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GSCS Monthly Meeting 9-30-20 Agenda


September 30, 2020

Call to Order and Introductions—Dr. David Aderhold, Superintendent, West-Windsor-Plainsboro

Introduction of Guest Speaker: Deborah Cornavaca, Deputy Chief of Staff of Outreach for Governor Phil Murphy)

  • Questions/Discussion

President’s Report—Dr. Aderhold

Minutes: Annual Meeting 2019 (inadvertently omitted from May 2020 virtual Annual Meeting), February 2020 Meeting (See below)

Approve 2020-2021 Officers Slate (inadvertently omitted from May 2020 Annual Meeting).  See slate below.

Treasurer’s Report—Dr. Michael LaSusa, Superintendent, School District of the Chathams

Executive Director’s Report—Betsy Ginsburg

  • Including reports on recent legislative activity, advocacy efforts and other developments

Closing Remarks—Dr. Aderhold


Next Virtual Meeting: Wednesday, October 28, 2020, 3:30 pm.  Guest speaker: Dr. Maurice Elias, Prof. of Psychology; Director, Rutgers Social-Emotional and Character Development Lab; Co-Director, Rutgers Collaborative Center for Community-Based Research and Service

Upcoming: GSCS will co-host the annual Legislative Session at the NJSBA/NJASA/NJASBO Virtual Fall Conference on Wednesday, October 25 at 12 noon.  Access information will be forthcoming.




President                                           David Aderhold

                                                          Superintendent, West Windsor-Plainsboro

Vice President                                  Nancy Norris Bauer

                                                          Board Representative, Scotch Plains-Fanwood

Vice President                                  Bernadette McCausland

                                                         Board Representative, Paramus

Treasurer                                          Michael LaSusa

                                                         Superintendent, School District of the Chathams

Officer at Large                                Christine Burton

                                                         Superintendent, Millburn

Past Presidents                                 Daniel Fishbein

                                                          Superintendent, Ridgewood

                                                          Charles Sampson

                                                          Superintendent, Freehold Regional

                                                          Jorden Schiff

                                                        Superintendent, Hillsborough


Trustee Districts (Class of 2023)


Cherry Hill

Glen Ridge





West Windsor-Plainsboro


GSCS Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes

Mountain View Elementary School, Flanders, NJ

February 26, 2020

Treasurer Michael LaSusa, acting as president in the absence of David Aderhold, called the meeting to order at 7:245pm with group introductions and a warm welcome. 


Executive Director (ED) Betsy Ginsberg introduced Dr. Linda P. Eno, Assistant Commissioner for the Division of Academics and Performance for the New Jersey Department of Education.  Dr. Eno reviewed the NJ DOE Computer Science State Plan 2019.  Dr. Eno asked us to consider the principals of Equality - everyone benefits from the same support and Equity - when everyone gets the support they need and finally Justice - when the cause of the inequality is addressed.  Dr. Eno reports that NJ is on a path to post secondary success where students will be able to earn at least 6 college credits related to their post-secondary plans in a field of computer science with industry valued credentials and related work experience.  A top goal is that the student’s exit plan from high school should align with readiness with their post-secondary plans and that post-secondary plans should match up with labor demands in our State.  Computer Science is a wage group with faster job growth for NJ as compared to other states in the northeast.  The State also has a goal to close racial and gender gaps in employment in NJ.  One immediate goal is developing talent to match job growth in NJ.  Job Data shows Computer Science workers earn an average salary of $107,000 with approximately 16, 138 jobs and currently only 1,642 computer science graduates.  Our goal should be to build the capacity of educators to deliver what the job market needs.  A member questioned the number of seats open to students in higher education for computer science?  Dr. Eno agreed the State needs to expand opportunities to meet the volume of demand.  The State wishes to increase funding in each of the next 2 fiscal cycles with $2 million in budget FY 2019 and FY 2020.  In NJ 29 high schools offer Advanced Placement Computer Science courses.  In 2020 professional development hubs will be offered to staff after the training is developed through grants.  The State encourages districts to partner with universities to offer professional development to teachers.  Offering computer science courses early in high school helps all develop the skills that they need.  The State will encourage cyber security and computer programming and need to find the ability to design curriculum to share with high schools. 


Dr Eno will send information to Betsy for News and Notes for a Rutgers grant offered in July 2020 missing 20 slots for high school teachers only and participants must come up with plans that engage students of color.


Discussion points included:

  • Is it reasonable to expect current teachers with enthusiasm to go get 15 more credits and add an endorsement to their licenses or second career people?  Our districts cannot wait 5 more years for new teachers of Computer Science.
  • Graduation requirements currently require 6 to 7 periods each day to teach the courses to meet current requirements and there is no time for a student to explore new areas of interest.
  • If we can reduce some of the prerequisite math requirements for the course and you will see AP Computer Science registrations increase.
  • Adult high school limited or interrupted education students with limited time to help them navigate the system before graduation. 
  • Modify the graduation requirements and modified to create other pathways. 
  • ED Ginsberg - John Mooney is hosting discussions on defining a high school diploma. 
  • Best to create demand among parents.  Build a sense of urgency and the parents will advocate a level of learning that is rigorous enough to reach success. 
  • Request for higher ed to consider alternative pathways for students learning at community colleges to forge the way.  A member voiced the complaint that the State spent time pushing parents that college is the only way to go.  Need to undo some of the State’s prior messaging.
  • Hostility to change comes from fear of loss or actual loss drives the hostility to change.


ED Ginsberg thanked our guest and distributed her Executive Director’s Report dated February 26, 2020 which detailed the Governor’s Budget speech and gave an update on legislative developments, reviewed significant bills pending and GSCS’s actions and shared developments from the most recent State BOE meeting. 


The next meeting of GSCS will be held March 25th, 2020 East Brunswick, NJ at 3:30 pm featuring John Mooney founding editor of New Jersey Spotlight as our guest speaker.  Our April 2020 meeting will include guest speaker Jack Ciattarelli who recently declared his intention to run for governor and is always interesting and involved in education.  In May we look forward to hosting our Annual Meeting which we hope will have the theme “Persistence of Time or the Lack of Time to Persist “.


Treasurer’s Report – Dr. Michael LaSusa, Treasurer distributed the report.  Motion to approve Treasurer Report made by Dr. Daniel Fishbein, Ridgewood Superintendent and seconded by Dr. Michael LaSusa, District of the Chatham’s Superintendent.  Voice Vote motion unanimous

Minutes were distributed to members.  Motion to approve the Minutes of January 29th, 2020 made by Dr. Daniel Fishbein, Ridgewood Superintendent and seconded by Dr. Michael LaSusa, District of the Chatham’s Superintendent.  Voice Vote motion unanimous.

Motion to adjourn made by Ken Rota Fort Lee Public Schools Superintendent and seconded by Dr. Michael LaSusa, District of the Chatham’s Superintendent. Voice Vote motion unanimous. The meeting was adjourned at 8:42 pm

Respectfully submitted,

Bernadette McCausland, Vice President


Minutes of the Garden State Coalition of Schools Annual Meeting

May 29, 2019

The Forsgate Country Club


Dr. Jorden Schiff opened the meeting at 9:05 am.  The theme of this year’s annual meeting is “New Jersey Education: The Best Public Investment”.  Dr. Schiff began by introducing our keynote speakers and our panel of guests moderated by John Mooney, education writer and founder of NJ Spotlight online in 2009.

Keynote speakers:  Ms. Tammy Snyder Murphy, First Lady of New Jersey and Dr. Lamont Repollet, NJ Commissioner of Education


Panel gathered for discussion:


  • Jorden Schiff, Superintendent, Hillsborough; Past President, GSCS
  • Michael LaSusa, Superintendent, School district of the Chathams, NJ Regional Superintendent of the Year, Treasurer, GSCS
  • Kathy Goldenberg, Vice President, NJ Board of Education
  • Senator Declan O’Scanlon, Member, Joint Committee on Public Schools, Senate Budget Committee
  • Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso, Member Assembly Education Committee


Minutes of last annual meeting were distributed to the members.  Motion to approve Minutes of 2018 Annual Meeting made by Kathy Judge, Vice President GSCS, Seconded by Ken Rota, Superintendent Fort Lee.  Voice Vote motion passes

Kathy Judge, Vice President GSCS and Chair of the Nomination Committee presented the Nominating Committee’s slate for GSCS Officers and Trustees for 2019-21. Trustees will serve for 3 year terms.  Motion to accept nominations for office and trustees made by Kathy Judge, and seconded by Scott McCartney Superintendent, Moorestown.  Voice vote unanimous

Dr. David Aderhold, outgoing treasurer of GSCS reported on the status of our financials.  Good news that our cash balances are healthy and expected to continue to grow.  One plan under consideration is to offer member districts access to professional development with details to be determined in the Fall of 2019.  Motion to accept Treasurer’s Report Dirk Phillips, Glen Ridge Superintendent, and seconded by Kathy Judge, Vice President GSCS.  Voice vote unanimous.

Dr. Schiff introduced the slate of officers to be voted on for the 2019-2020 year.  As president he expressed the thought that GSCS will continue to grow to ensure that all children have the opportunity to pursue their dreams.

New President: Dr. David Aderhold, Superintendent, West Windsor-Plainsboro

Vice President: Nancy Norris Bauer, Board Representative, Scotch Plains-Fanwood

Vice President: Bernadette McCausland, Board Representative, Paramus

Treasurer: Michael LaSusa Superintendent, The Chathams

Officer at Large: Christine Burton, Superintendent, Millburn


Motion to accept the slate of officers for 2019-2020 made by Dirk Phillips, Glen Ridge Superintendent, and seconded by Kathy Judge, Vice President GSCS. Voice vote unanimous.


At 9:15 am Executive Director Betsy Ginsberg spoke to welcome some distinguished guests, Past Executive Director of GSCS, Lynne Strickland, Larry Feinsod, Director of NJSBA both of whom have been with GSCS from the beginning. Ginsberg also thanked Christine Nutall and Suzanne Hart for their help to host today’s meeting.  Ginsberg shared her thoughts about growing closer to new friends and hosting distinguished speakers for our monthly meetings.  GSCS fought for additional aid and funding, security issues and testified and spoke out in various publications.  Our goal continues to be to increase awareness in Trenton and our opinion is increasingly relied on by legislators.  Mental Health will be the theme for our next year and we will develop a new website that will be more user friendly.  We will continue to communicate with our members through our vast outreach network and ask everyone to continue to contact us with and for information.  Ginsberg thanked Dr. Jorden Schiff for his years of service as President of GSCS.  She also thanked Kathy Judge for many years of representing Cherry Hill serving as GSCS Vice President and for offering her wise voice.  She said that Kathy has been a great source of support to Ginsberg.  Finally, Ginsberg thanked Margaret Hayes, Superintendent of Scotch Plains for 13 years as superintendent worked after 17 years as a district employee.  Hayes attended almost every one of our GSCS meetings and always offered her intelligence, good humor and wisdom.

Panel is seated at 945am. Topics discussed with questions from the audience include

  • Commissioner Dr Repollet spoke of 1.4 million students of NJ who have access to strong education.  His goal is to increase K-12 funding.  He has made a commitment to high quality public education.  His job offered him the opportunity to travel 22,000 miles to 21 Counties and meet with over 7,000 individuals.  He has found out that NJ education is amazing!  There is an immediate need to address the school funding formula.
  • Diversity – it is important for a student to have a teacher who looks like them.  With Equity in the funding formula we can expect more certifications in our workforce and a stronger and fairer NJ.
  • Please reach out to Dr. Repollet anytime but if you have a problem, then please provide a solution
  • First Lady of NJ, Ms. Tammy Murphy spoke of having the utmost respect for the heroes among us here today.  The challenge it to create ideas to cultivate a generation of solutions and plans that are sustainable.
  • Senator Declan O’Scalon states that the Funding & Budget Committee has settled on their path for full funding.  Millionaire’s Tax s not an option for this year for this budget which has a huge surplus.  Federal funding and State monies are finite, and districts must accept reductions in funding.
  • Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso is still concerned about the effect of Hurricane Sandy 6 years out where lost residences resulted in lost students and now lost funding.
  • Superintendent Michael LaSusa requests if it is under discussion in Trenton to raise the tax cap to recover the current decline in funding for some districts?  His Special Education costs doubled.  Classification decisions for a student are beyond the district’s control.  There are imitations to increase the local tax levy to get to a local fair share.  BOE cannot increase revenue 50% in one year and can’t even do 3 %.  The 2% levy cap protects residents in communities that lose residents and ratable values but hurts districts who gain residents and ratable values
  • John Mooney asks what is the NJ BOE’s role in NJ?  Kathy Goldenberg states the State Board of Ed does not have a view over how districts can spend money, they only have influence over certain State controlled districts.
  • Senator O’Scanlon says there is an appetite for increasing aid for Special Education and Transportation of Special Education students. Senate President Stephen Sweeney has a plan with Pathways to Progress.
  • Dr. Jorden Schiff reminds us to be mindful of shifts in funding to avoid unintended consequences.
  • Dr. Jorden Schiff states that Mental Health is part of School Security! If a BOE thinks this is an area the community needs to focus more then should be able to exceed cap for Mental Health spending.
  • Senator O’Scanlon says he could agree to a category of mental health cap relief and reminds us all that we are good people and we should suggest a solution to the NJ State Board of Education.
  • Assemblywoman DiMaso mentions taking charge of affordable housing from the Courts and giving it back to the Legislature.
  • Superintendent LaSusa says Municipal governments decide with builders and school districts are not getting any benefits!  Any additional enrollment funding lags behind student class sizes.
  • Superintendent Chuck Sampson, Freehold Regional States that Law S-2 punished districts that were efficient!  O’Scanlon thanks Sampson for being a vocal advocate.
  • Superintendent John Ravally Franklin Township in Somerset County is experiencing massive charter school expansion.  Executive Director (ED) Ginsberg comments GSCS has a bill authored and pending to address this concern.

Panel discussion ended with a compliment from the guest legislators who spoke of the invaluable dialog at today’s meeting.  They encourage us to continue to talk to them (the legislature) whether we live in their voting district or not.

ED Betsy Ginsberg thanked all of the participants.  New elected GSCS President Dr. David Aderhold made his closing remarks.  Aderhold recognized the contribution that our moderator, John Mooney made to our meeting.  He encouraged all districts to attend our monthly meetings.  Our goal is to educate those that make the policy decisions.  It is critical for our voices to advocate for our children.  Our critical issues include Funding, Charter Schools, Equity, PARCC, Pensions and Benefits, SGO/SGP, Healthcare, edTPA, School Safety, Teaching in a Period of Consolidation, Climate and Culture.


Meeting adjourned at 11:45 am.

Respectfully submitted,

Bernadette McCausland, Vice President GSCS