Education news

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The decision to close schools came suddenly nine weeks ago as the coronavirus started spreading in local communities, but the process of reopening will require a great deal of thought and planning.

In the final part of the WXXI News series, "Pandemic Academics," we explore the many challenges facing districts as they contemplate a return to the classroom.

This time of year, kids are usually counting the days until summer vacation, but Marin and Grace Papponetti can't wait to get back to school.

Emily Hunt / for WXXI News

The New York State Education Department has appointed a state monitor to help oversee the Rochester City School District.

Shelley Jallow was appointed by Interim State Ed. Commissioner Shannon Tahoe, as a result of a recent agreement with state lawmakers which provided a $35 million dollar advance on state aid to the RCSD with the requirement that a monitor to oversee academic and fiscal issues be appointed. 

provided photo

In the last two days, we've heard from local students, parents, teachers, and administrators about how they are coping with distance learning since schools closed nine weeks ago to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Today, in the third part of the WXXI News series, "Pandemic Academics: Education During the Coronavirus Crisis,"  we look at the effect that all this time away from the classroom could have on students' academic progress.


Schools were abruptly closed in mid-March as the coronavirus crisis reached local communities. In the second part of a WXXI News series on the impacts of the pandemic on education, we look at how academic performance is being evaluated, with so many variables at play.


If the sudden shift to remote learning was an adjustment for students, then it was jarring for educators.

"It was like putting teachers on a very steep slide and just pushing them off," said Jennifer Pacatte, a social studies teacher at Brighton High School.


Add the University of Rochester’s annual Meliora Weekend that will not be held this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

That event includes reunion and homecoming activities and usually features nationally known speakers in politics, arts and entertainment.

Nazareth College

Nazareth College is committed to providing an on-campus experience this fall. Nazareth, like many colleges, has been providing classes online during the coronavirus pandemic.

Officials said that protocols will be in place this fall to protect the health and safety of students, employees and the larger community.

Some changes already in progress include ordering touchless faucets and personal protective equipment, reducing density in classrooms, and evaluating apps to help screen and trace contact.

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The coronavirus crisis has disrupted daily life in countless ways. For schools, the last two months have been an unplanned experiment in remote learning. In the first part of a WXXI News series on the impacts of the pandemic on education, we explore how students' experiences differ based on their schools, teachers, and even their home environments.

Brennae Johnson lives with her mother and two siblings in what they describe as a tiny, two-bedroom apartment. 

Myers-Small named new RCSD superintendent

May 18, 2020
Provided by the Rochester City School District

Lesli Myers-Small, who led Brockport public schools for seven years and currently oversees efforts to turn around troubled schools for the state, was named superintendent of the Rochester City School District on Monday.

Her selection follows the unexpected resignation of Terry Dade, who announced his departure a month ago after less than a year into the job to lead a smaller and more affluent school district in the Hudson Valley.

The Rochester Board of Education on Thursday night approved a budget that closes the City School District’s Bilingual Language and Literacy Academy.

Myrna Gonzalez with the Bilingual Education Council said the board’s decision dealt a death blow to the academy. 

“They sign the death sentence for bilingual education in Rochester,” she said. “We’ve been fighting over 10 years for (the) right education for our kids, and we don’t have it.”

James Brown

The Rochester City School Board adopted a budget Thursday night for the upcoming school year. The plan was designed to bridge an $87 million budget gap. It passed by a 6-1 vote with Commissioner Beatriz LeBron voting no. 

The plan cuts more than 300 teaching and staffing positions, and closes five elementary schools. One of those school will be converted into a Pre-K center and another into a middle school, among numerous other changes.