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RCSD

Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

Kenneth Eastwood’s appointment as distinguished educator to the Rochester City School District has been rescinded.

A statement from the New York State Education Department said Eastwood could not come to an agreement with the school board regarding his contract.

But School Board President Van White said he was surprised by the decision.

"We were engaged in negotiations," he said via phone, "and actually had set aside office space [for Eastwood] in central office."

Eastwood's appointment was scheduled to begin April 25.

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

As the Rochester City School Board prepares to vote on a budget for the next school year, they are facing criticism for their bilingual and special education programs. A report from the Children's Agenda says even though the school district is proposing investments in these areas, there needs to be more transparency and oversight in the process.

Three years ago, Wailany Olio left her home in Puerto Rico and moved to Rochester. She brought her son, who is 8, and her daughter, who is 6.

New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia has appointed someone to, as Elia puts it, give the Rochester City School District “much-needed assistance in developing and implementing plans to carry out its responsibilities to ensure all children in the district receive the education they deserve.”

Elia has appointed Kenneth Eastwood as “Distinguished Educator,“ and she says he has the experience and skill needed to help children in the Rochester district’s low performing schools.

The death of 14-year-old Trevyan Rowe has shocked Rochester, and it has sparked calls for change in local school policy. How did it happen? What can be fixed, and who is ultimately accountable?

Our guests discuss it:

  • T. Andrew Brown, vice chancellor for the Board of Regents
  • Melanie Funchess, member of the Rochester City School Board and director of community engagement for the Mental Health Association of Rochester
  • Terrie Meyn, vice president of strategic initiatives for Happiness House and CP Rochester

In a pair of news conferences late Tuesday afternoon, officials from both the City of Rochester and the Rochester City School District admitted that mistakes were made in the events that led up to the death of 14 year old Trevyan Rowe. 

RCSD hosts job fair to fill teacher roles

Feb 10, 2018

The Rochester City School District is hosting a major hiring event Saturday to bring new educators, social workers and counselors in for the next school year.

Officials will interview all interested prospective employees from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Central Office in downtown Rochester. 

The job fair is primarily for District leaders to hire new teachers, but counselors, social workers and special education instructors are also welcome to apply. 

Among the Big 5 districts in New York State, Rochester still comes in last in terms of high school graduation rates.

The State Education Department released graduation rates for the 2013 freshman class, and Rochester still falls behind the other Big 5 schools with a 51.9% graduation rate.

This number grew 4.2% from the previous year.

Across the state, Education Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia says the current rate for English language learners or ELLs has decreased to just over 26%

Rochester students celebrate World Hijab Day

Feb 2, 2018
Tianna Manon

Students and staff at 15 local schools and universities sported hijabs Thursday in solidarity with Muslim women worldwide. It’s part of World Hijab Day, which takes place every February 1 and began six years ago. The goal is to educate people about the discrimination and prejudice Muslim women face.

It’s the third year students at World of Inquiry have participated. Roughly a dozen gave up their lunchtime to hand out hijabs, wrap them properly or simply ask questions about being Muslim.

Alex Crichton / WXXI News

Rochester School Board President Van White has a message for anyone concerned about 690 Saint Paul Street. He says until the data shows otherwise, the building is safe.

“Monroe County Department of Health, again, these are people who get degrees and research and understand it. They’re not educators in this building. I’m not the one making the call saying the building is safe. These folks have degrees and have looked at this kind of thing. They're saying it’s safe.”

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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