images of parents with their children
October 23, 2020
Dear Parents,

As schools and districts continue to confront the challenges of reopening, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) continues to provide updated guidance, policies, and regulatory changes as the circumstances require. This week, the Board of Regents adopted a sixth series of emergency regulations that afford essential flexibility to address issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Board adopted the first series of emergency regulations at its April 2020 meeting, the second series of emergency regulations at its May 2020 meeting, the third series of emergency regulations at its June 2020 meeting, the fourth series of emergency regulations at its July 2020 meeting, and the fifth series of emergency regulations at its September 2020 meeting.

The efforts of our educators to prepare for this school year and keep our students safe throughout the pandemic have been truly remarkable. These regulatory amendments will provide schools, students, families, and professionals much-needed flexibility while they continue to respond to this unprecedented pandemic. A full summary of the sixth series of amendments is available in this week's news release.

NYSED also recently awarded $34 million in state aid to 232 public libraries statewide to support construction and renovation projects. These funds will help libraries construct new buildings, create additions, update electrical wiring and computer technology, improve broadband infrastructure, meet energy efficiency standards, renovate facilities to provide full accessibility to library users with disabilities, and provide meeting spaces to accommodate community needs.

Libraries give entire communities the resources they need to thrive by providing access to broadband and are natural partners in education. New Yorkers will also be able to use these updated resources for better access to healthcare, workforce resources, social services, financial institutions, and goods and services.

To stay up-to-date on our latest news, be sure to follow NYSED on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. In addition to providing important guidance and information on our social media channels, we also post daily tips and resources that are pertinent to New York's parents, students, and educators. This week is National School Bus Safety Week and Character Counts Week, and we have been raising awareness and providing tips throughout the week about bus safety for students, parents, and motorists, and promoting positive character in schools with in-person and virtual activity ideas. October is also National Bullying Prevention Month, and you can find many resources on our social media channels to help your student stand up to and prevent bullying.

Election Day is coming up in just 11 days! For more information about early voting, absentee ballots, and in-person voting, follow us on social media and see below:
  • Early Voting
    Beginning tomorrow, New Yorkers can vote early for the November 3, 2020 general election. Early voting starts on October 24 and runs until November 1, 2020. Visit this web page and click on your county for the times and places where you can vote early.
  • Absentee Voting
    If you are concerned about COVID-19 and feel more comfortable absentee voting, all registered voters can request an absentee ballot for the November 3 election. October 27, 2020 is the last day to request an absentee ballot online, via email or fax. If you are sending the application request via regular mail, it must be postmarked no later than October 27. November 2, 2020 is the last day to request an absentee ballot in person.
  • In-Person Voting on Election Day
    On November 3, 2020, General Election Day, poll sites will be open 6 AM to 9 PM. If you're not sure where to vote, you can find your polling place here.
I appreciate your continued support, and I hope you encourage other parents to sign up for our parent email list to receive updates.


Betty A. Rosa
Interim Commissioner