Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Why We Need a Supervisors' and Principals' Association for Jewish Day Schools

A lot has been talked about and written about regarding the importance of training for leaders.  In public schools, there are certification requirements, professional development opportunities, and organizations that leaders can join and involve themselves in that really enable them to grow professionally and network.  These organizations help these leaders in the schools and the actual schools see tremendous benefits.  In the Jewish world, there is no peer lead organization that does this.

For the past three years, I have been a listserve (thanks to Danny Jaye) for the NJPSA, http://www.njpsa.org/.  I joined when I started going for my supervisor's license at Rutgers and have been following the conversations ever since.  Besides posting job openings for teachers and staff needed, the group often holds meetings with congressmen on legislation and take turns offering expertise via self lead professional development meetings.  In addition, the groups listserv often posts questions to the group about how other school's implement policies ranging from security to number of supervisors in a school building and what tasks they are required to do, to LMS systems, to block scheduling verses periods, to PE requirements.  The amount of knowledge and quality that is shared is mind boggling.

I gained so much for JEDCAMPNYNJ because of the valuable knowledge each participant had to share.  It there was an organization dedicated to this that met on a frequent basis, that create formats to share not just in person, and that helped mentor new administrators (yes I know there are mentorship programs created by outside agencies, this is not the same thing).  We talk about learning from each other, we need to start doing it.

If we are serious about affordability, efficiency, and best practices, working together as administrators to discuss areas of interest is the best way to do this.  I am reaching out to all interested to start a formal organization.  Perhaps we should call it the Principals and Supervisors Association for Jewish Day Schools (PSAJDS).  Please feel free to reach out to me at jennilevyesq@gmail.com.  Let the learning begin!