American Graduate

American Graduate...

(AP & WXXI News)  New York state's high school graduation rate continued its slow upward climb in 2016, when 79.4 percent of students earned a diploma after four years. 

The graduation rate released Friday by the state Department of Education is 1.3 percent higher than the 78.1 percent for the class of 2015. State officials say black and Hispanic students and students in the bigger cities were among those making gains. 

Is it time to move back school start times? Science and research makes a pretty good argument that the answer is yes; kids have a harder time focusing in the early hours, and need more sleep. The problem is that districts are under a lot of pressure to provide a wide range of after-school programs, and starting later could complicate that. But several local districts are taking a hard look at later start times.

We discuss what's ideal, and how to achieve it. Our guests:         

  • Dr. Heidi Connolly, assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Golisano Children’s Hospital
  • Dr. Kevin McGowan, superintendent of the Brighton Central School District
  • Miranda Cologgi, parent
  • Erin Schneider, assistant principal at Hilton High School, and parent

ROC the Future is rolling out a new mobile app designed to help parents foster everyday learning opportunities for youth up to age 5.

It's called ReadyRosie, which is another tool in the parent's toolbox to take an active role in their child's development, according to Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren.

"The mobile and online application uses a series of well thought out videos to give parents of children ages 0 to 5, ideas on how to embrace early learning, using everyday scenarios," she said.

Making the case for after-school programs

Jan 30, 2017
Alex Crichton

City and community leaders joined out-of-state experts at the Greater Rochester Afterschool Leadership Summit, held Monday at the Memorial Art Gallery.

Speakers at the event highlighted the value of after-school programs, and shared ways to fund them.

Out of school time, or after-school and summer programs, have been proven to work, according to Jennifer Brown Lerner, Deputy Director of the American Youth Policy Forum based in Washington, D.C.

It’s a big day in Karen Grann’s eighth-grade technology class at Integrated Arts and Technology in the Rochester School District.

Students have learned how to build air skimmers — a paper vehicle of sorts that, if successfully built and launched, will glide across the classroom’s floor.

Grann said a lot of work led up to launching day.


Music has a way of touching every one of us. Some of us may have a deep appreciation for the artistry in making music, others may appreciate its ability to convey emotion and transport us to a different place.

But, as shown at the Hochstein School of Music and Dance, music can also be used as a form of therapy. Expressive Arts sessions improve the quality of life for people who are well, and meets the needs of children and adults with disabilities, disorders, illnesses, or learning differences. 


Rochester’s East High School is part of a select group chosen to participate in the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program. It’s a program that sends the hard work of high school students on a real mission to outer space. On this edition of Need to Know, WXXI’s Sasha-Ann Simons takes us inside East High to meet the trio responsible for sending a local microgravity experiment to NASA.

Once again this year, President Obama hailed the nation's high school graduation rate as it reached another record high — a whopping 83 percent.


ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)  Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing to offer free tuition at New York public colleges to eligible residents. 

The Democrat unveiled his plan Tuesday morning at LaGuardia Community College in Queens alongside U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. During the senator's unsuccessful run for the Democratic presidential nomination last year, Sanders pushed for free tuition at all U.S. public colleges. 


The New York State Education Department has awarded $10 million in grant funding to 56 organizations across the state taking part in My Brother's Keeper initiatives, which address the need to help some students of color realize their full potential in school.

Among the awardees is the Rochester City School District, which will receive $1.3 million, the largest grant given to any one school district in the state, to create My Brother’s Keeper programs and strategies for K-12 students in the region.