images of parents with their children
Dear Parents,

This morning, I am excited to attend the 2018 New York State My Brother's Keeper (MBK) Symposium in Albany. Today and tomorrow, more than 600 students, parents, educational leaders, and citizens from across New York State will gather for a two-day symposium on the MBK initiative to help boys and young men of color - and all students - realize their full potential. In addition to providing resources and motivating and inspiring participants, we will also induct the inaugural class of the MBK Fellows. A webcast is available today on our MBK website from 7:30am-2:00 p.m. and 4:50-5:15 p.m. If you can, I encourage you to watch live and hear from MBK programs as they share their success stories, challenges, and strategies.

Continuing an eventful weekend in Albany, the New York State Museum will host a public opening for its Art of the Erie Canal exhibition tomorrow. On display through September 23, 2018, this companion to the State Museum's current Enterprising Waters: New York's Erie Canal exhibition looks at the art inspired by the canal and the opportunities it afforded artists, both trained and untrained, working in a variety of media, such as paintings, photographs, sketchbooks, ceramics, and beadwork. The public opening will include a reception with light refreshments at 1:00 p.m. A guided tour of the exhibition begins at 2:00 p.m., followed by a Question and Answer session with the curators.


On May 5, the State Museum will open another exhibition highlighting never-before-displayed artifacts from Fort Orange, the 17th-century precursor of the state's capital city. The exhibition, titled "a small fort, which our people call Fort Orange," examines the momentous archaeological discovery of the fort in 1970, as well as the lasting impact of Dutch settlement of New York 400 years ago. The title is taken from The New World by Johannes De Laet, a director of the Dutch West India Company, recorded in 1625. The exhibition is supported as part of the Dutch Culture USA program by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York and in partnership with Historic Albany Foundation.


Learning about the past is always important in moving forward. The Fort Orange exhibition provides a valuable opportunity to learn about the early 17th century Dutch settlement that played a role in shaping the history of Albany. If you are in the Albany area, I hope you will visit this exhibition with your children to learn about our rich local history.


Finally, as part of New York's student data privacy law, NYSED will develop regulations that establish standards for the security and privacy of student data. NYSED will also seek the input of parents and other stakeholders to develop additional elements that must be included in every educational agency's parents bill of rights for data privacy and security.


In order to seek input, NYSED is planning a series of public forums to help us engage with the public and stakeholders. The forums will take place between Wednesday, May 2-Monday, June 18. The complete schedule of public forums is available here.


In addition to participating in the public forums, individuals may also submit written comments electronically between May 2 and June 18 to


I hope these updates are helpful. Please encourage other parents to sign up for our parent email list to receive these updates, too. I will continue to stay in touch.


MaryEllen Elia