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Dear Parents,

This week, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) awarded nearly $750,000 in grants to 11 school districts for the My Brother's Keeper Native American Program. The purpose of the Native American Program is to increase the academic achievement and college/career readiness of Native American students, with an emphasis on boys and young men. Through My Brother's Keeper, we are better able to address students' needs and provide opportunities so they can be successful.

In our continuing efforts to address the needs of all students, we are currently inviting public comment on two sets of regulations that directly impact our students: Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) regulations and Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) regulations. The proposed changes to the DASA regulations would provide further clarification to school administrators, employees and students on the types of incidents of harassment, bullying and discriminations to be reported to administrators and investigated by the school Dignity Act Coordinator. The ESSA regulations will help NYSED prepare for implementation of New York's approved ESSA plan. If you can, please take some time to participate in these public comment periods, which both end in July.

In addition to providing your feedback on DASA and ESSA regulations, I also encourage you to submit comments on student data privacy as we continue to gather feedback from parents and other stakeholders across the state. As I mentioned last time, individuals may submit written comments electronically through June 18 to In addition, our student data privacy public forums are underway and will continue through June 18. The complete schedule of public forums is available here. If you can, please consider attending a public forum in your area.

I hope these updates are helpful. Please be sure to sign up for our parent email list to have these updates delivered directly to your inbox. I look forward to staying in touch.


MaryEllen Elia