Effective April 24, 2019, the New York State Commissioner of Education has made a series of changes to the Part 100 and 200 Regulations. Most of these regulatory amendments are based on recent legislative changes to various statutes governing public school districts, including the Education Law. The following are some of the most noteworthy changes:

8 N.Y.C.R.R. § 100.2(oo) has been added to require each board of education to establish a policy and adopt procedures to allow any student who has been awarded a Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential or a Career Development and Occupational Studies Commencement Credential, but has not otherwise qualified for a Regents or local high school diploma, to participate in the graduation ceremony of the student’s high school graduating class and all related activities. For purposes of this rule, a student’s high school graduating class shall be the twelfth-grade class with which such student entered into ninth grade.

Notably, the policy and procedures must provide for annual written notice to be disseminated to all students and their parents or guardians about the policy and procedures adopted by the school district in accordance with this rule. Lastly, the policy and procedures shall be consistent with other school district policies and procedures relating to participation in graduation applicable to all students, including policies and procedures which prohibit participation in the graduation ceremony and related activities as a consequence of violating the school district’s code of conduct.

8 N.Y.C.R.R. § 200.1(ppp) has been added so that school districts are now automatically approved to conduct evaluations of preschool students with disabilities. This amendment eliminates the need for school districts to submit an application and paperwork to NYSED to be approved evaluators for preschool students. This rule does not expressly require school districts to conduct preschool evaluations. It was designed to give this option to school districts to help ensure compliance with controlling evaluation timelines.

8 N.Y.C.R.R. § 200.15(n) has been added to require all in-state residential schools to have policies and procedures in place to identify and report possible crimes against a student by a custodian to local law enforcement officials. Under the Social Services Law, the term custodian includes a director, operator, employee or volunteer of a facility or provider agency.

This alert does not purport to be a substitute for advice of counsel on specific matters.