WEST ORANGE, NJ – After fulfilling a series of requirements stipulated by the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) in several areas of training and study, the West Orange Board of Education (WOBOE) has received its Board Certification from the Essex County School Board Association (ECSBA).

Having been originally certified in 1998, the WOBOE has previously received Board Certification on two other occasions, the most recent being on April 6, 2016.

“This certification is awarded to boards who train together as one unit with the Superintendent present,” said WOBOE Vice President Sandra Mordecai. “The Board is to be commended on its ongoing efforts at professional development as a board as well as individually.”

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Mordecai—who currently serves as vice president and is also a past president of the ECSBA as well as a member of the NJSBA’s Board of Directors—explained that the WOBOE recently worked on district and board goals and completed its self-evaluation. Earlier this year, in addition to the recent superintendent search, the board also received training on “the role of the board, board/superintendent relationship and communications.”

“These trainings guide us in our work and help us make student-centered, informed decisions within our role as board members,” said Mordecai, adding that these trainings have extra importance since two board members and Superintendent Dr. J. Scott Cascone are all new to their roles.

She also thanked WOBOE President Ken Alper for making Board Certification “a priority” and her fellow board members for “approving ongoing professional development as a board goal” during the Sept. 23 meeting.

“I’m extremely proud that our board has reached this accomplishment,” said Alper. “There’s been research conducted which demonstrates that boards and superintendents committed to regularly learning together as a team are more effective ones, and that more effective boards have real positive impacts on student achievement—and that’s what we’re all here for.”

In the future, Alper said the board hopes to be able to work toward Master Board Certification, which requires a certified board to “complete at least 10 additional hours of training for a total of 26 board credits,” according to the NJSBA website.

Sharing in the celebration, the West Orange Superintendent recently took to Twitter to congratulate the WOBOE for obtaining Board Certification.

“The WO Board is committed to making professional development a priority to ensure making student centered decisions,” Cascone said. “Congrats on our board’s recognition for obtaining NJSBA certification.”

Click HERE to read more about what West Orange school board members wish people knew or HERE to read coverage of the last meeting, where the WOBOE adopted its district goals for the school year.