East High students start second year of UR partnership

Local News

Rochester City School students are among those starting a new school year on Wednesday.

At East High, it’s the second year of a partnership with the University of Rochester, put in place to improve attendance, test scores, and graduation rates.

Teachers, administrators, and volunteers gave a warm welcome to East High students on day one.  Everyone wants to see these students succeed under a partnership with the University of Rochester put in place last year.

Sonyalice McGrew says she sees a difference as she pursues her career to become an athletic trainer.

“I noticed a lot of the stats were different. There was less people going in the out-of-school suspension, ISS – in school suspension. Things like that,” McGrew said. “I think there are less fights. The classes are longer but it kind of helps more. We got support classes. It helps the students learn easier, faster. With more support it helps.”

Eddy Leyba moved here from Texas a year ago. He, too, is happy for the UR oversight of a school once destined to possibly close.

“From what I heard before, I think it’s improved a lot from what I saw last year and what hopefully I’m going to see this year,” he said.

East High School is in its second year of the partnership with the University of Rochester, and the Superintendent Shaun Nelms says already the metrics are showing improvement.

“We’re here for a reason. East was noted for its persistently failing test scores. It was a culture for suspensions far exceeding the norms. It was an environment where there was a standard of mediocrity that had become too common place,” Nelms said. “And the state said something had to be done, the teachers here thought something had to be done.”

And so something is being done. Students and their parents are guided to become more involved and held accountable for students’ futures. 

UR students pursuing their masters degrees also donated more than 1,000 backpacks filled with supplies to help them succeed.

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