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October 21, 2016

ESSA Update

Kyle McCauley Belokopitsky, Esq., Executive Director

As you know, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was passed in December 2015 and New York has been working on our new federal plan since then.

As NYS PTA’s Executive Director, I am proud to sit on the ESSA Think Tank, which is undertaking much of this work.

NYS PTA submitted comments to the US Department of Education, with concerns over certain regulations relating to the implementation of the new federal law. These comments, as a reminder, can be found here and here.

The NYS State Education Department (SED) has released 36 High Concept Ideas derived from the work of the Think Tank. Please review, and feel free to discuss at a PTA meeting. SED plans to accept comment on these ideas in the near future and we will share the way to comment. Please click here for these High Concept ideas.

Also, NYS PTA is proud to have four representatives on the Title 1 Committee of Practitioners workgroup, which just met for the first time this new school year, to review the High Concept Ideas and other critical issues in education.

Members include:

  • NYS PTA President Bonnie Russell
  • NYS Executive Director Kyle Belokopitsky (elementary school parent in Wynantskill School District)
  • NYS PTA Diversity Coordinator Milena Din (elementary, middle and high school parent in Greenburgh School District)
  • Ilene Maddalena (middle and high school parent in Monroe Woodbury School District)

Standards Review

As a reminder, SED has also released revised draft standards in ELA and Math. NYS PTA issued this press release, and you can read information on the revised draft standards and submit your comments on these standards here.

Commissioner Elia just announced that SED has extended the time for comments on the revised standards until November 14, to ensure time for adequate stakeholder input.

Membership Registration and Award

Lori Fontana, Membership Coordinator

Have you registered your members on the NYS PTA Unit Portal? Your members will not receive their eCard until you add them as a paid member. Every member must have access to their membership card.

Are you on the Fast Track to win? All members must be registered and paid for to qualify!

Your membership payment is due to the state office by October 31.

You can download the Dues Payment Slip by visiting the Membership page of our website.

What a Reflections Roadshow It Was!

Kyle McCauley Belokopitsky, Esq., Executive Director

On Saturday, October 15 Genesee Valley Region PTA hosted our third Reflections Roadshow, to great success!

We had a number of student artists, dancers, filmmakers and musicians attend with their families. We would like to thank Monroe 1 BOCES for hosting our event. The art display will remain open to the public at 15 Linden Park, Rochester NY until Friday, October 28.

Check out photos of the event here.

Also, watch this great video of the artwork on display.

The NYS PTA Reflections page can be found here, It has helpful information about how to start and run a successful Reflections program in your school, plus this Reflections program video.

A special thanks to our Reflections Specialist Amanda Tobias for her work in preparing the art, to Genesee Valley Region Director Susan Brown and Field Support Coordinator Lisa Christoffel for organizing the event in the region, and Lynne Degnen and Carol Raymond in the office for their support of this important work.

Tech Tip

Nori Gartner-Baca, Publications Specialist

There's lots of spooky things that happen this time of year. Sometimes even technology can scare you! But, don't let SCAREWARE trick you!

Scareware is defined as a malicious computer program designed to trick you into buying and downloading unnecessary and potentially dangerous software, such as fake antivirus protection. Treat it right and you'll be set!

Check out this great article that gives you the tell-tale signs that you are being tricked by scareware and what to do!

Let's Get Together for Dinner at NYS PTA Convention – Friday November 11

Joyce Cattani, Special Education Specialist

SEPTA leaders and anyone interested in special education issues are invited to join us for networking and conversation at Friday's nights dinner. During dinner there will be an informal discussion on current issues faced by our regions and units, as well as how NYS PTA can assist you.

Please RSVP me at


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