New York State My Brother_s Keeper_ Changing the Narrative
Dear Colleagues, Partners, and Friends,

Dr. Anael Alston
Dr. Anael Alston
As I reflect on the creativity, flexibility, and difficult decisions that parents, teachers, leaders, communities, and government have had to make to return to school this fall, I am reminded of the power and possibilities generated when we partner. I am so proud of the creativity and relationships that are being built because people - adults, young adults, and children - are stretching themselves and creating new partnerships and new ways of partnering to make the most out of this situation.

This pandemic has changed the way we view and practice teaching and learning. Many districts gave parents the option to choose between remote, in-person learning, or a combination of both. Please know that no matter what choice you made, that choice is the right choice for your child and family.

That said, we decided to devote this issue of Changing the Narrative to providing resources for families and communities across New York State to help them better navigate the educative process during COVID-19. Enclosed you will find links to valuable resources that you may find helpful as you navigate your child's education during these unprecedented times. However, our first order of business is to share an interview we had with Lynne Holden, M.D. We know that families and communities all have questions about this dreaded disease, but not everyone has access to such a decorated physician as Dr. Holden.

Lastly, I personally conducted a three-part Masterclass on How to Write an Elite College Essay. Find details in this newsletter and on the MBK website.

Your Partner in Education,

Dr. Anael Alston
Assistant Commissioner
interview1Ask a Doctor: Interview with Dr. Lynne M. Holden

Ask a Doctor_ Interview with Dr. Lynne Holden
Ask A Doctor:
Watch Dr. Anael Alston's interview with Dr. Lynne M. Holden
Dr. Lynne M. Holden earned her B.S. in Zoology from Howard University, graduated from Temple University School of Medicine, and completed her residency in the Jacobi/Montefiore Emergency Medicine Residency Program. She is a practicing Emergency Department Physician at Montefiore Health System in the Bronx, NY. She is a Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where she is currently Vice-Chair of Diversity and Inclusion for the Department of Emergency Medicine. She has served as a Co-chair of the Admissions Committee and in various leadership positions in the Emergency Medicine Residency Program, the largest in the country. Dr. Holden serves on several national boards including the Friends of the National Library of Medicine, National Academy Foundation of the DC Public School System, and the CUNY School of Medicine. She is active in the National Medical Association on the local, regional, and national levels serving as Chair-Elect of the Emergency Medicine Section. She is a Deacon at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, NY and a member of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. She is also a member of WellMet, women's philanthropic group, focused on finding solutions for social justice issues.

Dr. Holden is the co-founder and President of Mentoring in Medicine, Inc. (MIM). MIM is a national health and science youth development nonprofit organization. The mission of MIM is to expose, inspire, educate, and equip students to become biomedical professionals through academic enrichment, leadership development, civic engagement, and mentoring. MIM has reached nearly 52,000 students, parents, and educators from elementary school through medical school, assisted nearly 550 students successfully gain admission to health professional school, and recruited 1,500 biomedical volunteers.

Dr. Holden is a national thought leader on persistence of youth of color in the journey to a medical career. She serves as the Chair of the Work Based Learning Group of the NY STEM Network and Co-Chair of the K-Grad Action Group of the Roundtable on Black Men and Women at the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine. Mentoring in Medicine has earned nearly one hundred press features including JET, Essence, CNN, the New York Times, and FOX News. Dr. Holden has published extensively and received numerous awards for her work, including the Maybelline NYEssence Empowerment through Education Award (2007), Society of Academic Emergency Visionary Educator Award (2008), Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Community Health Leader (2009), Washington Post Root 100 Leader (2010), Lifetime TV Remarkable Woman (2010), American Medical Association Inspirational Physician (2016), and the United Hospital Fund Distinguished Community Service Award (2019).
NYSED's Dedicated COVID-19 Website

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) has developed many comprehensive guidance documents and resources in response to COVID-19, including school reopening guidance and additional FAQs related to reopening. All of the guidance, resources, and announcements are available on our dedicated COVID-19 web page. In addition to providing guidance for P-12 schools, the web page provides links to guidance for colleges and universities, adult education programs, and licensed professionals.
Digital Equity Webinar Series
Digital Equity Webinar Series

NYSED and the New York State Library, in partnership with the METRO Library Council and the Northern New York Library Network, are hosting a series of webinars on Digital Equity. Intended for educators, librarians, and other stakeholders with an interest in bringing about digital equity, this webinar series attempts to establish a shared understanding of the challenges to digital equity to begin to develop a shared vision of how we can work together to achieve digital equity for all New Yorkers.
Continuity of Learning Website

NYSED's Continuity of Learning website features resources to provide districts and teachers with increased options to keep students engaged in learning. The website contains guidance on continuity of learning, technology- and non-technology-based resources, and more.
Guidance on the Provision of Services to ELL and World Languages Students in Response to COVID-19

New York State schools must consider the needs of all students and strive to ensure that any plans for continuity of learning are equitable and available to all students. See NYSED's Guidance on the Provision of Services to ELL and World Languages Students During School Closures.
Guidance on the Provision of Services to Students with Disabilities in Response to COVID-19

New York State schools must consider the needs of all students and strive to ensure that any plans for continuity of learning are equitable and available to all students. See NYSED's Guidance on the Provision of Services to Students with Disabilities.
Health and Safety

Students and teachers transitioning to online learning and practicing social distancing are experiencing a major, and likely disconcerting, change in daily activities and interactions, and with that, they are under a great deal of stress. Consider offering explicit online SEL or mental health education lessons or incorporate opportunities to practice SEL competencies within academic subject areas. Using community circles in virtual staff meetings and online classes could offer all adults and students an opportunity to be heard, and to voice their experience and concerns. These circles might also offer insights as to adults or students who might benefit from an additional check-in. Consider offering adults, students, and families tools for coping with the stresses of isolation and anxiety in this difficult time. Clearly communicate to families how and where they can reach out with any concerns including by phone and email.

Technical Assistance Centers
College Essay Masterclass
masterclassNYS MBK Fellows Masterclass Series:
College Essay Writing

The 2020 MBK Fellows continued their leadership and personal development training with a College Essay Writing workshop.

The three-part series, held earlier this month, focused on the insights and steps that some pay hundreds of dollars for.

Details are posted on the MBK website.
Learn More

Find out more about New York State's My Brother's Keeper initiative by visiting our MBK website. The website also includes sharable videos about MBK, featuring young men of color from New York State.
Join the Conversation

If your school or community would like to share a story to include in a future edition of this newsletter, please email photos and news items to [email protected].

Don't forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn and tag us in your posts so we can follow you and share your success stories. Be sure to use the #NYSMBK hashtag!
Subscribe Now!

Provide your email address to subscribe to our mailing list.