September 10, 2021
Dear Parents and Families,
Commissioner Rosa
Welcome back to school! As students and educators return to the classroom, I hope the transition into the new school year is as smooth as possible for you and your children. As the school year begins and students return to in-person learning, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) is committed to the health and safety of New York’s students, educators, families, and communities. We continue to work closely with federal, state, and local agencies so schools have the information and resources they need to operate safely while also providing engaging learning experiences for students. The Health and Safety Guide recently issued by NYSED focuses on keeping students and school staff healthy and safe, being responsive to student needs, and maximizing in-person teaching and learning.
In case you missed it earlier this week, please take a moment to watch the Back to School video message and read the letter to families from Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. and me welcoming parents, students, and educators back to school.
We begin the school year cognizant of the upcoming 20th anniversary of 9/11. Reflecting on the events of that day, we honor the memory of the victims of the attacks, and the first responders, the heroes who helped so many that day and who continue to serve every day to keep us all safe. To commemorate the 20th anniversary, I invite you to join the New York State Museum for a virtual gallery tour of the exhibition, World Trade Center: Rescue, Recovery, Response. The exhibition details the history of the World Trade Center, the September 11 attacks, the rescue efforts, the evidence recovery operation at the Fresh Kills facility, and the public response to the September 11 events. It also includes many objects, images, videos, and interactive stations documenting this tragic chapter in our history.
Also, beginning today, students can watch the 9/11 Memorial Museum’s webinar, "Anniversary in the Schools,” featuring personal stories from family members and first responders. Students can also participate in a live chat to ask questions from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. today and tomorrow. You can learn more about the program details on the 9/11 Memorial Museum’s website.
Thank you for your continued involvement in your child’s education. Our schools are stronger when families and communities are supportive of and engaged in the educational process. Best wishes for a healthy, happy, and successful school year.

Betty A. Rosa