News and Notes

June 2023

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you for all the hard work you and your school communities have done to make this a successful academic year. To kick off summer, and highlight the importance of literacy, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) and the New York State Library are partnering with 1,100 public libraries and neighborhood branches statewide to launch the 2023 Summer Reading at New York Libraries program.

The slogan for this year, "All Together Now," serves as a unifying force that brings together students of varying ages, emphasizing the importance of friendship, kindness, inclusion, and diversity. Throughout the summer, New York's public libraries will be the hub of exciting activities and events, all aimed at fostering a sense of community and promoting reading and enrichment programs for children and families alike.

Commissioner Betty A. Rosa

The Summer Reading program harnesses the distinct influence of libraries to unite youngsters, adolescents, and families with a range of literature and activities that mirror their lives, passions, and experiences. Bring your loved ones to the nearby library and enjoy free books and informative programs!

Best wishes for a fun and restful summer!

Summer Reading at New York Libraries


Betty A. Rosa


2023 Summer Food Service Program to

Provide Meals at 2,500 Sites Statewide

Hello to Summer Meals!

The 2023 Summer Food Service Program, providing free meals to approximately 400,000 young people at parks, pools, libraries, camps, and schools, kicks off in July at 2,500 sites statewide.

There are several tools available to help families find the nearest site:

  • Use the interactive USDA online map
  • Text “Food or “Comida” to 304-304 
  • Call the USDA National Hunger Hotline at 1-866-3-HUNGRY or 1-877-3-HAMBRE 
  • 211 in New York State 
  • 311 in New York City

NYSED Releases Framework for Safe, Supportive, and Affirming

School Environments for Transgender and Gender Expansive Students

Silhouettes of hands against a white brick wall with a blue and pink banner. The words "education, respect, safety, peace, dignity, hope, humanity, inclusion, equality and justice" are written on the wall.

NYSED released a framework and legal update to support schools in fostering an educational environment that is safe, supportive, and affirming for transgender and gender expansive (TGE) students. The framework provides legal updates and best practices to facilitate compliance with state and federal laws concerning bullying, harassment, discrimination, and student privacy. The update also reflects outreach to include the voices and experiences of transgender and gender expansive students in New York schools.

Restorative Justice Practices Training Summer 2023 Course Catalog

Restorative Justice Practices Training Summer 2023 Course Catalog - Register Now!

This summer, NYSED is offering a range of free trainings and support to promote and implement restorative justice practices in schools. Detailed information on each training, including registration information and attendance prerequisites, can be found in the Summer 2023 Course Catalog.

Types of restorative trainings include:

Community Building Restorative Circles Training

Community Building Circles are the foundational practice necessary for building and sustaining restorative practices in a school setting. Participants gain the understanding, skills, and mindset needed to facilitate circles in their classrooms and communities. This training serves as an excellent introduction to utilizing restorative process in schools. 

Training in Responsive Circles and Conferences to Address Harm

Intended for those staff and faculty with disciplinary responsibilities, and previously trained in proactive circle keeping, this training focuses on the skills and preparation needed to apply restorative practices to respond to harm and other disciplinary issues at school. Participants will gain the skills and knowledge to conduct processes including harm circles, restorative conferences, and re-entry circles.

Leadership Training for Implementing Restorative Justice Practices

Designed for school building leadership teams committed to implementing a restorative framework in their schools, this training is for multiple members of a school’s administration, staff, and teachers to collectively learn the principles and methods of the work, as well as practical and sustainable approaches for whole school and/or whole district implementation.

NYSED Hosts Inaugural Safety Summit

School Safety Summit

NYSED, in collaboration with the Center for School Safety, recently hosted its inaugural School Safety Summit.

Over 900 school administrators and staff, school resource officers, and safety team members attended the two-day, in-person school safety summit at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany on May 31 and June 1, 2023.

The summit focused on creating and fostering safe, supportive learning environments for the state’s school communities.

New York State Museum Celebrates Reopening of Iconic Carousel

New York State Museum carousel

The New York State Museum’s beloved antique carousel reopened to the public earlier this month after extensive repairs and upgrades. Dozens of local elementary school students and their teachers joined Commissioner Rosa to celebrate the carousel’s restoration and were treated to a reading of Carousel by Pat Cummings and an ice cream party courtesy of Stewart’s Shops.

The entire carousel was disassembled, new parts fabricated, and meticulous repairs made by some of the few remaining specialized craftsmen in the country, and then reassembled over the past three years.

The carousel, accommodating up to 50 riders at a time, is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

New York State Library Selected as Preservation Steward for

U.S. Government Publishing Office

The New York State Library has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) to become a Preservation Steward. Under this agreement, the State Library pledges to keep permanent print collections of historical and current government publications produced by the GPO.

The New York State Library agrees to perpetually preserve print collections of:

  • Historic and current Congressional Hearings,
  • Historic and current Bound Congressional Record, and
  • Historic and current Code of Federal Regulations.
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