We at the New York State Education Department, together with Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr., Regent Catherine Collins of the 8th Judicial District, and the Members of the Board of Regents, mourn the lives lost in the recent mass shootings in Buffalo and Texas. We grieve for the innocent victims, their families, their towns, and our country.
In the wake of these reprehensible acts of violence and hatred, our nation must take action to ensure school safety. We must urge Congress to enact measures that can help prevent mass shootings. And we must do everything we can to meet all students' social, emotional, and mental health needs.
The following resources can help children and their families cope with loss and grief in the aftermath of these tragedies:
This moment is also an opportunity to reaffirm our collective resolve to empower students to be informed citizens through education. As parents, caregivers, and educators, it is our responsibility to teach and model respect, fairness, open-mindedness, and inclusiveness. We must teach our children that in America, goodness and compassion will always triumph over ignorance and hatred. And our goal is to prepare all children to become active members of their communities who raise each other up and work together for the common good.
NYSED is taking numerous steps to explore potential areas of support for students and schools across the state. Such actions include having content experts from NYSED, in partnership with NYS educators, review all June 2022 Regents Exams, which have already been printed and packaged for shipment to schools. During this review, our experts determined that there is content on the new Regents Examination in United States History and Government (Framework) that has the potential to compound student trauma caused by the recent violence, which has created an unexpected and unintended context for the planned assessment.
New York has exceptional educators who show unwavering dedication to their students, and we would like to extend special recognition and gratitude to our educators in Buffalo as they help their students navigate and process the unthinkable. Their work is important and unrelenting, and their efforts are nothing short of heroic.
Additional questions about diploma requirements or the appeals process should be directed to the Office of Standards and Instruction via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (518) 474-5922.
Also last week, NYSED announced that the U.S. Department of Education recognized seven New York State high school seniors as U.S. Presidential Scholars. The recognition is one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students. The members of the Presidential Scholars Class of 2022 will be recognized for their outstanding achievement this summer with an online recognition program. Congratulations to the honorees!
In addition, the Board of Regents recognized two outstanding New York State students receiving Vice Chancellor Emerita Adelaide L. Sanford Scholarships. The scholarship is named for Dr. Adelaide L. Sanford, the first African American and the first woman to serve as Vice Chancellor of the Board of Regents. Through Dr. Sanford’s generosity, the scholarships are awarded annually to exceptional My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Fellows and graduating high school seniors from NYSED-recognized MBK communities. Congratulations to this year’s recipients, Anderly Burgos Terrero of the Yonkers City School District and Matthew Worrell of the Newburgh City School District.
Finally, the Board of Regents received an update on the New York State Seal of Biliteracy (NYSSB) program, which continues to experience significant growth year to year. In the 2020-21 school year, the number of schools offering the Seal grew by 11 percent, and the number of students earning it increased by 19 percent. The NYSSB report also identifies future goals for growth and outlines strategies to achieve these goals. I look forward to working with our stakeholders to continue to grow this exceptional program.
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Betty A. Rosa