New Your State School Boards Association

On Board Online March 27 2017

State budget process inches forward

On Board Online • March 27, 2017

By Julie Marlette
Director of Governmental Relations

As New Yorkers have come to expect, March brought an extra hour of sunlight, some late-season snow and, in Albany, the release of the Senate and Assembly budget proposals.

The Senate and Assembly "one- house" bills have long been objects of fascination for observers of the annual budget process. The bills help local budget drafters make educated guesses regarding how much state support will flow to schools.

Retired teacher joins Board of Regents

On Board Online • March 27, 2017

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

State lawmakers have elected a retired Ithaca elementary school teacher and longtime local teachers' union leader to succeed retiring Regent James Tallon of Binghamton on the state Board of Regents.

Susan Mittler, 69, said she hopes to bring a new perspective to the board, which does not currently include any Regents with recent elementary or secondary school teaching experience. She was elected at a joint session of both houses of the state Legislature on March 21.

The growing mental health crisis in schools

On Board Online • March 27, 2017

Timothy G. Kremer
NYSSBA Executive Director

What movie had the most impact on you this year? Manchester By the Sea? Moonlight? Fences?

For me, it was Boy Interrupted. It is a wrenching, real-life documentary about a family torn apart by every parent's worst nightmare: the death of a child by suicide.

Made in 2009, the film was recommended to me by experts who will be speaking at NYSSBA's May 20 summit on "Your Role in Addressing the Growing Mental Health Crisis Among Students."

Rosa defends plan to drop literacy exam

On Board Online • March 27, 2017

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa says critics of the recent decision to drop a literacy test for teachers don't have all the facts.

"I, personally, find it insulting that people take this issue and run away with it without having the full story," she said of the reaction to the Regents' plan to stop administering the Academic Literacy Skills Test (ALST) to prospective teachers.

Reports of the death of cursive are greatly exaggerated

On Board Online • March 27, 2017

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

After years of focus on ensuring that students have the keyboard proficiency they'll need to thrive in a digital world, interest in reinvigorating cursive writing instruction is gaining momentum.

The New York City school system recently issued two new handbooks with tips for educators on how to teach handwriting, in general, and cursive writing, in particular. The handbooks are shining a spotlight on time-honored skills that, in many cases, have yielded to the classroom clatter of keyboards and mouse clicks.

Suspicionless drug testing of NYS students can only occur with parental consent

On Board Online • March 27, 2017

By the New York StateAssociation of School Attorneys

Concern about use of opioids and other illegal drugs by students has prompted some school boards to create policies for suspicionless drug testing of students. The resulting programs look for the presence of drugs in students' urine or blood without any individualized reason to believe that the students involved have been using drugs. This article will answer common legal questions about such policies.

Policies for your school board to consider at its annual organizational meeting

On Board Online • March 27, 2017

By Mary Williams-Noi
Policy Consultant

Shortly after you see the Class of 2017 receive their diplomas, it will be time for your school board's annual organizational meeting. In the months prior, your policy committee and/or full board should be evaluating several key board policies.

State law and regulations require annual review of three policies:

  • The Code of Conduct.
  • Investments policy.
  • Purchasing policy.

Kids keep eye on the ball - and the horizon - in 'Basketball with Books' weekend program

On Board Online • March 27, 2017

By Jason Franchuk
Special Correspondent

As home-school coordinator for Giffen Memorial Elementary School in the Albany school district, Derek Johnson knows many challenges exist for students in the school, which serves a low-income area of the city just down the hill from the state Capitol building.

These days 86 percent of Giffen students qualify for free lunch.

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