Victory

We ask for an adequately funded contract with Expeditionary Learning - one that remains faithful to the high standards of EL.

This petition made change with 180 supporters!


With RCSD budget negotiations underway, now is the time to advocate for all four Expeditionary Learning Schools in the Rochester City School District. Together, the four EL Schools in the RCSD represent more than 2000 students and 200 full-time staff members.  

We are a significant population of parents, teachers, staff members and students who are invested in our communities and want to continue the successful work of our schools. The EL model is part of what makes our schools so great! Our waiting lists speak for themselves, but the proposed budget makes cuts to our schools that could prevent us from continuing our EL credential in the future.

You might be asking yourself what this EL contract is all about. In a nutshell, EL provides school leaders and teachers with professional development, curriculum planning resources, and new school structures to increase student engagement, character, achievement, and school culture. 

How do EL Schools do this? Through our contract with Expeditionary Learning, our teachers receive assistance with instructional strategies, expedition development, and aligning with Common Core State Standards. The result is higher achieving students, with problem-solving and collaboration skills who show leadership through civic engagement and social and environmental service.  

The current proposal from the RCSD drastically reduces our services with EL. This year, our school received about 50 days with Expeditionary Learning School Designers. Our school designer days are what set us apart from other schools. They are instrumental in developing great teachers, strong leadership, and exemplary school culture. The 2014-15 proposed budget will reduce our time with EL School Designers to just 3 days. This is not enough to continue the excellent programming and teacher support that our communities signed up for.

While we recognize that our contract with the national EL organization represents an additional cost to the district, it is important to note that the fee goes down after we complete our school grow outs and show that we are reliably implementing the model. 

Our schools serve as models for districts across the nation, and our goal is to expand our best practices to serve even more RCSD students in the future. This dream cannot be achieved without an adequately funded EL Contract. Without an adequately funded contract, our schools could lose our status as Expeditionary Learning Schools. EL Schools are willing to contribute a portion to support the contract through funds allocated to the buildings, but it is not enough to sustain our program.

In 2012-13, an EL Budget of $70,000.00 was allocated to provide professional development and support to our teachers and staff from Expeditionary Learning. In 2013-2014, EL Schools were allocated $35,000.00 for PD and support from EL. The 2014-2015 budget projects an Expeditionary Learning Budget of $17,500.00 for each of the four EL Schools in the RCSD to provide training and support to our teachers and staff.

The current proposal from Central Office is a major cut to the EL model in the RCSD. We ask for an adequately funded contract with EL - one that remains faithful to the high standards of Expeditionary Learning. Our children deserve nothing less.


Respectfully,

The parents, teachers, staff members, students and supporters of RCSD Expeditionary Learning Schools in the RCSD.

Integrated Arts and Technology High School, World of Inquiry School #58, Dr. Walter Cooper Academy School #10, Roberto Clemente School #8



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