October 2017 News & Notes

October News & Notes

News and Notes
Dear Colleagues,
 
Over the last couple of weeks, the Board of Regents and the State Education Department (NYSED) have taken measures to help students and teachers displaced by recent natural disasters. On Monday, the Board of Regents took action to allow teachers displaced by Hurricane Maria to obtain temporary nonrenewable teaching certification in New York State. And last week, NYSED issued guidance to school districts to help students displaced by the recent hurricanes. See more information below about how the Board of Regents and NYSED are supporting those affected by the hurricanes.
 
This edition of News and Notes also includes the following information:
As always, thank you for all you do for the students of New York State.

Sincerely,

MaryEllen Elia
Commissioner
hurricanesHelp for Students and Teachers Displaced By Recent Natural Disasters

teacher in front of students in class
This week, the Board of Regents took action to allow teachers displaced by Hurricane Maria to obtain temporary nonrenewable teaching certification in New York State. The regulations allow for alternative forms of proof of certification and recent employment to obtain a temporary certificate.

Recently, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria battered Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and several other countries in the Caribbean, leaving thousands of people displaced. Some families from these impacted areas, and their school-aged children, have already relocated to New York and many more may relocate in the coming weeks and months. Last week, NYSED issued guidance to school districts to help students displaced by the recent hurricanes.
 
students walking in school hallway
Students who are temporarily displaced due to disaster are likely protected by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act, a federal law that details the educational rights of students in temporary housing. Under the McKinney-Vento Act, students in temporary housing can enroll immediately in a school in the district where they are temporarily living even if they do not have the documents normally needed or missed enrollment deadlines. In addition, these displaced children are eligible for free school meals, Title I services, and services to support students with disabilities and English language learners.
 
NYSED stands ready to help school districts enroll these displaced students who likely have no school records available as a result of the devastation caused by these unrelenting natural disasters. Our guidance provides important information and resources for displaced families and the schools that will serve them.
students raising hands in classroom
Last month, NYSED submitted New York's ESSA plan to the U.S. Department of Education. The Board of Regents approved the plan at its September meeting.

See highlights of New York's ESSA planand information on the comprehensive stakeholder engagement that went into writing it.

In addition, NYSED released ESSA fact sheets for parents, educators, and school board members. These summary documents explain the final ESSA plan and will be translated in additional languages.
hseNew Pathway to High School Equivalency Diploma

students raising hands
This week, NYSED proposed regulatory changes to provide an additional pathway to earn a New York State high school equivalency diploma (HSE) by allowing individuals to use passing scores on certain Regents exams in place of the corresponding TASC subtests. A 45-day public comment period on the proposed amendment will be held from November 1 through December 18.

More information about the proposed regulatory change to provide a new pathway to a high school equivalency diploma is available in our news release.
libraryGale Resources Available to New York Students

happy student working on a laptop computer
The New York Online Virtual Electronic Library (NOVELNY) includes many free resources from Gale, a Cengage Company. These include:
  • InfoTrac Newsstand: offers over 2,000 full-text newspapers that include several New York State newspapers--Buffalo News, Glen's Falls Post-Star, New York Times, New York Post, and Newsday.
  • Kids InfoBits: contains over 550 age-appropriate magazines for grades K-5. Also includes Merriam-Webster's Elementary Dictionary, maps, flags, seals, charts, graphs, and 600 videos to support STEM topics.
  • Opposing Viewpoints in Context: contains a range of perspectives on many important issues, with over 21,000 pro/con viewpoints. Includes a variety of resource types: reference, news, primary sources, multimedia, and more.
  • Research in Context: resources for students in grades 6 to 8. Offers magazines, newspapers, primary sources, over 12,000 videos, and more on a variety of topics.  Supports national and state curriculum standards in language arts, social studies, and science.

For more information, please contact your school librarian or the NOVELNY Help Desk at NYSLNOVEL@nysed.gov. Provided by the New York State Library, NOVELNY is a Statewide Internet Library connecting New Yorkers to 21st century information. NOVELNY is supported with temporary federal Library Services and Technology Act funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
visionNYSED Announces No-Cost Children's Eye Exams, Glasses, and Resources as Part of School Vision Health Month

optometrist examines child in Fort Edward
Proper vision plays a critical role in children's physical, cognitive, and social development, and many students do not have accessible visual care. Earlier this month, NYSED announced a new partnership with the New York State Optometric Association, VSP Global, and the New York State Society of Opticians to provide access to no-cost eye exams and glasses to students at seven schools across New York as part of School Vision Health Month.
 
In June 2017, the New York State Assembly and New York State Senate passed resolutions proclaiming October 2017 as School Vision Health Month to raise awareness about providing accessible visual care and resources to those who are in need. This initiative will provide the necessary awareness to encourage parents to bring their children to an eye care professional and will bring vision care experts to certain schools across the state to help screen students, provide education and resources, and promote healthy eye care.
collectionsNYS Library Acquires Harry Rosenfeld Collection and Dutch Genealogical Book Collection

old book collection
This week, the New York State Library announced two recent acquisitions: a collection of documents donated by newspaper editor Harry Rosenfeld and a collection of 3,000 books from the Holland Society of New York Library that expands the State Library's large local history and genealogy resources.
 
The Harry Rosenfeld collection documents Rosenfeld's career in newspaper journalism, including his time as an editor at the Washington Post and the Albany Times Union.
 
The Holland Society Library acquisition offers the public an opportunity to research genealogical documents that contains rich information on the history and culture of families that populated the Dutch colonies in America over three centuries ago.
erState East Ramapo Monitors Provide Update on District's Continued Academic & Fiscal Progress

school building
Last week, the State Monitors of the East Ramapo Central School District released a report that found the district is taking actions to improve its financial stability, academic opportunities and outcomes for all students, success for students with disabilities and English language learners, and compliance with state and federal laws and regulations.

In the report on the district's progress, Monitors Charles A. Szuberla, Jr. and Dr. John W. Sipple noted the district collaborated with them and community stakeholders to develop and implement strategic and academic improvement plans.