images of parents with their children
April 24, 2020
Dear Parents,

I am pleased to share good news this week as the New York State Education Department (NYSED) identified 582 schools that are high achieving and high progress as Recognition Schools. Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan, Recognition Schools are those with high academic achievement and strong progress, that also perform acceptably for all subgroups for which they are accountable. This year's designees represent 13 percent of New York State public schools.

Recognition schools are the highest performing and rapidly improving schools across the state. Recognition Schools across the state demonstrate the relentless commitment of teachers, administrators, staff, and parents, without whom this growth would not have been possible. You can find details on this achievement and the full list of schools here.

The collective sacrifices in response to COVID-19 continue to impact our everyday lives at an unprecedented scale. Although the pandemic has undoubtedly caused many hardships for all of us, I have been inspired and humbled by the incredible work of educators, school staff, and volunteers who are going above and beyond to provide instruction, meals, child care, and words of encouragement at a time when obstacles and barriers are abundant. With that in mind, NYSED is working to spotlight stories about the creative ways that educators are keeping their students engaged during school closures with the hashtag #EducatorsAreHeroes on social media. I'm sure you have all seen examples of educators going the extra mile for their students in your own communities. Follow us on social media ( Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn) as we highlight a new story every day.

I know that you as parents are also going above and beyond to keep your children engaged in education during this time while also balancing many other priorities, including maintaining your own work, your mental health, and your household. I want you to know that your efforts are recognized and appreciated, and that we are here to support you. We continue to add new resources to our Continuity of Learning web page featuring remote learning resources (technology- or non-technology-based) to provide parents and educators with increased options. In addition, keep in mind that New York's nine public television stations are providing expanded educational resources and "Learn-at-Home" programming for all of New York's students in response to school closings. Find more information about the "Learn-at-Home" programming here.

We are also posting high-quality resources, guidance, tips, and activities that can all be used to help facilitate learning at home as part of our #NYLearnsRemotely campaign on social media. This includes a series of Virtual Field Trips being offered each week by the New York State Museum. We post new remote learning ideas every day on our social media channels ( Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn), so be sure to take a look for new ideas.

Finally, we continue to post important information related to school closures, meals, childcare, continuity of learning, mental health, accountability, special education, test administration, higher education, and other programs on our dedicated coronavirus web page. I encourage you to keep checking that web page in addition to our news page and our social media ( Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn) frequently for all the latest updates.

I will provide another update in two weeks. In the meantime, please stay well.


Shannon Tahoe
Interim Commissioner