Many Rochester schools need a community partner to provide a helping hand to students not performing at grade level. Knowledgeable educators in the Rochester community have called for a significant increase in community involvement in Rochester city schools. In August 2005, the Blue Ribbon Task Force chaired by Al Simone, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) President, issued a “Call to Arms” for 10,000 community volunteers to serve as student mentors and advisors.
In January 2008, Bill Cala, Interim RCSD Superintendent, outlined Rochester school priorities, which indicated that the short and long-term plans of the district must include partnerships, adoptions, and volunteering as critical components for student success.
Rochester has a rich history of collaboration between community organizations and the city public schools. Today there are many community organizations providing student support services in many elementary schools in Rochester. Some of these partnerships have been in existence for 20 years and other ones have begun recently. Until now, the existing community partnerships have managed their programs on their own. This decentralized model has grown up organically from grassroots community activism. Friends of Educational Excellence has evolved to organize and provide additional services to the existing partnerships and expand their impact.
There are several gaps in the current landscape of community support:
Friends of Educational Excellence Provides In-School Academic Support for Students
Other student support may also be a component of some Friends of Educational Excellence Programs
What does Friends of Educational Excellence Do?
Friends of Educational Excellence works to make community – school partnerships more effective by:
What Schools Does Friends of Educational Excellence Support?
Has Friends of Educational Excellence been Successful in Supporting these Schools?
Does it Work?
In a word: Yes!
In the 2011 – 2012 school year, Friends of Educational Excellence supported 10 Rochester city elementary schools that had over 500 volunteers who tutored students under the guidance of classroom teachers. Let’s look at the 2012 New York State (NYS) English and math test results to see how these 10 schools performed.
2012 NYS English Language Arts (ELA) Results
2012 NYS Math Exam Results
The Friends of Educational Excellence model works!
Using this model, the School 52 rankings for English (ELA) and Math have improved dramatically since 2006. School 52 is now #2 in ELA and #3 in math out of 38 RCSD elementary schools. The School 52 volunteers are an integral part of the student learning environment. Students there are on a positive path!
There are also many after-school programs that support Rochester city students. Friends of Educational Excellence is a collaboration of in-school community partnerships that provide volunteers for students during the school day. Therefore, after-school programs are not within the scope of Friends of Educational Excellence services. Most of the after-school programs collaborate via the Greater Rochester After-School Alliance (GRASA).
For Information about Friends of Educational Excellence: firstname.lastname@example.org
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