Local 1060’s Toomey talks ‘Off the Page’ book forum

Following the positive feedback from the book club she started in her district, North Bergen Federation of Teachers (Local 1060) President Carol Toomey thought the concept would work well as part of the AFTNJ’s social justice committee.

Hence the creation of “Off the Page, Into the World,” which is open to all AFTNJ members and aims to bring social justice into working spaces.…

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Rutgers AAUP-AFT’s Givan makes NJBIZ power list

Rebecca Givan, president of Rutgers AAUP-AFT, has landed on NJBIZ’s latest Education Power 50 list.

“The union has tussled with administrators in recent years over spending priorities, a dispute that flared recently with the revelation that the Rutgers athletics program has run up $265 million in debt,” her entry on the list reads. “At the same time, the school is freezing salaries and imposing furloughs in the face of tight budgets.…

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Murphy takes action to boost transparency of higher ed’s costs in N.J.

Gov. Phil Murphy on Sept. 16 signed S1877, which “requires public and independent institutions of higher education and proprietary institutions licensed to offer academic degrees to provide a financial aid ‘shopping sheet’ annually to each student enrolled in the institution.”

Costs and estimated debt will be among the information contained on this shopping sheet, explains InsiderNJ.…

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Grants available to members affected by Ida storm

The AFTNJ-AFT Disaster Support Fund is offering direct grants of up to $250 to members in good standing who sustained significant losses of primary dwelling, personal property and vehicles or mandatory-evacuation expenses due to Tropical Storm Ida.

“Because of the pandemic and the unknown, the excitement of a new school year has been replaced with stress — and for many AFTNJ colleagues, Tropical Storm Ida added to that stress,” said AFTNJ President Donna M.…

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Biden aims to advance educational equity for Hispanic students

President Joe Biden on Sept. 13 signed an executive order to advance educational equity, excellence and economic opportunity for Hispanics.

Hispanic and Latino students, Biden wrote, “face systemic inequitable barriers in accessing a high-quality education and a fair shot at the American dream.” He goes on to cite such stats as “only 40 percent of Latino children participate in preschool education programs” (with whites at 53 percent) and “only 19 percent of Latino adults have at least a bachelor’s degree compared with 1 in 3 overall, and just 6 percent have completed graduate or professional degree programs, versus 13 percent nationally.”…

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NTU’s Moore retires; AFTNJ seeks his PreK-12 VP replacement

Newark Teachers Union member Jerry Moore has retired from the Newark public school district, and he has also stepped down from his position as an AFTNJ vice president/PreK-12.

AFTNJ bylaws outline the following procedures for filling this VP vacancy:

Section 7: Vacancies in any other elected office except the presidency shall be filled by selection from the Delegate Assembly at its next regular meeting after due notice to all member affiliates.…

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Make the most of digital storytelling in class

After the successful implementation of a digital storytelling unit during the most recent school year, Connecticut high school teacher Kimberly Hellerich says digital storytelling “has a permanent place in my classroom.”

“As we return to class, digital storytelling can give students access to different interpretations of an art form and enable them to explore the concept of empathy through literature, art and music,” Hellerich writes for Edutopia.…

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Teachers interviewed students for Imagining September report

During the spring, more than 200 teachers interviewed 4,000 K-12 students for an Imagining September report to get their thoughts on remote learning and returning to in-person learning.

The results can be found in “Healing, Community, and Humanity: How Students and Teachers Want to Reinvent Schools Post-COVID,” and a free webinar about the report will take place Sept.…

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NJ Spotlight News’ virtual conversation series to begin with education

“Election Conversations,” NJ Spotlight News’ five-part series of virtual discussions focusing on key issues leading up to the gubernatorial election, begins Sept. 14 with a talk about education.

Rowan University College of Education Dean Dr. Gaetane Jean Marie, NJ Spotlight News founding editor and education writer John Mooney and NJ Spotlight News correspondent Joanna Gagis are among the scheduled speakers.…

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AFTNJ begins process to provide Ida disaster relief

One day after President Joe Biden’s visit to flood-ravaged Manville, AFT, AFTNJ and NJ HPAE leaders on Sept. 8 held a virtual meeting to launch plans for providing financial assistance to New Jersey members who experienced property loss and damage due to Tropical Storm Ida.
AFTNJ President Donna M. Chiera said the criteria for the application process is in the works, and she will be using the federation’s Hurricane Sandy relief playbook as a guide.…

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AFTNJ looks to fill higher education VP post

Rutgers AAUP-AFT’s David Hughes recently stepped down as an AFTNJ higher education vice president, and AFTNJ bylaws outline the following procedures for filling any vacancies on its board:

Section 7: Vacancies in any other elected office except the presidency shall be filled by selection from the Delegate Assembly at its next regular meeting after due notice to all member affiliates.…

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Building a supportive classroom for teens and tweens

Providing support for teen and tween students can be a challenging task, “particularly for new teachers,” writes Tennessee high school math teacher Ty’ara Jones.

“The classroom should be a safe haven where students feel comfortable no matter their level of proficiency,” she writes for Edutopia. “It’s essential that educators build appropriate and trustworthy relationships with students, so that they’ll develop a passion for learning.”…

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ACE Engage workshop addresses inclusion for students with disabilities

Dahlia Shaewitz of the Institute for Educational Leadership will facilitate a two-part American Council on Education workshop about the need to create college and university campuses that are inclusive of all students.

As described by ACE, the Sept. 21 and Oct. 5 sessions will be “a deep dive into disability awareness that includes learning about disability prevalence, ableism and inclusion,” as well as “a discussion about the importance of disability diversity in supporting your equity and inclusion goals.”…

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