- The NYS Board of Regents conducted their monthly meeting on Monday, May 16th, and Tuesday, May 17th. Regent Catherine Collins, who represents schools in the Western New York, opened the meeting with reflective comments on the recent tragedy in Buffalo. Regent Collins asked everyone to keep the residents of Buffalo in their thoughts and prayers, especially the teachers and students, as they try to make sense of the tragedy.
Chancellor Young presented a resolution commemorating the life and work of former Board of Regents Vice Chancellor, Dr. Milton Cofield, who passed away in April.
- Multi-modal Instructional Strategies are technology-based tools educators can utilize in a physical or remote classroom. The Board was presented with an overview of several programs that are using Multi-modal Instructional Strategies around the State. Representatives from a variety of programs updated Board members on the progress being made with utilizing this technology to promote Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, increase digital equity, improve equitable access for intervention and enrichment opportunities, and better facilitate P-20 collaboration.
- Representatives from the Wynandanch Union Free school District who presented an overview of how they are leveraging technology to engage and support vulnerable populations of students to improve student achievement and attendance.
- Staff members from a program coordinated by Western Suffolk BOCES, who highlighted their creative efforts to better engage students with medical waivers through full day regional remote instruction to multiple districts, with synchronous live stream classes. Currently serving 142 K-12 students from 18 component districts through 15 different instructional technology modes, the program emphasizes enhanced academic and social/emotional support along with a consistent focus on parental communication.
- Synergy Virtual High School/Early College High school is a partnership between the Cayuga BOCES Center for Instruction Technology and Innovation (CiTi) and Cayuga Community College (CCC). Currently serving 113 students from 22 districts, the program targets students who have medical concerns or have struggled in the traditional school setting. Through synchronous live courses, students are able to complete both high school classes and earn dual enrollment credits in a variety of pathways through CCC, while they complete their high school diploma.
- The Cooperative Virtual Learning Academy (CVLA) consists of both elementary (K-6) and secondary (7-12) options and is coordinated through Capital Region BOCES. Teachers from 14 districts, including many who would not have been able to continue teaching in person, are collaborating to deliver full day remote instruction entirely based on NYS Next Generation Learning Standards. Currently serving students from 37 districts, participants can enter and leave program and return to in person instruction at any time.
The link below provides more specific information on the variety of Multi-modal instructional strategies associated with each of the programs.
- In recent years, NYSED staff from the Offices of P-12 and Higher Education have been collaborating to address the persistent shortage of special education teachers, particularly at the secondary level and in special classes. The Board discussed the implementation of a proposed amendment which would establish a Students with Disabilities All Grades Certificate. Currently SWD certificates are issued in three grade bands, Birth – Grade 2, Grades 1 – 6, and Grades 7 – 12. If approved, SWD certificates would now be issued in two grade bands: Birth – Grade 2 and All Grades (PreK – Grade 12).
Key changes for teacher candidates earning Students with Disabilities certification would include:
- Completion of 30 semester hours in one or more of the liberal arts and sciences, and a minimum of six semester hours in the subject areas of ELA, math, science and social studies.
- Academic work across all student developmental levels with two separate clinical experiences at the elementary and secondary levels.
- A reduction in the number of semester hours, from 18 to 12, needed to obtain a Subject Area Extension to teach a special class in a specific content area. In lieu of the 12 semester hours of course work, candidates would also have the option to demonstrate proficiency by passing the Content Specialty Test for that subject.
Candidates would still need to pass the three certification tests that are currently required for SWD certification.
A proposed implementation timeline for phasing in the new regulations was also discussed:
- As of October 1, 2022, NYSED would no longer register new teacher preparation programs leading to the current 1-6 and 7-12 certificates.
- As of September 1, 2029, current 1-6 and 7-12 preparation programs would no longer be registered with NYSED.
- As of September 1, 2030, NYSED would no longer issue SWD 1-6 and 7-12 certificates.
The proposal will now be released for the 60-day public comment period and could be presented for adoption at the September 2022 Board of Regents Meeting. It is anticipated that if adopted, the proposed amendment will become effective on September 28, 2022.
- Due to the widely varied teaching and learning conditions relating to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of Regents unanimously adopted an expansion to the existing process that allows students to appeal a lower score on a Regents Exam.
Any student may utilize the Special Appeal if they have earned a score of 50-64 on a Regents Exam in a specific subject, and has attained a course average that meets or exceeds the required passing grade in the course. The Special Appeal process will remain in place for all Regents Exams administered through August 2023.
Below you will find a link to the Board of Regents meeting presentation, a link to the guidance document that was sent out to the field this week by Commissioner Rosa, and an FAQ document relating to the Special Appeal process.
- The Board discussed and unanimously approved the adoption of the Dominic Murray Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act. The regulation requires the Commissioner of Education and the Commissioner of Health to develop, share, and publish guidance information relating to pupils exhibiting signs or symptoms of pending or increased risk of sudden cardiac arrest. Additionally, schools will need to include the information in documents required for a student’s participation in interscholastic athletics.
During the Board discussion of the proposed amendment, Regent James Cottrell MD, noted that it is very difficult to diagnose signs of “pending” sudden cardiac arrest. He suggested that Board members thoroughly review the guidance that is developed before adoption.
The provisions of the new rule will become effective on July 1, 2022. It is anticipated that the amendment will be presented for permanent adoption at the September 2022 Board Meeting after the expiration of the 60-day public comment period.
- Homebound Instruction services are provided by a school district to resident students (public and non-public) who are anticipated to be unable to attend school in person for at least ten days in a three-month period due to illness or injury. The Board adopted a proposed emergency amendment to clarify both the application process and increase the minimum amount of instructional services students are entitled to, while they are receiving Homebound Instruction.
The new regulations:
- More clearly define the terms tutor, school district of residence, and healthcare provider.
- Require medical verification from the student’s healthcare provider and a formal request for home, institutional or hospital instruction from a parent or guardian.
- Establish a time frame for review of the request, include the option for a parent/guardian to appeal a denial of services to a board of education.
- Identify minimum requirements for continuing a student’s academic program including the development of an instructional plan.
- Increase the minimum instruction hours to at least 10 hours of weekly instruction at the elementary level and at least 15 hours at the secondary level effective July 1, 2023.
After the 60-day public comment period, it is anticipated the amendment will be presented for permanent adoption at the September 2022 Board of Regents meeting.
- The Board discussed an amendment which clarifies that time spent while students are taking assessments administered by certified teachers during school hours may be counted toward the aggregate annual minimum hour requirement.
- The Board was updated on the progress of student participation in the Seal of Civic Readiness Pilot being offered during the 2021-2022 school year. Representatives from schools enrolled in the pilot shared experiences, challenges, successes, and lessons learned. It is anticipated that approximately 8000 students from across the state will earn the Seal this June from the 177 participating schools.
The Seal of Civic Readiness + 1 Pathway will be available to all NYS High Schools in 2022-2023 school year. Application is currently available through the NYSED Business Portal. The application deadline is August 1, 2022.
- The Board was updated on progress with the implementation of the NYS Seal of Biliteracy. The Seal recognizes students who attain a high level of proficiency in two or more world languages by high school graduation. Elisa Alvarez, Associate Commissioner for the Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages, presented the most recent participation and achievement data which highlighted a significant increase in the number of participating schools and with students earning the Seal.
- In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Board extended the previously adopted flexibility measures related to incidental and substitute teaching. The provisions will be extended for the 2022-2023 school year.
- The Board discussed revisions to Business and Marketing Content Specialty Test (CST) required for teaching candidates to earn Business and Marketing certification. NYSED is proposing to revise the CST to reflect updated knowledge, skills and abilities associated with the field. It is anticipated that the revised assessment will be implemented in the fall of 2022, with the previous test being available for one additional year as a safety net.