New York State School Boards Association
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NYC school control shouldn't be annual issue

On Board Online • June 12, 2017

Timothy G. Kremer
NYSSBA Executive Director

It's that time of year for much pomp and circumstance. No, not the graduation march across the stage. I am referring to the annual fuss that occurs in Albany at the end of every legislative session.

Each year, an all-absorbing "crisis" seems to emerge during the waning days of the session. This year, as it has for the past two years, the dispute is over mayoral control of public schools in New York City, which directly affects the five boroughs of New York City only but indirectly stymies the prospects of nearly all other legislation that impacts school districts throughout the state. Until the mayoral control dispute is resolved (at least for this year), most other issues that matter to school leaders outside of New York City are on the proverbial back burner.

NYSPHSAA bans drones at games

On Board Online • June 12, 2017

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

Flying small unmanned aircraft commonly known as "drones" over sporting events now is officially prohibited under a policy recently enacted by the state's chief governing body for interscholastic high school sports.

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association approved the ban, which applies to games, scrimmages and all regular- and post-season interscholastic events, at a May 5 meeting of the association's executive committee.

Teacher shortages most acute in science, other hard-to-staff subjects

On Board Online • June 12, 2017

By Paul Heiser
Senior Research Analyst

Nearly six in 10 school districts in New York lack adequate numbers of science teachers, according to a survey of school superintendents conducted by NYSSBA.

Fifty-nine percent of superintendents said their districts have experienced a shortage of qualified teachers in science over the past year. The shortage is particularly acute for teachers of physics and chemistry at the high school level.

Empowering families to improve student learning

On Board Online • June 12, 2017

By WestEd

When officials at North Elementary School in Okeechobee, Fla. canceled the school's Carnival and Family Reading Night, parents were a bit confused and somewhat dismayed. Such events had been long-standing ways of encouraging them to get involved in their children's school.

But North Elementary's then-principal, Pat McCoy, realized that "while events like a school carnival offer a nice chance to socialize, they don't actively engage parents in their child's learning."

Schools confront opioid abuse epidemic through education and partnerships

On Board Online • June 12, 2017

By Merri Rosenberg
Special Correspondent

Slow, shallow breathing and a weak pulse.

A bluish tint in lips, skin and nails.

Small pupils.

Roxbury Superintendent Tom O'Brien knows what a heroin overdose looks like.

Union-Endicott wins safety award

On Board Online • June 12, 2017

Union-Endicott Central School District has been named the 2017 winner of the NYSSBA Pioneer Award, presented annually to a school district that has used creativity to improve the safety and health of employees.

The district has a strong relationship with Michele Casale, health and safety hygienist at Broome Tioga BOCES. Casale provides training to all staff on understanding hazard warnings and ways to avoid slips, trips and falls.

Commissioner settles tax dispute between adjacent districts

On Board Online • June 12, 2017

By Kimberly A. Fanniff
Senior Staff Counsel

Some residential properties lie in more than one school district. When the property owner has school-age children, Education Law section 3203 entitles the property owner to designate which district will be considered the district of residence for purposes of school attendance.

After such a designation is made, sometimes disputes can arise between school districts related to tax issues.

Where we stand on three big issues

On Board Online • June 12, 2017

MaryEllen Elia
Commissioner of Education

As another school year draws to a close, I'd like to take this opportunity to review with you where we stand on three issues that are critically important to our schools, our students and our state: the proposed federal budget, New York's revised learning standards and our draft plan to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Simply put, President Trump's proposed budget would be a disaster in terms of its impact on education both here in New York and nationally.

Policy updates on medication, homeless students and volunteers

On Board Online • June 12, 2017

By Courtney Sanik
Senior Policy Consultant

It's inevitable: No matter how much thought your board puts into its policies, many of those policies will need to be changed.

Laws, regulations and commissioner's decisions can necessitate policy changes. So can guidance documents from federal or state authorities, changes in your district's practices or just changes in how people in your district think about a given issue.

Fidgeting allowed: First-grade classrooms become a multi-sensory learning space

On Board Online • June 12, 2017

By Lori Sosenko

In combined first-grade classrooms at Grand Island's Charlotte Sidway Elementary School, students jiggle atop giant stability balls, wiggle on balance boards, and giggle while sinking into comfy bean bag chairs.

They can use fidget toys - squeezable, bendable or mechanical objects that can help children regulate their ability to pay attention.

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