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The November, 2017 Board of Regents meeting began with a review of some of the work being done across the state in the area of Social Emotional Learning (SEL).

Last year, a School Climate Testing Pilot was carried out in six districts across the state. NYSED staff members were joined by representatives from two participating districts (Schenectady and Buffalo), staff from the NYS Division of Criminal Justice, and the Director for the Social and Emotional Learning Center at the Children’s Institute in Rochester. They shared lessons learned from administering the US Department of Education’s School Climate Survey as well as their experiences with implementing Social Emotional Learning, Restorative Justice Practices and Trauma-Informed Approaches in their schools.Asst. Commissioner Stan Hansen also talked about the impact that “implicit bias” plays in a child’s social emotional health.

It is increasingly clear that the Board of Regents and Commissioner Elia are in favor of fully implementing a school climate measure as part of school accountability in the near future.  For the 2017-18 school year, the pilot has been expanded to 35 districts who have agreed to administer the school climate survey. The New York State Safe Schools Task Force is recommending that model materials on Social Emotional Learning be distributed to all schools in NYS during 2017-18, with full implementation across the state in 2018-19.

More detailed information on the presentation and a link to the USDOE School Climate Survey site are available through the links below.

At the December Board of Regents meeting, the State Aid Subcommittee will present their recommended budget.On Monday, they provided an update of their draft proposal and outlined their priorities which include:

  • Full Phase-in of Foundation Aid
  • Early Learning
  • Supporting Early Language Learners
  • Implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act


Senior Deputy Commissioner Jhone Ebert updated the Board on the status of the Smart Schools Funding requests.She indicated that 78 plans are ready for the review board and that 373 plans have already been approved.


Board members were updated on current NYSED initiatives aimed to improve transition planning and employment outcomes for students with disabilities.


The Higher Education Committee presented a proposed amendment which would:

  • Expand the subject areas in which teaching candidates can obtain Transitional G Certification
  • Provide flexibility for pre-professional teaching assistants to complete their student teaching requirements.

Currently, the Transitional G Certificate is only available in the areas of science, technology, engineering or math.  The amendment would expand the certification options to include all subject areas for which there is a certificate title.


With regard to the pre-professional teaching assistant amendment, candidates currently have to complete their student teaching requirement through a registered teacher education program. If approved, the amendment would allow candidates to carry out their student teaching in the school they are working at while employed as a teaching assistant, provided the institution ensures that the experience is in compliance with the Commissioner’s Regulations.

It is anticipated that the proposed amendment will be presented to the Board for adoption at the February, 2018 meeting to become effective on February 28, 2018.

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