On Board Online April 29 2019


Eye-tracking tools seen as transformative for students with multiple disabilities

On Board Online • April 29, 2019

By Heather Battaglia

Some students have disabilities that interfere with their ability to use a computer. Eastern Suffolk BOCES is using eye-tracking tools so these students can independently access technology.

Some of the students now have a way to communicate with others for the first time. The BOCES has seen results with students who are both cognitively impaired and suffer from multiple physical handicaps.


In diversity there is strength

On Board Online • April 29, 2019

Timothy G. Kremer
NYSSBA Executive Director


"We find comfort among those who agree with us - growth among those who don't."
- Frank A. Clark

Last October, delegates at NYSSBA's Annual Business Meeting passed a resolution calling upon NYSSBA to help school boards develop action plans to improve cultural competency, diversity and inclusivity within school districts. Since that time, I have been thinking a lot about how to do this.

The idea that diversity is a virtue is not a controversial one. The goal is not simply to improve representation but make public education better.


Districts now can create TRS reserve funds

On Board Online • April 29, 2019

Briana McNamee
Governmental Relations Representative

On April 12, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed this year's Article VII budget bills, including a provision allowing school districts to set aside funds in a reserve for employer contributions to the Teachers' Retirement System (TRS).

The legislation, now Chapter 59 of 2019, was effective immediately upon the governor's signature.


Student teaching minimum raised to 70 days

On Board Online • April 29, 2019

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

Student teachers will need to spend at least 14 weeks, the equivalent of a full college semester, working in schools with experienced teachers under regulations approved this month by the Board of Regents.

The revised certification requirements, the first approved for New York in nearly two decades, will increase the minimum required student teaching time from 40 days to 70


Long-term suspension for Snapchat posting upheld by commissioner of education

On Board Online • April 29, 2019

By Jeffrey Mongelli
Senior Staff Counsel

The commissioner of education recently rejected various challenges to a long-term suspension that was the result of a student's social media posting that was uploaded off school grounds and during non-school hours.

In Appeal of a Student with a Disability (Decision 17,610, 2019), a high school student and several friends participated in an off-campus paintball game to celebrate the student's birthday. On the day of the party, Sept. 2, 2018, the student took a photo of another district student in front of a rack of mounted paintball guns and added the caption: "Don't come to school on Tuesday." The photograph with caption was uploaded by the student using Snapchat, a social media application.