RTA leaders suggests reopening school

RTA leaders suggests reopening school

Overview

Rochester, N.Y. – The president of the Rochester Teacher’s Union wants to resurrect the Josh Lofton High School in Rochester, which closed more than a decade ago. The school used to be where students with behavioral problems were sent. “Student discipline has been deteriorating rapidly. School safety has been deteriorating rapidly,” said Adam Urbanksi, RTA president. He said having an off-site location gives students an alternative setting to get the one-on-one attention they need. It also allows their peers to not be distracted in the classroom. “If you have a minor medical problem, they do what you call an ‘outpatient,'” Urbanski said. “You don’t have to be hospitalized. But if you have heart surgery, you can’t just go to an outpatient clinic.” Urbanski would like an alternative primary and secondary school, giving students the option of eventually returning to their home school. “I think that’s an excellent idea,” said Rochester School Board member Willa Powell. “So long as their teachers and administrators in their home schools have received restorative practice training, because otherwise nothing has changed, except the child has been away for a period.” The school district is pushing restorative practices, a method to teach students how to problem-solve and manage their emotions. “There might be a time when programs can be clustered to better support the array of needs,” said Christina Outwa, the Deputy Superintendent of Teaching and Learning. “But right now, with us doing a lot of renovations, we might not get to where we need. They may not all be in the same place and we don’t intend for them to be.” The district has two programs providing support to help kids change their behaviors. The Lynx program on Hart Street. and All City High on Martin Street. Urbanski says it’s not enough. “There cannot be effective teaching and effective learning in fear or chaos, and i would say that there is plenty of both in our schools right now.” Educational leaders say additional caseworkers in schools could also help.

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