New York State School Boards Association
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Some school districts defund SROs while others view them as invaluable

On Board Online • November 30, 2020

By Pauline Liu
Special Correspondent

Last school year, a sheriff's deputy assigned to Sullivan BOCES cracked two cases involving men who contacted underage students through social media. Deputy Robert Cintron, 34, arrested each man after hearing about separate incidents either from a school counselor or the students themselves.

The cases might have gone unreported if Cintron had not been assigned as a school resource officer (SRO), according Cintron's supervisor, Sgt. Cheryl Crumley of the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.


Teachers create Bitmoji classrooms to offer warmer online experience

On Board Online • November 30, 2020

By George Basler
Special Correspondent

At Homer Brink Elementary School in the Maine-Endwell Central School District, all five third-grade teachers have created interactive virtual classrooms called Bitmoji classrooms. So have many other teachers in the Broome County district.

"It's a fun way to teach them at home," said elementary music teacher Jennifer Knecht. "It gets them excited about doing their work."


School districts denied reimbursement for pandemic transportation expenses

On Board Online • November 30, 2020

By Brian C. Fessler
Director of Governmental Relations

On Nov. 6, the State Education Department (SED) issued a memo to school districts to inform the education community that transportation expenses incurred by districts from mid-March through June will not be eligible for transportation aid reimbursement.

School buildings were ordered closed during those months due to the coronavirus pandemic, and school districts used buses to deliver meals, distribute packets of instructional materials and meet other needs, such as providing Wi-Fi hotspots.


During the pandemic, music teachers strike up a new beat for instruction

On Board Online • November 30, 2020

By Kathleen Moore
Special Correspondent

Music class is turning into drumming class at many school districts as teachers strive to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Both singing and playing instruments, particularly wind instruments, involve broadcasting of aerosolized droplets.

"We've been doing bucket drumming," said Gary Barrow, band director for Galway Central schools in Saratoga County. Curtis Lumber donated 25 buckets, and the school district's Friends of Music purchased 50 pairs of drum sticks so that students wouldn't have to share them.


Board members Zoom into virtual training

On Board Online • November 9, 2020

By Eric D. Randall
Editor-in-Chief

School board members are giving positive reviews to NYSSBA's first Virtual Annual Convention & Education Expo, which took place over six days last month. Forty-eight educational sessions were offered via an online platform - and are still available for viewing until Dec. 31.


Delegates set advocacy platform

On Board Online • November 9, 2020

By Paul Heiser
Senior Research Analyst

Delegates to NYSSBA's 2020 Annual Business Meeting unanimously approved a resolution directing NYSSBA to support increased state and federal funding to provide educational equity by addressing the digital divide created by limited access to technology and broadband. The vote was 202-0.


Despite COVID, we've accomplished a lot

On Board Online • November 9, 2020

By Robert S. Schneider
NYSSBA Executive Director

When NYSSBA's Annual Business Meeting was held online on Oct. 31, it was gratifying to witness an effective democratic process. School board members know how to listen to each other, compromise and "agree to disagree." The decisions made by delegates will guide our association's advocacy during the year to come. My thanks to all who participated, and all who attended our 2020 Virtual Annual Convention & Education Expo.

 


Supts say 89% of school boards are effective

On Board Online • November 9, 2020

By Paul Heiser
Senior Research Analyst

About nine in 10 New York superintendents rate their board of education as either "somewhat effective" (39.6%) or "highly effective" (49.7%), according to the latest in a series of reports on the state of the superintendency by the New York State Council of School Superintendents.


Welcoming Central American students involves 'humanizing kids who've been de-humanized'

On Board Online • November 9, 2020

By Merri Rosenberg
Special Correspondent

During a presentation titled "Helping Central American Students" at NYSSBA's Virtual Annual Convention & Education Expo, one metaphor involved thinking about salad, not soup.


LGBTQ students: 'We are normal'

On Board Online • November 9, 2020

By Eric D. Randall
Editor-in-Chief

A panel of students who support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) students told school board members that they need to acknowledged as being part of the student body and treated as normal in school.

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