Massena Central School Board of Education Update
May 27, 2016
I want to wish everyone a Happy Memorial Day. I hope it was a time of strengthening the bonds with family and friends as well as fond remembrances of those who have passed. Our marching band helped to honor this day with their participation in the Memorial Day Parade. They looked great decked out in their uniforms and did an excellent job playing for the crowds who lined Main Street. I attended the Memorial Day celebration in Veterans Park to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice so we could live in freedom. There was a nice crowd in attendance on this beautiful day and the AMVETS did a great job organizing the event.
Banner Week for Massena Athletics
This week, our Boys Varsity baseball, lacrosse, and golf teams won Section X Championships. Congratulations to coaches Greg Paquin, Kris Covell and Mike Matejcik and their teams for these outstanding accomplishments. We wish them all the best in the state tournaments.
Best of luck to our Girls Varsity Softball team who will play Malone on Tuesday for the Section title at SUNY Potsdam and Girls Lacrosse who also play on Tuesday against Canton for the title at Potsdam Central School. Go Raiders!!
At the last BOE meeting the question was asked about developing a calendar for fundraising so that multiple events are not being conducted simultaneously. With our new Rschooltoday calendar system in 16-17 we anticipate there will be a dropdown menu which will allow fundraising to be added to a common calendar. AD Tim Hayes is organizing the training on the calendar and will be researching this question with the vendor.
NYS Education Department Field Testing
This week, each of our elementary schools will be performing computer based field testing as required by the SED. We have been given specific grade levels for these exams which are expected to take less than one hour. Jefferson and Nightengale will be testing Grade 5 math while Madison will be given the ELA field test to Grade 4. This will be the first time that state exam questions will be administered on the computer. This trial run is expected to test the capacity of schools across the state to use computers for testing instead of pencil and paper. It is anticipated that eventually all exams will be given via computer.
School Accountably (Jefferson Elementary)
Recently, we learned that Jefferson Elementary School was designated a Local Assistance Plan School for 2016-17 under the state’s accountability system. The LAP is the lowest level of designation but does require considerable effort to meet the associated state requirements. Jefferson Elementary was identified as a LAP School as a result of the subgroup of White students not making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in English Language Arts in the 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years.
LAP School are required to complete the Diagnostic Self-Reflection (DSR) completed by a team composed of building leadership, teachers, parents and District personnel. We will also be required write a 2016-17 Local Assistance Plan based on the DSR which identifies:
Jefferson’s LAP Plan will need to be BOE approved and posted on the District’s website by July 29th. The district will receive $20,000 to support the implementation of Jefferson’s LAP Plan. We are in the process of organizing the team and writing the LAP. It is expected that the Plan will be presented to the BOE in early July.
The following is an update from Albany provided by NYSCOSS Deputy Director Bob Lowry:
End of Session Issues
The regular session of the State Legislature is scheduled to end in three weeks, on Thursday, June 16.
The biggest education issue to be resolved is whether to extend mayoral control of the schools in New York City. For now, there seems to be no discussion of authorizing private school tax credits, but we and others continue to watch for any movement on that subject. Miscellaneous issues continue to arise, including proposals to mandate that schools close on general election days (the county boards of elections are pushing this) and to mandate testing for lead in school drinking water and remediation if concentrations are found. On the positive side, we are optimistic that legislation will pass to streamline the process for filling vacancies on BOCES boards.
We are proactively advocating four priorities:
For now, the TRS reserve and tax cap items are primarily opportunities to discuss longer term school finance concerns − no consequential action seems likely on either in the next three weeks. The DS salary cap legislation did pass the Senate last year and was reported from the Education Committee to the floor in that house yesterday and we continue to push it with the Assembly.
I am spending the most time on the APPR-School Aid penalty. That issue seemed to have no life, but last week I and others did detect some renewed interest. During the state budget negotiations, we, NYSSBA, NYSUT, SAANYS and others advocated removing the aid penalty deadline and allowing districts to evaluate their teachers and principals using a plan approved under either the old law (Education Law section 3012-c) or the new (§3012-d). We have continued to advocate that position.
Here is a spreadsheet I have been using to show legislators and staff the potential impact of the penalty. The spreadsheet reports the impact of losing two years of state aid increases (for 2015-16 and 2016-17). It goes beyond prior versions by including the budgeted 2016-17 spending levels that districts submitted on their property tax report cards and what the aid loss would represent as a percentage of the proposed budget. For several small cities, the aid loss would equate to a 6, 7, or 8 percent budget cut. For all districts subject to budget votes, the impact averages to a 3.7 percent budget cut.
I have made two points about the magnitude of the potential aid loss:
I have heard from superintendents that they expect the vast majority of districts will do whatever it takes to meet the deadline. But as of last week, 123 districts had approved plans − only two more than in March − and another 30 or so districts had submitted plans to the State Education Department for review. I would have expected more progress.
I have told legislators and staff that there are districts where the administration and unions are working collaboratively to assemble the plans, but the law is so flawed that the superintendents say these are essentially compliance exercises with little bearing on improving instruction.
We may be doing a call to action requesting superintendents to contact their Assembymembers and Senators.
Governor's Task Force to Combat Heroin
Two weeks ago, Governor Cuomo appointed a task force to study the heroin and opioid abuse epidemic and make recommendations to combat it. The Task Force includes Roxbury Superintendent Thomas O'Brien.
Tom would greatly appreciate input from superintendents, especially on these points:
Regents Actions and Discussions
The Board of Regents conducted their monthly meeting last week.
Here are some of the significant presentations and discussion items:
Senate Majority Releases Report on Workforce Development
This week the NYS Senate released a report on workforce readiness which could have an impact on school programming. Below is a description from law firm Hinman Straub:
On Tuesday, the Senate Workforce Development Task Force released its report that includes recommendations for the state to help improve employee readiness; better meet the workforce needs of private sector employers; connect job seekers with potential employers; retrain those who have lost jobs. The task force's recommendations are directed is breaking down stigmas associated with students going through vocational programs rather than through academic higher education.
The Task Force’s recommendations include:
NYSED Office of Accountability News
Amendment to the Rules of the Board of Regents Relating to Annual Professional Performance Reviews (APPR) for Classroom Teachers and Building Principals
At its May 2016 meeting, the Board of Regents adopted amendments to §§30-2.3, 30-3.3, 30-3.4, 30-3.5, 30-3.11, and 30-3.13 of the Rules of the Board of Regents, relating to the Annual Professional Performance Reviews (APPR) of classroom teachers and building principals.
The adopted APPR amendment seeks to provide districts and BOCES with greater flexibility in implementing the provisions of Education Law §3012-d and Subpart 30-3 of the Rules of the Board of Regents. The amendments specified:
The May 2016 Regents item regarding the amendment to the rules of the Board of Regents relating to the APPR for classroom teachers and building principals can be found at:http://www.regents.nysed.gov/common/regents/files/516p12a1.pdf.
Proposed Amendment Relating to the Methodology that School Districts will use Identify Students in Grades 3-8 Who Receive Academic Intervention Services
At its April 2016 meeting, the Board of Regents discussed a proposed amendment to subdivision (ee) of section 100.2 of the Commissioner’s Regulations relating to the methodology that school districts will use to identify students in grades 3 - 8 who receive academic intervention services (AIS).
Based on feedback from key stakeholders on implementation of AIS, the Department made recommendations for revisions to the current methodology for identification of students required to participate in AIS in the 2016-17 school year and beyond.
Stakeholder recommendations are that the Board of Regents amend Commissioner’s Regulations to include a two-step process for determining student eligibility for AIS in grades 3 - 8 ELA and mathematics. For more information about the two step process please review the April 2016 Regents Item at:http://www.regents.nysed.gov/common/regents/files/416p12d1.pdf.
Following a 45-day public comment period, it is anticipated that the proposed rule will be presented for adoption at the July 2016 meeting.
The April 2016 Regents Item regarding the methodology school districts will use to identify students in Grades 3-8 who receive academic intervention services can be found at:
The presentation entitled “Academic Intervention Services” can be found at:http://www.regents.nysed.gov/common/regents/files/Academic%20Intervention%20Services%20p12d1.pdf.
Update on Computer-Based Testing
At the both the April 2016 and May 2016 Regents Meetings, the P-12 Education Committee provided the Board of Regents with updates on New York State’s transition to computer-based testing starting in the 2015-16 academic year.
Department staff provided updates on:
Department staff will continue to support districts and schools in the transition to computer-based tests as part of the long-term strategy to move more testing online. The Department’s goal is to move toward the use of innovative, technology enhanced items and a quick return of test scores to educators, students, and their parents.
The April 2016 Regents item regarding computer-based testing can be found at:http://www.regents.nysed.gov/common/regents/files/416p12d2.pdf.
The May 2016 Regents item regarding computer-based testing can be found at:http://www.regents.nysed.gov/common/regents/files/516p12d4.pdf.
The April 2016 presentation “New York’s Transition to Computer-Based Testing” can be found at:
The May 2016 presentation “3-8 ELA and Math Computer-Based Field Testing” can be found at:
Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Reauthorization and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
At the May 2016 meeting the Board of Regents discussed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Reauthorization and the transition to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), including requirements of the law pertaining to standards, accountability, and parent and family engagement. A strategy for involving stakeholders in development of New York’s plan was also discussed.
The May 2016 ESSA presentation can be found at:
District Upcoming Events
5/30—Memorial Day—No School
6/1—All Elementary Spring Concert—7:00 pm—HS Auditorium
6/6—Facilities Committee Meeting—4:30 pm—Bus Garage; June Rocks—7:00 pm—Auditorium
6/8—Senior Awards Night—6:30 pm—Auditorium
6/9—Policy Committee Meeting—6:30 pm—CAB
|Last Updated: 6/7/16|