WXXI AM News

Schools

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

Dan Clark New York Now

(WXXI News & AP) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is updating its guidance for schools.

On Friday, the CDC said it now recommends that with universal masking, students should maintain a distance of at least 3 feet in classroom settings

The revised recommendations represent a turn away from the 6-foot standard that has sharply limited how many students some schools can accommodate

Students in the Rochester City School District no longer see police officers in their schools. As part of the approval of the city’s budget in June, all 12 school resource officers were removed from RCSD campuses. The call to remove police officers from schools is being made by districts across the country; those calls escalated following the killing of George Floyd. Advocates for removal say officers make students feel unsafe and they  can criminalize students – especially students of color. Those who support the presence of police in schools say well-trained officers can help students diffuse conflicts and address issues like drug and alcohol use.

Our guests this hour discuss the issue: 

How are local school districts heading into the start of 2021? We talk with the superintendents of Brighton, Greece, and West Irondequoit Central School Districts about their plans for the pandemic winter. Parts of each of those towns were designated as Orange Zones before Thanksgiving. Under the state’s rules, school buildings within Orange Zones must close to in-person learning for at least four calendar days and cannot reopen until testing criteria is met.

During his press briefing Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo touted the benefits of in-person learning, but said it’s up to the districts to make the final decision about when schools reopen after meeting criteria.

This hour, the superintendents discuss their districts’ learning models, how students and staff are adapting, and what they expect in their schools for the next several months. 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.

rhnet.org

Officials in the Rush-Henrietta School District say that two elementary school students have been diagnosed with COVID-19. A letter to parents says that one of these students attends Crane Elementary School, while the other is a student at Vollmer Elementary School. 

District Superintendent Lawrence Bo Wright sent a letter to district families and employees Friday evening saying that the news about the two cases "may be unsettling to some, but it is not unexpected."

We continue our series of conversations with local superintendents about reopening schools. This hour, we're joined by the superintendents of Gates Chili and Webster Central School Districts. They share their districts' learning models and their plans for testing, masking, physical distancing, and more.

Our guests:

As teachers prepare to head back to the classroom – either in person or remotely – they have much to consider. We’ve heard from local teachers and parents about concerns regarding the quality of remote learning. Experts at St. John Fisher College have developed a four-week training course for teachers to learn best practices in online education. The workshops are geared toward helping teachers sharpen their skills with technology and help students and teachers better interact. A number of local teachers have already completed the course.

This hour, we talk with two of them about what they learned, and we talk with the experts behind the workshop about best practices for remote learning. Our guests:

  • Joellen Maples, associate professor and interim dean of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education at St. John Fisher College
  • Katie Sabourin, educational technologist at St. John Fisher College
  • Dena Fedkew, elementary school teacher in the Greece Central School District
  • Cassie Pruitt, special education teacher at Brighton High School

What do teachers think about going back to school? In recent weeks we've talked to parents, superintendents, security workers, custodial staff, bus drivers, and more. But today is our first chance to hear from teachers. Privately, we've been hearing from teachers all summer long. Some are eager to get back to the classroom. Others are profoundly concerned about safety and their own health. 

This hour, we hear from teachers from several school districts. Our guests:

  • Olivia, special education teacher in the Greece Central School District
  • Anne Baughman, chemistry and physics teacher in a local district
  • Kristen French, speech language pathologist at the Rochester City School District
  • Meagan Harris, special education teacher in the Rochester City School District

We continue our series of conversations with local superintendents about their districts' reopening plans. This hour, we hear from the superintendents of the East Irondequoit and Churchville-Chili Central School Districts. They discuss their learning models for the fall, and their policies related to physical distancing, testing, masking, and more.

Our guests:

  • Mary Grow, superintendent of East Irondequoit Central School District
  • Lori Orologio, superintendent of Churchville-Chili Central School District

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