Workshop 2017, Education for a Common Purpose, will take place next week, from Oct. 23 to 26, at the Atlantic City Convention Center. Some highlights:

Extra Training Day on Monday The New Jersey Department of Education has expanded the travel waiver to accommodate an additional day of training, allowing school districts to reimburse eligible board members and staff for overnight accommodations for a maximum of three, rather than two, nights. Monday will include a Leadership Training Track, geared toward school board presidents and vice presidents, and any board member interested in building their leadership skills. Additionally, Workshop will offer a special presentation of Governance I: New Board Member Orientation (separate registration required), and training on school law, labor relations, student achievement, sustainability and more. Monday will also feature a County Chat Room from 2 – 4:30 p.m. with “Solutions Tables” manned by county officers and NJSBA staff. Shuttle service will be available on Monday from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., so that attendees may park at their hotels and take the shuttle over to the Convention Center.

The Commissioner of Education Kimberley Harrington, New Jersey Commissioner of Education, will highlight the many educators who have effectively raised student voices. She will also discuss how New Jersey is continuing on a strong path toward helping our students reach their greatest potential during their school years, as well as beyond high school graduation. Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2 – 3:30 p.m., Exhibit Floor Theater

Keynote Speaker, Maurice J. Elias, Ph.D., “What do our students need to be successful in 2027… and beyond?” Maurice J. Elias, Ph.D., a nationally-recognized expert on social-emotional and character development, will answer that question and more during his keynote address at Workshop 2017. Learn why and how school leaders must make the commitment to create schools that will prepare students for the tests of life. Wednesday, Oct. 25, 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m., Exhibit Floor Theater

Student Performances Workshop 2017 will highlight the talent and skills of New Jersey public school students by showcasing student performances throughout the Convention Center. The students will perform on Oct. 24 and 25. Read about the student performance groups.

School Technology/Future Ready Schools Workshop 2017 will feature a host of new opportunities to learn about technology, including helping schools become “Future Ready” and even taking them on a mission to Mars. View the list of technology sessions, and learn more about the interactive opportunities on the Exhibit Floor.

Mock Board The 2017 Mock Board will present several controversial issues facing New Jersey boards of education. Topics include freedom of speech, educational foundations, tenure removal and social media issues. While the session will follow an agenda like a regular board meeting, the public will have an opportunity to present general school law and labor relations questions to a panel of distinguished school board attorneys. Wednesday, Oct. 25, 1 – 2 p.m., Exhibit Floor Theater

Legislative Update Session Attendees are encouraged to come with their thoughtful questions for a collegial discussion with elected officials. Panelists will include Senate President Stephen Sweeney, Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, and Assemblywoman Patricia Egan Jones. This session is hosted in partnership with the Garden State Coalition of Schools. Wednesday, Oct. 25, 1 – 2:30 p.m., Room 301

STEAM TANK Challenge The STEAM TANK Challenge competition will return to Workshop this year, with finals taking place on the Exhibit Floor. STEAM TANK teams create innovative projects and present their inventions to a judging panel of entrepreneurs, business leaders and inventors. Judging will take place in the I-STEAM Command Center on the Exhibit Floor Oct. 24 and Oct. 25. Review the programs on the Workshop website.

Onsite Badge Printing New to Workshop 2017, all attendees will be able to print their own badges at the registration area located outside of Hall D at the Convention Center in Atlantic City, using a barcode. Barcodes were sent via email to attendees who were registered by Friday, Oct. 13. Registrants without a barcode may still print their badges onsite, using the user-friendly kiosks throughout the registration area. The new process is designed to increase efficiency and convenience for all Workshop attendees.

Workshop Registration and Pricing The Workshop group registration rate is $1,500, and has been expanded to cover 18 team members (up from 14 team members) including: school board members, business administrator, superintendent, facilities managers, curriculum professionals, IT staff, and other district professionals. The individual member rate is $300 per person. Registration is available online, and must be handled by the school business administrator.

More Information School officials should ask their school business administrator to register their districts for Workshop 2017 as soon as possible. Registrants are encouraged to stay connected before, during, and after the conference by downloading the Workshop 2017 mobile app by searching  “NJSBA Workshop 2017” on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Additional information on the conference can be found on the Workshop website.