WORKSHOP: “…intensive educational program…that focuses especially on techniques and skills in a particular field
(  © 2015 Merriam-Webster, Incorporated

From October 27 through 29, the “particular field” will be school governance and the “intensive educational program,” Workshop 2015. This year’s event will provide an unparalleled training experience for local school board members, their administrative teams, and other key personnel.

The real beneficiaries, however, will be our students. No other statewide program links effective school district leadership to student achievement.

My most recent “Reflections” column cited some of the challenges facing school districts during the 2015-2016 school year. They include communicating about data from the first administration of the PARCC exam, acquiring technology to support learning, and financing education in the face of the 2% tax levy cap and stagnant state aid.

This year’s Workshop program will help your school district address these challenges. It will also open the door to the good news, achievements, and best practices found in New Jersey’s public schools, as well as one-on-one training in the “boardsmanship basics” of negotiations, policy and school law.

Many Workshop sessions lead to certification through the NJSBA Board Member Academy or provide continuing education credits toward certification for school facilities managers and school purchasing agents.

The Importance of Partnerships The ongoing theme of the Annual Workshop is “Partners in Student Achievement.” In fact, partnerships are a vital ingredient to the success of the training event. It’s reflected in the collaboration among the co-sponsoring organizations (NJSBA, the New Jersey Association of School Administrators, and the New Jersey Association of School Business Officials)…the involvement and support of the New Jersey Department of Education, which this week urged local school districts to participate in Workshop…our work with affiliate organizations, such as Sustainable Jersey for Schools and the New Jersey Association of School Attorneys…and the critical support of our corporate sponsors and exhibitors.

But the most important partnership of all involves you, the local school board member. Workshop presents the opportunity for you to exchange ideas, share common concerns and explore solutions with your colleagues during the largest annual gathering of New Jersey’s local school officials. Close to 90% of the state’s school boards have already registered for this year’s event!

As you can see, I’m excited about Workshop 2015 and am extremely proud of the work that NJSBA and our partners have put into the program. By the way, a tip of the hat to our incredible NJSBA staff. They have been working tirelessly (day and night) to make Workshop 2015 the best ever.

I think you will be just as enthusiastic about this year’s Workshop. So, before you leave for the event, visit the Workshop 2015 website for an overview of the 250+ training and information sessions on topics involving curriculum, effective use of technology, school safety, standards and assessment, STEAM education and sustainability.

If your district team has not yet been registered for Workshop 2015, ask your school business administrator to do so today. Information on event schedules and special events can be found on the Workshop website.

The group registration fee is an exceptional value. The training and knowledge available at Workshop is truly invaluable.

These are my Reflections. I look forward to hearing yours. Contact me at [email protected].

Follow me on Twitter: @DrLarryFeinsod

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