RCSD ‘Path Forward’ looks toward equity, new offerings

The Rochester City School District Thursday unveiled a sweeping set of proposals that would rearrange the academic careers of future city children and move toward a more equitable distribution of students, both inside the district and among its neighbors.

The “Path Forward” is Superintendent Barbara Deane-Williams’ most concrete vision for the district in her 18 months in office. Her teams have spent the last several months canvassing the city to gather input from students, parents and staff; their work culminated both in Thursday night’s announcement and an array of possible student placement changes to be announced Saturday morning.

Among the key points included in Thursday’s presentation:

  • Rearrange the offerings in different sectors of the city to ensure that each of the three ‘zones’ has roughly even enrollment and a full range of offerings for early education, students with disabilities or those who don’t speak English well.
  • Make plans to replicate the district’s most popular schools — School of the Arts, School Without Walls, World of Inquiry School 58 and Children’s School of Rochester School 15 among them — and be prepared to implement them as other schools fall into state receivership and need to be restarted, as is the case now with Kodak Park School 41.
  • Give Edison Tech its second re-boot in three years, again with an emphasis on getting students real-life work experience.
  • Partner with outside districts and outside funders on magnet schools to attract suburban students, including a second P-TECH school with Greece and a downtown elementary school that would draw half its enrollment from the suburbs and cater to parents who commute into the city.

Those last two points, in particular, have yet to be fleshed out. They would require outside money and some expression of interest from the suburbs and others. Monroe Community College is involved in the first; Great Schools for All is involved in the second.


Source: RCSD ‘Path Forward’ looks toward equity, new offerings

Jimmy Kilpatrick, a national recognized professional special education advocate since 1994.

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