January 28, 2022
Dear Parents and Families,
Commissioner Rosa
The Board of Regents and New York State Education Department (NYSED) are committed to the health and wellbeing of New York’s students, educators, and school staff. We are mindful of the importance of keeping our schools open and supporting the stability of school environments.

Schools across our state continue to face tremendous challenges and disruptions again this school year. Earlier this week, competing judicial decisions on the status of the state’s mask mandate caused significant confusion and disruption of the educational process. To avoid further disruption, the department directed schools to keep mask mandates in place until there is a final resolution by the courts. As it now stands, the mask mandate remains in effect for schools across the state.

We know these issues stir strong feelings. Having seen news reports of parents and students showing disrespect to school officials who are trying to support the educational process, I implore you to be mindful of the example you are setting for our children. Please model civility and respect in and around our school environments as you express your opinions about these issues.

February is Black History Month, and NYSED will launch our “My History, My Future” campaign once again. This annual social media campaign features inspiring quotes from outstanding students in New York’s My Brother’s Keeper programs expressing their hopes for the future. We will also continue to feature artworks from the New York State Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Art & Essay Exhibit each day through the end of February. I encourage you to follow the hashtags #MyHistoryMyFuture, #NYSMLK, and #StudentsExhibitingMLK on our social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn).

Last week, NYSED announced that expanded high school equivalency computer-based testing options will be available to test takers in 2022 and beyond under a contract with the GED Testing Service (GEDTS). The GED exam is a well-recognized test of the academic knowledge and skills needed for college and career readiness as defined by NYSED’s standards for adult education. With its computer-based testing options, GEDTS will provide greater flexibility and increased access to the exam for more of New York’s students.

Thank you for your continued partnership and dedication to your children’s education.

Betty A. Rosa