The board met in person (the first since last year) to primarily discuss regulatory items and the remainder of the two days were set aside for board training. The following is a summary of key items and a brief summary:
Incidental Teaching – the flexibility to allow a teacher to provide instruction, out of their certification area, for up to 10-hours a week was continued for the 2021-22 school year.
Substitute teachers – the ability of a school district to allow a substitute teacher to provide instruction, if they do not have a valid teaching certificate and are not working toward certification, is extended. Such a person must have a high school diploma and the district should have made good faith efforts to find certified teachers to serve as substitutes.
Special education teachers – a district may have teachers who hold a grade 1-6 SWD, a grade 5-9 generalist or a grade 5-9 content specialist certificate to provide instruction to students with disabilities in grades 7-12 during the 2021-22 school year.
Snow days – the snow day pilot program is continued for the 2021-22 school year. This program allows school districts to provide remote instruction in what would otherwise have been a day closed due to inclement weather.
Impartial hearings – impartial hearing officers may extend 30-day due process cases up to 60 days.
Professions – extends the exemption for continuous experience requirements for speech pathology, audiology, and occupational therapy, if the reason for the inability to meet this requirement was due to the pandemic.
– exempts supervisory requirements when such supervision was not possible due to COVID-P-12 19 related reasons for social work, mental health counseling, marriage and family counseling, arts therapy, and psychoanalysis.
– Part 83 and 87 appeals – maintains flexibilities related to late submissions of due process procedures that are needed for clearances for employment and amends the definition of prospective school employee.
Other areas of regulatory revision:
– DASA training: allows DASA training to be provided entirely online through December 31, 2021.
– Academic Intervention Services: allows districts to identify students as needing academic intervention services using a one-step district developed procedure during the 2021-22 school year.
– Annual Instructional Hour Waiver: the board proposed to remove the required plan submission should a district request a waiver from the annual instruction hour requirements if the inability to meet such a requirement was the result of an Executive Order, issuing guidelines, a state of emergency, or due to reopening challenges attributed to the pandemic.
– District Safety Plans: Governor Cuomo signed Chapter 168 into law last September. The new law requires school districts to develop safety plans to respond to declared states of emergencies related to communicable diseases. The board proposes to amend Section 155.17 of the Regulations of the Commissioner to required districts to develop protocols consistent with the new law in their district-wide school safety plans.
– Inter-scholastic Sports: The New York State Public High School Athletic Association has extended the interscholastic athletics spring season until June 30, 2021 due to questions regarding the eligibility of students who graduated prior to this date to participate in spring sports.
“Therefore, the department proposes to amend section 135.4 of the commissioner’s regulations to clarify that eligible student athletes may participate in interscholastic sports and complete their spring season during the year in which they graduate, including when such students’ graduation ceremony occurs prior to the end of the interscholastic athletic spring season. No other eligibility requirements are altered by this proposed amendment.”