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RCSD Board Holds Town Hall On Improving The District

Four Rochester City School Board Special Committees presented ideas to the public  Tuesday night on how to improve the district.

The committees have been meeting over the past month discussing areas where the district could be better The areas of focus include Student Achievement, Student and Community Safety, Parent Engagement and the Concentration of Poverty.

School Board President Van White says the goal is to take these solution-based conversations and translate them into 2014-2015 budget priorities.

“Therefore, have our schools, our students, our principals, have a different outlook in 2014-2015.”

Some of those the ideas put forth during the meeting include bringing back in-school suspension, but a suspension that  has a more rehabilitative and preventative aspect to it, rather than just a punitive component; using  a restorative justice model; creating a parent's bill of rights; establishing a youth council and students educating teachers on how to use social media.

"Not only would that afford our teachers to get some insights on how our young people are using social media,” White said. “For example, engaging violent disruptive instances of how social media is being used. But also could you imaging how insightful those conversations would be if you had students teaching teachers about how social media can further engage our students? The use of twitter, Facebook, and how those can be used to enhance our educational experience of our students."

White says this recommendation would require money from the district  because it would pay the students a stipend for providing teachers with this professional development. However, he says some other ideas would not need funding.

White says he’s pleased by the variety of ideas presented by the committees.