New and Notes: News and Notes: Native American Heritage Month

News and Notes  

November 2023  

Dear Colleagues,  

Though the weather is cooling down, I’m sure things are heating up in the classroom with both you and your students hard at work. This month, November, is Native American Heritage Month. We are celebrating by sharing educational resources from the Library of Congress, the U.S. National Archives, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Gallery of Art, the National Park Service, and the Smithsonian to help students learn about Native American history and traditions. Students can also learn about the rich and diverse cultures, histories, and contemporary lives of Native people with the “Native Knowledge 360° Education Initiative,” a feature from the National Museum of the American Indian.   To highlight Native American Heritage Month, the New York State Museum is honoring the cultural heritage, diverse histories, and continuing contributions of Native people. The Museum created a dedicated Native American Heritage Month web page with many resources to explore, including highlights from the Museum’s collections, featured videos, online exhibitions, educator guides, a list of events happening statewide, and much more. I encourage you to take a look at the special programming and educational materials that are available to help celebrate Native American Heritage Month with your students.  

Betty A. Rosa Commissioner    

Ensuring Educational Excellence and Equity: New York State Blue Ribbon Commission on Graduation Measures  
The New York State Blue Ribbon Commission on Graduation Measures is working to finalize recommendations for the Board of Regents on which measures best meet the needs of all students in New York. Watch this video for a window into the Blue Ribbon Commission members’ experiences and learn more about the New York State Blue Ribbon Commission on Graduation Measures. The final recommendations will be presented to the Board at its meeting on Monday, November 13.      

New York State Selected for Hunt Institute’s The Path Forward to Transform Literacy Instruction   New York State has been chosen to participate in the third cohort of Hunt Institute’s The Path Forward for Teacher Preparation and Licensure in Early Literacy. In coordination with NYSED, Literacy Academy Collective has been tapped to convene the NY State Path Forward cohort team, with the aim to transform early literacy instruction in New York State by embedding the science of reading into educator preparation.   Led by an esteemed Steering Committee, The Path Forward team is composed of leaders from NYSED; the NY State Legislature; the Governor’s office; leaders, deans, and faculty from higher education educator preparation programs; and key community advocates, funders, and stakeholders from across New York State. They will gather regularly over the course of the year to collaborate on a New York State Action Plan.    

NYSED Recognizes 53 Employers of Individuals With Disabilities   In recognition of October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month, NYSED honored 53 businesses across the state that do an outstanding job of employing individuals with disabilities. This year’s theme, “Advancing Access and Equity,” reflects the importance of ensuring that people with disabilities have full access to employment and community involvement. Members of NYSED’s Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) program hosted events throughout the month to recognize the employers.    

State Library Awards $186,000 in Grants to Preserve Library Research Materials  
The New York State Library awarded $186,708 in Conservation/Preservation Program Discretionary Grants to seven collecting institutions to preserve research materials. These competitive, merit-based grants are part of a $1.99 million comprehensive, statewide program to preserve endangered materials, such as books and public records, important to the state located in libraries, archives, museums, historical societies, and other not-for-profit cultural organizations in New York. This year’s grants include funds for preserving microfilming, conservation treatments, stabilization, protective enclosures, and re-housing.    

“Something Terrible Happened to Joey” Childhood Trauma Film and Resources  
To highlight issues around childhood trauma and discuss intervention strategies, NYSED and the New York State Office of Mental Health recently hosted a screening of the film “Something Terrible Happened to Joey.” After the film, a panel of experts unpacked the messaging and takeaways.  

If you are looking for a resource to add to your toolkit to help address student mental health, the following materials are available:   Something Terrible Happened to Joey websiteWatch the film or share it with others Study Guide for educators to think through and discuss difficult issues surrounding trauma New York State Trauma-Informed Network New York State Office of Mental Health 988 Community Education and Awareness Toolkit New York State Office of Children and Family Services HEARS family line information New York State Office of Children and Family Services Family Resource and Opportunity Centers The WNET Group’s Student Mental Health Matters: A Toolkit for Educators    

New York State Library Announces November Public Programs   The New York State Library announced its programming for November, including webinars and events related to history and genealogical services. The free programming requires registration and is available in person or offered online.  

Visit the State Library’s website for a complete list of upcoming programs. Additional programs will be added to the website as they are confirmed.