ROSELLE, NJ — Gwen Thornton of the New Jersey School Boards Association spoke with the Roselle Board of Education during Thursday’s special meeting. The purpose of the presentation included guidelines and questions for the district to ask itself when it develops its goals for the 2020-2021 school year.
“As we think about 2021 we can’t avoid talking about COVID,” said Thornton to the board. “Think about how you’re going to accommodate learning loss and how you’re going to assess student growth.”
Thornton suggested that the district needs to find out where students are now and what they need to make up in order to hit their grade-level educational goalposts by the end of the year. She also recommended the idea of social and emotional support for students and staff due to the high levels of unemployment and financial struggles that many families are experiencing because of the pandemic.
“We don’t know what September will bring,” Thornton said, referencing the potential for a second wave of coronavirus this fall and winter, “So boards are going to have to really be flexible and prepared to pivot.”
Thornton also mentioned the importance of 21st century skills that students need beyond academics. She said that students need to learn how to be critical thinkers, be able to collaborate with colleagues and other students.