NJSBA’s Board Member Academy, a certification program for members who want to pursue board member training at an advanced level, will add two new certification levels for individuals, one in sustainability and one in iSTEAM.

“Our schools are embracing sustainability practices that are designed to build healthy learning environments and conserve resources; they are also focused on emphasizing integrative STEAM education so that students are better prepared for college and careers,” said Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod, NJSBA executive director. “These two new Board Member Academy certifications will help board members learn about all facets of these topics so that they can support and encourage their district’s efforts in sustainability and in iSTEAM (integrative science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics) education.

Sustainability Certification The sustainability certification will give members diverse learning experiences on the topic of sustainability. Board members who gain a deeper understanding of sustainability can help their districts lower operational costs and create healthier learning environments in the school. Such efforts can have a positive ripple effect on the community, as well.

iSTEAM Certification The iSTEAM certification will provids an opportunity for board members to better understand the integrative process for STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) education. Certification candidates will learn how to improve iSTEAM education in their district through decisions related to finance, policy, strategic planning, curriculum, facility changes, teacher professional development and goal setting. They will also have the chance to see iSTEAM in action in both formal and informal educational settings.

Training Opportunities NJSBA has designed several programs, some in collaboration with organizations such as the U.S. Army and NASA, to educate school board members on the topic of sustainability and iSTEAM. Programs are regularly listed on the “Upcoming Meetings” page of the NJSBA website at staging.njsba.org/meetings. Below are just a few upcoming programs; these programs will offer credit towards the new BMA certification programs.

  • Dec. 8 2016: Sustainable Practices Working Session, NJSBA headquarters, Trenton
  • Jan. 20, 2017: Sustainable Practices Working Session, NJSBA headquarters, Trenton
  • March 4, 2017: ARMY STEM Day, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst

For more information on the certifications, contact John Henry at [email protected], or by telephone at (609) 278-5288.