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Dear Colleagues,
Commissioner MaryEllen Elia will step down on August 31, 2019 after more than four years as New York’s Commissioner of Education.
We thank Commissioner Elia for her tireless and unwavering service to New York State’s children. Over the past four years, the Board of Regents and Commissioner Elia have made much progress to improve education for New York’s citizens. Together we have placed an emphasis on educating the whole child and worked to achieve equity in education for all. Commissioner Elia has been steadfast in her commitment to placing the interests of students first. We wish Commissioner Elia the best in her future endeavors.
Executive Deputy Commissioner Beth Berlin will serve as Acting Commissioner of the New York State Education Department (NYSED) effective September 1, 2019. In her six years at NYSED, Ms. Berlin has proven to be a compassionate, capable, and effective leader who is well respected by the Board, her colleagues, and the education community. We know she will excel in this role, as she did previously, while the search for a new Commissioner is underway.
As leaders of the Board of Regents, we will take a more active role in the activities of NYSED during this time of transition and the work of NYSED will continue as usual.
We would like to thank NYSED employees for the work they do every day to serve all New Yorkers and carry out NYSED’s mission to raise the knowledge, skill, and opportunity of all the people in New York.
While times of transition can be challenging, we have no doubt that under Ms. Berlin’s leadership, NYSED and its employees will continue to serve the citizens of New York to the best of their ability as they always have.
Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa and Vice Chancellor T. Andrew Brown
This edition of News and Notes includes information about the following:
2NYSED Identifies 562 Recognition Schools

school building

NYSED recently identified 562 high achieving and high progress schools as Recognition Schools. Under New York’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Plan, Recognition Schools have high academic achievement, student growth and graduation rate, and made progress during the 2017-18 school year.

Each Recognition School will receive a certificate of recognition.
32019 Summer Food Service Program

Free Summer Meals
The 2019 Summer Food Service Program provides free meals to approximately 400,000 students at nearly 3,000 sites statewide.
Use the interactive USDA online map to find a service site that will provide free meals for children during the summer.
4Guidance and Resources for Schools to Address Substance Abuse

NYSED and the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) recently issued updated joint guidance and resources for school districts to assist with addressing substance abuse. The collaboration provides districts with information to assist students, teachers, and parents looking for help and support related to substance use.
Anyone in need of help for addiction should call the New York State HOPELINE at 1-877-8-HOPENY or text: HOPENY.
52019 New York State Summer School of the Arts


More than 400 students in grades 8-12 are enrolled in New York State Summer School of the Arts (NYSSSA), where they are studying with some of the world’s foremost artists in the visual and performing arts. NYSSSA is composed of seven component schools that are held throughout the summer: Theatre, Ballet, Modern Dance, Orchestral Studies, Choral Studies, Visual Arts, and Media Arts.

Each program culminates in a final public performance or exhibition that is free and open to the public. See the students’ inspiring artwork and performances in Saratoga, Delhi, Fredonia, Chautauqua, or Alfred this summer!
6Early Learning Video Series

young children in classroom

Check out our new Early Learning Video Series, which provides examples of purposeful, play-based instructional strategies that help children develop critical foundational skills in the early grades.

In the early grades, it is particularly important for educators to recognize and provide a balance between individual and group needs, active and quiet times, teacher-directed and child-selected activities, and English and home language development. Teachers influence what and how children learn by creating an environment that reflects developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate practices and instruction. Intentional planning provides a framework for learning that is culturally and linguistically responsive, playful, interactive and interdisciplinary.
The videos in this series provide support for educators in creating quality learning environments – in addition to quality curriculum, instruction, and assessment – for children in Prekindergarten through Grade 2 classrooms.
7“Focus on Nature XV” Exhibition

Focus on Nature XV

Focus on Nature XV, a nature-based artwork exhibition featuring 87 illustrations by 69 artists, will be on display at the Roberson Museum and Science Center in Binghamton, NY from July 21, 2019 – January 20, 2020. The biennial exhibition, which is organized by the New York State Museum, celebrates natural and cultural history illustration and the talented artists who create a connection between science and art.

octopus painting

This is the 15th iteration of the Focus on Nature exhibition and the illustrations are created by artists from around the world. One notable illustration is a painting of a 95-million-year-old octopus that was painted with its own ink. The fossil of the octopus was found in Lebanon in such excellent condition that it was possible to obtain some ink.

8State Library Awards $226,000 in Grants to Preserve Research Materials

Drawing from the New York City Department of Records and Information Services
Drawing from the New York City Department of Records and Information Services

The New York State Library has awarded $226,450 in conservation and preservation grants to eight cultural education institutions to help preserve research materials. The grants provide support for projects that contribute to the preservation of significant research materials in libraries, archives, museums, historical societies, and other not-for-profit cultural organizations in New York. Projects include improving collection storage environments, or reformatting, treating, or rehousing collections. Awardees include the New York Botanical Garden, the Rockland County Archives, and the Lewis Library at Niagara County Community College.

Pictured here is an example of a record that will be conserved through this grant program – a drawing from the New York City Department of Records and Information Services.
9Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund

file cabinet

The New York State Archives recently awarded $5.3 million in grants to 80 local governments, school districts, and educational institutions across the state to improve their management systems. The grants help municipalities and schools manage paper and electronic records in a variety of projects including disaster management and planning, preserving historical records, or converting records to another format. Over $230 million in grants have been distributed across the state since the program’s inception in 1988.

1050th Anniversary of Apollo 11 Moon Landing

50th anniversary of first moon landing

Saturday, July 20 marked the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, when Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin touched down and walked on the moon. The New York State Library is commemorating the first moon landing with an exhibit of books, federal documents, and periodicals of the day. Check out the online Apollo 11 exhibit or stop by the State Library if you’re in the Albany area!

Celebrate a “Summer of Space” in honor of the Apollo 11 moon landing with programming from PBS telling stories of the space race and space exploration today.
11Teen Video Challenge

Teen Video Challenge

Are you looking for great way to engage teens in Summer Reading and Summer Learning? Encourage them to participate in the Teen Video Challenge! This national contest gives creative teens the chance to direct their own short videos showcasing the importance of summer reading and local libraries. Submissions will be accepted until August 2.

The 2019 Teen Video is a great opportunity for teens to experience the many resources and programs at their local libraries. Five winners will receive cash prizes and win summer reading materials for their libraries!
12Stop Summer Slide

smiling children looking down at camera with _StopSummerSlide hashtag

Follow NYSED on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn this summer to get ideas for fun and educational summertime activities for kids in an effort to prevent the “Summer Slide.” It is estimated that school summer breaks cause the average student to lose up to one month of instruction, with disadvantaged students being disproportionately affected. As part of our #StopSummerSlide campaign, we are sharing tips, resources, activities, and events, highlighting daily themes like “Math Monday,” “Trivia Tuesday,” “Where in the World Wednesday,” “Thinker Thursday,” and “Fun Fact Friday.” If you don’t already, be sure to follow us for these tips and ideas and for our latest news.

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