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13WHAM Town Hall preview: Student perspectives

Rochester, N.Y. -- This week, 13WHAM News is tackling the topic of Rochester City Schools, and we want to hear your voice at a Town Hall meeting Wednesday night.

On Thursday night, the Rochester school board will approve a $780 million budget for next year, and yet four-year graduation rates can't seem to crack 50 percent.

One voice that is often overlooked in this community debate is that of students.

"Students, I've noticed, are really good about telling people what's working to make sure that it's replicated," said Sophie Gallivan, a senior at Wilson Magnet High School.

For the last four years, Gallivan has been a student representative on the school board.

This year, she hosted the first ever Student Town Hall.

"Often times, people don't take into account that city students do face a lot of adversity that other students in other more affluent districts often don't face, and that contributes a lot to their ability to achieve and do well in school," she said.

Gallivan added students feel the negative perception the local community has about city schools.

"There's a pre-conceived notion about city kids, and I guess city kids have this about suburban or rural kids too," she said. 

Gallivan said she hopes the narative about city schools and students will change one day.

She knows it will change if results improve, and she's put forth plans to do just that.

Take, for example, her student portfolio idea, including notes and observations that travel with each student's grades and transcripts so teachers can re-engage a student who falls behind.

Gallivan and others will be at our Town Hall meeting Wednesday night. It's called "Your Voice, Your Future, Your City Schools."

It starts at 7 p.m. at the Strong National Museum of Play.

Save yourself a seat by signing up to attend by clicking here.

One lucky person in our audience that night will win a year-long membership to the museum.


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Washington Times