• Get The Scoop On New Jersey’s Must Attend Education Conference For School Administrators

    Posted by NJASA Executive Director Dr. Richard Bozza at 4/2/2014

    Get the Scoop on New Jersey’s Must Attend
    Education Conference for School Administrators

    On May 21st NJASA/NJAPSA invites New Jersey’s school administrators to the 32nd NJASA/NJAPSA Annual Spring Conference , a 3-day education and professional development conference focused on discussing and enriching the many roles of the school administrator through keynote speakers, topic-driven sessions, workshops, and more.

    The Annual Spring Conference is a forum for New Jersey school administrators and chief education officers to network and exchange ideas with peers and some of education’s leading experts as well as touch, explore and road-test the latest tools, resources, and technologies for school security, curriculum, and teaching aides.

    Attendees can expect to get fresh ideas and tools to bring back to school district, find ways to uncover opportunities that exist in school districts and develop new leadership skills to plan, finance and communicate new ideas to key stakeholders who need to approve and engage in them for success.

    The Spring Conference will host an array over 60 group sessions and 3 keynotes on some of the most pressing education issues facing school administrators and educators today.  Some sessions include:

    5 Things Every Administrator Needs To Know About PARC and IEP
    How 25 NJ Districts Took Back Their IEP
    SGO: Old Ideas, New Acronyms (Supports Mission Impossible, Times A changing)
    Game of Groans, Satisfying All The Stake Owners
    How To Interpret BYOD
    Principal Evaluations
    Faculty Meetings Can be Engaging, Here’s How
    PARCC testing, Pilot group, Mid April
    Collaboration Critical Thinking Communication
    Using 21st Century Technology To Develop 21st Century Skills
    Digital Teaching Transformation not just about the device
    10 Hot Topics For Special Education, Legal & Practitioner Tips

    The Spring Conference keynote speakers will share their expertise and experiences as educators to help enrich education practices in your school districts.

    Rick Lavoie, will help you uncover ways to improve education for children with special needs by sharing his philosophies and methods based on his 30+ years of experience as an administrator of residential programs for children with special needs.

    Jamie Vollmer comes to the Spring Conference with a background in law and works as a public education advocate looking to increase student success by raising public support for America’s schools. Jamie will discuss his experiences over the last two decades working with educators, parents, and community leaders to remove obstacles to student success.

    Freeman A. Hrabowski, III,  who was recently named by President Obama to the chair of the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans, will share his research on science and math education with a focus on minority participation and performance. His research shows how underrepresented minorities can be better engaged in America’s Science and Technology education and future talent pools in the workforce.

    In addition to discussing education issues, we will also be honoring New Jersey school administrators during the opening general session on Wednesday, May 21st and Thursday, May 22nd for the Anti-Defamation League Award, NJASA Distinguished Service Award, and the Special Education Administrator Of The Year Award.

    If you are planning to stay overnight for the conference, the waiver request for two overnight stays at Bally’s Atlantic City was approved by the Commissioner of Education. As a result, School Districts are able to reimburse attendees for overnight lodging on Wednesday, May 21 and Thursday, May 22, 2014. Reimbursement for registration fees, mileage and meals, are subject to the limitations and conditions set forth by your board and the travel regulations set forth by the NJDOE.

    Bally’s Atlantic City is the official host hotel for the 2014 NJASA/NJAPSA Annual Spring Conference. NJASA has negotiated a special rate for Conference attendees. To take advantage of these special rates, simply call: BALLY’S RESERVATIONS 1 (888) 516-2215 between the hours of 8:00am and 2:00am (Eastern time), seven days a week, before Monday, May 5, 2014. Simply identify yourself with the NJ Association of School Administrators and provide Offer Code SB05SA4 in order to receive the discounted rate. Attendees can also make hotel reservations online on the Bally’s Total Rewards Website.

    For information on exhibiting, sponsoring, or attending the Spring Conference visit our website or call 609-599-2900 Ext. 129.
    Conference Schedule Register to Attend
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  • Important Education Issues Arise in NJ Public Schools In 2014

    Posted by Dr. Richard Bozza at 2/11/2014 10:00:00 AM

    There have been a lot of changes in New Jersey education over the last several years and it’s only going to continue to move in a more modern direction, fueled by technology. It’s important that New Jersey school districts continue to communicate and work together to make these transitions as smooth as possible, and share our experience for the betterment of New Jersey education. With so many issues facing New Jersey chief education officers in the coming year, how we can minimize stress and disruption in the classroom?

    Below we discuss some of the major education issues facing New Jersey school districts, but we also discuss them at our professional development seminars where we are able to learn from each other’s experience and expertise. This is a very important time in New Jersey education and we are the chosen ones responsible for shaping what education looks like in the future.

    Longer School Day And Year

    Governor Chris Christie called for a major scheduling change during his 2014 State-of-the-State address. He wants longer school days and a longer school year. We recognize that a 180-day school year and a six-hour school day are both relics of the past. That’s why extending the school day and year has been part of the education dialogue for decades, but the challenge is in the implementation.

    There is a cost—in staffing and facilities. According to nj.com1, an elementary school in Arizona added 132 hours to the school year at a cost of $290 per student, while a school in Massachusetts added 540 hours at a cost of $1,695 a student. When calculated as cost per hour per student, the additional expenses ranged from $2.20 to $5.23.

    Who will pay for the additional time for schools to be open? Is the funding going to come from already strapped school budgets?

    Common Core Implementation

    Forty-five states, including New Jersey, have adopted the Common Core standards and are in the process of implementing new curriculum. The standards require an interactive approach to testing. We can no longer evaluate students in a classroom with paper and pencil tests. But some schools don’t have enough devices—and all districts are going to be challenged by budgeting for this expense.

    Not only that, switching over to interactive testing is going to be cumbersome, at least initially. We’ll have to plan to minimize any disruption to the educational process.

    Here are some tips to keep stress in the classroom low:

    1. Educate parents on how they can help assist in making the shift easier for their children.
    2. Figure out a way to teach students basic computer skills if they don’t have any.
    3. Communicate with your school district to make sure everyone has an understanding on the Common Core.
    Teacher Evaluations

    Teacher and principal assessment now requires multiple measures, which is good in theory. In reality, it’s challenging. There’s limited time for administrators to complete the increased number of classroom observations. But the stakes are high. After all, the results will determine whether teachers and principals keep their jobs.


    New Jersey has long underfunded the state pension system. Now it’s trying to ‘catch up’ with a funding commitment over the next seven years. Again, that’s good in theory. In practice, however, that means less money for school budgets. These are budgets are already stretched to the limit. Yet the state continues to require districts to do more, with less.

     New Jersey’s Chief Education Officers are working hard to confront these challenges and others.

    We’re at an exciting time in New Jersey schools, at a crossroads of traditional methods and a futuristic focus. Our goal is to determine what a successful public education system will look like in 2020 and beyond.

    1 http://www.nj.com/education/2014/01/how_much_will_longer_school_day_cost_new_report_has_some_answers.html#incart_river

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  • Resolution - Participate in NJASA Activities and Programs

    Posted by Dr. Richard G. Bozza at 1/27/2014
    "Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress, working together is success."
    Henry Ford
    The New Year brings the opportunity to assess where we have been and where we are headed. We do this as individuals as we establish resolutions for the twelve months ahead, hoping to improve in specific ways. The most popular resolutions focus on personal improvement in health and mind:  eat healthier, exercise and lose weight, quit smoking, learn something new, be less stressed, spend more time with family and travel to new places, for example.
    As I sat down to write this blog, I thought about a recent conversation with a member who told me about a response he received from a colleague when asked to join him at an NJASA activity. His response essentially was: “I’m pretty busy, what’s in it for me?” Certainly, that is an understandable and almost predictable response as we all navigate our challenging and daily work responsibilities.
    My conversations during NJASA committee meetings, professional development programs and meetings around the state certainly reinforce members’ reaction to the many stresses coming from within and outside the school system. Often, it is to prioritize the many demands they face and to place those viewed not at the core of the work, including personal growth and professional relationships, at the lower end of the spectrum.
    My discussion with members frequently focuses on an important word in the name of our organization: Association. Association can be defined as a group of people who have voluntarily joined together because they have similar interests or goals. As chief education officers, system leaders and professionals, we choose to associate because we believe it is important to have one statewide voice as educational leaders in pursuing our mission as the unifying professional association of school leaders in order to ensure a superior statewide system of education by influencing and effecting educational policy, regulations and legislation; and by maximizing the capacity and effectiveness of school leaders through professional development programs and support services.
    Individual participation in and support for our Association contribute to the benefits available to all members which, in turn, support the achievement of the mission and goals of individual districts where NJASA members work. Professional development programs and resources, conferences, information on legislative proposals and administration policies, participation in state task forces and NJ DOE advisory groups, legal support, collaboration with other state educational associations, and influence on policies and legislation are among those benefits.
    I encourage you to resolve this year to be an active member of your state and county associations, attend NJASA programs and conferences, and volunteer as a committee member on the county and state levels. I know that you appreciate the value of communication with colleagues, developing camaraderie and sharing experiences and information. Make it a priority for your work throughout the year. You will be rejuvenated by your association with colleagues at the county and state levels and gain perspectives different than your own which can impact your success. When we work together we gain recognition for being a member of a high quality organization serving leaders who impact the lives of New Jersey children.
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