New York State School Boards Association

On Board Online September 2 2019


2019-20 may be year of ransomware

On Board Online • September 2, 2019

By Pauline Liu
Special Correspondent

In Japanese comic books, Ryuk is an angel of death. It is also the name of a computer virus that hackers have used to cripple the online systems of school districts across New York State during July and August.

Known attacks have involved the Lansing, Mineola, Rockville Centre, Syracuse and Watertown school districts


NYSSBA to hold webinar on Child Victims Act

On Board Online • September 2, 2019

By Eric D. Randall
Editor-in-Chief

From 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 16, NYSSBA will hold a webinar on "The Child Victims Act - What Does it Mean for School Districts?"

The webinar will be free for board members and staff of NYSSBA member districts.


Consider gun violence a public health crisis

On Board Online • September 2, 2019

By Timothy G. Kremer
NYSSBA Executive Director

My wife and I took a short vacation in Vancouver a few weeks ago. We'd been looking forward to the international getaway, but as we departed, our spirits were dampened by news that a shooter armed with an assault-style rifle had opened fire at a California garlic festival, killing three and wounding at least a dozen.

A few days later, we returned home to the U.S. - and news of yet more gunfire and tragedy. Mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, had just killed and injured dozens more, and once again, the killers were empowered with semi-automatic firearms and high-capacity ammunition magazines.


Grades 3-8 test results show some improvement

On Board Online • September 2, 2019

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

In her last announcement of grades 3-8 state math and ELA test results on her watch as education commissioner, MaryEllen Elia sounded most of the familiar notes she's delivered previously over the last four years.

Overall, she said, there were slight improvements in proficiency, up 2.2 percentage points in math and 0.2 points in English language arts.


New regs clarify rules for medical exemptions

On Board Online • September 2, 2019

By Kimberly A. Fanniff
Senior Staff Counsel

Although religious exemptions to immunization requirements have been eliminated in New York State, schools can still permit unvaccinated students to attend school if they have a valid medical exemption. On Aug. 13, the state Department of Health and Office of Children and Family Services issued emergency regulations regarding how doctors must submit a request for a medical exemption to school officials.


FMLA leave for CSE meetings? U.S. Dept. of Labor says yes

On Board Online • September 2, 2019

By Pilar Sokol
Deputy General Counsel

In an opinion letter dated Aug. 8, 2019, the Wage and Hour Division at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) concluded that employees can take intermittent leave under the federal Family Medical and Family Leave Act (FMLA) to attend a committee on special education (CSE) meeting held to discuss their child's individualized education program (IEP).

The FMLA allows employees - including employees of school districts and BOCES - to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for medical or child-care purposes during a designated 12-month period.

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