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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 the meeting held on July 11, 2016.

Presentation One focused on a summary of the plan that NYSED will be submitting for approval to the US Dept of Education as required by the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act). The goals outlined in the proposal are very vague.They are using the Diagnostic Tool for School and District Effectiveness (DTSDE) as the rubric for the proposal with 20 guiding principles included in the draft plan.The next step is to seek public comment from the draft.As I think you will see, there is little substance included in the current proposal that would give us an indication of what changes might actually occur.NYSED plans to submit the final plan in March 2017.

Presentation Two focused on several changes that are included in the revisions to the McKinney- Vento Act as part of the ESSA legislation.Unlike most of the ESSA mandates that will take effect in 2017-18, these will go into effect in September 2016.It was stressed that there needs to be a McKinney-Vento Liaison in every district to ensure that policies regarding homeless students are followed.NYS TEACHS (Technical and Educational Assistance Center for Homeless Students) will be providing updates to districts on the changes and is a resource to have questions addressed.

As an emergency action, the Board of Regents approved the new Community Schools Regulations for Persistently Struggling Schools.Seventy-five million dollars has been allocated for the schools in twelve districts that are mostly from the Big Five.This is a one year allocation, and there are major concerns about the sustainability of the programs that are put in place with the money this year.

An amendment to section 80.5.4 relating to employing non-certified substitutes was passed.Non-certified subs have been limited to working a maximum of 40 days per year.The amendment increases the maximum to 90 days per year, which can be extended by a district superintendent when a certified replacement cannot be hired.

An amendment was also passed to section 100.2 regarding the classification of students who qualify for AIS services.The amendment represents a more comprehensive approach to student identification.In the past only NYS assessment cut scores have been used.The amendment will expect schools to also include school based developmental assessments as part of the identification process.

Finally, as part of the meeting’s consent agenda, formal action was taken to approve the recommended changes to the APPR review process for principals and classroom teachers that had been discussed in previous meetings.

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