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Advocacy Update: School Nutrition Regulation Changes Approved

December 11, 2018

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has finalized updated rules from the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act altering requirements related to milk, whole grains, and sodium. The new regulations will take effect on July 1, 2019. The Department's changes represent official action on a plan that was announced by the Secretary of Agriculture in May 2017. Under the new rules, schools will be able to offer students flavored one-percent milk (not just unflavored skim milk), reduce the current 100 percent whole grain requirement to 50 percent - ending the exemption process that some school districts utilized when having trouble meeting the 100 percent requirement and,  maintain the current Target 1 sodium level until 2024. The updated regulations can be viewed at the link below.

Top education news stories of 2018

On Board Online • December 10, 2018

By Eric D. Randall

By the time you read this, the state Board of Regents probably will have decided to extend the moratorium that shields teachers and principals from any employment-related consequences based on student test scores.

But events that maintain the status quo aren't usually considered big news. Our staff picked the following as the most significant news stories affecting public education in New York State:

Teachable moments come out of #MeToo

On Board Online • December 10, 2018

By Mareesa Nicosia
Special Correspondent

Last fall, Oneonta High School health teacher Renee Stanley was in the middle of a lesson about defining sexual consent when she noticed a girl sitting stiffly at her desk. Tears were streaming down her face.

That's when the veteran educator and parent of two teenage daughters realized that she needed to "do way more than what I'm doing" to educate students about consent.

Redefining ready

On Board Online • December 10, 2018

Timothy G. Kremer
NYSSBA Executive Director

Have you ever gone to a meeting, unsure of its purpose, only to be pleasantly surprised? That was my experience recently at Baldwin Senior High School, where I attended the "Redefining Ready" Forum.

What I learned in a few hours was an eye-opener.

Redefining Ready, a national campaign launched by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), is a model for assessing student progress and achievement that offers an alternative to conventional credentials that rely heavily on state-produced standardized tests.

The theory behind Redefining Ready is that many different kinds of achievements can prepare a student for future success, and the criteria used to award graduation credentials ought to be more flexible and broad.


SED reminds school districts of duty to evaluate private schools' instruction

On Board Online • December 10, 2018

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

The State Education Department has updated guidance for public school officials who must regularly review the educational programs of local nonpublic schools.

In more than 300 school districts with nonpublic schools within their boundaries, public school officials are required to determine whether the private and religious schools are providing instruction that is "substantially equivalent" to what students receive in public schools.

New report questions whether schools in New York have enough psychologists to meet student mental health needs

FOR RELEASE: December 4, 2018

CONTACT: David Albert
(518) 783-3716 or (518) 320-2221 cell


Twenty-nine percent of school superintendents in New York State said their school districts lack enough school psychologists to meet student needs. And among school psychologists, a whopping 66 percent believe there is not enough capacity to meet their needs.

Those findings come from surveys by the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA) and the New York Association of School Psychologists (NYASP).

Of Sound Mind: Do schools have enough mental health support staff to meet student need?

CoverThis report, a collaborative effort between the New York State School Boards Association and the New York Association of School Psychologists, examines whether there are enough qualified school psychologists in New York State to meet student need. It also explores regional disparities and offers recommendations for school leaders and state policymakers to address these challenges.

Read the Report (12 pages)



Advocacy Update: School Safety and Violence Resources

December 3, 2018

The New York State Police and New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) have recently developed a workshop available to school districts entitled School Violence: Incident Prevention and Response. The program, which is intended for school staff and administrators, will provide information regarding school climate, threat assessments and guided response in the occurrence of an act of violence on school property.

School districts can request the training through the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) or the State Police.

Additional information, including contact information for the coordinating organizations, is available below.

Political polarization felt at local level

On Board Online • November 26, 2018

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

Some critics of the Saratoga Springs school board are turning to partisan language to vent their anger on Facebook.

"Find the democrats on your school board and get rid of them ASAP!" urged one commenter.

"Wake up, snowflakes!" demanded another, using a derogatory term some political conservatives use for liberals.

Rise in anti-Semitism, acts of hate prompts educational responses

On Board Online • November 26, 2018

By Merri Rosenberg
Special Correspondent

On Election Day, a spray-painted swastika was found on a window of Binghamton High School.

While unsavory graffiti is nothing new, such incidents are being viewed with high level of concern, especially in the wake of the Oct. 27 shooting in Pittsburgh, where a gunman killed 11 people at a synagogue.

In Binghamton, the graffiti was removed within an hour, said Principal Kevin Richman.

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