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State monitor to hold hearing on city schools this week

Jun 22, 2020

Credit James Brown / WXXI

On Thursday, Rochester residents are expected to have their first chance to talk to Shelley Jallow, the state-appointed monitor for the city school district.

Jallow was appointed last month as part of a deal with the state to bail out the district in April. The district was short more than $30 million and was running low on options for funding, until the state stepped in. Jallow told the board last week that one of her chief concerns center’s on the district’s strategic planning. 

“It’s time for us to set a stake in the ground, so to speak, for what our vision is for the district and what you want to accomplish,” Jallow said.

Jallow’s role is akin to an extra superintendent. Her work will be guided by the distinguished educator’s reports and the district’s responses to it. The distinguished educator’s reports are an analysis of the district’s climate, financial situation, educational outcomes and more, written by the state-appointed distinguished educator, Jamie Aqunio. He left in June 2019.

Jallow will be working with the Board of Education, Superintendent Lesli Myers-Small and other key district leaders to form long-term educational and financial plans for the district. She told the board last week that it's time to come to agreement on specific actions to improve student outcomes.

“That’s really where we need to concentrate our efforts,” said Jallow. “Because once we establish that, our academic plans will fall into place, our fiscal plans will fall into place, because we have a set of goals that we all agree to.”

The first of three public hearings with Jallow is on Thursday night via Zoom. She expects to hear grievances and explain the scope of her work. 

The public may submit comments or testimony prior to the hearing via e-mail at statemonitor@rcsdk12.org or via regular mail to State Monitor Public Hearing, 131 West Broad Street, Rochester, NY 14614.