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education

Hurricane Maria Brings 100+ Students to RCSD

Oct 20, 2017

Hurricane Maria has brought more than 100 new students to the Rochester City School District.

100 students from Puerto Rico alone have moved to Rochester in the last month or so and a total of 110 have come from hurricane-affected areas, according to RCSD chief accountability officer Ray Giamartino. District officials have no idea how many more may come.

The New York State Board of Regents named its "Teacher of the Year," and the winner is from our area.

Christopher Albrecht is a fourth grade teacher in the Brockport Central School District. We talk to him about his career, and his thoughts on the future of education and the teaching profession.

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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.

For 44 years, you could find actress Sonia Manzano on Sesame Street playing the iconic character, "Maria." While loyal Sesame Street viewers knew her as a cheerful and supportive friend to Big Bird, Elmo, and Oscar, Manzano's role on the show was more than meets the eye: she was the first Latina woman many viewers ever saw on television, and she won 15 Emmys for writing scripts that explored a number of issues, including multiculturalism.

Manzano is the keynote speaker for the YWCA of Rochester's Empowering Women Luncheon on Wednesday, but first, she joins us on Connections. We talk to her about her journey to Sesame Street, how her tumultuous childhood influenced her career, and her thoughts about diverse casting on screen. Our guests:

  • Sonia Manzano, actress and author
  • Jean Carroll, president and CEO of the YWCA of Rochester and Monroe County

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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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York education leaders have tweaked and renamed the Common Core learning standards in response to criticism over the way they were written and implemented.

A Board of Regents committee on Monday approved the reworked Next Generation Learning Standards for English and math, with plans to fully implement them with the start of the 2020-21 school year. Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia says that will give teachers and students time to adjust before the standards become the basis for statewide testing.

Rosalie Winard

A woman who helped shine the light on the unique abilities of an autistic mind will be inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls next week.

Temple Grandin, an author, speaker, and champion of farm animal welfare said the honor means a lot to her.

"Because when I first started in the seventies,” she said, “being a woman in a man's industry - the cattle industry - that was hard and I had to prove that I could do it. I was really motivated to make sure that my stuff was really good and that I wasn't stupid." 

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