images of parents with their children
Dear Parents,

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) takes school safety very seriously. Our schools must always be safe havens - places where students and their teachers are free to learn, teach, and grow together. We must do everything in our power to ensure that all children in New York State attend schools where they can learn in a safe and supportive environment. 

We are encouraged that students are joining, and in many cases, leading the nationwide conversation about school safety. Last week, Chancellor Rosa and I issued a statement in support of the National School Walkout that took place on March 14. In a peaceful, yet powerful, display of unity and civic engagement, students across New York State, and the nation, walked out of their classrooms to demand action on two of the most pressing issues of our time - ensuring school safety and stemming the tide of gun violence. 

This is a national movement; it is real; and it is being driven by our students. As educators, we often talk about 'teachable moments.' These young people, united in peaceful protest to demand action by our Congress on gun violence, are turning tragedy into a teachable moment for our federal lawmakers. We commend these students for their bold example of leadership in action and call on Congress and lawmakers across the nation to heed their voices.

As we head into spring, we look forward to warmer weather and more daylight. And as you know, each spring, schools across the state administer the Grades 3-8 English Language Arts and Mathematics Tests. New parent resources about the 2018 tests are now available on our assessment website. The resources have important information about what parents need to know about the 2018 assessments and answer many frequently asked questions about the tests. The 2018 tests have been reduced to two testing days per subject, down from three days per subject as in past years. You can find additional details about this change and much more in the new documents, linked below.


MaryEllen Elia