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Commissioner's Weekly Update - July 29, 2016

Comments on the Every Student Succeeds Act Regulations:

Commissioner Chester's comments on proposed accountability and state plan regulations under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) are now posted on the Federal Register site. The comments address areas including the timeline for identifying schools in need of support, annual meaningful differentiation of school performance, academic achievement indicators, and the amount of school improvement awards.

Substance Use Policies – Submission and Guidance:

Governor Baker signed An Act Relative to Substance Use, Treatment, Education and Prevention into law on March 14, 2016 as Chapter 52 of the Acts of 2016. This law requires that each public school shall have a policy regarding substance use prevention and the education of its students about the dangers of substance abuse. The school shall notify the parents or guardians of all students attending the school of the policy and shall post the policy on the school's website. The policy, and any standards and rules enforcing the policy, shall be prescribed by the school committee in conjunction with the superintendent or the board of trustees of a charter school.

This section also requires that each school district and charter school shall file its substance use prevention and abuse education policies with the ESE. The anticipated submission date will be mid-late October 2016. The Department expects to share submission details and further guidance in August.

For Your Info:

  • Guidance on homeless children and youth: The U.S. Department of Education has released guidance to states and school districts on the new provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for supporting homeless youth. The guidance is available in the "Guidance and Regulatory Information" section of this web page.

Subscriber Information: Superintendents, assistant superintendents, principals, and charter school leaders will receive the update automatically. For others wishing to subscribe, send an email to with the following information in the body of the email: subscribe ESEUpdate Your Name. (Example: subscribe ESEUpdate John Smith) Leave the subject line blank. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with the following information in the body: unsubscribe ESEUpdate Your Name. (Example: unsubscribe ESEUpdate John Smith)

Last Updated: July 29, 2016
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