It's Teacher Appreciation Week, and now is the perfect time to recognize the incredible work of New York's wonderful educators. I've been so inspired by teachers' resilience as teaching changed completely overnight. If you're still looking for ways to thank a teacher this week, the National PTA has
flyers, thank you cards, certificates, and social media graphics
that you can use to help show your appreciation. You can also check out these
customizable digital thank you cards
from Google for Education or share your stories on social media of amazing things your children's teachers have done during this crisis.
As part of Teacher Appreciation Week, I also want to thank you, the parents who became teachers overnight as a result of school closures. I know that you are going above and beyond to keep your children engaged in education during this time while also balancing many other priorities. Thank you so much for all your efforts.
In addition, it is National Nurses Week, and we recently celebrated School Nurse Day! We appreciate all of New York's school nurses who care for students and promote learning by helping to keep children healthy. School nurses play an integral role in our schools, and we are grateful for their knowledge, care, and professionalism.
We all continue to work hard to overcome challenges as the state, nation, and world have made monumental adjustments to daily life in order to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. For our part, the Board of Regents and the New York State Education Department (NYSED) have been hard at work maintaining crucial services for students, P-12 schools, colleges and universities, professional licensees, adult education programs, cultural institutions, and the people of New York State. At this week's Board of Regents meeting, I gave an
update on NYSED's response to the COVID-19 situation
Chancellor Rosa and I recently announced that in the coming weeks, the Board of Regents and NYSED will form a
statewide task force to guide the reopening of our schools
. The task force will be made up of educational leaders, including superintendents, principals, teachers, parents, school board members, and other stakeholders. Although New York State
schools will be closed for the remainder of the academic year
, we will work together with these partners to ensure that our children's educational, developmental, and overall wellbeing is considered during the important discussion about the future reopening.
We have been in constant communication with our stakeholders throughout the pandemic listening to the challenges they are facing. With this package of emergency regulations, we are building on the amendments passed last month that will continue to allow schools, students, and professionals much-needed flexibility while they respond to this evolving and unprecedented situation.
A full summary of the second series of amendments is available in this week's news release
I know that we're all making every effort to stay connected with each other and to continue helping our students learn during the statewide school closure. You can visit our
Staying Connected web page
to see some of the inspiring examples of emotional support, equitable solutions, and instructional practices that are being used to stay connected with students while schools are closed.
Another way to keep your kids learning at home is to join me for story time! Encourage your elementary students to
watch this video
to hear the book
What Do You Do With an Idea?
written by Kobi Yamada and illustrated by Mae Besom. Reading with children has many cognitive, social, and emotional benefits. When children read to themselves or when they are read to, they develop a stronger vocabulary and a range of knowledge and skills that lead to reading success. Reading also strengthens social emotional development by providing children with a greater range of words to use to describe their feelings and a stronger emotional toolkit. Let's keep kids reading each day while they are at home.
In the spirit of staying connected, NYSED also recently collaborated with the Partnership for After School Education (PASE) to present a virtual
My Brother's Keeper (MBK) Village Meeting
. The 405 participants included Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa, Regent Lester W. Young, Jr., Interim Commissioner Shannon Tahoe, NYSED staff, New York City Department of Education Chancellor Richard Carranza, along with his leadership team, and district administrators and staff from our 25 MBK communities. The meeting's focus was on the Needs, Deeds and Impact of the 2018, 2019, and incoming 2020 MBK Fellows, and many of our talented MBK Fellows shared selected stories of their trials and triumphs during the COVID-19 crisis.
New York State My Brother's Keeper
(MBK) initiative, schools and communities work to eliminate opportunity gaps facing boys and young men of color so that all students can reach their full potential. We continue to spotlight our 2019 MBK Fellows on social media. Follow us on
to check out our #NYSMBK posts and learn more about these exceptional young men.
I appreciate your continued support, and I hope you encourage other parents to sign up for our
parent email list
so we can all stay connected during this time. And moms, I hope you enjoy your Mother's Day.