WXXI AM News

American Graduate

American Graduate...

Local school district officials are keeping a watchful eye on federal and state initiatives as the New Year rolls in.  

Funding is going to be a top priority, according to Sherry Johnson, the Executive Director of Monroe County School Boards Association. She says funding is a major issue, particularly for programs and initiatives meant to balance out inequalities around the state.

“It’s going to be a tough year,” she said. “We understand the state has some revenue issues of their own on top of any impact from the federal government.”

World of Inquiry students march to City Hall

Dec 15, 2017
Tianna Manon

Single digit temperatures couldn’t stand in the way of World of Inquiry Students marching through downtown Friday.

They were celebrating College March Day, an annual event where graduating seniors walk from the school’s location on University Ave to City Hall. There, they deliver letters indicating their college choice and thanking the adults and supportive friends who helped them get there. Local officials join the students, hoping to encourage them.

nysed.gov

The New York State Board of Regents this week voted to expand options for special education students who struggle with academic exams.  

The Regents adopted regulations to expand the criteria under which students with disabilities may be eligible to graduate high school with a local diploma. That’s a high school diploma that has different requirements from those needed to get a Regents Diploma.

State Education Department officials say that some students with disabilities are unable to demonstrate proficiency on standardized tests even with certain accommodations.

There are major gaps in special education spending in New York. A study by the New York State Association of School Business Officials found that spending in wealthier districts for special needs students was almost double the spending in more impoverished districts.

“Special education spending in the lowest need districts is $43,635 per special education pupil while spending in the highest need districts is $25,823 per special education pupil,” wrote researchers of the study.

Last week, we heard from Congressman Tom Reed on why he wants the GOP tax plan to pass; today we hear from some who oppose it. Grad students in particular are concerned that it will balloon their expenses, blocking their career paths. And in Rochester, a bipartisan coalition of mayors and supervisors spoke about their concerns.

We get their perspective on who will be impacted, and how.

  • Scott O'Neil, University of Rochester graduate student
  • Helen Davies, University of Rochester graduate student
  • Bill Moehle, supervisor for the town of Brighton

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. 

rcsdk12.org/41

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.

freeimages.com/shutesandladders12

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.

Pages