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Dear Colleagues,
I hope you are having a great summer. Last week, 1,000 educators convened in Albany for our July Network Team Institute (NTI). It was a productive week full of high-quality training, new professional development materials, and best of all, collaboration among educators from all over New York State.
At the July Network Team Institute, we shared many new materials, including an updated 2014-15 metrics and expectations document. This document is meant to support educators' focus and energy as they implement the new education initiatives with a focus on the Common Core and includes new roles and actions to support that work. We also talked last week about leading change in times of uncertainty, introduced the SIFE curricular framework and exemplars that are used for educating Limited English Proficient Students with Interrupted Formal Education, and watched new Common Core videos. Our complete turnkey kit of July NTI professional development materials is full of resources to help educators get ready for the coming school year.
Finally, we hope you take a moment to sign up for EngageNY newsletter updates by clicking the "Newsletter" link at the top of the EngageNY home page. Signing up for the newsletters that interest you most will allow you to receive all EngageNY updates in digest form on a bi-weekly basis.


John B. King, Jr.
Follow me on Twitter @JohnKingNYSED
Takeaways from the July Network Team Institute
Five Network Team Institute (NTI) participants talk about the value of NTI and which pieces of the training they are most excited to take home. Watch the video here.
NTI takeaways
King Shares Family Story of Inspiration, Patriotism
In his remarks to educators at the Network Team Institute in Albany on July 11, Commissioner John B. King, Jr. spoke of his late uncle, Lt. Col. Haldane King, a Tuskegee Airman. Watch the video here.
Commissioner King
Uncommon Approaches to the Common Core Conference
Join fellow educators this August at the Uncommon Approaches to the Common Core Conference in Albany, NY!

Uncommon Approaches to the Common Core is a conference for teachers, librarians, public historians, educators from museums, archives, historic sites and other cultural institutions. Learn how to create compelling lessons using cultural resources that meet the Common Core Learning Standards. The goal is to create common skills, a common base of information and common language so that conference participants will be able to effectively support teachers, students and parents.

The keynote speaker will be Barbara Stripling, President of the American Library Association. Plenary speaker is James B. Short, Director of the Gottesman Center for Science Teaching and Learning at the American Museum of Natural History.

Registration is $50 (includes meals). Travel and lodging reimbursement at the state rate, double occupancy, is available for attendees who live more than 60 miles from Albany.

"Focus Walks" Foster Professional Growth in Huntington
"Focus Walks" are successfully helping the Huntington Union Free School District collect data, analyze educator needs, and drive professional development offerings, supported by a Strengthening Teacher and Leader Effectiveness ("STLE") grant. The New York State Education Department currently supports 181 high needs school districts through individual and BOCES-led consortia grants. In total, $72 million will be provided to support grantees in high needs districts that are utilizing a comprehensive systems approach to recruitment, development, support, retention and equitable distribution of effective teachers and school leaders as part of their implementation of their teacher and leader evaluation plan. Watch the video here.
students in classroom
Video Professional Development Series: Grade 4 Math
This installment of our video professional development series features fourth grade teacher Kim Lewis and her students from Fort Ann Elementary School in Fort Ann, New York. The lesson, Solving Addition and Subtraction Word Problems with Tape Diagrams, focuses on Math Standard 4.OA.3:

Solve multi-step word problems posed with whole numbers and having whole-number answers using the four operations, including problems in which remainders must be interpreted. Represent these problems using equations with a letter standing for the unknown quantity. Assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies including rounding.

Students work in teams to explore and solve subtraction problems modeling with a tape diagram. Watch the video here.
students in math classroom
EngagedVoices: Cleaning Up and Creating Space
This week's post from our EngagedVoices educator blog features Emily Wolf, an English Language Arts teacher at Dansville High School. Emily explains how the Common Core gives teachers the freedom to try new literature or reimagine old favorites.

The blue plastic recycling bin overflowed with stacks of paper: 3-hole-punched piles of vocabulary homework, reading quizzes, unit tests, and critical lens essays. I shut another metal cabinet drawer with a hollow clang.

Many of us teachers are notoriously bad at letting go of paper, of ideas, of what we hold dear. I count myself in this. In my cleaning I found a folder of materials from my student teaching practicum 13 years ago. Our filing cabinets (or, perhaps, our cloud storage) are often full.

Today, however, I am cleaning house. I am letting go. Read more
P-TECH Summer Programs Underway
New York State P-TECH high schools are holding summer sessions for students to meet one another and get a head start on project-based learning and other key elements of the P-TECH model. The summer programs range in length and focus; some provide an orientation over several days before school begins, while others provide several weeks of skills "ramp up" and project-based learning. All summer programs include opportunities for team building and introduction to the various employer and community college partners. This week, programs are underway in Ballston Spa, Syracuse, Rochester and Newburgh. More details about the new P-TECH high schools are available here.
News from the Office of Special Education
Curriculum Instruction toward the Common Core Learning Standards
Resources are available to assist parents of children with disabilities to have a better understanding of the Common Core Learning Standards and how their child's individualized education program (IEP) should include recommendations to support their child's progress towards those standards.
Role of the Committee on Special Education in Relation to the Common Core Learning Standards
This memorandum on the Common Core Learning Standards and students with disabilities provides guidance and information on the roles and responsibilities of the Committee on Special Education to align the development and implementation of each student's individualized education programs to the State's learning standards; the importance of purposeful planning to address students' needs; and information for parents of students with disabilities.