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Teacher Talk - 10/12/21

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Message from Superintendent León and Deputy Superintendent Johnson

Dear Teachers and Staff,
It is critical to remember that this year is like no other year before. The 9th grader that stands before you asking for your help has not had a normal school year since he was in 6th grade. The second grader that reaches for your hand in support has not had a normal year since she was in Pre-Kindergarten. Over the past two years, some of our students have only been in classrooms for a total of 9 months, while others had not seen the inside of a school building since March 2020.
Since the start of this pivotal school year, our goal has been to ensure that we are balancing academics and the social emotional needs of our students. We must view academic and social-emotional learning needs of students as a sliding scale. At the start of the school year, there was possibly more imbalance than ever that favored the mental state of all of our students and staff. As we continue through the school year, while we must remain resilient in our efforts to be mindful and responsive to the highest social emotional needs of our students, shifts toward academic excellence should begin to take heed. The goal as we move into the school year is to target student needs and make adjustments accordingly.
We look forward to continuing this important conversation at our Superintendent’s Conferences every month with Principals and School Leaders so the discussions can be carried through with Teachers and Staff.

Be well and healthy, 
Superintendent León and Deputy Superintendent Johnson


Professional Learning (New)

Contact: Jazleen Othman, Office of Teaching & Learning

Just a reminder, October 20th is a professional learning day. Here is a link to the district offerings.

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Pandemic Response Team (New)

Contact: Shamere Williams, Office of the Deputy Superintendent

In accordance with state guidelines in the fight against COVID-19, districts were to establish a Pandemic Response Team. In Newark, the Pandemic Response Team (PRT) includes the Principal, Case Manager, School Counselor/Social Worker, School Nurse, School Safety, Teacher, Parent Liaison, etc. Additionally, members of this team meet with the Superintendent monthly to ensure alignment with guidelines provided by the CDC and Newark Health Department, and district protocols as we continue to operate during in-person learning. Should you have questions about protocols, please feel free to reach out to members on your school’s Pandemic Response Team.
We encourage you to remain patient and flexible with receiving updates as we know the CDC’s guidelines continue to change as new information is made available.


21 - 22 Pandemic Response Team Meeting Dates
Thursday, September 9, 2021 – 9:00 amTuesday, February 15, 2022 – 9:00 am
Tuesday, October 5, 2021 – 9:00 amTuesday, March 8, 2022 – 9:00 am
Tuesday, November 23, 2021 – 9:00 amThursday, April 28, 2021 – 9:00 am
Friday, December 17, 2021 – 9:00 amTuesday, May 17, 2022 – 9:00 am
Friday, January 7, 2022 – 9:00 amThursday, June 9, 2022 – 9:00 am

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National Bully Prevention Month - #BlueUp (New)

Contact: Mary Garripoli & Rashon Dwight, Office of Student Life

The month of October reminds us that students, parents, teachers/staff and school administrators all play a role in Bully Prevention Month. Positive change comes as we begin to emphasize respect and inclusion on school campuses across the country. The attached Padlet link provides resources and suggested activities to enhance the educational experience at your schools and promote a climate and culture that is positive and productive. In addition, there is also a link for HIB/Discipline Reporting Overview and HIB Program Compliance Mandates.

Anti-Bullying Resources


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Why Science in the Early Grades? (New)

Contact: Tracy Cummings, Office of Science 

The Office of Science Presents Dr. Carla Zembal-Saul, Department Head of Curriculum and Instruction of Pennsylvania State University. 

We invite you to preview a Pilot phenomenon-based project for K-2 Potential Science Teacher Leaders on October 27, 2021 at 4:00 PM

K-2 Notice and Wonder Flyer 

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Supporting Student Sense-Making (New)

Contact: Tracy Cummings, Office of Science 

Office of Science in partnership with NSTA Presents K-2 Science Teacher Cohort: Web Seminar Series-Support Student Sense-Making. This series of eight 90-minute web seminars ranging starting at 3:20pm - 4:50pm from November 9, 2021 - June 7, 2022.  

Web seminar dates:

November 9, 2021
December 13, 2021
January 11, 2022
February 14, 2022
March 14, 2022
April, 11, 2022
May 9, 2022
June 7, 2022


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Office of Special Education Updates (New)

Contact: Lisa Trobaugh, OSE

Please see the latest updates from the Office of Special Education.

OSE Updates for Teachers

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Future Goals-Hockey Scholar Information Session (New)

Contact: Timothy Nellegar, Educational Technology-Office of Teaching and Learning

On Monday, October 25th the New Jersey Devils are inviting you to join them for a virtual Future Goals - Hockey Scholar information session at 4:00pm!

Hockey Scholar is an online learning course for 4th- 8th grade that can be used as a supplemental component of the Computer Science curriculum. This program uses hockey to empower students to understand the real world applications of STEM principles.

Click here to RSVP!

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ELA Office Hours (New)

Contact: Janice Grevious, Office of English Language Arts

The Office of ELA is offering the following After School Sessions for Teachers. Please click the links below to access the Webex Session. ELA office hours will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:00PM - 3:45PM.

Tuesday, October 12:
Grades K-2: Look at the Letter ID
Grades 3-8: Problem of Practice
Grades 9-12: ELA Curriculum Overview

Thursday, October 14:
Grades K-2: Open Office Hours
Grades 3-8: Open Office Hours
Grades 9-12: ELA Curriculum Overview

ELA Office Hours Links

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Enter Students in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards (New)

Contact: Margaret El, Visual and Performing Arts

Engage your students to participate in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. This year’s Northern NJ Art Region ceremony will take place in Newark at Gallery Aferro! We want to be sure our hometown student artists participate. Teens in grades 7–12 (ages 13 and up) can apply in 28 categories of art and writing.

The site is fully live for the region to accept student entries.

Northern NJ Art Region deadline is December 18.
Writing Region-at-Large East deadline is December 6.

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Registration Open for NJSO Training Ensemble Grades 4-12 (New)

Contact: Margaret El, Visual and Performing Arts

NJSO Training Ensemble is BACK and more robust than ever!

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN! Please see the attached PDFs for registration details and instructions. Offering both in-person and virtual programs for beginner string students grades 4-12. Please feel free to pass it along to any family that may be interested in the program. Samuel McDonald, Education Manager ( can answer any questions or be of any help in the registration process and do not hesitate to contact him directly on his cellphone (732-366-3694). 


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Yogi Berra Museum Learning Opportunity - NBA Math Hoops (New)

Contact: Darleen Gearhart, Office of Mathematics

The Yogi Berra Museum is offering a FREE professional development workshop to learn the NBA Math Hoops game and curriculum, gain free access to the Learn Fresh program and all materials, and improve your 4th to 8th grade students' math skills (and have fun in the process)! The sessions are November 10, 2021 from 4:30pm -6:00 p.m. (In-Person) as follows:

Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center
On the campus of Montclair State University
8 Yogi Berra Drive, Little Falls, NJ

If you would like to attend virtually contact Jenny Pollack at


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FAFSA Counseling (New)

Contact: Julianne Bello, Office of Extended Learning Time

The Office of Extended Learning Time will be provide 1:1 counseling for high school seniors and their parents to support the completion of their FAFSA applications.

Guidance personnel should be available during evening hours and possibly weekends. Interested counselors are asked to reply here

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Escrow Reminder (New)

Contact: Maribel James, Human Resource Services

Dear Employee:

Dear Employee:
This is a reminder that the Escrow Deductions will commence Friday, October 15, 2021 through Friday, May 27, 2022 for a total of 16 deductions.  For your convenience, see attached guide on how to navigate Escrow through ESS (Employee Self Service).  Please feel free to log into ESS to view the option you have selected.   The refund dates are as follows for the option you have selected:

>> One Check Option – issued in one (1) lump sum on Friday, June 10, 2022
>>Four Check Option – issued in four (4) equal installments on July 22nd, August, 5th , August 19th and September 2, 2022.

If you wish to discontinue kindly do so through the ESS process. We are no longer accepting request and open enrollment is May 1st through July 15th of each year.


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2021-2022 Covid Testing Consent Form Link for Families (New)

Contact: Erica Paich, Office of Policy, Planning, Evaluation, and Testing

2021-2022 Covid Testing Link

Families that would like their children to participate in Covid Testing at their school location must complete the Consent Form in order to participate. Please share the consent form link with families who are interested in participating. Families will need to log into their SchoolMint account with their NewarkEnrolls/SchoolMint credentials.

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NBOE SST/I&RS Meeting Dates and Toolkit (New)

Contact: Jessica Silva-Olmo, Office of Student Life

The Office of Student Life will provide monthly training sessions to SST and I&RS Teams.

REQUIRED ATTENDANCE: Administrator overseeing SST and the SST Coordinator, Administrator overseeing I&RS and I&RS Coordinator. *All other team members are welcome to join.*

SY 21-22 Meeting Dates: September 17th, October 25th, November 29th, December 9th, January 24th, February 28th, March 28th, April 25th, May 5th and June 2nd.

Meeting Link
Toolkit Link


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RethinkEd SEL Self-Assessment (New)

Contact: Jessica Silva-Olmo, Office of Student Life

All 3rd to 12th grade students will take the Fall SEL Assessment the first week of November. Use the attached documents to assist with administration. As a reminder, this is NOT a test; it is a check-in to measure what social emotional skill sets the students are strong in and need support with. Results from assessment will assist schools in forming groups for follow up as well as students who can possibly be utilized as peer mentors.

NOTE: Assessments are assigned by the school on the platform.



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Student Teacher Placement & Support Training (New)

Contact: Stacey Wilkerson, Human Resource Services

The focus of this training will be to share tips and guidance with cooperating teachers and administrators on how to set up their student teachers for success and how we will support them in creating a pathway to becoming full time teachers in our district.

Date: October 28th from 3:15PM-4:15PM
Audience: Co-op Teachers & Principals
Host: April Venable

Register here.


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Tenure 101 Training (New)

Contact: Stacey Wilkerson, Human Resource Services

Tenure 101 Training will be an opportunity for instructional staff to educate themselves on Tenure basics, certifications, qualifications and the importance of maintaining a valid certification.

Date: October 18th from 3:30PM- 4:30PM
Audience: All Instructional Staff

Register here.

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Teach for the Excel Program (New)

Contact: Julianne Bello, Office of Extended Learning Time

The Excel Program is still in need of teachers to provide after-school instruction at various locations across the district. The program provides a nutritious meal, rigorous academic curriculum, and engaging enrichment opportunities for students in Grades K-8. Interested teachers should email Sandra Gomes at


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In Person Physical Education Guidance 

Contact: Elizabeth Aranjo, Health & Physical Education - Office of Teaching & Learning

Please reference the attached documents with regard to In-Person Physical Education and activities for Cycles 1 & 2.

Please note this is a live document and subject to changes.


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Guidance Memo for SGOs 

Contact: Darleen Gearhart, Office of Mathematics

Achievement is a point-in-time measure that evaluates how well students perform against a standard. In contrast, progress is measured by how much growth students make over time, typically over the course of the year or from one year to the next.

The Guidance Memo outlines how to construct teachers' Student Growth Outcomes (SGOs) as part of the Individualized Professional Development Plan (IPDP) process. In SY 2021-22, teachers set SGOs based on student growth metrics, when available, to determine teachers' SGO score for this school year.


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Mystery Science Updates 

Contact: Tracy Cummings, Office of Science

Where is Mystery Science? Access Mystery Science via Discovery Education's Digital Learning Platform. See attached for details. Be sure to use these interactive resources that inspire students and promote curiosity. 


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Enter High School Poster Contest 

Contact: Margaret El, Visual and Performing Arts

Create a 22 x 28 inch poster depicting any area of SUD (Substance Use Disorder) and Veterans. Reasons Veterans have a slightly higher rate of being diagnosed with SUD, treatment modalities for Veterans, ideas on preventing Veteran from SUD or other area.

See attachments for further details including drop off or pickup of posters. Winners will be announced at the Essex Health and Wellness Recovery Center’s 4th Opioid Awareness Walk on Saturday, October 23rd at noon at First Baptist Church, 259 Bloomfield Ave, Caldwell.

Participation in Walk is not required.




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Montclair State University Network for Educational Renewal Professional Development Offerings

Contact: Matthew Brewster, Staff Development

The Newark Board of Education continues to create a district-wide culture of continuous learning for all to support the growth and development for all district personnel. We are excited to announce that Montclair State University Network for Educational Renewal is currently offering a series of free professional development opportunities for our instructional personnel.

Please use the link to register for the professional development sessions that best meets your needs.

MSUNER Professional Development Offerings

Learn more about our professional development opportunities by visiting the district's Staff Development website here.

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NBOE Staff Support Spa 

Contact: Shamere Williams, Office of Student Life

We understand the need for intentional moments to disconnect, regroup and ground ourselves for ongoing inner strength. To help alleviate challenge with locating support and managing a busy schedule, NBOE and OSL will continue providing a Staff Support Group (Spa) in the Fall from September 15th - December 22nd.

Sessions will run biweekly on Wednesdays from 5:15pm - 6:15pm. This is an opportunity for employees to learn more about topics that can impact overall mental health and well-being. It is open to all staff and will be facilitated by an outside licensed clinician.

NBOE Support Spa Flyer 

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Educational Technology Office Hours 

Contact: Timothy Nellegar, Office of Teaching and Learning-Educational Technology

The Office of Educational Technology will host Office Hours on Tuesdays from 3:00PM - 3:45PM.

This is an opportunity for you to come and learn about the latest strategies, platforms and resources. Please follow this link to the session. We look forward to seeing you there. 

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Teachers Needed for Homework Hotline 

Contact: Timothy Nellegar, Office of Teaching & Learning-Educational Technology

The Office of Teaching and Learning is hiring teachers to work the Homework Hotline Program. These educators will field calls from students on Monday-Thursday from 3:30pm - 5:30pm to help students who have questions with their homework.

We are in need of educators in English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Biology and Bilingual Education from K-12. If interested please complete this form. If you have additional questions, please reach out to Tim Nellegar (


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Verifying Gradebook Categories and Grade Calculation 

Contact: Darren Watsky, OPPET, Student Information Services

The district grading policy requires a minimum of nine assessments for each grading period. Student performance both during as well as outside of class time are additional components to the student’s overall grade. PowerTeacher Pro settings are established at the district level to align with the Board grading policies. Gradebooks should be configured as described in the linked document.

Contact your supervising school administrator if your gradebook is not configured properly.

For details, see NBOE Grading Policies and PowerTeacher Pro Gradebook Setup (here).

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Teaching & Learning Newsletter 

Contact: Dr. Reilly, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching & Learning

The Office of Teaching & Learning will provide quarterly updates through the Teaching & Learning Newsletter. Stay up to date with the most recent news and information from each department. 

September Newsletter 

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Office of Health & Physical Education Office Hours 

Contact: Krystle Rhett, Health & Physical Education - Office of Teaching & Learning

The Office of Health, Physical Education and Athletics will be hosting office hours for teachers. During the months of September and October, we will cover the following topics during the sessions in addition to discussing best practices and providing resources to support student achievement:

- Health & PE Curricular Guides Review and Implementation
- K-12 SPARK PE Curriculum
- KidsFit

Sessions will be as follows:

Elementary H/PE Teachers
Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:00-3:45

High School H/PE Teachers:
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:00-3:45

Please use department Google Classroom Link to join all sessions.

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Newark Board of Education Principal Pipeline 

Contact: Matthew Brewster, Staff Development

Persons interested in the Newark Board of Education Principal Pipeline are encouraged to read the attached description and complete the survey link below.

Leadership Pipeline Interest Form
NBOE-Principal-Pipeline-2021-Cohort-II Information

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FAFSA Parent Workshops: Fall 2021 Sessions (English/Spanish)

Contact: Vernon Pullins Jr, Office of Student Life

The Office of Student Life will host FAFSA Parent Workshops in both English and Spanish to support our families with the completion of the FAFSA. The Webex Link, Meeting ID and Password are provided for easy access (excluding the September 15, 2021 workshop). All workshop sessions begin at 5:00pm. Our partner in this process is the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority.

If you have any questions regarding the fall series, please contact Vernon Pullins Jr., Supervisor, Student Support Services, Office of Student Life at



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All Kids to Calculus Program (Elem & Middle School Teachers) 

Contact: Darleen Gearhart, Office of Mathematics

The purpose of the "All Kids to Calculus" program is to provide elementary school teachers a minimum of 30 credit hours of higher level mathematics courses at the university level.

This enables you to provide Algebra 1 to grade 8 students in all of Newark Board of Education schools, thereby ensuring all students have the opportunity to reach Calculus in high school. This program is 6 semesters (3 years). Note that the tuition and textbooks are paid for by NBOE.

If you are interested in this opportunity, fill out the Google Form (here). 

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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.

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