A trophy from the New Jersey School Public Relations Association honors the NJ Joint Council and Laura Bishop Communications, the Public Relations consultant who works with the organization and submitted a nomination on their behalf, for winning third place in the social media category for the 2021 School Communication Awards.

The New Jersey Joint Council of County Special Services School District won statewide recognition for the second year in a row for communications.  Hosted by the New Jersey School Public Relations Association (NJSPRA), the annual School Communications Awards recognize outstanding print and electronic supporting material in New Jersey educational communications programs.

This year, the Joint Council won 3rd Place in the Social Media category for the organization’s Twitter account, which unifies the voices of the eight special services districts across the state and strengthens their messages by creating a common brand.  The Twitter account is used to showcase the transformational programming provided to students and the community as well as the important work being done to empower students with special needs and significant disabilities.

NJSPRA developed the School Communication Awards competition to “recognize professional school communicators and other school leaders managing communications for developing tools that go above and beyond in disseminating important messages to their publics.”

Last year, the Joint Council won 2nd Place in the Website category for the newly launched ADA-compliant website, which gives the special services school districts a collective voice on a range of issues and gives an inside look at the highly specialized services offered through compelling feature stories.

This year, 78 entries were submitted for eight different award categories – the largest number of submissions to date. Judges were communications professionals from nine states.

“Communicating what we do has also been a major goal of the Joint Council,” said Dr. Howard Lerner, superintendent of Bergen County Special Services School Districts and chairman of the Joint Council.  “We are thrilled to be honored again by the New Jersey School Public Relations Association.  Social media has been a tremendous tool in helping us tell our stories, recognize our incredible staff members and students, and even strategically target stakeholders and policymakers to help further our reach and gain more visibility for our organization.”

Additionally, Burlington County Special Services School District won a Communications Award for the second year in a row, also.  This year, BCSSSD won 3rd Place in the Photography category for a photo featuring a proud graduate during their commencement ceremony.  BCSSSD won 2nd Place last year in the Social Media category.