Paradiso praises her district’s cafeteria staff

Perth Amboy teacher Patricia Paradiso, president of Local 857, has the backs of the cafeteria staff members in her school district as they navigate food distribution to students during the pandemic.

“They really stepped it up, our kids had food all spring, they’ve had food available all summer,” Paradiso said to NJ Advance Media’s Josh Axelrod.…

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Repollet stresses safety, academic excellence and equity in Kean opening day address

An “excited and humbled” Dr. Lamont O. Repollet on Aug. 31 delivered his first opening day address as Kean University president.

A child of Army veterans, Dr. Repollet talked about his path in education — pointing out that the “journey wasn’t easy” — and acknowledged some of his mentors who helped him along the way.

“I often say that education saved my life because the skills and tools I gained during college and graduate school are the guiding force that allowed me to effect positive change in the communities I serve,” he said.…

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MSU profs weigh in on campus protocols, pitfalls

Stephanie Silvera, an epidemiology professor at Montclair State University, has a blunt take regarding the 11 MSU students who were suspended from campus housing earlier this month due to violating COVID-19 rules.

“Anytime anyone is drinking, their ability to judge goes down,” said Silvera in a NorthJersey.com story by Julia Martin. “If you’re drinking, you are not likely to say, ‘Don’t come within six feet of me,’ or be able to judge that distance.”…

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Three other important R’s covered in webinars

Relationships, routines and resilience are at the core of a four-part webinar series that is available to AFT member educators and school support staff.

The series will be presented by Turnaround for Children, which was founded in 2002 by Dr. Pamela Cantor, who practiced child and adolescent psychiatry for nearly two decades.

Participants will learn practical strategies for strengthening and maintaining relationships and routines in classrooms as well as in remote-learning settings, along with how to build on the existing strengths of all learners to boost their skills, mindsets and habits.…

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Educational issues covered in development series

AFT has once again joined forces with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and the Delta Research and Educational Foundation to provide a professional development series for educators that’s part of the CBCF Annual Legislative Conference.

Participants in the virtual sessions are eligible to receive professional development units. The schedule features “When the Bell Rings: Culturally Responsive Pedagogy” at 6 p.m.…

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Murphy earmarks $250M for child care

Speaking from the Edgar Child Care Center in Metuchen, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Aug. 28 shared details about the creation of the $250 million COVID Child Care Initiative.

The money will be divided into “four different buckets,” said Murphy, who broke it down as follows:

  • $50 million to provide restart grant funds for child care providers who will have reopened by Oct.
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College students in virtual-learning scenarios seek tuition refunds

Montclair State University sophomore Jenna Jenkins is among the New Jersey college students who would like a tuition refund as a result of their schools reopening with remote or hybrid schedules.

“It’s like we are paying the exact same amount as people who are still going to school, when we’re not leaving our beds,” Jenkins said in an NJTV News article by Joanna Gagis.…

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AFTNJ-endorsed Kennedy rips Van Drew in ad ahead of his RNC appearance

Amy Kennedy, who is running for Congress in New Jersey’s second district, released an ad today in which she calls out Rep. Jeff Van Drew. The emergence of the ad coincides with former Democrat Van Drew being among the scheduled speakers tonight at the 2020 Republican National Convention.

“The Transformation of Jeff Van Drew” can be seen here.…

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N.J. school districts adjust plans to account for heat, requests for leave of absence

School districts around New Jersey are making changes to their reopening plans based on building conditions and personnel situations.

“Most classroom spaces in the Madison Public Schools are not air-conditioned,” Madison Superintendent Mark Schwarz wrote in an Aug. 17 letter, adding that fans cannot be used. Should temperatures “reach a level that makes mask-wearing unbearable,” he added, “all students will shift to full-time remote learning until temperature levels drop sufficiently.”…

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AFTNJ endorses education advocate Amy Kennedy for Congress

Joining President Barack Obama, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and others, AFTNJ is endorsing Amy Kennedy for Congress.

“We are proud to endorse Amy Kennedy for Congress in New Jersey’s second district,” said AFTNJ President Donna M. Chiera. “Amy is committed to fighting for public schools and the teachers, students, education support professionals and working families that rely on them.”…

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Fox News asks AFT to ‘revise’ its anti-Trump ad

Fox News has opted not to broadcast an AFT Solidarity ad that knocks President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for how they’ve handled school reopenings during the pandemic.

A Fox News representative says the network asked AFT to “revise the ad for accuracy.” The 30-second spot was scheduled to air on Fox News during prime time on Aug.…

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MSU suspends 11 students from housing for breaking COVID-19 rules

Montclair State University has suspended 11 students from campus housing for violating COVID-19 rules last weekend due to gathering “in large groups to party without masks and social distancing,” according to a text sent by MSU officials to students.

The text also said, “Please understand, there will be no second chances. Any student who violates the safety protocols will be immediately suspended from housing (possibly for the remainder of the year) … There are also no refunds for housing when a student is removed through the conduct process.”…

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AFTNJ supports unemployment bill for adjuncts

Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney and Sen. Sandra B. Cunningham this week introduced legislation that would enable adjunct professors to collect unemployment benefits — specifically, that adjuncts may not be refused these benefits during a summer, holiday or vacation break without “highly probable” assurance of reinstatement, reports Insider NJ.

It’s a bill that’s significant for multiple reasons, according to AFTNJ President Donna M.…

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Tilghman is concerned about colleges reopening

Dr. Shirley M. Tilghman did not mince words Aug. 24 when New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy in his COVID-19 briefing asked for her thoughts related to broader reopening plans around the state.

“Frankly, I am a little concerned about the universities and the colleges restarting, those who are trying to start in person,” said Dr. Tilghman, a co-chair of the Governor’s Restart & Recovery Commission.…

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