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The 2020 New Jersey Education Association Convention, scheduled for Nov. 5-6, will be held remotely, NJEA announced today. Following extensive consideration of the factors involved in holding a traditional in-person event in the context of a global pandemic and the uncertainly of what social distancing and other safety precautions will be necessary in the fall, NJEA has decided to proceed with a remote event this year. The 2020 NJEA Convention will focus on providing high-quality remote professional learning opportunities for New Jersey’s public-school educators while planning continues for a traditional in-person event in 2021.

“We did not come to this decision easily,” said NJEA President Marie Blistan. “The NJEA Convention is a valuable professional growth opportunity for our members. They appreciate the opportunity to meet their colleagues from around the state to share ideas and learn from one another. Unfortunately, the personal interaction that makes our Convention in Atlantic City so valuable to members also makes it impractical this year under these circumstances. We made the decision that is best for the health and safety of our members, their students and the residents of Atlantic City.”

“We will spend the next five months building the best possible remote learning experience for our members,” said Blistan. “Making this decision now allows us and our partners to focus on providing a virtual convention that lives up to the high standards we have set over the last century. We will do everything we can to ensure that our members have the professional learning resources they value even in a new format. To that end, we are very pleased that our 2020 Keynote Speaker, Ruby Bridges, will be part of our virtual event.”

NJEA will announce the rest of the program for the 2020 NJEA Convention by September 1.

NJEA has held its annual convention in Atlantic City for over 100 years, except for two years during World War II and in 2012, immediately following Super Storm Sandy. Over that time, the NJEA Convention has grown dramatically and now features hundreds of professional learning seminars, an exhibit floor filled with resources for educators, opportunities to interact with education policymakers, high-profile keynote addresses and forums for educators to meet and learn from each other.

“We look forward to creating a great remote event this fall and to coming back to Atlantic City as soon as it is safe to do so,” concluded Blistan.