images of parents with their children
Dear Parents,

I would like to provide you with information about several recent noteworthy items, including New York State's approved ESSA plan; two new My Brother's Keeper grants; and information for students and parents about career opportunities.

Last week, the United States Department of Education (USDE) approved New York's Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan . The Board of Regents approved the plan at its September 2017 meeting, and the plan was submitted to the USDE on September 17, 2017 for review. Approval of this plan by USDE ensures that New York will continue to receive approximately $1.6 billion annually in funding from the Federal Government to support elementary and secondary education in New York State schools.

New York's ESSA plan reflects nearly two years of collaboration with a comprehensive group of stakeholders to develop an inclusive plan that ensures our core focus is on promoting equity and increasing the success of all students. Our plan includes new accountability components that go beyond test scores and establishes a more well-rounded educational system. We are pleased that USDE has approved the plan so that we can accelerate our efforts to implement these initiatives that are critical for educating students across the state.

Consistent with the principles laid out in our ESSA plan, our My Brother's Keeper (MBK) initiative also aims to improve equity and increase the success of all students. To that end, NYSED is now accepting applications for two new MBK grants , totaling $1 million: the MBK Fellows Program and MBK Native American Program. The MBK Fellows grants will provide leadership opportunities to high school juniors, with an emphasis on boys and young men of color. Approved MBK Community Networks are eligible to apply. Grants for the MBK Native American Program are intended to incentivize and support school districts to accept the My Brother's Keeper initiative and implement a coherent cradle-to-college/career strategy aimed at improving the life outcomes for disadvantaged Native Americans, with emphasis on boys and young men. For this program, NYSED will fund grants to eligible school districts partnered with New York State Tribal Nations.

Every young person is capable of accomplishing great things, but not every young person has the opportunity to do so. The MBK Fellows and MBK Native American Programs will give more students access to mentors, resources, and experiences that will help them graduate from high school on the right track for a bright future.

One way to help our young people navigate their future options is to provide high-quality information about career opportunities. NYSED is collaborating with the New York State Department of Labor to ensure that parents, students, and school districts are well-informed about existing and anticipated career opportunities and in-demand jobs. The following information could be helpful for high school students learning about the skills and experiences necessary for future careers and the educational paths necessary to secure those career opportunities:
  • Current Job Openings: This link leads to the Department of Labor's most up-to-date listing of current job openings in each of New York's 10 regions. You can view your region, see which industries are growing, and discover what jobs are available within each industry sector.
  • Forward Facing Employment Data: Otherwise known as occupational employment projections, with this link you can view statewide and regional short-term (2-year) and long-term (10-year) growth outlooks for more than 700 job titles. You can also explore average wages and common education and training requirements.
  • CareerZone: The Department of Labor's CareerZone feature offers young people the opportunity to perform a self-assessment and access resources that can help them explore the careers about which they're most interested. They can learn what education is required to enter those fields, where jobs are located, what the career entails, and many other useful facts about each occupation.
  • Youth Portal: The Department of Labor's Youth Portal offers young people aged 14 to 24 resources to help them prepare for an interview, write a resume, project a positive digital presence, and manage personal finances, among other topics. There's also information for parents who wish to help their children understand and explore career choices as early as elementary school.
In addition to the career information above, I would like to make you aware of another great resource called GPS for Success . GPS for Success is a new website that provides information about career opportunities, income potential, and education/training requirements. The website features 16 "career clusters" that have been identified nationally and regionally as experiencing a shortage of skilled workers entering the workforce. GPS for Success showcases occupations and industries within each career cluster and the knowledge and skills they require. GPS for Success was developed by WPBS-DT, Watertown Public Media, and presented by the Northern New York Community Foundation in collaboration with the Jefferson/Lewis & St. Lawrence/Lewis BOCES.

I appreciate your continued support, and I hope you encourage other parents to sign up for our  parent email list to receive my biweekly letter.


MaryEllen Elia