Dan Clark New York Now

School officials in Monroe County are ready to have students make a full return to the classroom this fall, according to Kathleen Graupman, president of the Monroe County Council of School Superintendents, and superintendent of the Greece Central School District.

Graupman made the comments Tuesday in a briefing with reporters after Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Monday that he thinks students should be able to return for full, in-person learning this fall.

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The new president at Monroe Community College officially started her job this week, and Deanna R. Burt-Nanna has not only been facing the challenges that come with any job of that magnitude, but has to contend with the COVID-19 pandemic as well.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that he wants to require all State University and City University of  New York students to be vaccinated before they start school this fall. That directive would include community colleges.

The Rochester Board of Education approved the 2021-2022 budget, a $986 million plan that is $58 million higher than the current spending plan.

The budget benefited from more than $220 million in federal stimulus money as well an $84 million increase in state aid.

A grade-school math problem went viral last month when math teachers around the world couldn't agree on how to find the answer. The equation was short, and seemingly called for the old formula of PEMDAS. So why was it so confusing? And if math teachers can't agree, can the rest of us assume we've learned enough math to practically apply it?

We have some fun with math and explore how we do, and don't, use what we were taught in school. Our guests:

  • Amanda Tucker, assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Rochester
  • Ajamu Kitwana, vice president and director of community impact at ESL Federal Credit Union
  • Brian Koberlein, astrophysicist and science writer with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory

We talk with organizers and participants in the Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival. The event is in its 14th year. This year's virtual festival is set for Saturday, May 15. Participants will be able to hear from authors of young adult books, attend workshops, and visit virtual publisher booths.

We talk with festival representatives about the program and the latest in reading trends among young adults. Our guests:

Max Schulte/WXXI News

A 10-member board is proposing an all-girls elementary school in Rochester.

The proposed Innova Girls Academy Charter School would focus on a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) curriculum for girls in kindergarten through sixth grade.

The board is also collaborating with Girl Scouts of Western New York to establish the school as the state's first Girl Scouts Academy.

What do Rochester City School District students think about the district’s proposed budget? How will it impact them? We talk with students about their priorities and what they want the school board and the superintendent to know before the final vote. 
Our guests:

  • Sarah Adams, student leader with the Youth Advisory Committee, and freshman at East High School
  • Joshua Karnes, youth organizer at Teen Empowerment’s Eastside site, and freshman at School of the Arts
  • Seven Williams, youth organizer at Teen Empowerment’s Westside site, and freshman at School of the Arts
  • Jasmine Gripper, executive director of the Alliance for Quality Education

A fourth-grade lesson about slavery has led to backlash. A worksheet given to students in a Pittsford classroom taught that slaves voluntarily agreed to work for colonists in "exchange for the trip to America." Superintendent Michael Pero apologized for the worksheet's "highly insensitive" tone. The incident, and others like it, has led to conversations about how to teach lessons about slavery in accurate and culturally sensitive ways.

Our guests this hour share their perspectives:

New reporting from Justin Murphy at the Democrat and Chronicle shows that more than three quarters of Rochester City School District teachers and principals live in the suburbs. Murphy writes that of the top 100 earners in the district, only 12 live in the city. People studying the effect of this issue say there's a cost: a financial one, with tax dollars leaving the city and widening economic disparities between the city and the suburbs; and there's an impact on community-building at schools.

This hour, Murphy joins us to discuss what he learned from his extensive analysis, and we hear from community leaders who share their perspectives. Our guests:

  • Justin Murphy, education reporter for the Democrat and Chronicle
  • Simeon Banister, vice president of community programs at the Rochester Area Community Foundation
  • Adam Urbanski, president of the Rochester Teachers Association

Common Ground Health launches COVID-19 speakers bureau

Mar 26, 2021
Common Ground Health

Common Ground Health has launched a COVID-19 speakers bureau in the Finger Lakes region.

The bureau consists of professionals from various backgrounds who volunteer to help educate residents or organizations about COVID-19 and the vaccine. 

Yvette Conyers, president of Rochester’s Black Nurses Association, is one of the volunteers. She said having a diverse group of speakers is the best way to have a profound impact in the community.