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Dr. Timothy Glander
The Greater Rochester Regional School Project
The Rochester Regional School is the result of over 4 years of work and research on highly effective methods of educating children of all abilities, origins and beliefs traversing socio-economic status. Over 150 people including, professors,teachers, superintendents, principals, attorneys for social justice, graduate students, high school students, parents, retired educators, mathematics, science, literacy, technology,art and music specialists, Nazareth College leaders, social justice activists, and CEOs and have worked tirelessly on this project. More than 10 distinct planning teams have worked to formulate The Rochester Regional School plan.
Monroe County Schools are an accurate reflection of the two Americas that exist in our country: Suburban schools of wealth and promise and urban schools of bleak poverty and despair. The Rochester suburbs house some of the wealthiest and highest performing schools in the country while the City of Rochester’s schools are located in the 9th poorest city for children in the country. Rochester suburban graduation rates have been as high as 98 percent while urban rates have been as low as 39% (Regents Report to the Governor 2006).
The Rochester Regional School was conceived on the basis of research supporting the de-concentration of poverty in urban centers (cite study) as a keystone issue. The school’s overarching principles include a vivid attention to brain, motivational and cultural research, within an environment of meeting individual student needs through: Developmental Assets (Search Institute), the need to engage interest, real-life projects (Expeditionary Learning, Big Picture Schools), social justice and cultural competence (Restorative Justice, Freedom Schools, etc.), student, parent and community empowerment and a serious commitment from its partner, Nazareth College of Rochester.
Instructionally, The Rochester Regional School uses curriculum as a tool to make sense of the world and its information (Marion Brady). Curriculum embraces students’ passions and talents using a constructivist and integrated disciplinary approach which contextualizes learning through internships and real-life projects.
- The Rochester Regional School will enroll students from the age of 3 to college. Half of the students will come from the City of Rochester and half will come from suburban and rural Monroe County Schools. Selection of children is based on a blind lottery, with no entry requirements, making the student population truly diverse. Secondary students will be in an early/middle college environment enabling them to access college courses and services.
- The Rochester Regional School is about Racial and Economic Integration essential to preparing children to be global citizens in a democratic environment that embraces social justice. The Rochester Regional School is about nurturing the individual talents of each and every student. The Rochester Regional School, the personal talents and interests of students that are currently ignored in public education come to life.
- The Rochester Regional School is about developing caring individuals and productive citizens. It is about solving real-world problems through creativity and thinking. It is about service to our fellow citizens. It is about creating student leaders, fostering human dignity.
- The Rochester Regional School is about hope for our children.
William C. Cala, Ed.D.