Education Committee Fast Facts

Goals: 

  • Create, advocate for, and ensure the implementation of a comprehensive plan to improve educational opportunities for the Latino community that addresses all recommendations in the relevant Task Force report
  • Advocate for the allocation of resources to Latino education initiatives
  • Continue to form a robust and well-represented Task Force that meets regularly to address and act on educational issues in the community
  • Provide a safe space for parent voices
  • Create community-wide training opportunities to address topics such as the relationship between the African-American and Latino communities

Actions:

  • Completion of a funded comprehensive study, in conjunction with the University of Rochester, on the state of educational opportunity for Latino youth in the Rochester City School District

  • Focus on being a source of information and advocacy for community members

Needs / Solutions:

  • Support from the Rochester City School District, specifically in addressing the needs of Latino students in an effective and timely manner
  • Attendance at Task Force meetings from key decision makers, including members of the RCSD Executive Cabinet
  • Programs, training sessions, and/or events focused on addressing issues dealing with diversity, including a specific focus on the relationship between the African-American and Latino communities
  • Monetary support to further study, and to increase resource allocation for, the educational needs of the Latino community, especially in the area of college and career access programming

Our Committee Includes:

Anthony Plonczynski

Hilda Rosario-Escher

Donna Harris

Gladys Pedraza-Burgos

Debora Owens

Jessica Wilson

Jose Cruz

Melisza Campos

Judy Marquez-Kiyama

Orlando Rivera

Luis Ormaechea

Kyvaughn Henry

Father Lawrence Tracy

Nydia Padilla-Rodriguez

Amalia Z. Dache-Gerbino

Armando Ramirez

Anibal Soler

Myriam Villalobos

About the Committee:

The Education Committee coordinates with the Latino Education Task Force to work towards the improvement of educational opportunity for Latinos Greater Rochester Area.

Contact Us:

4-160 Dewey Hall

Box 270415, Rochester, NY 14627-0415

Phone: (585) 733-4254

aplonczynski@admin.rochester.edu

View our calendar for our next event & please join us!

Accomplishments

May 11, 2016

Goal 1:  Stabilize Bilingual Education

Our research and work as well as the advocacy of Commissioners Campos and Cruz has clearly highlighted that the Department of Bilingual Education is unstable. The Director's position has had tremendous turnover and currently has an Interim Director, hired against the RCSD’s Bilingual Education Council’s recommendations. A permanent director must be hired with the Council’s support.

  • Director has been hired with the input of the Bilingual Education Council, turnover has been addressed
  • The lack of an allocated budget to the department still remains a huge issue
  • Positions supporting the director have been reassigned or eliminated causing new issues
  • RCSD Board President Van White has agreed to meet with the Task Force and is supportive and committed to seeing all goals established by the taskforce are addressed

Goal 2:   Creation of a Department of Latina/o Studies with a Director or Administrator

We must address the needs of Latina/o students on a cultural AND curricular level with champions with decision-making capabilities. A department and cabinet level Director of Latina/o Studies should be established, accountable for ensuring Latina/o student needs are addressed.

  • A position was passed in the 2014 RCSD budget establishing the contracted position of a researcher for Latino Student Affairs. Task-force researcher and former UR professor Donna Harris, PhD currently serves in this position.
  • The position is poised to be transitioned into a Latino Studies Director
  • RCSD Board President Van White has agreed to meet with the Task Force and is supportive and committed to seeing all goals established by the task-force will be addressed

Goal 3:  Strategic Plan for Latina/o Achievement Alignment

The significant and authentic needs of Latina/o’s make it imperative that we have an aligned plan in Latina/o studies and Bilingual education. A strategic plan to add structure and direction for both across the district should be created.

  • Goal is being addressed through meetings with Board of Education President and support of other Board Members. Work in progress.
  • The lack of an allocated budget to the department still remains a huge issue
  • RCSD Board President Van White has agreed to meet with the Task Force and is supportive and committed to seeing all goals established by the taskforce will be addressed

Goal 4:   Newcomer Program for Latina/o Students

Latina/o students are not the focus of the Rochester International Academy. Our largest schools have become placement centers for newcomer Latina/o students with no programs to address their unique needs. The District needs a Latina/o newcomer program.

  • Program has not been created and still lacks support
  • Vicki Ramos, Principal at Monroe High School has been working on a school based version of this program but it lacks Central Office Support.
  • RCSD Board President Van White has agreed to meet with the Task Force and is supportive and committed to seeing all goals established by the taskforce will be addressed

Goal 5:  A BEG Level Director of Social Justice & Equity

The unique needs of all students must be adequately addressed with accountability structures allowing for Board of Education (BOE) oversight. A Director of Social Justice & Equity, reporting to the Board, with audit and advocacy capacity should be created to ensure that the needs of all students are addressed. 

  • A Social Justice Auditor has been hired that reports to the Board of Education, Mia Johnson holds this position
  • The position needs more definition and guidance
  • The lack of an allocated budget to the department still remains a huge issue
  • RCSD Board President Van White has agreed to meet with the Task Force and is supportive and committed to seeing all goals established by the taskforce will be addressed

Goal 6:  Diversity and Cultural Training around African-American and Latina/o student Relations

Latina/o and Black male achievement committees were created, however, the vision is not clear and lacks support. In the interim, tensions between African American and Latina/o students are leading to escalating physical altercations, putting students at risk. Implementation of diversity and cultural training around these issues must commence soon.

  • RCSD Board President Van White has agreed to meet with the Task Force and is supportive and committed to seeing all goals established by the taskforce will be addressed