images of parents with their children
Dear Parents,

I would like to take the opportunity to provide you with information about several noteworthy opportunities for our students, including the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program; the New York State Summer School of the Arts; the Student Research Awards Contest; and the Smart Transfer Early College High School Program.

I was pleased to announce last week that 25 New York State high school seniors have been nominated for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program . The Presidential Scholar recognition is one of the nation's highest honors for high school students. Every year, one young man and one young woman from each state are named as Presidential Scholars. Congratulations to the nominees!

Also last week, the New York State Summer School of the Arts (NYSSSA) announced that applications are currently being accepted for the 2018 season. NYSSSA provides over 400 of New York's most talented students the opportunity to study with professionals in the visual and performing arts. Students in grades 8-12 throughout New York State are encouraged to apply to one of seven schools: Theatre, Ballet, Modern Dance, Orchestral Studies, Choral Studies, Visual Arts, or Media Arts. Auditions begin in January and will be held across the state. A schedule of audition sites and application materials are available at the NYSSSA website.

Another great opportunity for students to showcase their talents is the New York State Archives 28th Annual Student Research Awards Contest . The contest is open to all New York State students in grades 4-12 who use historical records in their research projects. The deadline for entries is July 1, 2018. Three awards will be presented in the fall of 2018.

Finally, last week, NYSED awarded $4.76 million in grants to four recipients (two school districts and two colleges) for the Smart Transfer Early College High School Program . Grant recipients are Bard College, Cohoes City School District, Greece Central School District, and Schenectady County Community College (SUNY SCCC). The Smart Transfer Early College High School grants will support partnerships between public school districts and eligible institutions of higher education to offer historically underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students the opportunity and support to complete college early. The program also allows students to transfer to a partner four-year institution of higher education where they will continue to complete a bachelor's degree within two years. Funding for this initiative was first included in Governor Andrew Cuomo's executive budget in 2016.

I hope you encourage other parents to sign up for our parent email list to receive updates. I appreciate your continued support.


MaryEllen Elia