Share This

Teacher Talk - 3/7/22

View this email in your browser

A Message from Superintendent León

The January Reset is one sign that suggests our understanding and trust in you, the classroom teacher and all other instructional staff. In September, everyone understood the impact of students learning remotely. Everybody was asked to adjust and you did it. Some need to be reminded that students were learning remotely from March 16, 2020, and only 38% returned to in-person instruction on April 12, 2021. This is not an excuse. Just the facts. It has only been 7 months since 100% of our students returned to in-person instruction during this school year. However, we have seen the greatness of our teachers and the labor of love for our students.

In the summer of 2020, summer school was hybrid and the efforts of all staff who worked at both summer school sites (First Avenue and Thirteenth Avenue) I have commented on more than one occasion. Teaching fluctuated between 30-50-70 % of the time that summer. The rest of the time on social-emotional learning, and healing. This September, you started running fast because you knew we needed you to do so. Even with all that you are personally going through, you began this school year on high throttle. We learned that in order for the students to best learn, we must have high expectations but we must move with them- from where they are.

I met with School Counselors, Social Workers II, and CST Members this past December and January to create mental health teams in every school. I know those staff members can best help us. We probably needed their help systemically way before COVID-19, but we have strategized with them unlike ever before. The Office of Student Life and these staff members at your schools have created action plans that are destined to provide us with the help we need. This is a “both and” proposition. The virus has unveiled the impact of mental health on every one of our students, and on all of us. The SEL supports for students are available on your school’s website and in communications for you by HRS and OSL in previous editions of Teacher Talk. 

On Friday, I sent a letter to you. It is important to unpack it. Tomorrow, I will be meeting with the School Pandemic Response Teams and you should bring questions you want answered so that they can answer them or raise them to my attention. I am sure that students and their families will raise questions similar to you and I want you to be ready to answer them to the best of your ability. 

In the next few days and weeks, we need your assistance to get these consent forms in the hands of parents and families: testing, 5-11, and 12+. Proof of vaccine for students should be uploaded here for the school nurse. I know that these are all personal decisions, but your assistance continues to be essential in this fight against COViD-19. If you want to be vaccinated or receive a booster shot, then you can also get this administered at school. Testing is also available for you. Dates and times are posted on your school’s website. In the days leading to Spring Break, we will distribute self-test kits with directions to be administered on the Sunday before everyone’s return. This will secure positive numbers for the week of April 25th. We will test during that week, hence the importance of getting additional consent forms. All of this is important to help us make the decision to loosen more or eliminate further protocols and procedures.

COVID-19 Weekly Testing Consent Form
Parent Vaccination Consent Form Ages 5-11
Parent Vaccination Consent Form Ages 12+
Upload Proof of Vaccination

Thank you.
 -Mr. León, Superintendent



Stay informed on everything happening within Newark Public Schools and the Newark Board of Education! Read up on all of the many ways the district is garnering media coverage.  

Back to Top


The 1st Annual Women's Leadership Conference (Updated)
Contact: Matthew Brewster, Staff Development

Current and Aspiring Women Leaders:

Register for the 1st Annual Women’s Leadership Conference Embrace-Empower - Elevate presented by Deputy Superintendent, Nicole T. Johnson.

The virtual conference will open at 9:00 AM with greetings and special messages from a panel of distinguished leaders and guests. The keynote address by Judge Victoria Pratt will begin at 9:45 AM. The first breakout window is 10:45 AM - 12:00 PM and the second breakout window is 12:15 PM - 1:30 PM.

The registration deadline is Friday, March 11, 2022.

Registration Link
Women's Leadership Conference Flyer (NEW FLYER ATTACHED)

Back to Top


March 9, 2022-Staff Development Day (New)
Contact: Matthew Brewster, Staff Development

Please review the Professional Development Calendar for March 9, 2022. Please seek approval from your principal/department head to determine which professional development session(s) you should attend.

Thank you!

Professional Development Calendar Link

Back to Top


Office of Special Education Updates (New)
Contact: Aida Vasquez, The Office of Special Education

Important DLM PD Information for the April Spring Assessment. These PD sessions are for teachers who instruct students in which their IEP indicates participation in the DLM assessment. There are two types of mandated DLM PD that teachers must complete in order to administer the DLM Assessments. A DLM OSE Mandated PD Session will be presented during the March 9th Staff Development Day. Please see the registration link to determine if you must attend this PD session.

March is Social Workers Awareness Month!

See link for March OSE PD.

Back to Top


2022 Parent University - March ’22 Courses (New)
Contact: Mariah Alston, Office of Federal Programs & Grants

Please share the March flyer for Parent University with your students and their families to spread the word. We want to have as many parents as possible benefit from what is being offered.

NBOE Parent University is a system-wide learning program to provide resources, learning opportunities, and linkages for ongoing parent and family involvement and community engagement that supports student learning. We have an abundance of courses being offered in the Month of March. View here.


Back to Top


March is National Nutrition Month (New)
Contact: Randy Schrader, Human Resource Services

Eat well, feel great.
Eat healthier, be healthier.
A healthy diet can help you avoid heart disease, cancer, diabetes and stroke.

Perfect plate:
Half fruits and vegetables.
Half grains and lean proteins.

Health boosters:
Fill up on color, like kale, beets, carrots and red peppers.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with fruit.
Cook with healthier fats, like olive, coconut, canola or peanut oil.
Choose healthy protein sources, like fish, beans, seeds and nuts.
Go for whole grains, like oatmeal or brown rice.

More: Eat Healthy on a Budget

Back to Top


Expanding Schools Roles (New)
Contact: Jessica Scafe, Human Resource Services

The Newark Board of Education is expanding several of our newer schools, and we would like to share that we are currently hiring for the specialized roles found in the link provided!

To view our specialized roles and vacancies, visit this link

Back to Top


The Writing Revolution Teacher Residency - Grade 2 Teachers (New)
Contact: Heather Lieberman, Office of Teaching and Learning, ELA

This is a paid teacher residency where participants will learn and create content-based writing instruction based on The Writing Revolution. Participants must commit to all 8 sessions and will be paid $656 upon completion. Limited to 30 Grade 2 Classroom Teachers.

This is for 8 weeks, 3/30/22 – 5/25/22 from 3:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. (No meeting Spring Break week)

Apply using the link on the attached document.


Back to Top


Gizmos Refresher Session (New)
Contact: Kathleen Tierney, Office of Science

There will be a refresher on Gizmos for any high school science teacher who would like to attend. The session will take place on March 14th at 3 pm via the link below. Teachers are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity- to learn about how Gizmos can be incorporated into science lessons, to hear how other teachers are using Gizmos in their classrooms, and to ask questions about the platform.

Click the link here

Back to Top


Alphabet Letter Tracing Books -Grades K & 1 (New)
Contact: Lisa Trobaugh, Office of Teaching and Learning, ELA

Letter tracing booklets have been sent to each school for students in Kindergarten and First Grade. Please make sure each student in Kindergarten receives a copy. First grade students who still need support with writing letters should also receive a copy.


Back to Top


Heggerty’s Bridge the Gap - Phonics Resource (Grade 3 Teachers) (New)
Contact: Heather Lieberman, Office of Teaching and Learning, ELA

All grade 3 teachers have been sent a phonics intervention resource, Heggerty’s Bridge the Gap. This is for use during small groups as a supplement to your guided reading lesson with specific identified students. There will be additional training provided on Tuesday, March 8th at 11:30am, 1:00 pm, and 3:00pm.

In addition we are sharing the presentation and slides to help gain familiarity with the program. See the attached document for the meeting link and resources.


Back to Top


ELA March Office Hours (New)
Contact: Heather Lieberman, Office of Teaching and Learning, ELA

The ELA Department is offering Office Hours for teachers. There are a variety of available day/time options to choose from.

In the month of March K-5 will focus on small group instruction. As always, any questions or areas of concern are welcome.

Please see the document for dates and times.


Back to Top


Extended School Year Survey (New)
Contact: Candice Wells, The Office of Special Education

In preparation for the 2022 Extended School Year program, the Office of Special Education has created a survey to plan for staffing and services this summer. Your responses will assist in determining the number of teachers, CST, SLS and support staff interested in working this summer. There will be opportunities for the morning and afternoon.

Additional opportunities includes PD that will be offered during the summer. OSE appreciates your input, please complete the link here.

Back to Top


Homework Hotline Reminder for All Students 

Contact: Timothy Nellegar, Teaching and Learning 

As we continue to find ways to assist our students we want to continue encouraging you to utilize the Homework Hotline. Live NBOE Teachers are available to assist students in a myriad of areas every Monday - Thursday from 3:30 pm -5:30 pm. The full list of subject areas and tutor numbers can be found here.

Our teachers are excited and ready to work with your students! Please encourage your students to reach out!

Back to Top


Submit Student Artwork to Hope, Healing and Resistance Statewide 

Contact: Margaret El, Visual and Performing Arts

Submissions accepted through March 31, 2022. The NJDOE, in collaboration with Arts Ed NJ and the Art Educators of New Jersey, invites New Jersey students to participate in the Hope, Healing and Resilience through the COVID-19 Pandemic Art Showcase & Installation Project. Students from preschool to 12th grade are encouraged to submit a photo of original piece of two-dimensional (2-D) art that conveys positive messages of hope, healing, and resilience created after March 2020. Selected artwork will be displayed on the NJDOE website and in NJDOE offices.

Project Information

Back to Top


New Jersey Graduation Proficiency Assessment Update: Cut Scores 

Contact: Vernon Pullins Jr, Student Support Services - Office of Student Life

Dear Educators,

Attached, please find the New Jersey Graduation Proficiency Assessment (NJGPA) Update: Cut Scores and English Language Arts and Mathematics Resources for your immediate perusal. Additionally, below you will find links for NJGPA and class of 2023-2025 HS Graduation Assessment requirements updated Feb. 2022.

Class of 2023-2025 HS Graduation Assessment Requirements (Updated February 2022)

Thank you,
Office of Student Life

Back to Top


Bootstrap Algebra and Data Science 

Contact: Darleen Gearhart, Office of Mathematics

Bootstrap is a supplemental curriculum in which students learn to program their own video games using algebraic language and explore cutting-edge on algebra education. This program will be implemented in select classrooms using the Data Science (grade 7) and Algebra curriculum (Alg 1 teachers). Participants must attend all 3 sessions of which Saturdays are reimbursed at the NTU contracted rate. Session dates are:

March 9, 2022
April 2, 2022
May 21, 2022

Email if you are a grade 7, 8, or Algebra 1 math teacher and interested in this curriculum.

Back to Top


Spring Break COVID-19 Testing Strategy 

Contact: Shamere Williams, Office of the Deputy Superintendent


In accordance with the guidance shared by the Superintendent, all students and school staff will be required to test for COVID-19 prior to return from Spring Break. For your convenience, all schools will receive a Spring Break COVID-19 Testing Kit to distribute to each student and employee the week of April 11th. Each kit will include rapid tests and a set of instructions to process the test.
Students and school staff must complete the test on Sunday, April 24th prior to returning to school on Monday, April 25, 2022.
Staff must follow the process of notifying Health Services of positive test results. Parents of students must notify their school nurse of positive test results. Additional details will be provided closer to Spring Break.

Back to Top


Certified Bilingual/World Language Teachers Needed for Translation 

Contact: Julianne Bello, Office of Extended Learning Time

The Office of Extended Learning Time continues to partner with the Office of Student Life to provide virtual support for families to complete FAFSA applications in the evenings and on weekends. While counselors support the families in the completion of the application, certified bilingual/world language teachers are needed to assist with translation.

Please contact Julianne Bello, for more information.

Back to Top


Rethink Ed SEL & Mental Health PLC Series 

Contact: Jennifer Rodriguez, Office of Federal Programs & Grants

The Rethink SEL & Mental Health PLC series is now open for registration in Whetstone. The PLC series is offered for K-12 teachers and support staff from January 25 through March 17 every Tuesday and Thursday from 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm.

One topic per week will be offered. Participants will receive the contractual supplemental pay. Please see the session descriptions and access the registration links in the attached calendar. For more information, contact


Back to Top


Teacher Talk will be delivered every other Monday.

  • The submission deadline is 5:00 p.m. on Thursday.
NPS Mobile App! 

The district's NPS Mobile App is now available for download for both Apple iOS and Android. With this app you, can:

• Receive Push Notifications when there is inclement weather and school closings

• Track news feeds (powered by your school web site, Facebook and Twitter accounts) at the district and school level

• Look up commonly-sought information directly from the mobile app

Contact Us

To support and encourage highly effective instruction, Teacher Talk synthesizes information and resources that will help NPS teachers meet the expectations of the framework for effective teaching. Teacher Talk is typically published every other Monday. Please open the form with Firefox or Chrome in order to add attachments.

You may submit items for inclusion in the Teacher Talk newsletter via this form:

The submission deadline is Thursday by 5:00 p.m.