east high school

Rochester City School District graduation rates climb

23 hours ago

The Rochester City School District's 2018-19 graduation rate is 58 percent.

Though it is still low, it's an increase of 4.5 percentage points over last year, continuing the rate's upward trajectory.

But an even larger jump at East Upper and Lower School has exceeded some district officials' expectations. East's graduation rate for its first full four-year student cohort -- students who started at East as freshmen four years ago and graduated as seniors -- was 65 percent.

When the University of Rochester signed on to serve as the Educational Partnership Organization (EPO) for struggling East High School, UR representatives acknowledged they did not enter the partnership lightly. In 2015, New York State labeled East an "out of time" school. It would have closed, if not for the EPO.

This hour, we sit down with representatives from the partnership to discuss the EPO’s three-year progress report. They share the challenges East has faced, the successes they’ve seen, and what they hope for the next phase of the collaboration. In studio:

  • Shaun Nelms, superintendent of the East EPO, and associate professor and William & Sheila Konar Director of the Center for Urban Education Success at the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education
  • Marlene Blocker, principal of East Upper School
  • Tanya Wilson Thevanesan, principal of East Lower School
  • Lorna Washington, assistant superintendent of Strategic Planning for the East EPO
  • Kyle Crandall, representative of the Rochester Teachers Association (RTA) for East, and president of the Beechwood Neighborhood Coalition

WATCH: What is East High's next chapter?

Jun 30, 2019

Five years ago the saying "East High Lives" was like a mantra of sorts for students, teachers, and community members, desperate to keep the doors open at the century-old school. Fast-forward five years and a new mantra is starting to circulate. Today it's more common to hear, "All in at East" when discussing the school that's been under a microscope since its partnership with the University of Rochester launched four years ago. But to what degree does "all in" include the student voice and perspective? Here's what Need to Know learned after visiting the school throughout the past several months. We'll also hear from school superintendent, Shaun Nelms, about what's next now that the East-UR partnership has been renewed.

WATCH: What's next for East High; The Awesome Project

Jun 27, 2019

It's been called everything from "an experiment" to "a project." Now that a five year partnership between East High and the University of Rochester has been renewed, what's next, or rather, what should be next? Some graduating seniors have a few thoughts. We'll hear from them and their leader, Shaun Nelms, on this edition of Need to Know.

Also on the show, if you happen to have an idea that would make Rochester more awesome there may be some no-strings-attached funding to help launch that idea. We'll learn how it works.

Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

If delivered in the right way, sarcasm has a constructive purpose in the classroom, according to a recent study from the University of Rochester.

Joanne Larson, a professor and researcher at the Warner School of Education, noticed while observing an English class at East High that teacher Timothy Morris used sarcasm to build positive relationships with his students.

"He has these one-liners that he says all the time,” Larson said. “When students are talking when he's trying to give instruction or something, he'll say, 'I hope you enjoy summer school.' "

Marty Kauffman WXXI

Some teachers at East High School are using the power of food to connect with their students.

“Well I got some competition here,” says Liz Conroy who teaches English and Journalism at EAST. "The jambalaya might be a dark horse in this whole thing but I feel pretty confident about my meatballs. Tried and true."

Conroy says it’s important everyone to experience each other’s backgrounds.

Tianna Manon/WXXI News

The name isn’t the only thing different about East High School.

The East Upper and Lower Schools updated the community on its progress in its annual public meeting Thursday evening.  Lorna Washington, Special Assistant to the Educational Partnership Organization superintendent, said the school has seen major gains in attendance, testing and graduation since partnering with the University of Rochester two years ago.

There’s an opportunity gap that exists in urban education. For those who live in Monroe County, but outside the City of Rochester, this gap matters to them too. How? The fate of our suburbs is deeply connected to the livelihood of our cities, including our public schools. But closing that opportunity gap can happen. On this edition of Need to Know we learn how.

Guests include: Pedro Noguera, Ph.D., a renowned expert on public education in America, a sociologist and a Distinguished Professor of Education at UCLA and Shaun Nelms, Ed.D., an associate professor at the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education and Superintendent of East High School.

There’s a question that has plagued the Rochester community for decades: What will it take to improve educational outcomes for city school students? On this edition of Need to Know we’ll learn how one thing, equity, could change everything.

Also on the show, they’ve escaped war, violence, persecution and natural disasters. And some who now call Rochester “home” are still living with uncertainty. We’ll learn why World Refugee Day has a new meaning.

And meet a local valedictorian with a heart for others and a mean forehand as our Top of the Class series continues.

East High School | University of Rochester

You could call it the most watched school in Rochester. East High School is kicking off year two in its collaboration with the University of Rochester. On this edition of Need to Know we learn what’s in store for this new school year as this innovative intervention continues to unfold.

Also on the show, photonics is now in Rochester and eventually the jobs promised will be here too. We’ll tell you how local schools are preparing their students to cash in on the booming industry.

And in the midst of continued turmoil and unrest in South Sudan, hope springs forth. How the Rochester-South Sudan partnership is bringing new opportunities to the youth of Mayan-Abun.