NJASA Delivers on Professional Development
The new school year has begun and New Jersey’s educators are focused on student learning and opportunities for growth. There is no better time than now to think about our own growth as educators and school leaders. I’m proud to note that NJASA has been delivering high quality professional development since its founding in 1940. This year NJASA professional development offerings are again expanding with equity as a primary focus for many programs offered through the NJASA Foundation.
Headlining the list of opportunities are NJASA conferences. NJASA partners in October with the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) and New Jersey Association of School Business Officials (NJASBO) to bring the annual Fall Workshop to the state’s educational leaders at Convention Hall in Atlantic City. On November 21st the association brings the 2nd Annual Equity Conference to the Palace at Somerset Park. TECHSPO marks its 25th anniversary on January 30-31, 2020 at Harrah’s Conference Center in Atlantic City as one of the middle Atlantic states’ best attended technology conferences. NJASA pays tribute to Women’s history month in March, sponsoring the fifth Women’s Leadership Conference at the Palace at Somerset in partnership with the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) and the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association (NJPSA). The 38th Annual Spring Leadership Conference will again return to the conference center at Caesar’s Atlantic City on May 13 – 15, 2020 providing informative sessions, stimulating keynote addresses, and networking opportunities. NJASA augments these major offerings by working with its county affiliates and universities to sponsor county and regional conferences. For example, a collaboration with Monmouth University brings a special Women’s Leadership event on October 3rd at which New Jersey First Lady, Tammy Murphy, will be the keynote speaker.
NJASA One-Day Seminars return as a longstanding staple of programs informing practice. Seminar topics include: Annual Legal Update, School Safety, Special Populations, Financial Survival Skills, Excellence through Equity, Special Education Case Law Update, Adverse Childhood Experiences, Effective Communications, and Mindfulness for Leaders. These One Day Seminar series is complemented by additional three-day seminar programs which are targeted to special interest areas. These programs titles are: Focused Discussions for Human Resources Personnel (new); the Superintendents’ Institute; and the NJASA Legal Series.
The New Jersey School Administrators Residency Program comprises individual mentoring and seminar attendance required by the New Jersey Department of Education for individuals to obtain the New Jersey Chief School Administrator endorsement. This year-long program provides administrators new to their position with training and support as they fulfill their new districtwide responsibilities.
The New Jersey Consortia for Excellence through Equity expands this year with the addition of a new cohort in the northwest region of the state. The northeast, central and southern region cohorts continue the great work conducted over the past years. All four cohorts feature inspiring presenters who bring not only relevant information but share best practices for districts to adapt. The series runs from October through March.
The 2019-2020 school year maintains an important partnership with NJPSA for the sixth year in sponsoring the New Jersey Leadership Academy which includes three days of learning that encourages the sharing of expertise across leadership roles and responsibilities that provides for continuous improvement for district teams. The series this year includes: Rethinking Curriculum: The Journey Toward a More Equitable Curriculum; Social and Emotional Learning: Embedding SEL in the Daily Fabric of School Life; and Formative Assessment: The Real Driver of Instruction. NJASA and NJPSA this year are cosponsoring with law enforcement and support agencies a first-time symposium on October 4th: Our Community Cares: Supporting Students Exposed to Trauma, A Leadership Symposium. This symposium brings together district leaders and community law enforcement representatives to explore the power of partnerships in supporting children impacted by adverse childhood experiences.
NJASA is very proud to announce a new collaboration supporting women leaders at all levels. The association is joining with the National Excellence in School Leadership Institute (NESLI) to offer the Women’s Advanced Leadership Program in partnership with the American Association of School Administrators. This learning partnership promotes the opportunity for women in leadership positions to come together to network, be inspired and empowered in leadership growth and development.
These great offerings are supplemented by the NJASA Legal Publications and the NJASA Legal Handbook, invaluable supports for all school leaders! The NJASA leadership team is working with members to develop more fully the four pillars of the NJASA 4 Equity initiative: Equity for Students, Communities, Leaders, and members. Look for developments throughout the months ahead.
I look forward to a great year of accomplishment for you, your staff and students; as well as for our organization as we support your efforts and the fulfillment of our mission to ensure a superior statewide system of education.