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Rochester City School District

One impact from Tuesday’s elections is that the Rochester school board will lose a longtime member.

Malik Evans, who is also a former president of the board and his been on that body since 2004, was elected this week to City Council. His seat will be filled next year.

Evans says even though City Council doesn’t directly control the district, they are involved with approving the school budget, and Evans hopes to be involved in other ways as well. 

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After a review of the schools in receivership  in New York State last year, two failed to show significant progress and one of them was in Rochester.

Receivership schools are schools that are deemed struggling by the state. If they don't make any progress within a year or two, they must find support outside the district in order to stay open.

Kodak Park School No. 41 in Rochester is one of those schools.

A number of indicators, a minimum of 10 for each school, including graduation rates and suspension numbers, determined progress.

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Organizers of a proposed “recovery” high school in Rochester say they're making progress in their goal of establishing a school dedicated to students who are trying to overcome addiction.  

The grassroots organization Recovery Now NY has been leading the effort for the past three years. Executive director David Attridge said they have just completed a request for information from the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services and Governor Cuomo's office.

Tianna Manon/WXXI News

Local students were able to get out of the classroom Thursday  to learn more about the hands-on work of construction, welding and plumbing.

The occasion was the 19th annual Construction Career Day, which brings hundreds of students together to learn from roughly 20 exhibitors. They use their booths to teach students how to use a blow-torch, lay bricks or simply answer general questions.

The goal of the event is to introduce students to new career paths.

The Rochester community is seeing improvements in the annual report card that tracks key measures for children in the city, but there are still challenges. That’s the gist of the annual report card from ROC the Future, which is a public private partnership consisting of government and community organizations.

Larry Marx is CEO of the group called The Children’s Agenda, and he says this report card shows that the number of four year olds enrolled in Pre-K and Head Start has grown to nearly 97 percent.

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Governor Andrew Cuomo says  that approximately 53 percent of full-time SUNY and CUNY in-state students, more than 210,000 New York residents, are going to school tuition-free thanks to the addition of students receiving the Excelsior Scholarship. Nearly 22,000 students will be getting that new scholarship.

More than 400 high school students in the city of Rochester had a half-day Friday. That's because they attended a student summit on high school redesign at the School of the Arts.

Deputy Superintendent Lawrence "Bo" Wright said this is part of the "Path Forward" initiative to transform the future of education in the district. 

Wright said it's important to get input from students.

Tianna Manon/WXXI News

The name isn’t the only thing different about East High School.

The East Upper and Lower Schools updated the community on its progress in its annual public meeting Thursday evening.  Lorna Washington, Special Assistant to the Educational Partnership Organization superintendent, said the school has seen major gains in attendance, testing and graduation since partnering with the University of Rochester two years ago.

Parents of hundreds of children with special needs in New York State say their kids are not receiving the services they need. A recent report in the Democrat & Chronicle stated that in the 2016-2017 school year "nearly 400 3- and 4-year-olds in Monroe County were not evaluated for developmental delays within 60 days of their referral as required by law, according to local school district records.” The delay in referrals puts children at a developmental disadvantage, and at risk for needing costlier services in the future.

Local providers say the state’s reimbursement process is to blame: providers receive tardy and inadequate funding. Democrat & Chronicle reporter Justin Murphy explored this issue. He joins us in studio, and we’ll hear from local parents about the challenges they face. Our guests:

  • Justin Murphy, education reporter at the Democrat & Chronicle
  • Sharon Peck, parent
  • Pat Graff, director of special education at Rochester Childfirst Network
  • Cathy Rasmussen, director of York Wellness and Rehabilitation Institute, and associate dean of compliance and clinical affairs at the School of Health and Human Services at Nazareth College
  • Robin Hooper, early education director for the Rochester City School District

This conversation is part of WXXI’s Inclusion Desk, spotlighting issues related to disabilities. The WXXI Inclusion Desk is part of Move to Include, a partnership to encourage thoughtful discussion about issues of inclusion and the differently-abled.

Karen DeWitt / WXXI News

A Brockport School District teacher has been named the New York State Teacher of the Year.

The honor goes to Christopher Albrecht, a fourth-grade teacher at the Fred W. Hill School in Brockport, where he has taught for 20 years.  He has spent the last 14 years teaching fourth grade.

Brockport Schools Superintendent Lesli Myers says the district “couldn’t be prouder of his achievement,” and school principal Brandon Broughton says that Albrecht “is always accessible and takes great joy in celebrating his students’ successes with them.”

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