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Sunday 15 September 2019
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RCSD Sends Updated Action Plan to State Education Department

Patti Singer
pattisinger@minorityreporter.net

Even though Distinguished Educator Jaime Aquino has left, the Rochester City School District continues to respond to the criticisms listed in his report. File photo

The Rochester City School Board submitted an updated action plan to the Education Department after the state found the initial response lacking in some areas.

The plan is the response to the report by Distinguished Educator Jaime Aquino that found numerous deficiencies in how the district operates.

The revised plan, dated June 6, revisits the plan and provides more details regarding implementation, according to a letter to Commissioner MaryEllen Elia that accompanies the document.

The letter, signed by school board president Van Henri White and interim superintendent Daniel Lowengard, said, “It is important to note that most, if not all, of this work has been thoroughly vetted by the Distinguished Educator, Dr. Jaime Aquino. Indeed, to ensure that this submission fully satisfies the concerns in your March and April letters, Dr. Aquino reviewed multiple drafts of the document. Moreover, as a final measure, we checked with Dr. Aquino as recently as June 5, 2019, and he noted ‘the District is diligently working on incorporating all the feedback they received thus far.’”

The letter was dated June 6.

Among specific revisions are:

  • A statement of the district’s overarching vision for improving student achievement;
  • A statement of how the district’s operational and financial functions will align as part of the vision for student achievement;
  • A list of priorities and a realistic timeline of key interim and completion milestones for implementation;
  • An explanation of how senior district leadership will organize their roles and responsibilities to monitor and evaluate implementation of the plan across departments;
  • An explanation of the process and frequency by which the district will report to the public on progress;
  • A description of how the district provided opportunities for stakeholders to provide input on revisions to the Plan and a description of how stakeholders were able to provide feedback on its implementation; and
  • A status update along with supports and next steps to address the conclusions and recommendations in the State Attorney General and NYSED Joint Report on the Investigation into the Death of Trevyan Rowe.

The letter went on to state:

“This is the type of diligent and thoughtful planning that has the District’s
graduation rate the highest it’s been in 10 years and the out out-of-school
suspension rate the lowest it’s been in several years. We are convinced that, if properly resourced and given an adequate amount of time, the attached plan will result in similar gains in other key performance areas and ensure that the District’s students receive the quality education they need and deserve.”

On May 31, Carrie Houston, the mother of Trevyan Rowe, filed suit against the school district, the school board, the mayor and others.

In late May, Elia had announced that Aquino was leaving his position. His last day was given as June 7.

To read the updated action plan, click the link below.