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May 5, 2023

Dear Parents and Families,

Commissioner Betty A. Rosa

As we fully embrace spring, students across the state are working hard and achieving success across the broad spectrum of school subjects. For example, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) recently announced the regional winners of the Statewide Elementary Mathematics Tournament. The regional contests took place in March, and the in-person statewide championship event will be in Albany on May 20. We extend our congratulations to the regional winners and wish them the best of luck in the statewide tournament!


Teaching and learning happen during out-of-school time too. To highlight educational experiences and opportunities found in our state’s many cultural resources, check out the newly launched newsletter from our Office of Cultural Education. The newsletter can help connect your family with New York State's rich natural and cultural history by providing the latest news, education programs, and resources from the State Archives, Library, Museum, Public Broadcasting, and Summer Arts Programs. Read the latest edition of the newsletter and explore the many learning opportunities, including these highlights:


Let’s Learn

Build young learners’ literacy with “Let’s Learn,” an instructional learning series for children ages 3-8 from THIRTEEN, a flagship station of PBS. New episodes are airing on public television stations (check local listings), and you can find supplemental resources on the Let's Learn web page.


Easily connect with more than 4,600 of New York's museums, libraries, historical societies, science centers, parks, zoos, galleries, planetariums, and more! is a free, easy-to-search database of New York State cultural education organizations. Visit the website and follow @FindNYCulture on Twitter for updates and features!


Connecting with learners of all ages, in addition to the resources listed above, public media stations invite families across New York State to participate in "Sesame Street in Communities: Supporting Families Facing Addiction.” This free virtual event will highlight resources created by Sesame Workshop for caregivers supporting children dealing with a parent or loved one struggling with addiction. The event on May 9 will feature an in-depth presentation of tools and actionable strategies for families and service providers along with a panel discussion and Q&A with licensed experts. Register for the "Sesame Street in Communities" event by choosing the link for your local PBS station:


At the April 2023 Board of Regents meeting, the Board received updates on New York State's Graduation Measures Review Initiative – a bold undertaking to thoughtfully and inclusively review State high school graduation measures. Our ultimate goal is to explore what it means to obtain a diploma in New York State and what that diploma should signify to ensure educational excellence and equity for all students. The presentation provided information about the project timeline, professional learning activities, and advisory process for recommendations on the Performance-Based Learning and Assessment Networks (PLAN) Pilot and an update on the work of the Graduation Measures Blue Ribbon Commission.


You can continue to participate in the discussion about graduation measures by taking part in the latest ThoughtExchange question: What are the barriers, including the unseen barriers, to student achievement that are not reflected in current graduation requirements? How can we address those? The deadline to respond to this question is May 19, 2023. We look forward to continuing our work with students, families, educators, researchers, and other stakeholders to explore the educational promise and opportunity to enable all students to attain career, college, and civic readiness.


Finally, NYSED is continuing efforts to appropriately implement a statewide accountability system under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). We will accept public comment on proposed amendments to the New York State approved ESSA state accountability plan until May 17, 2023. An informational webinar and the public comment survey form are available on the NYSED School and District Accountability webpage.


Thank you for taking the time to read about what's happening at NYSED. I appreciate all you do to support strong family and community involvement in our schools.


Betty A. Rosa


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