WXXI has launched a new digital series for kids called "I Can Be What?!" With two-and-a-half million students across the state learning from home during the pandemic, the series is the latest programming initiative in WXXI's efforts to educate young people. "I Can Be What?!" explores STEAM career opportunities -- from dance to zoo keeping to welding -- and gives viewers a sneak peek into what it's like to work in those friends.

This hour, we talk to the team behind the series. Our guests:

  • Erin McCormack, executive producer of WXXI Public Broadcasting
  • Karen Heller, producer of "I Can Be What?!"
  • Cara Rager, manager of education training and family engagement at WXXI
  • Jen Indovina, host of "I Can Be What?!"
  • Ashley Campbell, africologist, and co-founder of Ballet Afrikana: Dance Prep Academy
  • Nick Carson, welder

There's a heated debate happening regarding what to cut, and what to keep, in Rochester city schools. We recently spoke to Superintendent Terry Dade; this hour we hear from board members about teacher cuts, emotional support cuts, building usage, and more.

Our guests:

Rochester City School District Superintendent Terry Dade joins us to talk about his draft budget. He discusses the challenging decisions facing the district, including cuts to teaching positions, services, and more.

Our guest:

  • Terry Dade, superintendent of the Rochester City School District

Teachers and parents across Monroe County had to act quickly last week when the county ordered all schools to close. They’ve developed lessons and curricula that can be taught remotely.

This hour, we talk with teachers and parents about the work they are doing, the buy-in from students so far, and their recommendations for families who will be educating kids from home for the foreseeable future.

We also discuss WXXI’s new Learn at Home programming – a special education television block in support of families, educators, and students. Our guests:

  • Marion French, vice president of education and interactive services at WXXI
  • Cara Rager, manager of education training and family engagement at WXXI
  • Erica Davis, music teacher at Williamson Central School District, and parent of three children
  • Kristin Loftus, math coach at Renaissance Academy Charter School of the Arts, and parent of two children

In response to area school closings due to the coronavirus, WXXI-TV will begin broadcasting a “Learn At Home” schedule in support of families, educators, and students.

This new schedule, posted at WXXI.org/tv/schedules, will air from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays beginning Monday, March 23rd.  WXXI Kids 24/7 channel will remain the same with PBS KIDS favorites for the youngest viewers.

How well do public schools teach climate change? A new book aims to educate the educators who are doing the work of teaching climate change to students in Kindergarten and beyond. The authors have some serious criticisms of what is, and is not, being taught in most schools. They also examine the inconsistencies and the cultural forces involved in teaching climate change. They’re part of an event focusing on public education in climate change adaptation.

In studio:

  • Joseph Henderson, lecturer in the environment and society department at Paul Smith’s College, and co-editor of "Teaching Climate Change in the United States"
  • Don Duggan-Haas, director of teacher programs at PRI's Museum of the Earth, and president of the NAGT
  • Celia Darling, senior at Webster Thomas High School, and director of finance for the New York Youth Climate Leaders
  • Anna Cerosaletti, sophomore at Penfield High School, and Rochester youth director for the New York Youth Climate Leaders

Alex Crichton

The Rochester metro area is the third fastest growing construction job market in the United States in 2019, but firms here and around the country are having a difficult time finding enough qualified workers, according to data compiled by the Associated General Contractors of America.

AGC spokesman Brian Turmail joined local construction industry representatives Wednesday at School No. 10 in Rochester, which is undergoing a $20 million dollar renovation. He says the Rochester area experienced a 15 percent growth in construction jobs, adding 3,000 jobs the past 12 months.

Last month the Rochester City School District laid off more than 100 teachers. What happens to them?

The RCSD is working with community leaders and local school districts to find jobs for the teachers who were cut in the middle of the school year. We discuss how they’re doing that. We also talk to the RCSD’s superintendent about the current state of affairs. In studio:

  • Terry Dade, superintendent of the Rochester City School District
  • Doug Lauf, assistant superintendent of human resources at Fairport Central School District
  • Bob Duffy, CEO of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce

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New York state education officials have announced a series of regional meetings to get feedback on what should go into a high school diploma.

The announcement comes from the New York State Education Department, and the Board of Regents, which oversees the state’s educational system.

The superintendent of the Brockport Central School District is taking on a new role. Lesli Myers-Small will join the State Education Department in early January as an assistant commissioner of school reform and innovation. Her responsibilities will include overseeing turnaround efforts at low-performing schools, including those in the Rochester City School District.

Myers-Small joins us in studio this hour to discuss her achievements in Brockport and her goals for her new role. Our guest:

  • Lesli Myers-Small, outgoing superintendent of the Brockport Central School District, and incoming assistant commissioner of school reform and innovation at the New York State Department of Education