images of parents with their children
Dear Parents,

November is New York State History Month! This month, the State Museum, State Library, and State Archives will celebrate with a variety of free public programs for children, families, and adults. We are honored to have a collection of artifacts, documents, and photographs that tell the story of New York's rich history. Among these artifacts is a model of the first statue in New York City's Central Park that honors and depicts women, which is on display in the State Museum's West Corridor. In addition, two temporary exhibitions exploring New York's history will be open at the State Museum in November: "Enterprising Waters: New York's Erie Canal"; and "The Historic Woodstock Art Colony: The Arthur A. Anderson Collection" (opening this weekend). I hope you will take the opportunity this month to learn about our state's past and visit the extraordinary cultural institutions, museums, libraries, archives, and historic sites across New York.
In addition to being New York State History Month, November is also Family Literacy Month. As parents, you make a real difference in your child's learning -- from reading with your child to helping your child with homework to spending time in your child's classroom. You can support your child's literacy by setting aside time each day to read as a family this month and throughout the year.
Families across the state are already doing a wonderful job promoting literacy: Last month, NYSED was proud to announce that 2.4 million students and children statewide participated in the 2018 summer reading program, an increase of approximately 230,000 participants over last year's program. We are also pleased with the success of our partnership with the myON e-book platform, which offered free access to thousands of enhanced digital books to children from birth to 8th grade and their families over the summer: 192,711 books were opened/browsed, 113,517 books were read, and 1,496,384 minutes of reading were logged within the myON platform.
Thanks to the efforts of parents, librarians, and educators across the state, more children participated in summer reading this year than ever. Whether a child borrowed books to read at home with family, read e-books through our myON partnership, or participated in an educational program at their library, we are proud of each child's summer reading achievement. Congratulations to children and families statewide on a great summer reading accomplishment!
During this week's meeting of the Board of Regents, Chancellor Rosa, on behalf of the Board of Regents, directed me, as well as the State Education Department, to present a proposed regulation to extend the moratorium delinking student assessments from teacher evaluations for one additional year through 2019-20.  The Department will continue its work to gain feedback from teachers, educators, parents and other stakeholders as it looks to reform the evaluation system. 
We all know nothing is more important than the safety of our students. The Department announced this week that it has awarded $160,000 in Child Abduction Prevention Education (CAPE) grants to four school districts and three consortia of school districts and BOCES. The funding helps to adopt or develop programs to educate students, train teachers and inform parents and the community of how to prevent child abduction and improve student safety. Plans include strategies to address a wide range of issues impacting students and families including cyberbullying, social media harassment, child trafficking and predatory behavior.
Finally, next week is American Education Week, a great opportunity to celebrate public education. As part of American Education Week, November 13 is Parents Day, and NYSED will join in the celebration by launching a campaign on social media. Be sure to follow NYSED on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn to check out some ideas and tips for parents to help support your children in school. 
Thank you for all you do to support strong family and community involvement in our schools.
MaryEllen Elia