RCSD off to rough start addressing NYS recommendations

December 11, 2018 11:32 PM

On Tuesday, the Rochester City School Board sat down to address how to reset the district following a very critical report from the New York State Department of Education. 

The first two hours were off to a bumpy start as the meeting was stop-and-go and filled with confusion. 

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"What do you need from us to make sure this conversation goes smoother because we have nine other sections to go through and it can't go like this," said Commissioner Natalie Sheppard to faculty leaders.

Faculty leaders were responding to the 84 recommendations by the state with solutions, but even some of the answers left board members confused.  

"I'm frustrated because how it's presented," said Commissioner Cynthia Elliott. "If that's an indication of how we're putting it together for the state, we're doomed." 

About a third of the recommendations were addressed Tuesday. Solutions to fix the broken district included:

- Creating a common curriculum for all schools
- Replacing outdated textbooks, and enforcing that textbooks go home with students
- Enhance English language learning 
- Increase professional development with teachers

The board also discussed possibly selecting someone to be a project manager to oversee the massive overhaul for the district.

"We have a pretty aggressive pace to get this done and vetted by the board, through the distinguished educator, and back through the board," said RCSD Board President Van White. "I think we'll more than comfortably meet the deadline." 

The school board has two more meetings to go over the rest of the recommendations ahead of the report they must submit to the state by February. 


Beth Cefalu

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