Syracuse school district

7:01pm

Thu July 10, 2014
Education

Syracuse schools, attorney general reach settlement on discipline

Syracuse public school Superintendent Sharon Contreras. (file photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The Syracuse public school district and the state attorney general's office say they've reached a settlement to curb the district's alarmingly high suspension rate.

The district will amend its code of conduct under the agreement. 

The attorney general's civil rights office launched its investigation in October 2013, after several complaints.

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1:43pm

Fri June 20, 2014
Education

Meeting of teachers' union, superintendent called "productive"

Syracuse school superintendent Sharon Contreras at a school board meeting last week.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Updated, 1:55 p.m. with comment from superintendent:

The first meeting between the president of the Syracuse teachers' union and the superintendent of the school system since their relationship publicly disintegrated last week has been called "productive."

Syracuse Teachers Association President Kevin Ahern and Superintendent Sharon Contreras met Friday morning under the invitation of Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner.

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7:23am

Tue June 17, 2014
Education

Syracuse school district says they're making progress on student discipline

Syracuse public school Superintendent Sharon Contreras. (file photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The Syracuse school district says it's already working to improve discipline with the city's public schools as the state attorney general investigates its practices.

The attorney general's offices launched an investigation in December into potentially overly harsh punishment of minority and disabled students in the Syracuse school system,

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7:26am

Mon June 16, 2014
Education

Miner looks to move teachers union, district forward in talks

A Syracuse Board of Education meeting on Wednesday became heated over the superintendent's performance.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The head of the Syracuse public school teachers union and the superintendent of the district will sit down this week in hopes of repairing a fractured relationship. 

Mayor Stephanie Miner, a former labor lawyer, will mediate the discussion. 

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6:01am

Fri June 13, 2014
Health

Creating healthy habits for children

reed_sandridge

Everyone from doctors to educators to first lady Michelle Obama seems to be concerned about the nutrition and physical activity children in this country are getting. A recent WRVO community health forum asked a panel of regional experts about what is being done and what should be done to improve the diet and fitness of the children in central and northern New York.

A startling statistic captures why there is such concern across the country about childhood obesity rates.

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11:14pm

Wed June 11, 2014
Education

Syracuse schools superintendent loses support of teachers

Syracuse teachers union head Kevin Ahern said Sharon Contreras "has failed to ensure a safe teaching and learning environment in every school" and the union has lost confidence in her.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Syracuse's public school teachers have overwhelmingly said they no longer have the confidence in Sharon Contreras to lead the city's school district.

The president of the Syracuse Teachers Association, the union representing 2,800 teachers in the district, kicked off what turned into a lengthy and raucous board of education meeting Wednesday evening at Dr. King Elementary School.

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6:04am

Mon May 19, 2014
Education

As change looms for Delaware School, faculty crave consistency

Delaware Elementary School was constructed in 1915 on South Geddes Street in Syracuse's Near Westside.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

School is out for the day at Delaware Elementary in Syracuse, but Principal Milagros Escalera is in the auditorium greeting a group of students who stuck around for a magic show.

"Did you pet the bunny?" she asks, as students marvel at the furry animal's bright red eyes.

Much like how the magician performed his tricks, what the future holds for these students and this school, is a mystery.

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9:58am

Fri May 16, 2014

6:00am

Wed May 14, 2014
Education

Syracuse schools superintendent loses support of board member

Syracuse public school Superintendent Sharon Contreras. (file photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The superintendent of the Syracuse school system has lost the support of one of the district's school board members. But it's likely not enough dissent to force Sharon Contreras out of her job. 

Syracuse School Board member Max Ruckdeschel spoke out at their annual meeting Tuesday evening. To other board members' surprise, he says he can no longer blindly support the superintendent's administrative appointments.

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6:26am

Mon May 12, 2014
Education

Syracuse school district exploring turning Delaware into charter

Delaware Elementary School opened in 1917 on South Geddes Street in Syracuse's Near Westside.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The Syracuse school district is considering turning one of its underperforming elementary schools into a charter school.

Superintendent Sharon Contreras sent a letter home Friday to parents of Delaware Elementary School saying a charter school is the best option available under state rules for chronically poor-performing schools.

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5:40am

Fri May 9, 2014
Education

District, state silent on plans for future of Delaware School

Delaware Elementary School opened in 1917 on South Geddes Street in Syracuse's Near Westside.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Both the Syracuse school district and state education officials are being hush about the future of one of the city's elementary schools, possibly because the district is still scrambling to come up with a plan, as sources have indicated to WRVO.

Under state policy for chronically underperforming schools, Delaware Elementary School must be drastically overhauled or shuttered.

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1:54pm

Wed April 30, 2014
Education

As deadline is extended, no plan for future of Syracuse school

Syracuse school superintendent Sharon Contreras at a school board meeting earlier this month. (file photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The Syracuse school district has a few more days to present a plan for the future of one of its elementary schools to state education officials, but the school board currently doesn't have a meeting scheduled to approve such actions.

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9:32pm

Wed April 16, 2014
Education

Plan approved for Fowler H.S. remake; district nowhere on Delaware school

Syracuse school superintendent Sharon Contreras at a special school board meeting Wednesday. Board Commissioner David Cecile is at the right.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The Syracuse public school system has a plan in place for the future of Fowler High School, one of three it's overhauling this year. The school board has approved turning the school into one focused on public service and law enforcement.

Starting in the fall, incoming students will not attend Fowler High School, but the Public Service Leadership Academy.

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7:58am

Wed April 16, 2014
Education

Extra state aid helps Syracuse balance school budget

Katie Keier Flickr

The new budget for Syracuse public schools includes more state aid than the district asked for, but the school district still has to dip into the fund balance to level its finances.

The Syracuse City School District asked for $7 million from the state in order to balance its budget. Legislators came up with an extra $1.9 million, part of an overall state spending increase on education.

The extra cash will allow them to restore some previous cuts, Suzanne Slack, the district’s chief financial officer, said.

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8:04am

Thu April 10, 2014
Education

Syracuse superintendent apologizes over Fowler High School plans

Syracuse school superintendent Sharon Contreras. (File photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Syracuse City School District superintendent Sharon Contreras apologized Wednesday night for the way news about plans to phase out three of the city's schools was made public.

A letter from the state Department of Education leaked to the press Monday outlined possible plans for three underperforming schools in the city: Fowler High School, Hughes Elementary and Delaware Elementary.

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1:38pm

Tue April 8, 2014
Education

Syracuse school district gets extension on schools phase out

Syracuse school superintendent Sharon Contreras. (File photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The state Department of Education has given the Syracuse City School District two extra weeks to come up with plans to phase out two underperforming schools in the city.

A letter dated Feb. 27 - and provided to WRVO Tuesday - from the state education department to Syracuse superintendent Sharon Contreras included an April 18 deadline for plans. A spokesperson for the education department gave WRVO a second letter dated March 4 that extends the deadline to April 30.

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3:10pm

Mon April 7, 2014
Education

Syracuse school district phasing out 3 underperforming schools

The Syracuse City School District is working on plans to phase out one of its high schools and two elementary schools, under state requirements to overhaul chronically underperforming public schools.

Fowler High School, Hughes Elementary and Delaware Elementary schools have been below state standards for three year, earning the designation of "priority schools," and now the district must overhaul or close them before the 2014-2015 school year.

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6:52pm

Tue December 31, 2013
Politics and Government

Syracuse elected officials sworn in, look to challenges ahead

Syracuse Common Council members just before they were sworn in
Tom Magnarelli/WRVO

Two Syracuse City Council members and three city school board members were sworn in at city hall on Monday. The new and returning office holders acknowledged there will be many tough issues for them to face in their terms.

Friends and family members cheered on as their elected officials took the oath of office in the packed Common Council Chambers.

President of the Syracuse Common Council Van Robinson was sworn in for a second term. He says it's his job to assure the people that Syracuse will not go down the road of bankruptcy, and that the city needs to grow.

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4:34pm

Fri December 6, 2013
Education

Syracuse school district's disciplinary policies under investigation

Syracuse school superintendent Sharon Contreras addressing the attorney general's investigation into her district's student discipline policies.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The state attorney general is investigating disciplinary action policies within the Syracuse school district, and the school system says it's cooperating with his office.

On Friday, the school district's top administrator admitted there likely have been violations.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s civil rights office issued a subpoena to the Syracuse City School District on Oct. 16.

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7:51am

Fri November 1, 2013
Politics

Election day could bring youth to Syracuse Common Council

The four candidates competing for seats on Syracuse's Common Council. From left: Joe Carni, Jake Barrett, Alex Walsh and Chad Ryan.
Tom Magnarelli/WRVO

A new generation of politicians in the city of Syracuse are following in their families' footsteps and running for office.

Barring an election day surprise, Syracuse's next common councilor from the 2nd district will be under 30. These candidates say their youth will benefit the city.

Democratic nominee and funeral director Chad Ryan is 28 years old and the son of former Onondaga County Legislator Ed Ryan.

The younger Ryan said the best way to improve the city is to get more residents involved, like by attending neighborhood meetings.

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7:52am

Tue October 1, 2013
Education

Syracuse school district combating high student suspension rate

Dan Losen, a civil rights expert from UCLA, shares the results of his quantitative and qualitative review of practices for disciplining students in the Syracuse City School District.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Last year, students suspended from the Syracuse City School District lost 23,555 days of instruction, and 55 percent of African-American students in the district have been suspended at least once. Those are some of the sobering statistics from a nationally known expert on school suspensions who reported on the state of suspensions in the district for the Board of Education last night.

Lekia Hill of the Alliance for Quality Education says the statistics are disturbing, especially when many of these suspensions are for minor infractions.

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4:49pm

Fri September 6, 2013
Politics and Government

NYS education commissioner visits two very different school districts

State Education Commissioner John King visits a seventh grade math class at Wellwood Middle School in the Fayetteville-Manlius School District.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

It was a tale of two distinct school districts in Onondaga County as State Education Commissioner John King visited central New York today during a new school year swing through the state. While there are big differences between the Fayetteville-Manlius and Syracuse City School Districts, he found some similarities especially when it comes to attacking the new rigorous common core standards.

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2:49pm

Thu September 5, 2013
Education

Syracuse schools celebrate first day back by highlighting new I-Zone schools

Syracuse City School District Superintendent Sharon Contreras visits a kindergarten class at Frazer School.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

All the public schools in Onondaga County are now open for the new school year. The Syracuse City School District was one of the last ones to open its doors Thursday morning. And school officials used the occasion of the first day of school to show off one of the new I-Zone Schools in the district.

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6:52am

Thu August 29, 2013
Education

Seven Syracuse schools enter first year of Innovation Zone

Teachers hold a rally during the iZone kick-off event at Porter Elementary School.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

The seven worst schools in the Syracuse City School District are joining forces in an attempt to improve the performance of those schools in a short period of time. The district says the Innovation Zone schools, armed with more than $31 million in state grants, can turn things around.

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8:40am

Wed August 21, 2013
Obama visit to Syracuse

Syracuse schools superintendent discusses Obama visit

Syracuse City School District Superintendent Sharon Contreras.
Tom Magnarelli/WRVO

Syracuse City School District Superintendent Sharon Contreras said the district is assisting the White House and Secret Service as they prepare for the arrival of President Obama at Henninger High School on Thursday.

Though Contreras wouldn't specifically say why Henninger High School was chosen as the location for President Obama to speak, she did say the Syracuse City School District's "Say Yes to Education" program would fit in perfectly with the president's speech on college access.

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6:53am

Tue August 13, 2013
Education

Robotics camp promotes hands-on approach to math and technology

The robotics competition
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

The study of robotics is dropping down into the middle school curriculum of the Syracuse City School District, starting with a two-week summer camp.

Bryan English, one of the high school teachers who teaches the ins and outs of making the erector set style robots, says the program - which is already employed in the high school - is a way to get students more interested in math and technology classes.

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7:10am

Thu August 8, 2013
Education

Syracuse City School District Superintendent not surprised by low state test scores

Syracuse Superintendent Sharon L. Contreras says she was not surprised with the state's poor testing results.
Credit The Syracuse City School District

Only about a third of New York state's third through eighth grade students met the new tougher standards from April's round of state mandated English and math tests. That's about half as many as last year, before the new Common Core Curriculum was adopted in the state. For an urban school district like the Syracuse City School District, scores were in the single digits. Syracuse Superintendent Sharon Contreras expected the test results to be bad.

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6:33am

Tue August 6, 2013
Education

Syracuse mayoral candidate proposes education program for city

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Syracuse mayoral hopeful Pat Hogan is proposing a ten-point education program for the Syracuse City School District. He's one of four candidates in a Democratic primary for mayor that includes incumbent Stephanie Miner.

Hogan calls education the elephant in the room when it comes to issues facing the city today. He says it's the perceived state of the city schools that drives many families to the suburbs.   

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7:08am

Tue June 11, 2013
Education

Say Yes to Education marks five years in Syracuse schools

Say Yes to Education offers career counseling, along with its college tuition pledge.
Stephen Sartori Say Yes to Education

Non-profit education initiative Say Yes to Education marked five years in the Syracuse school district by touting increases in college enrollment and adding some top schools to the program.

Say Yes entered Syracuse schools in 2009 with the goal of overhauling urban education and increasing the city's chronically poor graduation rates. Syracuse was the first city-wide implementation of the program.

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4:40pm

Tue May 28, 2013
Education

Program marks 40 years of offering college credits to high school seniors

In education circles it's called concurrent enrollment. Your high school student might know it as SUPA. It's Syracuse University Project Advance, and it's celebrating its 40th birthday, with enrollment skyrocketing in recent years.

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