Message from the Executive Director

September 26, 2021

Dear Members and Stakeholders,

As a member organization, NYSSBA relies on the active participation of our membership to truly be the voice of school boards throughout the state.  From meetings with legislative and executive staff to bill drafting and analysis and testifying at hearings, we are your eyes and ears in Albany.  This includes everything from direct efforts on local issues with which you need assistance, to pressing statewide issues that affect all school districts. We also represent you in Congress and with the United States Department of Education.
Our work is guided by the position statements annually adopted by our membership during the Annual Business Meeting.  In other words, it is guided by you.  And, for this process to work well, we want all of NYSSBA’s member districts to have a board member present at the virtual Annual Business Meeting on October 18 to vote on behalf of the district on all proposed resolutions and bylaw amendments, as well as the election of NYSSBA officers.  (Selection of the board member voting delegate is determined by the board of education and registration of the voting delegate is required. The registration form must be submitted by October 13, 2021.)  To review the Proposed Resolution Book, click here.   

Remember this year you can attend the Annual Business Meeting virtually on October 18, 2021 at 4:00 p.m.   Voting delegates will receive login credentials prior to the meeting.  All NYSSBA school board members are invited to view the proceedings during the live broadcast.  Watch for more information in the coming weeks.

Weekly Updates and Reminders

Free Member Webinar Recording:  A Call to Order: How to manage contentious board meetings
We continue to receive calls about accessing this very popular and important webinar which includes the legal and communications information in addition to the skills and best practices school boards need in setting and enforcing the boundaries, expectations and rules for board meetings.  Topics include:

•    The First Amendment and public commentary
•    How to structure the public comment period
•    What rules to put in place and still meet the requirements of the Open Meetings Law
•    How to set expectations for decorum at board meetings
•    How to turn down the heat when things start to boil over
•    How to build community consensus around an issue

We are very pleased to offer a recording of the webinar and its resources free to our member districts.  Click here to view the recording and here to access the resources.  Please review the material and if you have any questions or concerns give us a call or email your questions to me.

Updates:  2021 Convention NOW a Free Virtual Member Event
I am very excited to update you regarding NYSSBA’s free Virtual Member Event which will be replacing this year’s in-person convention.  Registration for all events will open soon.  I know you won’t want to miss any of these outstanding sessions.   Here are some important updates.  We will be sending more information to you next week.

•    Oct. 18, 4:00 p.m. - Virtual Annual Business Meeting
•    Oct. 21-22, a two half-day event - Virtual Pre-Con Law Seminar; watch for registration
•    Oct. 25 - Free Virtual Member event in lieu of convention; watch for registration
•    Hotel reservations made in the block at the New York Hilton Midtown were cancelled.
•    Reservations made outside the Hilton block or in other NYC hotels must be cancelled by the individual who made the reservation.
•    The in-person Pre-Con Law Seminar and in-person Convention registrations have been cancelled and refunds are being processed.

The live virtual member event on October 25 is a free event for all of our members, whether or not you registered for the convention.  The Pre-Convention Law Seminar is a two half-day virtual event providing the same content as the in-person event at a reduced rate of $200 per person.  Click here for more Virtual Member Event information:  2021 Convention to become FREE VIRTUAL MEMBER EVENT and here: 2021 NYSSBA Annual Convention and Education Expo FAQ .
NYSSBA’s New Website
Be one the first people to view our new and improved website!  On September 28 our new website will go live.  The new NYSSBA website provides a fresh new look and improved functionality.  Visitors to the site will benefit from improved navigation, content that is easily viewed on mobile or tablet devices, ADA compliant delivery of information and improved search features.  On September 28, please take some time to browse through the site and send me your feedback.  

On Board
In the September 27 edition of On Board, our reporters take a closer look at the impact of the nation’s political and cultural divides on school board members, the latest TikTok trend that is encouraging school vandalism, best practices that ensure transparent school board governance,  teacher anxiety, "child find" district responsibilities, policy and legal updates as well as profiles of the New York State Teacher of Year, Governor Hochul, Lt. Governor Benjamin, and Dyer Award winner Ed McCormick and much more.

NYSSBA’s 2021 District Clerk Workshops
Our 2021 District Clerk Workshops are packed with content that address the challenges our district clerks face—all in a single half-day session.  Topics include:

  • Policy Development and Maintenance—Learn about policy development and best-practices for maintaining a policy manual.
  • Records Disclosure and Retention – Improve your understanding of the Freedom of Information Law.
  • Nuts and Bolts of the Employee Discipline Process—Learn about the procedures for employee discipline and the role clerks may play.
  • Coffee Talk—Always a favorite! Bring your questions and let’s chat.

Get more information about the in-person and live virtual District Clerk workshops here.

NYSSBA’s 2021 Board Officers Academies
Whether you’re a seasoned school board officer, a board member interested in learning more or somewhere in between, NYSSBA’s Board Officers Academy promises to help you sharpen your leadership skills, improve your board’s effectiveness and understand some of the most pressing issues facing school districts right now.  Get more information about the in-person and live virtual Board Officer Academies here.

Be well and stay in touch.

Robert S. Schneider CPA, CAE
Executive Director
New York State School Boards Association

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