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As ESSAA’s Regents Liaison, Paul Scampini attends the monthly meetings of the Board of Regents.  Following is a summary of meeting held on April 3 and 4th of 2017:

  • The  meeting of the Board of Regents began with a review and formal approval of the Strategic Plan for the Arts (Dance, Music, Theater, Visual and Media Arts). The PK-12 learning standards in each arts discipline are currently in the final stages of being revised and the Arts Committee anticipates presenting the revised standards to the Board of Regents for adoption this summer. The 2017-18 school year will serve as a transition period with the standards being fully implemented in 2018-19.

Some key components of the new standards include:

  • A new media arts strand
  • K-8 standards that are broken down by each grade level
  • An assessment system that includes multiple measures of achievement, more performance based components, and is effectively aligned to the new standards.

  • The Bilingual Education Committee updated the Board on the progress of their efforts toward developing a protocol to identify and support Emergent Multilingual Learners (EMLLs) as they enter prekindergarten programs. Research suggests that approximately 25% of students entering preK programs across the state speak a language other than English at home. Currently, districts use the Home Language Survey for screening K-12 students who may qualify for ELL services, but nothing is in place to help with identifying EMLL students at the preK level.

The committee has developed an Emergent Multilingual Learners Language Profile for Prekindergarten Students (see link below) to assist with identifying prekindergarten students who speak languages other than English at home. They are recommending that the Board of Regents adopt a policy which will require that the newly developed profile be administered to all students prior to entering prekindergarten programs.The timetable for potential adoption was not discussed.

  • The Board took action to adjust the eligible scoring band for an appeal of the English Language Arts Regents Examination for Eligible English Language Learners. This aligns the process with the recent expansion of the eligible score band for appeals of certain Regents examinations for all students.

  • Representatives from Hunter College presented a model to the Board for establishing a new teaching certificate in the area of Computer Science. The model presents various pathways an individual could follow to obtain certification including a traditional college program, a path for those who already possess a teaching certificate, and an option for those who have extensive professional experience in the field of computer science. The Board of Regents will continue to review and discuss the benefits and challenges of establishing certification in this area.

  • As part of their consent agenda, the Board permanently adopted an amendment increasing flexibility for teachers who are seeking reissuance of their certification while they are completing the professional development requirements.

The Board also permanently adopted the amendment which provides districts with flexibility to fill vacancies in areas where there is a demonstrated shortage of teachers.The amendment allows districts to fill the position with a certified teacher who is not yet certified in a new certificate area, but who is pursuing certification in this area.

  • Tuesday afternoon was devoted to a discussion of the status of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) application. With the assistance of consultants Linda Darling Hammond and Scott Marion, who both participated via video conference, the Board was updated on the progress with the application and the key areas that still need to be addressed.

Several components of the application are still in the conceptual phase of development.  Many important choices with regards to assessment, school improvement criteria, and school quality indicators have not yet been made.  The current plan is to have the draft application completed for presentation to the Board at their May meeting.  Board of Regents members will then conduct thirteen regional public hearings across the state during May and June to gather public feedback on the draft.  The goal of the Board is to formally approve the application at their July meeting with submission to the governor shortly thereafter.

Nine different documents were referenced during the afternoon discussion.  Rather than list links to all nine, we have provided a link below to the meeting agenda which will enable you to easily access any of the documents according to their topic. Simply scroll down to theTuesday afternoon section (11:45am to 3:00pm) of the agenda and click on Meeting of the Board of Regents.  

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