IRS

Information and Reporting Services

SIRS Systems Tips and Help

Don't have a nySTART account? (How to get an invitation letter.)
Forgot your nySTART password? (How to reset.)
Your nySTART Administrator (How to determine who this is.)
"Delete Assignment" (Users may do this to their own accounts.)
Suspend or Delete Account (Administrators may do this to user accounts.)
Your Support Contacts (Primary regional and statewide contacts.)
Troubleshooting Procedures (Whom to contact, how to document it.)
Masking PII (How to remove private or secure data from screnshots.)
Browsers and Technical settings (To resolve PDF and Excel issues caused by popup blocker, security settings, "disappearing" report windows, cookies, cache size, SharePoint/Cognos functionality in Firefox, etc.)
Printing Options (change print orientation; limit selection; for "Guided Analysis" Interactive Reports: manual copy to Excel.)
Navigating nySTART Reports (Differences between reports.)
    Error pages (Using Back/"Refresh/Retry" workaround to return to previous nySTART page without forcing a log-out.)

How to obtain a nySTART account

You must be a New York State educator or administrator to be granted a nySTART account. See the "How to locate your nySTART Administrator" section below, then scroll to find your entity type to determine whom to contact.

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How to reset your nySTART password

If you are an existing nySTART account-holder, begin by using the "Forgot password?" link next to the sign-in boxes on the nySTART login page. nySTART will send a temporary password to the email address registered on the account. If no temporary password arrives at the mailbox where you expect to receive it, you will have to call a nySTART Administrator and ask for a manual reset. Please see the "How to locate your nySTART Administrator" section below if you do not know who your nySTART Administrator is. Your nySTART Administrator will ask you to verify the answer to the security question you chose when setting up your nySTART account.

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How to locate your nySTART Administrator

For assistance with nySTART, always begin by making inquiries of a nySTART Administrator for your organization. Each institution has only one Executive Administrator (typically Directors, Superintendents, Principals, etc.) and possibly one or more additional Adminstrators (typically CIOs, Data Directors, Lead IT Support, etc.) Only the Executive nySTART Administrator will be noted in your nySTART account (see below), but any nySTART Administrator in your institution may access your account. To determine your Executive nySTART Administrator:

  • Log in to nySTART;
  • Choose the "My Account" module from the top dropdown menu; and
  • Click the GO button. Your nySTART Administrator will be listed in the upper right corner of the My Account screen (NOTE: Charter and Non-public school principals should NOT first contact the NYSED Data Director as listed, but rather their regional Level 1 nySTART Support team).

If you are having trouble logging in, use the following guide to determine your nySTART Adminstrator, based on your User Type (Contact Information is listed below):

     ALL (public, charter and non-public) school staff and teachers' Executive nySTART Administrator is their building principal. Typical principal-delegated nySTART Administrators may be a school-level CIO, data coordinator or Information Technology support (sometimes at the district level for public schools.)
     Public school principals' Executive nySTART Administrator is their school superintendent. Typical superintendent-delegated nySTART Administrators may be a district-level CIO, data coordinator or Information Technology support.
     Non-public and Charter school principals' Executive nySTART Administrator will be listed as the NYSED Data Director, but should NOT contact NYSED for account services. Rather, principals should contact the Regional Information Center (RIC) with whom they contracted for Statewide Repository data submission services, and ask for the nySTART Support Team.
     District staff's Executive nySTART Administrator is the School Superintendent. Typical superintendent-delegated nySTART Administrators may be a district-level CIO, data coordinator or Information Technology support. (NYC-area district staff's Executive nySTART Administrator is the NYCDOE Chancellor, but NYC district staff should contact the NYCDOE nySTART Support Team.)
     School superintendents' Executive nySTART Administrator will be listed as the NYSED Data Director, but should contact their Regional Information Center (RIC) nySTART support team.
     BOCES staff's Executive nySTART Administrator is the BOCES School principal. Typical delegated nySTART Administrators may be a BOCES-level CIO, data coordinator or Information Technology support.
     District superintendents' Executive nySTART Administrator will be listed as the NYSED Data Director, but should contact their Regional Information Center (RIC) nySTART support team.
     Regional Information Center staff's Executive nySTART Administrator is the RIC Director. Typical RIC-delegated nySTART Administrators are Project Managers, or other designated RIC-level data coordinators.
     RIC Directors must contact a NYSED nySTART Administrator.
     State Agency Directors may contact a NYSED nySTART Administrator or a nySTART Administrator at the RIC with whom they submit data to the Statewide Repository.

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"Delete Assignment": deactivate/reactivate nySTART user roles

Delete Assignment:

This is a proactive action a user may perform on his/her own account. This will remove the "assignment" only (in other words: your current ROLE, and, necessarily, your association with the institution with which that role is currently active). However, you will RETAIN all your personal information: your user name, password, email address, phone number, security questions, etcetera. You may still make changes to personal information (other than your username) at any time, regardless of whether you have an active assignment. Once you have deleted your current assignment you may now reactivate your account under any new assignment (whether a new role in the same institution, or any role in a new institution) by using the activation code from a new invitation letter issued by any nySTART Administrator.

NOTE: Users may delete their own assignments to retain their personal account information. A nySTART Administrator may suspend an account (the assignment/role remains but the account is denied access until the suspension is lifted) or delete an account (eliminating the account, the user ID -- which cannot then be re-used -- and all associated personal information). (See "Suspend or Delete nySTART Accounts" section below.)

  1. Log in to your existing/active account.
  2. Go to the My Account module (last choice in the top dropdown menu from within nySTART).
  3. Click the [Delete Assignment] button (upper-mid right-hand side of the page).
  4. Log out.
  5. Close the browser.

Reactivating an account:

(You must first have been issued an invitation letter with accompanying activation code in order to complete these steps.)

  1. Open a new browser.
  2. Do NOT use the URL/Web address noted in the Invitation Letter. (The URL in the Invitation Letter is for FIRST-TIME users ONLY, not reactivations!) Instead, go to the normal nySTART login page (http:www.nystart.gov) and log in with your original UID/pw (i.e., as you would normally login).
  3. You will likely encounter one of these two scenarios, depending on the currency of your browser software:
    • You will be presented with a new screen noting that your account ID currently has no assignment, asking if you have an invitation code to enter.  If this screen appears, follow the instructions there.  Be sure to INCLUDE the hyphens (dashes) as part of the new invitation code.
      ...OR...
    • You will remain located at the login page, but will now see a red error message above the User ID field, noting that your UID/pw is incorrect.  If you get this error message, click the "Click here" link (below the password text box), and your UID/pw (which has been cached in the browser) will "auto-populate" and connect you to the account activation screens. Again, follow any instructions and be sure to INCLUDE the hyphens (dashes) as part of the new invitation code.
  4. After completing any applicable instructions, go to your My Account
    module (last choice in the top dropdown menu from within nySTART), and be sure to review/update your personal information as necessary.
  5. Log out.
  6. Close the browser.

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Suspend or Delete nySTART Accounts

Only a nySTART Administrator may suspend or delete another user's account (providing that account is under their organizational purview). A nySTART Administrator may suspend an account (the assignment/role remains but the account is denied access until the suspension is lifted) or delete an account (eliminating the account, the user ID -- which cannot then be re-used -- and all associated personal information).

Suspend an account:

  1. Log in to your nySTART Administrator account.
  2. Go to the Administration module (in the top dropdown menu from within nySTART).
  3. Choose the named accountholder whose account you wish to suspend.
  4. Click the "(Suspend Account)" link (upper-mid right-hand side of the page, next to "Status: Active").
  5. Log out.
  6. Close the browser.

Unsuspend ("Re-Activate") an account:

  1. Log in to your nySTART Administrator account.
  2. Go to the Administration module (in the top dropdown menu from within nySTART).
  3. Choose the named accountholder whose account you wish to unsuspend.
  4. Click the "(Re-Activate)" link (upper-mid right-hand side of the page, next to "Status: Suspended").
  5. Log out.
  6. Close the browser.

Delete an account:

WARNING!! This is permanent and the User ID cannot be retrieved or re-used.

  1. Log in to your nySTART Administrator account.
  2. Go to the Administration module (in the top dropdown menu from within nySTART).
  3. Choose the named accountholder whose account you wish to unsuspend.
  4. Click the [Delete Account] button (upper-mid right-hand side of the page, below "Status").
  5. Upon receiving message "Warning: Account deletion cannot be undone. If you do not want to permanently delete this account, consider using the "suspend" feature instead.", choose the [Delete Account] button.
  6. Log out.
  7. Close the browser.

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Your Support Contacts

nySTART inquiries should be directed to your nySTART Administrator based on your nySTART User type (as noted in the section above.)

RIC (Regional Information Center) and Big 5 City District contacts PDF RIC and BIG 5 Contacts Listing (21KB) [Updated 11/30/2012]

NYSED Information and Reporting Services
If you require immediate assistance from the NYSED Information & Reporting Services unit, please contact our office at 518-474-7965.

If the request is not urgent, you may send email:

To contact us regarding interpretation of NYSED policy or data definitions/guidelines, please send e-mail to dataquest@mail.nysed.gov.

To send us feedback or suggestions about the nySTART web application, please send e-mail to nystart@mail.nysed.gov.

NYSED's main nySTART Information and Resources web page (including links to nySTART Scheduled Maintenance and Releases, Release Notes, Report Guides and Certification information, Accountability Timelines and Data Refresh Cycles and various other guidelines) is:  http://www.p12.nysed.gov/irs/nystart/

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Troubleshooting Procedures and Documentation

Schools and districts should always begin the investigative process with their local school/district data coordinators and/or IT staff. The next step is escalating to the Regional Information Center that handles their data (see Contacts in previous section.) Before escalating, users should always be sure they have the recommended browser and technical settings.

Several things can cause problems—ranging from lack of access to erroneous data—which is why proper troubleshooting requires that you begin locally. Your nySTART account type, district and school building to which you have access, assessment/subject and School Year combinations requested, method of access (computer type and location, browser software used to access the Internet, etc.), and "click-path" (step-by-step actions you take to navigate from page to page and link to link, including drop-down menu and text-box fill-in choices) all need to be documented. A troubleshooting spreadsheet is available to fill in many of these details. This should be supplemented by screenshots or other data capture whenever possible.

No PII (personally identifiable information) should ever be submitted as part of the documentation. Student IDs (no names), school and/or district BEDS code is all that is needed to begin an investigation at the data level. See below for tips on masking PII before submitting screenshots.

Never give out your nySTART password. Your UID (username) and type of account is all that will be necessary to begin. Always include your contact information (email address, phone number) so that your nySTART Support Representative can contact you if he or she needs to do a "concurrent login" with you to verify any observed behavior with the reports or in the application.

Never use email send private or secure information (PII, passwords, etc.) unless you are using encrypted email. Most email is not encrypted, which means all data are sent "in the clear" and may be intercepted by anyone with the skill and intent to do so.

RICs or Big 5 data centers will escalate issues to NYSED or the Level 2 data warehouse by using the NYSED IssueTracker (formerly known as BUGtrack) Web application. Level 1 support staff may request an IssueTracker account through their designated data coordinator, who may request additional IssueTracker accounts from NYSED by calling 518-474-7965 and asking for an IssueTracker Administrator.

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Masking PII before submitting screenshots

No PII (personally identifiable information) should be submitted as part of the documentation. Here are some suggestions for blocking PII when submitting screenshots:

  • Take a screenshot of the report in question ('Print Screen' key above the number keypad on most keyboards),
  • Open a blank Word document,
  • Go into File > Page setup, main ‘Margins’ tab,
    • Decrease margins (for higher resolution but still within printable margins,  use 0.5" for all borders -- top, bottom and sides), then
    • Switch layout to landscape,
    • Click OK to close out of Page setup, then
  • Paste (Ctrl + V) the screenshot.
  • Open the drawing toolbar (usually appears at the bottom of the Word interface; you can always right-click on any toolbar space and make sure the Drawing label is check-marked), and
  • Click the rectangle icon.
  • You want to create a box that will cover the PII (and you can move it and alter the shape later), so position the cursor (which should now appear as a plus sign) anywhere over the document (it’s best to position the plus-cursor where you want one of the corners of the rectangle to start.).
  • Left-(single-)click and hold the mouse, then drag the cursor to the opposite corner where you want the rectangle to end, then let off the mouse.
  • With cursor positioned right over the rectangle's border (cursor should now look either like a horizontal double-pointed arrow or 4-directional crossed arrows), right-click to get the context menu, then
    • go into Format Auto Shape,
    • in 'Colors and Lines' tab, change fill color to black, then
    • click OK and close out of Format.
  • Grab the rectangle border "handles" (empty circles at corners and midpoints) by
    • positioning the mouse over a handle until the cursor turns into a double-sided arrow, then
    • left-(single-)clicking the mouse and dragging the border to expand/contract until it covers the PII.  Position the mouse pointer over the border at any location other than a handle to get the "move" control (the cursor turns into a 4-directional crossed arrows (use Alt + click for finer management of sizing control).

The problem with the "drawing box" cover-up is that it’s really only a “layer” sitting on top of the original screenshot.  Even after the document has been saved and sent on to the recipient(s), any recipient can still click on that drawing box and move or remove it, thus revealing the PII once again.  That's why it's necessary to go through a final step to save it in an *uneditable* state:

SAVE version A:  By far the easiest way to save the PII-blocked doc is to convert to PDF.

If you don't have capacity to convert to PDF, then

SAVE version B:

  • Maximize the original document (by changing the zoom % dropdown) until the image fills as much of the screen space as possible (while not hiding anything), then
  • take a NEW screenshot (while the "document-in-progress" is onscreen and showing the blocked PII).
  • Click on (to Select) the screenshot in the original doc, and
  • Delete (yes, delete!).
  • Now Paste (Ctrl +V) the NEW screenshot in its place.  The screenshot is a single layer and cannot be edited.
  • Save the document.

Don’t forget to attach the documentation to your email or support ticket!

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Recommended Browsers and Technical Settings

NYSED Web applications (e.g., nySTART, L2PRT, PD System, etc.) are designed to work with standard browser settings. Internet Explorer and Firefox are the only recommended browsers for use with the nySTART application.

Most problems downloading PDFs or Excel spreadsheets are not bugs; browser application plug-ins (i.e., Microsoft Word or Excel; Adobe PDF) are often impacted by settings installed by your organization's IT team. We recommend that you contact your organization's IT team before making any changes noted below.

PDF and Excel file download options are available for all Cognos-based reports in L2RPT, and in the nySTART Verification Reports module. In the nySTART Assessments module, the only PDFs available are for ISRs (Individual Student Reports, aka "Parent Reports") and Summary Reports. No file downloads are available within Guided Analysis (Interactive Reports). However, using the process outlined below, users may manually create Excel files for Guided Analysis reports.

General Tips

1. Excel 2000: Some users may have trouble generating an Excel 2000 file. We reccommend that users choose the Excel 2002 icon (at far right; this icon has a miniature globe.)

2. Download times: PDF and Excel file download times differ depending on report type. Performance times and other known issues are posted on our Performance Guidelines page. Look at the top of the page for the name of the report type you are downloading to see specific guidelines and known issues for that report.

3. Browser settings

Popup blocker settings:

Blocking popups is generally a good thing, but can sometimes stand in the way of legitimate browser functions. In some cases, the Microsoft Office (Word, Excel) or Adobe (PDF) plug-in may use a pop-up to "host" the report, and you may need to "create an exception" to allow popups. Please consult with your organization's IT Support before changing browser settings. To add nySTART to your browser's list of sites allowed to generate popups:

Internet Explorer users:

  • In the browser's top menu, select Tools
  • Select Internet Options
  • Go to the [Privacy] tab
    • Under "Pop-up Blocker" section, select 'Settings' button
      • In the "Address of website to allow" text window, enter:
        *.nystart.gov
      • Click the 'Add' button
      • Click the 'Close' button
    • Click 'OK' button to finish

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Security Settings:

In Internet Exporer, some issues may be resolved by adding application websites to a list of Trusted Sites:

PDF not opening:

  • In the browser's top menu, select Tools
  • Choose 'Internet Options'
  • Go to the [Security] tab
    • Click on the 'Trusted Sites' icon
      • Next to the 'Trusted Sites' description, click the [Sites] button
        • In the "Add this Web site to the zone" text box, type *.nystart.gov
        • (Deselect the "Require server verification..." checkbox if it is selected)
        • Click the [Add] button
        • In IE8, click the [Close] button; in IE6 click the [OK] button
      • Under the "Security level for this zone" section, click the [Custom Level] button
        • in IE 8:
          • Find the "Enable XSS" filter (toward the bottom of the list of filters, under the "Scripting" heading)
          • Select the 'Disable' radio button
          • If presented with a dialog window asking "Are you sure...?" click the [Yes] button
          • Click the [OK] button
        • in IE 6:
          • Find the "ActiveX controls and plug-ins" filters, and under "Automatic prompting..." select the 'Disable button
          • Under "Run ActiveX..." select the 'Enable' button
          • Click the [OK] button
      • Click [OK] button to finish

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"Disappearing" Excel solution:

If Excel appears to download but the window flashes or "disappears" just before the report loads, try the following:

  • Alternative #1 (IE 6):
    • Open browser, go to Tools > Internet Options;
    • Go to Security tab;
    • In 'Security level for this zone' section, click [Custom level...] button;
    • Security Settings dialogue window should have popped up; scroll to 'Downloads' section;
    • First item under Downloads should be 'Automatic prompting for file downloads'; tick the "Enable" radio button;
    • Click OK button to save/close Security Settings dialogue window;
    • Click OK button to save/close Internet Options dialogue window;
    • Log out of any web applications, save any open files and close all programs;
    • Restart computer;
    • Open IE and log back into nySTART;
    • Test export to Excel functionality!
  • Alternative #2:
    • Use Firefox if your IT support can make it available to you.

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SharePoint/Cognos issues in Firefox

If you are a PC user using Firefox to access SharePoint/Cognos, you may have an issue logging into the Cognos reports. If so, you may wish to try the "IE Tab" Add-On:

  • Go to mozilla.com
  • Click on Add-Ons
  • Type 'IE TAB' (without the quotes) in the search box
  • Look for IE Tab by PCMan, and click the green "Add to Firefox (Windows)"
  • It should install to your FireFox program.

To use it:

  • In the lower right hand corner of your FireFox browser (in the status bar) you'll either see
    • Firefox icon as seen in browser status bar (the Firefox icon, which means: Click to turn on FireFox engine); or
    • Internet Explorer icon as seen in browser status bar (the Internet Explorer icon, which means: Click to turn on IE engine ... this is what you need to click to make Firefox SharePoint-compatible)
  • (NOTE: If you do not see the icons mentioned above, click View, then choose HTML)

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Printing Options

Assessment Reports

While there are some downloadable PDF files available in the Assessments Reports module (such as Summary Reports and Individual Student Reports—ISRs), in the Interactive Reports section there is no downloadable file version of the onscreen (HTML) Web reports.

When printing directly from a web page, you may end up printing parts of the screen elements that are not relevant to your needs (the nySTART logo header, left navigation bar, etcetera.) You may also often find that the rightmost text gets cut off ("disappears" off the right page margin.) There are a few "workarounds" that may be used to create a printable version of these reports.

Try changing to "Landscape" page orientation. This prints across the longest length of the paper rather than the shortest (as a traditional letter does.) This may be all you need to do.

  • In Internet Explorer:
    • Do not choose the printer icon in the browser window (this will send a copy to the printer without allowing you to choose options first.)
    • Instead, Print using Ctrl + P (hold down the Ctrl key and the P key at the same time), or go to the File > Print menu option.
    • When the Print window opens, do not click the "Print" button yet! On the General tab, click the Preferences button, then
    • In the Printing Preferences window, go to the Basics tab and
    • Click the Landscape option.
    • Say OK to the Printing Preferences window, then
    • Choose the Print button on the Print dialogue window.
  • In Firefox:
    • Use the Printer icon, or Ctrl + P (hold down the Ctrl key and the P key at the same time), or go to the File > Print menu option.
    • When the Print window opens, do not click the "OK" button yet! Choose the Properties button, then
    • In the printer properties window, go to the Basics tab and
    • Click the Landscape option.
    • Say OK to the printer properties window, then
    • Choose the OK button on the Print dialogue window.

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Print "Selection" may be used if you find that your report's right-most text content is still cut off. Print Selection prints only that part of the page you highlight.

To highlight only the content you wish to print, click-drag your cursor over the entirety of HTML report content. To do so:

  • With your mouse, position the cursor (your arrow pointer, or—when positioned over text—a vertical bar that appears like a capital I) very slightly above and to the left of the topmost corner of the report content you wish to highlight.
  • Single-click (usually the left mouse button), then—with the mouse button held down—drag the cursor to the lowest-right corner of the report. As you drag, you should see the content being highlighted. To highlight all content, you may have to drag your cursor slighly "outside" the browser window to engage the browser's "auto-scroll" feature which will pan outside the page to capture content outside the visble margins.
  • As long as the mouse button remains held down, you can adjust the position of the cursor up and down, left and right, using the auto-scroll feature of the browser to aid you, until only the portions you wish to print are highlighted;
  • Release the mouse button. The content should remain highlighted.
  • Do NOT click inside the page again until after choosing the Print options, or you will "de-select" what was highlighted! The highlighting will disappear and you will have to repeat the process to re-highlight.

To choose the "Selection" Print option:

  • In Internet Explorer:
    • Do not choose the printer icon in the browser window (this will send a copy to the printer without allowing you to choose options first.)
    • Instead, Print using Ctrl + P (hold down the Ctrl key and the P key at the same time), or go to the File > Print menu option.
    • When the Print window opens, do not click the "Print" button yet! On the General tab, under the 'Page Range' section, choose the 'Selection' option. This will print only what you have highlighted.
    • While still on the General tab, click the Preferences button, then
    • In the Printing Preferences window, go to the Basics tab and
    • Make sure the Landscape option is selected.
    • Say OK to the Printing Preferences window, then
    • Choose the Print button on the Print dialogue window.
  • In Firefox:
    • Use the Printer icon, or Ctrl + P (hold down the Ctrl key and the P key at the same time), or go to the File > Print menu option.
    • When the Print window opens, do not click the "OK" button yet! Under the 'Print range' section, choose the 'Selection' option. This will print only what you have highlighted.
    • While still on the main Print window, choose the Properties button, then
    • In the printer properties window, go to the Basics tab and
    • Make sure the Landscape option is selected.
    • Say OK to the printer properties window, then
    • Choose the OK button on the Print dialogue window.

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You may wish to manually create an Excel spreadsheet file if the workarounds above still cut off part of your report. You may then use the Excel resizing options to fit the report to print on whatever size paper suits your needs.

To manually create an Excel file of the onscreen web (HTML) report, you must first highlight content as descibed above, then:

  • Copy the report content (Edit > Copy, or Ctrl+C).
  • Open the Microsoft Excel software program to a blank Excel workbook.
  • In the first cell (A1) of a blank spreadsheet, use the Edit > "Paste Special" menu option (or right-click the first cell and Paste Special from the context menu.)
  • Save the file to a desired location. (You may wish to do some reformatting of rows and/or columns to maximize readability.)

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For questions about nySTART reports or data, contact your Level 1 Big 5 Cities or Regional Information Center (RIC) data coordinator (see Tips and Help Support Contacts.)

For questions about nySTART access and accounts, contact your nySTART administrator (details above.)

To contact us regarding interpretation of NYSED policy or data definitions/guidelines, please send e-mail to dataquest@mail.nysed.gov.

To send us feedback or suggestions about the nySTART web application, please send e-mail to nystart@mail.nysed.gov.

Last Updated: November 30, 2012