The New York State Education Department has released the latest English and math test scores, and Rochester’s results are the worst among the “Big 5” city school districts.

For the exams given this past spring, in grades 3 – 8, in Rochester, for English Language Arts, 45.2%  of all test-takers statewide in grades 3 through 8 scored at the proficient level.

NYS Education Dept.

NYS Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia has named a new “Distinguished Educator” to help the Rochester City School District improve its academic performance.

Jaime Aquino was named to that post on Wednesday. Elia says that Aquino has worked in education for more than 30 years, starting his career as a bilingual teacher in Queens, and then working in leadership roles in Los Angeles, Denver and Hartford, CT.

Spectrum News

Rochester City Council has unanimously approved the budget for the City of Rochester for the upcoming fiscal year.  Also on Tuesday night, Council voted 6 – 3 to approve the city school district budget.

The new city budget also includes an amendment that transfers $291,000 to reinstate three community policing officers in the RPD’s new Bureau of Community Affairs and increase the size of the upcoming recruit class.

The Rochester School Board approved its 2018-19 budget on Tuesday night. The more than $900 million spending plan adds a number of positions including some for special education, one area the district has been concentrating on shoring up.

There are also additional positions for other areas including bilingual education.

The budget does close what was originally a $65 million gap, and that was accomplished with the help of money from the districts unrestricted fund balance.

Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

Kenneth Eastwood’s appointment as distinguished educator to the Rochester City School District has been rescinded.

A statement from the New York State Education Department said Eastwood could not come to an agreement with the school board regarding his contract.

But School Board President Van White said he was surprised by the decision.

"We were engaged in negotiations," he said via phone, "and actually had set aside office space [for Eastwood] in central office."

Eastwood's appointment was scheduled to begin April 25.

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

As the Rochester City School Board prepares to vote on a budget for the next school year, they are facing criticism for their bilingual and special education programs. A report from the Children's Agenda says even though the school district is proposing investments in these areas, there needs to be more transparency and oversight in the process.

Three years ago, Wailany Olio left her home in Puerto Rico and moved to Rochester. She brought her son, who is 8, and her daughter, who is 6.

New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia has appointed someone to, as Elia puts it, give the Rochester City School District “much-needed assistance in developing and implementing plans to carry out its responsibilities to ensure all children in the district receive the education they deserve.”

Elia has appointed Kenneth Eastwood as “Distinguished Educator,“ and she says he has the experience and skill needed to help children in the Rochester district’s low performing schools.

The death of 14-year-old Trevyan Rowe has shocked Rochester, and it has sparked calls for change in local school policy. How did it happen? What can be fixed, and who is ultimately accountable?

Our guests discuss it:

  • T. Andrew Brown, vice chancellor for the Board of Regents
  • Melanie Funchess, member of the Rochester City School Board and director of community engagement for the Mental Health Association of Rochester
  • Terrie Meyn, vice president of strategic initiatives for Happiness House and CP Rochester

In a pair of news conferences late Tuesday afternoon, officials from both the City of Rochester and the Rochester City School District admitted that mistakes were made in the events that led up to the death of 14 year old Trevyan Rowe. 

RCSD hosts job fair to fill teacher roles

Feb 10, 2018

The Rochester City School District is hosting a major hiring event Saturday to bring new educators, social workers and counselors in for the next school year.

Officials will interview all interested prospective employees from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Central Office in downtown Rochester. 

The job fair is primarily for District leaders to hire new teachers, but counselors, social workers and special education instructors are also welcome to apply.