News and Notes
May 2022
Dear Colleagues,
Commissioner Rosa
We at the New York State Education Department, together with Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr., Regent Catherine Collins of the 8th Judicial District, and the Members of the Board of Regents, mourn the lives lost in Buffalo in yet another reprehensible act of violence and hatred. We grieve for the innocent victims, their families, their towns, and our country. We will never be able to solve our issues by using violence. 
This moment is an opportunity to reaffirm our collective resolve to empower students to be informed citizens through education. As parents, caregivers, and educators, it is our responsibility to teach and model respect, fairness, open-mindedness, and inclusiveness. We must teach our children that in America, goodness and compassion will always triumph over ignorance and hatred. And our goal is to prepare our children to become active members of their communities who raise each other up and work together for the common good. 
New York has exceptional educators who show unwavering dedication to their students, and we would like to extend special recognition and gratitude to our educators in Buffalo this week as they help their students navigate and process the unthinkable. Your work is important and unrelenting, and your efforts are nothing short of heroic. 

Betty A. Rosa
Flexibility in the Use of 2021-22 and 2022-23 Regents Examination Scores to Satisfy Diploma Requirements
The New York State Education Department understands that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused widely varied teaching and learning conditions. In order to reduce the impact on students, the Board of Regents approved a temporary expansion of the process to file an appeal and graduate with a lower score on a Regents Examination. The Board approved the expansion of the appeal process as an Emergency Action at its May meeting.
The temporary expansion of the appeal process will provide flexibility to students taking Regents Examinations in the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years in meeting assessment requirements for a diploma.
Please find the following resources on our Diploma and Graduation Resources web page:
Additional questions about diploma requirements or the appeals process should be directed to the Office of Standards and Instruction via email to or by calling (518) 474-5922.
State Education Department’s Seal of Biliteracy Program
Experiences Significant Growth
The New York State Seal of Biliteracy (NYSSB) program continues to see significant growth year to year, with an 11 percent increase in the number of schools offering the Seal and a 19 percent increase in the number of students earning it.

The NYSSB report also identifies future goals for growth and outlines strategies to achieve these goals.
State Finalists Selected for 2022 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching
Two New York State mathematics teachers and two science teachers are state-level finalists for the 2022 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) at the elementary level. The PAEMST, one of the most prestigious honors in the nation for teachers, recognizes exemplary teaching and leadership in mathematics and science education.

PAEMST finalists in Math include Kristin Hanley from Clarkstown Central School District and Justin Wiedrick from Adirondack Central School. The two science finalists are New York City Department of Education educators, Michelle Jennings from Brooklyn Science and Engineering Academy, and Shiela Lee from PS 59. Biographies for each of the finalists are available on the Department’s website.
U.S. Department of Education Honors Seven New York Students as
2022 U.S. Presidential Scholars
The U.S. Department of Education recognized seven New York State high school seniors as U.S. Presidential Scholars. The recognition is one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students.

The members of the Presidential Scholars Class of 2022 will be recognized for their outstanding achievement this summer with an online recognition program. The list of New York scholars is available in the full news release.
Board of Regents Recognizes Winners of
Vice Chancellor Emerita Adelaide L. Sanford Scholarships
Sanford Scholarship recipients
The Board of Regents recognized two outstanding New York State students receiving Vice Chancellor Emerita Adelaide L. Sanford Scholarships at the Board’s May meeting. The scholarship is named for Dr. Adelaide L. Sanford, the first African American and the first woman to serve as Vice Chancellor of the Board of Regents. Through Dr. Sanford’s generosity, the scholarships are awarded annually to exceptional My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Fellows and graduating high school seniors from NYSED-recognized MBK communities. Congratulations to this year’s recipients, Anderly Burgos Terrero of Yonkers City School District and Matthew Worrell of Newburgh City School District.

Scholarship funds can assist these outstanding students with tuition, fees, and books.
State Education Department Announces Fifth Class of
My Brother’s Keeper Fellows
The State Education Department named the fifth class of My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Fellows who have been identified as leaders in their MBK Communities and who will be provided with mentor relationship opportunities in government, education, and business. The 86 Fellows represent 31 New York State school districts. The My Brother’s Keeper initiative helps boys and young men of color—and all students—realize their full potential.

Each Fellow will be matched with a mentor from a NYSMBK Community Network partner and given a fellowship opportunity. Each Fellow will also be required to develop and execute a service project related to a NYSMBK initiative.
New York State Museum Exhibition:
Timbuctoo: Gerrit Smith’s Experiment
Timbuctoo: Gerrit Smith’s Experiment
A new exhibition at the New York State Museum features Timbuctoo, a little-known Black settlement near Lake Placid, New York. The exhibition, Timbuctoo: Gerrit Smith’s Experiment, will be on view in Adirondack Hall until December 31, 2022.

In addition, filmmaker Paul A. Miller’s documentary, Searching for Timbuctoo, tells the history of this forgotten settlement and follows an archaeology team looking to unearth evidence of the community. The film will officially air on WAMC/PBS in June 2022.