New York State School Boards Association
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Free NYSSBA guide explains New York's ESSA regulations

On Board Online • August 13, 2018

To help school board members, district administrators and members of their school community understand new federal and state school accountability requirements, NYSSBA has published a 55-page guide on its website.

Originally developed for NYSSBA's Summer Law conference, the guide reflects a federally approved state plan to comply with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.

Allow no shame in your school lunch game

On Board Online • August 13, 2018

By Courtney Sanik
Senior Policy Consultant

Lunch policy changes, again? Yes. Federal and state governments have made changes in the past two years that require school boards to update policies to eliminate "lunch shaming" - taking a hot meal away from a child, stamping a child's hand or otherwise humiliating him or her because the student's food service account is in the red.

Updating the policies isn't complicated, said Jessica Goldstein, NYSSBA's deputy director for policy services. But financially, there may be a reckoning.

College-tested approach to teaching science helps Long Island teacher win national award

On Board Online • August 13, 2018

By Mareesa Nicosia
Special Correspondent

How do you make stew with a recipe that calls for canned chickpeas when you only have dried chickpeas in the cupboard and can't get to the grocery store? What's the best way to rehydrate the chickpeas and avoid a dry, crunchy dish?

That was the problem that confronted about 70 educators - all from colleges, high schools or middle schools throughout the Northeast - during a three-day training at Manhattan College in New York City in July.

The teachers were playing the role of students for this 100-minute exercise. In teams, they weighed the chickpeas, soaked them in water, and weighed them again. Then they repeated using salted water.

Facial recognition systems in schools: Bold innovation or 'security theater'?

On Board Online • July 23, 2018

By Alan Wechsler
Special Correspondent

This summer, an artificial intelligence system is being installed in 10 buildings in the Lockport City School District. The 300-camera system will immediately recognize someone carrying a gun and alert authorities. It will also scan for students who were suspended, sex offenders, or anyone else who shouldn't be on school property.

The $3.3 million project has put the 4,600-student district in the middle of a national debate on the use of technology by government to monitor public spaces.

Some districts see opt-out rates drop, others say parental opposition is firm

On Board Online • July 23, 2018

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

The official statewide numbers won't be out until September, but a spot check of New York school districts suggests state test refusals continued to decline this past school year.

In the suburban Scotia-Glenville district in Schenectady County, ELA test refusals dropped to 10 percent this year from 31 percent last year, and math refusals dropped to 12 percent from 32 percent last year, officials said.

Mental health education training will help our students

On Board Online • July 23, 2018

William Miller
NYSSBA President

As you may know, the guiding theme of my NYSSBA presidency is "Every child does matter." I chose that theme because in my experience, I've all-too-often seen students fall through the cracks, or not be given the supports they need to succeed. One of those supports is mental health services.

That's why I am pleased that as students head back to school in a few weeks, in addition to taking courses in science, math and language arts, they'll be learning about the importance of mental health.

New York is among the first states in the nation to require all K-12 students to learn about mental health - and for good reason.

Consider these startling statistics from the World Health Organization:


In-district congressional visits planned for August

On Board Online • July 23, 2018

By Belinda Heckler
Governmental Relations Representative

Concerned about what's happening with public education at the federal level? Plan to meet with your Congressional representatives this August in their home districts.

Each year, NYSSBA's Governmental Relations team coordinates a grassroots lobbying campaign, targeting members of New York's congressional delegation during their in-district work period. These visits give NYSSBA members a unique opportunity to not only talk directly to members of Congress and their staff about key issues important to school districts, but to also meet and advocate with school board members from other school districts in their area.

Two financial extenders signed into law

On Board Online • July 23, 2018

By Briana McNamee
Governmental Relations Representative

Earlier this month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed two bills that extend sections of current law that provide school districts and other municipalities some financial flexibilities.

The first, S.7855/A.10348 , extends provisions that authorize school districts, BOCES and other local governments to finance the cost of certain tax certiorari judgements.

State releases school-based budget reporting info

On Board Online • July 23, 2018

By Brian Fessler
Deputy Director of Governmental Relations

State officials have released forms to be used by school districts to report their budget at the school building level. Seventy-six school districts will be required to fill out the forms by Aug. 31.

The 76 districts required to report this year have a minimum of four school buildings and receive at least 50 percent of their total revenue from state aid.

How your budget can fail with 51.8 percent approval

On Board Online • July 23, 2018

By Marie Testa
Superintendent North Bellmore School District

Imagine your school board approves a budget increase that is within the tax cap and obtains "yes" votes from 51.8 percent of the voters. Nevertheless, the budget fails to win approval.

Can this happen? Yes. It happened this May to my school district, the North Bellmore School District in Nassau County. It points to a glaring flaw in the state tax cap law that could affect any school district.

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