Dear Colleagues,
Happy American Education Week! This week, we have celebrated public education and the work that teachers, administrators, and support professionals do to help ensure all children have access to a high-quality education. We know how hard you work every day on behalf of New York’s students. Your dedication to children, despite the challenges of this school year, is truly inspiring. Thank you for everything you do.
Below, you can find details on other announcements and resources from the New York State Education Department (NYSED):
  • NYSED Launches Parent Dashboard
  • January 2021 Regents Examinations Cancelled Due to Ongoing Pandemic
  • NYSED Announces Website to Help Districts Develop Sexual Abuse Prevention Education
  • NYSED Announces Series of Regional Meetings to Gather Stakeholder Input on Substantially Equivalent Instruction for Nonpublic School Students
  • New York State Mentoring Program
  • National Cyber Scholarship Competition
  • U.S. Department of Education School Ambassador Fellowship
Sincerely,
Betty A. Rosa
Interim Commissioner
Parent Dashboard
NYSED launched a Parent Dashboard to increase transparency and make information about school performance and other school-level data easier for parents and the public to access. The Parent Dashboard features a clean, simple design to better provide parents with information about their child’s school.
In 2019, NYSED gathered feedback from parents and stakeholders to guide the work of developing the Parent Dashboard. The data elements that parents ranked highest on the survey are available on the Parent Dashboard.
NYSED is now gathering additional feedback from parents and stakeholders to guide further enhancements to the Parent Dashboard. NYSED will use this feedback to identify the data that is most useful to parents and the public and to make improvements to the website. We invite parents and other stakeholders to explore the Parent Dashboard and then provide feedback via an online survey available in 17 languages.
The data on the Parent Dashboard will be updated annually. Additional education data is available on NYSED’s public data website, including detailed data on enrollment, assessments, graduation rates, and much more. Please visit NYSED’s Data Help Center for questions, comments, and feedback about the Parent Dashboard.
January 2021 Regents Examinations Cancelled
The January 2021 administration of the High School Regents Examination Program is cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This cancellation applies to all Regents Examinations that had been scheduled for the January 2021 Regents Examination period. No decisions have been made regarding the June and August 2021 administrations of Regents Examinations or any of the other State assessment programs.
Please view the memo sent to the field, an FAQ document and NYSED’s COVID-19 website for additional information and guidance.
Website to Help Districts Develop Sexual Abuse Prevention Education
Curriculum resources are now available to assist schools and educators implement Erin’s Law, which requires public schools to teach child sexual abuse and exploitation prevention in Kindergarten through eighth grade. NYSED launched an Erin’s Law website with materials to help educate students on awareness, skills, self-confidence and support to prevent child sexual exploitation and child sexual abuse.
New York’s Erin’s Law addresses the need to prevent sexual abuse of students in grades K-8, which requires defining and addressing the wide range of behaviors and experiences related to sexual violence, such as child sexual abuse, sexual assault, and child sexual exploitation. Resources available on NYSED’s Erin’s Law website include grade-banded curricular benchmarks that will assist in guiding instruction and lesson development. Educators will also find a suite of available curricular resources appropriate for various grade levels.
NYSED will propose emergency changes to regulations which the Board of Regents will discuss and vote on at the December 2020 meeting. A public comment period on the proposed changes will follow.
NYSED’s Erin’s Law website and resources were developed in partnership with the Department of Health, the NYSED Office of Student Support Services, the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), and the Monroe 2 BOCES.
Regional Meetings on Substantially Equivalent Instruction
NYSED is holding a series of regional meetings to engage and gather input from stakeholders in the religious and independent school community, as well as their counterparts in public schools, to inform policy decisions related to the substantial equivalence of instruction in nonpublic schools as required by Education Law Section 3204(2). NYSED is conducting five virtual regional meetings, in addition to other forms of outreach to communities that may not utilize the internet. A sixth virtual meeting will engage current nonpublic students, parents, and alumni from across the state.
The outcomes of the stakeholder engagement sessions and the survey of religious and independent schools will be considered by the Board of Regents as it considers next steps in the process to develop regulations for substantially equivalent instruction for nonpublic school students. With meaningful collaboration with stakeholders, the Department intends to propose regulations that both respect the diversity of schools in New York State and ensure that all students have the opportunity to receive an education that enables them to fulfill their potential.
More information and meeting dates are available on NYSED’s Substantial Equivalency web page.
New York State Mentoring Program
Mrs. Matilda Raffa Cuomo and Interim Commissioner Betty A. Rosa remind school leaders of opportunities regarding the NYS Mentoring Program. Two valuable resources being offered to schools through the NYS Mentoring Program and supported by NYSED include: a Virtual Mentoring model for students; and a Professional Development Course available to your faculty. Both services are free-of-charge to New York schools and organizations.
To learn more about the new Virtual Mentoring options or the Professional Development Course, please contact the NYS Mentoring Program at 1-844-337-6304 or visit the NYS Mentoring Program website.
National Cyber Scholarship Competition
The National Cyber Scholarship program gives students the opportunity to compete for millions of dollars in college scholarships to support cybersecurity training. Every high school student in America can register for free access to CyberStart America. The 2021 Competition will take place fully online April 5-6, 2021.
U.S. Department of Education School Ambassador Fellowship
The U.S. Department of Education’s School Ambassador Fellowship program is designed to improve educational outcomes for students by leveraging the expertise of school-based practitioners in the creation, dissemination, and evaluation of national education policy. Applications are being accepted through Monday, January 11, 2021. Please consider recommending talented colleagues to submit applications.