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October 27, 2017
Some Bronx students in crisis more likely to be sent to the hospital than a school social worker, advocates say
On a recent visit to a Bronx emergency room, Dejohn Jones witnessed something shocking: a young child who had apparently been removed from his school,…
January 19, 2016
In Bronx survey, struggling students explain what’s missing from school discipline debates
A survey of nearly 400 Bronxites found that students who struggle academically or socially at school are also more likely to get into trouble.
July 23, 2015
In the district with the most ‘Renewal’ schools, a leader sets out to fix them
Chancellor Fariña has instructed district chiefs to form relationships with parents and earn principals' trust. District 9's Leticia Rodriguez-Rosario has set out to do both.
March 13, 2015
As Bronx district churns through new teachers, mentors learn how to help
A parent advocacy group, a national nonprofit, and the local superintendent started a training program for teacher-mentors in the Bronx's District 9.
June 18, 2014
City launches $52 million plan to turn 40 schools into service hubs
The city will spend $52 million in state funds over several years to convert 40 schools into community hubs with medical and dental services, nutrition and fitness programs, tutoring, job training, and other assistance for students and their families.
Hoping for Hubs
May 19, 2014
No action yet on de Blasio's community schools plan, but advocates stay hopeful
Mayor Bill de Blasio has promised to turn 100 schools into full-service community hubs. But so far the city hasn't set aside funds for the plan or announced a timeline for its roll out.
December 9, 2013
De Blasio must end 'crisis' in Bronx school district, report says
Esperanza Vazquez and other members of the New Settlement Parent Action Committee, which released a new report Friday, at a District 9 rally in 2012. (Photo courtesy of New Settlement PAC.) Michelle Reyes recalls that when her oldest daughter attended school in the South Bronx’s District 9 in the early 90s, many of her classmates learned little and dropped out. Two decades later, when her youngest daughter was a district student, Reyes saw much of the same — many floundering schools and struggling students. By some measures, such as graduation and dropout rates, District 9 has advanced with the rest of the city since Mayor Bloomberg took office. But the district remains stubbornly among the city's very lowest performers, and a new report by a parent-led advocacy group and a think tank argues that the next administration must aggressively attack the district's long-term problems. The report, released Friday by the New Settlement Parent Action Committee and the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, suggests several ways the de Blasio administration could do that, beginning by creating a district-level improvement plan with input gathered at public forums.
June 24, 2013
Students are being zoned for P.S. 64, a school the city is closing
P.S. 64 families protested the school's poor quality before its closure hearing in February. (Photo: Luke Hammill) A quirk in the city's complicated school system means that some families are being told that their children must attend a school that the city deemed so low-performing that it should not be allowed to enroll any new students. In the South Bronx, the Department of Education this year decided to close P.S. 64, a long-struggling elementary school — with some parents' support. In September, the youngest children at P.S. 64 will begin attending two new schools that are opening in the building, in keeping with the city's preferred model for phasing out low-performing schools, while older students will stay on until the last ones move on to middle school. But even though no new kindergarteners will enroll at P.S. 64, some students have been zoned for the school. About two dozen families at P.S. 170, a nearby school that serves children in kindergarten through second grade, have been told that their children are zoned for third grade at P.S. 64. Unlike P.S. 64, which has received D's on its two most recent city progress reports, including an F for student performance, P.S. 170 received a B on its most recent progress report.
May 17, 2013
Community members carve out a role in school guards' training
School safety agents participated in a community-run training session in the Bronx earlier this year. When Lynn Sanchez, a Bronx parent activist, challenged police and education officials to address persistent school climate problems during a public forum on school safety last year, she did not think they would say yes. And yet just months later, Sanchez was sitting with safety agents during one of their training sessions — which, for the first time, community members and advocates were helping to lead. She saw a long-standing vision of collaboration coming together in that room. “We have to make sure everyone is on same page — we have to include school safety officers, teachers, principals, paras, students, and parents — in order for a school climate to change,” Sanchez said. The community-run training sessions represent a striking shift in the city’s strategy for preparing safety agents to work in schools, where their role has historically been fraught. While the Bloomberg administration has famously considered principals to be the CEOs of their schools, principals’ authority does not extend to safety agents, who since 1998 have been under the authority of the New York Police Department in an arrangement that advocates say breeds tension. The quiet shakeup so far has taken place only in a corner of the Bronx, where community groups were able to persuade the police department to let them play a role in the training of 450 agents, and its future is far from certain. But students, educators, and advocates say they are confident that the approach could go a long way toward easing some of the tensions that have plagued city schools, and a small-scale expansion of the first round of trainings appears to be in the works.
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