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Today's teens may not distinguish between a friend and a follower

On Board Online • December 11, 2017

By Merri Rosenberg
Special Correspondent

In any generation, the social shoals of youth - especially in middle and high school - are treacherous for many students. Figuring out where one fits in the social hierarchy is a classic task and seldom an easy one, according to psychologists.

Whether a student feels popular among his or her peers no longer depends on who sits at what table in the lunchroom or what verdict peers render about one's shoes or outfit. Today, experts say, social status mostly plays out in cyberspace.


Rethinking school start times

On Board Online • December 11, 2017

Susan Bergtraum
NYSSBA President

We all experience times of the year, like those between Thanksgiving and New Year's, where we are all trying to do so much with so little time that it's easy to get very little sleep.

If it's difficult for adults to function when they are sleep-deprived, what about teenagers? When you dive into research about teen sleep patterns and school start times, you find some eye-opening facts.

For instance, a recent RAND study estimates that a U.S. shift to a school start time of 8:30 a.m. has the potential to contribute more than $80 billion to our economy over a 10-year period.


NYSSBA, allies call for $2B school aid increase $1.5B needed to maintain current programming

On Board Online • December 11, 2017

By Brian Fessler
Deputy Director of Governmental Relations

A coalition of state education groups including NYSSBA is calling for an increase in school aid of $2 billion over 2017-18 funding levels.

The Educational Conference Board, or ECB, is comprised of seven leading educational organizations representing parents, classroom teachers, school-related professionals, building administrators, superintendents and school boards.


SED creates 'pre-screening' phase for capital projects

On Board Online • December 11, 2017

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

As part of a fresh effort to speed the approval process for capital projects, the State Education Department (SED) has established a new "pre-screening" phase. The goal is to ensure that all projects are fully ready for review before they are scrutinized by SED's Office of Facilities Planning.

The procedural change is the latest in a string of efforts to permanently reduce delays that have plagued the review process for several years. The causes have included SED staff shortages and state restrictions on funding and approvals for hiring. More recently, the pipeline for approval has been crowded with projects approved in local capital project referendums and funded through the Smart Schools Bond Act.


Talking about suicide, depression should be OK in public schools

On Board Online • December 11, 2017

By Jason Thomson
Superintendent Delaware Academy CSD at Delhi

Depression and suicide are interconnected and directly related among teens, with untreated depression being the number one cause of suicide. Teens who experience depression are 12 times more likely to attempt suicide than teens not going through depression bouts. More than half who successfully complete suicide had major depression and suicide issues as well as a connection between the two factors.

As a start, we as educators can look for and recognize warning signs for depression and suicide. About 9 in 10 teens who are suicidal display clues or warning signs to others.


Report notes efforts to increase numbers of minority teachers

On Board Online • December 11, 2017

By Gayle Simidian
Research Analyst

Eight minority high school students in Syracuse with an interest in a career in teaching will soon be doing job shadow days in school, making lesson plans and taking college courses. The program is one of several initiatives across the state aimed at increasing the number of teachers of color.

About 43 percent of students in New York school districts are black or Latino, but only 16 percent of teachers are, according to a recent report called See Our Truth by the Education Trust - New York.


Leadership Lessons from the North Pole

On Board Online • December 11, 2017

Patrick Longo
Member Relations Manager

I'll never forget Christmas morning of 1975. My father was a teacher, and teachers were on strike. My four siblings and I dashed down the stairs and into our family room. Rather than a mountain of presents, we found just one present for us all to share: a puppy.

Small present, big impact. So much so that we didn't even realize that we didn't get any other major gifts that year.


East Irondequoit shows 'classrooms of the future' during NSBA site visit

On Board Online • December 11, 2017

By Eric D. Randall
Editor-in-Chief

They came for the technology. And they stayed for the furniture.

In an instructional technology site visit organized by the National School Boards Association in November, 96 visitors from across the state and nation spent two days in the East Irondequoit Central School District. When the tours were over, some participants couldn't stop talking about the variety of chairs - J-shaped scoops, cylindrical stools, oval ottomans, bean-bag chairs and movable foam benches.


When does a counseling letter become a form of discipline?

On Board Online • December 11, 2017

By Jeffrey Mongelli
Senior Staff Counsel

School administrators can issue counseling letters that constitute critical administrative evaluations and place them in an employee's personnel file. However, depending on the wording of a letter and other factors, the commissioner of education or a court might view it as a disciplinary reprimand that is permissible only upon a finding of misconduct consistent with due process protections.


How helpful is your policy on executive sessions?

On Board Online • December 11, 2017

By Courtney Sanik
Senior Policy Consultant

"I move that the board go into executive session to talk about, um, district business."

Buzzer sound.

Well, you need to be a little clearer than that. Not only does Public Officers Law section 105 list out the permissible reasons, there have been multiple decisions regarding proper language going into executive session.

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