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December 6, 2022

Dear Parents and Families,

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) recently issued a memo thanking all school districts that have stopped using Native American mascots as they can become a barrier to building a safe and nurturing school community. NYSED recently issued guidance reiterating that the Department is opposed to the use of Native American mascots and directing all districts to retire any such mascots by the end of the 2022-23 school year. Additional information is available in NYSED’s memo on the use of Native American mascots.


New York State celebrated Puerto Rican Heritage Month in November to highlight the social, cultural, and economic contributions of Puerto Rican communities across New York. The Smithsonian offers an extensive digitized collection spotlighting people, places, music, art, and other items related to Puerto Rico. In addition, the Centro Education division at Hunter College provides resources and teaching guides to help students and teachers become involved in Puerto Rican Studies.


Last week, NYSED’s public data website was updated with state assessment data for the 2021-2022 school year, including grades 3-8 English language arts and mathematics assessment scores. Please visit our public data website to find district- and school-level data.


At the November Board of Regents meeting, the Region 2 Comprehensive Center, led by WestEd, presented its report, “Graduation Requirements and Measures,” to the Board. The report presents the findings of a literature review, a state and international policy scan, and a summary of feedback from the public, stakeholders, parents, and students via surveys and more than 30 stakeholder meetings. The report’s findings will inform the work of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Graduation Measures. Additional information about the Graduation Measures initiative can be found on the Department’s Graduation Measures website.


In addition, NYSED and the Educational Opportunity Project (EOP) at Stanford University are partnering to study progress toward educational equity in New York State. The five-year project is driven by the Board of Regents' priority to remove inequities that stand in the way of success for students with the goal of improving educational opportunities and attainment for all children.


Best wishes for a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season.




Betty A. Rosa


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