New York State School Boards Association

On Board Online November 5 2018

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Students on panel at Convention: Involve us in more of your decisions

On Board Online • November 5, 2018

By Paul Heiser
Senior Research Analyst

Schools and school boards tend to have a "Eurocentric" bias, and outreach to minority students would help, according to a panel of students who spoke at NYSSBA's 2018 Annual Convention & Education Expo in New York City.

The session, entitled "Education Equity: Student Voices," was one of more than 100 educational sessions packed into three days of programming in late October. About 2,500 school board members, superintendents, school attorneys and others attended the event.


Delegates' resolutions focus on safety, mental health

On Board Online • November 5, 2018

By Barbara Bradley
Deputy Director of Online Communications and Project Planning

At the 2018 Annual Business Meeting in New York City on Oct. 27, delegates authorized NYSSBA to take a more prominent role in statewide discussions on the role of guns in school safety.

The original version of the resolution was broad, seeking legislation to improve school safety by taking steps that would limit access to guns.

The resolution that passed was more narrow, calling for NYSSBA to seek to advance the cause of school safety by "limiting or reducing unauthorized access to guns in schools."


Crisis communications lessons from Sandy Hook

On Board Online • November 5, 2018

By Barbara Bradley
Deputy Director of Online Communications and Project Planning

"Superintendent, I want you to sit down."

That's how Janet Robinson heard about the Dec. 14, 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Robinson was then superintendent of Newtown (Conn.) Public Schools.

The task of informing her fell to law enforcement. Normally, the school's principal, Dawn Hochsprung, would inform her of a school crisis.


Elia: Evaluation moratorium may be extended

On Board Online • November 5, 2018

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

The state Board of Regents may extend a so-called moratorium that disconnects student test results from teacher and principal evaluations while the State Education Department (SED) works on a proposal for a new evaluation system.

That's what state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia told school board members at NYSSBA's 2018 Annual Convention & Education Expo in New York City.


How teachers want to be evaluated

On Board Online • November 5, 2018

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

Most teachers responding to a statewide survey to help guide development of New York's next evaluation system believe they have a "moderate or high impact" on their students' achievement, growth and social-emotional wellbeing. They also believe they have an influence on school climate and other factors in school quality.

The findings are among the highlights included in a State Education Department (SED) summary of survey results. Nearly 18,000 teachers and about 3,700 administrators were among 21,669 educators who responded to the survey conducted by SED in February and March


Pursuing equity means 'raising the bar for adults'

On Board Online • November 5, 2018

By Eric D. Randall
Editor-in-Chief

What is the ultimate challenge for any public school district? According to Robert Jarvis, an education professor at the University of Pennsylvania, it's ensuring that every student, regardless of background, is exposed to relevant and engaging learning experiences and curricula so that each student can thrive.

That's a bit of a mouthful, isn't it? Wish there was succinct phrase to sum that idea? There is: educational equity.


Why do we struggle with compassion?

On Board Online • November 5, 2018

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

"These are tough times in America," journalist John Quiñones told a packed house during his keynote speech for NYSSBA's 99th Annual Convention & Education Expo. "I've never seen the country as divided as it is today, and I grew up during the Civil Rights Era."

He noted that as he spoke, the nation was appalled by pipe bombs that had been mailed to public figures who had been critical of President Donald Trump's policies and who had been targets of his tweets and rally speeches.


Delegates elect 2019 officers

On Board Online • November 5, 2018

By Barbara Bradley
Deputy Director of Online Communications and Project Planning

Delegates to NYSSBA's Annual Business Meeting elected a slate of officers to one-year terms for 2019.

William Miller of Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES was elected to his second term as president. Fred Langstaff of Eastern Suffolk BOCES was elected to his second term as 1st vice president, while Peggy Zugibe of North Rockland was elected to her second term as 2nd vice president. Thomas Nespeca of Monroe 1 BOCES was elected to a sixth term as treasurer.


Teacher of the Year created 'zero period' class

On Board Online • November 5, 2018

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

New York's new Teacher of the Year almost became a lawyer.

As a teenager attending high school in Poughkeesie, Alhassan Susso was devastated when his sister died after being denied a visa to travel to the U.S. from West Africa for medical treatment. He set his sights on becoming an immigration attorney.

"I thought that was the only way to ensure that other families would not have to go through what my family had gone through," he told school board members gathered in New York City for NYSSBA's 2018 Annual Convention & Education Expo.


Everything you need to know about ESSA, including the things you forgot to ask

On Board Online • November 5, 2018

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

There's a lot to learn as New York school districts start operating under the new federal accountability system established by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Associate Education Commissioner Ira Schwartz said in a popular session at NYSSBA's 2018 Annual Convention and Education Expo.

While outlining some of the most significant changes school districts will start to see this year, Schwartz urged school board members to explore the many new priorities addressed in New York's ESSA plan, including:

  • Improving educational equity.
  • Improving school climate.
  • Bolstering professional development.
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