New York State School Boards Association
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Letter from a home office A 'closed' school district is a busy place

On Board Online • April 6, 2020

By Laura Belfiore
Communications Specialist Peekskill City School District

On Friday, March 13, many of us left our school district offices not knowing when we'd return. Copiers were in high demand as teachers and principals began preparing packets of work for students. When the buildings closed, some staff went to Staples to scan and copy.


How good are schools at social distancing?

On Board Online • April 6, 2020

By Barbara Bennett
Communications Associate

School media is full of uplifting photos posted by New York school districts of energetic personnel delivering meals to students, cleaning school facilities and holding meetings on maintaining educational programs through online learning.


Navigating through uncertainty

On Board Online • April 6, 2020

Fred Langstaff
NYSSBA President

The coronavirus first became real to me on February 26. We had just learned the day before that the epidemic had hit Italy and Iran. It was clear this was no longer a problem confined solely to China and was likely headed to America's shores.

The public health crisis has led to closure of all schools in the state and the need for all non-essential workers to stay home.


In transitioning to online learning, Mineola opted for a slow rollout

On Board Online • April 6, 2020

By Kathleen Moore
Special Correspondent

When school districts throughout the state shifted to online learning in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, teachers in the Mineola Union Free School District did not immediately create homework - or any assignments, for that matter.


Snapshots of school COVID-19 crisis management

On Board Online • April 6, 2020

By Merri Rosenberg
Special Correspondent

After Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered schools to close in mid-March amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the questions for school districts mounted quickly.

How can learning continue while students and teachers are at home?


Dodging goats and pit bulls, school personnel provide home delivery of grab-and-go meals

On Board Online • April 6, 2020

By Pauline Liu
Special Correspondent

The roar of school bus engines is being heard in many rural and small city districts across New York even as classrooms remain shuttered to stem the spread of the coronavirus. No longer filled with boisterous children, the buses are providing safe transport for thousands of bags filled with pre-packaged breakfasts and lunches.


Many coronavirus issues loom for districts

On Board Online • March 16, 2020

By Eric D. Randall
Editor-in-Chief

If your school district has to close one or more schools due to the spread of coronavirus in your school community, is your school board prepared to:

  • Educate students remotely (including students with special needs)?
  • Ensure continuity of meal programs for needy children?
  • Crosstrain employees for critical job functions?


Why school costs rose as enrollment dropped

On Board Online • March 16, 2020

By Eric D. Randall
Editor-in-Chief

Public school enrollment in New York State is down, dropping at least 5% in most districts since 2007-08. But spending is up. Why?

The Office of the State Comptroller answers that question in a new report that is sympathetic to the pressures on school boards and school administrators.


Announcement: NYSSBA is freezing your dues

On Board Online • March 16, 2020

Robert S. Schneider
NYSSBA Executive Director

Shortly after I became executive director of NYSSBA this year, school districts got sobering news about the state property tax cap. The state comptroller announced the allowable tax levy growth factor will be just 1.81%.

My background is in finance, and I know what a struggle it is for governance teams to create a budget every year. In the last two budget cycles, school districts have had to rely on more than $2.1 billion from fund balances.


SED may stop classifying students as having 'emotional disturbance'

On Board Online • March 16, 2020

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

State officials are considering revising an old label used for a condition shared by roughly 5 percent of students receiving special education services around New York.

"Emotional disturbance" was the diagnosis specified for nearly 24,000 students in New York schools in 2017, the most recent year for which figures were available from the State Education Department.

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