District, SUNY school seek partnership

ROCHESTER — The Rochester City School District and SUNY Geneseo are awaiting state education department approval of funding for a proposed partnership between the university and Dr. Charles T. Lunsford School No. 19.

According to a July 21 letter sent to School No. 19 families, the district and SUNY Geneseo have agreed for the university to potentially become an educational partnership organization (EPO) for School No. 19. The district also has applied for a $2.5 million School Improvement Grant, which would provide $500,000 in additional state funds for each of the next five years beginning this fall. If the grant is approved, the district will work with the university on a plan for the EPO agreement. Such an agreement allows an outside organization to help oversee a school that the state has identified as persistently struggling.

According to the letter, the partnership would benefit School No. 19 in several ways:

* A SUNY Geneseo professor would be assigned to the school full time to help teachers improve their instruction and to work directly with students.

* The school would have a direct pipeline to SUNY Geneseo students who can serve as student teachers, tutors and in other supportive roles.

* Students would receive more personalized academic instruction and be able to participate in more extracurricular activities, including arts, drama, science, sports and community development.

The school also would use a collaborative coteaching model, under which teachers lead the decision-making for their classrooms and work in teams with the same group of children for two years.

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