A review was done of research and evaluations on community schools throughout the country plus available data on community schools in Rochester. Synthesis of the information can inform development of a community school system. There are varying principles community schools are based on, including collaboration, equity, and a mixed model. Community schools can impact students, teachers, families, communities, and systems. In Rochester the demographics of community schools are, overall, proportionate to the district, but notable variability exists. Current academic outcomes and available staff also vary greatly. Needs assessments indicate priorities for strengthening relationships, supporting social-emotional learning and restorative practices, increasing academic support, meeting basic needs, and engaging families
As the data in this report will demonstrate, the digital divide similarly has disproportionate impact on Rochester’s Hispanic/Latino communities. This report was originally written to inform immediate responses to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. It has been updated to reflect work that has been done to further close the divide. Information has also been added to inform long-term systemic changes to bridge the digital divide in substantial and sustainable ways.
PRIORITY RECOMMENDATION #1:
Eliminate the School Resource Officer contract with the Rochester City School District.
Under the School Resource Officer (SRO) contract, armed Rochester police officers have been present in a number of Rochester schools since 1998. There is increasing concern that this program has accelerated the school-to-prison pipeline in Rochester, as the permanent presence of armed police on school grounds may unintentionally lead to the criminalization of youth for normal adolescent behavior.
FCC data indicate that all blocks in Rochester have necessary digital infrastructure for both residential broadband and wireless communication. According to the US Census, the majority of city residents (88%) have some type of computer, smartphone or wireless device and 80% have some type of internet subscription. However, 17% of residents rely solely on a cellular data plan. Smartphones have limited functionality for educational purposes. Therefore, 37% of residents have limited online functionality. There are geographic disparities in internet access with some neighborhoods having 20% – 40% of residents with internet access and others having 80+%. Most Rochester neighborhoods are in the 60% – 80% range. The pandemic has had significant impacts on education that are exacerbated by disparities in access to online learning.