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May 31, 2023

Dear Parents and Families,

Commissioner Betty A. Rosa

We’re approaching the end of the school year, which is the perfect time to reflect on the hard work and progress our students and educational communities have made.


In the spirit of celebration, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) hosted the 2023 New York State My Brother's Keeper (MBK) Symposium on Friday, May 19 in Albany. Hundreds of students, parents, and educational leaders from across the state gathered to hear about the impact of MBK, gain valuable knowledge, and get motivated to implement new strategies in their communities to help boys and young men of color—and all students—realize their full potential. Video recordings of the event will be posted in the coming weeks, and I encourage you to check out our MBK website to hear from MBK students and programs that shared their success stories, challenges, and strategies at the symposium. You can also subscribe to our MBK newsletter for regular updates.


The Board of Regents and NYSED recently recognized the recipients of several awards, including:


Vice Chancellor Emerita Adelaide L. Sanford, Chancellor Joseph McGovern, and Regent Margaret Snow Vander Veer Scholarships

At its May meeting, the Board of Regents recognized outstanding New York State students, announcing the Vice Chancellor Emerita Adelaide L. Sanford, Chancellor Joseph McGovern, and Regent Margaret Snow Vander Veer Scholarship winners.

Statewide Elementary Mathematics Tournament

NYSED announced the grade-level winners from the inaugural Statewide Elementary Mathematics Tournament, which took place in Albany on May 20. Students in first through fifth grades from 10 regions statewide competed in hands-on mathematics games. Winning teams took home $5,000 and a plaque for their schools.

U.S. Presidential Scholars

The U.S. Department of Education recognized five New York State high school seniors as U.S. Presidential Scholars. Recognition as a Presidential Scholar is one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students.

Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

Three New York State mathematics teachers and three science teachers are state-level finalists for the prestigious 2023 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) at the secondary level. The PAEMST is one of the most esteemed honors in the nation for teachers and recognizes exemplary teaching and leadership in mathematics and science education.

Essential Elements Schools to Watch

NYSED is pleased to announce the 2022-2023 New York State Essential Elements Schools to Watch, exemplary schools serving middle grades students.

Congratulations to our outstanding students and educators on these impressive accomplishments!

Lastly, I wanted to make you aware of two opportunities available to students: the Excelsior Scholarship and the New York State Student Research Awards program.

Excelsior Scholarship

If your child is graduating high school this year and plans to attend a SUNY or CUNY institution, they may be eligible to apply for the Excelsior Scholarship. To be eligible, students must:

  • Be residents of New York State 
  • Plan to attend a SUNY or CUNY two or four-year college
  • Complete 30 credits per year towards their program of study 
  • Graduate with an associate degree in two years or a bachelor’s degree in four years
  • Have an annual household federal adjusted gross income is $125,000 or less

Students can apply for the Excelsior scholarship here. Students eligible to apply through the NYS DREAM Act can apply via the DREAM Act Application

New York State Student Research Awards

The New York State Archives and Archives Partnership Trust are accepting entries for the 2023 New York State Student Research Awards program. This year marks the 33rd year anniversary of the competition, which is open to all students in grades four to twelve and offers a platform for young people to explore and engage with their state's history by creating inspiring projects for award consideration. Winners will be selected in the elementary, middle school, and high school divisions.

Please visit for detailed guidelines and application materials. Submissions will be accepted through July 1, 2023.

I wish all our graduates the best of luck in their future endeavors! And thank you, parents and families, for trusting us to provide teaching and learning to your child this year.


Betty A. Rosa


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