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News and Notes
Dear Colleagues,
As always, thank you for all you do for the students of New York State.
MaryEllen Elia
aimhighNext Generation New York State English and Mathematics Learning Standards

The State Education Department last week released the Next Generation English Language Arts and Mathematics Learning Standards. These learning standards are the culmination of a nearly two-year process that resulted in substantive changes while maintaining rigor and involved committees comprised of more than 130 educators and parents. Revision committees reviewed more than 4,100 public comments from the fall 2016 survey, as well as comments from experts, and incorporated this feedback into the revised learning standards.

The standards are available on SED’s AIMHighNY website. SED is accepting public comment on the revised standards through June 2. It is expected the Board will vote on adopting the standards at the June meeting. Once the Board approves the standards, the State Education Department will work with BOCES District superintendents, superintendents, the Staff and Curriculum Development Network and teacher centers to develop and provide guidance on professional development for teachers to implement the new standards.
The ELA and Math Learning Standards Advisory Committees met through a series of all-day, in-person meetings and web meetings from December 2016 through April 2017 and reviewed every learning standard, making any necessary modifications based on professional expertise as well as input gathered from public comment and child development experts. Educators who work with students with disabilities and English language learners were actively involved in the review process as well. The committees integrated any necessary changes into the standards while ensuring that the standards continue to be rigorous and challenge New York’s students to do more.
Click here to learn more.
essapublicDraft Every Student Succeeds Act Plan Released for Public Comment

This week, the State Education Department presented to the Board of Regents and released for public review and comment the draft Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan.
The draft plan emphasizes fostering equity in education for New York’s students; expands measures for school support and accountability, and student success; and requires school-level improvement plans for the lowest performing schools overall as well as schools with the lowest performance for certain student populations. The plan also includes strategies for supporting the professional growth of educators and ensuring that all students, including English language learners/Multilingual learners, immigrant students, migratory youth, homeless youth, and neglected and delinquent youth have access to a well-rounded education that supports their academic and social-emotional development.
Public Hearings for Comment on ESSA Plan
SED is seeking continuing stakeholder and public input as it develops the state Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan. To facilitate this, 13 public hearings will be held across the state to gather feedback on the state’s draft ESSA plan and written comments will be accepted now through June 16. The draft plan was presented to the Board of Regents at its May meeting and the first public hearing will be held on May 11.

Click here for a complete list of public hearings.
The draft plan is posted on the Department’s ESSA webpage. A summary of the draft plan is also available.
teachawardsNominate a Teacher for the Empire State Excellence in Teaching Award

Every day, thousands of teachers across New York are making a difference in the lives of children. These teachers hold high expectations and academic goals for each one of their students, fostering critical thinking, cultivating creativity, and instilling a love of learning. They are eager learners who pursue meaningful professional development throughout their careers.

This year, Governor Cuomo will award 60 teachers from across the state to receive the Empire State Excellence in Teaching Award. Awardees will receive a stipend of $5,000 for continued learning and professional development, and have the opportunity to directly advise education policy makers.
Nominations are due May 11 and applications are due May 18. Click here to apply for the award or to nominate an exceptional teacher.

Yonkers Public School Teacher Receives 2017 Yavner Award

Mitchell Polay receives 2017 Yavner Award at  Board of Regents Meeting on May 9, 2017.
This week the Board of Regents presented Yonkers Public School teacher Mitchell Polay with the Louis E. Yavner Teacher Award for educating others about the Holocaust and other violations of human rights.
Mr. Polay teaches sixth grade at Paideia School 15 in Yonkers. The Yavner Teacher Award was established by the Board of Regents and funded by the late Regent Emeritus Louis E. Yavner of New York City, who served on the Board from 1975-1981. The award recognizes teachers who have made outstanding contributions to teaching about the Holocaust and other human rights violations.

Mr. Polay has dedicated much of his professional life to Holocaust studies. He has traveled extensively in Europe, Asia, and Australia to explore the questions of why and how genocide in general and the Holocaust, in particular, happened. Additionally, he has developed a credit-bearing course for teachers called “History of the Holocaust and the Lessons We Can Learn From It,” and has been teaching the course to colleagues for the past three years. Mr. Polay is the 30th teacher to receive the Yavner Award.
Click here to read more about the Yavner Award.

Resources to Encourage Organ and Tissue Donation

In April 2016, the State Education Department announced that it would work with organizations that promote organ and tissue donation to develop model curriculum, useful lesson plans, and instructional resources on the importance and value of organ and tissue donation.
The Department is continuing to work with Donate Life to help make these resources available to school districts. The New York Alliance for Donation formed a workgroup of its member organizations to work alongside representatives from SED. The group, which has begun meeting, hopes to have the new curriculum in place by Fall 2017. For additional information visit New York Alliance for Donation.


State Museum Earth Science Teacher Workshop

The New York State Museum is hosting an Earth Science teacher workshop July 11 – 13 at SUNY Geneseo. The workshop provides a three-day, hands-on educational experience for New York Earth Science/Physical Setting Teachers. Participants are immersed in geology and paleontology for a minimum of 8 hours each day, totaling 24 contact hours of continuing education credit. Two field trips with experts help integrate learned knowledge with real world geo-paleo experiences and will assist teachers in building better rock, fossil, mineral and photo collections for use in the classroom.

Registration applications are due June 1. Click here for more information and to submit a registration application.
libraryEncyclopedia Britannica is coming to New York – it’s online and it’s free!

Beginning July 1, 2017, the New York State Library is adding Encyclopedia Britannica to the New York Online Virtual Electronic Library (NOVELNY) offerings. The Encyclopedia Britannica e-resources that will be freely available to all New Yorkers include:
  • Britannica School: the go-to site for learning more about any subject for all grades Pre-K-12 and all reading abilities. Click here to watch a brief introduction video to Britannica School.
  • Britannica Academic: delivers fast and easy access to high-quality, comprehensive information, combining Encyclopedia Britannica with the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, magazines and periodicals, and many other research tools. Click here to watch a brief introduction video to Britannica Academic.
  • Britannica Escolar: the leading knowledge-building resource that is universally trusted for accurate and age-appropriate content in Spanish. Click here to watch a brief introduction video to Britannica Escolar.
For more information please contact your school librarian or the NOVELNY Help Desk at 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).


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