WXXI AM News

education

clydesavannah.org

The Clyde-Savannah school district in Wayne County is moving back temporarily to virtual learning, after starting out the year with a hybrid model.

A letter from the district’s superintendent, Michael Hayden, on the Clyde-Savannah website notes that as a precaution, a quarantine will need to be put in place for non-instructional staff members from the transportation department.

Experts in child health and education say the pandemic will have lasting effects on children's social and emotional needs and their overall wellbeing. Effective in April 2021, the Children's Institute will be ROC the Future's new anchor entity. Representatives from the two organizations say the partnership will enable them to better focus their work on the intersectionality of health and education. 

We talk with them about how parents and teachers can help children navigate this unprecedented time. Our guests:

The state’s largest teachers union filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Division of Budget over more than $5 billion in state spending that’s expected to be withheld from school districts as the state grapples with an unprecedented budget crisis.

New York State United Teachers claimed in the lawsuit that a law approved earlier this year that would allow those cuts is unconstitutional and shouldn’t be enforced.

A diverse collection of school administrators, parents, teachers and students all weighed in Tuesday night on plans to reopen school during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The occasion was a WXXI Live Forum about reopening school, on WXXI-TV, radio and online.

It would be an understatement to say this won’t be a normal school year by any measure. But whether it’s city or suburban districts in Monroe County, participants in the forum Tuesday night sound cautiously optimistic they’ll be able to provide education and support to students and their families.

We look at some hard facts about our city and our community. "Hard Facts" is the name of a 2017 report on inequality, and this week, there's an update. The 2020 Hard Facts report does not offer a much brighter picture. Our community continues to see massive disparities when it comes to educational and economic opportunities. Those disparities tend to fall along racial lines.

The authors of the report join us to discuss the roots of these inequities, the data itself, and what can we do to create systemic change. Our guests:

  • Ed Doherty, principal author and researcher of the Hard Facts Update
  • Simeon Banister, vice president of community programs at the Rochester Community Foundation
  • Ann Johnson, executive director of ACT Rochester

gateschili.org

The pending state budget cuts may hit school districts and families  in a variety of ways, and that includes parents of preschoolers in the Gates Chili district.

A letter went out on Thursday to families trying to get their kids into Universal pre-K, letting them know that a reduction in state funding will force the district to provide six, rather than eight, full-day pre-kindergarten sections.

Brighton High School bcsd.org

For Brighton High School social studies teacher Jennifer Pacatte, it hasn't exactly been a summer of fun and relaxation.  

"I would say it's been this pervasive state of anxiety for every teacher I know," she said.

Much of that anxiety, she said, is because until a few weeks ago, schools in New York didn't even know if they'd be allowed to reopen.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Aug. 7 that students can return to the classroom if coronavirus transmission rates stay below a certain threshold.

Rochester City School District/Zoom

The first of five forums to be held by the Rochester City School District on its reopening plan for the upcoming school year had to be abruptly canceled soon after it started on Saturday after it was bombarded by a series of racist and obscene comments.

The comments were typed into the chat function of the open Zoom call and there were also comments scrawled on the PowerPoint presentation that District Superintendent Lesli Myers-Small had started the session with.

There was a big change announced Thursday regarding the start of the upcoming school year for the Rochester City School District - all classes will be held remotely for at least the first ten weeks of the school year.

Originally, like a lot of districts, RCSD was going to use a hybrid model -- a combination of in-class and remote learning. For RCSD, that hybrid model would have been used for Pre-K through 4th grade; students in 5th  through 12th grades would have continued with distance learning unless they were in specialized programs.

freeimages.com/shutesandladders12

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday formally gave schools the green light to reopen, saying the coronavirus infection rate was low enough in New York for students to return to class in the coming weeks.

But students and staff will have a very different experience at schools this year, with new precautions in place to prevent the disease from spreading.

"By our infection rates, all school districts can open everywhere in the state,” Cuomo said. “Every region is below the threshold we established."

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