• On Target September 21

  • Dr. Janet L. Fike

  •  THE 3 RRRs

    Dear NJASA Colleagues,

    Delta variant, fully vaccinated, mask mandates, Mu variant, quarantines, COVID testing, The Road Forward, breakthrough cases, close contacts, parent protests, contentious board meetings, flooding . . . as school leaders, we are grappling with these challenges every day. They make our work difficult and time consuming and may often leave us with a feeling that we just can’t keep ahead of everything that is occurring. Until we see what the new school year also brings. . . smiling students getting off school buses, children walking to school with their families and the dog, excited students meeting new teachers and their friends, new schedules, swim season, Senior Year!, brightly colored backpacks, creative bulletin boards made by talented staff, new and veteran staff eager to start the new school year, planning real events for our staff and students (yes, there will be a concert this year), students and staff sporting new masks (what is the controversy all about?), students’ first jobs, listening to stories about summertime travel and fun, students and staff relieved to finally get back to a regular school year, football games, college applications, college visits, excitement about being together again, and just knowing that this year will be so much better than last year. These events are the ones that make our work exhilarating and provide us with promising expectation. Welcome to the 2021 - 2022 school year!

    While the 2021 - 2022 school year will still be a different type of school year with some confusion and uncertainty (I have to test how many staff members every week? Rapid Test or PCR? what if staff refuse?), we’ll do what we always do. We will Research our options, React by selecting the best choice, and then Reevaluate our decision making. The 3 RRRs. That’s what we, as school leaders, do every day. That’s what we excel at, what sets us apart, and what ensures that not even a pandemic stops us from doing our jobs, offering incredible programs to our students and meeting the needs of our school communities. Each and every one of you is a beacon of experienced intellect, trustworthiness, strength and compassion, all of which lead your districts to excellence every day. You did it in 2020 – 2021 and you will do it again in 2021 – 2022!

    I am extremely proud and humbled to work with you as colleagues and to count you as my friends. I am honored to represent NJASA as President and to work with you as we continue to secure the educational futures of our students and to unleash the amazing talents of our staff. Each of you is a member of our NJASA family. As a family, we work together, problem solve together, rejoice in each other’s accomplishments, share our defeats and always, always look out for each other. And, as a member of our NJASA family, we are always here for you. Call us, email us, text us and let us know the incredible feats in your district as well as the issues with which our association, the NJASA, can assist. It’s going to be a great year, just watch!


    With much respect and admiration,

    Dr. Janet L. Fike

    NJASA President