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News and Notes

Welcome to the March edition of News and Notes! 


First, a Finger Lakes mom describes how math is starting to add up for her sixth grader. This year, her son has gained a deeper understanding of math, which has given him the confidence to raise his hand in class.


Next, a veteran teacher in the Adirondacks explains his strategy for adapting Common Core modules so they work for his students and his teaching style. He has also created two websites to share his lessons with other teachers and to provide homework help for kids and parents!


Also, listen to educators describe how Strengthening Teacher and Leader Effectiveness grants (STLE) are driving professional development and student achievement. The Board of Regents has included $80 million for STLE in its 2015-16 State Aid Proposal. 


Then, in our latest "Engaged Voices" blog, a first-grade teacher and librarian write about the benefits of teaching a coherent sequence of content. This approach is helping young readers build knowledge and acquire higher-level vocabulary more quickly.


Additionally, you will find information about the next Uncommon Approaches to the Common Core Conference, scheduled for August 11 and 12 at the Cultural Education Center in Albany.


Lastly, check out an important article about school bus safety from the Office of Pupil Transportation, and we take a look ahead to spring in the Office of Facilities Planning newsletter. 

Video: "He's Really Confident Now"

Kelly Bacon, a parent in the Mount Morris School District in New York's Finger Lakes, says she's noticed differences in the way her son Jesse is learning in math class. He didn't always feel he had the right tools to complete homework and wasn't as willing to volunteer an answer among peers. Find out how higher standards are helping Jesse gain confidence and make progress.


Click here to see the video. 

Video: Adapting EngageNY Resources: Responding to the Learner

Fifth grade teacher Steve O'Connor shares how he is using and adapting EngageNY's open curricular resources to not only meet his students' academic needs but also to create interactive websites for teachers and parents across New York State and the country. Take an inside look into his classroom, hear from his students and then check out his websites at homeworkhelp5.com and ccss5.com.


Click here to see the video. 


Video: State Aid Request: Strengthening Teacher and 
Leader Effectiveness Grants

In December, the Board of Regents included $80 million for its Strengthening Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (STLE) program in its 2015-16 Regents State Aid Proposal. We have asked the legislature to support this important request. Without these funds, the grant will end this summer when Race to the Top comes to a close.


In this video, educators from across New York describe how the STLE grants are driving professional development and student achievement.


STLE is a collaborative labor-management partnership that has committed $83 million in federal funds to transform practice across more than a third of the State's school districts. Through STLE, our districts are achieving two critical outcomes: personalized, job-embedded professional development and the implementation of strong evaluation systems. For further information on the STLE program please click here


EngagedVoices Blog Post

This post from our EngagedVoices educator blog features Lauren Diamond, first grade teacher at East Moriches Elementary School, and Emily Peterson, librarian and professional development coordinator at East Moriches School District. Lauren and Emily discuss how reading non-fiction texts helps their students understand and analyze fiction in this blog post. 


A child's early years in school are critical to building their literacy skills so that they are prepared for greater success as they grow.  As many studies have suggested, gaps in students' reading skills after the third grade become exacerbated and can even impact students' chances of graduating from high school.


Starting in 2012, East Moriches began trying out a new approach to literacy using the Core Knowledge resources on EngageNY and by the 2013-2014 school year, we not only became more comfortable with the materials as teachers but saw significant differences in how our students were learning.


Read more. 

Save the Date: Uncommon Approaches to the Common Core Conference

The 3rd Annual Uncommon Approaches to the Common Core Conference will be held at the  Cultural Education Center in Albany, NY on August 11 and 12. A special focus of this year's conference is the Social Studies Framework adopted by the Board of Regents in April 2014.

The conference is a professional development opportunity for New York State teachers, librarians, historians, and educators from cultural institutions like museums and historic sites. Conference organizers are currently accepting proposals for 90-minute breakout sessions. More information can be found by clicking here


For more information about the conference, and for educational resources that utilize cultural institutions, please visit http://nysculturaled.org/.


Office of Facilities Planning Newsletter

The Office of Facilities Planning has released the latest edition of their newsletter. Click here to access the February 2015 newsletter.


All Facilities Planning newsletters are posted on the SED website here: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/facplan/NewsLetters.htm.


Office of Pupil Transportation News

The Office of Pupil Transportation has posted an article on the dangers of dragging incidents, where children are caught in school bus doors and carried for a distance. Please read this article for more information.

Pupil Transportation news is posted on the SED website here: