Yachad/NJCD Presents Expanded Election Day Professional Development Conferences
Election Day in New Jersey traditionally has been the time when The National Association of Jewish Schools Serving Special Children, an affiliate of Yachad | Jewish Disabilities Integration/The National Jewish Council for Disabilities (NJCD), a program of the Orthodox Union, has presented dual conferences: The New Jersey Statewide Professional Development Conference for Elementary, Junior High School and Special Education; and The National Special Education Professional Development Conference.
This year, because of popular demand, the program has organized an additional day for a National Special Education Professional Development Conference, to be held Monday, November 7, preceding the two conferences on Election Day, November 8.
The Monday conference will be held from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at Orthodox Union Headquarters in New York. The Tuesday conferences will be held from 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at the Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy in Livingston, NJ.
NJCD, which is directed by Dr. Jeffrey Lichtman, provides educational and social Inclusion programs through its two major components, Yachad, for children and adults with learning and developmental disabilities, and Our Way for the deaf and hard of hearing.
The conferences will once again be an opportunity for teachers in New Jersey Jewish Day Schools as well as for their counterparts from around the country to improve their teaching skills.
“We are seeking to bring together day schools and yeshivot which are teaching children with various special needs in their classrooms throughout the North America,” declared Batya Jacob, Director of Educational Services of NJCD, and Associate Director of both the New Jersey and the National Associations. “We added the additional conference on Monday to specifically focus on the classroom professional needs within the Jewish community. We look forward to welcoming representatives from schools throughout the country and to continue working with schools as the year progresses.”
In addition to New Jersey educators, special education teachers from around the country are expected to attend. As in past years, more than 800 educators are expected to participate.
On Monday, Dr. Lichtman will present the keynote address “Partnering with Parents for Effective Collaboration.” The emphasis of the day will focus on autism; classroom behaviors; and study challenges, noted Mrs. Jacob.
The Election Day conferences, with the shared theme of "Talmud Torah Al Pi Darko (Learning Torah According to His Own Way): Reaching all of Our Students," will run simultaneously and will concentrate on general, Judaic studies, and special education, as well as on serving children with special needs, providing educational advocacy, leadership development, teacher recruitment and training, and developing programs of Inclusion.
Keynote speakers for Tuesday, both of whom will address the conferences before they separate into respective schedules, feature leading specialists in the field. The first, “Care and Be Fair,” will be presented by Dr. Rona Novick, Director of the Fanya Gottesfeld Heller Doctoral Program of the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration at Yeshiva University.
It will be followed by “Fairness: The Key to Effective Mainstreaming,” with Rick Lavoie, national leading Education Consultant.
Teachers become the students at the conference, once again held at the Kushner Academy.
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