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Teacher Talk - 12/20/21


Message from Deputy Johnson

Dear Teachers and Instructional Staff,
The countdown to winter break has begun. As you relax, rewind and rejuvenate, here are a few NBOE resources to support you and your mental health and well-being. 

  • NBOE Support Spa: We understand the need for intentional moments to disconnect, regroup and ground ourselves for ongoing inner strength. To support in these efforts, NBOE and OSL have provided a Staff Support Group (Spa). The last session is Wednesday 12/22 from 5:15pm-6:15pm. The topic is Inner Strength Approach to Mental Health and it is open to all staff and will be facilitated by an outside licensed clinician.
         21-22 NBOE Support Spa Flyer 
  • Whil: A digital training platform for mindfulness, resilience, and mental & emotional wellbeing has been purchased as part of the CDC Supplemental grant funding.  All NBOE employees, regardless of role, can utilize this platform free of charge for the 2021-2022 school year.  The WHIL app provides digital courses on meditation, reducing stress and anxiety, improving physical health, taking short breaks, and more.  
  • AbleTo: Meet 1-on-1 with a coach, licensed therapist, or both who will guide you through a personalized 8-week program proven to reduce depression, stress, and anxiety.  Available for Aetna health plan members as a confidential program offered at no cost to you.

            AbleTo Website
If you are traveling over the winter recess, make sure you carefully review the most up-to-date CDC Travel Guidance.
May the holidays be full of peace, joy, and celebration as we welcome the promise and blessings of the new year. You have gone above and beyond each and every day, and your commitment and perseverance does not go unnoticed. I am truly honored to serve as your Deputy Superintendent.

Be safe, Be well

Deputy Superintendent Johnson


Message from Dr. Reilly

Dear Teachers and Instructional Staff, 

The holidays are here. On behalf of the Office of Teaching & Learning, I would like to wish you a happy holiday season. Below you will find several submissions regarding self-care and safety guidelines for your reference. 

Please be well and stay safe.
Mary Ann Reilly



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.  

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Travel Guidance (New)

Please review the CDC Travel Guidance carefully:

CDC Travel Guidance 

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Self-Care for Education Professionals (New)

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

Dear Colleagues,

We understand the important task you have in shaping the lives of our students. It is absolutely important that we practice self-care for our health, safety, and wellness.

To support you, please click the link below for a short video on self-care.

Click the link here

Be well and practice self-care!

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Self-Care Is Not Selfish! (New)

Contact: Jessica Silva-Olmo, Office of Student Life

Below, please find resources that will help you focus on yourself this month and throughout the holiday season. Remember, self-care is giving the world the best of you instead of what's left of you!

Click here for the below resources:

• Article: 20 Tips for Holiday Self-Care
• Article: The Importance of Self-Care During the Holidays
• Video: Mayo Mindfulness: Slow down for self-care during the holidays
• Article: 4 Things You Need to Know about "Moving On" from Grief

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Restorative Practices, Strategies, Interventions, and Resources (New)

Contact: Mary Garripoli, Student Support Services - Office of Student Life

Restorative Practices are designed to create opportunities to promote inclusiveness, relationship-building, and problem solving skills. These strategies and information can be utilized for students and staff, as well as, in the classroom to teach skill sets that can restore but also attempt to prevent conflict and behavioral disruptions.

The attached Padlet is designed to be an ongoing resource for teachers and support staff. 

Resources Link

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Tutoring Documents (New)

Contact: Julianne Bello, Extended Learning Time-Office of Teaching and Learning

To ensure successful student outcomes, the Office of Teaching and Learning has provided all Tutoring Coordinators with materials, including a video, to train their tutors.

In addition, please find tutoring guidance for your review linked here

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NBOE FAFSA TIK TOK Challenge (New)

Contact: Vernon Pullins Jr.Student Support Service - Office of Student Life

Dear Colleagues,

Please see the attached NBOE FAFSA TIK TOK Challenge flyer and rules and instructions for our high schools. One submission per school. The deadline is January 14, 2022 at 2:00pm.

For the winning high school, their guidance department will win a grant from the Office of Student Life.

All the best!


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FAFSA Counselors Needed (New)

Contact: Julianne Bello, Teaching and Learning/OELT

The Office of Extended Learning Time continues to partner with the Office of Student Life in providing virtual support for families to complete FAFSA applications during evenings and weekends.

Counselors provide this support virtually via Webex. Interested counselors should have 1:1 experience in completing the application; bilingual counselors are in demand. Please contact Julianne Bello, via email

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Math Office - Office Hours (New)

Contact: Darleen Gearhart, Office of Mathematics

The Office of Mathematics will be hosting monthly office hours the first Monday of each month to support teachers' implementation of curriculum, pedagogy, and measuring learning in the field of mathematics.

Office hours will be held on Monday, January 10, 2022 from 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Emphasis of this week's office hours is on using algebra tiles to build students' representation and students' conceptual understanding. Teachers and coaches will have an opportunity to engage in a question-and-answer section.


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Office of Special Education Updates (New)

Contact: Aida M. Vasquez, Office of Special Education

Please see the attached for additional details regarding the upcoming professional learning opportunities presented by OSE.

January 5th: 95th Percent Phonics PD for Paras in Select K2 Self-Contained Programs
January 10th: 95th Percent Phonics PD for K2 Teachers Self-Contained Programs
January 12th: EdPlan New User PD for Teachers
January 14th and 21st: Special Educators: Accelerate Progress for Students with IEPs By Making the Best Use of Differentiation, Accommodations, and Modifications
January 25th: Special Education Teacher Academy


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New Teacher Development (New)

Contact: Candice Wells, The Office of Special Education

The January New Teacher Development session will take place on Wednesday, January 5th, 2022 from 4:00pm - 6:00pm.

Teachers who are new to Newark (regardless of previous experience) are expected to attend 7 of the 10 monthly sessions. The Office of Special Education will facilitate one of the sessions that will focus on what general education teachers need to know about IEPs, designing their instruction to include accommodations identified in IEP, review, and planning for improvement before Annuals.

Please use the following Calendar Link to view the sessions offered and register.

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ELA Office Hours (New)

Contact: Heather Lieberman, Office of Teaching & Learning, ELA

The K-8 ELA department is excited to offer teachers the opportunity to be able to choose the dates and times that work best for them to attend office hours. Please see the attached document to access the links to be able to select dates/times.


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Correcting Gradebook and Historical Grades After Grades Are Stored (New)

Contact: Darren Watsky, OPPET - Student Information Services

Gradebooks are locked after the marking period so that a snapshot of grades can be stored. After grades are stored, there may be rare instances where a grade change is necessary. Gradebooks are open for 10 school days after grades are stored for these changes to be made. Teachers submit a grade change form to their administrator to reflect the update.

The form is located on the PowerTeacher section of our SIS Support Portal, here.

Marking Period Dates found on the NPS website, here

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Using the PowerTeacher Pro Gradebook Observations Tool (New)

Contact: Darren Watsky, OPPET - Student Information Services

The PowerTeacher Pro observation feature captures teacher’s notes for individual students.

Suggested ways to use this tool:

  • Monitor Student’s Growth on a Task or Success Criteria
  • Log Evidence of Mastery During A Lesson
  • Document Behaviors, such as those relating to Gifted/Talented or RTI
  • Log Parent-Home Communication

This information supports finalizing progress reports and report cards, and may be helpful during parent teacher conferences. This critical data can be used to support your recommendations for student incentives, support, and services. For details, see here

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2022-2023 Teacher and Leader Applications Are Now Live! (New)

Contact: April Venable, Human Resource Services

Candidates who are interested in submitting an application for the 2022-23 school year may click on the link below:

Teacher and Leader Applications Link

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$1,000 Employee Referral Bonus! (New)

Contact: April Venable, Human Resource Services

Click on the flyer below and share! ⇓⇓⇓

Employee Referral Bonus

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Hard to Staff Candidate $4,000 Sign on Bonus! (New)

Contact: April Venable, Human Resource Services

Click on the flyer below and share! ⇓⇓⇓

Sign-On Bonus Flyer

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Student Teacher $4,000.00 Sign on Bonus! (New)

Contact: April Venable, Human Resource Services

Click on the flyer below and share! ⇓⇓⇓

Sign-On Bonus Flyer

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New Qualifications for Per Diem Teachers Effective October 2021 (New)

Contact: Rhashonna Cosby, Human Resource Services

New Credential Pathway:

• Completion of 30 semester-hour credits;
• Credits must be completed at an accredited institution of higher education at the time of application;
• Applicant must be enrolled in an accredited institution of higher education at the time of application;
• Applicant must be at least 20 years of age;
• Credential pathway is available until June 30, 2023.
• Credential is valid for five (5) years from the date of issuance.

Important Qualification Links

PD Teacher instructions
County Offices for process questions
PD Teacher Credentials Status
Finger Print Concerns

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Covid-19 Vaccines 

All individuals aged 12 and older who live, work or study in NJ are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. Pre-registration is available but not required. Walk-ins are welcome. Parents must give consent for their child during the registration process.
All individuals aged 5-11y/o are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine through the Newark Department of Health and Saint James. A completed consent form is required and the Parent/Guardian/Proxy must be present with an ID.
Educators, please encourage families to upload proof of vaccination to SchoolMint  using the link below. If a family is interested in getting vaccinated, please share the vaccination information with them.
Proof of Vaccination Upload 
COVID Vaccine Program Calendar
Newark Residents can go to any of our district sites to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Please feel free to contact Shamere Williams ( with any questions.

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Vaccine Voucher Flyer 

As a sign of appreciation, the Newark Teachers Union will be distributing $25,000 worth of Kids Place school uniform vouchers to every parent who presents a vaccination card in the child’s name during morning wellness check.

Please share the attached flyer with your families.


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Newark Winter Village 

We are delighted to be able to ice skate in Newark this season!

Newark Winter Village is our city's very own winter wonderland.  Reserve your skates today at  Newark residents reserve an igloo today at a discounted price using code PRU-NWVILLAGE.

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Supplemental Pay Opportunities in Testing 

Contact: Lydia Alvarez, OPPET

The Testing Office is looking for staff members to work on the High School Entrance Exam in February.

If you are interested in assisting with the administration of the HS Entrance Exam, please register to provide you with more details later down the line.

The first administration is scheduled for February 19 (other dates may follow).

Registration Form

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Homework Hotline-Now Open! 

Contact: Timothy Nellegar, Educational Technology-Teaching & Learning

As we continue to find ways to assist our students we are excited to announce that Homework Hotline has opened for the 2021-2022 school year. 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!

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OTIS for Educators Learning Portal 

Contact: Timothy Nellegar, Educational Technology-Teaching & Learning

Be sure you are leveraging our access to the OTIS for Educators Learning Portal. All educators have access to all of the content and courses which will provide you a large array of content.

This content includes specific sessions on our educational technology platforms and how to use them effectively in the classroom. OTIS for Educators can be found here

Any questions please reach out to Timothy Nellegar (

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Cycle 2 Progress Report (SY 2021-22) 

Contact: Elizabeth A Haden, OPPET - SIS Team

Teachers, [Full-Time & Per-Diem]

Cycle 2 Progress Report is scheduled for distribution - Monday, December 20th, 2021. Please be sure to enter grades and comments for your students of their progress in your class or warning of additional work/interventions needed.

Parents will be able to view their child’s gradebooks in the Parent Portal and the Progress Report information should reflect what the parents see in your gradebooks.

Thank you ~ SIS Team

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Whil- Mental & Emotional Wellbeing App 

Contact: Jennifer Rodriguez, Office of Federal Programs and Grants

Whil, a digital training platform for mindfulness, resilience, and mental & emotional wellbeing has been purchased as part of the CDC Supplemental grant funding.

All NBOE employees, regardless of role, can utilize this platform free of charge for the 2021-2022 school year. In an effort to address the shift of moving from hybrid back to in-person learning, the WHIL app provides digital courses on meditation, reducing stress and anxiety, improving physical health, taking short breaks, and more. Please share this new resource with your staff and encourage them to participate.


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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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