News and Notes

June 2, 2023

Dear Colleagues,

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) hosted the 2023 New York State My Brother's Keeper (MBK) Symposium on Friday, May 19 in Albany. Hundreds of students, parents, and educational leaders from across New York State gathered to share the impact of MBK, gain valuable knowledge, and get motivated to implement new strategies in their communities to help boys and young men of color—and all students—realize their full potential. The event included nationally renowned speakers, workshops, student-led panels, and a college resource fair.

Commissioner Betty A. Rosa

The annual MBK Symposium is always a special event, and we were especially thrilled this year to have the students back in person for the first time since before the pandemic. In addition, the students' personal stories were moving, and their energy and enthusiasm were truly inspiring. Echoing the vision of former President Obama, “mak[ing] sure our young people can go as far as their dreams and hard work will take them” was the goal of this convening. The impact that MBK has on the lives of young people to achieve this together was on full display.

By working together, we can identify gaps in our current practices and develop innovative solutions to address them. And by sharing knowledge and best practices, we can develop comprehensive strategies to create safe, inclusive, and supportive learning environments. I know the MBK Symposium will be a catalyst for change, inspiring us to work collectively toward creating safer and more nurturing environments for our students.

MBK Symposium main hall panorama

Thank you, educators, for your relentless commitment to ensuring all youth have the opportunity to succeed.


Betty A. Rosa


NYSED Announces Sixth Class of My Brother’s Keeper Fellows and

MBK Communities Network Milestone

At the New York State My Brother's Keeper (NYSMBK) Symposium on May 19, NYSED inducted 97 new My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Fellows - the largest-ever class of boys and young men of color who are leaders in their schools and communities - and announced that the MBK Community Network has now grown to 36 member communities. The most recent Network additions are Kingston and LaFayette.

The 97 Fellows will be matched with mentors and given a fellowship opportunity. Each rising senior will also develop and execute a service project related to a NYSMBK initiative.

Board of Regents Recognizes

Outstanding Student Scholarship Awardees

The Board of Regents recognized outstanding New York State students at its May meeting, announcing the Vice Chancellor Emerita Adelaide L. Sanford, Chancellor Joseph McGovern, and Regent Margaret Snow Vander Veer Scholarship winners.

Vice Chancellor Emerita Adelaide L. Sanford scholarships are awarded annually to exceptional New York State My Brother's Keeper (MBK) Fellows and graduating high school seniors from NYSED-recognized New York State MBK communities.

Chancellor McGovern Scholarships are awarded annually to children of current NYSED employees. The Margaret Snow Vander Veer Trust Fund, with additional support from former Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, provides scholarships to high school graduates who are the child or dependent of an employee of NYSED or the Board of Regents.

Sethe Newman

Sanford Scholarship recipient Sethe Newman is a graduating senior at Ossining High School and a member of the 2022 class of MBK Fellows. Fellows have been identified as leaders in their MBK Communities. He is a member of the National Honor Society, his school’s robotics club, Black Culture Club, and plays for the OHS varsity baseball team. Sethe is a pilot in training and plans to major in Aviation at the Florida Institute of Technology.

Gabrielle Cayo

Sanford Scholarship recipient Gabrielle Cayo is a senior at Brooklyn Technical School and a My Sister’s Keeper (MSK) school chapter fellow. She has served as the Black Student Union President, Junior Class President, Student Advisor for the NYC Chancellor’s Office, and student panel member of the Panel for Education Policy. Gabrielle will attend the University of Pennsylvania, where she plans to study political science and history and go on to law school.

Bridget McLoughlin

Chancellor McGovern Scholarship recipient Bridget McLoughlin is a graduating senior at Shaker High School in the North Colonie Central School District. Her mother, Julie, is an Assistant in Professional Education within the Office of the Professions and has been with the Department since 2017.

Bridget excelled in honors and Advanced Placement courses with a 4.0 GPA. She served as Student Council President and Vice President of the Environmental Club. She has been a member of the Varsity soccer team and team captain for three years, leading them to Sectional and Regional titles. 

Bridget will attend St. Michael’s College this fall, where she will study Environmental Science and Political Science, after which she plans to attend law school and pursue a career as an environmental attorney.

Brianna Langenbach

Regent Margaret Snow Vander Veer Scholarship recipient Brianna Langenbach is graduating from Columbia High School in the East Greenbush Central School District. Her mother, Rachael, has been an Administrative Assistant in the Office of Human Resources Management since 2018.

Through participation in TEC-Smart, a P-Tech program with Hudson Valley Community College, Brianna is on track to graduate not only with her high school diploma, but also an associate degree in Mechatronics.

Brianna plans to attend SUNY Polytechnic Institute in a joint program with St. Elizabeth’s College where she will pursue a Nursing degree to eventually become a Nurse Anesthetist.

Statewide Elementary Mathematics Tournament Winners

Statewide Elementary Math Tournament

Congratulations to the grade-level winners from the inaugural Statewide Elementary Mathematics Tournament! Students in first through fifth grades from 10 regions statewide competed in hands-on mathematics games. Winning teams took home $5,000 and a plaque for their schools.

First-place winners

Grade 1: Wilson Cary, Brayden Calabro, and John Enders of Bolivar Road Elementary School in the Chittenango Central School District.

Grade 2: Gemma Pisciotti, Rediet Yilma, and Santino Markle of Pine Brook Elementary School in the Greece Central School District.

Grade 3: Talinn Kim, Catherine Hu, and Easton Tang of Nassakeag Elementary School in the Three Village Central School District.

Grade 4: Herene Shim, Naveen Madhavan, and Kazimir Povelaites of Thornell Road Elementary School in the Pittsford Central School District.

Grade 5: Nicholas Bugaj, Ella Soleimani, and Cassidy Reichgott of Main Street School in the Irvington Union Free School District.

New York State Archives Accepting Submissions for

33rd Annual Student Research Awards Statewide Competition

Student Research Awards

The New York State Archives and Archives Partnership Trust are now accepting entries for the 2023 New York State Student Research Awards program. This year marks the 33rd year anniversary of the competition, which is open to all students in grades four to twelve and offers a platform for young people to explore and engage with their state's history by creating inspiring projects for award consideration. Winners will be selected in the elementary, middle school, and high school divisions.

Please visit for detailed guidelines and application materials. Submissions will be accepted through July 1, 2023.

New York State Library Announces June Public Programs

New York State Cultural Education Center

The New York State Library announced its upcoming programming for June, including webinars and events related to history, small business development assistance, and genealogical services.

For a complete list of programs, please visit the New York State Library's website.

Excelsior Scholarship Application Now Available

Excelsior  Scholarship  Application

The Excelsior Scholarship Application is now available for 2023 graduates attending SUNY or CUNY. 

To apply, students must meet eligibility requirements, including:

  • Be residents of New York State 
  • Plan to attend a SUNY or CUNY two or four-year college
  • Complete 30 credits per year towards their program of study 
  • Graduate with an Associate's Degree in two years or a Bachelor's Degree in four years

This program is open to students whose annual household federal adjusted gross income is $125,000 or less.

Students can apply for the Excelsior scholarship here.

Students eligible to apply through the NYS DREAM Act can apply via the DREAM Act Application

State Finalists Selected for 2023 Presidential Awards for

Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

PAEMST state finalists

Three New York State mathematics teachers and three science teachers are state-level finalists for the prestigious 2023 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) at the secondary level. The PAEMST is one of the most esteemed honors in the nation for teachers and recognizes exemplary teaching and leadership in mathematics and science education.

Congratulations to the 2023 PAEMST New York State Mathematics Finalists:

Mrs. Sharon Collins

New Heights Academy Charter School

New York, NY

Dr. Elizabeth Brennan DeGraaf

The Hewitt School

New York, NY

Dr. Scott Kennedy

Sachem High School East

Sachem Central School District

Farmingville, NY

Congratulations to the 2023 PAEMST New York State Science Finalists:

Ms. Danielle Dubno-Hammer

Institute for Health Professions at Cambria Heights

New York City Department of Education

Cambria Heights, NY

Ms. Maria Giambanco

High School of Telecommunication Arts and Technology

New York City Department of Education

Brooklyn, NY

Ms. Xue Qing Liang

New Utrecht High School

New York City Department of Education

Brooklyn, NY

PLAN Pilot Webinar: Engaging Families in PBLA

PLAN Pilot live webinar

Registration is now open for the next installment of our PLAN Pilot Webinar Series. Webinar 5 will feature a panel of parents and caregivers of students from schools and programs implementing performance-based learning and assessment (PBLA) in New York State. They will describe how the school engages them and what they observe about their child’s learning.

Register for the PBLA webinar here.

U.S. Department of Education Honors Five New York Students as

2023 U.S. Presidential Scholars

The U.S. Department of Education recognized five New York State high school seniors as U.S. Presidential Scholars. Recognition as a Presidential Scholar is one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students.

The New York scholars include:

  • Samantha Maya Milewicz, Byram Hills High School, Armonk, New York

  • Samara Baksh, The Spence School, New York, New York

  • George Porteous, The Dalton School, New York, New York

  • Kevin Zhu, Jericho Senior High School, Jericho, New York. 

  • Sabrina Guo, Syosset High School, Syosset, New York

P-3 Summer Institute

2023 P-3 SUMMER INSTITUTE Presented by NYSED's Office of Early Learning and the NYS Council on Children and Families August 17, 2023 Cultural Education Center 222 Madison Ave Albany, NY 9:30AM -4:00PM Opening remarks by Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. KEYNOTES INCLUDE: Nonie Lesaux, PhD Dr. Nonie Lesaux is a professor at Harvard GraduateSchool of Education. Her research focuses onpromoting the language and literacy skills of today'schildren from diverse backgrounds. Ronald Ferguson, PhD Dr. Ronald Ferguson provides active thought leadership for the Basics Learning Network. Hisresearch, writing and consulting focus on issues of education and economic development.

Registration is open for the P-3 Summer Institute in Albany!

This free event on August 17 is open to teachers, specialists, and administrators responsible for designing programs for students along the P-3 Continuum. 

Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr., Dr. Nonie Lesaux, and Dr. Ron Ferguson will speak at the event. 

Register for the P-3 Summer Institute here.

Middle Level Essential Elements Schools to Watch

NYSED is pleased to announce the 2022-2023 New York State Essential Elements Schools to Watch. Congratulations to these exemplary schools serving middle grades students!

4th Re-Designation (recognized since 2011)

  • Garden City MS, Garden City UFSD
  • Carrie P. Weber MS, Port Washington UFSD

2nd Re-Designation (recognized since 2017)    

  • Memorial JHS, Valley Stream Central High School District
  • Cosgrove MS, Spencerport CSD

1st Re-Designation (recognized since 2020)

  • A.D. Oliver MS, Brockport CSD
  • Island Trees Memorial MS, Island Trees UFSD
  • Jonas E. Salk MS, Levittown UFSD
  • Plainedge MS, Plainedge UFSD

Initial Designation (Recognized in 2023)

  • Cuba-Rushford MS-HS, Cuba-Rushford CSD
  • Wantagh MS, Wantagh UFSD
  • Marlboro MS, Marlboro CSD
Middle Level Essential Schools to Watch

NYSED Accepting Public Comment for 2023-24 and 2024-25 School Year Amendments to ESSA Plan

NYSED is opening another public comment opportunity focused on proposed amendments to the New York State consolidated state plan under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The proposed amendments outline a two-year Rebuild Phase of the accountability system for the 2023-24 school year using 2022-23 school year results and the 2024-25 school year using 2023-24 school year results (see pages 1-238 of the plan).


By incorporating input from educational experts and stakeholders, including public comment from a recent public survey, the proposed amendments include:


  • Components from the one-year Restart Phase, such as accountability indicator modifications, accountability identification criteria, and exit criteria modifications;
  • Indicators provided for informational purposes; and
  • Modified identification and exit criteria.


A draft, redline version of the ESSA consolidated state plan can be found on the NYSED School and District Accountability webpage. Additional resources can be found on the webpage, including webinars and information on New York State’s accountability system.


Public comments can be emailed to NYSED will be accepting public comment through 11:59PM EST on Monday, June 12, 2023.


Any questions regarding the accountability system may be directed to

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