New York State School Boards Association

On Board Online June 10 2019

Snowplow parenting: Junior Varsity Blues

On Board Online • June 10, 2019

By Mareesa Nicosia
Special Correspondent

A parent requests that a child be assigned to a specific elementary classroom. Another wants a student to receive extra time on an exam for a dubious reason. A third contacts a mental health professional, insisting a child needs to be medicated to properly function in school.

All are examples of "snowplow parenting" in New York schools, according to On Board interviews with educators. While "helicopter parents" are known for over-involving themselves in their children's lives, often out of fear and anxiety, snowplow parents are pushier in their interactions with teachers and school administrators.

SED to issue regulations on substantial equivalency

On Board Online • June 10, 2019

By Eric D. Randall

After a court ruling that halted a state plan for inspections of private and religious schools, the State Education Department plans to go through a months-long rulemaking process.

The process will allow school officials and members of the public to make comments on draft regulations before the Board of Regents votes on a final version of the plan.

Bring on the grads!

On Board Online • June 10, 2019

Timothy G. Kremer
NYSSBA Executive Director

It's June, which means it is high school graduation time! Sadly, advice to graduates is usually trite, such as "Your life is really just beginning, and the best days are to come."

But nobody really wants profundity, either. Art Buchwald said it best, "I could have said something profound, but you would have forgotten it in 15 minutes - which is the afterlife of a graduation speech."

My advice to graduates would be straightforward: Be open to an unexpected opportunity, follow your instincts, take your time to explore what you really want to do, and ask a lot of questions. And I'm sure everyone would forget it in 15 minutes.

To be memorable, a speaker has to say something quirky, like "Lower your expectations."


NYSSBA opens search for executive director

On Board Online • June 10, 2019

By Eric D. Randall

NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer has announced his plan to retire on Dec. 31 after 21 years of service, and NYSSBA's Board of Directors has hired Korn Ferry to lead the search for his replacement.

The new executive director will lead NYSSBA's 60-person staff in Latham, N.Y. The organization, which has annual revenue of $11.6 million, provides advocacy, information, training and other forms of support for boards of education in 675 school districts and BOCES throughout New York State.

Former Stanford dean sees need for new kind of college prep

On Board Online • June 10, 2019

By Eric D. Randall

When she served as Stanford University's dean of freshmen, Julie Lythcott-Haims became fascinated with how helpless many students seemed. For instance, when UPS dropped off large boxes outside a student's dorm, he let them sit there until his mom called the school to inquire. Apparently, the student was accustomed to others taking care of such things.

In her book, How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success, Lythcott-Haims writes that college preparation - and successful parenting - should be aimed at producing self-sufficient individuals.

Commissioner rules in immunization cases

On Board Online • June 10, 2019

By Kimberly A. Fanniff
Senior Staff Counsel

When a parent submits an application for a religious exemption from immunization, typically it is handled by the building principal where the child attends school. In a recent case before the commissioner of education, a parent challenged the school district's denial of a religious exemption based upon a committee review process used by the district as well as the merits of her request.

The school district in Appeal of H.T. adopted a consultative process for review of immunization exemption requests after an audit by the state Department of Health found the district had been granting a large number of religious exemptions, particularly at two schools in the district. In examining its prior practices, the district determined it "did not have a systematic process for vetting religious exemptions."

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