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Rising from Challenges to SELutions
Texas’s Inaugural Statewide SEL Conference!

September 15

Hosted by SEL4TX, this virtual event provides a full day of high quality sessions presented by SEL thought leaders from around the nation and across the state. At a time when challenges in education have reached an all-time high, the need for SEL in schools has never been greater.

All education professionals are welcome. The conference is perfect for district, school, and classroom educators who are preparing to implement SEL approaches and programs in the coming school year. This unique and timely conference will leave participants feeling inspired and equipped to Rise From Challenges to SELutions!
Early Bird (before August 1, 2021) – $99
After August 1, 2021 – $119
CEs offered for most education professionals!
  • Teachers
  • Counselors
  • School/district administrators
  • School psychologists/LSSPs
  • Social Workers

Learn more and register.

National 2021 SEL Conference Access Pass

August 2 –15

SEL4PA and CPSEL invite you to prepare for back-to-school by viewing recorded sessions from their 2021 National Social and Emotional Learning Conference.

The Center for the Promotion of Social and Emotional Learning’s (CPSEL) National Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Conference Access Pass provides access to 32 video recordings of sessions offered during the conference. Presenters include researchers, practitioners, and other leaders in the SEL field. Sessions focus on a variety of aspects of SEL for teachers and students, building and district leaders, as well as researchers and educators in higher education.

Access open Monday, August 2, 12 a.m. EDT – Sunday, August 15, 11:59 p.m. EDT. Cost is only $100. Learn more and register.

Join the August SEL Showcase Challenge

Share your August 2021 SEL showcase on Friday, August 27th with a social media post using #SELshowcase and tagging @SEL4USA and @caselorg so we can feature you.

August 2021 Challenge

How will you leverage American Rescue Plan Act dollars to advance social and emotional learning? Share one priority area for SEL investment for your school or district.


We can't wait to see your posts, celebrate SEL with you, and share your showcases on our SEL Showcase Challenge page!

Upcoming Challenge Calendar

Ready to help spread the word about the monthly SEL Showcase Challenge? Check out our Challenge Calendar with topics and prompts for the next few months.

Revisit our SEL Showcase Challenge page throughout the year to see how the SEL community around the world is celebrating SEL. Learn more and sign up today!

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“In presenting the sweeping narrative of American history, African Americans have for too long, been cast in minor roles far from events, personalities and themes that become engrained in every student’s memory. In New Jersey, that is all changing ... ”

The Amistad Commission Virtual Summer Institute Professional Development Course

The wait is over! The Amistad Commission - NJ Department of Education is excited to launch our inaugural on-line class, our virtual Summer Curriculum Institute Course for Educators and Administrators. Please join us.


Our virtual professional development course will launch on Tuesday, August 18th -  Saturday, August 22nd , 2020


The American Paradox:
An Analysis of Special Topics for NJ Schools on the Legacies of Structural Racism, Systemic Disparities, Self-Government, Enslavement, Native Dispossession,

Democracy, Civil Liberties and Civic Engagement throughout our American Narrative in the Classroom

Course Information and Registration is available now at:


Deadline to register is Sunday, August 16th, 2020


*Virtual Sessions Tuesday-Thursday at 10:00 am and at 2:00 pm*

*Virtual Sessions Friday-Saturday at 10:00 am - 2:00 pm & 6 pm*


*Daily uploads to our YouTube Channel of PD materials for the following day’s lecture preparation*


*Lecture schedule and daily log-in credentials meeting ID and passwords will be emailed to registered participants only- no one will be admitted into the virtual sessions without registering in advance via this event form.  Please subscribe to our YouTube channel in preparation for the professional development course - TheNJAmistad Channel


We hope that you will join us to learn on August 18th for this free PD opportunity for New Jersey Schools!

Course Description:

August 2019, marked the 400 year anniversary in Tidewater Virginia, where at the banks of the Jamestown River, American democracy and American enslavement emerged hand in hand. That marriage of ideals had consequential offspring, which have provided a complex inheritance for every generation of this nation’s citizens for the last 400 years. 2020 has catapulted our national attention and our family discussions, national news, social media platforms, and timelines have been filled with the remnants of these consequential offspring. We currently find ourselves in conversations involving our current global pandemic with its ever-climbing fatalities and evidenced medical disparities among communities of color; economic upheavals; federal and state’s rights debates and clarifications; constitutional and civics education reviews; political party infighting and polarizations; voting disenfranchisement concerns; questions of medical bioethics; conversations regarding reforms after the witnessing of police brutalities; civil rights and racial injustice; economic upheavals with the possibility of impending foreclosures and evictions; and finally the explications of structural racism, social justice, and policy changes.

This summer our proposed institute topic selection has been identified and abridged based on both our current national and global events. Our current realities and circumstances have created increased inquiries from teachers across the state, to the Amistad Commission for a multitude of areas for historic understanding, resources for students, and suggested learning approaches; most especially with the transition to online and remote learning. In response, we have crafted a late summer  professional development session before our Educators begin their school year that will provide content lectures, resources, as well as student engagement and classroom strategies.

Our goal is to assist NJ Educators and Administrators who tackle issues ripped from our headlines that are embedded throughout the NJ Learning Standards and Progress Indicators for Social Studies and district curriculum maps. At this moment, a space has been created for an indispensable teaching moment to educate our teachers and administrators, on the historic legacies at the root of our daily conversations that will no doubt continue to extend to our classrooms. It is a history that is only understood by telling the full story of our often-difficult American narrative. This must be part and parcel of all school curricula and professional development trainings nationwide.

This professional development online course will include virtual experiential learning, primary and secondary resources, lectures, multimedia presentations, curriculum development, and teaching strategies, lesson plan writing and methodology structuring sessions, we invite  NJ K-12 teacher, content specialist, administrators, and community stakeholders together  for these conversations while enlisting experts scholars in the varied topic areas of each lecture.




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Dear MSUNER Members,
Below you will find the Distance Learning Instructional Playbook created by teachers for teachers and shared with us during the ASCD summer conference.
I hope this helps.
Warm regards,
The Distance Learning Instructional Playbook:  every Thursday teachers got together from around the world to create this playbook to help teachers. Courtesy of ASCD
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Montclair State University's Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education Project is pleased to invite all MSU students, faculty, staff, alumni, community partners, and K-12 educators to:


Decolonizing the Curriculum

Indigenous Perspectives on Teaching Native American History in New Jersey


Wednesday, May 4, 2022

3:30 – 5:00PM

Free & Online

Registration link:


Join Montclair State University faculty and Ms. Trinity Norwood of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation to learn how to revitalize, decolonize, and vastly improve lessons on Native American history and culture. Free and open to the public, please encourage MSU students to attend!

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Statewide Conference on Segregation, Education & Opportunity in NJ


The Problem of School Segregation & What We Can do About it

Friday, September 24, 2021

September 24 is the anniversary of the day federal troops were deployed to integrate Little Rock High School.
Here in New Jersey, 64 years later, we have the shameful distinction of being more segregated by race and class than almost any state of the former confederacy.
Why is this? is it accidental, coincidence? Is it by choice or just the result of a segregated residential market.

Why should we care? What's the harm? And how does it affect me, my family and my community?

What can be done? Are there solutions? What are they and what can I do?

The conference on September 24 will explore all of these questions with facts, data, history and analysis from experts, practitioners and constituency leaders. And it and it will present a series of proposals for legislative action that can powerfully move us in a different direction in New Jersey.

The event will go from 10:00 to 3:00 PM. Lunch will be included. There is a fee of $75 to cover costs including meals. Discounts are available for members of affiliated organizations, sponsors and students. 


Racial segregation in schools is a structure and a system made by people that can be dismantled by people. It is more than just residential segregation and it harms more than just those who are segregated.

It has devastating consequences for the segregated, but it harms us all in a myriad of profound ways, politically, economically and morally, 

Friday, September 24 at 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.

The Conference Center at Mercer

Mercer County Community College

1200 Old Trenton Road, West Windsor, NJ 08550

PRE-REGISTER HERE: For this live gathering of faith, community, political & policy leaders.


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Philosophy in Children's Literature

The Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children at Montclair State University (IAPC) is proud to announce three new, important resources for engaging in thoughtful dialogue with children and teens. One is the revival of Thinking in Stories: Reviewing Philosophy in Children’s Literature as an active weblog ( Each post in the weblog summarizes a popular children’s story and reflects on how it raises philosophical questions intriguing to adults and children alike—questions that invite playfully serious, inter-generational dialogue. Thinking in Stories began in 1979 as a column written by the late American Philosopher Gareth B. Matthews for Thinking: The Journal of Philosophy for Children. With support from Montclair State’s College of Education and Human Services, the column has been recreated as a weblog with Dr. Peter Shea as contributing and commissioning editor. 


The second resource is the curriculum series Wise Owl: Talking and Thinking about Children’s Literature( that Matthews developed with educators in Amherst public schools in the 1980s. The series is designed to use children’s literature to provide primary school students the opportunity to explore philosophical questions while developing critical and creative thinking skills. Each Wise Owl packet includes a Teacher’s Guide to the philosophical issues in a children’s book and to facilitating philosophical discussions with young people, along with reproducible Activity Cards with philosophical discussion questions based on the book. Similar guides to other children’s books can be found at Matthews’ Philosophy for Kids website (


The third resource, valuable for researchers, is a webpage about Gareth B. Matthews under the IAPC Fellows rubric(, which includes links to the above pages, as well as a link to the first-ever complete curriculum vitae of his publications in the three sub-fields he helped to initiate: philosophy in children’s literature, philosophy of childhood, and philosophy for/with children. 

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ASCD Virtual Conference - Resources

Dear Colleagues,
I would like to share with you an article and workshop shared at ASCD Virtual Conference last week.  Dr. Gorski works with school districts on race matters and recently worked closely with districts in southern New Jersey.  While he did not provide a powerPoint he did provide an article of interest. "Avoiding Racial Equity Detours"
 "Although racial identities inform cultural identities, race is not culture. Racial inequities aren’t predominantly cultural misunderstandings." - Gorski
I would also like to share the following presentation from the ASCD Virtual Conference:  Distance Learning, Online Learning and Students with Disabilities:  How Do We Do It?  (Powerpoint and Resources)
Warm regards,
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In the News: Teacher Shortages

In the News: LPI Research on Teacher Shortages

The United States has experienced persistent and deepening teacher shortages for decades. Kickstarted by the 2008 Great Recession, the steady decline in fully prepared teachers has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. As the need to address teacher shortages becomes more urgent in the wake of the pandemic, news outlets continue to turn to LPI for insights on policy and program solutions. Below are some key LPI resources and recent news articles featuring LPI researchers that shed light on the teacher shortage crisis.

Students With Disabilities Have a Right to Qualified Teachers — But There's a Shortage

April 20, 2022—Teacher shortages are impacting students with disabilities as schools struggle to overcome the special educator shortage. In this interview with NPR’s All Things Considered, Desiree Carver-Thomas offers solutions for reducing teacher turnover, including improved pay, recruitment, preparation, and working conditions.

Solutions for America's Teacher Shortage

April 05, 2022—In a radio interview with WBUR’s On Point, Linda Darling-Hammond explores the teacher shortage crisis at length and offers program and policy solutions for what can be done to recruit and retain more educators as outlined in an LPI blog.

How to Reverse the Teacher Crisis Exacerbated by the Pandemic: Experts

April 3, 2022—The teacher shortage crisis, exacerbated by the pandemic, has been driven primarily by low pay and poor working conditions. Desiree Carver-Thomas shares perspective with ABC News about declining teacher compensation over the years and also highlights California investments that are strengthening the teacher pipeline.

A Major Shortage of Substitute Teachers Has Some Districts Training New Subs in 1 Day

March 15, 2022—"It begs the question of how much learning can really happen when the person in the classroom may not have subject matter competency." Desiree Carver-Thomas joins NPR’s All Things Considered to discuss the impact that substitute teacher shortages has had on schools and students.

How to Convince People to Become Teachers

March 9, 2022—This FastCompany interview with Desiree Carver-Thomas explores key problems and possible solutions to the teacher shortage crisis. Potential solutions include subsidizing teacher preparation to address high debt and low pay, implementing "grow your own" programs, and offering more flexible ways to teach to reduce student and teacher stress. 

Arizona Has Had a Teacher Shortage for Years. But Some Policies Have Been Successfully Curbing It

March 8, 2022—Thirty-one percent of teacher vacancies in Arizona are unfilled, while nearly half of teaching positions have been filled by underprepared teachers. Desiree Carver-Thomas joins the KJZZ 91.5 radio show to discuss what has and hasn’t worked for teacher recruitment and retention.

New Threat to COVID-Era Education: Black and Latino Teachers are Leaving the Profession

Feb 10, 2022—Citing research from several LPI reports, this Los Angeles Times article explores the increase in Black and Latino teachers who are leaving the teaching profession and the effect this is having on students, especially students of color. Tara Kini discusses how schools are hiring underprepared replacements, which negatively impacts students’ learning experiences.

How School Districts and States Are Trying to Attract Teachers During the Pandemic

February 4, 2022—"Teacher surveys have shown that during this time stress has been a major factor driving teachers leaving the profession." This ABC News article featuring perspective from Desiree Carver-Thomas explores conditions created by the pandemic that have caused significant teacher shortages as highlighted in this California-focused LPI report.

Half of Teachers Say They’re Thinking About Quitting, But Will They?

February 3, 2022—In an interview with U.S. News & World Report, Linda Darling-Hammond discusses how teacher shortages that predated the pandemic, particularly in math, science, and special education, are now being exacerbated by not only the pandemic but a shrinking pipeline into the profession and increased student loan debt.
Copyright © 2022 Learning Policy Institute, All rights reserved.
The Learning Policy Institute conducts and communicates independent, high-quality research to improve education policy and practice. Working with policymakers, researchers, educators, community groups, and others, the Institute seeks to advance evidence-based policies that support empowering and equitable learning for each and every child. Nonprofit and nonpartisan, the Institute connects policymakers and stakeholders at the local, state, and federal levels with the evidence, ideas, and actions needed to strengthen the education system from preschool through college and career readiness.

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Ajamu Kojo’s
Black Wall Street: A Case for Reparations


February 15 – April 23, 2022

Curated by Megan C. Austin, Director, University Galleries

Black Wall Street: A Case for Reparations is Kojo’s ongoing series of large-scale paintings that capture the imagined lives of Black professionals in the Greenwood District before the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. The community was dubbed “Black Wall Street” for its thriving culture and wealth in spite of strong segregation laws. The portraits present a spiritually uplifting dedication to the people who called Greenwood their home over a century ago. The exhibition is a sanctuary and homage to Black Americans through a reimagining of past lives.

Visit the digital twin of this exhibition, viewable on desktopmobile, or as an immersive VR experience.

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Child Care Providers: May 17, add your voice to amplify the
needs of the child care workforce.

Over the years, inadequate government funding and unlivable wages for child care workers have created a system that is unsustainable for both parents and providers. We now have a chance to reform the child care sector. Join us for our three-part #ReimagineChildCare webinar series, as we explore ways that we can improve the child care system to be better for babies and those who care for them.

The May 17th town hall will include diverse voices from the field, including professionals from both child care centers and family child care homes. Join us to add your voice and amplify the needs of this essential workforce.

As the state moves to rebuild and recover from the pandemic, we need to build an infrastructure that will supports families with children, and that means creating access to safe, reliable and affordable child care. Nearly $936 million federal dollars have been designated to support child care in our state. Join us on May 24 to tell state policymakers how these funds can be used to build back better. 

Over the course of the last decade, the number of family child care providers has declined significantly. On June 16 you can listen to strategies some funders and organizations have identified to support and grow family child care throughout communities in New Jersey. Make sure to sign up today!

Register today!

Don't miss out on these opportunities to #ReimagineChildCare!

June 9th -Strolling Thunder New Jersey
Remind your parents to sign-up!

Register Here

Infant/Toddler Child Care Provider Workforce and Capacity Survey

We want to learn how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected infant and toddler child care centers. The findings of this survey will help advocates and policymakers better understand the issues and challenges of providing this type of child care and identify potential supports that could assist centers in serving this population.

Click here to make your voice heard!
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The Disability Caucus is presenting a session TOMORROW, Pursuing Disability Justice at MSU, as part of the 2020 Diversity Week Summit.

This is an opportunity to learn more about disability justice, and meet some of us involved in the caucus. The registration link is below.

11-11:50 A.M. Pursuing Disability Justice at Montclair State University
Presenter(s): Jessica Bacon, Ph.D, Dr. Alicia Broderick and Dr. Elaine Gerber
Register for Pursuing Disability Justice at Montclair State University presentation.
The Disability Caucus is planning a general membership meeting for November 13th from 1-2pm. 
Please save the date!

Hope to see you tomorrow.
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“But I know somehow, that only when it is dark enough can you see the stars.”

     Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dear Teacher Education Program Community,

Looking for a way to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the virtual space this Monday? Consider attending the  Virtual MLK Day of Service Forum sponsored by the New Jersey Collaboration and Partnership Schools (NJCAPS).

Monday, January 18

10 am- 12 pm

Register here: 

NJCAPS states: For educators around the globe, teaching through a pandemic has been daunting. Even so, stars among us have emerged. In order to showcase and highlight the stellar work of our peers, the  is delighted to announce a virtual MLK Day of Service: Progress in a Pandemic. This Day of Service will afford educators an opportunity to enlighten others about their progress in a pandemic as they share classroom success stories.

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