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Rochester City School District

While school kids in Rochester are gearing up for summer break, the leader of the Rochester City School District is keeping her sleeves rolled up. For Superintendent Barbara Deane-Williams much-needed change within the city school system doesn’t happen with words, but actions. So what does she plan to do exactly? 

Also on the show, it’s rare for voters to get a glimpse inside the personal lives of politicians. However, that’s about to change. A special segment gives viewers a unique look at the person behind the politician in this year’s mayoral race in Rochester.

New Rochester City School District Superintendent Barbara Deane-Williams says building trust isn’t about words, but actions. We’ll learn how she plans to act to improve relationships, mind-sets, build trust and enforce change in the city school system. 

Also, a new series introduces us to the person behind the politician in this year’s mayoral race in the City of Rochester.

There’s an opportunity gap that exists in urban education. For those who live in Monroe County, but outside the City of Rochester, this gap matters to them too. How? The fate of our suburbs is deeply connected to the livelihood of our cities, including our public schools. But closing that opportunity gap can happen. On this edition of Need to Know we learn how.

Guests include: Pedro Noguera, Ph.D., a renowned expert on public education in America, a sociologist and a Distinguished Professor of Education at UCLA and Shaun Nelms, Ed.D., an associate professor at the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education and Superintendent of East High School.

There’s a question that has plagued the Rochester community for decades: What will it take to improve educational outcomes for city school students? On this edition of Need to Know we’ll learn how one thing, equity, could change everything.

Also on the show, they’ve escaped war, violence, persecution and natural disasters. And some who now call Rochester “home” are still living with uncertainty. We’ll learn why World Refugee Day has a new meaning.

And meet a local valedictorian with a heart for others and a mean forehand as our Top of the Class series continues.

The Rochester School Board recently passed a nearly $900 million budget. District spending has a few critics among Rochester’s mayoral candidates who are calling for more accountability and transparency. One person who has spent much time dissecting what’s working and what’s not in city schools is Board President Van White. He joins this edition of Need to Know to talk mayor-school district partnership, the current state of the city school system and more.

Candidates in the race for Rochester mayor are painting a picture of what city schools might look like under their administration. Now that we’ve heard some of their plans, we hear from the School Board President. On this edition of Need to Know, Van White weighs in on their proposals, the Superintendent and his vision for what’s next in city schools.

Also on the show, our relatively warm forecast this week doesn’t change the fact that Lake Ontario remains at record high levels. Great Lakes reporter/producer Veronica Volk shares the stories of those impacted, mounting fears and next steps.

And we’ll meet a Rochester high school student utilizing her own life experiences for the sake of racial tolerance and understanding. She’s the latest to join WXXI’s “Top of the Class” series on Need to Know.

Betsy DeVos has been confirmed as the new Secretary of Education. What does that mean for our public schools?

We reached out to many local school leaders to join the discussion; most declined. Our panel discusses the issues they see as most in play during the Trump administration. Note: there are school-choice advocates who are not in positions of public school leadership, and we'll be inviting them to join us in the coming days, too. In studio:

  • Steve Uebbing, professor of educational leadership, and director of the Center for Urban Education Success at the Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester
  • Adam Urbanski, president of the Rochester Teachers Association
  • Trina Newton, superintendent of the Geneva Central School District
  • Van White, president of the Rochester City School Board

This coming Friday is Black Lives Matter Day in the Rochester City School District. RCSD says the mission is to create "a day of education, dialogue and action that will actively engage a significant number of educational communities throughout Monroe County in activities that support understanding the affirmation of black lives."

The Rochester Board of Education and the RTA supports this programming, but participation by individual teachers is optional. We discuss it with our panel:

  • LoWan Brown, assistant principal at Joseph C. Wilson Foundation Academy and co-organizer of the event
  • Chris Widmaier, science teacher at World of Inquiry School No. 58 and co-organizer of the event
  • Mahreen Mustafa-George, parent and co-organizer of the event
  • Atim Okung, student activist and co-organizer of the event

www.ureasthigh.org

It’s been one year since The University of Rochester took on the role as the Educational Partnership Organization for East High School.

Superintendent of the Lower and Upper schools Shaun Nelms said that year one has been about identifying the root issues they plan to address with this partnership. The list ranged from low attendance rates and curriculum changes, to behavioral problems, and student teacher relations.

The statistic Nelms was most proud of was increased retention rates from grade 9 to grade 10.

East High School | University of Rochester

You could call it the most watched school in Rochester. East High School is kicking off year two in its collaboration with the University of Rochester. On this edition of Need to Know we learn what’s in store for this new school year as this innovative intervention continues to unfold.

Also on the show, photonics is now in Rochester and eventually the jobs promised will be here too. We’ll tell you how local schools are preparing their students to cash in on the booming industry.

And in the midst of continued turmoil and unrest in South Sudan, hope springs forth. How the Rochester-South Sudan partnership is bringing new opportunities to the youth of Mayan-Abun.

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