"Syracuse will become the model for urban education, not only in New York, but across the nation," she said. "This is the most gratifying work I've done in the past two decades. Dennis Van Roekel (President of the National Education Association) called Say Yes 'The most important thing happening in the country.'"
The state of the schools
Introduced as "a man who doesn't believe in barriers," Lowengard took the stage and thanked the previous speakers, saying that "We don't share our speeches and they used up a lot of my stuff -- besides, my daughter told me it was too long anyway. But (smiling) that's not going to save you."
In his talk, (not completely data free), he covered the success of the Say Yes program, but reminded the audience that Say Yes was not the only successful program in the SCSD.
The district has partnered with CNY Works and with Gear Up at Syracuse University to provide hands on experiences for students that combine education with practical application -- another positive step in making school and "real life" compatible and meaningful.
The district has implemented the Johns Hopkins Ninth Grade Talent Development Program, designed to make the eighth to ninth grade transition less of a struggle. The SCSD 4-Tiered Instruction and Behavioral Expectations and Support System helps to identify students at risk of academic or behavioral difficulties early enough to implement specific interventions to prevent serious problems in those areas.
An increase of some 75 seats in the Pre-K program will enhance the district's mission to provide early education and establish a sound foundation for the school experience.
The Urban Teacher Calendar (UTC) program involving some 3,600 students and staff during the past summer, created a hands-on, based program designed to maintain the flow of educational energy that often comes to a halt at the end of school in June.