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Email: gscschools@gmail.com
Phone: 609-394-2828 (office)
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Garden State Coalition of Schools
Elisabeth Ginsburg, Executive Director
160 West State Street
Trenton, New Jersey 08608


2-7-19 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--Lawmakers Move to End Religious Exemption for Mandatory Vaccinations

Amended bill, which must still pass Assembly and Senate, would only let children skip immunizations based on medical reasons. Opponents say it erodes personal rights

The New Jersey Assembly passed a measure late last week removing the religious exemption as a reason parents can refrain from having their children vaccinated.

While the measure was just an amendment to a larger bill on mandatory immunization (A-3818), it signaled a new position state officials may be taking in the controversial vaccination debate.


Caren Chesler | February 7, 2019


Star Ledger--Every public school in New Jersey will soon have silent alarms in response to Parkland school shooting

Thanks to a swipe of Gov. Phil Murphy’s pen Wednesday, New Jersey’s 2,500 public schools will soon be required to have silent panic alarms used to help protect students during emergencies like an active shooter.

Murphy signed into law legislation dubbed “Alyssa’s Law” — after Alyssa Alhadeff, a 14-year-old former Woodcliff Lake resident who was among the 17 killed in the February massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.


Matt Arco | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com and Brent Johnson | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com| Updated Feb 6, 10:40 PM; Posted Feb 6, 4:30 PM


The Record--How will LGBT history be taught in NJ schools?

The state will likely offer guidance, but districts will have some leeway in how they fulfill a new requirement for curriculum


Hannan Adely| February 7, 2019



NY Times--Schools in England Introduce a New Subject: Mindfulness

LONDON — Students in England already learn about mathematics, science and history, but hundreds of schools are preparing to expand the traditional curriculum with a new subject: mindfulness.

In up to 370 English schools, students will start to practice mindfulness as part of a study to improve youth mental health, the British government said on Monday.

They will work with mental health experts to learn relaxation techniques, breathing exercises and other methods to “help them regulate their emotions,” the government said in a news release announcing the program.


Iliana Magra| Feb. 4, 2019



Education Week--Performance Assessment: 4 Best Practices

Let's get this out of the way first: Performance assessment—the idea of measuring what students can do, not merely what they know—is not a new idea in K-12 education.

Teachers have been told to engage students in projects at least since the days of John Dewey, and probably long before that. (The famous Socratic method, after all, requires students to advance and sustain their positions in an argument, not repeat back knowledge.)


Stephen Sawchuk| February 5, 2019 | Corrected: February 6, 2019



The Atlantic--Active-Shooter Drills Are Tragically Misguided

There’s scant evidence that they’re effective. They can, however, be psychologically damaging—and they reflect a dismaying view of childhood.

At 10:21 a.m. on December 6, Lake Brantley High School, in Florida, initiated a “code red” lockdown. “This is not a drill,” a voice announced over the PA system. At the same moment, teachers received a text message warning of an active shooter on campus. Fearful students took shelter in classrooms. Many sobbed hysterically, others vomited or fainted, and some sent farewell notes to parents. A later announcement prompted a stampede in the cafeteria, as students fled the building and jumped over fences to escape. Parents flooded 911 with frantic calls.

Later it was revealed, to the fury of parents, teachers, and students, that in fact this was a drill, the most realistic in a series of drills that the students of Lake Brantley, like students across the country, have lately endured.


Erika Christakis?| March 2019 Issue




Garden State Coalition of Schools
160 W. State Street, Trenton New Jersey 08608