syracuse city school district

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The Syracuse Youth Advisory Council made presentations to the city’s common councilors on two issues they say are important to young people. The topics this year, focused on their education and well-being in city schools.

The first problem, the youth council said, is a lack of minority representation of teachers and other professionals in schools. Brynn Murphy-Stanley, a senior at Nottingham High School, said only seeing white people in positions of power, restricts her and others that look like her, from seeing themselves in those positions.  

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The Syracuse City School District is hoping to use technology this year to let residents have a voice in the budget making process.

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Hearings are underway in Syracuse that could lead to more charter schools in the city. There are four charter schools in Syracuse right now, and New York State is considering proposals for two more.

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Changes are coming to Clary Middle School in Syracuse, the latest city school dealing with receivership, a state designation for persistently struggling schools.

Clary, on Syracuse’s south side, has two and a half years to show improvement in the performance of students, in order to get off the state’s watch list of struggling schools. It has taken the first step, a public hearing this week to let staff and families know what it means.

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Kids in Syracuse city schools received 11,000 donated hats and gloves for the winter. It is an ongoing need, with some kids walking up to a mile and a half to school every day in freezing temperatures.

At Webster Elementary, first-grader Harlon Adamy showed off his new gear. 

"So my gloves are little bit like black and blue," Adamy said. "And then my hat is a little like silver and grey color. I’m very happy and thankful."

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Three schools in the Syracuse City School District, that were designated as struggling by the New York State Education Department, have not made enough improvements and will be placed under an independent receiver, who will assume full managerial and operation authority of the schools. The school district has 60 days to come up with a plan.

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The Syracuse City School District is joining forces with the American Heart Association to try to fight childhood obesity.

According to the AHA, about 37 percent of Syracuse City School District students are overweight or obese, higher than the nationwide average of 30 percent. So, it is taking a fundraising program called Growing Healthy Hearts and adapting it to five elementary schools in the district. 

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U.S. Navy Rear Admiral John Okon, who is originally from central New York, spoke to students at the Public Service Leadership Academy at Fowler High School in Syracuse last week. Okon emphasized the qualities of leadership and resilience.

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The Syracuse City School District and the Syracuse Police Department will work together to make sure students who suffer trauma outside the classroom get the support they need when they go to school.

A program called SOS will launch when school starts Thursday. Syracuse Common Councilor Susan Boyle says it’s essentially a communication program, that lets the police alert school officials when a child is a victim of violence or is a witness to a crime.

Syracuse City School District

Thousands of children in the city of Syracuse recieve free or reduced-price breakfasts and lunches during the school year. Now that summer vacation has started, however, those lunches go away. So the Syracuse City School Disrict is once again this trying to bridge the hunger gap this summer.

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Schools around central and northern New York will soon be able to apply for federal funds to cover school safety and mental health training expenses - part of the recently passed $1.3 trillion spending plan passed by Congress.

Rep. John Kakto (R-Camillus) says grants are available on a number of fronts - to help schools to hire school resource officers, provide mental health counseling and pay for bullying and harassment prevent programs.

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Parents and teachers shared concerns on school safety at a forum held this week by the Syracuse City School District and Syracuse Police Department. Several recurring issues were raised to administrators and law enforcement. The forum was held in response to the high school shooting in Florida last month. 

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A divided crowd got into a heated debate at a recent Syracuse school board meeting over whether the district should change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Some said changing the name takes away a part of the history of Italian-Americans.

Last year, after requests from some students, the Syracuse City School District changed Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day / Columbus Day. Now, Andy Mager with Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation and others are appealing to the board to drop Columbus altogether.

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The Syracuse City School District is facing a $24 million deficit in it’s 2018-2019 budget. It hopes to close the gap using savings and more funds from the state.

The Central New York Community Foundation

The Central New York Community Foundation recently awarded a $24,000 grant to the Positivity Project to expand it’s character education training programs in the Syracuse City School District. The goal of the program, which is in 44 schools throughout central New York, is teaching children how to be positive people.

Brett Woodcock, principal of Liverpool’s Morgan Road Elementary School, says if you ask any of the kids in his school, they will be able to tell you their top character strengths. So we asked fourth grader Makenna Metrick.

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Domestic violence impacts a lot of children in the Syracuse City School District, according to Superintendent Jaime Alicea. He’s hoping that as honorary chair of the Vera House 2018 White Ribbon Campaign he can raise more awareness of the issue.

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New York State is pumping more money into after school programs in central and northern New York. Gov. Cuomo announced the expansion of the program at a Syracuse elementary school Tuesday.

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Families with young students at five Syracuse city schools were invited to enjoy a free Thanksgiving lunch together on Tuesday. The meals were meant to engage students and parents at schools in some of the city’s poorest areas.

Health officials will be trying to stop the potential spread of tuberculosis at a Syracuse city school. 

The Onondaga County Health Department was contacted this week about an individual at the PSLA High School at Fowler with an active case of TB, a bacterial illness that attacks the lungs.

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Bed bugs have been confirmed in ten schools in the Syracuse City School District in the past two weeks. Superintendent Jaime Alicea said the affected rooms and buildings have been sanitized and cleaned to eliminate the bugs.

“They are not dangerous," Alicea said. 'They do not carry diseases. They are a nuisance but they are not dangerous. We don’t want to have them in the school or in their houses so, they’re a nuisance."

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To reduce childhood hunger, some elementary school students in the Syracuse City School District are getting extra food to take home with them on weekends. Multiple community partners are assisting the district through a national donation program.

Syracuse School District Director of Food and Nutrition Rachel Murphy said there is a need for food outside of school hours among some of the poorest kids.

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Last week, Republican candidate for mayor Laura Lavine proposed mayoral control of Syracuse’s public schools. But Syracuse’s teachers union and some of Lavine’s opponents are calling that plan a mistake.

Corcoran High School

Students at Corcoran High School in the city of Syracuse made a video in response to a recent stabbing of a teacher at the school by a student. The students reacted to a number of negative comments online about the school.

A substitute teacher was stabbed after trying to break up a fight at the school in May. A 17-year-old was arrested and charged with assault and criminal possession of a weapon.

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The Syracuse Common Council unanimously approved a request that the city’s school board require new employees in the district live in the city. Currently, almost 60 percent of Syracuse City School District employees live outside of the city. The statistic is worse for teachers and administrators. School Board Chair Derrick Dorsey said it would be great to have high level employees living in the district.

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The Syracuse Common Council is expected to vote Monday on a request that the city’s school board require new hires to live in the city of Syracuse. Nearly 60 percent of all employees in the district do not live in the city.

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There’s a good chance you’ll be voting at a school on Tuesday. Onondaga County Democratic Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny says they’re just good places to hold elections.

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High school students in the Syracuse City School District participated in a mock election for president, Senate and House of Representatives using official ballots and voting machines from the Onondaga County Board of Elections. 

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The Syracuse City School District has launched an attendance initiative, urging the community and families to make sure children to go to school every day.

School officials estimate that, depending on the school, between 25 and 40 percent of students miss at least 18 to 20 days of classes a year in the district. That’s 10 percent of the total number of days in a given school year. Chief Academic Officer Linda Mulvey said it is the definition of chronic absenteeism.

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The new school year in the Syracuse City School District opened with a new interim superintendent at the helm this week.

Pre-Schoolers at Salem Hyde Elementary School welcomed the school year with some special visitors: Mayor Stephanie Miner and interim Superintendent Jaime Alicea, who read an ABC book to the youngsters.