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Welcome Back!
Back to School 2019 Video 
(Click on the image to view the Back to School video) 
Dear Colleagues,

Welcome back to school! I'm always excited to start a new school year, and as we enter the 2019-20 school year, I'm pleased to have the opportunity to personally thank you -- teachers, principals, administrators, school counselors and social workers, food and nutrition staff, and parents -- for all the hard work you do every day to educate and support New York's children. I know you have all been busy preparing for students to return to the classroom this week, and I truly appreciate the investment of your time, skill, energy, and effort to make sure students have a great experience on the first day of school.

Like you, the Board of Regents and the team at the New York State Education Department (NYSED) have also been getting ready for the start of classes. A new school year always brings an opportunity for a fresh start, along with a renewed commitment to our collective values and priorities. The Board of Regents and NYSED remain as devoted as ever to our top priority: advancing equity and excellence in our educational system through the implementation of our New York State ESSA plan.

That's why I'm eager for the new school year to get underway so our work can continue as we build upon the progress that we've already made. As this school year begins, we recommit ourselves to working collaboratively -- in our schools, districts, communities, and across the state -- to improve public education in New York.

I look forward to getting to know you and working together to make this the best school year yet. My goal is to keep an open dialogue, and I will rely on you for your feedback and insight. Your input is essential as we seek to provide the best possible education for our students. It's so important to hear from you about what is happening in your classrooms and communities in order to determine the most effective ways to serve our children and ensure they are on a path toward success after they leave school.

For more details about our work ahead, you can watch my short back to school video message. In the video, I talk about our efforts to help school districts promote equity and excellence through professional learning for educators to implement the Next Generation Learning Standards and through policies and programs that promote Social Emotional Learning (SEL). I hope you'll take a few minutes to watch the video and share our common message, perhaps with other community members, on your school's website, or at "Back to School Night."

Thank you again for all you do to support your students. Welcome back and have a wonderful school year!


Beth Berlin
Acting Commissioner