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News and Notes
Dear Colleagues,

This edition of News and Notes begins with a recap of my visits to Albany and East Ramapo schools on their first day of school.  It's an exciting time of year, and I enjoy meeting students, teachers, and administrators as they go back to school in the fall.

I am also pleased to introduce the 2017 New York State Teacher of the Year, Amy Hysick. Hysick, a science teacher at Cicero-North Syracuse High School, believes that building relationships with students is the key to unlocking their motivation and engaging them. Congratulations, Amy!

In this edition of News and Notes, I also provide updates related to the following:
Finally, I invite you to take our  EngageNY survey and to take a look at an Action Toolkit for expanding summer learning.

I hope the new school year is off to a great start. Have a wonderful year.


MaryEllen Elia
btsBack to School 2016
Commissioner Elia visited two New York school districts on their respective first days of school this year. On September 6, she welcomed Hackett Middle School students on their first day of school in Albany.

Hackett Middle School students gather outside the entrance of their school

On September 7,  Commissioner Elia and state monitor Charles Szuberla greeted students at Kakiat Elementary School and the Early Childhood Center in the East Ramapo Central School District.

Commissioner Elia and Charles Szuberla visit East Ramapo kindergarten students

totyNorth Syracuse Central School District Science Teacher Named
2017 New York State Teacher of the Year
Amy Hysick_ 2017 New York State Teacher of the Year
Congratulations to Amy Hysick, the 2017 New York State Teacher of the Year. This week, Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa and State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia presented Hysick, a science teacher at Cicero-North Syracuse High School in Cicero, with a certificate of recognition as well as the Thomas Sobol Award and the David Johnson Award, both created as annual gifts for recipients of the Teacher of the Year award.

Hysick, the 47th New York State Teacher of the Year, has taught in the North Syracuse Central School District for 12 years. She currently teaches Regents Biology (Living Environment) at Cicero-North Syracuse High School.

Hysick believes that building relationships with students is the key to unlocking their motivation and engaging them. One way she fosters relationships with her own students is by housing the school's reptile collection in her classroom. She uses her sewing skills to create "over-the-top" costumes to support school Spirit Week, and other school events, to further connect with students and help to build a positive school culture. Volunteer activities through her church help to strengthen ties with students, families, and the community outside the school setting.

In the coming year, Hysick will serve as an ambassador for teachers throughout the state and will be the New York State nominee for the National Teacher of the Year.
sigState Education Department Awards $95 Million in School Improvement Grants
students in classroom at desks
The State Education Department has awarded $95 million in School Improvement Grants to 39 Priority Schools across the state. The federal funding will allow these Priority Schools to implement whole-school change models with the goal of improving outcomes for students by achieving dramatic school-level achievement gains so that the school is in good academic standing within three years.
essaNYSED Submits Comments on Federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Proposed Rulemaking
Last week, NYSED submitted comments on the U.S. Department of Education's (USDE) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Academic Assessments under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). NYSED's comments focus on the need to provide states with greater flexibility in the testing of certain English language learners and students with disabilities.   Find out more about the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and NYSED's full response here .
saraState Board of Regents Approves New York's Participation in Reciprocity Agreement for Distance Learning with Other States
college student studying on computer in library
The Board of Regents has approved New York's participation in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) for higher education distance learning with other states. Under this agreement, out-of-state institutions can provide distance education to New York State residents, and New York State institutes of higher education (IHE) can offer distance education in other SARA states.

Participation in SARA provides standards and safeguards for New York students taking online courses offered by out-of-state entities. NYSED has established minimum quality and accountability standards for out-of-state institutions offering online courses to New York students, as well as for New York State institutions offering distance education in other SARA states.
specedState Education Department Appoints Christopher Suriano as Assistant Commissioner of Special Education
This week, State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia announced the appointment of Christopher Suriano as Assistant Commissioner of Special Education. In his new role, Mr. Suriano will oversee the Office of Special Education's efforts to promote educational equity and excellence for students with disabilities, provide general supervision and monitoring of all public and private schools serving New York State preschool and school-age students with disabilities, and provide technical assistance to parents and school districts.
dentalPublic Comment on Dental Anesthesia Certification Requirements
dental instruments
Following public comment, the Board of Regents this week reviewed an updated proposed amendment to section 61.10 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education relating to dental anesthesia certification requirements for licensed dentists. The proposed amendment focuses on conforming the regulation to the current practice of dental anesthesia administration, updating definitions currently used in the dental profession, and improving public protection in New York State. In October, we will open an additional 30-day public comment period.
enySurvey: 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. The survey will close on September 23.
slAction Toolkit for Expanding Summer Learning
Summer is winding down, but it's never too early to start thinking about next summer's programming!

This Action Toolkit provides helpful information for making the most of summer in your community.