instruction is a challenge. Katherine Poerner, who teaches Pre-AP U.S. History I and AP U.S. History II at Pinelands Regional High School, discusses meeting the challenges of virtual learning with her students with NJSBA’s Ray Pinney.…
 
What is the role of the building principal when the instruction is not occurring in the building? What are the challenges facing principals in making sure instruction is delivered, and the social-emotional needs of the students are met? In this interview, Dr. Paul Christopher, who has more than 30 years of experience as a principal, and is currentl…
 
The school district of Westfield is a large K-12 district located in Union County. The district not only made the switch from in-person instruction to virtual learning but also partnered with the municipal government to make the community safer and healthier. In this interview, Dr. Margaret Dolan, Westfield superintendent discusses with NJSBA’s Ray…
 
Long Branch is a diverse waterfront city located in Monmouth County. The Long Branch Public Schools educate some 5,800 students; 83% of whom are classified as economically disadvantaged. When the school closures took effect in the state and districts transitioned to remote learning, how did Long Branch deal with families that had very limited WiFi …
 
Seemingly overnight, education in New Jersey went from brick and mortar to virtual instruction. Teachers had to adapt quickly. In this interview with NJSBA’s Ray Pinney, Marie Blistan, NJEA president, discusses the impact the change has had on her membership, how the education community came together, and what concerns the NJEA may have as we conti…
 
Hamilton Township in Mercer County is one of New Jersey’s larger school districts, with more than 11,000 students. The superintendent, Dr. Scott Rocco, has led the district through the transition from classroom learning to remote learning with high marks, and has partnered with the municipal government to inform the community of the ongoing efforts…
 
Unfortunately, the district of Keyport is no stranger to dealing with natural disasters. It was one of the districts hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy. However COVID-19 presents unprecedented challenges. How did the superintendent prepare the staff, students and community for the challenge? In this podcast, Dr. Lisa Savoia, Keyport superintendent, di…
 
COVID-19 has completely reshaped the landscape for education in New Jersey. It is just not that schools have closed and instruction has gone virtual. The state has to deal with the fiscal fallout that will result from the quarantine. In this legislative update we will discuss one proposed bill, A-3902, which would allow municipalities to delay paym…
 
Kingsway Regional School District in Gloucester County has worked hard to continue providing top-notch instruction to their students during this public health emergency. Kingsway, a sprawling regional district, must communicate with students and parents from four different communities. Dr. James Lavender, the superintendent, discusses with NJSBA’s …
 
Like many districts, the Pinelands Regional School District has made a great effort to ensure that their delivery of virtual instruction was the best that it could be. They also had to make sure that they could deliver more than 7,000 meals per week as well. In this interview, the Pinelands superintendent Dr. Melissa McCooley, discusses with NJSBA’…
 
Like many districts, the school district of Ramsey made a great effort to make sure that their delivery of instruction virtually was the best that it could be. The superintendent Dr. Matthew Murphy however gave equal importance to meeting the social emotional needs of the students as well. In this podcast, Dr. Murphy discusses how his district addr…
 
In these historically unsettled times, COVID-19 has already disrupted the delivery of education to our students. And now, with the recent announcement that the budget year will be extended to Sept. 30, major changes are in store for districts’ finances. Meanwhile, A-3902, if approved by the state Senate, would delay municipal payment of taxes to sc…
 
Transitioning a school district on short notice to go virtual has involved a Herculean effort. In this podcast, Dr. Robert Zywicki of the Mount Olive School District will join NJSBA’s Ray Pinney to describes the efforts they took to overcome the challenges and still provide quality instruction. He will also explain how the school district’s staff i…
 
While all school districts are engrossed in dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak and continuing to educate students remotely, they also need to be concerned about what is happening in Trenton. What is the impact on school districts of the legislation passed to address the COVID-19 outbreak? Will the COVID-19 outbreak affect the state budget? What is …
 
With the COVID-19 pandemic causing the state government to impose curfews, school closures, and other efforts to keep people apart, how does a Board of Education operate? Can board members participate remotely? Can you ban the public? Join NJSBA’s host Ray Pinney as he discusses these and other issues surrounding board meetings during this difficul…
 
What is branding? Why should school districts be concerned about branding and marketing? What are the benefits of branding your district? What are the steps districts should take as they move forward in this process? Susan Marinello, the district communications officer for the Montville Township Public Schools, discusses these issues and more with …
 
Election Day is almost here and soon many people will go from being a school board candidate to a school board member. Once elected what should the new board member be prepared for? What is your legal responsibility? How do you get information to make informed decisions? What is the relationship between the board and the superintendent? Please join…
 
What is equity in education? How is it different from equality? What are some inherent biases that could affect students? How do equity issues play out in schools? Please join us as former New Jersey Education Commissioner Kimberley Harrington Markus discusses the importance of school districts addressing equity with NJSBA’s Ray Pinney.…
 
In recent weeks, new concerns about vaping have been in the headlines. What is vaping? Who is vaping and what are the health risks associated it? How is the e-cigarette industry marketing strategy targeting our youth? What are the current regulations, and what should be changed? What should school districts be doing? Please join us for a discussion…
 
Outside of salaries and wages, the biggest cost driver in a district’s budget is the price of health care benefits. In a time of tight budgets, how can districts find substantial savings in this area? On this podcast, Chris Heagele, the business administrator for the North Warren Regional School District, discusses with the NJSBA’s Ray Pinney how h…
 
While there seems to be strong medical and scientific evidence that later start times benefit our students the obstacles to make the change are significant. The Princeton district decided it was worth the endeavor. In this podcast, Steven Cochrane the superintendent of the Princeton Public Schools along with Jessica Baxter the principal at Princeto…
 
Many experts in the medical community are promoting the idea of later start times for our middle and high schools. What is the impact of the lack of sleep on adolescents’ health? Is there evidence that supports delaying school start times? In this podcast, Dr. Bert Mandelbaum, chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at Penn Medicine Princeton Heal…
 
When a district has to accommodate a transgender student, what legal guidelines must they follow? In recent years most districts have had to deal with this issue. What policies should they have in place, and what accommodations are most often needed? In this podcast, NJSBA’s Ray Pinney will discuss these and other issues surrounding transgender stu…
 
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