Paradiso, Pereira join task force addressing N.J. teacher shortage

Perth Amboy Federation President Pat Paradiso and Newark Teachers Union member Silvia Pereira will be the AFT representatives on the task force Gov. Phil Murphy established via executive order to address the teacher and support staff shortage in New Jersey’s public schools.

“AFTNJ President Donna M. Chiera recommended me for the task force, but I would have asked to be part of it had she not,” says Paradiso (above left), who is AFTNJ’s PreK-12 executive vice president.…

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Cardona: More COVID tests are coming soon to public schools

U.S. Education Secretary Dr. Miguel A. Cardona appeared Jan. 12 on “CBS Mornings” to talk about millions of additional COVID-19 tests coming soon to public schools nationwide.

“You’re going to see distribution of [COVID] tests as early as next week to make sure that our schools can stay open,” Dr. Cardona said.

Co-host Tony Dokoupil responded, “As of right now, you don’t have them stockpiled, but they’re going to be made in the next seven days?”…

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Murphy: Mask mandate in N.J. schools will continue

The mask mandate for students, teachers and other personnel in New Jersey schools will continue. The mandate, part of last summer’s Executive Order No. 251, was due to expire Jan. 11.

“I want to be clear — by the way, with no joy … that the mask mandates in schools and day care centers will continue at least for the foreseeable future,” Gov.…

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PreK-12 leaders troubled by staff shortages, students’ lack of social interaction

AFTNJ President Donna M. Chiera hosted a virtual roundtable Sept. 28 with prekindergarten-12 leaders for them to share their school-reopening experiences to date.

Robin Pinckney-St. John, an AFTNJ PreK-12 vice president, talked about how open enrollment in the Newark school district contributes to the challenges in monitoring COVID-19 contact tracing, with students who are in the same family attending multiple schools.…

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Back to School for All tour makes a stop in Perth Amboy

The AFT’s Back to School for All campaign rolled through Perth Amboy on Aug. 11, with AFTNJ President Donna M. Chiera and Perth Amboy Federation President Pat Paradiso distributing educational books to individuals who received a COVID-19 vaccine that day at the Raritan Bay Area YMCA.

More than 30 people were vaccinated during the three-hour event, according to Rebecca Pauley, the Raritan Bay Area YMCA community health coordinator.…

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AFTNJ Special Report: Teachers, staff reflect on 2020-21 school year

It’s been an academic year defined by wearing masks and performing precautionary tasks, during which the need for sanitizer was eventually upstaged by the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines. It’s also been a period of time when “roomies” became “Zoomies,” as Newark Teachers Union President John M. Abeigon was fond of saying.

With summer break in full view, teachers and staff from the Perth Amboy, Newark, Garfield and North Bergen school districts look back at the challenges they faced during 2020-21.…

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Paradiso, Audet speak out ahead of students returning to Perth Amboy classrooms

Perth Amboy Federation (Local 857) President Pat Paradiso and district representative Lynn Audet spoke about scheduling and other concerns during the public portion of April 15’s board of education meeting, 11 days before students are due to return to classrooms for in-person learning.

As reported by Katherine Massopust in the April 21 print edition of The Amboy Guardian, Paradiso repeatedly referred to Perth Amboy teachers being treated as “second-class citizens” saddled with such burdens as teaching for five consecutive hours without a bathroom break and covering additional classes without extra compensation.…

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