Hybrid. Remote. Cohorts. Virtual events. Zoom. Social distancing. Desk shields. Masks. All of these once-unfamiliar terms are likely to conjure up different memories and emotions in each person.
That is because, while New Jerseyans all are living through what they hope will be a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, each individual has experienced the effects of the crisis differently.
According to the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA), school district officials have remained nimble and become more creative than ever to continue the education of the children in their care. They did so while simultaneously safeguarding the health of their students and staff members and navigating changing pandemic metrics and public health guidelines.
Now, as New Jersey seems to be moving out of the COVID-19 crisis, the NJSBA plans to develop a video compilation to document this time in the state’s education history, and ensure that the voices of educators and students are heard and remembered, according to a press release.
The NJSBA is soliciting video entries from K-12 public school students, teachers, district staff and administrators, asking them to reflect on the unexpected times of joy and resilience during a deeply disruptive era, as well as the lessons learned, and their hopes as a new school year approaches.
Video submissions can be new or previously recorded footage that dates back to earlier in the pandemic. The submissions can include solo or group performances via TikTok, poetry, rap, singing or words from the heart.
Some questions to prompt students might include:
• How have you grown during the pandemic, and what did you learn about yourself?
• What will you remember the most?
• What skills have you gained as a result of remote learning?
• What do you wish never to repeat again?
• What did you miss the most during virtual schooling?
• Were there any silver linings from this time?
School administrators and staff are also invited to share what they have discovered about themselves, their students and their staff.
The three-minute or less video submissions should entail experiences, concerns and inspiration gained. Videos should be submitted online at https://survey.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_038LEJqSP7C5SNUby July 23.
Student entries must include a release form signed by a parent or legal guardian.
The NJSBA is a federation of the state’s local boards of education and includes the majority of New Jersey’s charter schools as associate members. NJSBA provides training, advocacy and support to advance public education and promote the achievement of all students through effective governance, according to the press release.