Schools and School News

    2015

      Genesee Community Charter School Charter is renewed

      5/21/15
      Justin Murphy, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "Genesee Community Charter School had its state charter renewed for five more years this week, ending uncertainty over whether the school’s distinctive demographics would pass state muster. Twenty-five percent of the school’s 216 students are economically disadvantaged, compared to 90 percent in the Rochester School District. Ten percent have disabilities, compared to 18 percent in the district. State law requires charter schools to have comparable ratios of poverty and students with disabilities as the districts from which they draw their students. Critics charge Genesee Community Charter School, which is located on the Rochester Museum and Science Center campus, with avoiding a proportionate share of poor students."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      Monroe County voters OK District Budgets

      5/20/15
      Meaghan McDermott, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "School budgets in Monroe County easily passed on Tuesday, as did an array of propositions to spend money on new school buses and on capital improvements. But voters in West Irondequoit unseated two long-time incumbents, while incumbents retained their seats in other contested races. Notable approved spending includes $12.4 million in capital improvements in Spencerport schools, $12.5 million for capital improvements in Rush-Henrietta schools and $29.2 million for a capital project in Fairport schools."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      Cobblestone School needs $150,000 to stay open

      5/19/15
      Justin Murphy, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "As it turns out, a honeybee can teach you plenty. That’s the recent experience of students at Cobblestone School in Rochester’s Neighborhood of the Arts, a little-known but much-loved Rochester private school that needs an immediate infusion of cash to stay open. The kids studied the bees’ anatomy and how they fit into their environment. They drew pictures, came up with a song and dance, created their own beehive and planted wildflowers to help keep the little buzzers fat and happy."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      Area School spending up amid fewer students

      5/18/15
      Meaghan McDermott, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "At the same time enrollment in Monroe County’s suburban schools has fallen by 5 percent, overall school spending has increased here by nearly 10 percent. For the 2011-12 school year, voters here approved more than $1.4 billion in public school spending, while on Tuesday, they will weigh in on requests to OK more than $1.5 billion in spending, $860 million of which will come directly from local property taxes. Education leaders say they strive to keep costs under control, but that a continuing burden of state mandates including Common Core implementation, new teacher evaluation procedures and skyrocketing pension contributions leave districts little leeway when it comes to slashing spending — even in light of falling enrollment."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      School District budget votes on Tuesday

      5/17/15
      Jim Mandelaro and Sarah Taddeo, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writers report that "Local school budget and Board of Education elections are Tuesday across the area."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      Shake up at RCSD Adminstrator's Uniun

      5/16/15
      Justin Murphy, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "The Rochester School District’s Association of Supervisors and Administrators of Rochester (ASAR) has new leadership following a vote of its members. The new president is Tim Cliby, the executive director of the district’s instructional technology department. His top deputy will be Monroe High School principal Vicki Ramos. They replace Sandy Jordan and First Vice President Rebecca Boyle. Jordan stepped in for former president Deb Ryder after Ryder retired, and was running for a new two-year term of her own. Jordan said Friday she didn’t have a good idea of why the union members voted for Cliby instead of her. Cliby and Ramos could not be immediately reached for comment. In the last year, ASAR’s relationship with the district has gone from chilly to frigid. Its members voted no confidence in Superintendent Bolgen Vargas in January 2014."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      Charter Schools want NY to change funding

      5/15/15
      Carolyn Thompson, Associated Press, staff writer reports that "Lawyers for New York state asked a judge Thursday to throw out a lawsuit claiming its education-funding formula shortchanges charter schools. The suit, brought by five Buffalo and Rochester families and the Northeast Charter Schools Network, calls the funding system unconstitutional because it allots less per-pupil aid for charter school students than those in traditional public schools and does not include funding for charter school buildings."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      RCSD and RTS reach deal on student busing for the summer

      5/15/15
      David Riley, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "This is how a controversy over student busing in the city ends: Not with a bang, but a low-key joint news conference. Officials with Regional Transit Service and the Rochester School District announced a deal Thursday for the public bus system to transport older city students to summer school in July and August. An agreement appears likely for the fall, too, though details have yet to be worked out. Under the arrangement, more than 90 percent of summer school students will bypass the Downtown Transit Center on express buses, RTS CEO Bill Carpenter said."
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      Eastridge honored for paying student's way

      5/12/15
      Justin Murphy, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "Malcolm Knight-Tyler has a challenging schedule for his senior year at Eastridge High School: International Baccalaureate courses in English and Spanish and dual-credit Monroe Community College economics, among others. Keeping up with that work is enough of a worry for him and his classmates, so the East Irondequoit Central School District has removed a second worry: paying for it. Eastridge High School last week received a “School of Opportunity” designation from the National Education Policy Center. It was one of 17 schools in Colorado and New York to get the honor, which is intended to highlight schools that are succeeding in ways that cannot be measured by test ."
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      Neglected and Rejected: Latino Special Education students in the RCSD

      5/10/15
      Justin Murphy, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "Latino students with disabilities face systemic mistreatment in the Rochester School District, a Democrat and Chronicle investigation has found. Interviews with a dozen families and extensive documentation show that they are suspended more often than other students, often as punishment for misbehavior associated with their disabilities."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.
      Click this link to read the online story.
      Click this link to read the online story in Spanish.

      RCSD approves $802 Million budget

      5/8/15
      Justin Murphy, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "The Rochester Board of Education on Thursday approved a $802 million budget for 2015-16 that funds a new era at East High School and changes the way many students with disabilities are educated. The vote was 5-2. Mary Adams and Willa Powell were opposed. This year’s budget season lacked the drama of past years. There was a net loss of 138 positions, but that will be covered mostly by retirements and existing vacancies. School psychologists and teachers who work with adult students and those outside traditional schools had protested changes to their programs but were satisfied after discussions with Superintendent Bolgen Vargas. The superintendent extolled the additions in the budget: 46 more reading teachers, eight more music teachers, three more schools with expanded learning time and new investments at East, Edison Tech and Wilson Magnet high schools."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      Kendall CSD joins Urban-Suburban program

      5/7/15
      Justin Murphy, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "The Kendall Central School District in Orleans County has joined the Urban- Suburban program, becoming its farthestflung participating district and one of the smallest. The school board’s unanimous vote came in April, a month after Spencerport, East Irondequoit, East Rochester and Hilton joined the seven districts that already participate. Superintendent Julie Christensen said the district sees it as a way to combat declining enrollment. Kendall had 737 students in 2013-14, down from 812 in 2009-10, according to state data."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      Partnerships to Uplift Charter Schools fired over questionable bidding

      5/6/15
      Justin Murphy, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "Atop executive at a national charter school organization with a Rochester location has been fired over improper bidding involving a company she coowns. PUC (Partnerships to Uplift Communities) Schools has 15 schools in California. This year, it opened PUC Achieve Charter School on Mark Street in Rochester, starting with fifth-graders. It will eventually expand to grades 5-8. According to the Los Angeles Times, a recent investigation by the California Department of Education showed that the school network contracted with a food vendor co-owned by Jacqueline Duvivier Castillo, PUC’s director of business and development, even though the company did not meet some requirements to gain the contract and even though it was not the highest bidder."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      School bus company eliminating 142 jobs impacts RCSD students

      5/5/15
      Todd Clausen, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "An Illinois-based transportation service is shuttering its Rochester location and will lay off more than 140 employees. Durham School Services will close its Newbury Street site this summer, according to a filing with the state Department of Labor. The move will eliminate 142 jobs, many being part-time drivers and bus monitors, said Molly Hart, a spokesperson with the company."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      Greece CSD Superintendent to retire

      5/4/15
      Leo Roth, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "Barbara Deane-Williams, superintendent of the Greece Central School District, is retiring. Dean-Williams, 58, sent a letter to her staff on Friday, saying she submitted her letter of retirement to the town’s Board of Education, effective July 1. She was hired by the district in May 2011. “I am so very grateful for the opportunity to have served as your Superintendent over the past four years and want to express my heartfelt thanks to each of you for your support,” Deane-Williams wrote."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      Erica Bryant - No School should be an island of poverty

      5/2/15
      Erica Bryant, Democrat and Chronicle, columnist reports that "Imagine a public school where the children of doctors attend class with the children of fast food clerks. Imagine a school that draws students from Fairport and Greece, from Park Avenue and Hudson. Imagine a school where the test score gap between rich and poor is a crevice rather than a chasm. There are schools like this all over the country. There’s no reason that we can’t have some in Rochester. For the past couple of months, I have spent Monday evenings in the basement of Third Presbyterian Church with a group of people who want to make it happen."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      Teacher hirings at East High raise concerns

      5/1/15
      Bennett Loudon, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "The University of Rochester team taking over at East High School has made offers to 176 applicants for teaching positions as of Tuesday, including 83 current teachers at the troubled campus. Steve Uebbing, the Warner School of Education professor who will serve as East’s superintendent, said 63 positions were offered to teachers from other Rochester city schools. Another 30 offers were made to applicants from applicants outside the district, including candidates from other states, he said. He said 20 more teaching positions remain unfilled. Non-instructional staff also remains to be hired, but Uebbing did not have an estimate of how many of those jobs there are. After years of poor performance, state Education Department officials demanded that the City School District devises a plan for improvement that led to the partnership with the Warner School."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      Gates Chili challenges service dog ruling

      4/30/15
      David Andreatta, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "The Gates Chili Central School District has asked the Department of Justice to clarify and possibly revoke a ruling that found the district in violation of federal law for refusing to allow an 8-yearold girl to bring her service dog to school on her own. The ruling was issued two weeks ago in response to a nearly two-year investigation of a dispute between the district and the family of Devyn Pereira, a second-grader at Neil Armstrong Elementary School in Gates with Angelman Syndrome, which manifests itself in severe autism and epilepsy. A prepared statement released Wednesday by the district read that the ruling was “at odds with the language and application of the existing officially published Americans with Disabilities Act service dog rules.”"
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      RCSD busing plan faulted

      4/30/15
      David Riley, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "The Rochester School District and public bus system appeared to be at an impasse Wednesday over the future of transportation for students. The Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority announced on Tuesday that it would stop providing transportation for city high schools, starting in June. But the district said it has too little time to hire a private bus company for next school year, and that it would buy passes for students to ride regular public buses to school this summer and in the fall. Paradoxically, that could mean more students on Regional Transit Service buses and transferring at the Downtown Transit Center."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      RTS to end RCSD Student Busing

      4/29/15
      David Riley, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "Operators of Rochester’s public bus system said Tuesday that they plan to stop transporting nearly 9,000 city students to and from school, starting in June. But it may not be that simple. The district said the transit agency’s decision comes too late to hire a private company with enough staff and equipment to bus city students for summer school or next fall. The district plans instead to buy daily bus passes so students can continue to ride Regional Transit Service buses next school year. Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority CEO Bill Carpenter announced the decision Tuesday, soon after briefing his board on the matter. The authority’s contract to bus high school students expires in June, and the transit agency will end its relationship with the city schools then, Carpenter said at an afternoon news conference."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      Gates Chili Student gets probation for punching coach

      4/24/15
      Mary Chao, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "A student at Gates Chili High School was sentenced to three years probation for assaulting the varsity team’s head coach last year. Davarcea J. Fort was facing a second-degree assault charge, a felony, for punching the coach inside the football locker room at Gates Chili High School last October. Authorities said Fort entered the locker room with three other male high school students and the four got into a verbal confrontation with some members of the football team."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      Spencerport to add a School Day due to State Test Opt Out

      4/21/15
      Justin Murphy, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "Students in grades 3-8 in Spencerport thought they were getting off scotfree when their parents opted them out of three days of state testing. Instead, it’s out of the frying pan, into the fire. After 50 percent of its students refused the English tests last week, the district realized it wouldn’t need to dedicate as much time to test-grading as originally planned. That means a scheduled day off for K-8 students on Monday will now be a regular school day."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      Rochester Leadership Academy for Young Men participate in ROTC program

      4/20/15
      Justin Murphy, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "In the bowels of Charlotte High School, around the corner from the boiler room and directly beneath the swimming pool, shots ring out. It is hot, humid and noisy. Four young men are prone and propped up on their backpacks with Olympic-grade Daisy single-shot air rifles pointed down-range. Master Sgt. Shawn Legault paces behind them. The boys, students at Leadership Academy for Young Men, are part of one of the few marksmanship programs in a public high school, and certainly the only one in Monroe County.
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      Brighton adding 30 minutes to school day in 2015-16

      4/16/15
      Justin Murphy, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "Students in Brighton schools will spend an extra 30 minutes in school each day starting this fall, the district announced Wednesday. The extended day was part of a new contract with the Brighton Teachers Association signed last summer. The two sides have spent the last year working out the details of how the extra time will be spent. “Teachers’ contact time with children is the single biggest factor in their success,” Brighton Superintendent Kevin McGowan said. “We often feel that we’re rushed, and that there’s not enough time to accomwho plish what we want to accomplish.” The extra 30 minutes will be spent differently in each school based on plans drawn up by teams in each building. Each school developed a plan on the needs for each school, the plans will be refined prior to the start of school in September, said McGowan in a news release. These changes are considered a pilot for the 2015-16 school year, he said."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      Family sues RCSD in bullying case

      4/14/15
      Bennett Loudon, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "A lawsuit has been filed against the Rochester City School District claiming school officials failed to protect a thirdgrader from bullying. The four-page filing names the pupil’s mother as the plaintiff, but the girl is only identified as D.C. The Democrat and Chronicle Media Group is not naming the mother because doing so would likely identify the child. District spokesman Chip Partner declined to comment because the district has not yet been served with the complaint, which was filed March 17 in state Supreme Court. According to the fourpage court filing, the mother told school officials that her daughter was being bullied at school and she was initially “assured that the situation would be taken care of.”
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      New Superintendent named for Rochester School for the Deaf

      4/14/15
      Justin Murphy, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      Bilingual classes gain support

      4/13/15
      Justin Murphy, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that School 12's HOLA program is a Western NY model program. "Many Rochester schools have bilingual programs in which nonnative English speakers receive some instruction in their native language, but those classes are often viewed as a means of getting them toward English proficiency. The HOLA program is different. It’s a duallanguage program that gives neither language priority. Some of its 180 or so students are native speakers of Spanish, some of English. They’re taught in one language one day and the other the next, with the goal of developing competency in both by sixth grade. “It stresses that they become literate in both languages,” said Vicki Robertson, who has a fifth-grader in the program and an eighthgrader who graduated from it. “It really values Spanish for Spanish and English speakers. That’s something different in this country.” Its international appeal and success as an enrichment pathway is leading to calls for expansion in multiple directions. "
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      Erica Bryant - Bright colors on bright young men at Rochester Leadership Academy

      4/11/15
      Erica Bryant, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "Earlier this year I visited the Leadership Academy for Young Men, the all-boys high school on Lake Avenue. I was gathering information on an educational matter, but I was also taking notes on the outfits. One young man wore a bright orange shirt and a royal blue paisley bow tie. “My son might look cute in that,” I thought. Another kid was looking sharp in a turquoise diamond print sweater and black bow tie. Another student wore yellow pants, a red plaid shirt and navy blazer. Hot pink and purple ties were everywhere."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      Hilton Middle School Teacher seeks treatment and delay to court hearing

      4/11/15
      Gary Craig, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "A Hilton middle school teacher accused of enticing a minor to engage in sex hopes to go into in-patient treatment, according to statements in federal court Friday. Charles Kane was scheduled for a bail hearing Friday, but his attorney, Assistant Federal Public Defender Steven Slawinski, asked for a delay for possible treatment for Kane. Federal authorities allege that Kane, a Spencerport resident, set up a meeting with someone he believed to be a 14-yearold girl at a movie theater in Webster for sex. The girl, however, was an undercover law enforcement officer communicating with Kane, prosecutors say. Kane teaches at a Hilton middle school."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      19th Ward wants to keep School 44 open

      4/10/15
      Justin Murphy, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "The Rochester school board Thursday pressed for ways to maintain one neighborhood school in the 19th Ward while renovations at another are underway. The southwest neighborhood is the city’s most populous and one of its most civically engaged. It has Wilson Magnet High School; Wilson Foundation Academy, which is currently in the middle of a grow-out, with prekindergarten through third grade as well as seventh and eighth grades; and School 10, a citywide elementary school."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      East Rochester names new Superintendent

      4/9/15
      Justin Murphy, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "The East Rochester Union Free School District has named Mark Linton its next superintendent. Linton, currently the principal at Geneseo Elementary School, will replace Dick Stutzman, who is currently serving as interim superintendent. Stutzman stepped in after former superintendent Ray Giamartino left to take a position in the Rochester School District in 2013. “The thoughtful and careful process of choosing our new superintendent ... has been a comprehensive and meaningful onefortheentirecommunity,” school board president Colette Morabito said in a statement. “We can all agree that the East Rochester school family rallied together to secure the best individual to lead us to continued success and distinction.”"
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      Rocky first year for the new GED and other equivalency tests

      4/5/15
      Carolyn Thompson, Associated Press, staff writer reports that "The number of people taking high school equivalency exams in the U.S. plummeted — and the percentage who passed fell, too — in the year after a revamped, Common Coreinspired GED was introduced along with two new competing tests. Test administrators say a rush by people to take the old exam in 2013 before the newer ones were rolled out resulted in fewer test-takers in 2014. And the harder questions on the new exams led to lower scores. The GED, or General Educational Development test, was overhauled last year to reflect some of the Common Core standards that have been adopted by most states and emphasize critical thinking. In 2014, two new high school equivalency exams that also incorporate some of those standards were introduced by other testing companies."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      Greece Athena center to be fixed using settlement funds

      4/5/15
      Meaghan McDermott, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "The Athena Performing Arts Center at Greece Athena High School will likely be closed for the bulk of the upcoming school year so contractors can fix problems that have plagued the showpiece theater from the start. The biggest issues: obstructed views and numerous seats in the 1,600-seat auditorium that are installed too close together to allow anyone to sit in them. “It’s disappointing that we’re going to lose use of APAC for basically a year, but we’re hoping that once this is done and everything is up to snuff, that will be the facility it was supposed to be way back in 2001,” said Sean McCabe, president of the Greece Central School District board. Problems in the facility were just a handful of the troubles that stemmed from botched oversight of a $119.5 million capital improvement project in the district from the early 2000s. Among the issues: the state Comptroller’s Office determined the district overspent by $2.5 million on the project, then hid the excesses from the public by shifting the expenses to the district’s general fund."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      Hilton Middle School Teacher arrested for entacing a minor for a sexual act

      4/4/15
      Todd Clausen, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "A bail hearing for a middle school teacher accused of enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity was pushed back a week to give the defense more time to prepare. Charles Kane, 46, of Spencerport, was in U.S. District Court on Friday on charges that he set up a meeting at a Webster movie theater with a 14year-old girl, who was actually an undercover law enforcement officer, according to a complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney’s office. Kane is a teacher at a middle school in the Hilton school district."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      Monroe School Districts get more NY State aid

      4/1/15
      Meaghan McDermott, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "As final wrangling continued Tuesday over the last details of the state budget, the state Education Department released school aid runs for 2015-16 . In total, Monroe County’s public schools are in line for $64 million more than the $861 million they will get this school year, excluding increased payments to reimburse districts for voterapproved construction projects. But still a sticking point for local education leaders are plans to require districts to negotiate new teacher evaluation systems as called for by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, D-Bronx, said Tuesday "
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      RCSD School Board trying to reform

      3/31/15
      David Riley, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "Van White openly admits that the Rochester Board of Education hasn’t always done its job well. “I can’t fool anybody,” said White, the board’s president, in an interview Monday with the Democrat and Chronicle editorial board. “It would be ridiculous for me to say we’ve done a great job. The outcomes don’t suggest that.” But White said the school board admits its past mistakes and is now seeking greater accountability from district leaders. Board members now meet every Tuesday morning with school principals and ask for hard numbers to measure progress on student attendance, graduation rates and performance in English and math."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      E. Rochester and Hilton schools join Urban-Suburban program

      3/25/15
      Justin Murphy, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "The East Rochester and Hilton school boards approved joining the Urban- Suburban program Tuesday night, capping perhaps the busiest fourmonth period in its 50-year history.From the mid-1960s until 2014, only one new school district joined the six early adopters. The past months, however, have seen four new districts, with East Rochester and Hilton joining East Irondequoit andSpencerport.Hilton expects to add between eight and 12 students a year in first and second grade. East Rochester would start with 15 next year and build up to about 50 in four years, according to its website. Votes in both districts were unanimous, as they were in East Irondequoitand Spencerport.Urban-Suburban advocates have taken the opportunity of the program’s 50th anniversary to promote its attributes to other districts. Besides increasing diversity in the suburbs and providing opportunities for deserving Rochester students, itlets suburban districts prop up sagging enrollment and keep up their full course offerings."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      Greece voters OK school repairs but reject $8.5 Million sports stadium

      3/25/15
      Meghan McDermott, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "Voters in the Greece Central School district on Tuesday approved $35 million in repairs and renovations to school buildings and a land purchase, but shot down a proposal to build a lighted stadium at the Arcadia campus on Island Cottage Road, according to preliminary vote results. Construction could begin in 2017 on the approved package of upgraded ventilation and exhaust systems; heating, cooling and pool system upgrades; flooring, window, lighting and roof replacement; masonry repairs and equipment replacement; telephone upgrades; and parking lot reconstruction. That proposition was approved by a vote of 3,249 to 2,241. Additionally, the district was given permission to spend $207,450 in coming months to buy four acres of land at 1862 Latta Road. That site, adjacent to the existing transportation facility, could potentially be used for a future project that would include a bus wash and storage facility. Voters approved the proposition by a vote of 3,165 to 2,210."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      RCSD budget plan eliminates 148 positions

      3/24/15
      Justin Murphy, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "Rochester School District Superintendent Bolgen Vargas proposes eliminating 148 positions, including nearly 80 teachers and about 50 central office positions, to fill a $40.5 million gap and add services and support for students. As in the past two years, Vargas added significant funding — $25.3 million this year — for his educational priorities while also covering a gap caused by rising salary and benefit costs and the continuing exodus of students to charter schools."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      More suburban students are attending Charter Schools

      3/22/15
      Justin Murphy, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "When Sylvia Marshall moved to Rochester from Ontario, Wayne County, she was looking for an intimate school setting for her children and found one at Rochester Academy Charter School. She and her children liked it so much that when they later moved to Gates, they stayed there, joining a small but growing population of suburban students at Rochester charter schools. “My daughter didn’t want to leave,” Sylvia Marshall said. “She liked the small atmosphere and she’d made friends. … It’s all been positive for her and me.” Of the 4,000 or so students attending one of the 12 local charter schools, more than 95 percent live in Rochester. But about 150 live in towns throughout the county, giving suburban school districts a financial and logistical headache that threatens to worsen."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      East Rochester CSD names 3 finalists for Superintendent

      3/20/15
      The Democrat and Chronicle reports that "The East Rochester school district has narrowed its field down to three candidates in the search for a new superintendent."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      Urban-Suburban program may admit whites

      3/20/15
      Justin Smith, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "Urban-Suburban leaders soon plan to change the program’s mission statement, likely allowing white students to participate and increasing opportunities for suburban-to-urban transfers. The as-yet-undefined proposal, discussed at a meeting of participating districts Wednesday, would mark the first major overhaul of the program in its 50-year history and comes at a time of high interest among the public and districts deciding whether to join."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      RCSD brownfield cleanup to begin

      3/19/15
      Justin Murphy, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "Cleanup crews will soon begin to treat and remove contaminated groundwater and soil beneath a school building on St. Paul Street in Rochester, the Department of Environmental Conservation announced Wednesday. The work is the longawaited final step to handle pollution caused by a former Bausch + Lomb factory. Rochester Prep High School is located in the leased building, 690 St. Paul St., and there are about 175 Rochester School District students there as well. Old underground storage tanks leaked trichloroethene, a degreaser, into the soil and groundwater. The 4.7-acre site was designated a brownfield in 2009 and a ventilation system is in place to keep noxious vapors out of the school building."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      Fairport CSD names new Superintendent

      3/19/15
      Sarah Taddeo and Justin Murphy, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writers report that "The Fairport Central School District has named Brett Provenzano as its new superintendent. Provenzano has served as the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in the district since July 2014. He was officially named at Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting and will start in his new position on July 1. He was chosen over one other finalist, Beth Mascitti-Miller, a former administrator in the Rochester School District who now leads Chicago Public Schools’ Office of Early Childhood Education. “Bringing the core beliefs of the Board of Education to the school community is both professionally and personally gratifying,” Provenzano said, adding that as the new superintendent, he will work with the entire district organization. “I’m looking forward to supporting them along the way,” he said. Provenzano began his career as a social studies teacher in the Newark school district and held various educational and administrative positions in the Pittsford, Webster and Fairport school districts."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      Three Greece CSD students charged in bullying case

      3/18/15
      Leo Roth, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "Three students were charged Tuesday in connection with two alleged incidents of bullying a special-needs classmate at Greece Athena High School. The victim was allegedly coerced into performing dehumanizing acts in a school lavatory on two separate occasions “days” apart, Greece Police Chief Patrick Phelan said Tuesday at a news conference at police headquarters. At least one of the incidents was posted to the social media site Snapchat. “We have more than one video in our possession. Same victim, same suspects,” Phelan said. Greece police are not identifying the juvenile offenders; Phelan said each is younger than 16."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      East Irondequoit School Board votes to join Urban Suburban Program

      3/18/15
      Justin Murphy, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "The East Irondequoit school board voted Tuesday — a month later than it originally planned — to join the Urban-Suburban program, becoming the ninth participating school district. The vote was unanimous with no discussion. The district will recruit 36 students to be split between middle school and high school starting in the fall. It apparently will be the first Monroe County district to welcome high school upperclassmen from the city. Until now, only students entering grades 1-9 have been eligible to participate, but East Irondequoit officials said they have tentative permission to take in 11th- and 12th-graders. “We think this will have a benefit to the students who (come here) as well as the students we already have,” Superintendent Susan Allen said. East Irondequoit was one of four districts actively considering joining the 50-year-old voluntary integration program for the 2015-16 school year. The others — Spencerport, East Rochester and Hilton — all had several opportunities to share information with residents and solicit their opinions."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      Siena Catholic Academy will offer its pupils laptops

      3/17/15
      The Democrat and Chronicle reports that "Siena Catholic Academy will offer its inaugural sixth-grade class free laptops, it said Monday. The diocesan middle school, which is expanding to sixth grade for the first time this fall, joins other private and parochial schools, including Allendale Columbia and Bishop Kearney, in offering free devices to its students. The students will use the Google Chromebooks throughout middle school, then own them outright after graduating from eighth grade. Several public schools let students use iPads or laptops, but do not give them away. Siena is hoping to attract about 50 sixthgraders for the fall, part of an increasingly competitive market for sixthgraders among Catholic schools in Rochester."

      East High Principal to stay and lead grades 10-12

      3/17/15
      Justin Murphy, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "Current East High School principal Anibal Soler Jr. will keep his position at the school under the University of Rochester, while veteran administrator Marlene Blocker will become principal for grades 6-9, the college announced Monday. For Soler, it completes a wild swing in job prospects over the last year. When the New York State Education Department announced in March 2014 that it was requiring drastic change at East, it was widely assumed that Soler, its principal since 2009, would be replaced. But the UR takeover team retained him in 2014-15 for the transition, then chose him to lead grades 10-12. “We are excited to build a team that will be responsive to the greater needs of the East community,” East’s deputy superintendent, Shaun Nelms, said in a statement. “Anibal and Marlene demonstrated throughout the interview process a commitment toward staff development, student achievement, family support and their own personal growth as leaders.”"
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      RCSD School Board rejects Superintendent's offer

      3/17/15
      Justin Murphy, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "Rochester School District Superintendent Bolgen Vargas offered last week to drop his lawsuit against the school board in exchange for a two-year contract extension but was rebuffed, according to three sources. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity. Neither Vargas’ lawyer, Steve Modica, nor school board president Van White would comment on the specifics of closed-door discussions regarding the dispute. Vargas’ current contract expires at the end of the 2015-16 school year and pays him $195,000 a year. An extension would have represented a vote of confidence by the school board in a highly uncertain situation and a concession by Vargas on a point of law and principle. The estrangement between the school board and Vargas surfaced March 3 when the board voted unanimously to abridge his hiring and firing powers, particularly relating to his 32-member nonunion executive team, the Superintendent’s Employment Group (SEG)."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      David Andreatta on the Gates Chili CSD Service Dog Case

      3/15/15
      David Andreatta, Democrat and Chronicle, columnist writes about the Gates Chili CSD Services dog case "There’s a troubling dispute simmering between a Chili girl and her school district over her dog. It’s been in the news before, but it’s worth revisiting because a strikingly similar quarrel just played out in a Florida courtroom, where the judge all but ordered the school board to heel. The players and issues at hand here are these: Devyn Pereira is an 8-year-old second-grader at Neil Armstrong Elementary School in Gates. She has severe epilepsy and autism and doesn’t speak. Her dog is Hannah, a white Bouvier that’s trained to help Devyn walk and sit still and detect when she’s going to have a seizure. The Gates Chili Central School District allows Hannah to accompany Devyn to school, but only on the condition that Hannah have a “handler.” Therein lies the rub, because the result is that Devyn’s mother, Heather Pereira, pays someone to “handle” Hannah during the school day — a requirement Pereira claims is a financial burden and unlawful under the Americans with Disabilities Act."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      Misconduct including the abuse of a student with special needs at Greece Athena Alleged

      3/12/15
      Jon Hand, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "Greece police on Wednesday confirmed they are investigating an allegation that three Greece Athena High School students recorded a special needs student doing dehumanizing acts in the high school and then posting them to a social media site. Few details were available as the investigation was just beginning and because all of the accused individuals are juveniles, said Greece Police Chief Patrick Phelan. When contacted Wednesday evening, Phelan acknowledged that an investigation was underway, and confirmed that the allegations involve three Athena students, all younger than 16, who were accused of prompting a special needs student to pull down his pants, grab his crotch and drink urine from a toilet. The students are accused of recording the activity and posting it on Snapchat, an application that sends text, photo and video messages to contacts that disappear after one to 10 seconds.."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      Greece CSD pitches new stadium

      3/12/15
      Jim Mandelaro, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "Greece is the ninth-largest school district in New York, and the town is splintered into four high schools: Arcadia, Athena, Odyssey and Olympia. Assistant Superintendent Romeo Colilli sees a new district athletic stadium on the Greece Arcadia campus as a way to bring the community together." Voting on this plan will be March 24th.
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      Seven elected as NY State Regents

      3/11/15
      Jon Campbell, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "The state Legislature elected seven people Tuesday to the Board of Regents, the state’s education- policy panel that has faced scrutiny in recent years for the oft-criticized rollout of the Common Core standards. Lawmakers selected four new board members and three incumbents, opting to replace regents in western New York and the North Country who had been seeking another term."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the report.

      Aquinas opting out of Regents

      3/9/15
      Justin Murphy, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "Aquinas Institute is phasing out its use of state Regents exams, replacing them with a more rigorous set of tests it will develop on its own. Students entering as sixth-graders in the fall will be the first class not to take any Regents exams. Current students will still need to take the exams required for graduation."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the report.

      Greece CSD Coach and Senior Teacher Aide accused of raping Student

      3/5/15
      Tina MacIntyre-Yee, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "A woman accused of having sexual contact with a Greece Central School District student resigned from her job as a teacher’s aide at Greece Olympia High School. Christina M. Jewell-Bellucio, 32, of Greece was charged Tuesday with third-degree rape and third-degree criminal sex act, both felonies, she resigned from her job with the school district the same day, Greece Central School District Spokesperson, Laurel Heiden said in an email. Heiden said, “We were made aware of the alleged misconduct on Monday and began an internal investigation. We turned the investigation over to Greece Police the same day.” Jewell-Bellucio was hired as cheerleader coach August 2013, said Heiden and also became a teacher’s aide at Greece Olympia High School March 2014. She was then appointed a senior teacher’s aide, according to school documents. Olympia is a sixth- to twelfth-grade school. Jewell-Bellucio was named 2014 Class A Coach of the Year during the 2014 Winter Section V Cheerleading Sectionals."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the report.

      RCSD Superintendent to sue School Board over vote

      3/4/15
      Justin Murphy, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "Rochester School District Superintendent Bolgen Vargas will begin legal action against the school board Wednesday morning after it voted Tuesday night to strip him of some hiring and firing power. Vargas’ lawyer, Steve Modica, confirmed the plan Tuesday night after the vote. It marks a startling flare-up in relations between the superintendent and the board. At a special meeting Tuesday, the school board unanimously approved a resolution that could remove some of the employees from Vargas’ high-up non-union team, the Superintendent’s Employment Group (SEG). There are currently about 30 people in that group, including assistant superintendents, school chiefs and other top-level administrators."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the report.

      Canandaigua and Phelps-Clifton Spring reopen Family Support Center

      3/2/15
      Bennett Loudon, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "A counseling program for youths and their families that had been discontinued in 2009 because of a lack of funding has been restored at two Ontario County school districts. Family Support Centers have been reopened in the Canandaigua and Phelps-Clifton Springs Central School Districts."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the report.

      Spencerport joins Urban-Suburban Program

      2/25/15
      Justin Murphy, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "About 18 Rochester first-, secondand sixth-graders will attend school in Spencerport in the fall after the school board voted Tuesday to adopt the Urban- Suburban program. The vote was unanimous. Many audience members greeted it with applause; others shouted warnings about this spring’s school board vote. The incoming Rochester students will make up about 1 percent of the 1,700 combined students at Bernabi and Canal View elementary schools and Cosgrove Middle School."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the report.

      A whole new World of Inquiry

      2/23/15
      Justin Murphy, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "Rochester’s World of Inquiry School, which emphasizes an education based on questioning, collaborating and doing, finally has a building to match its creed. Opportunities for cross-fertilization abound. A terraced cafe-style seating area can double as a stage; the halls were designed to accommodate tables for small groups; a second-story greenhouse is ready for students to think of ways to use it. Most important of all for the school’s first senior class, the renovated building is ready in time for them to return before graduation. Classes start there Monday morning."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the report.

      Five Districts agree to change enrollment polices that violated immigrant rights

      2/20/15
      Justin Murphy and Joseph Spector, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writers report that "Five Monroe County suburban school districts have agreed to new student enrollment policies after a state investigation concerning immigrants, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Thursday. The five school districts — Gates Chili, Hilton, Penfield, Pittsford and Spencerport — all had questions on their enrollment forms asking about students’ citizenship or nationality. That infringes upon the right of all children to an education regardless of immigration status because the questions could “potentially chill or discourage undocumented students from registering or enrolling.”"
      Click this link to read the pdf of the report.

      Greater Works Charter School is reapplying for State Charter

      2/18/15
      Justin Murphy, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "The former trustees of Greater Works Charter School are applying again to open a charter school in Rochester, this time under a different name and without their disgraced 22-year-old leader. Greater Works was approved by the state to open in 2015-16 before it was revealed that its lead applicant, 22-yearold Ted Morris Jr., had fabricated most of his academic and professional experience. Morris resigned, and the remaining trustees withdrew their application. The New York State Education Department, which failed to catch the lies in the first place, later instituted new safeguards to verify applicants’ credentials."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the report.

      RCSD plan to move to Consultant Teacher classrooms draws union ire

      2/17/15
      Justin Murphy, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "An important change in the way thousands of Rochester students receive special- education services is taking shape as a battle during the district’s 2015-16 budget season. Superintendent Bolgen Vargas’ proposal would impact classrooms in nearly every school in Rochester. Instead of having many classes co-taught by a regular teacher and a special-education teacher to a mix of special and general education students, there would be “consultant teachers” who have no classroom of their own but instead are responsible for providing help to students with disabilities in their general education classes."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the report.

      Film shares history of Wilson Foundation Academy murals

      2/16/15
      Carolyn Thompson, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports on a film featuring two murals at Wilson Foundation. "Madison High was torn down in the 1980s but the murals were saved and moved to another school, the Wilson Foundation Academy, where both are now preserved behind glass."Also featured are two murals, each 22 feet high, painted over eight months in 1937 by artist Carl Peters inside a school in Rochester. Peters drew on the passing faces of students and teachers at the former Madison High School for Life of Action, a softly colored depiction of construction workers in the shadow of a skyscraper. The companion Life of Contemplation is meant to show the need to balance action with education and thoughtfulness."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the article.

      D&C article on Seclusion and Restraint in NY Schools

      2/15/15
      Meghan McDermott, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports on seclusion and restraints with children with disabilities. The article focuses on cases in Greece, and Webster.
      Click this link to read the pdf of the article.

      Student wants to choose RCSD over suburban School - but he can't

      2/14/15
      Erika Bryant, Democrat and Chronicle, columnist reports on a residence issue with a SOTA student whose family rented an appartment in Webster. Due to this, he can no longer attend SOTA.
      Click this link to read the pdf of the article.

      East High plan gets approval from NY State

      2/14/15
      Justin Murphy, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "The Rochester School District this week got final state approval for the East High School-University of Rochester marriage and a $200,000 wedding gift to go along with it. The one-time shot of cash from the New York State Education Department came in the form of a school improvement funding award. UR will take over East starting this summer."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the report.

      School District iPads scrutinzed after chat room mishap

      2/12/15
      Bennett Loudon, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "After an incident that left administrators “horrified,” East Irondequoit Central School District officials are rethinking the way they manage Apple iPads given to their students. “It was an eye-opener for us. We’re definitely going to make some changes,” said Joseph Sutorius, the district’s director of technology services. A fifth-grade girl received an “inappropriate” message from a stranger while using a social networking app that she was allowed to download under district rules. The episode revealed shortcomings in the safeguards in place in East Irondequoit and possibly at numerous other schools that give students laptop computers and tablets, such as iPads."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the report.

      Rush Henrietta approves full day Kindergarten plans

      2/11/15
      The Democrat and Chronicle reports that "Rush-Henrietta school district voters on Tuesday approved plans to implement full-day kindergarten in the district and rearrange grade levels among its buildings. The two separate votes both passed by more than a 3-to-1 margin. The changes will take effect in the 2017-18 school year. Crane, Fyle, Leary and Winslow school buildings will be K-3, with all students, including kindergarteners, going to school for six hours. The Sherman and Vollmer buildings will be grades 4-6, Burger and Roth will be grades 7-9 and the high school will be grades 10-12. The project will cost $18.5 million and will be paid for with existing capital funds."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the report.

      East Irondequoit delays Urban-Suburban vote

      2/11/15
      Justin Murphy, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "The East Irondequoit school board Tuesday tabled a vote on joining the Urban- Suburban program but protested the notion it has not been sufficiently transparent about the process. The idea was first discussed publicly at the board’s Jan. 26 meeting, three weeks after a district spokesman said the district was not considering joining. The district website has no information about the program and there were no public hearings. But school board president Kim Lasher noted the discussion and resolution were included in board agendas and minutes and said she takes offense at the suggestion the board’s process has been faulty."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the report.

      East Irondequoit former aide receives 3 years for raping special needs student

      2/4/15
      Tina MacIntyre-Yee, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "A former East Irondequoit teacher’s aide convicted of raping a student, was sentenced in Monroe County Court Thursday morning. Crying in court, Jennifer Kennard, 48, was sentenced to three years in state prison for six counts of second-degree rape, a felony, by Judge Vincent Dinolfo. Kennard was also sentenced to two years in prison on two counts of third-degree rape, a felony, and one year in Monroe County Jail for endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the report.

      RCSD Superintent asks NY State to weaken principal tenure

      2/4/15
      Justin Murphy, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "Rochester School District Superintendent Bolgen Vargas Tuesday asked the state Legislature for drastic changes to the way school administrators earn and keep tenure, sinking him even lower in the eyes of alreadyincensed city principals. He asked for a change to state law that would make administrators wait seven years, not three, to gain tenure. Tenure would then be up for review every three years, based on performance. And he asked for people in management positions in the district’s central office to be removed from union affiliation."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the report.

      Spencerport debate on urban-suburban program becomes unruly

      2/4/15
      Justin Murphy, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "If the atmosphere at the second public hearing on Urban-Suburban was any indication, the school board’s upcoming decision will be deeply unpopular one way or the other. Over several hours of scheduled speakers and an open forum, a moderator repeatedly had to remind the audience — mostly those in opposition — not to yell from their seats. There were shouted interruptions, accusations and a suggestion: “Move to Rochester!” The opposition crystallized around the fact that the program, whose stated purpose is to reduce racial segregation, does not allow white city students."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the report.

      RCSD asks State for more funding

      2/3/15
      Justin Murphy, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "Rochester Superintendent Bolgen Vargas will be in Albany Tuesday with a pre-emptive request for more financial help from the state budget, including $10 million to cover the East High School partnership with the University of Rochester. In all, Vargas will ask the state Legislature for $36 million more than Rochester received last year, a highly optimistic request. Of that $36 million, $10.9 million is a 3 percent increase in basic state aid. The district hoped for 3 percent last year, too, and didn’t get it. Another $10.1 million would be for East High; $4.6 million would be for extended school days at four more schools; $2.4 million would be for a reading teacher in every school; and $8 million would be for a variety of other items, including increasing summer school participation."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the report.

      Hilton becomes first District in the State to offer IB in all grades

      2/2/15
      Justin Murphy, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that "The Hilton Central School District recently received certification for its grade 5-10 International Baccalaureate program, making it the first district in New York to offer the rigorous curriculum from kindergarten to graduation."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the report.

      Rochester is #1 in child poverty, among similiarly sized cities, according to a new report from the Rochester Area Community Foundation

      1/30/15
      Click this link to read the pdf of the report.

      NY State Comptroller finds Millions of Preschool Special Educatoin Dollars are Misspent

      1/27/15
      Christina Samuels reported for Education Week reports that "Special education money intended for preschool students has been misspent on services that were never documented, including food, travel, flowers, even air conditioners installed in personal residences, according on an audit released Monday from New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli." This included "Auditors disallowed $2.4 million spent by a Buffalo school, which provides special education and other services to children and young adults from 3 to 21 years old. The school spent nearly $2 million on noncompetitive contracts with companies that had ties to members of the school's board, and more than $100,000 on food, flowers, personal expenses, and gifts for staff."
      Click this link to read the Education Week Story.
      Click this link to read the pdf of the D&C story.

      E. Rochster school board weighs Urban-Suburban School choice

      1/24/15
      Justin Murphy, staff writer for the Democrat and Chronicle reports that "The Webster school board will learn more about the Urban-Suburban program Thursday, while the East Rochester school board is already considering its potential benefit for that district."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the D&C story.

      Webster CSD chooses Carmen Gumina as new Superintendent

      1/16/15
      The Democrat and Chronicle reports that "The Webster CSD has choosen Carmen Gumina as its new Superintendent."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the D&C story.

      Monroe County Catholic High Schools expand

      1/14/15
      Justin Murphy, staff writer for the Democrat and Chronicle reports that "Catholic high schools in the Rochester area have all recently expanded to accept sixth-graders, a change that presents more options for families — and a possible headache for elementary schools in the Diocese of Rochester."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the D&C story.

      Rush Henrietta proposes reconfiguration

      1/13/15
      Justin Murphy, staff writer for the Democrat and Chronicle reports that "The Rush-Henrietta Central School District is asking residents to approve a school reshuffling that would eliminate its standalone Ninth Grade Academy and introduce full-day kindergarten. The proposal, which residents will vote on Feb. 10, is the culmination of a two-year study on classroom space constraints in the district."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the D&C story.

    2014

      RCSD will restore Edison Tech

      1/8/15
      Justin Murphy, staff writer for the Democrat and Chronicle reports that "The Rochester School District plans to reshuffle the Edison Tech campus starting in 2015-16, closing the two high schools there now and replacing them with several “career pathways” under the structure of one school"
      Click this link to read the pdf of the D&C story.

      RCSD 2015-16 School Selection Process begins

      12/27/14
      Bennett J. Loudon, staff writer for the Democrat and Chronicle reports that "The school selection process for the 2015-16 school year is now open in the City School District. Detailed information about school choice is available online at the district’s website. The deadline for secondary school choice is Jan. 31. For elementary school, the deadline is March 2. The school choice program is an effort to pair up students with schools that fit them best, said Chip Partner, district spokesman. “We offer a lot of different types of programs that meet students with different needs,” he said."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the D&C story.

      RCSD Student penalties vary widely

      12/25/14
      Justin Murphy, staff writer for the Democrat and Chronicle reports that "Suspension rates vary widely from school to school in Rochester, according to new data released by the district. East High School has issued more than 1,000 suspensions so far in the 2014-15 school year, a number that principal Anibal Soler Jr. said is in line with last year’s rate. East has 1,740 students on the books. Early College International High School, meanwhile, has fewer than five suspensions among its 336 students, and School Without Walls has zero among its 326."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the D&C story.

      School 45 Principal sits on Roof/h4>
      12/20/14
      Erica Bryan, writer for the Democrat and Chronicle reports that "The man pacing back and forth on the roof of School 45 wore jeans, a navy coat and a red fur hat decorated with lights. He waved at cars driving back and forth along Clifford Avenue and at people waiting for the bus. Those who didn’t recognize Jason Wertz as the principal might have thought the school was being visited by a cheerful low-budget Santa Claus. When you see a man leaping around on a roof in red and white at this time of year, that’s where your mind goes."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the D&C story.

      Brighton CSD hires communication director

      12/20/14
      The Democrat and Chronicle reports that "The Brighton Central School District appointed Dan Goldman as communications coordinator this week. Goldman will assume his position on Jan. 5. He has a background in written, visual and digital communications, Superintendent Kevin McGowan said in a statement."

      RCSD predicts $66 million dollar budget shortfall for 2014-15 school year

      12/19/14
      Justin Murphy, staff writer for the Democrat and Chronicle reports that "A loss in federal aid and an increased investment at East High School, combined with the Rochester School District’s structural financial problems, have created a projected $65.9 million budget shortfall in 2015-16, Superintendent Bolgen Vargas said Thursday in his first comments on next year’s spending plan." This includes a $7.5 million "alignment" savings in special education.
      Click this link to read the pdf of the D&C story.

      RCSD 2013 graduation rates up

      12/19/14
      Justin Murphy and Jon Cambell, staff writers for the Democrat and Chronicle report that "Just over half of the students who entered a Rochester high school in 2010 graduated by August 2014, a jump of 3 percentage points over last year."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the D&C story.

      NY State tightening up process for Charter School Applications

      12/19/14
      Justin Murphy, staff writer for the Democrat and Chronicle reports that "A month after a 22year-old managed to gain the right to open a charter school with a rsumfull of fraudulent credentials, the New York state Education Department has tightened its scrutiny over the process."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the D&C story.

      East Irondequoit Bus Driver Fired Accused of Inappropriate Physical Contact

      12/18/14
      Jim Mandelaro, staff writer for the Democrat and Chronicle reports that "An East Irondequoit bus driver has been fired after allegations that he inappropriately touched a high school student on his run. Renaldo Vega, 44, of Rochester was terminated by the East Irondequoit School District, according to a news release from the Irondequoit Police Department."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the D&C story.

      Nazareth, School 9 deepen ties

      12/17/14
      Justin Murphy and James Goodman, staff writer for the Democrat and Chronicle report that "Nazareth College has deepened its involvement with School 9 in Rochester by expanding existing programs, with a larger number of college students involved in more ways...Nazareth has taken over running of a school tutoring program, which is after school at School 9 and School 54, and in the morning at School 46. Previously, this initiative was known as the Mercier literacy program, founded by local businessman George Mercier."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the D&C story.

      NY State Education Commissioner stepping down

      12/11/14
      The Democrat and Chronicle reportS that "State Education Commissioner John King will step down as the state’s top-ranking education official for a job in President Obama’s administration".
      Click this link to read the pdf of the D&C story by Justin Murphy.

      Young people evolve on Race

      12/11/14
      Justin Murphy, staff writer for the Democrat and Chronicle reportS on young individuals views on race. The article focuses in part on Penfield High School and Greece Odyssey.
      Click this link to read the pdf of the D&C story by Justin Murphy.

      Spencerport School District debate on Urban Suburban School Program is Divisive

      12/10/14
      Click this link to read the pdf of the D&C story by Justin Murphy.

      Rochester Charter School Teachers paid less and less experienced

      12/7/14
      Justin Murphy, staff writer for the Democrat and Chronicle reportS that "About 51 percent of charter school teachers in Rochester had fewer than five years total teaching experience in 2013-14. In the City School District, about 19 percent of teachers have fewer than five years’ experience. In 2013-14, the average (mean) teacher at a Rochester-area charter school had 5.6 years of overall teaching experience,three years’ experience at her current school and a salary of $46,830. By comparison, the average Rochester School District teacher in 2014-15 has 12.5 years of overall teaching experience, five years’ experience at her current school and a salary of $56,126."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the D&C story by Justin Murphy.

      A primer on Rochester Charter Schools

      12/7/14
      Helene Biandudi Hoffer, reported for the WXXI reportS that the Spencerport School Board opted to postpone a vote on participating in the Urban Suburban School program until January 2015."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the story.

      Spencerport School District delays decision in Urban Suburban School District

      12/6/14
      Justin Murphy, staff writer for the Democrat and Chronicle reportS that "They’ve been a force in New York state education since 1998"
      Click this link to read the pdf of the D&C story by Justin Murphy.

      New principal at East Rochester Elementary School

      12/5/14
      The Democrat and Chronicle reportS that "Marisa Capuano Philp has been selected as the new East Rochester Elementary School principal. The East Rochester School District said Philp, who has been principal of Red Jacket Elementary School in the Manchester-Shortsville School District since July 2013, will start her new position on Jan. 5. A graduate of Penfield High School, Philp earned a bachelor’s degree in special and elementary education, with a concentration in math and computer science, from State University College at Geneseo in 1998. She then earned a master’s in curriculum and teaching: education of the gifted, with a concentration in reading assessment and intervention, from Columbia University’s Teachers College in 1999, and a master’s of education in administration, planning, and social policy from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education in 2004. Philp began her teaching career in 1998 at Columbia’s Hollingworth Preschool, and taught in several elementary positions in the Brighton and Webster school districts. Since then, she has served as an instructional specialist at St. Thomas Aquinas High School and Monroe #1 BOCES, and assistant principal at DeSales High School and Webster’s State Road Elementary School."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the D&C story by Justin Murphy.

      10 Greece Olympia students arrested after fight

      12/4/14
      Gary Craig, staff writer for the Democrat and Chronicle reportS that "The fight prompted the suspension of 12 high school students. Ten were criminally charged Thursday. The fight broke out around 2 p.m. Monday on Olympia Drive close to the school."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the D&C story by Justin Murphy.

      Turnout low for RCSD School forun on Charlottle High Schoool

      12/3/14
      Justin Murphy, staff writer for the Democrat and Chronicle reportS that "Part of the reason Charlotte High School’s graduation rate is so poor — 36 percent for school year 2012-13 — is that most students have to travel so far to get there, depressing attendance. Twenty percent of students were missing on any given day last year, the worst rate in the Rochester School District. Attendance was no better Tuesday night at a community forum to discuss Superintendent Bolgen Vargas’ suggestion to close the school in 2017. Fewer than 50 people came, the majority of them school staff, alumni or Charlotte neighborhood residents."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the D&C story by Justin Murphy.

      BOCES 2 seeks approval for $29 Million to upgrade Facilities

      12/3/14
      By Meaghan McDermott, STAFF WRITER from the Democrat and Chronicle
      "With buildings that haven’t seen significant renovation in more than four decades, Monroe 2-Orleans Board of Cooperative Educational Services is turning to voters for help. The shared educational services organization has proposed a $29.2 million capital project that residents living in its nine component districts will be asked to approve on Dec. 16."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the D&C story by Meaghan McDermott.

      Greater Works Charter School will not open in 2015

      12/2/14
      Greater Works Charter School will no longer open in Rochester in 2015, part of the continuing fallout over lies in the resume of its22-year-old founder.
      Click this link to read the pdf of the D&C story by Justin Murphy.

      22-year-old gets OK to open Charter School

      11/24/14
      A 22 year old School of the Arts Alumni has recieved approval from the NY State Board of Regents to open a charter high school in Rochester in 2015. The Charter School will be called the Greater Works Charter School, and it will be accepting around 100 9th graders in its first year, eventually expandingto about 400 students in grades 9 - 12.
      Click this link to read the pdf of the D&C story by Justin Murphy.

      Suspensions a Problem in RCSD

      11/18/14
      Metro Justice and the RCSD provide data on the number of suspensions in the RCSD. Some highlights of the report included:
        • Twenty percent of students aged 12-17 were suspended at least once.
        • Across all grade levels 12.8 percent of black students, 8.9 percent of Latinos, 6.5 percent of white students, and 2.1 percent of Asians were suspended.
        • 13.5 percent of students with disabilities were suspended, while 10.3 percent of students without disabilites were suspended.
      Click this link to read the pdf of the D&C story by Justin Murphy.

      D&C reports that "Graduating in NY may become easier"

      10/25/14
      The D&C reports that "The state Board of Regents plans to add flexibility to its high school graduation requirements, hoping to make it easier for students to focus on career training, “STEM,” the arts and other areas. Students would have the option of not taking one social studies Regents exam currently required for a Regents diploma. They could instead take a “comparatively rigorous” assessment in career/ technical education, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), the humanities, foreign languages or the arts. The Regents, who met Monday morning in Albany, expressed strong support for the move and will likely adopt the change in January. The change would affect students who entered ninth grade in September 2011 and beyond. Right now, for students to earn a Regents diploma, they must pass one Regents exam in math, ELA and science, and two in social studies. Under the new approach, students who take an optional course of study would have to pass either the Regents exam in U.S. history and government or a Regents exam in global history and geography, but not both. Chancellor Merryl Tisch emphasized that the added flexibility should make it easier for high schools to offer career and technical education to students in urban and rural school districts. Tisch said urban districts are anxious to provide more career training."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the D&C story by Justin Murphy.

      D&C reports that "Special education mix-up costs RCSD millions"

      10/13/14
      The RCSD is undertaking important and vital changes in how it provide Special Education services. This is not cheap or painless as reported by the Democrat and Chronicle.
      Click this link to read the pdf of the D&C story by Justin Murphy.

      NY State asks NY Districts to reduce number of Exams

      8/25/14
      The D&C reports that "The New York state Education Department is urging districts to eliminate as much local testing as possible for the purposes of teacher evaluations, and is committing federal money to help make it happen. But some educators are opposing the increased reliance on state exams. The initiative by NYSED comes with $9.2 million in federal Race To The Top money, including $800,000 going to schools in the Rochester area. It comes in response to widespread protests about excessive testing in public schools, especially for the youngest children."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the D&C story by Justin Murphy.

      Renaissance Charter School to open in Greece in former Kirk Road Elementary School

      7/21/14
      The D&C reports that "The Greece Central School District is getting its first charter school that doesn’t prioritize enrollment on the basis of family income. On Aug. 25, the Ren­aissance Charter School of the Arts will open its doors in the former Kirk Road Elementary School building. For now, the school will offer classes in kindergarten through second grade, but the goal is to open up one new grade level each year until topping out at sixth grade.."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the D&C story by Joseph Spector and Sean Lahman.

      RCSD hires Keith Babuszczak as chief of school innovation for career pathways and integrated learning

      7/17/14
      The D&C reports that "The Rochester School District has hired a former New York State Education Department contractor to help revamp its career and technical education program, marking the third high-profile administrator to be hired in the city since school let out for the summer. Keith Babuszczak, a former consultant with the CTE Technical Assistance Center of New York, worked with BOCES in the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and Hudson Valley and the Yonkers school district, helping schools improve their CTE programs. He previously served as assistant superintendent for CTE in Pittsfield, Mass., and worked for the Massachusetts Department of Education. His title in Rochester will be chief of school innovation for career pathways and integrated learning. He will earn $135,000 annually and will supervise Beverly Gushue, who remains in her current position as CTE director. Gushue will concentrate on the specifics of the district’s CTE offerings, while Babuszczak will work to integrate career and academic offerings, including for younger students.
      Click this link to read the pdf of the article.

      NY State approves East High Plan

      7/10/14
      The D&C reports that "The New York State Education Department on Wednesday formally approved the Rochester School District's partnership with the University of Rochester for East High School, according to the district. UR's Warner School of Education, in the person of professor and former Canandaigua superintendent Steve Uebbing, will serve as superintendent of the school, using district funds. The partnership begins immediately in the 2014-15 school year, but the university will spend the rest of 2014 developing a more in-depth plan for 2015-16.
      Click this link to read the D&C article.
      Click this link to read the pdf of the article.

      Exiting Webster Superintendent to join RCSD as Deputy Superintendent for Administration

      7/10/14
      The D&C reports that Webster "Superintendent Adele Bovard will step down and take a new job with the district in Rochester — a move that will bring a pay cut, but also a chance to help city students realize their potential, she said. Bovard, 56, will become Rochester's deputy superintendent for administration. The role pays $175,000 a year, said Chip Partner, a spokesman for the city schools. That's roughly 15 percent less than her salary in Webster, which was $207,300 for the 2013-14 school year.
      Click this link to read the D&C article.
      Click this link to read the pdf of the article.

      NY State Public School Teachers Pension's Grow

      7/9/14
      The D&C reports that "The number of teachers and school administrators in New York collecting pensions increased 9 percent between 2010 and 2013, and the average pension grew 6.5 percent over that period, records show. Teacher pension records had been sealed by the retirement system amid a court fight over whether the details on individual pensioners should be public...The largest pension went to James Feltman, who retired in 2010 as superintendent of the Commack school district in Suffolk County. He collected $325,854 from the pension fund in 2013. That’s just slightly more than Sheldon Larnilow from Half Hollow Hills on Long Island; he’s receiving an annual pension of $322,650 since his 2011 retirement...Among retirees in the city of Poughkeepsie schools, the average teacher pension was $45,185. It was about $43,000 in both Rochester and Buffalo city schools. The average pension was less in the Southern Tier: about $39,000 in the Binghamton and Elmira city schools.
      Click this link to read the pdf of the D&C story by Joseph Spector and Sean Lahman.
      Click this link to search the D&C database for teacher and administrator pensions

      West Irondequoit CSD finalizes 2014-14 Budget cuts

      7/9/14
      The D&C reports that "Field trips, modified sports and a variety of class offerings have all been canceled in West Irondequoit for the fall, the final reckoning of the district’s failure to pass its proposed 2014-15 budget."
      Click this link to read the pdf of the D&C story by Justin Murphy.

      Webster CSD Superintendent resigns

      7/9/14
      The Webster CSD reports that "The Webster Central School District Board of Education announced today that it has accepted Superintendent Adele Bovard’s resignation during its July 8 reorganization meeting. Bovard’s resignation is effective July 31, 2014. “The Webster Central School District Board of Education wishes Ms. Bovard the best in the future and we thank her for her efforts over the past several years,” said Mike Suffoletto, Webster Board of Education President. “We appreciate the many efforts to improve student achievement and continue the tradition of academic excellence at Webster Central School District.” Superintendent Bovard will serve as Deputy Superintendent for Administration at the Rochester City School District, effective August 1, 2014. The board will meet to appoint an acting superintendent while it plans for a process to identify and select a new leader to succeed Superintendent Bovard."

      Penfield CSD names acting Superintendent

      7/9/14
      The D&C reports that "The Penfield Board of Education has named an acting superintendent. Thomas Putnam will take over as acting superintendent of the Penfield Central School District, effective immediately, the board said in a written release on the district's website. Putnam replaces Stephen Grimm, who is leaving the district to serve as superintendent of the Clinton Central School District. "I'm looking forward to maintaining the level of excellence we enjoy in our district as well as helping our students and staff to continue to move forward," Putnam said. Putnam has served as principal of Penfield High School for the past four years. "We are very pleased that Dr. Putnam has agreed to serve as our acting superintendent," said board President Carole Nasra. "He is an outstanding administrator who is focused on student learning and building a positive culture within the district." Putnam previously served as an assistant principal at Penfield High School, as well as an assistant principal at Greece Olympia High School. The board, and Putnam, said they expect to name an acting principal for Penfield High School as soon as possible."

      University of Rochester and the RCSD submit final plan for East High Takeover

      7/1/14
      The University of Rochester and Rochester School District submitted their final proposal for governance of East High School Monday, just hours before the state deadline of July 1. The D&C reports that " According to the proposal, UR wants to split the students into three sub-schools: the Lower School, for grades 7-8 or possibly 6-8; a Freshman Academy; and the Upper House, for grades 10-12. At each level, students would be grouped into “student families” of 5-9, under the care of one dedicated adult staff member, administrator or volunteer. School days would be lengthened, there would be a full-time counselor and social worker for each grade level and professional development would be strengthened. UR hopes to have about 180 students at each grade level, with preference given to those living near the school. By comparison, according to the most recent state data, there were 267 seventh-graders, 461 ninth-graders and 253 12th-graders in 2011-12. All sides agreed Monday that the school will only succeed by building on its current strengths and recruiting help from the community. “Does anyone really thing East High School will change just because the UR is coming in?” Uebbing asked. “The change will come from the teachers, staff and kids who are already there ... and the community supporting them.""
      Click this link to read the pdf of the D&C story by Justin Murphy.

      University of Rochester plan to take over East High under review

      6/29/14
      The U of R's plan to be the Educational Partnership Organization for East High is due to the State by July 1st.
      Click this link to go the story.

      Erica Bryant: "Let school board president take pay cut"

      6/28/14
      Erica Byrant piece calling out the RCSD Board for their high pay and the lack of School District success.
      Click this link to read her piece in the D&C .
      " target="_blank">Click this link to read a pdf of the D&C article.

      RCSD 2009-2013 student cohort graduation rate remains lowest in NY State

      6/24/14
      Just 43 percent of Rochester students who entered 9th grade in 2009 graduated on time by June 2013.
      Click this link to read a pdf of the D&C article.

      NY State Assembly agrees to fund Phase II of RCSD Facilities Modernization Plan

      6/22/14
      WXXI Reports that "A few members of Rochester's Assembly delegation got into a heated debate last night over funding for the next phase of the Rochester Schools Modernization project. Democrat David Gantt and Republican Bill Nojay both questioned whether the $1.2 billion project was on time and on budget. Nojay said, "This has been a colossal waste of taxpayer dollars. I believe Mr. Gantt is correct in his assumption or his questions about the number of schools that have been finished. In fact, my understanding is that none of the work has been finished according to any viable schedule or quality of work for the children of Rochester, New York."
      Click this link to see and listen to the WXXI Story.

      RTA files grievance over RCSD testing

      6/11/14
      "[T]he RTA filed a class action grievance against the city school district last week, and in a phone interview yesterday, Urbanski was not so supportive of Vargas. The grievance concerns ELA and math tests that teachers have been administering this month, particularly in grades K to 2. Urbanski says the district has broken its agreement with the union regarding how the tests are administered. Urbanski, who has been an outspoken critic of what he calls the state’s testing mania, says the tests have to be given to students individually because they are performance-based assessments. 'This is a woeful waste of time,' says Urbanski. And classroom management has been made more difficult, he says. Teachers in the lower grades don't even have a proctor assisting them. Also, Urbanski says the tests were riddled with errors, and administering them has taken more time than teachers are paid to work.
      Click this link to read the City Newspaper Article.

      Four charter schools set to open in city

      1/13/14
      The D&C reports that "Two high schools, elementary and middle school are in the mix. There will be four new charter schools this fall in Rochester, including an arts-heavy elementary school, a middle school with small class sizes and a career­focused high school for boys.
      The elementary school, Renaissance Academy Charter School of the Arts, will aim for an “enlightened adolescence” with a focus on arts, literacy and “character education,” according to its website. It will begin with grades K-2 in August and eventually expand to K-6.
      PUC Achieve Charter School, the middle school, will follow the same model as several schools now open in California. “PUC” stands for “partnerships to uplift communities,” and the schools stress small class sizes, long school days and honors­level education for all students. It will enroll fifth-graders in August and will eventually be open to grades 5-8.
      The high school, Vertus Charter School, will run year-round, incorporating online lessons with “learning labs” and group work, according to its website. It is led by Perry White, founder of the high-performing Citizens Academy charter school in Cleveland, and Leigh McGuigan, a former lawyer and investment banker who has been involved with public and charter schools in Cleveland and New York City. It will enroll ninth graders only when it opens in September.
      Also opening in the fall is Rochester Preparatory Charter School, a high school that will collaborate with Rochester Institute of Technology and accept students graduating from Rochester Prep’s middle school classes."

      Gates Chili new Superintendent to begin in February

      1/13/14
      The D&C reports that "Kimberle Ward, superintendent of the Naples Central School District, has been selected to become the leader of the Gates Chili school system. Ward is expected to be formally appointed to the position by the Gates Chili Board of Education during its regular meeting" in December "She will begin her new role in early February, according to the district. 'The board is impressed with Kimberle's energy, passion and leadership skills,' said Lowell Benjamin, school board president. 'We are very much looking forward to her engagement with the Gates Chili community with a focus on student achievement and instructional excellence.' Ward has previously worked as a teacher in Brighton, Marcus Whitman, Newark and Wayland. She was a principal in the Union Springs Central School District and an assistant principal in the Corning-Painted Post Area School District. She joined Naples in 2009. 'I am excited to continue Gates Chili's tradition of inspiring students to engage in their learning the Spartan Way: Respect, Responsibility, Compassion and Hard Work,' Ward said in a written statement. 'The district motto of teaching and inspiring excellence for all learners will be my focus in all efforts for the community.'"

    2013

    2012

      A Fairport BOCES 20 year student drowns in Canal

      9/12/12
      In a very sad story, a Fairport BOCES Special Needs student drowned in the Canal while in School.
      Click this link to read a pdf of the story.
      1/12/14
      In a follow-up to this story the D&C reported on 1/11/14 that there had been an agreement reached in this case
      The D&C reports that "The family of a 20­year-old Kendall man with disabilities who drowned while under the care of a BOCES program has reached an “agreement” to avoid a lawsuit, according to a short state­ment from the family. Michael Vyrvoss apparently wandered away from Monroe 2-Orleans Board of Cooperative Educational Services’ Spencerport facility in September 2012 and drowned in the Erie Canal. The family had filed a notice of claim against the district, according to the statement, which provided no further details. BOCES had no comment, according to a spokesman."

      2011-12 School District Special Education Data

      11/4/12
      The New York State Education Department’s P-12: Office of Special Education has posted, effective June 1, 2012, each school district’s Special Education School District Data Profile for the 2010-11 school year as required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. This report provides individual school district data relating to compliance and performance results for students with disabilities.
      Click this link to download a pdf of the Rochester City School District Data.

      D&C Database on NY State Schools

      10/12/12
      From the D&C 10/12/12.
      "The numbers are stark. Only 20 percent of kids in the Rochester School District read at a level appropriate for their age. But there’s a dramatic difference between how well the kids perform from one school to another.
      Last Sunday, our education reporter, Tiffany Lankes, told the story of two city schools a mile apart. At the first, 74 percent of students are proficient in math. At the other, the total is only 9 percent.
      That’s a huge contrast, but how is a parent supposed to know how well their child is being served by their school?
      The state’s Department of Education issues annual report cards for each school, but they’re not particularly easy to use. Data from each school are presented in a series of PDF files. It’s difficult to do year-to-year comparisons, and it takes some effort to see how different schools or school districts compare.
      That challenge prompted us to develop our own interactive tool for navigating the school data, available at RocDocs.com/schools. We gathered the data from the various state reports for all of the public schools in New York and put them in one place.
      You can use our tools to see test scores for each district or for individ­ual schools. This includes results of more than a dozen different Regents exams, and the yearly proficiency tests for math and English given to all students from third to eighth grade.
      We also have included information on topics such as college readiness, demographics and staffing. And with a click of a button, you can compare data from different districts, or even between different schools.
      Our reporters cover the public schools pretty extensively during the course of a year, and we publish dozens of separate school-related data sets — everything from graduation rates to teacher salaries. Moving forward, we’ll integrate these sorts of data sets into our Schools Database, providing a more robust source of information about the public education system than you can find anywhere else. It’s part of our renewed focus on providing databases that let readers explore topics on their own. At Roc-Docs.com, we’ll continue to offer deep collections of information on a variety of topics that affect people in our community."
      Click this link to read go to the Roc-Docs.com.

      BOCES overcharges School Districts in NY State Millions

      10/1/12
      A recent report by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli found that BOCES districts routinely overbill local schools and regularly price those services higher than necessary. Daniel T. White, superintendent of Monroe 1 BOCES in Fairport said the overcharges generally fall within acceptable budgeting and accounting limits.
      Click this link to download a pdf of the D&C story.

      Ex-Hillside worker pleads not guilty to sexually assaulting two teens

      9/27/12
      What is going on at Hillside. The D&C reports today that "A former Hillside Children’s Center employee accused of sexually assaulting two teens pleaded not guilty Wednesday morning in Monroe County Court.
      Matthew D. King, 29, of Rochester is facing five counts of third-degree criminal sexual act, a felony, and four counts of endangering the welfare of a child, a misde­meanor.
      King is accused of having inappropriate sexual contact earlier this year with two teenage boys he met while working as a youth counselor at Hillside’s residential center on Monroe Avenue, said Assistant District Attorney Kyle Rossi. King also is accused of providing alcohol and cigarettes to teens he met while work­ing at the center.
      Some of the alleged incidents occurred at the center, Rossi said, while others occurred elsewhere in the Rochester region. All of the alleged acts stemmed from relationships that started at Hillside, Rossi said.
      King worked for Hillside for about 1½ years, end­ing July 27.
      King “has been a coach, counselor and teacher’s aide his whole adult life, so we’re concerned” that authorities may not be aware of all potential victims, Rossi said. Any potential victims are asked to contact State Police or the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.
      County Court Judge Frank Geraci Jr. issued orders of protection for the two teens Wednesday morning.
      King’s lawyer, Amanda Oren, said in court that King’s family posted $50,000 bail. King remained free on that bail and is scheduled to return to court for argument of motions on Nov. 7.

      New report shows the RCSD graduates the lowest rate of Black Males in the US

      9/22/12
      WXXI reports that "Michael Holzman is a senior research consultant for the Schott Foundation. He says one reason for the low graduation rate comes down to Black males being “locked out” in schools - meaning they're not given the same resources as their white counterparts. Holzman says in Rochester City Schools there's twice as many white male students in gifted and talented programs than Black and Latino male students."
      Click this link to read or listen to the WXXI story.

      Census shows that Poverty has risen in the City of Rochester

      9/22/12
      The D&C report that poverty has risen in the City of Rochester. The D&C report that "A majority of children in three upstate cities lived in poverty in 2011, with Rochester ranking seventh in the nation for its percentage of poor children, U.S. census data released Thursday showed. Rochester had 54 percent of its youth under age 18 living in poverty, putting it in a class with Flint, Mich.; Camden, N.J.; Reading, Pa; and Cleveland. Gary, Ind., led the nation in childhood poverty at 69 percent, the data showed.
      Click this link to read a pdf file of the D&C article.

      City Newspaper: Truancy in the RCSD

      9/21/12
      The RCSD has a new truancy policy that has drawn some criticism as the District is proposing as a last resort to involve Child Protective Services (CPS). While I worry about how the District will implement this policy, fundamentally kids need to be in Schools. We can't afford to have them not in Schools.
      Click this link to read the City Newspaper article by Tim Louis Macaluso.

      Hillside Staffer charged with sexual abuse at Hillside

      9/11/12
      A male Hillside Staff Member has been charged with having sex with a 15 year old Hillside student.
      Click this link to read a pdf of the story.

      Monroe County Schools need over 1 Billion for School Repairs

      9/9/12
      The D&C reports that area Schools need over 1 Billion dollars in repairs.
      Click this link to read a pdf of the story.

      RCSD offers International Baccalaureate(IB) program beginning in Kindergarten

      9/6/12
      "The prestigious International Baccalaureate program has a worldwide reputation for teaching students critical thinking skills and preparing them for college...classmates at the city’s Wilson Magnet Foundation Academy are getting a jump start, given that Wednesday was their first day of kindergarten. Wilson welcomed 70 students into the first kindergarten class that will have the opportunity to spend their entire school career in the IB program. The district has had an IB program at Wilson Commencement High School for years, but has recently looked to expand the model to include middle and elementary school students."
      Click this link to read a pdf of the D&C article by Tiffany Lankes.

      State Targets RCSD for Intervention

      9/1/12
      "The Rochester school district has been flagged as one of 70 "Focus School Districts" by the New York State Education Department. Twenty-two of Rochester's schools have been identified as "Focus Schools" by the SED, and 30 described as "Priority Schools."
      Click this link to read a pdf of the City Newspaper article by Tim Louis Macaluso.
      Click this link to read the information from the NY State Education Department.

      D&C reports that RCSD attendance rates are likely less than 50%

      8/28/12
      New Data from the District suggests what has long suspected that the District's ability to track day to day attendance has been wrong. The new information suggests that the RCSD may actually have less than 50% attendance on a daily basis. This new information is in response to new demands from NY State to report accurate attendance numbers on weekly basis. The good news is that this points to an obvious way to increase Student learning. Having the students attend class.
      Click this link to read a pdf of the D&C article by Tiffany Lankes.

      Monroe County District Changes for 2012-13 School Year

      8/26/12
      An Article from the D&C outlining changes in staff, schools, and programs for all Monroe County School Districts for the 2012-13 School Year.
      Click this link to read a pdf of the story.

      Two New Charter Schools Open in City

      8/20/12
      Rochester Career Mentoring Charter School opens with its first 9th grade class.
      Young Women's College Prep, Rochester's first public School exclusively for young women.
      Click this link to read a pdf of the story.

      Say Yes Foundation has programs in Syracuse and now in Buffalo

      8/19/12
      The Say Yes Foundation with provides educational aide to Schools and financial aid to students to attend college has already had a program in Syracuse. It is now beginning its work in Buffalo. Why not Rochester? According the D&C "Rochester was one of the metropolitan areas in the state invited to submit proposals that resulted in the selections of Syracuse and more recently Buffalo for Say Yes initiatives, but no proposals were submitted, said Gene Chasin, who is the chief operating officer for Say Yes national."
      Click this link to read a pdf of the story.
      For more information on the Say Yes Foundation click this link.

      Student numbers undergo decline: Gates Chili, Greece among hardest hit

      8/19/12
      The D&C report that the City as well as Rochester's suburbs have declinging enrollments. The article notes that "Gates Chili, for example, had a stu­dent enrollment topping 7,000 in the late 1970s but now has 4,547 students, according to data kept by the state Comptroller’s Office. In a narrower data set kept by the state Education Department, the Gates Chili district lost 255 students between 2009 and 2011, or 5.4 percent of its en­rollment. Other hard-hit districts were Fairport and East Irondequoit. Fair­port lost 337 students, or 4.9 percent of its enrollment, during the same period. East Irondequoit lost 147 students, or 4.4. percent. In Greece, enrollment fell about 3.8 percent, or 486 students, continuing a trend that began in the early 2000s. In­deed, enrollment in that district has fallen more than 12 percent since its peak of nearly 15,000 students in the 1990s."

      While many District's with decling enrollment have had to cut staff positions, the East Rochester School District has increased its staff positions. The article notes that "One district, East Rochester, is an example of the many variables that can affect enrollment. That district, the only one in the county to register positive growth, saw a minimal 1.8 percent enrollment increase — from 1,174 to 1,195 students, but increased staff by 9.8 percent — from 153 to 168. The growth in enrollment and staffing, Superintendent Ray Giamartino Jr. said in an email, was the result of a district initiative to bring students who were receiving special education services elsewhere back to the district. Staff grew at a higher rate than student enrollment because some special education students required more attention from staff members. However, Giamartino said the district was still able to save money by educating those students “in-house” rather than contracting with outside groups.".
      Click this link to read a pdf of the story.

      BOCES 1 Teacher Aide suspended for allegations of sex trafficking

      8/8/12
      The D&C reports that "BOCES 1 has suspended a teacher’s aide charged Monday with the alleged sex trafficking of a 15-year-old girl.
      Click this link to read a pdf of the story.

      Lawsuit alleges bullying at Fairport School

      8/8/12
      The D&C reporter, Meaghan M. McDermott, reports that "Parents of a Fairport Central School District student have filed a federal lawsuit against the district, alleging officials there didn’t take adequate steps to protect their child from bullies." The parents allege a pattern of bullying that began at Martha Brown Middle school and continued at Johanna Perrin, after the District and parents moved the child to avoid the bullying that had occurred at Martha Brown.
      Click this link to read a pdf of the story.

      Across the US suspensions are higher for Disabled Students

      8/8/12
      The NY Times reports that a new analysis of Department of Education data, shows that 13 percent of disabled students in kindergarten through 12th grade were suspended during the 2009-10 school year, compared with 7 percent of students without disabilities. Among black children with disabilities, which included those with learning difficulties, the rate was much higher: one out of every four was suspended at least once that school year.
      New York State was not included in this report "due to problems with thier data."
      Click this link to read the story.
      Click this link to download a pdf version of the report.
      Click this link to download a pdf file of the NY Times article.

      RCSD begins $325 million project to modernize Schools

      8/8/12
      The D&C reporter, Tiffany Lankes, reports that "Work on the first phase of the project is under way, with construction crews at Schools 17, 50 and 58 as well as the Charlotte and Franklin high school campuses. All of those projects, with the exception of School 58, will be finished in time for the start of the 2013-14 school year. School 58, the largest of the renovation projects in the plan, will take two years."
      Click this link to read a pdf of the D&C article by Tiffany Lankes.

      States Struggle to meet Special Education Goals

      8/7/12
      The nation is showing some signs of improvement in educating students with disabilities, though federal officials say nearly half of states continue to need help. For the 2010-2011 school year, 30 states met a series of goals for their special education programs, according to an analysis of new U.S. Department of Education ratings that was done by Education Week. That’s up from 28 the year prior.
      Click this link to read about the story.
      Click this link to see a map showing State rankings.
      Click this link to download a pdf file of the US Map with State Rankings.

      Cost of Preschool Special Education Services in NYC Sky Rocket

      6-10-12
      The Cost of Preschool Special Education Services are sky rocketing in NY City. Concerns are also noted about the quality of the services provided.
      Click this link to go to the NY Times article about the story.

      Which Western NY State Teachers make the most? Where does your District Stand?

      6/5/12
      Teachers in Livonia are generally paid the most in the Rochester region – that’s according to Business First which tanked the 67 districts in the eight-county Rochester area

      As reported by Channel 10 news - "According to Business First, "pay levels were analyzed at the fifth, 25th, 50th, 75th and 95th percentiles in each district, using official data from the New York State Education Department. Percentiles indicate the ranking of a given salary on a district's payroll. A salary at the 25th percentile, for example, is larger than 25 percent of all teachers' salaries within that district. Livonia's salaries are among the five highest in the Rochester Area at all five percentiles, including a region-topping $74,416 at the 75th percentile.""

      Complete list:
      1. Livonia (Livingston County)
      2. Pittsford (Monroe County)
      3. Gates Chili (Monroe County)
      4. Webster (Monroe County)
      5. Greece (Monroe County)
      6. Wheatland-Chili (Monroe County)
      7. Fairport (Monroe County)
      8. Brighton (Monroe County)
      9. Addison (Steuben County)
      10. South Seneca (Seneca County)
      11. Hammondsport (Steuben County)
      12. Penfield (Monroe County)
      13. Avoca (Steuben County)
      14. Canandaigua (Ontario County)
      15. West Irondequoit (Monroe County)
      16. Odessa-Montour (Schuyler County)
      17. Corning-Painted Post (Steuben County)
      18. Caledonia-Mumford (Livingston County)
      19. Hilton (Monroe County)
      20. Churchville-Chili (Monroe County)
      21. Seneca Falls (Seneca County)
      22. Canisteo-Greenwood (Steuben County)
      23. Victor (Ontario County)
      24. Naples (Ontario County)
      25. Rochester (Monroe County)
      26. Prattsburgh (Steuben County)
      27. Spencerport (Monroe County)
      28. Wayland-Cohocton (Steuben County)
      29. Jasper-Troupsburg (Steuben County)
      30. North Rose-Wolcott (Wayne County)
      31. Rush-Henrietta (Monroe County)
      32. Geneseo (Livingston County)
      33. Bloomfield (Ontario County)
      34. Watkins Glen (Schuyler County)
      35. Dalton-Nunda (Livingston County)
      36. Honeoye Falls-Lima (Monroe County)
      37. Manchester-Shortsville (Ontario County)
      38. Sodus (Wayne County)
      39. Bath (Steuben County)
      40. Clyde-Savannah (Wayne County)
      41. Marcus Whitman (Ontario County)
      42. Phelps-Clifton Springs (Ontario County)
      43. Brockport (Monroe County)
      44. Arkport (Steuben County)
      45. Waterloo (Seneca County)
      46. Red Creek (Wayne County)
      47. Wayne (Wayne County)
      48. East Irondequoit (Monroe County)
      49. Marion (Wayne County)
      50. Honeoye (Ontario County)
      51. Dansville (Livingston County)
      52. Romulus (Seneca County)
      53. Hornell (Steuben County)
      54. Campbell-Savona (Steuben County)
      55. East Rochester (Monroe County)
      56. Williamson (Wayne County)
      57. Newark (Wayne County)
      58. Avon (Livingston County)
      59. Geneva (Ontario County)
      60. Penn Yan (Yates County)
      61. Lyons (Wayne County)
      62. York (Livingston County)
      63. Palmyra-Macedon (Wayne County)
      64. Bradford (Steuben County)
      65. Gananda (Wayne County)
      66. Dundee (Yates County)
      67. Mount Morris (Livingston County)
      Click this link to see the Channel 10 news story.

      What are your District's Superintendent and other Top District Adminstrator's Salaries?

      6-1-12
      Chapter 474 of the Laws of 1996 and Education Law section 1608 required that the State Education Department prepare a statewide compilation of the salaries and other personnel costs of certain school administrators and make it available to all interested parties. Listed here are data, provided by school districts, of the salaries, employee benefits and other forms of remuneration for superintendents of schools (Type 1), deputy, assistant or associate superintendents (Type 2) and the salaries of any other certified school administrators or supervisors (Type 3) who are budgeted to be paid at or above a certain level ($123,000 for 2012-13). This listing refers to information budgeted in May 2012 and expected to be paid in 2012-13 and applies to a particular position in a school district, not necessarily a particular individual. In order to fully understand the meaning of the data, clarification from individual districts may be necessary.
      Click this link to go to the NY State Department webpage with the data
      Click this link to download a pdf file of the salary amounts for all of NY State
      Click this link to download an excell file of the salaries for all of NY State.

    2011

      2011-12 Data on School District's progress with students with IEPs

      New York State also provides additional information on individual school district's performance with children who receive special education services. This link provides a wealth of information on students with disabilities in individual school districts across a number of measures. Information is provided on the previous academic school year.

      Majority of Special Ed. Students in Texas Suspended, Expelled

      12/19/11
      On Special Education Blog , Education Week
      A new study by the Council of State Governments Justice Center took a close look at how often students in Texas are disciplined by in- and out-of-school suspension and expulsion. Among the findings: Students with disabilities are especially likely to be punished by one or more of these methods. The researchers looked at records for close to one million students and found that 75 percent of middle and high school students with disabilities in the nation's second-largest public school system were suspended, expelled, or both at least once. That compares to about 55 percent of students without a disability.
      Majority of Special Ed. Students in Texas Suspended

      Rural and urban students suffer under New York state aid losses

      12/19/11
      Disparities in School Districts across the NY State are growing due to the fact that State lawmakers can not help themselves in giving wealthier Districts more money.
      rural students suffer under new york state aid losses

      Schools from 12 Rochester NY area Districts cited as underperforming.

      11/15/11
      The Schools include the following:
        BROCKPORT CSD
        BROCKPORT HIGH SCHOOL Improvement (year 2) - Basic Secondary-Level English Language Arts
        FRED W HILL SCHOOL Improvement (year 1) -Basic - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts

        CHURCHVILLE-CHILI CSD
        CHURCHVILLE-CHILI MIDDLE SCHOOL 5-8 Improvement (year 1) - Basic - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts

        EAST IRONDEQUOIT CSD
        EAST IRONDEQUOIT MIDDLE SCHOOL Improvement (year 1) - Basic - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts
        LAURELTON-PARDEE INTERMEDIATE SC Improvement (year 1) - Basic - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts

        FAIRPORT CSD
        MARTHA BROWN MIDDLE SCHOOL Improvement (year 1) - Basic - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts

        GATES-CHILI CSD
        GATES-CHILI MIDDLE SCHOOL Improvement (year 1) - Basic - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts
        WALT DISNEY SCHOOL Improvement (year 1) - Basic - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts

        GREECE CSD
        APOLLO MIDDLE SCHOOL Restructuring (year 1) - Focused - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts
        ARCADIA MIDDLE SCHOOL Improvement (year 1) - Basic - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts
        ATHENA HIGH SCHOOL Improvement (year 1) - Basic - Secondary-Level English Language Arts
        OLYMPIA HIGH SCHOOL Improvement (year 1) - Basic - Secondary-Level English Language Arts

        HILTON CSD
        MERTON WILLIAMS MIDDLE SCHOOL Improvement (year 1) - Basic - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts
        VILLAGE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL Improvement (year 1) - Basic - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts

        ROCHESTER ACADEMY CHARTER SCHOOL
        ROCHESTER ACADEMY CHARTER SCHOOL Improvement (year 1) - Comprehensive - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts

        ROCHESTER CITY SD
        BIOSCIENCE & HEALTH CAR HS-FRANKLI Restructuring (year 2) - Comprehensive - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts and Secondary-Level English Language Arts
        CHARLOTTE HIGH SCHOOL Restructuring (advanced) - Comprehensive - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts
        DR FREDDIE THOMAS HIGH SCHOOL Improvement (year 2) - Comprehensive - Secondary-Level English Language Arts
        EAST HIGH SCHOOL Restructuring (advanced) - Comprehensive - Secondary-Level Mathematics
        GLOBAL MEDIA ARTS HIGH SCH-FRANKLI Restructuring (year 1) - Comprehensive - Secondary-Level English Language Arts
        INTERNATIONAL FINANCE & ECON DEV H Restructuring (year 1) - Comprehensive - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts and Secondary-Level English Language Arts
        JAMES MONROE HIGH SCHOOL Restructuring (advanced) - Comprehensive - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts
        JOHN MARSHALL HIGH SCHOOL Restructuring (advanced) - Comprehensive - Secondary-Level English Language Arts
        JOSEPH C WILSON FOUNDATION ACADE Improvement (year 2) - Comprehensive - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts
        JOSEPH C WILSON MAGNET HIGH SCH Restructuring (advanced) - Comprehensive - Secondary-Level English Language Arts
        NORTHEAST COLLEGE PREP HIGH SCHO Corrective Action (year 1) - Comprehensive - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts
        NORTHWEST COLLEGE PREP HIGH SCHO Improvement (year 2) - Comprehensive - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Artsand Elementary-Middle Level Mathematics
        SCHOOL 12-JAMES P B DUFFY Improvement (year 1) - Focused - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts
        SCHOOL 15-CHILDREN'S SCHOOL OF RO Improvement (year 1) - Comprehensive - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts
        SCHOOL 16-JOHN WALTON SPENCER Corrective Action (year 2) - Comprehensive - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts
        SCHOOL 17-ENRICO FERMI Corrective Action (year 1) - Comprehensive - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts
        SCHOOL 20-HENRY LOMB SCHOOL Improvement (year 1) - Comprehensive - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts
        SCHOOL 22-LINCOLN SCHOOL Improvement (year 1) - Comprehensive - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts and Elementary-Middle Level Mathematics
        SCHOOL 28-HENRY HUDSON Corrective Action (year 2) - Comprehensive - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts
        SCHOOL 29-ADLAI E STEVENSON Improvement (year 1) - Comprehensive - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts
        SCHOOL 30-GENERAL ELWELL S OTIS Improvement (year 1) - Comprehensive - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts
        SCHOOL 34-DR LOUIS A CERULLI Improvement (year 2) - Comprehensive - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts
        SCHOOL 36-HENRY W LONGFELLOW Improvement (year 1) - Comprehensive - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts
        SCHOOL 39-ANDREW J TOWNSON Improvement (year 1) - Comprehensive - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts
        SCHOOL 3-NATHANIEL ROCHESTER Improvement (year 1) - Comprehensive - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts and Elementary-Middle Level Mathematics
        SCHOOL 41-KODAK PARK Improvement (year 2) - Comprehensive - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts
        SCHOOL 42-ABELARD REYNOLDS Corrective Action (year 2) - Comprehensive - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts
        SCHOOL 44-LINCOLN PARK Improvement (year 2) - Comprehensive - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts
        SCHOOL 45-MARY MCLEOD BETHUNE Restructuring (advanced) - Comprehensive - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts
        SCHOOL 46-CHARLES CARROLL Improvement (year 1) - Focused - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts
        SCHOOL 50-HELEN BARRETT MONTGOM Improvement (year 2) - Focused - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts
        SCHOOL 5-JOHN WILLIAMS Corrective Action (year 1) - Comprehensive - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts
        SCHOOL 6-DAG HAMMARSKJOLD Improvement (year 1) - Comprehensive - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts
        SCHOOL 7-VIRGIL GRISSOM Improvement (year 1) - Focused - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts
        SCHOOL 8-ROBERTO CLEMENTE Improvement (year 2) - Comprehensive -Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts
        SCHOOL 9-DR MARTIN LUTHER KING JR Restructuring (advanced) - Comprehensive -Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts
        SCHOOL OF ENGNRG & MFG-EDISON Restructuring (year 1) - Comprehensive - Secondary-Level English Language Arts and Secondary-Level Mathematics
        SCHOOL WITHOUT WALLS Corrective Action (year 1) - Comprehensive - Secondary-Level English Language Arts
        SKILLED TRADES AT EDISON Corrective Action (year 2) - Comprehensive - Secondary-Level English Language Arts
        THOMAS JEFFERSON HIGH SCHOOL Restructuring (advanced) - Comprehensive - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts

        RUSH-HENRIETTA CSD
        CHARLES H ROTH MIDDLE SCHOOL Improvement (year 1) - Basic - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts

        SPENCERPORT CSD
        A M COSGROVE MIDDLE SCHOOL Improvement (year 1) - Basic - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts

        WEBSTER CSD
        KLEM ROAD NORTH ELEMENTARY SCHO Improvement (year 1) - Basic - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts
        SPRY MIDDLE SCHOOL Improvement (year 1) - Basic - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts

        WEST IRONDEQUOIT CSD
        DAKE JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL Improvement (year 1) - Basic - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts

        Ontario County Schools
        CANANDAIGUA CITY SD
        CANANDAIGUA MIDDLE SCHOOL Improvement (year 1) - Basic - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts

        GENEVA CITY SD
        GENEVA HIGH SCHOOL Restructuring (year 1) - Focused - Secondary-Level English Language Arts
        GENEVA MIDDLE SCHOOL Improvement (year 1) - Focused - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts
        NORTH STREET ELEMENTARY SCHOOL Improvement (year 1) - Focused - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts

        PHELPS-CLIFTON SPRINGS CSD
        MIDLAKES INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL Improvement (year 1) - Basic - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts
        MIDLAKES MIDDLE SCHOOL Improvement (year 1) - Basic - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts

        VICTOR CSD
        VICTOR INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL Improvement (year 1) - Basic - Elementary-Middle Level English Language Arts

        Click this link to read Cara Matthews and Meaghan McDermott's D&C article as a PDF file.

      US Teachers feel that Schools fail diverse learners.

      8/23/11
      A new survey shows that a majority of teachers feel that Schools do not adequately prepare diverse learners for success after High School. In the Study conducted by MetLife, Education Week reports that "Fully 91 percent of the public school teachers interviewed for this year’s annual MetLife Survey of the American Teacher said that strengthening programs and resources to help “diverse learners”—defined as students with low-income status, limited fluency in English, or learning disabilities—become college- and career-ready should be a priority in education.
      read the full article here

      Buffalo Superintendent resigns

      8/19/11
      Buffalos' embattled Superintendent resigns and Buffalo's School Board accepts resignation.
      read the full story here

      NY State again pares down Regents Exams

      5/17/11
      The NYS Board of Regents has again changed the schedule for NY State regents exams to save money. This makes it easier to graduate for some and harder for others.
      Click this link to read about the changes.

      NY State signs into regulations a new teacher evaluation system

      5/17/11
      The NYS Board of Regents adopted regulations that will implement a statewide teacher and principal performance evaluation system.
      Click this link to download and read the pdf file about the changes from the NY State Board of Regents.

      NY State Board of Regents elects John King Commissioner of Education

      5/17/11
      The New York State Board of Regents voted today to elect Dr. John B. King, Jr. as New York State Education Commissioner and President of the University of the State of New York. The Regents took this action at their May meeting held today in Albany.

      Dr. King currently serves as Senior Deputy Commissioner for P-12 Education at the New York State Education Department where, for the past two years, he has led the effort to implement the Regents reform agenda and coordinated New York's successful Race to the Top application. Prior to joining the State Education Department in 2009, John was a nationally recognized education leader who founded and led urban public schools that have won acclaim for their success in closing the achievement gap and preparing students to succeed in college.

      "For the past two years John King has been at the forefront driving the implementation of every aspect of New York's reform agenda across this state. In that role he has won deep respect from teachers, school leaders, superintendents and policy makers for his results-oriented leadership and a style that has consistently brought together diverse groups of stakeholders to achieve consensus around critical reforms for our public schools. John has dedicated his career to closing the achievement gap and raising the level of achievement for all. He has a deep, passionate, personal commitment to public education and will be an outstanding Commissioner for all New Yorkers," said Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch.

      "In selecting John King the Regents are sustaining the pace and focus of the reforms intended for all our schools," said Vice Chancellor Milton Cofield, co-chair of the Boards Search Committee. "John has demonstrated the remarkable energy and insight that the Board wants in place to implement the Regents reform agenda," added Regent Anthony Bottar, who co-chaired the Search Committee.

      "John was my partner in every reform we have pursued over the past two years from realigning proficiency standards on our 3rd-8th grade assessments, to advancing new models for teacher preparation, evaluation and development, to rethinking how we turn around failing schools. He coordinated our Race to the Top application and has worked closely with me in the effort to make New York's standards and assessments more rigorous and more aligned to college and career readiness. He will be an excellent Commissioner who will make a tremendous difference in the lives of New York's 3.1 million school children," said Commissioner David M. Steiner.

      "My life story is about the power of schools to shape lives, even against great odds. Through my experiences as a teacher, as a school leader, and as Senior Deputy Commissioner, working with superintendents, principals, and teachers across this state, I know that all of our schools can be places that ensure our children succeed," said King, the son of New York City public school educators and a product of New York City public schools.

      "There has never been a more exciting time to be in public education in New York. While I know the fiscal environment and the pace of change are challenging, over the past two years I have been struck by the commitment of school leaders from every part of this state to push forward and implement bold reforms that will mean better schools for all of our kids. As we move toward implementing the core of the Regents reform agenda, I am committed to ensuring that the State Education Department will work in close partnership with districts and individual schools to capitalize on that commitment and fully implement meaningful, lasting change," said King.

      King will succeed David M. Steiner, who announced in April plans to return to his former position as Dean of the Hunter College School of Education. King will be the 14th Education Commissioner to serve the State since the position was created in 1904. He will be the first African-American and first Puerto Rican Commissioner of Education in New York State. His salary as Commissioner of Education and President of the University of the State of New York will be $212,500. King requested that the salary for the position be reduced by 15%, from the current $250,000, in recognition of the challenging fiscal environment facing New York State and the State Education Department. He will assume his new post on June 15, 2011. Until that time, David Steiner will continue to serve as Commissioner.

      As Commissioner of Education, Dr. King will serve as chief executive officer of the State Education Department and as President of the University of the State of New York (USNY). USNY is comprised of more than 7,000 public and independent elementary and secondary schools; 270 public, independent and proprietary colleges and universities; 7,000 libraries; 900 museums; 25 public broadcasting facilities; 3,000 historical repositories; 436 proprietary schools; 48 professions encompassing more than 761,000 licensees plus 240,000 certified educators; and services for children and adults with disabilities.

      Prior to his appointment as Senior Deputy Commissioner, King served as a Managing Director with Uncommon Schools, a non-profit charter management organization that operates some of the highest performing urban public schools in New York and New Jersey. Prior to joining Uncommon Schools, King was a Co-Founder and Co-Director for Curriculum and Instruction of Roxbury Preparatory Charter School. Under his leadership, Roxbury Prep's students attained the highest state exam scores of any urban middle school in Massachusetts, closed the racial achievement gap, and outperformed students from not only the Boston district schools but also the city's affluent suburbs. Prior to founding Roxbury Prep, King taught high school history in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Boston, Massachusetts.

      >
      King earned a B.A. in Government from Harvard University, an M.A. in the Teaching of Social Studies from Teachers College, Columbia University, a J.D. from Yale Law School, and an Ed.D. in Educational Administrative Practice from Teachers College, Columbia University. In addition, King has served on the board of New Leaders for New Schools, is a 2008 Aspen Institute-New Schools Entrepreneurial Leaders for Public Education Fellow, and was recently appointed by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to serve on the U.S. Department of Education's Equity and Excellence Commission. King grew up in Brooklyn and currently lives in Slingerlands with his wife and two children.

      What does your superintendent make in Monroe County?

      5/15/11
      The Democrat and Chronicle reports on top adminsistrator pay in the Suburban Districts in Monroe Coounty.
      Click this link to read the pdf of the article.
      Click this link to go to the article online.

      Buffalo Parent Group calls for 1 day School Boycott

      5/6/11
      Buffalo Parents are upset about School Performance. They recently held a meeting with the Superintendent, School Board, Mayor's office, and repesentatives of the governor. The 400 parents present then voted to hold two actions to try to get change in the Buffalo City School District. The first is to have a School Boycott on a school half day on Monday, May 16th. The second is to have a day of 100% School attendance on June 1st.
      Click this link to read about the boycott.

      Greece appoints new Superintendent

      4/30/10
      The Democrat and Chronicle reports that the Greece CSD has named a new Superintendent after two national searches. The D&C reports that "Barbara Deane-Williams, currently head of the Lyndonville Central School District in Orleans County, will take over Greece schools on July 1."
      Click this link to download a pdf file of the D&C article.

      Webster Schools raises taxes, dip into reserves, and still face cuts in staff for 2011-12

      3/9/10
      The Democrat and Chronicle reports that the Websters School District is raising taxes 1.9 percent, dipping into its reserve funds for the second year in a row, and is trying to negotiate with unions for concessions. If conceessions are not given, the District is looking to lay off up to 55 teachers.
      Click this link to download a pdf of the D&C article.

      Hilton Schools propose budget cuts and increased taxes for 2011-12

      3/9/10
      The Democrat and Chronicle reports that "The spending plan, reviewed by the Board of Education earlier this month, calls for $68.4 million in spending, a reduction of 0.3 percent over this year's $68.6 million budget. Due to a decline in revenues — mostly attributed to a expected drop of $1.2 million in state aid as called for by Gov. Andrew Cuomo — the plan calls for increasing the tax levy by about $1 million, or 3.08 percent."
      Click this link to read the D&C article.

      Pittsford Schools propose spending more in 2011-12

      3/9/10
      The Democrat and Chronicle reports that "The preliminary 2011-12 budget is $111.6 million, a 1.69 percent increase from the current budget. The school tax levy, the amount of money a school district raises on taxes, is $84.8 million, a 2 percent increase."
      Click this link to read the D&C article.

      Seperate but not equal - race in Monroe County Schools

      3/20/11
      A very good Democrat and Chronicle article by Tiffany Lakes on racial disparities in Schools and School Districts across Monroe County.
      Click on this link to download a pdf file of the Story.

      Budget Cuts Threaten Jobs in Canandaigua Schools

      3/11/11
      The Democrat and Chronicle reports that due to proposed budget cuts in Canandaigua the Canandaigua City School District might eliminate 40 positions to help close a $7.1 million budget gap.
      Click this link to download a pdf file of the article.

      Greece CSD proposes cutting teachers and programs

      3/10/10
      The Democrat and Chronicle reports that the Greece CSD proposes to cut a number of teaching positions and special programs as well as to raise the tax levy to budge the 2011 School budget. Significantly the District appears to be further eroding the recent special education class action lawsuit in that it is proposing cutting 5 special education teachers and 7 litercy coaches.
      Click this link to download a pdf file of the D&C article.

      NY State proposes to cut budget for Rochester School for the Deaf and others

      3/9/10
      The State is looking to cost shift the funding for Rochester School for the Deaf (RSD) and other Schools back to local School Districts. Currently when a student is placed at RSD or the School for the Blind, the State pays directly or the costs. The State is now proposing to reimburse Local Education Agencies (School Districts) for the cost of the program using a complicated funding formula.
      Click this link to download a pdf file of the D&C article covering this change.

      Brighton proposes cutting teachers and paraprofessionals and increasing tax levy

      3/9/10
      The Brighton CSD has proposed "eliminations that include the equivalent of 8.25 teaching positions". The District has also proposed an increase of 0.9 percent in the tax levy.
      Click this link to download a pdf file on the proposed cuts.

      Bernanke and Bill Gates both give speeches warning about cuts in Education

      3/4/11
      Both Ben Bernanke and Bill Gates both recently gave speeches on how State budget cuts are threatening Education. This should sound familiar.
      Click this link to read about the issue on the Planet Money blog.
      Click this link to read Ben Benanke's speech, which was suitably given in NY STate.

      NY State says most NY State High School graduates not ready for college

      2/21/11
      New York state has reported that over 50% of NY State High School graduates are not ready for college. In this data, only 5% of City of Rochester graduates are college ready. College readiness was considered to be getting a 75 on the English Regents and a 80 on the math Regents. Getting grades at this level the State commission indicated would get at least a C in a college-level course in the same subject.
      Click this link to read a NY Times Article on this subject.

      Churchville-Chili rejects Urban-Suburban Transfer Program

      2/2/11
      Staff report from the Democrat and Chronicle • February 2, 2011
      "The Churchville-Chili Central School District has decided not to implement an Urban-Suburban Transfer Program, which would have allowed minority city students to attend school in the district, spokeswoman Amanda Wood said Tuesday.
      After 11 presentations and the completion of a district-wide survey on the program, feedback was compiled and shared with the Board of Education last month. Wood said there were varied opinions on the proposal and responses led the district to conclude that participation in the program did not match the district's core beliefs.
      The board and superintendent have decided to instead increase dialogue on the topic and pursue other opportunities to expand diversity in the district."

      One third of Suspended Students in NYC are in Special Education

      1/31/11
      In NYC the rates of Suspensions has increased even as the number of students in NYC has decreased. Among the students suspended one third of these students is in Special Education.
      Click this link to read an article about the report.
      Click this link to download the pdf file of the report.

    2010

      Minimal requirements for classroom aides, substitutes at BOCES

      12/5/10
      A story in the Democrat and Chronicle reports on the fact that paraprofessionals working in BOCES's programs do not have to have a Regents's diploma.
      To read the story click on this link.

      New Federal Guidance for School on Bullying

      11/17/10
      The U.S. Department of Education has issued guidance to support educators in combating bullying (click on this link to see a fact sheet on bullying from the US Department of Education)in schools by clarifying when student bullying may violate federal education anti-discrimination laws. The guidance, which is in a Dear Colleague letter sent to schools, colleges and universities, explains educators' legal obligations to protect students from student-on-student racial and national origin harassment, sexual and gender-based harassment and disability harassment.
      In August of 2010 the Government also launched the Stop Bullying Now Campaign, a national database of effective anti-bullying programs.
      Click this link to read the guidance.

      Racial Disparities in Middle School Suspensions

      9/15/10
      In a story with similar findings to my dissertation, racial disparities were found among suspension patterns. This study specifically focused on middle school suspensions. One of the findings of the study, quoting from the NY Times was that "Among the students attending one of the 9,220 middle schools in the study sample, 28 percent of black boys and 18 percent of black girls, compared with 10 percent of white boys and 4 percent of white girls, were suspended in 2006". Disparities were also found among racial/ethnic groups.
      To read a NY Times article on the study click on this link.
      To read the study, “Suspended Education: Urban Middle Schools in Crisis,” from the Southern Poverty Law Center, click on this link.

      NY State changes Standards and more Students in need of AIS Services

      8/9/10
      NY State has reconfigured the passing rates for NYS Tests given to students in 3rd through 8th grades. This change has made it harder for students to achieve proficiency on NY State Tests. It also calls again into question why schools spend hundreds of hours preparing students to take one test.
      Click this link to read a NY Times article on the changes.

      Secretary of Education promises changes in Special Education

      8/9/10
      Secretary of Education Arne Duncan Candid About Special Education Shortcomings, Promises Change.
      Click this link to read the article.

      School District That Takes the Isolation Out of Autism

      8/9/10
      NY Times article on how the public schools in Madison, Wis., work to include children with Autism in classes and in the school community.
      Click this link to read the article.

      Three States have requested to cut their special education funding

      7/25/10
      Kansas, Iowa, and South Carolina have requested waivers from the Federal Government to cut the amount of money they give to School Ditricts to pay for special education services. Kansas and Iowa have already been granted these waivers.
      To read more about the story click on this link.
      You may also read the article at http://ideamoneywatch.com/main/.

      NY State to make it harder for students to pass NY State Testing

      7/21/10
      NY State has announced the it will make it harder for Students in grades 3 through 8 to pass the mandated NY State Testing. All Students in NY State are required to take sets of testing. The NY State Department of Education recently commissioned a study to compare the results from this testing with other National tests. The study found that while the number of students in NY State who achieved a 3 or higher on the NY State tests was rising that in reality NY State students were not doing better on the National Tests. As such the standards will be raised to make it harder for students to achieve a score of 3 or higher. This includes students who just took the tests this Spring.
      To read a New York Times article on this topic click on this link.

      An International Perspective on Special Education

      7/5/10
      Not every country views Learning Disabilities and provides services for individuals with Learning Disabilities. This article from Australia reports on Special Education practices in England. It also highlights the fact that LD is not a legally recognized medical condition in Australia, and that children in Australia have no right to any special education or related services.

      Parochial Schools begin to embrace Special Education

      7/5/10
      Children with educationally handicapping conditions have the right to Special Education Services if they are in a Public or Charter school. They have the same right if they attend a Private School, but it becomes much more complicated. Because many private schools do not have the resources to support children with special needs, they for years have not accepted these children. It is not uncommon to have a family with one child in a private school, and another in a Public School so he or she could receive their special education services.
      Some parochial and private schools, however are finding that offering some level of special education services is an important factors in retaining families and students in the midst of changing educational systems. Click on this link to read an article about how one private school in Norfolk Virginia has found a way to grow their student body by offering some special education services.

      NY City asks NY State to decrease special education regulations to save money

      6/12/10
      About 177,000 students are in the city's special education classes, NY City is asking NY State to cut regulations effecting the education of these students to save money. Advocates are worried the cuts will weaken special education programs. To read about the story click on this link.

      NYC Mayor pushes for Schools to take more responsibility for Children with Special Needs

      5/12/10
      Mayor Bloomberg, who is one of the models for Mayor Duffy's push for Mayoral control of Schools, is overhauling special education by asking every principal to take in more of the students and giving them greater flexibility in deciding how to teach them.

      Currently many students with disabilities are not taught in their home schools, but instead are sent to other district schools that have specific programs for special education. This has been the case in NYC for decades.
      To read more about this topic click on this link.

      Victor schools to investigate case of Student with Autism's arrest

      4/5/10
      An article in the Democrat and Chronicle by Bennett J. Loudon on April 15, 2010 reveals that Victor School District officials will be investigating the handling of an incident last week in which an autistic student was jailed after allegedly disobeying and hitting an Ontario County sheriff's deputy. The 19 year old student was charged April 7 with disorderly conduct after he allegedly became physically aggressive at school. The student is described as having been disruptive throughout the day and is charged with endangering himself and those around him. The student was sent to jail in lieu of $500 bail, but was released on April 8 by order of the Victor Town Court.
      The D&C reports that "In a letter to parents dated April 14, Victor schools Superintendent Dawn A. Santiago-Marullo said she has 'launched a full investigation of our disciplinary process to ensure that a situation such as the one we just experienced never happens again.'" This is unfortunately not a totally uncommon incident. With the increased presence of police officers in school there have been a number of cases of the crimilization of students.

      Greece School District Audit Details Waste

      2/9/10
      Audit of the Greece Central School District details released. The audit found a number of areas of improprieties. Parents in the Greece Central School District should read through the following articles as well. The first is the Review of Payroll and Personnel Records from the auditors. The second document is the Eldredge, Fox & Porretti audit of the Greece Central School District . While many parents were fighting to have their children receive appropriate special education services the district was as the audits so grossly mismanaging district resources.

      State Comptroller blasts BOCES 1

      1/13/10
      The State Comptroller has found serious problems in an audit of BOCES 1 (based in Perinton). Among the findings were that:
      The district rented a bus garage facility owned by the district's head mechanic where district employees also worked for the head mechanic's used car dealership.
      Board members did not disclose their connection to a private foundation when they acted to lease buildings from the nonprofit organization.
      Former Superintendent Gregory J. Vogt ignored complaints about wrongdoing and suppressed the findings of an investigation.
      The probe also found "the misappropriation of funds" and "improper interaction with students by various personnel," according to the state.
      The State Comptroller's report can be read by clicking on this link.
      More on the State Comptroller audit of BOCES 1 - For additional information on the State Audit of BOCES 1 read the story on 1/21/10 in the Democrat and Chronicle.

      State Comptroller audit faults Fairport CSD

      12/30/09
      The State Comptroller in an audit faults the Fairport Central School District for increasing the tax levy by 17 percent while accumulating $16.6 million in excess funds over five years. (The Comptroller's report is available as a pdf file). In a story in the Democrat and Chronicle on 12/29/09 the paper found that "According to the audit, Fairport schools circumvented state law that limits how much money districts may hold as unreserved fund balance by pouring surplus money into reserve funds (akin to targeted savings accounts) and by making it appear the district would spend some of the unreserved funds in the following year, even though the money didn't end up being spent." The Fairport School District response to the audit is available by following this link. To read more about the audit click this link. Additionally to read more about reserve fund issues read the story below.

      The Greece Central School District agrees to a one year extension of its special education consent decree

      11/5/09
      A class action law suit was filed against the Greece Central School District in 2005 by attorney Jonathan Feldman, of the Empire Justice Center. The plaintiffs in the case were eight families who alleged that the district was failing to provide a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) to their children with special needs. The School District settled the case in 2007 indicating a recognition of its obligation to provide FAPE. The settlement was originally a two year agreement. The district agreed as part of this settlement to the following:
        • To not have any Caps or Quotas regarding the number of students being classified or declassified
        • To not have any Caps or Quotas regarding placement or programs, including placement of student with handicapping conditions in out of district placements or programs
        • That the District would provide resource room services to any student who required this level of support
        • That the District would adopt and implement PBIS (Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports)
        • That the District would contract with an outside behavioral specialist to provide staff training and consultation services
        • That the District would hire additional behavioral specialists, autism specialists, and a transition specialist
        • That the District would agree to adopt a Person-Centered Planning Process in its Transition Model
        • That the District would remove all 8:1:1 classes from the BRIDGES Program located in the Greece Ridge Mall
        • The district agreed as part of the case to have an independent expert help monitor the compliance of the district.
      The district has recently agreed to a one year continuation of the consent decree. As part of this the District has agreed to focus on three particular areas. A summary of this agreement is posted on the district website.
      Click this link to see that summary.
      For background on this case click this link.
      To read the Wall Street Journal Article on the case form 12/14/07, click this link to read the article.

Quick Links

A primer on Rochester Charter Schools - 12/7/14
Click this link to search the D&C database for NY State teacher and administrator pensions
Find information on your School and District with new widget - 1/27/11

Data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress

The NAEP is the Nation's Report Card. It is given every other year to samples of students across the country. Just as in NY the Regents exam is a measure that allows comparisons of student achievement across the State. The NAEP does the same thing across the country. As such it exists as more of a gold standard to view how State's are doing in educating the State's children.

    The Widget above provides a quick and easy way to find information on your child's School and District. Zoom in on your School and click the icon. This will take you to the Great Schools webpage where you can pull up a variety of data on your chld's School including NYS Test Scores.

    © Copyright, all rights reserved Daniel J. DeMarle, Ph.D. 2014