The Rochester school board is working to establish a partnership between SUNY Geneseo’s School of Education and School 19 on Seward Street in Rochester. The agreement would mark the second time that the school board has looked to a higher education institution to assume the management and supervision of a city school. The first was East High School, which is now managed by the University of Rochester.
Letters were sent today to the teachers, staff, and parents at School 19, an elementary school, from school board President Van White and Interim Superintendent Linda Cimusz, informing them of the changes in leadership. Margaret Brazwell, a longtime district administrator, is now acting principal of the school.
The full transition at School 19 could take a year, White says.
The board has applied to the State Education Department for a $500,000, five-year grant to fund the transition, he says. SUNY Geneseo has agreed to assign a full-time professor, Jane Morse, to act as an adviser and develop and implement the transition plan.
The Rochester school district would be responsible for all financial costs associated with the partnership.
The agreement will be similar to the one between East High School and the University of Rochester in that a School 19 superintendent will report directly to the school board. But it will different from East in that School 19 is much smaller, and, unlike East, teachers at School 19 will be directly responsible for developing a personalized approach to academic achievement that must involve the school community.
The State Education Department must approve the partnership application and authorize the grant, but White says that he is confident that the agreement will receive approval.
School 19 is not a receivership school, but it is a school that the SED has identified as a “priority school” – one that has been consistently among the lowest performing in the state.