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News and Notes
Dear Colleagues,

This edition of News and Notes provides important updates related to New York State's My Brother's Keeper initiative; a law permitting students to carry certain medications in schools; surveys related to the Arts and EngageNY; the spring 2016 grades 3-8 ELA and math assessment results; and NYSED's comments on federal ESSA rulemaking guidance. We also  highlight a public outreach video about our Professional Assistance Program for licensed professionals with substance use problems and provide updates from the New York State Library.

I hope these updates are helpful as you gear up for the start of the new school year. Enjoy the rest of the summer.


MaryEllen Elia
$7 Million in Grants Now Available for My Brother's Keeper Challenge
student at school
NYSED is now accepting applications for the My Brother's Keeper Challenge grant. A total of $7 million is available through this grant, which is designed to encourage regions and school districts to develop and execute cradle-to-college strategies aimed at improving the life outcomes of boys and young men of color. Public school districts with at least one Priority School as of July 1, 2016 are eligible to apply for this grant; full proposals must be postmarked by September 15, 2016. More information about the grant is available here.
Law Permitting Students to Carry Certain Medications in Schools
three girls at school
Reminder to schools: Students with certain health conditions must be permitted to carry and use their medications in schools and at any school function (including athletic activities) if they provide the appropriate documentation from the health care provider and parent/guardian.

Such medications include:
  1. inhaled rescue medications for respiratory symptoms(Education Law Article 19 §916); or 
  2. epinephrine auto-injector to treat allergies (Education Law Article 19 §916-a); or
  3. insulin, glucagon, and other diabetes supplies to manage their diabetes (Education Law Article 19 §916-b).

More information is available in our guidance document, Guidelines for Medication Management in Schools.

Help Us Strengthen and Enhance Arts Education!
Arts collage
The Arts are essential for a well-rounded, complete education. Artistically literate graduates are career and college ready, capable of understanding and addressing the needs of society and participating in a global economy.

We invite all of our Arts Education community partners to review our draft Statewide Strategic Plan for the Arts and take our survey.

Your survey responses will guide the revision of the draft Statewide Strategic Plan for the Arts, the New York State Arts standards, and guidance materials.

The survey will be available until October 1, 2016. We thank you for your participation and look forward to your comments.
Survey: Tell Us How We Can Make EngageNY Better!
student at computer
We always strive to provide high-quality resources and tools for educators to use in the classroom. In order to provide users with the best possible experience on EngageNY, we need feedback from you, our educators. What are your thoughts about online resources and collaboration tools? Do these tools provide good ways for educators to share resources and best practices with one another? 

Please take our brief 5 minute EngageNY survey and share your thoughts about how we can make EngageNY better.
NYSED Releases Spring 2016 Grades 3-8 ELA and Math Test Results
teacher with students
Last month, NYSED released the results of the 2016 Grades 3-8 English language arts (ELA) and math tests. In ELA this year, the percentage of students in grades 3-8 who scored at the proficient level (Levels 3 and 4) increased by 6.6 percentage points to 37.9, up from 31.3 in 2015. In math, the percentage of students who scored at the proficient level increased this year to 39.1, up one percentage point from 38.1 in 2015. Find more information about the test results here.
NYSED Submits Comments on Federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Rulemaking Guidance
Early this month, NYSED submitted comments on the U.S. Department of Education's (USDE) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on accountability, data reporting, and state plans as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). NYSED found that in many ways USDE adheres to the clear intent of Congress and gives states flexibility to create their own accountability systems in cooperation with stakeholders. However, NYSED found several instances where the draft rulemaking imposes conditions on states that are overly prescriptive, onerous or, in a few instances, unworkable.   Find out more about the rulemaking guidance and NYSED's full response here .
Support for Professionals with Substance Use Disorders
This brief video about the Office of the Professions Professional Assistance Program (PAP) features New York State licensed professionals who have successfully completed the PAP providing their insights and experiences. The video provides public outreach to inform licensed professionals with substance use problems that there is confidential help in New York State.

alcohol and pills

Ready to Read at New York Libraries
children with teacher
Ready to Read at New York Libraries is 
an initiative designed to improve and expand the availability of high-quality public library early learning services in communities across New York State. As part of the Early Childhood Public Library Staff Development Program,  Ready to Read at New York Libraries established the  Training Cohorta train-the-trainer program that will strengthen library staff skills. The program  will result in well-trained public library staff and thus well-equipped public libraries that are able to reach and assist families.
For all educators working with young children, the New York State Library's DaybyDayNY website is a valuable resource. It includes excellent early learning and early literacy resources such as a daily e-book picture book (One More Story), health and wellness tips (in both Spanish and English), arts and crafts activities, and museums throughout New York State that serve families with young children. The recently-updated OneMoreStory feature lists a book title for every day of the year.