New York State School Boards Association
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Wither football? Fewer players, smaller teams

On Board Online • October 14, 2019

By Kathleen Moore
Special Correspondent

Students are participating in fewer sports, especially football, according to the latest statewide participation figures.

Boys' overall participation is down 3% over the last four years, according to the annual participation surveys by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association. The surveys also found a slight decrease in girls' participation on sports te


Bob Schneider tapped to become NYSSBA's next executive director

On Board Online • October 14, 2019

By Eric D. Randall
Editor-in-Chief

NYSSBA's Board of Directors has announced that it will promote Robert S. Schneider, currently associate executive director and chief operating officer, to become executive director on Jan. 1. He will succeed Timothy G. Kremer, who will retire at the end of this year after 21 years leading NYSSBA.

Schneider, 57, said some of his priorities will be:

  • Building a strong relationship with the next state commissioner of education.
  • Ensuring that school boards always feel that they are receiving a great deal of value for their dues, including forms of information, advocacy (including legal advocacy), training and policy guidance that cannot be obtained elsewhere.
  • Being future-oriented, anticipating challenges and ensuring that NYSSBA is "ahead of the curve" in providing resources that school districts will need to achieve their goals, including those involving student achievement.


Make shift happen

On Board Online • October 14, 2019

Timothy G. Kremer
NYSSBA Executive Director

I still have a couple of months before I retire, but my remaining duties just got a whole lot easier. As you read on the front page of this issue of On Board, NYSSBA's Board of Directors has selected Bob Schneider as our next executive director. Bob and I have worked together for 20 years, so he is intimately familiar with NYSSBA's mission, processes, structure, staffing, capacity and potential. For all of us, this should be the smoothest transition ever.

Bob has worked mostly behind the scenes at NYSSBA to handle financial and operational matters. Some of you have met him at NYSSBA events, but many haven't. That's okay. I remember being "Tim Who?" for quite a while after I moved to New York from Ohio 21 years ago. Trust has to be earned, and I feel as if it took me a long time to gain the confidence of the NYSSBA board, staff and statewide membership.


Districts may seek APPR variances

On Board Online • October 14, 2019

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

The State Education Department is creating a process that will enable school districts to seek variances from some regulatory restraints of New York's teacher and principal evaluation system.

In a nutshell, districts will be able to ask for permission to use approaches that are not strictly in line with regulatory language.


Students find publisher slow to fix math workbook error on Columbus

On Board Online • October 14, 2019

By Pauline Liu
Special Correspondent

Last year, third graders in the Oneonta City School District attracted national attention for waging a protest over an error involving Christopher Columbus in their math workbook, which is used around the world.

A question on page 52 of the third grade Math in Focus workbook - part of the famous Singapore Math series - has a question that refers to the year that "Christopher Columbus landed in America."


Districts must be reimbursed for health services to non-resident, nonpublic pre-K students

On Board Online • October 14, 2019

By Shubh N. McTague
Staff Counsel

If a student who lives in a given school district (the district of residence) attends a nonpublic school in another school district (the district of location), the district of location must provide health and welfare services such as administration of medicine. However, the district of location can seek reimbursement for the costs of such services from the district of residence.

Until recently it was not clear whether the provision of health and welfare services to pre-kindergarten students are included in reimbursable costs.


Number of SROs doubles in state

On Board Online • September 23, 2019

By Eric D. Randall
Editor-in-Chief

Anthony Omoruan, 32, is proud to be one of 200 new school resource officers who started work in public school districts in New York State this year.

The seven-year member of the White Plains Department of Public Safety was selected among 20 applicants for his posting at the White Plains City School District.

"It was an honor," he said. "Being an SRO used to be viewed as a step before retirement. Now it's seen as a really important role.


School districts can be fined for unvaccinated students

On Board Online • September 23, 2019

By Merri Rosenberg
Special Correspondent

Amid concern about how a new vaccination law will affect school enrollments, school administrators say the opening day of school was uneventful. But many are uncertain about what Day 15 will look like.

Despite a new law ending religious exemption from vaccinations, unvaccinated children were allowed to start classes this fall. However, children may remain enrolled in school only if they have received the first doses of appropriate immunizations within the first 14 calendar days after instruction starts, according to a law Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed on June 13.


Rural schools have unique assets, challenges

On Board Online • September 23, 2019

William Miller
NYSSBA President

This is a great time of the year to brag a little about life in rural upstate New York. Nothing beats the taste of a homegrown tomato from the backyard garden or the crunch of a fresh-picked McIntosh apple from an orchard down the road.

Rural communities tend to be tight-knit places where people are proud of their history, value civic involvement and enjoy easy access to wonderful lakes, rivers and mountains. While 8 of 10 Americans live in urban areas, a 2018 Harvard study showed that, in the words of The New York Times, "most rural Americans are pretty dang happy and hopeful."


Best practices in medical exemptions

On Board Online • September 23, 2019

By the New York State Association of School Attorneys

Religiously-based exemptions from the vaccination requirements for student attendance in school have been eliminated in New York State. That significant change to the state Public Health Law presents an opportunity for school districts to re-familiarize themselves with the only remaining basis for an exemption to the immunization requirements: the medical contraindication.

Public Health Law Section 2164(8) provides that "[i]f any physician licensed to practice medicine in this state certifies that [a required] immunization may be detrimental to a child's health, the requirements of this section shall be inapplicable until such immunization is found to no longer be detrimental to the child's health."

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