New York State School Boards Association
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Personnel policies: More than just hiring procedures

On Board Online • May 8, 2017

By Courtney Sanik
Senior Policy Consultant

When a district is looking to hire a new staff member, be it a new superintendent, teacher, coach or support staff member, it's a big decision that will affect the lives of children. Clearly you want to attract and hire the most qualified people who will serve as role models for students.

Your district's mission statement and vision statements are a good place to start when thinking about your personnel goals, as all district policies and practices should align with and reflect these statements. Your board must be mindful of not only federal laws establishing equal opportunity and non-discrimination, but what your district's policies say about hiring practices.

Risk management helps Johnson City have safer - and less costly - schools

On Board Online • May 8, 2017

By George Basler
Special Correspondent

Three years ago, the Johnson City school district noticed its insurance bills were getting bigger every year.

Its workers' compensation insurance premium ballooned more than 30 percent at the same time that its tax cap was set at 1.46 percent.

The problem was a pattern of workplace accidents, which took employees off the job and racked up workers' compensation costs.

Education budget grows by $1.1 billion

On Board Online • April 17, 2017

By Julie M. Marlette
Director of Governmental Relations

All school districts are guaranteed a foundation aid increase of at least 2.74 percent over 2016-17 levels under the approved 2017 state budget.

In addition, all districts would be guaranteed to get at least 44.75 percent of the amount they are due to receive when foundation aid is fully phased-in.

Seneca Falls board member Zellers named NYSSBA's Champion for Change

On Board Online • April 17, 2017

Eric D. Randall

Seneca Falls school board member Heather Zellers is the 2017 recipient of NYSSBA's Champion for Change Award.

The annual award recognizes board members who have fostered ground-breaking improvements. This year's was designated for a first-term board member who is dedicated, effective and inspiring.

Regents to phase in arts standards

On Board Online • April 17, 2017

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

The Board of Regents has approved a plan for putting new arts education standards in place within two years and endorsed a strategic vision that would boost the role of arts in school culture and curriculum.

The proposal, which was reviewed by the Regents at their April meeting, envisions standards for dance, music, theater and visual arts for each grade level in four "anchor" categories consistent with National Core Arts Standards:

SED awards family engagement grants

On Board Online • April 17, 2017

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

The State Education Department has awarded $6 million in additional grants from the first year of New York's My Brother's Keeper initiative, providing the first allocations earmarked specifically for family and community engagement.

The grants of up to $150,000 will go to 42 school districts, including 14 districts within New York City and four other members of the Big 5 - Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester and Yonkers.

Why isn't computer science part of the NYS math sequence?

On Board Online • April 17, 2017

By Michael Nagler
Superintendent, Mineola Public Schools

The Wall Street Journal recently quoted Go Daddy CEO Blake Irving lamenting, "There are currently 500,000 unfilled high skilled IT and computer science jobs in the U.S." Simply put, our schools aren't producing qualified candidates to fill these positions, forcing companies to look abroad for talented people.

Our public schools have to be part of the solution.

Opt-out phenomenon enters 4th year

On Board Online • April 17, 2017

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

Which of the following statements is correct?

A. New York's test refusal movement is still going strong.

B. New York's test refusal movement is fizzling.

C. Both A and B.

The answer is 'C.' Both are true, depending on where you look.

How we communicate about STEM can make the difference, report says

On Board Online • April 17, 2017

By Gayle Simidian
Research Analyst

Have you heard someone say, "I'm not a math person"? Maybe the assumption that only certain people have talent in math and science is what limits the success of STEM education.

In a unique study, researchers focused on how educators and policymakers can use metaphors to alter public perceptions about math and science.

Data on school board effectiveness can enrich retreat discussions

On Board Online • April 17, 2017

By Chris McLaughlin
Leadership Development Manager

How would you rate the effectiveness of your board? Most school board members would probably think about what transpired at the last board meeting and give a subjective assessment based on their experience. The answer might describe personalities on the board, e.g. "We do fine except when Fred becomes Perry Mason and asks a million questions!"

However, board effectiveness can be measured - and improved. Moreover, improvements in board effectiveness are strongly related to higher student achievement.

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