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Keynote Speakers

Thursday, October 19, 2017

toughPaul Tough

Author of Helping Children Succeed:  What Works and Why

Paul Tough is the author, most recently, of Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why. His previous book, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, was translated into 27 languages and spent more than a year on the New York Times hardcover and paperback best-seller lists. His first book, Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America, was published in 2008. Paul is a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine, where he has written extensively about education, parenting, poverty, and politics. His writing has also appeared in the New Yorker, the AtlanticGQ, and Esquire, and on the op-ed page of the New York Times. He has worked as an editor at the New York Times Magazine and Harper’s Magazine and as a reporter and producer for the public-radio program “This American Life.” He was the founding editor of Open Letters, an online magazine. He lives with his wife and two sons in Montauk, New York.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

duckworthAngela Duckworth (Via Skype)

Author of GRIT: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

Angela Duckworth is the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also the founder and scientific director of the Character Lab, a nonprofit whose mission is to advance the science and practice of character development. Angela studies grit and self-control, two attributes that are distinct from IQ and yet powerfully predict success and well-being. A 2013 MacArthur “Genius” Fellow, Angela has advised the White House, the World Bank, NBA and NFL teams, and Fortune 500 CEOs. Currently, she serves as a Faculty Director for Wharton People Analytics, an initiative that helps organizations adopt the latest insights from social science research. Prior to her career in research, Angela founded a summer school for low-income children that was profiled as a Harvard Kennedy School case study and, in 2012, celebrated its twentieth anniversary. She has also been a McKinsey management consultant and a math and science teacher in the public schools of New York City, San Francisco, and Philadelphia. Angela completed her undergraduate degree in Advanced Studies Neurobiology at Harvard, graduating magna cum laude. With the support of a Marshall Scholarship, she completed an MSc with Distinction in Neuroscience from Oxford University. She completed her PhD in Psychology as a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. Angela has received numerous awards for her contributions to K-12 education, including a Beyond Z Award from the KIPP Foundation. Her first book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, debuted May 3, 2016 as an immediate New York Times bestseller.

Friday, October 20, 2017

nogueraPedro Noguera

Distinguished Professor of Education in the Graduate School of Education and Information Sciences at UCLA

Click here for Pedro’s PowerPoint Presentation

Education has long been regarded as one of the most effective means to insure social mobility.  However, in too many cases, educational institutions have functioned in ways that reinforce and reproduce existing patterns of inequality rather than ameliorating them.  This is particularly true in schools and districts that serve high concentrations of low-income, minority students.  However, similar patterns are also evident in more diverse settings where race and class tend to predict academic outcomes and performance.  Drawing on research and “best practices” this presentation will examine the factors that contribute to these trends and suggest strategies that can be employed by those in leadership to counter them.

Pedro Noguera is the Distinguished Professor of Education in the Graduate School of Education and Information Sciences at UCLA. Dr. Noguera is a sociologist whose scholarship and research focuses on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions, as well as by demographic trends in local, regional and global contexts. He serves on the boards of numerous national and local organizations and appears as a regular commentator on educational issues on CNN, MSNBC, National Public Radio, and other national news outlets. Prior to joining the faculty at UCLA he served as the Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education at New York University and the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools (2003 – 2015), the Judith K. Dimon Professor of Communities and Schools at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (2000 – 2003), and the University of California, Berkeley where he was also the Director of the Institute for the Study of Social Change (1990 – 2000). From 2009 – 2012 he served as a Trustee for the State University of New York (SUNY) as an appointee of the Governor. In 2014 he was elected to the National Academy of Education. Noguera recently received awards from the Center for the Advanced Study of the Behavioral Sciences, from the National Association of Secondary Principals, and from the McSilver Institute at NYU for his research and advocacy efforts aimed at fighting poverty.

2017 Fall Conference Schedule

Thursday, October 19, 2017

8:00 am – 9:00 am
Registration | Buffet Breakfast| Exhibits | School Band

9:00 am – 9:15 am
Welcome: NJPSA President  (Atlantic Ballroom)
Conference Format: NJPSA Executive Director Patricia Wright

9:15 am – 10:15 am
Keynote: Paul Tough, Author of Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why (Atlantic Ballroom)

10:15 am – 10:45 am
Break and Exhibits (Monmouth Ballroom)

10:45 am – 12:15 pm
Session I Workshops

12:15 pm – 1:45 pm
Buffet Lunch and Exhibits (Monmouth Ballroom)
Keynote: Angela Duckworth, Author of GRIT: The Power of Passion and Perseverance (Atlantic Ballroom)

1:45 pm – 3:15 pm
Session II Workshops

3:15 pm – 3:45 pm
Break and Exhibits (Monmouth Ballroom)

3:45 pm – 5:15 pm
Session III Workshops

5:15 pm – 6:15 pm
Awards for Conference Sponsors
Networking Reception | Exhibits | Prizes (Monmouth Ballroom)

Hotel check-in is between 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm. Dinner is on your own.

Friday, October 20, 2017

7:30 am – 8:30 am
Registration | Buffet Breakfast | Exhibits

8:30 am – 9:30 am
Welcome: NJASCD President Dr. Matthew Mingle (Atlantic Ballroom)
Keynote: Pedro Noguera, Distinguished Professor of Education in the Graduate School of Education and Information Sciences at UCLA

9:30 am – 10:15 am
Opening Remarks (Atlantic Ballroom)
National Awards | Visionary Awards | NJASCD Award Presentation

10:15 am – 10:45 am
Break and Exhibits (Monmouth Ballroom)

10:45 am – 12:00 pm
Session I Workshops

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Buffet Lunch and Exhibits (Monmouth Ballroom)

1:00 pm – 2:15 pm
Session II Workshops

2:15 pm – 2:30 pm
Exhibits | Prizes | Conference Closing (Monmouth Ballroom)

2017 Workshop Sessions

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Thu. – 10:45 pm – 12:00 pm — Session I

Enhancing Leadership Skills Utilizing Google Apps for Education
Presenters: Brad Currie, Director of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Chester Schools; Kelly Weldon, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, Township of Ocean Schools — Room: Oceanport North — Using the newly proposed Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL) as guiding principles, the presenters will demonstrate how the Google Suite of applications function as leadership tools. Participants will come away with a working knowledge of specific Google Apps for Education that will enhance leadership skills. Highlights include Google Classroom PLCs, Google form Surveys, Extensions and Add-ons for Efficiency Purposes, and Collaboration Apps.
The presenters have used these tools extensively in their own leadership practices and can help participants connect with their teachers, students, parents, and other stakeholders in a more effective and personal manner. Presenters will demonstrate how these tools streamline participants’ own professional growth in terms of sharing best practices, assessing resources, and networking with other school leaders around the globe. Participants will also be given guidelines for carefully managing these online communities and simple tips for avoiding pitfalls.
Student and Staff Rights in the Age of Social Media: LEGAL ONE
Presenters: David Nash, Esq., LEGAL ONE Director; Sandra L. Jacques, Esq., Supervisor of Legal Research and Content Development; Robert Schwartz, Esq., Chief Counsel; Wayne Oppito, Esq., Legal Counsel; Carol R. Smeltzer, Esq., Legal Counsel — Room: Oceanport South — This session will review legal issues related to student and staff social media expression. Participants will understand the legal principles that must guide school leaders in determining when and how to address cyber-speech. Participants will also learn about potential tools for monitoring public social media posts.
Developing Effective Communications Structures within Your District and School
Presenters: Jaime Doldan, Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction, Franklin Township Schools; Theodore Peters, Principal, Franklin Township Schools; , Richard Carr, Instructional Supervisor, Franklin Township Schools — Room: Sea Bright North — Over the past year and a half, we have been very fortunate to be a pilot school for the Connected Action Roadmap through FEA and the NJDOE. During this enriching experience, our district and school have been integrating PLCs and establishing effective communication methods. We pride ourselves with instilling teacher leadership and developing common goals while collaborating between administration and certificated staff. This session will address methods of enhancing leadership skills and improving the culture and climate of a school through the enhancement of collective leadership and communication.
The presentation will focus on the successful, multifaceted methods that our district and school uses to draft thoughts, make decisions, and communicate information. This method supports the use of the Connected Action Roadmap model where the professional learning communities in a school serve as the primary basis for individual teacher and staff information sharing. This session will explain the success stories, positive results, and hurdles that we have faced. The program will provide participants with additional ways of communicating ideas and new concepts, cultivating teacher leaders, and strengthening the organizational structure and purpose of professional learning communities.
Know Your Team: Move Your Team
Presenters: Kristen Higgins, Principal, Readington Schools; Sharon Moffat, Principal, Readington Schools — Room: Sea Bright South — The greatest resource in any school is its people. As we know, each staff is comprised of people with different levels of experience, work ethic, motivation, leadership, and willingness to go the extra mile. Using the techniques identified by Ron Clark in his book, Move Your Bus, we will break down the various types of teachers a school can have, identify which teachers on your staff belong to which category, and discuss the best ways to mobilize your human resources to move your organization forward. To conclude the session, we will analyze the norms of collaboration and discuss which norms are needed in your school to assist with improving morale and productivity.
Using Data-Driven Decision Making in RTI to Support NJTSS
Presenters: Jacqueline Frangis, FEA Consultant and Mentor — Room: Monmouth 3 — With the development of NJ Tiered System of Support, school districts are charged to utilize the core components of the three-tiered prevention logic of Response to Intervention. The following information will be addressed:
–The use of data to evaluate the impact of instruction and interventions across tiers; and
–The use of problem solving to develop, implement and evaluate instruction/intervention.
Participants will learn:
–How to determine if a school is a “healthy” place for students; and
–How to begin to set instruction/intervention goals for students.
How Whole Brain Teaching Affects Student Achievement and Teacher Evaluation
Presenters: Lisa Della Vecchia, Principal, Hamilton Township Schools; Kelli Epply, Principal, Hamilton Township Schools — Room: Monmouth 4 — Do you want your students to be engaged in their learning? Do you struggle with student motivation? Are you looking for creative ways for your teachers to change instructional practice while increasing teacher evaluation scores? Well, welcome to whole brain teaching! Whole Brain Teaching (WBT) is an approach designed to maximize student engagement, and focus on the way the brain is really designed to learn. It is an integrated method combining effective classroom management and pedagogically sound approaches to student engagement that are effective with a wide range of student learning populations vetted through 15 years of classroom application.
In this session, participants will learn the seven core components of WBT, which will include modeling from the facilitators and real videos from a school in Mercer County, NJ, that implemented it for the last three years. Three years of longitudinal data has been collected, which focused on an increase in student achievement and teacher evaluation scores. A study of the data, examples from the classrooms and a step by step approach on how WBT was implemented will be explained. Lastly, explaining a WBT multi-sensory classroom that utilizes alternative seating for a special population will be explored.
What Should the Next Generation of Science Teaching and Learning Look Like in the Classroom I’m Observing?
Presenters: Barbara Mammen, FEA Consultant — Room: Monmouth 5 — Are you responsible for conducting observations in classrooms where science is all or part of the curriculum? If so, this interactive session will benefit you. The NGSS classroom is not like the one in which you learned about plants, animals, space, motion, atoms, and weather. It’s the one where students make claims, support claims with evidence, and engage in scientific argumentation. It’s the one where students create models to explain scientific phenomena. It’s the one where students engage in the iterative process of engineering design. It’s the one where conducting an observation requires a paradigm shift. Come to this session to find out about the instructional and conceptual shifts in science education and recognize what students should be doing and what teachers should be doing – the “must see” in a NGSS lesson.
Students Are Created Equally and Differently
Presenters: Eloise Stewart, Supervisor of Special Services, Hillsborough Township Schools — Room: Promenade 1/2 — This presentation will focus on the various strategies used to help students master content by using all learning modalities. By working to include all learning modalities/styles into each lesson, the expectation is to meet the needs of the majority of students in your classrooms. The best teaching practices combine the three modalities in a lesson to meet the learning styles of all students. Participants will be shown practice exercises to accommodate different learning styles. These exercises will help educators address each lesson keeping in mind the visual, auditory and kinesthetic learner.
Attendees will participate in exercises to determine their preferred style of learning. As educators, we often teach to our own personal learning style and often that style becomes the dominant style used in the classroom. Effective teaching practices must incorporate learning styles that will meet the needs of all learners in the classroom so that they may be able to absorb, process and retain the information. Lessons should always facilitate learning for all members in the learning community because students are created equally and differently.
Inspiring Aspiring Administrators: Building Internal Capacity and Leveraging Leadership
Presenters: Jennifer A. Sharp, Director of Personnel, Freehold Regional High School; Charles Sampson, Superintendent, Freehold Regional High School — Room: Promenade 3/4 — This session will provide attendees with an overview of the Aspiring Administrators Academy at the Freehold Regional High School District, as featured in the Spring 2017 Educational Viewpoints Journal. This program has allowed FRHSD to prepare for leadership succession by identifying and empowering teacher leaders in our midst, several of whom have moved into formal leadership positions since the inception of the program.
The presentation will emphasize how this program grew from an idea that emerged from the strategic planning process in 2012, through its implementation, and evaluation. Materials used throughout the AAA meetings will be made available. Feedback from participants will be shared, along with lessons learned at the central office level through reflection on the process. The key roles played by teacher leaders will be discussed. An update on the current workings of the AAA will be provided, along with time for Q&A.
Which Comes First – the Curriculum or the Discipline?
Presenters: Susan Lovato, Basic Skills Teacher, Delran Township School District — Room: Promenade 5/6 — Participants will be encouraged to identify their current parameters and systems set up to manage behavioral issues in the classroom and reflect on their effectiveness. This session will provide practical, specific strategies to help schools spend more time teaching and less time managing low-level behavioral issues in the classroom.
The presentation will include specific, evidence-based best practices, including the following:
— Maintain self-control and composure in all situations;
— Arrange the classroom for maximum achievement;
— Teach to and enforce expectations;
— Hold students accountable to change behavior, not just punish; and
— Build and maintain a culture of unconditional positive regard.
These proven techniques help eliminate office referrals, improve test scores, and enhance teacher job satisfaction. This session will help participants discover how to utilize common sense, research-based classroom management tips, and techniques that can be implemented into the classroom with positive and observable results. This program helps to dramatically increase the amount of time spent on instruction and decrease the amount of time spent giving multiple warnings, repeated requests, and office referrals. This approach will reduce the stress level of administrators, teachers and students, and create a working relationship that is built on respect.
Increasing Writing Proficiency and Raising PARCC Scores
Presenters: Jeanne Clements, Consultant, Association of Language Arts Teachers of NJ; Paul Richards, Director, Association of Language Arts Teachers of NJ — Room: Promenade 7/8
— This workshop will demonstrate how a writing curriculum that emphasizes writing lessons instead of assignments has successfully increased writing proficiency and raised PARCC scores. By focusing on expository writing and concentrating on skills, students master the SLS standards, which require them to make and introduce claims; support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence; use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claims; establish and maintain a formal style; and provide a concluding statement that follows from and supports the argument presented. These are the skills required of expository writing as outlined in the standards and these are the skills tested on the PARCC.
Participants will receive a Writing Lessons Curriculum Outline that covers the expository skills in the sequence that they should be taught, with one lesson building on the skills covered in the previous lesson. This outline also employs graduated difficulty and differentiated instruction to accommodate struggling learners. This approach actually teaches the revision process, and each lesson results in a formative assessment that can be used by the teacher to inform instruction. Summative assessments are incorporated after each unit. Participants will engage in interactive, bodily kinesthetic, cooperative learning, authentic self and peer evaluation lessons, and participate in a mock classroom writing workshop.
FBI Cybercrime and Internet Safety: Ransomware, Social Media Use, Privacy Infringement, and Sexual Exploitation of Minors
Presenters: Christian Schorle, Special Agent, FBI — Room: Shrewsbury — This session will cover the following cybercrime and internet safety topics:
— The global Ransomware attack;
— Current legislation and use in the realm of computer intrusion investigations;
— Limitations to authorities and how this impacts investigations;
— Current threat landscape and general security principles;
— Infringement on privacy;
— Issue of privacy and general ‘best practices’ for consideration of the use of social media; and
— Internet safety and online sexual exploitation of minors.
Social Media Lounge
Presenters: Steve Santilli, Principal, Hamilton Township Schools; Natalie Franzi, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Middletown Township Schools; Dan Alston, Supervisor for Instructional Technology (K-12), Middletown Township Schools — Room: Business Lounge — Learn all about social media in an informal environment. During each session there will be an opportunity to focus on various aspects of social media. This session will address: Twitter 101 – Learn about the basics of Twitter and how it can enhance your professional growth.

Thu. – 1:45 pm – 3:15 pm — Session II

Putting Personalized Learning on Solid Ground: Exploring Outcomes in Uncharted Territories
Presenters: Bruce Preston, Assistant Superintendent, Howell Township Schools; Jacqueline Moore, Supervisor, Howell Township Schools; Kathleen Mignoli, Assistant Principal, Howell Township Schools — Room: Oceanport North — The path to successfully establishing a framework for personalized learning is filled with uncertainty. Howell Township Schools has defined Personalized Learning as “Learner-led (adult and student) Pathways to Unique Outcomes Based on Researched Expectations.” Starting with the belief that personalized learning is not a thing we do but rather an environment we must build, this session will allow participants to interact with experiences used by Howell that build a coherent and cohesive framework for personalized learning. Discussions, examples, and experiences will provide context for involving all stakeholders as part of the framework.
Presenters: Matthew Mingle, Superintendent, Warren Township Schools and other presenters — Room: Oceanport South — Ignite! sessions are unlike any other conference session because presenters have only 5 minutes and 20 slides to convey their message. A diverse group of presenters will share their expertise and perspectives on the conference theme of Empower in short bursts with high energy to motivate and inspire you. This format will generate your creativity and make you think about ways to implement Ignite! sessions in your own roles. All participants will have time to network with the presenters and fellow participants to share ideas.
High Impact Strategies That Foster Collective Teacher Efficacy
Presenters: Stefani Hite, Founder, Tigris Education Solutions; Christine Miles, Associate Director of Professional Development and Instructional Issues, NJEA — Room: Sea Bright North — Educators work hard, but are they putting their energy into the strategies that will have the greatest impact on student achievement? As educational leaders, are we emphasizing practices that will have the impact we want? Using Hattie’s meta-analyses (2009, 2012, 2016) as a guide, practitioners focus their efforts not just on what works, but on what research suggests works best. During this session we will work as a community of learners to uncover the impact of various influences on student achievement. Using a collaborative process, participants will:
— Develop an understanding about high yield influences that guide selecting the right approach at the right time;
— Discuss how learning experiences affect all three critical phases of learning: surface, deep, and transfer;
— Work collaboratively to analyze current practices within their local context;
— Use the research to re-prioritize efforts and identify potential action items with the intention of fostering collective teacher efficacy; and
— Leave with a set of resources to continue exploring what works best.
— Participants will benefit from bringing a web-enabled device in order to engage with embedded polls, access tools, and collaborate with colleagues.
Transformative Leadership – Strategies to Support Your Struggling School
Presenters: Tonya Breland, CEO of Teach Educators and Scholars Organization, LLC and FEA Consultant– Room: Sea Bright South — This engaging session will focus on transformative and courageous leadership strategies to help make struggling schools more effective and engaging for students, faculty and parents. Participants will learn new and innovative methods for continuous improvement, while looking at what works in schools. Participants will have an opportunity to collaborate with their peers, problem solve, reflect upon their practice and employ turnaround competencies to school improvement scenarios. This workshop promises to be lively and active.
Project Runway: Defining, Creating and Archiving the Model Classroom
Presenters: Traci Shaw, Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction; Jennifer Benbrook, Principal; Cathy Areman, Principal; Rebecca Montgomery, Principal, Freehold Township Schools — Room: Monmouth 3 — This session will focus on the strategies the presenters have used to grow teachers’ capacity for implementing best practices in personalized learning. Project Runway seeks to define, create and archive personalized learning practices in model classrooms in Freehold Township. These practices align to the district’s vision of providing “teachers with the capacity and tools to use individual and small group instruction to meet the needs of each student.” This session will explore the following:
— Defining personalized learning and identifying practices in classrooms in your district;
— Identifying and selecting a team of teachers;
— Coaching to support classroom implementation;
— Using Swivl to capture personalized teaching and learning in action;
— Using videos for district facilitated and teacher self-guided professional development; and
— Reviewing how this project may support a district’s model for professional development.
Presenters: Jolene Battitori, Principal, Washington Township Schools; Monica Whitmore, Assistant Principal, Washington Township Schools — Room: Monmouth 4 — Our Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) journey started more than six years ago. We were inspired to grow our organic school wide positive behavior/character education program entitled Cucinella ROCKS with a research-based twist first brought to our school by the counselor. As a result, we established and implemented a pilot program of PBIS to use with first grade teachers and students. We established a volunteer advisory team, held many meetings, collected much feedback and revised our model many times. We are finally at a place that works very well for our students, staff and our extended community. The quantitative data supports a decrease in infractions that result in office discipline. While qualitative data reveals that students have increased their ability to demonstrate perseverance while working through conflicts.
This session will begin with a reflection of current practices of school climate and culture. We will provide an overview of PBIS and several resources, including survey feedback, pre and post data, sample student handbook, and classroom resources. There will also be an opportunity to work collaboratively to create a plan to implement PBIS in the schools of the participants.
Supporting PLCs with a Creative Elementary Master Schedule
Presenters: Dorian Giorgio, FEA Consultant — Room: Monmouth 5 — According to NAESP, “the master schedule is to a school what grading policies are to teachers and classrooms. It reveals the true beliefs, attitudes, values, and priorities of the school.” This session will review literature from the top gurus of scheduling to clarify scheduling options that are focused on learning–for both students and adults. These options offer opportunities to expand time in new ways so that a school climate that is devoted to building teacher capacity to drive curriculum and assessment can be achieved. Goals for the session include developing a shared vocabulary about scheduling, identifying different approaches to schedule development, and brainstorming ideas to take back to the building about schedules that provide added PLC opportunities for teachers. Participants will receive sample planning templates and school schedules to share with their buildings.
Leadership After Endrew F v. Douglas County School District
Presenters: Christine G. Duane, Teacher, Monroe Township Schools — Room: Promenade 1/2 — On March 22, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States issued an opinion that impacts education in every school district with special education students. The focus of the opinion was on providing an adequate IEP for each student, and thus far, presentations have focused on the questions that must be asked of leaders in understanding and monitoring the IEP process. There has been little guidance about ensuring that improved IEPs translate into better instruction and adapted curriculum which require changes to the leadership thinking and teacher planning cycles. This session will provide insight into the work required to prepare the classroom teacher and co-teacher to meet the accountability standard posed by the Endrew F v. Douglas County School District Supreme Court decision, and will propose the scheduling changes needed. Not only will proper planning minimize potential lawsuits, but it will also achieve the ultimate goal of meeting the academic needs of the individual child. Participants will:
— Identify the two Supreme Court Cases and understand the fundamental difference in their impact on school programming;
— Synthesize the impact of the court case on the construction of the IEPs in their district and develop a plan for the professional development needs on their staff; and
— Assess the impact on the instructional and planning time needs of their special education staff and develop a district/building strategy to incorporate adequate planning time for them.
Culturally-Competent Leaders!
Presenters: Beverly Green, Principal, Logan Township Schools — Room: Promenade 3/4 — This session will focus on the need for principals to be Culturally Competent Leaders. Focus will be on the changing role of the principal from building manager to instructional leader. The need for principals to increase their understanding of cultural competency in order to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student population will also be discussed. Attention will also be on assisting principals to be self-reflective and guiding their staff members in this area as well. The session will seek to challenge principals in their own philosophy of leadership and the connection to culture. Finally, it will be interactive and provide participants with tangible items to use in their own schools to continue the conversation on cultural competency with their staff members.
On Your Mark, Get Set, Coach!
Presenters: Deborah Iosso, Principal, Randolph Township Schools; Adriana Coppola, Instructional Coach, Randolph Township Schools; Lena Wasylyk, Teacher, Randolph Township Schools — Room: Promenade 5/6 — The entire purpose of the instructional coaching program is to positively affect student growth and achievement by providing a range of services and one-on-one support for teachers. The administration’s intentional hands-off approach has allowed this program to creatively foster growth and truly be a resource for all staff.
Four teachers, not self-proclaimed experts, but leaders in their respective departments, have come together to foster a program that provides their colleagues with an opportunity to brainstorm, learn and create a program that supports teachers through one-to-one and small group coaching, in-house professional development, as well as opportunities for teachers to share ideas and strategies. This success would not be possible without the foundation of trust between the teachers, coaches, and administrators that the program is purely non-evaluative and confidential in nature. This session will provide participants with strategies to develop an instructional coaching program within your school to include ideas for budgeting, implementing and sustaining this instructional coaching model.
Infusing STEM in Elementary Schools: Creating and Sustaining a Culture of Thinkers and Makers
Presenters: Erinn Mahoney, Principal, Monroe Township Schools; Nicole Midura, Media Specialist, Monroe Township Schools — Room: Promenade 7/8 — STEM education is fundamental to a comprehensive 21st century education. As the number of career opportunities in the STEM field continues to grow, educators are obligated to prepare students for the modern workplace by ensuring that they are exposed to relevant STEM experiences prior to graduation. STEM education is often thought to be more aligned with older students, yet the failure to expose students to STEM education until high school significantly reduces the population of interested students. It is imperative that STEM education become a priority for all students long before they reach high school, but many challenges exist when trying to implement STEM in elementary programs.
This session will focus on the ways in which elementary school leaders can be instrumental in creating and sustaining a culture of STEM thinking in their schools. Participants will learn how to build capacity with their staff, who may need assistance in building expertise to design learning experiences in STEM. In addition, the presenters will focus on strategies to overcome budgeting, scheduling, personnel, and resource constraints.
Redefining Engagement in K-12 Mathematics
Presenters: Tracey L. Knerr, Supervisor of Mathematics, Hillsborough Township — Room: Shrewsbury — Students are very capable of solving high quality mathematics problems. The key to success rests not in the “what” but in the “how” mathematics is taught. This session provides concrete learning to support school leaders in what they should be seeing daily in mathematics classes as we strive to provide high quality mathematics instruction to students.
Social Media Lounge
Presenters: Brad Currie, Director of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Chester Schools; Kelly Weldon, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, Ocean Township Schools; Steve Santilli, Principal, Hamilton Township Schools; Natalie Franzi, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Middletown Township Schools; Dan Alston, Supervisor for Instructional Technology (K-12), Middletown Township Schools — Room: Business Lounge — Learn all about social media in an informal environment. During each session there will be an opportunity to focus on various aspects of social media. This session will address: What is Voxer? Learn about Voxer, a tap to talk app that allows users to have virtual conversations.

Thu. – 3:45 pm – 5:15 pm — Session III

The New Professional Standards for Educational Leaders and What They Mean for You, Your School, and Your District
Presenters: Pat Haney, Superintendent, Logan Township Schools; Anthony Scotto, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Hamilton Township Schools; and Thomas Conroy, Principal, Brookside Elementary School, Westwood Schools — Room: Oceanport North — NJPSA and NJASA have created a free tool to assist you in reflecting on your practice in light of the standards. It is a set of questions that align to the new educational leadership standards. They include the critical actions that are important for a full understanding about how the standards can positively impact leaders in your district. The focus is on helping all leaders to grow in the practices that result in higher levels of student learning. In this session, you will learn how the reflection tool will enable you to:
— Understand the impact the new standards will have on leadership in your school and district;
— Reflect on your own practice;
— Drive collaborative conversations with school/district leadership team to explore how these standards can build collective capacity to achieve school/district goals; and
— Develop a shared district mindset of what powerful leadership looks like in action.
PARCC Data: Taking Advantage of What’s ‘’Out There’’
Presenters: Bobbi Felip, FEA Consultant; Thomas Barclay, FEA Consultant — Room: Oceanport South — The promise of the PARCC assessment is transparency and actionable data. School districts have abundant data that, along with other resources from PARCC, they can use to improve instructional and assessment practices resulting in increased student learning. This session is designed for those who are aware of, and have begun to use the report data and other information that PARCC provides. The presenters will briefly review available reports and resources and use the information to establish a foundation for work back in districts. While the focus of this session is ELA data, the strategies can be utilized for other subjects as well.
Outcomes include:
— Development of a focus for PLCs;
— Examination and improvements of local assessments;
— Alignment of local assessment data with PARCC data;
— Student mastery of the standards; and
— Movement toward a viable curriculum.
Co-Teaching in the Real World
Presenters: Rebecca Metzger, Supervisor of Special Education, Cherry Hill Public Schools; Allison Staffin, Assistant Principal, Cherry Hill Public Schools — Room: Sea Bright North — Co-Teaching is an instructional model designed to promote the academic achievement of students with disabilities in the general education curriculum. A majority of students with disabilities have the capacity to meet grade level expectations in the classroom and on high stakes assessment. In addition, promoting academic achievement by students with disabilities meets individual student needs for effective transition to post-secondary education. Effective co-teaching is one of the most powerful interventions to support achievement of students with disabilities.
This session will prepare participants to:
— Engage in activities to enhance co-teaching pairings and relationships by using self-assessments, surveys, collaboration time and feedback mechanisms;
— Identify and apply models of co-teaching for various purposes in the classroom;
— Collaborate on differentiated lesson plans, selection of materials and creation of assessments;
— Establish mechanisms for student progress to be collected on IEP goals and curricular areas; and
— Ensure and document that required accommodations and supplemental aids and services are being provided to students with disabilities by employing Universal Design strategies and specialized instruction.
Making Change Happen, Making Change Stick
Presenters: Anthony Petruzzelli, Superintendent, Westampton Township Schools — Room: Sea Bright South — Why do some new initiatives flourish but so many others fail to truly “stick” long term? Whether it is a new reading program, a new instructional strategy, or a new bell schedule, school leaders are constantly in a battle to get changes accepted in their schools. With new research, new technologies, ever changing expectations for our students, and constantly evolving family structures supporting them, change is essential and the ability for our school leaders to lead change is critical.
This session focuses on a very specific skill set needed to lead change. It is research-based and very practical. Participants will leave with tools to use the next day that will help them create the environment and the momentum needed to build and sustain change. The session is based on the work of several “diffusion” researchers, primarily Everett Rogers and his work “Diffusion Innovations.” They studied the acceptance and failure of new ideas and innovations across industries and determined common factors that influence their acceptance. These commonalities were then applied to an educational setting. The workshop will show participants that there are characteristics of innovations and of those who are asked to adopt them. These characteristics, if understood by a leader, can be emphasized, accounted for, encouraged, and manipulated to improve the chances for successful change. Participants will understand the backdrop of the research, but will also leave with substantive tools that can be used immediately in their schools.
Keeping the Brain in Mind – Effective Strategies for Excellent Instruction
Presenters: Cheryl Moretz, Principal, Summit Schools; Paul Sears, Retired HS Principal; Matt Carlin, Elementary Principal, Summit Schools — Room: Monmouth 3 — Great​ ​teachers​ ​know​ ​not​ ​only​​ ​​what​​ ​to​ ​do​ ​in​ ​the​ ​classroom​ ​but​ ​​why​​ ​it​ ​works. ​​ ​Great​ ​principals​ ​provide​ ​teachers​ ​with effective​ ​feedback​ ​that​ ​helps​ ​to​ ​improve​ ​instruction​ ​while​ ​knowing​ ​the​ ​research​ ​that​ ​is​ ​behind​ ​it.​​​ ​This​ ​session ​will help​ ​you​ ​to​ ​provide​ ​brain-friendly,​ ​research-based​ ​feedback​ ​in​ ​the​ ​key​ ​areas​ ​of:​ ​the​ ​learning​ environment,​ knowing students,​ p​lanning​ instruction,​ delivering​ instruction,​ ​and​ assessment.​ ​These​ ​areas​ ​of​ ​focus​ ​can​ ​be​ ​adapted​ ​to​ ​any evaluation​ ​model​ ​used​ ​by​ ​your​ ​school.​​​
In​ ​addition​ ​to​ ​a​ ​fast-paced,​ ​engaging​ ​and​ ​interactive​ ​workshop,​ ​you​ ​will leave​ ​with​ ​concise​ ​research-based​ ​information​ ​that​ ​you​ ​can​ ​provide​ ​to​ ​teachers​ ​as​ ​learning​ ​resources​ ​during post-observation​ ​feedback.​ ​ ​Additional​ ​resources​ ​will​ ​be​ ​provided​ ​if​ ​you​ ​wish​ ​to​ ​further​ ​your​ ​own​ ​learning​ ​or​ ​to provide​ ​training​ ​and​ ​more​ ​in-depth​ ​feedback​ ​to​ ​your​ ​staff.​ ​Resources​ ​will​ ​be​ ​available​ ​both​ ​in​ ​hardcopy​ ​and electronically.
EMPOWER Your Teachers and Enhance Your School’s Culture and Climate
Presenters: Nicole Carmichael, PD Interventionist, Trenton Public Schools — Room: Monmouth 4 — Administrators will explore strategies to EMPOWER teachers in the following areas: leadership/ownership; professional development; culture; and appreciation/gratitude. Administrators will also explore strategies to improve their school’s culture and climate through scenarios and videos in regards to staff, students, parents and the community through:
— Establishing relationships with staff and students (emotional well-being and cultural);
— Improving parental/guardian involvement/collaboration and dismissing perceptions through various communication options;
— Building and collaborating with community organizations, local politicians, health, cultural, recreational, social support and other programs/services; and
— Providing an environment that is welcoming, safe and conducive to learning.
Building Partnerships with Families and Community
Presenters: Peggy Stewart, Director of Professional Development, National Network of State Teachers of the Year — Room: Monmouth 5 — Systematic and collaborative practices and partnering with families and communities is imperative to meet the needs of all learners and to expand learning opportunities. This session supports school and district leadership teams, including teacher leaders, in supporting colleagues in growing their leadership skills and the ability to build meaningful partnerships with families and communities. In this session, learn how to engage with families and community by building knowledge and skills that help you make concrete changes in school-community engagement practices.
Examine current family and community engagement practices to determine areas of growth and opportunity using an engagement rubric. Analyze cultural norms in a collaborative and reflective process to gain greater understanding of ways to transform schools to meet the needs of all learners. Participant Outcomes include:
— Collaborate with educators to re-imagine your relationships with families and community;
— Use innovative tools to inspire and guide your work; and
— Develop new strategies to expand and improve existing outreach and partnership efforts to transform your school into a more supportive and inclusive learning community.
The Consultant Teacher: An Education Model for Providing Student Support Services in Special Education
Presenters: Candi Mascia Reed, Retired Supervisor, Total Communication Programs for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Bergen County Special Services School District — Room: Promenade 1/2 — This session will discuss the Consultant Teacher Model in special education and how this model can best serve the educational, social and emotional needs of students in a diverse mainstream/inclusive environment. Participants will share their experiences as educators and administrators working with special needs students and describe, compare and contrast the culture of their own school environs with that of a Consultant Teacher Model.
Participants will learn how a Total Communication Program for the Deaf adopted and revised a “host school site” consultant model and how this evolved. Enhancements included developing “student safety nets,” staff and student accountability measures, protocols for providing student accommodations and modifications, and professional collegiality strategies focused on creating a powerful school culture and climate for students and staff.
The Early Years: Laying the Foundation for STEM Thinking
Presenters: Paul Semendinger, Principal, Hawes Elementary School, Ridgewood School District — Room: Promenade 3/4 — Hawes Elementary School is a dynamic child-centered school that focuses on “thinking outside the box” and fostering creativity and originality of thought. The history and reputation of the school underscores the innovation that takes place in the school on an almost daily basis. This session will focus on two aspects of our work. First, I will share the design of our curriculum and instructional approach that meets the needs of 21st Century learners. This includes reworking successful programs and finding, developing, and supporting a common vision.
Second, I will focus on our efforts to embrace the newest ideas in creative education, such as using maker spaces, hacking, Google, and more. An example of these efforts is our STEAM program. I will review how we adopted a new vision built upon the very best aspects of NASA as an over-riding philosophy, and how we integrated the best ideas from the maker movement to support STEAM in meaningful ways.
Blended Learning: Moving from Lecture to Full Student Engagement
Presenters: Stacey Brown, Supervisor of Humanities, Readington Township Schools — Room: Promenade 5/6 — Blended learning allows teachers to customize student content and maximize student engagement. This session will assist educators in identifying available resources to support the blended learning model and will describe how to implement them effectively. Participants will learn to differentiate between a lesson with technology integration and one that employs blended learning. They will delve deeply into the various rotation models of blended learning and discover low-cost or no-cost ways to implement them in their schools. Technology options will be examined, and strategies for creating the culture needed to produce an effective blended learning experience will be discussed.
Participants will also work with the presenter to identify a problem rooted in their educational practice and develop a goal for blended learning instruction. Participants will leave this session with strategies and a wealth of practical ideas to assist teachers implement them in their classrooms. Links to the presentation and identified resources will be provided.
From First Year to Tenured and Every Step in Between
Presenters: Heather Schwarz, Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, Hazlet Township Schools; Christine Grabowski, Teacher, Hazlet Township Schools — Room: Promenade 7/8 — Studies show that new teachers who do not feel supported burn out very early in their careers. The staff at the Hazlet Township Public Schools have been working very hard to combat novice teacher burnout with our four year intensive novice teacher program. This session will focus on the first four years of being a certificated staff member in the Hazlet Public Schools. The school year kicks off with a Novice Teacher Summer Institute where all non-tenured staff attend different workshops throughout the course of the day and have lunch together. Non-tenured cohorts (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th) work with their teacher leaders and use this day to learn about their expectations for the school year and their end of the year project.
The first year cohort attends a series of informative and hands-on meetings throughout the year, some with their mentor and some without, to learn different aspects of being a first year member of the school district. The second year cohort works throughout the year on a portfolio project that culminates with a brief presentation to their school faculty at the end of the year. The third year cohort is responsible for developing and implementing an action research project that they find to be a need in their school or classroom. Staff members in the fourth year cohort are responsible for creating a reflective video journal where they use Swivl technology and an iPad to capture various teaching episodes. At cohort meetings, videos are shared and feedback is provided in a non-threatening manner.
Arts Integration and Technology: Increasing Engagement While Building 21st Century Skills
Presenters: Jonathan Rischway, STEAM Facilitator/Teacher of Art, Hopatcong Schools — Room: Shrewsbury — The State of New Jersey will soon be releasing new standards for fine and performing arts. In addition to the traditional disciplines of the arts (dance, theater, music, and visual art), a new standard has been added: media. This session will examine how technology (or media) can be used as an art form to enhance learning. Techniques and tools, such as digital storytelling, poster design, and 3d printing will be reviewed in the context of arts integration.
Examples of various lesson concepts, and student work will be shared. The ability to research, gather, and synthesize various forms of media, as is utilized with arts-integrated lessons, is the cornerstone of 21st Century skills. Our society has become service oriented, and technology-driven. The students who have the ability to think creatively and solve problems abstractly will have an advantage in this type of economy. Arts integration can help to teach students how to become viable members of a global, technology-driven society.
Social Media Lounge
Presenters: Brad Currie, Director of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Chester Schools; Kelly Weldon, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, Ocean Township Schools; Steve Santilli, Principal, Hamilton Township Schools; Natalie Franzi, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Middletown Township Schools; and Dan Alston, Supervisor for Instructional Technology (K-12), Middletown Township Schools — Room: Business Lounge — Learn all about social media in an informal environment. During each session there will be an opportunity to focus on various aspects of social media. This session will address: Tools of the Trade: Learn about various cutting edge technologies, such as Swivl, Chromecast, G Suite for Education, and Kajeet that move innovative learning environments forward in a positive direction.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Fri. – 10:45 am – 12:00 pm — Session I

Envision: A Culture of Equity and Excellence
Presenters: Sharon McCarthy, ENVISION Founder, FEA Consultant– Room: Oceanport North — For learning’s sake, students need to feel safe and connected to adults and peers everywhere in the school—in the classroom, the cafeteria, the hallway, the special activities, the bus—not just in one program or with one teacher. Creating an environment conducive to learning requires incorporating social and emotional skills in teaching and learning. That is, creating a culture that honors and supports a student’s ability to self-regulate behaviors, emotions, and attention; success in academic and non-academic areas; and physical and emotional health and well-being. NOW is the time to make opportunities as universal as the talents our students embody! To that end, participants in this session will:
— Become familiar with the evolving field of educational neuroscience–the intersection of cognitive psychology, education and neuroscience;
— Learn simple classroom strategies that will support a student’s ability to deactivate their brains, thereby increasing their ability to pay attention, self-calm and show care for others;
— Learn how to use our bodies to remove the blocks to learning;
— Consider approaches to increase students’ reflection and self-awareness, the seat of self-management, social awareness and responsible decision making; and
— Learn how to empower youth and address the symptoms of trauma, anxiety and poverty.
LEGAL ONE Hot Issues in School Law
Presenters: David Nash, Esq., LEGAL ONE Director; Sandra L. Jacques, Esq., Supervisor of Legal Research and Content Development; Robert Schwartz, Esq., Chief Counsel; Wayne Oppito, Esq., Legal Counsel; Carol R. Smeltzer, Esq., Legal Counsel — Room: Oceanport South — This session will address current legal developments in School Law, including HIB legal issues, TEACHNJ regulations, Arbitration Decisions and other current and ongoing School Law topics.
Leading with the Whole Child in Mind
Presenters: Matthew Mingle, Superintendent, Warren Township Schools; Vince Caputo, Superintendent, Metuchen Schools; Thomas Tramaglini, Superintendent, Kenilworth Schools — Room: Sea Bright North — A comprehensive education includes developing both the academic and social-emotional skills required to become successful in this century. Three superintendents will provide an overview of how they work with their students, staffs, parents, and boards to lead with the whole child in mind. The presenters will share effective approaches including the organization of district goals, board retreats, professional development, and more, all aligned to the ASCD Whole Child tenets. Participants will be invited to share their own examples and brainstorm ways to apply the ideas to both building and district leadership positions.
Courageous Leadership
Presenters: Tracey Severns, Director of Student Performance, Mt. Olive Township Schools (Twitter: @docsev) — Room: Sea Bright South — This session will provide an experiential exploration of the Educational Viewpoints article, “Courageous Leadership.” During this highly interactive workshop, participants will address the role of courage in instructional leadership. Topics will include why leaders find it so difficult, what’s at stake, and factors that influence the ability to engage in what Viviane Robinson calls “constructive problem talk” and what Susan Scott refers to as “fierce conversations.”
After reading and reflecting upon John Saphier’s brief, yet powerful article, “The Courage to Lead,” participants will discuss the research and relevance of courage in improving schools and increasing student achievement. Participants will practice and apply strategies that address five dimensions of courageous leadership: the courage to question, the courage to listen, the courage to learn, the courage to speak “truth to power,” and the courage to name the “nondiscussables.” Resources will be provided to “bring home” what is learned.
Technology Resources for the Next Generation Science Standards
Presenters: Sarah Pauch, Supervisor of Math, Science and Technology, Readington Township Schools — Room: Monmouth 3 — Are you looking for technology tools to help implement the Next Generation Science Standards? In this session, participants will have the opportunity to experience a collection of kid tested and teacher approved digital resources for NGSS. The presenter will walk the participants through each site so they can see all that each resource has to offer.
Using Protocols from the Connected Action Roadmap (CAR) to Drive Data Conversations
Presenters: Rosemary Seitel, Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction, Englewood City Schools– Room: Monmouth 4 — Learn how one middle school uses specific protocols from the Connected Action Roadmap (CAR) with a special emphasis on structured data conversations and a shared leadership model in their Professional Learning Communities to develop common assessments. Participants will:
— Gain useful ideas and tools for analyzing student achievement data;
— Experience protocols that support this process and can be used with colleagues; and
— Engage in a case discussion to help anticipate the challenges of facilitating focused data conversations.
Getting Intentional About Kindergarten Through Third Grade Practices
Presenters: Vincent Costanza, Ed.D., Superintendent in Residence, Teaching Strategies, LLC; Shannon Ayers, Assistant Research Professor, NIEER– Room: Monmouth 5 — What often results from our fragmented system of care and education is a lack of rigorous and appropriate experiences for children as they transition from early childhood settings to the primary years of schooling. This session will provide an in-depth look at a research and professional development initiative that the New Jersey Department of Education has designed in partnership with the National Institute for Early Education Research to assist preschool through third grade educators with fusing academic and social development. The following provides some information about this topic:
— A press release on this nationally recognized initiative can be accessed here:
— A recent posting on implications from study results can be accessed here:
Empower Teacher Leaders to Make Learning Stick
Presenters: Cara DiMeo, Curriculum Director, Toms River Regional Schools; Jennifer Martins, Supervisor of Math, Edison Schools– Room: Promenade 1/2 — Sustaining focus on district and school-based professional development initiatives can sometimes be a challenge in the wake of constantly shifting demands in the field of education. While administrators can guide and assist teachers throughout the learning process and redirect their attention to common goals, true professional growth entails more of a conscious effort to help make learning stick for all. In the end, teachers are the vehicles that drive change in our schools. Building upon teachers’ capacity to serve as leaders among their peers will result in an increase in staff buy-in and a sustained commitment to school and district initiatives while ultimately creating an ideal professional learning community. This session will explore strategies that districts and schools can use to grow and nurture teacher leaders.
Ritualizing Social and Emotional Learning Through Creative Expression
Presenters: Michael Cruz, School Operations Manager, Speedway Academies; Caitlin Daly, Education Consultant, Move this World — Room: Promenade 3/4 — Creative Expression is a mechanism for promoting social and emotional learning skills, in part because rhythm engages kinetic sensibilities, allowing individuals to physically process emotions. (Sklar, 2000). At Speedway Academies, one of only three Newark Public Schools with a dance program, movement and creative expression are integrated in the culture of the school and used to facilitate healthy emotional management among both staff and students. Through creative expression, ritual, and whole-school implementation, Speedway has developed a thriving culture with a common language to address emotional upheaval and staff and student wellbeing.
In this experiential and interactive session that draws on theories from expressive arts therapy, the presenters will explore the power of creativity in cultivating mindfulness, emotional wellbeing, and empathy. They will address the use of movement to identify and manage emotions, and speak to the kinesthetic dimension of empathy that allows students and educators to feel the physical state of another person with their own body – a crucial component in the perception and expression of emotions. This session will address the importance of a common language and whole-school adoption of social emotional learning techniques. In this session, participants will:
— Experience and assess Speedway Academies’ whole-school creative expression methods for climate and culture;
— Learn strategies for utilizing creative expression as an emotional management tool in their school or classroom; and
— Reflect on barriers to success in whole-school implementation of creative social emotional learning strategies and brainstorm preemptive solutions and workaround
Effective Feedback to Support Principal Instructional Growth: How to Design, Implement and Structure Meaningful and Focused Curricular Walkthroughs
Presenters: Farrah Mahan, Director of Curriculum; Scott Goldthorp, Curriculum Supervisor; Violeta Katsikis, Curriculum Supervisor; Michelle Smith, Curriculum Supervisor, Cherry Hill Public Schools — Room: Promenade 5/6 — This session will offer a unique perspective and connections to what conference attendees will hear from keynoters, Dr. Angela Duckworth and Dr. Pedro Noguera, through a hands-on, interactive and collaborative session focused on using walkthroughs to develop instructional practices and increasing student achievement. Over the past two years, we have restructured our curricular walkthroughs focusing on evidence and meaningful feedback. During the walkthroughs, we ask ourselves, “What am I observing right now? What are kids learning?” We focus our feedback on what we see students doing instead of making assumptions on what they might be learning.
As a curriculum team, we have reframed how we collaborate with building-based administrators to support the implementation of curriculum and instructional practices preK-12. We have led walkthroughs with the intention of helping administrators become more familiar with their school’s implementation of the adopted curriculum (including gaps, inconsistencies and trends), teacher’s instructional practices, and their role as the instructional leader. As lifelong learners, we have brought a feedback focused environment to the forefront for all administrators, including ourselves. Although difficult at times, our goal is to engage in candid and deliberate conversations with principals about teacher and student learning in their buildings. Walkthroughs have allowed us to build our administrative team’s capacity as instructional leaders as we work to improve teacher and student achievement. This session will describe our experience and provide recommendations as to how this might be used in other districts.
Achieving Title I Goals: The Role of Arts Education--Room 207
Presenters: Dr. Dale Schmid, Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator, New Jersey Department of Education — Room: Promenade 7/8 — How can we improve educational outcomes for low-income students who are often underserved in public schools? This is the challenge of Title I. Schools and districts receiving Title I funds are charged with using these additional resources to supplement students’ regular education programs.
Arts education can be an asset to schools and districts in achieving these goals. Studies find that integrating the arts with instruction in other academic subjects increases student learning and achievement and helps teachers more effectively meet the needs of all students. Other studies find that both integrated and non-integrated forms of arts education help to transform the learning environment in schools by fostering student engagement, attendance and motivation to learn, and improving school culture and climate. These outcomes are learning indicators of student achievement. They are also key ingredients for turning around low-performing schools. Learn how to bring this exciting opportunity to your district.
Science Instruction Companion to the Danielson Framework
Presenters: Michael Heinz, Science Coordinator, New Jersey Department of Education – Room: Shrewsbury — The new science standards are richer and more complex than previous editions. Teaching and learning has shifted the focus from simply teaching science ideas to helping students figure out phenomena and design solutions to problems. It is because of this, past instructional practices may not be sufficient to support student success in meeting the new Performance Expectations.
In an effort to support teachers of science and administrators to navigate the changes, the New Jersey Department of Education’s Office of Academics and the Office of Evaluation have written a science specific companion to the Danielson Framework. The purpose of this document is two-fold. First, the document provides science specific observable evidence that supervisors of science teachers can reference during and after classroom observations. Secondly, the document is envisioned to be used as a common reference for professional conversations with and among the science faculty. Participants may preview the document at:
In this session participants will dissect and discuss the document as a way to more fully understand the new science standards and the shifts in teaching and learning that are essential for student success.

Fri. – 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm — Session II

Understanding Your Pension
Presenters: Robert Murphy, Director of Retirement Services, NJPSA — Room: Oceanport North — Whether your retirement date is within a year or further down the road, this session is designed to help you better understand the changes in the Retirement Tiers, Chapter 78 and how they may impact you. This session will address:
— The five Retirement Tiers;
— The retirement application process and nine pension options;
— Health Benefits and Medicare;
— Social Security; and
— Employment after retirement.
Reducing Chronic Absenteeism: A Critical Objective in Improving Student Success
Presenters: Cynthia Rice, Senior Policy Analyst, Advocates for Children of NJ; Sandra Diodonet, Acting Associate Chief Academic Officer, Paterson Public Schools — Room: Oceanport South — In New Jersey, thousands of our state’s school children are at risk because they are absent far too often. Students can only learn when they are attending school. When students are young, too many absences can reduce their chances of reading proficiently by third grade, a key indicator of long-term academic success. When students are older, absenteeism places them at risk of not graduating high school, not attending college or failing to find a meaningful career.
While the negative effects of chronic absenteeism hold true for all socio-economic groups, students from low-income families and children of color are more likely to miss school too often. The good news is that poor attendance can be reversed, but it takes a team effort—often beginning with school leaders.
This session will provide attendees with an overview of chronic absenteeism, including statewide and district-specific data by grade and demographics, it’s definition, how it differs from average daily attendance and truancy, and reasons why so many students miss so much school. It will provide information on how school leaders can understand and effectively use general and specific chronic absenteeism data in their effort to improve attendance. Lastly, attendees will hear from New Jersey school leaders about the steps they have taken to make chronic absenteeism a thing of the past!
How Administrators Can Empower Teachers
Presenters: Kim Tucker, Supervisor of Curriculum/Principal, Somers Point Schools — Room: Sea Bright North — Bolin (1989) states that “teacher empowerment is defined as investing teachers with the right to participate in the determination of school goals and policies and to exercise professional judgment about what and how to teach.” This session will provide administrators with strategies to empower teachers and provide them with autonomy, especially since one of the most common reasons for teachers leaving the profession is a lack of autonomy. The session will focus on:
— Professional learning;
— Increasing teacher morale;
— Teacher collaboration;
— Productivity;
— Professional Learning Communities; and
— Effective leadership behaviors.
The session will be interactive with a high level of collaboration among participants. Connections will be made throughout the session to teacher evaluation, induction, and mentoring. Teacher Leadership and the Teacher Leader Model Standards will be shared as a vehicle to teacher empowerment. Participants will leave with an action plan that can be implemented immediately.
Promoting School Safety and Security in Our Changing Times
Presenters: Ben Castillo, Director; Thomas Gambino, Ed.D., New Jersey Department of Education, Division of Field Services, Office of Fiscal Accountability and Compliance, Office of School Preparedness and Emergency — Room: Sea Bright South — School safety has become the most important work of our time. Emergency operations planning for school leaders, business administrators, emergency responders and school staff is a continuous process.
Since September 2014, and in accordance with the School Security Task Force recommendations, the New Jersey Department of Education’s Office of School Preparedness and Emergency Planning (OSPEP) has conducted over 700 drill observations for an active shooter throughout the State of New Jersey. During these visits, best practices are shared to improve safety and security protocols. During this session, representatives from OSPEP will discuss steps towards creating a student/parent reunification plan and best practices to promote a safe school environment.
New Jersey Standards for ELA, SS and Whole Child Education: Perfect Together
Presenters: Rick Cohen, Assistant Superintendent, Metuchen Schools; Diane Opatosky, Literacy Consultant, President BDO Consulting, LLC; Sofia Lopes, Fourth Grade Teacher, Metuchen Schools — Room: Monmouth 3 — This session will present the benefits of utilizing one common inquiry-based research process across ELA and Social Studies K-12. By teaching one common inquiry-based research process horizontally and vertically across content, students internalize the process. Inquiry-based social action research projects help students gain a deeper understanding of content and engage in real-world problem solving (service-learning). This approach also provides meaningful contexts for students to transfer and apply literacy skills and critical thinking skills while developing social and emotional competencies.
Participants will be presented five simple steps to design their own inquiry-based action research projects. They will also be provided a variety of inquiry-based research processes to choose from, sample curriculum units, and evidence-based instructional strategies. Time will be allotted for participants to begin designing their own inquiry-based action research project ideas to actively engage their students in inquiry, interdisciplinary research projects and real-world problem solving.
Culture Matters! The EXTRA in Ordinary to Create Amazing Experiences for Students, Staff and Families
Presenters: Jay Billy, Principal, Lawrence Township Schools — Room: Monmouth 4 — Much has been written about school culture and the factors that contribute to culture. We know that culture in its most basic sense is “the way we do things around here.” Often, people can separate culture and climate, where climate is “the way it feels” when you walk in the building or classroom. While we understand the difference between culture and climate we must remember that these two separate but connected ideals are integral to making necessary change in our schools. Making school amazing for everyone, whether it be the student, the staff, or the families you serve, should be the goal of every educator. This session will share ideas and strategies that will have students, staff and families, running into school instead of out of it.
Instead of just teaching lessons, we need to provide students with amazing experiences that they will talk about forever. This is where learning really occurs. In 2017, school is about exploring, making learning fun, and keeping curiosity at high levels. I will share ideas and strategies I have used to change the culture of my building and the mindset of my staff in order to make our school the place everyone wants to be and to make each day, THE BEST DAY EVER!
Creating an EdCamp-Like Experience for Your District’s Professional Development
Presenters: Karen Wood, Superintendent, Barnegat Schools; Anthony Scotto, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Hamilton Township Schools — Room: Monmouth 5 — Hear how these leaders hosted an “Ed Camp-Like Experience,” meeting the needs of all teacher learners. This unique approach, offered in the Barnegat Schools, allows teachers to select their professional development topic for a professional development in-service day. An Ed Camp-Like Experience can be created for a full day in service or during faculty meetings where authentic learning needs to take place in shorter periods of time.
The teachers commented that the Ed Camp opening of the school year was exciting because it offered them a choice of topics and discussions were self-directed. The Ed Camp-Like Experience also utilized Google Docs for maximum sharing and turnkey opportunities for future dialogue on specific topics. The Ed Camp model embraces the theory that we learn best from each other. Teachers felt that collaborating with and learning from one another inspired them in new and exciting ways.
Social Media Literacy: Why It Matters Now More Than Ever
Presenters: David M. Walker, Vice-Principal, Linden Public Schools — Room: Promenade 1/2 — Social media literacy is more important now than ever. There are literally billions of individuals who have a social media account worldwide – whether it be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. A sizeable percentage of these users are school-aged, and as a result, it is imperative to understand, and become a practitioner in this social media world. The benefits for educational leaders are numerous.
Social media allows for real-time collaboration, positive self-promotion, and a tool during crisis situations. Educational leaders can utilize social media to discuss and work together with other colleagues on innovative projects and goals. Schools and districts are leveraging it as a method of communication with the community, and a way of promoting all that is good within their schools. And finally, during crisis situations, understanding and utilizing social media can be the difference between life and death.
Participants in this session will learn the dynamics of social media use in education, be presented with real-life scenarios, and will have the ability to develop a professional learning network (PLN) at the workshop.
Integrating Social Emotional Learning and Powerful Literacy Instruction
Presenters: Dr. Taylar Wenzel, Faculty Member, University of Central Florida’s College of Education & Human Performance and the School of Teaching, Learning, & Leadership — Room: Promenade 3/4 — The goal of this session is to provide education leaders with the opportunity to reflect on and discuss the interdependent relationship between social and emotional development and ambitious academic goals. Instruction that promotes students’ social and emotional learning (SEL) facilitates better student outcomes. When students feel safe to take risks, belong to a classroom community, and have learned skills for working collaboratively, they are more likely to engage in the rigorous work expected in the classroom.
The converse is also true: Learning environments structured to genuinely meet rigorous standards support the development of students’ social and emotional skills. To promote deeper learning, educators need to make the most of this interconnected relationship and to approach social emotional learning, not as an add-on, but as an integral part of the academic program.
During the session, participants will:
— Reflect on their own practices and challenges to integrating academics and SEL;
— Share ways they intentionally integrate academics with social emotional learning;
— Deepen their understanding about the importance of developing SEL skills and competencies;
— Examine teaching practices that support the development of core SEL competencies;
— Experience and analyze lessons that incorporate SEL skills into core literacy instruction; and
— Examine how SEL teaching practices are aligned with other initiatives, including academic standards and teacher evaluation.
The Power of the PLC at the Secondary Level
Presenters: Allison Staffin, Assistant Principal, Cherry Hill Schools — Room: Promenade 5/6 — In a comprehensive high school setting that is not set up based on student learning communities or houses, it is sometimes difficult to sustain Professional Learning Communities (PLC). Often teachers find themselves in need of additional planning time, work and grading sessions, where they often lose site of the real strength of meeting in a PLC. Time to really collaborate, focus, and learn from one another continues our own professional growth, as well as the growth of our students. The one thing that teachers ask for most is time.
As we continue to carve out time it is essential that we continue to remember the purpose and strength of strong PLCs–student learning and teacher pedagogy. PLCs are a powerful tool for teachers, but often at the high school level we are caught up with getting through the academic standards, benchmark and standardized testing, and other building level initiatives and forget what our own data is telling us. The power of the PLC enables professional staff to work together to interpret what these data are telling us about our classrooms and how to have those hard conversations.
This session will provide insight about how to build this professional learning time into an already packed schedule, what it looks like and how to encourage staff to engage in difficult conversations about what is working and what needs to be improved. We will be able to explore specific topics that are PLC appropriate, how to begin to put them together and what the initial meetings will look like including: norm setting, SMART goal formats, and how to evaluate data, both local and standardized.
This session will also provide an opportunity for participants to hear first-hand how this initiative began at High School West in Cherry Hill and where it has grown since its inception. Beginning with the power of cross content PLC groups to those that are aligned by grade level, looking at what is in common among our disciplines and what we can learn from each other. We will also be able to explore the difference between collaboration and PLCs.
All the Pieces of the Puzzle: Promoting the Highest Levels of Literacy Learning
Presenters: Kelly Roselle, Supervisor of Language Arts, World Language and Media Literacy, Monroe Township Schools; Dori Alvich, Assistant Superintendent, Monroe Township Schools — Room: Promenade 7/8 — We have accomplished nothing within the walls of our schools if we do not produce literate students who can examine and critically evaluate the world around them. There are myriad obstacles to achieving this goal, but none is insurmountable. Through planning, professional development, strategic budgeting, scheduling, and use of personnel and available data, schools can empower teachers to produce high levels of literacy learning and ensure that students are prepared for further academic study and participation in all facets of the world around them.
The highest levels of literacy learning begin with data. Once data analysis protocols are in place, a course of action can be charted. This requires leaders to look at literacy practices that have found to yield the highest rates of success, with volume to text topping that list (R. Allington 2012). Instruction must not only target the standards, but also the skills and strategies needed for students at their own various reading levels. For these reasons, a traditional reading program simply doesn’t work. Instead, empowering teachers by providing authentic resources and high quality professional development in the areas of literacy yields better results.
Achieving high levels of literacy learning requires us to critically examine our approaches to data analysis and instruction and break free from antiquated practices that have yielding minimal, if any, results. Learn how to do this in this critical session.
Humor, Inspiration, and Motivation: Keeping “H.I.M.” in Focus
Presenters: Lisa M. Antunes, Assistant Superintendent, Hillsborough Township Schools; Kim Feltre, K-12 Science Supervisor/HMS STEM Supervisor, Hillsborough Township Schools — Room: Shrewsbury — Creating cultures that release pressure and interconnect using Humor, Inspiration, and Motivation is more important in education than ever before! This multimedia presentation provides examples of how a school district utilizes H.I.M. to provide a fresh approach to empowering educators in a compassionate and unique way. Ninety minutes with HIM and you will leave with a variety of videos and clips embracing assessment, standards, grading, interviewing, technology, etc. that will inspire and motivate all learners!

2017 Conference Location

Ocean Place Resort & Spa

1 Ocean Blvd, Long Branch, NJ 07740

Amenities   |  Photo Gallery

2017 Conference Session Handouts

Below are links to session handouts as they are made available by our presenters. Please click on the handout title to download it.

Thursday Handouts

Tonya Breland – Transformative Leadership – Strategies to Support Your Struggling School – Handouts: Power Principals Self Assessment for School Leader | Transformative Leadership – Strategies to Support Your Struggling School | Transformative Leadership Scenario

Jacqueline Frangis – Using Data-Driven Decision Making in RTI to Support NJTSS – Handouts: NJTSS PowerPoint4 Step Problem Solving ProcessMTSS Planning TriangleGetting Started with NJTSS

David Nash et al. – Student and Staff Rights in the Age of Social Media: LEGAL ONE – Handouts: Social Media PowerPoint

Friday Handouts

Scott Goldthorp – Effective Feedback to Support Principal Instructional Growth – Handouts: Effective Feedback Presentation Slides

Michael Heinz – Science Instruction Companion to the Danielson Framework – Handouts: NJSLS-S and Danielson FrameworkScience Program Rubric

David Nash et al. – LEGAL ONE Hot Issues in School Law – Handouts: Hot Issues PowerPoint | Enrollment Considerations for Immigrant Students | Enrollment of Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness | Enrollment of Students Displaced by Recent Hurricanes

Pedro Noguera – Friday Keynote – Handouts: PowerPoint Presentation

Tracey Severns (Twitter: @docsev) – Courageous Leadership – Handouts: Viewpoints Article: Courageous Leadership

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