Last night, I had the privilege of participating in a meeting of several NJSBA past presidents along with our current leaders. The board of education experience in the room spanned almost 50 years. The advice and guidance of the former presidents was impressive. In a technical sense, by drawing on their vast experience, the former presidents shared “best practices.”

Indeed, experience is often the best teacher…and it doesn’t have to be your own. This brings me to my next point.

Nearly every board member, superintendent, and business administrator can point to a program, practice or initiative in his or her school district that is successful and from which their colleagues throughout the state can benefit. We see that at our annual Workshop, in the new Sustainable Jersey for Schools program, and many other venues.

Now, NJSBA is launching a new initiative, A+ Ideas, Programs and Practices, which is a unique opportunity to share your schools’ successful efforts with education officials, state leaders and the news media. We plan to distribute these practices statewide. So, you definitely would want your district to be part of this online library of successful programs. You can showcase your district’s successful programs by completing our brief survey. (Click here to access the survey.)

A+ Ideas, Programs and Practices will showcase scores of local district initiatives in areas, such as:

  • Curriculum/student achievement
  • Facilities/buildings and grounds
  • Finance
  • Governance/board leadership
  • School climate
  • Shared services
  • Special education
  • STEM education
  • Sustainability
  • School security, and
  • Technology.

The goal of this exciting project – to promote effective governance, management and educational practices among local school boards – is closely aligned with NJSBA’s mission.

I urge you not to miss out on this opportunity. Like other supporters of public education, I look forward to reading about, and learning from, your district’s initiatives in A+ Ideas, Programs and Practices.

Last night, I witnessed first-hand the effectiveness of sharing best practices. And I thank former Presidents Larry Schwartz (1976-78), Jeff Fischer (1979-80), Margaret Muller (1984-86), Charles Reilly (1998-2000), Ray Wiss (2010-12), and John Bulina (2012-14) for the wisdom and guidance they provided.

You can never overestimate the value of “experience” in providing guidance and direction. Likewise, you cannot overemphasize the positive impact that sharing best practices can have on our students’ education.

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