Biden: One coronavirus vaccine shot for every educator by end of March

President Joe Biden on March 2 issued what he called a “challenge” — for “every educator, school staff member, child care worker to receive at least one shot by the end of the month of March.”

He added, “Let’s treat in-person learning like an essential service that it is, and that means getting essential workers [who] provide that service — educators, school staff, child care workers … vaccinated immediately.”…

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Principal connects with students through his videos on social media

Colorado elementary school principal Nick Holtvluwer has used social media to share his passion for education, and during the pandemic, he’s posted videos intended for his students that are meant to “provide encouragement through humor.” 

“They see what I post regarding my struggles and observations about being a school principal,” he writes for SmartBrief. “It helps me seem more real to them.”…

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Vaccine eligibility for N.J.’s PreK-12 educators, support staff begins March 15

Starting March 15, New Jersey’s prekindergarten through 12 educators and support staff will be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines, Gov. Phil Murphy said March 1 during his media briefing.

Among the others who will be eligible for vaccines on March 15 are childcare workers as well as public and local transportation workers.

“We expect this to be a total of several hundred thousand workers and residents,” Murphy said.…

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Weingarten agrees to join Kean discussion about pandemic’s impact on N.J. women

In celebration of Women’s History Month, Kean University will present the virtual roundtable discussion “Supporting Women at Work and at Home” on March 5 at 10 a.m. ET.

AFT President Randi Weingarten has agreed to join state Sen. M. Teresa Ruiz (the Senate Education Committee chair) and other New Jersey officials to discuss the impact of the pandemic on women professionally and personally as well as solutions and strategies to mitigate those issues in the state.…

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Register now for this year’s Share My Lesson conference

Registration is open for the 2021 Share My Lesson Virtual Conference, taking place March 23-25.

This event for PreK-12 teachers and school staff will feature more than 40 free sessions covering such topics as increasing civic engagement and incorporating trauma-sensitive practices.

For more information and to register, click here.

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Murphy signs Community College Opportunity Grant Program into state law

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Feb. 26 signed the Community College Opportunity Grant Program into state law during an appearance at Hudson County Community College in Jersey City.

Prior to the signing, Murphy acknowledged that New Jersey’s 18 community colleges play “a vital role” in the educational lives of many residents “but also in our economic future.”…

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O’Connell: Rutgers’ priorities need realignment

The Coalition of Rutgers Unions held a virtual press conference Feb. 25 to discuss recent and anticipated layoffs and cutbacks throughout Rutgers University.

Among the participants was Rutgers URA-AFT (Local 1766) President Christine O’Connell, who addressed the situation of high-paying administration positions being filled during a hiring freeze.

“I think it’s a question of priorities,” O’Connell said.…

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Early registration savings for Building Expertise conference ends Feb. 28

Actor LeVar Burton, host of the PBS series “Reading Rainbow,” is among the scheduled keynote speakers for this year’s Building Expertise Educators Conference, taking place virtually from June 23-25.

Presented by Learning Sciences International, this event offers “a proactive plan to increase student engagement, address reluctant learners and meet the social-emotional needs of students as more of them return to brick and mortar next school year,” according to LSI.…

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Murphy touts budget investment in N.J.’s schools

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy visited Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Fair Lawn on Feb. 25 to highlight the roughly $700 million he set aside for public schools in his fiscal year 2022 budget.

“There are many historic investments that we will make in the coming year,” he said, adding that a strong education “is the foundation for everything we seek to achieve.”…

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CDC, WHO differ on minimum social distancing

As schools nationwide work toward reopening for in-person instruction, there is now a significant disparity in health organizations’ recommendations for minimum social distancing.

The most recent update on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website about social distancing is dated Nov. 17, and it says the following: “To practice social or physical distancing, stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arm lengths) from other people who are not from your household in both indoor and outdoor spaces.”…

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Chiera testifies in support of A4680

AFTNJ President Donna M. Chiera testified during the virtual New Jersey Assembly Labor Committee Meeting on Feb. 24 in support of A4680, which pertains to subcontracting agreements entered into by four-year public institutions of higher education.

“Before I begin with the specifics, I want to remind you that this legislation was the same legislation you recently passed and was signed by the governor giving limited protections to preK schools and community colleges around subcontracting,” Chiera said.…

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