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Does your board need a policy on Pooperintendents?

On Board Online • May 28, 2018

By Courtney Sanik
Senior Policy Consultant

You've probably heard about the New Jersey superintendent who was arrested on April 30 after a surveillance operation allegedly caught him defecating and/or urinating on the football field and track of his district's high school. (Google "pooperintendent" if you haven't.)

You will be relieved to know that we very serious people who work in NYSSBA Policy Services will not let this story go without finding a wee bit of wisdom to pass on regarding your board's responsibilities to have policies regarding use of school facilities.

Student's cancer prognosis prompts school to hold honorary diploma ceremony

On Board Online • May 28, 2018

By Pauline Liu
Special Correspondent

In January, Shenendehowa High School student Jacob Monday made the decision to discontinue treatment for bone cancer. He had learned that the cancer had spread to his lungs, and the prognosis had become terminal. The 16-year-old sophomore from Ballston Lake had battled the disease known as osteosarcoma for nearly two years.

"He was very upset," his mother, Barbara Williams, told On Board. "It's heartbreaking when you're told that it's back in less than a month."

Avon's Welch named NYSSBA's Champion for Change

On Board Online • May 28, 2018

By Eric D. Randall

Julie Welch, who has sparked a "growth mindset" on the Avon school board, has been named the 2018 recipient of the New York State School Boards Association Champion for Change Award.

The award is presented to an individual who is serving in their first five years as a school board member and demonstrates leadership by enhancing educational opportunities for all students

In walkout #2, students call on lawmakers

On Board Online • May 7, 2018

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

Putting to rest a host of worries that preceded a second national school walkout on April 20, most New York school districts found ways for their students to speak their minds without sparking the disciplinary nightmares or student safety risks that some had envisioned.

The length of the walkouts varied, and it's not clear how many followed the national organizer's vision for an event that would begin at 10 a.m. and last all day.

State tests remain controversial

On Board Online • May 7, 2018

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

It has been another spring of controversy for New York's math and English language arts testing program for students in grades 3-8.

Amid steps to trim testing time and other measures state education officials had hoped would ease concerns about the exams, technical glitches disrupted administration of computerized tests in some places. At the same time, state lawmakers began weighing proposals to permanently abandon the use of state test results in teacher and principal evaluations.

Hearing the community's voice

On Board Online • May 7, 2018

William Miller
NYSSBA President

Although finding money for new initiatives is always difficult, this budget season your school board may be proposing spending more money on school safety.

In response to school shootings, most recently in Florida and Maryland, this year we are seeing many districts around the state enhancing security measures. In fact, school districts from Cornwall to Plattsburgh, from Cato-Meridian to Hadley-Luzerne are planning to upgrade security and safety. The addition of school resource officers, in particular, seems to be prevalent. Chenango Valley, for example, plans on putting police officers in all its schools.

What is right for your school district? School resource officers, video surveillance cameras, metal detectors, hall monitors, ID cards or changes to the physical school building (entrances, exits, windows, etc.)?

Senate power balance unchanged after special election

On Board Online • May 7, 2018

By Julie M. Marlette
Director of Governmental Relations

Special elections held for state legislative seats on April 24 proved a bit anti-climactic. Hours before the polls closed, Sen. Simcha Felder, a Democrat, issued a statement indicating that, regardless of the election results, he would continue to caucus with the Republicans for the remainder of the session.

That meant Republicans would maintain control of the Senate, no matter what.

What superintendent candidates look for in a board of education

On Board Online • May 7, 2018

By William Silky

When school boards search for a superintendent, they develop a list of characteristics of what they seek in a candidate. But it's a two-way street. Before your board seeks its next superintendent, it should consider what kind of boards are most appealing to superintendent candidates.

School Administrator magazine recently tackled this subject in an article entitled "What Candidates Look for in a Board.

When tenured educators break the rules, one-third of districts don't seek discipline

On Board Online • May 7, 2018

By Paul Heiser
Senior Research Analyst

More than one-third of school districts and BOCES that consider disciplining a tenured employee choose not to file disciplinary charges, according to the results of the latest in a series of periodic surveys conducted by NYSSBA.

Asked why, school officials in these districts said they thought the process was "too expensive" (20 percent) and/or "too cumbersome" (14 percent).

Mineola, Coxsackie-Athens seen on vanguard of digital education

On Board Online • May 7, 2018

By Alan Wechsler
Special Correspondent

At the Mineola Public Schools on Long Island, everyone gets an iPad. Even kindergarteners.

"I have pre-K kids who understand coding," says Diane Nodell, a library specialist at Mineola's Hampton Street School. "We're beginning to start earlier and earlier, they're grasping it so fast. It's never too early to find their passion."

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