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State School Boards Association brings its annual convention to Syracuse


Mon, Oct 24th 2022 11:40 am

Some 1,500 school board members and other school district leaders from throughout New York state are expected to gather in Syracuse this week at the New York State School Board’s Association’s 2022 Annual Convention and Education Expo to explore such timely issues as student mental wellness, school security, school climate, student achievement and academic improvement. 

NYSSBA’s three-day conference will take place Oct. 27-29 at the Oncenter. The event will feature more than 50 educational sessions and workshops by expert presenters and exhibitors, including one featuring State Education Commissioner Betty Rosa on Saturday from 8:15-9:15 a.m. in the Oncenter Ballroom. Rosa and Deputy Commissioner Jim Baldwin will address topics such as school safety, accountability for schools and districts, and high school graduation requirements related to the Blue Ribbon Commission on Graduation Measures. 

"We’re incredibly excited to bring our Annual Convention and Education Expo back to Syracuse," NYSSBA Executive Director Robert Schneider said. "We have put together what I consider to be an impressive array of high-quality sessions and workshops, which attendees can in turn put to practical use back in their home school districts." 

The convention kicks off on Thursday morning with the 26th annual pre-convention school law seminar, also in the Oncenter Ballroom. The session, which runs from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., will address pressing legal issues, including the legal rights and responsibilities of schools, parents and the public in deciding which textbooks and other instructional materials are appropriate for school classrooms. Other key topics include employee free speech rights, the legal responsibilities that public schools have in determining what private schools must teach, and an update on key educational issues currently before the Board of Regents and the commissioner of education. 

Mental health is a prominent topic of discussion at this year’s convention given the social isolation related to remote learning. On Friday, Oct. 28, Kathleen DeCataldo, the State Education Department’s assistant commissioner for the Office of Student Support Services, will facilitate a panel discussion of the current state of student mental health from 9:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Oncenter Ballroom. Attendees will learn about five successful models that have been employed to care for student social and emotional health.

Friday contains a host of other sessions addressing the mental health and social-emotional needs of students, including how communities can address mental health needs post-COVID-19, how to talk to teens about depression, managing stress, and how to evaluate social and emotional health and safety programs. 

Also on Friday is a discussion on how school districts can revitalize their image and reconnect parents, students, staff and community postpandemic.

And, in a city in which the Syracuse University basketball coach has been at the helm since 1976, it may seem odd that schools are having a hard time finding coaches. But that’s the reality that many public school districts face. Learn more at "Where Did All the Coaches Go?" from 1:45-3 p.m. Friday.  

The New York State School Boards Association represents more than 670 school boards, and more than 5,200 school board members in New York. NYSSBA provides advocacy, training and information to school boards in support of their mission to govern the state's public schools.

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