Rochester City School District

School Superintendents from across Monroe County say “our children deserve better and we will do better.” Those words were part of a statement released Tuesday by the Monroe County Council of Superintendents in response to the Black Lives Matter protests over the last few weeks. 

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

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

WATCH: Meet Rochester's citizen scientists

Apr 23, 2019

Spring is finally here and that means people throughout Rochester are eager to head outside and embrace the slightly warmer temperatures. Once you finally get outside, do you ever stop and take the time to notice the environment around you? The City of Rochester’s Department of Youth and Recreation has created a group called Earth Explorers. As WXXI’s Lisa Famiglietti explains, the goal is to get kids to enjoy the great outdoors while taking part in a little something called “citizen science.”

WATCH: Juvenile justice reform in Rochester

Apr 25, 2017

When kids lash out or negatively act and speak out in the classroom there are repercussions. There’s detention, suspension, expulsion and sometimes legal ramifications. But what’s the story behind their behavior? And what would the response be if we knew, that for some, their actions are directly connected to the violence they’ve witnessed or endured and the long-term damage that violence has caused such as trauma? According to a survey done by the Department of Justice, 58 percent of kids have experienced or witnessed violence. On this edition of Need to Know we hear about a local effort to mitigate the impact of this public health crisis.

Talking to your kids about sex -- does it work? Does it lead to them delaying the first time, or doing it safely? A new wide-ranging analysis finds the answer is yes -- in some cases.

We take a look at which parent tends to have more success, and which gender of child is more likely to listen. And we discuss when parents and schools ought to be bringing up sex. After all, in the Netherlands, the process begins in kindergarten! Our guests:

  • Shellie Yussman, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of adolescent medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Kim Urbach, N.P., assistant professor at the University of Rochester School of Nursing, and director of health centers at East High School and Frederick Douglass Campus

On the same day that a wedding photo went viral showing a father inviting a stepfather to walk their daughter down the aisle, hundreds of kids were experiencing the negative impact of divorce. We're going to dig into the research that shows just how dangerous divorce can be for kids -- if the parents can't make an effort to get along. And we'll hear stories from professionals who see the impact on a near-daily basis. Our guests:

  • Dr. Elizabeth Murray, Physician with REACH at the Bivona Child Advocacy Center and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Dr. Joanne Pedro-Carroll, clinical psychologist who specializes in helping children through divorce
  • Ella Van Loon, attorney who primarily represents children in Supreme and Family Courts

The newest research indicates that as many as 2 to 5 percent of children in elementary school have fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, a much higher number than many parents and doctors once believed. Are teachers handling it appropriately? How is FASD diagnosed? We'll talk to two people closely involved in diagnosing FASD, and we'll get a look at the future of approaching it:

  • Christie Petrenko, Research Psychologist, Mt. Hope Family Center                   
  • Lynn Cole, director of the Kirch Developmental Services Center

The school year is barreling to its close. What are your kids doing this summer? In the first part of the show, we’ll take a look at some of the programs that are still available to kids and parents looking for positive summer experiences with Dwayne Mahoney, executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs, and Jennifer Muniga, executive director of Cameron Community Ministries.

Then, summer is festival season and there’s a new addition to the calendar this year. The Street Light Festival will take place after dark Friday and Saturday at Village Gate. We’ll talk to Rachel DeGuzman, founder of the Street Light Festival about this festival's connection to the Year of Light locally and around the world.

A gorgeous spring is melting into summer, but are kids taking advantage of nature? The Sanctuary at Crowfield Farm is sponsoring a series of events called "Generation at Risk: Unplugging Your Children and Connecting them with Nature." We'll examine new data that shows just how dependent we are on mobile devices -- even at young ages. And we'll look into how this impacts outdoor traditions, fitness, recreation, and more with our panel:

  • Ginny Riedman Dangler is a licensed clinical social worker with a private practice in Rochester
  • Steve Amanis co-founder and president of Sanctuary at Crowfield Farm
  • Carol Yaconalives in Greece and is a retired Rochester city School district teacher
  • Marley Knapp, 7 years old, attended “generation at risk” event this past weekend
  • Mike Johansson, a social media strategist and lecturer at RIT