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Teachers join ranks of school bus drivers

On Board Online • January 13, 2020

By Ken Goldfarb
Special Correspondent

While waiting for a school bus to take a track team to a meet last spring, a teacher-coach in the Honeoye Falls-Lima Central School District started chatting with a bus mechanic. "If only I could drive the bus, I could drive us there," she said, half-jokingly.


Be the champion for every child

On Board Online • January 13, 2020

Fred Langstaff
NYSSBA President

This isn't the first thing I usually share with people when we first meet, but I'm making an exception here. I was a bit of a cut-up in elementary school. I took every chance I could to joke and socialize, even when it really was time to settle down, crack open a textbook and listen to what the teacher had to say.

My teachers let my chatty tendencies slide for a few years. My classroom behavior did not improve until fifth grade, when our teacher instructed us to quiet down and I kept on kibitzing with my classmates. I finally went silent when I sensed a towering presence standing over my desk in the third row.


In a forested corner of NYS, a district wins Green Ribbons

On Board Online • January 13, 2020

By Merri Rosenberg
Special Correspondent

On the main road into the Orange County town of Warwick, N.Y., a sign says, "Bring Your Own Bag."

Historically, this portion of New York State near the New Jersey border has been agricultural, and it’s surrounded by forests.


Buffalo embraces 'culturally responsive' curriculum

On Board Online • January 13, 2020

By Michael Goot
Special Correspondent

Last spring, 11th-grade students in Buffalo Public Schools read about the Civil Rights movement and the famous march by Martin Luther King Jr. over the Edmund Pettus Bridge from Selma to Montgomery to fight for voting rights.

Those 70 students saw the famous bridge up close on a four-day field trip last April and even re-created a photo from that historical event.


School districts becoming pronoun-savvy for transgender and questioning students

On Board Online • December 16, 2019

By George Basler
Special Correspondent

Malcolm Greenspun came out as transgender to his parents when he was in eighth grade. When he entered Ithaca High School as a freshman this fall, he asked teachers and administrators to call him by his new first name.


Parting thoughts

On Board Online • December 16, 2019

Timothy G. Kremer
NYSSBA Executive Director

At the end of this month, I retire. I approach this change with a sense of nostalgia, because working with and for school boards has been very rewarding.

Throughout my 40 years in this business, I have never lost sight of the fact that school boards are principally decision-making bodies, and that what they need most from their association is information to assist them in making well-informed local decisions. My colleagues and I are committed to delivering relevant, accurate and timely information, when it is most needed, in a format that is easily accessible.

A second principle that has guided me is our members need to know NYSSBA cares about them.


Regents: Let's study revising aid formula

On Board Online • December 16, 2019

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

The Board of Regents is proposing an intensive review of New York's 12-year-old foundation aid formula, along with a $2 billion overall aid boost in 2020-21.

The proposal includes $1.2 million for the State Education Department to review the foundation aid formula and investigate potential changes to improve its effectiveness.


SED issues guidance on 'equitable course access'

On Board Online • December 16, 2019

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

To encourage more diversity among students who take advanced classes in subjects such as calculus, physics and music, the State Education Department is recommending less restrictive prerequisites, more tutoring and providing parents with information in languages other than English


Ken-Ton BOE president Jill O'Malley invents 'Closet' to address local poverty

On Board Online • December 16, 2019

By Pauline Liu
Special Correspondent

When Rose Izard of Western New York needed warm coats for her four children this winter, she skipped the malls and headed for the Ken-Ton Closet, a volunteer-run, nonprofit facility that operates out of former school building in the Kenmore-Tonawanda Central School District.


SED, Regents focus on teacher diversity

On Board Online • November 25, 2019

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

More than 200 school districts in New York do not employ even one teacher who is black, Hispanic or from another racial or ethnic background of color, according to a draft report on educator diversity that's nearing completion at the State Education Department.

And while students of color make up a growing majority of statewide school enrollment, fewer than 5 percent of teachers in most regions of the state have backgrounds placing them in that category, the researchers found.

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