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Snowplow parenting: Junior Varsity Blues

On Board Online • June 10, 2019

By Mareesa Nicosia
Special Correspondent

A parent requests that a child be assigned to a specific elementary classroom. Another wants a student to receive extra time on an exam for a dubious reason. A third contacts a mental health professional, insisting a child needs to be medicated to properly function in school.

All are examples of "snowplow parenting" in New York schools, according to On Board interviews with educators. While "helicopter parents" are known for over-involving themselves in their children's lives, often out of fear and anxiety, snowplow parents are pushier in their interactions with teachers and school administrators.

SED to issue regulations on substantial equivalency

On Board Online • June 10, 2019

By Eric D. Randall

After a court ruling that halted a state plan for inspections of private and religious schools, the State Education Department plans to go through a months-long rulemaking process.

The process will allow school officials and members of the public to make comments on draft regulations before the Board of Regents votes on a final version of the plan.

Bring on the grads!

On Board Online • June 10, 2019

Timothy G. Kremer
NYSSBA Executive Director

It's June, which means it is high school graduation time! Sadly, advice to graduates is usually trite, such as "Your life is really just beginning, and the best days are to come."

But nobody really wants profundity, either. Art Buchwald said it best, "I could have said something profound, but you would have forgotten it in 15 minutes - which is the afterlife of a graduation speech."

My advice to graduates would be straightforward: Be open to an unexpected opportunity, follow your instincts, take your time to explore what you really want to do, and ask a lot of questions. And I'm sure everyone would forget it in 15 minutes.

To be memorable, a speaker has to say something quirky, like "Lower your expectations."


NYSSBA opens search for executive director

On Board Online • June 10, 2019

By Eric D. Randall

NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer has announced his plan to retire on Dec. 31 after 21 years of service, and NYSSBA's Board of Directors has hired Korn Ferry to lead the search for his replacement.

The new executive director will lead NYSSBA's 60-person staff in Latham, N.Y. The organization, which has annual revenue of $11.6 million, provides advocacy, information, training and other forms of support for boards of education in 675 school districts and BOCES throughout New York State.

Former Stanford dean sees need for new kind of college prep

On Board Online • June 10, 2019

By Eric D. Randall

When she served as Stanford University's dean of freshmen, Julie Lythcott-Haims became fascinated with how helpless many students seemed. For instance, when UPS dropped off large boxes outside a student's dorm, he let them sit there until his mom called the school to inquire. Apparently, the student was accustomed to others taking care of such things.

In her book, How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success, Lythcott-Haims writes that college preparation - and successful parenting - should be aimed at producing self-sufficient individuals.

Commissioner rules in immunization cases

On Board Online • June 10, 2019

By Kimberly A. Fanniff
Senior Staff Counsel

When a parent submits an application for a religious exemption from immunization, typically it is handled by the building principal where the child attends school. In a recent case before the commissioner of education, a parent challenged the school district's denial of a religious exemption based upon a committee review process used by the district as well as the merits of her request.

The school district in Appeal of H.T. adopted a consultative process for review of immunization exemption requests after an audit by the state Department of Health found the district had been granting a large number of religious exemptions, particularly at two schools in the district. In examining its prior practices, the district determined it "did not have a systematic process for vetting religious exemptions."

Population declines hit New York schools

On Board Online • May 20, 2019

By Paul Heiser
Senior Research Analyst

St. Lawrence County, located northeast of Lake Ontario along the St. Lawrence Seaway, once had a vibrant industrial sector. The area was home to Reynolds Aluminum, Alcoa, General Motors and Jones and Laughlin Steel Company, among others. But as those companies downsized and/or shuttered their doors, people have steadily migrated from the area in search of better opportunities.

Why some students' footnotes might cite white supremacists

On Board Online • May 20, 2019

By Merri Rosenberg
Special Correspondent

Swastikas painted on lockers. Anti-Muslim flyers strewn in parking lots. Racial slurs shouted at an opposing team during a sports event. These and other distasteful and disturbing events have occurred in school districts in New York State.

As recently as mid-April, flyers displaying Aryan slogans and racist imagery were disturbing residents in the Lewiston-Porter Central School District in Niagara County.

New York: A master at 'helicopter governing'

On Board Online • May 20, 2019

William Miller
NYSSBA President

Ronald Reagan once famously said, "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are 'I'm from the government, and I'm here to help.'"

I think of that quote whenever I see another heavy-handed mandate come down from the state or federal government. I call it "helicopter governing."

I'm sure you're familiar with the term "helicopter parenting." It refers to an unhealthy method of parenting that is over-controlling, over-protecting, and over-perfecting, in a way that goes well beyond responsible parenting.


Designation of schools as polling places is subject of day of advocacy in Albany

On Board Online • May 20, 2019

By Belinda Heckler
Governmental Relations Representative and Grassroots Advocacy Manager

School board members, superintendents and other school advocates from around the state participated in a NYSSBA -organized lobby day at the state Capitol on April 30. The topic: allowing school districts to decline the designation of schools as polling places and allowing districts to move district votes out of school buildings.

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