August 27, 2021
Dear Parents and Families,
Commissioner Rosa
As summer draws to a close and we look ahead to the upcoming school year, the health and safety of our students, teachers, and school personnel remains our top priority. Earlier this week, Board of Regents Chancellor Young and I welcomed Governor Hochul and expressed our strong support for her plans for masking requirements in schools. Governor Hochul took action after consultation with educators, demonstrating her commitment to the health and wellbeing of our students and the importance of keeping our schools open. We look forward to working in partnership with Governor Hochul to meet the safety and educational needs of our students.
At the New York State Education Department (NYSED), we are doing all we can to assist schools in a safe and smooth reopening in September. As we embark on the second autumn and back to school season of the pandemic, we will continue to assess the circumstances and provide updated guidance and information as the situation requires. The Health and Safety Guide recently issued by NYSED focuses on keeping students and school staff healthy and safe, being responsive to student needs, and maximizing in-person teaching and learning.
NYSED also announced this week that 47 community and faith-based organizations across New York State will receive over $1 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES Act) funds to provide services and supports for students and families adversely affected by the pandemic. New York’s students have suffered from social isolation, experienced loss of connection, witnessed ongoing civil unrest, faced economic hardship, and for many, lost loved ones. By working with our community and faith-based partners in the neighborhoods hardest hit by the pandemic, we are making strides in supporting and helping children in these communities. A full listing of the awardees can be found on NYSED’s website.
Finally, I want to recognize you, our exceptional New York parents and families. Your role in your children’s education has changed significantly since the beginning of the pandemic. I know you have worked extremely hard to keep your children engaged in learning throughout school closures, remote and in-person instruction, and even the summer. The connection between families and schools is a key component to school and student success, and I appreciate all your support that helps keep our schools and communities strong.
I look forward to continuing to provide you with updates when the new school year begins. Until then, you can find all the latest news from NYSED on our COVID-19 web page, our Back to School web page, and our social media channels (TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn).
Thank you.

Betty A. Rosa