Mike Laster and Team on Vimeo
Mike Laster, Principal of the Farnsworth Middle School, talks about the benefit for a new administrator to participate in the EE: STW program. The Essential Elements: Schools-to-Watch program in NY recognizes exemplary middle school programs. The program is a partnership between the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform, the NYS Middle School Association, and the NYS Education Department.


Special Updates!

The NYSMSA and NYSED announce the 2018

Essential Elements: Schools to Watch

The NYSMSA and State Education Department released the names of the twenty-one schools identified as Essential Elements: Schools to Watch this year. Congratulations go out to the Fieldstone Middle School (principal Anthony Zollo), Starpoint Middle School (principal James Bryer), and the Vernon-Verona-Sherrill Middle School (principal Carrie Hodkinson) on being newly designated as Essential Elements: Schools to Watch as announced on February 23rd.

Also to be congratulated are the Barker Road Middle School, Calkins Road Middle School, Moravia Middle School, Oliver Winch Middle School, Sayville Middle School, Twelve Corners Middle School, and the Victor Junior High School. These schools have been re-designated for the fourth time! An incredible accomplishment.

The A. A. Kingston Middle School, the Glens Falls Middle School, and the Jericho Middle School are being re-designated for the third time. Very impressive work. Continuing with the well deserved accolades, the Farnsworth Middle School, the middle-level program at the Indian Lake Central School, Longwood Junior High School, Martha Brown Middle School, Oceanside Middle School, and Van Wyck Junior High School have been re-designated for the second time. Continuing their excellent work, the Ballston Spa Middle School and the South Orangetown Middle School were re-designated for the first time.

This is the largest cohort of schools being designated and re-designated in the history of the Essential Elements:  Schools to Watch program in New York State! Congratulations to the administration and boards, teachers, staff, students, and community members who support the schools designated as Essential Elements: Schools to Watch. In the tradition of middle-level education, these school communities continue to meet the needs of their middle grades students, working as a team, in an exemplary fashion.

Teaching for Tomorrow: Celebrating Middle-Level Essential Elements Conference – May 21st

The New York State Middle School Association and St. Joseph’s College is hosting our annual middle-level conference, Teaching for Tomorrow: Celebrating Middle-Level Essential Elements on Monday, May 21st at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue.  Come celebrate middle-level best practice as educators present their remarkable work throughout the day.  Breakfast, Lunch and Vendors are all included in your registration.  Follow the registration link to take part in what has become a great day to celebrate middle-level education on Long Island.

 16th Annual NYSMSA Middle-Level Institute:

The Middle-Level Classroom – Getting it Right!

The NYS Middle School Association is proud to host the 16th Annual Middle-Level Institute at the Hudson Valley Community College Tec-Smart Facility in Malta, near beautiful Saratoga Springs, NY. Participants will select one of three workshops being offered by expert practitioners and will receive eleven hours of intensive middle–level instruction. Each session is explicitly aligned to the Board of Regents’ Priorities to ensure that all NYS students are “college and career ready” upon graduation.

The workshop sessions include:
– Great Middle-Level Practices, with Linda Ruest and Jack Berckemeyer
– Can You Read Me? Understanding the MS Student through Fiction and Non-Fiction Literature, with Ronna Glickman
– Integrating Anti-Bias Education into the Middle-Level Classroom with Emily Chiariello

We understand the important role that middle-level educators play in preparing our students for college and careers, and our workshop offerings are designed to support middle-level educators in that role.

When: Thursday, June 28, 2018 8:00 AM  –  Friday, June 29, 2018 3:00 PM

Where: Hudson Valley CC Tec-Smart Facility, 345 Hermes Rd, Malta, New York 12020

View Event Fees

View Event Summary

View Event Agenda

 Middle-level CTE Theme Module Survey

 Career and Technical Education for Grades 7 & 8

The NYSED and the NYSCTE Center are seeking teacher and admin feedback regarding the draft Theme Modules for meeting the new CTE regulations. Input is needed from teachers regardless of certification area. The survey and additional details can be found at the top of the web page at:  http://nyctecenter.org/resources/surveys-online-tools

If you would like to review the August 31st Commissioner’s memo to the Board, the actual regulatory language, and a chart describing possible delivery models, <click here>.

There is also a slide deck presentation from the NYSED  on the CTE Flexibility available <here>. The NYSUT fact sheet on who qualifies as a CTE teacher is also available <here>.

In response to the announcement this morning (2-26-2018) regarding the survey availability, two inquiries came in to SED via the Liaison listserv. That up to date response from SED follows:

Q: Where are we with the certification requirements? Any teacher can pick this up as long as the standards are met?

A: Teachers holding certifications in any of the following areas and types, are qualified to deliver instruction in their content of certification to meet the 1.75 units of CTE at the Middle Level. In the current school year, districts could hire from this pool only if they had an unfilled FACS or Tech Ed position. Beginning in 18-19 School year, districts may utilize any of the following teachers to deliver Middle Level Instruction.

Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) K-12 Classroom Teachers
Family and Consumer Sciences FACS 7-12 CTE Teachers
Home Economics K-12 Classroom Teachers (This is the old title for FACS)
Business K-12 Classroom Teachers
Technology Education K-12 Classroom Teachers
Technology Education 7-12 CTE Teachers
Industrial Arts K-12 Classroom Teachers (this is the old title for Tech Ed)
Agriculture K-12 Classroom Teacher
Agriculture 7-12 CTE Teacher
Health Sciences CTE Teacher (This is not a K-12 Health Education teacher)
Trade and Technical 7-12 CTE Teachers

Districts must do the work to adjust their curriculum at Middle Level, to align the opportunities they wish students to have, with the teacher teaching the course. In other words we are not going to bring in a Business certified teacher to teach the Home and Career Skills core. The work of the CTE-TAC that we are asking you to look at, is the guidance to assist districts in the development of that curriculum.

UPDATE: On March 8th, a PowerPoint presentation was made available from Dawn Mastroianni (CTE Technical Assistance Center of New York) which was to accompany her discussion at the Statewide Network of Middle-level Liaisons meeting scheduled for today, but canceled due to the snow storm. That presentation is made available here at the request of several members of the Liaisons. 

Call for Submissions: Articles to be Published in In Transition, the NYSMSA Journal

In Transition is a juried publication; all manuscripts are reviewed and approved for publication by a panel of members from the NYSMSA Board of Directors. Manuscripts describing successful programs, stimulating projects, exemplary teaching techniques, unique team concepts, action research, and promising practices are welcome. Download the guidelines <here>.

The revised 2018-2019 Applications for Essential Elements: Schools to Watch are now available!

For those schools considering an application for Initial Designation, or currently designated Essential Elements: Schools to Watch needing a Re-designation Application (for those designated in 2016), the new applications are now available for download. They can be found on the top of the Downloads page of this website.

Call for Presenters: The 38th Annual NYS Middle School Association Conference

October 18-20, 2018

Vernon-Verona-Sherrill Middle School, Verona, NY

As part of the 38th Annual NYS Middle School Association Conference, 1- hour middle level education and program focused practitioner workshops will be scheduled throughout the day for Friday, October 20, 2018. Individuals or groups are invited to submit a Call for Presenters application.

Please note that if your presentation is accepted you MUST register for the conference. Applications are due by August 1, 2018. If you have any questions, prefer a PDF form, or paper copy, please email Monica Kwiatkowski at Mkwiatkowski@crcs.wnyric.org c/o Cuba-Rushford Middle School 5476 Route 305 N Cuba, NY 14727 Phone: 585-968-2650 Fax: 585-968-2651

To link to the on-line application form, <click here>.