The Board of Regents conducted their monthly meeting on Monday, June 7, 2021 via video conference. The meeting began with the nomination and unanimous approval of Regent Josephine Finn as the new Vice Chancellor of the Board replacing former Regent Andrew Brown.
A primary area of focus of the Board continues be the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiative. Representatives from four districts/BOCES, that have already taken significant steps toward addressing the goals of the initiative, were invited to talk about what they have implemented thus far. Staff members from the Greece Central School District, Duchess County BOCES, Eastern and Western Suffolk County BOCES, and the New York City Department of Education participated. The presenters spoke of the challenges they are encountering, the systemic approaches being used, professional development plans, curriculum frameworks, community engagement strategies, and evaluation measures that being used to assess progress.
Following the presentation, Board members praised the courage and resilience being demonstrated by those associated with the projects. They stressed the importance of engaging community partners in the process and the need to continually share resources and ideas that emerge as districts continue to develop and implement plans.
Below are links to each of the four presentations.
The Board extended a previously approved emergency amendment which provides flexibility for the two-step identification process used to identify students who qualify for Academic Identification Services (AIS) in grades 3-8. The amendment states that schools may, but are not required to, conduct the two-step process. Those schools that do not utilize the two-step identification process may use a district developed procedure that applies to all grade 3-8 students.
In February 2021, The Board of regents adopted amendments allowing waivers for districts who were not able to meet the annual instructional hour requirement due to the pandemic. The Board discussed extending the previously approved instructional hour COVID-19 waiver for the 2021-2022 school year. It is anticipated that the proposed extension will be presented for permanent adoption at the September 2021 Board of Regents meeting after the 60-day public comment period.
The Board adopted an amendment that will allow Dignity For All Students (DASA) training to be provided entirely online through December 31, 2021 due to the COVID-19 crisis.
In May 2017, the Board of Regents approved regulatory changes to the process for acquiring school counselor certification. While the new requirements do not take effect until February 2023, the Board discussed amending current guidelines to provide flexibility for candidates to meet the new requirements during the transition. It is anticipated that the amendment will be presented for formal adoption at the September 2021 meeting.