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News and Notes
Dear Colleagues,

I hope this school year is off to a great start in your classrooms and schools. At the State Education Department this week, the Board of Regents approved New York's Every Student Succeeds Act Plan, which will be submitted to the United States Education Department on September 18 for review and approval. The Board of Regents also approved the Next Generation Learning Standards this week. The revised standards are a result of a collaborative process that involved educators, parents and stakeholders from across New York.

Also included in this edition of News and Notes is information on:
As always, thank you for all you do for the students of New York State.


MaryEllen Elia

This week the Board of Regents approved the New York Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan, which will be submitted to the United States Education Department (USDE) on September 18 for review and approval. It is anticipated that USDE will provide feedback to the Department in December 2017. Final approval of the state's ESSA plan is expected early next year.

"Our ESSA plan is an action plan," Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said. "The Regents and I are committed to ensuring that all students, regardless of background, zip code, first language or disability, get the help they need to succeed and thrive in school. Developing this plan has been an opportunity to incorporate the voices of communities, teachers and parents as we rethink how we look at accountability, equity and serving the whole child."

"The ESSA plan we will now submit to USDE is responsive to the needs of students," Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said. "This plan is the culmination of more than a year of collaboration with hundreds of stakeholders and members of the public who helped shape the plan throughout the process. And we're not done. We will continue to engage with stakeholders to ensure everyone is given the opportunity to adjust to and feel comfortable with the new system as it's implemented."

The plan emphasizes fostering equity in education for New York's students; expands measures for school support and accountability and student success; and requires school-level improvement plans for the lowest performing schools overall as well as schools with the lowest performance for certain student populations. The plan also includes strategies for supporting the professional growth of educators and ensuring that all students, including English language learners/Multilingual learners, immigrant students, migratory youth, homeless youth, and neglected and delinquent youth, have access to a well-rounded, culturally responsive education that supports their academic and social-emotional development.

For more information, read our news release
standardsBoard of Regents Approves Next Generation Learning Standards

The State Education Department conducted a collaborative process over two years to revise the standards, which involved numerous educators, parents and stakeholders from across the State, and resulted in substantive changes while maintaining the academic rigor of the learning standards.

The State Education Department will work with BOCES District Superintendents, school superintendents, the Staff and Curriculum Development Network and teacher centers to develop and provide guidance on professional development for teachers to implement the new standards. Additional resources will be forthcoming to support the new standards.

The projected time line for standards and assessments over the coming years is:
  • September 2017: Adoption of Next Generation Standards
  • 2017-2018 School Year: Two-day assessments measuring the current standards; professional development on Next Generation Standards;
  • 2018-2019 School Year: Two-day assessments measuring the current standards; professional development continues on the Next Generation Standards;
  • 2019-2020 School Year: Two-day assessments measuring the current standards; professional development continues on the Next Generation Standards;
  • September 2020: Full implementation of the Next Generation Standards;
  • Spring 2021: New tests measuring Next Generation Standards.
Read our news release  for more information. 
artsBoard of Regents Approves Arts Standards

The Board of Regents this week approved the New York State P-12 Learning Standards for the Arts

Department staff, in collaboration with various stakeholders in arts education across the state, has engaged in a multi-tier process over several years to develop arts standards (dance, music, theater, visual and media arts). 

The standards emphasize four processes common to all art disciplines: 
  • Creating - Students will generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work. 
  • Performing/presenting/producing - Students will analyze, interpret and select artistic work for presentation. 
  • Responding - Students will interpret intent and meaning in artistic work. 
  • Connecting - Students will synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.
Full implementation of the arts standards will occur in the 2018-19 school year. Department staff will work over the next year to develop professional development for teachers and identify arts education initiatives across the state to build a statewide arts education network that supports teaching and learning in the arts. 

brockport Brockport CSD Elementary Teacher Named 2018 New York State Teacher of the Year

Commissioner Elia, 2018 Teacher of the Year Christopher Albrecht, Chancellor Rosa, and NYSUT Executive Vice President Jolene DiBrango

Christopher Albrecht, fourth-grade teacher at the Fred W. Hill School in Brockport, has been named the 2018 New York State Teacher of the Year

Albrecht, the 48th New York State Teacher of the Year, has taught at the at Fred W. Hill School for 20 years, the last 14 spent teaching fourth grade. He spent 20 years on ELA curriculum development committees, founded the Hill School Spelling Bee, mentored 11 student teachers and four first-year teachers, and founded the Hill School yearbook committee, which he still advises.

In the coming year, Albrecht will serve as an ambassador for teachers throughout the state and will be the New York State nominee for the National Teacher of the Year.

Finalists for the 2018 New York State Teacher of the Year include:
  • Brian Sztabnik, an English and Advanced Placement Literature and Composition teacher at Milller Place High School in the Miller Place Union Free School District;
  • Rosa Ismail, an English as a New Language teacher for Kindergarten through 3rd grade students at Fort Salonga Elementary School in the Kings Park School District;
  • Mary Howard, an English Language Arts and social studies teacher at Veronica E. Connor Middle School in the Grand Island Central School District; and
  • Christina Pawlowski, a New York State Master Teacher who teaches Advanced Placement and college level mathematics at Commack High School in the Commack School District.
For more information, read our news release
certificationBoard of Regents Revises Teacher Certification Requirements

This week the Board of Regents took steps to improve the process to obtain an initial teaching certificate in New York. The changes are based on the recommendations of a panel of education experts and public input, and maintain the state's rigorous standards to ensure that candidates for certification are well-prepared to teach.

Following a lengthy and open process that sought and used public and expert input, the Regents have approved a series of changes to New York's teacher c ertification process. Specifically, these changes will: phase-in a revised passing score on the edTPA teacher certification exam; extend the safety net for those candidates who do not pass the edTPA; and amend the eligibility requirements to use a Multiple Measure Review Process in certain cases.

Public comments on the regulations changes will be accepted through November 13, 2017.
For more information on these actions and to learn how to submit public comment, read our news release

sepsis2First-In-The-Nation Sepsis Prevention Curriculum Materials Now Available to Teachers

Commissioner Elia, Chancellor Rosa, and Regent Chin join Assemblywoman Nolan and Staunton Foundation on September 8 to announce K-12 sepsis curriculum.
In collaboration with the Rory Staunton Foundation for Sepsis Prevention and Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan, the State Education Department recently announced sample  K-12 grade curriculum  on sepsis prevention is available for kindergarten through 12th grade teachers.

Sepsis, an extreme response to infection, is one of the leading causes of death in the United States.

The curriculum  addresses the topic at a developmentally appropriate level for grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12, emphasizing education on what sepsis is, how students can prevent sepsis, and when to seek help from a trusted adult. In the older grade levels, self-advocacy and health literacy is also emphasized to assist students in communicating with others on health needs.

For more information, read our news release

oce Office of Cultural Education Teacher Workshops

  • Evolution Teacher Workshop at State Museum - Biology and environmental science teachers will gain insight into the forefront of scientific research happening in New York, including up-to-date information on genetics, the fossil record, and evolution. This one-day workshop will be held at Saturday, October 14.
  • World War I Teacher Workshop at State Museum - Staff from the State Museum, State Library, State Archives, and Public Broadcasting Office will offer a one-day teacher workshop on Thursday, November 9 to aid educators in teaching the history of World War I in the classroom
toursFree Tours of State Education Building to be Offered Every Saturday

Due to the overwhelming popularity of Saturday tours that were being offered once a month, the State Education Building will now be open for free weekly Saturday tours beginning October 7

Tours will be offered at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Each tour can accommodate 25 people and reservations are required

"There's been such great interest in the State Education Building tours that we're honored to offer the Saturday tours weekly now," said State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. "The building is an architectural gem that the public deserves to see and appreciate. We're pleased to work with the State Office of General Services to offer visitors more opportunities to spend an afternoon exploring both the historic State Capitol and State Education Building."

Visitors can also register for weekly Saturday tours of the State Capitol at 11:00 a.m. or 1:00 p.m.