Syracuse City School District

Gracyn Doctor / WAER News

It might be the middle of winter, but did you know there’s a Farmer’s Market at Franklin Elementary School?

"What's your favorite part about the farmer's market?" our reporter asked.

"The apples," replied one student.

"The oranges and the pineapples," said another.

New figures out from the State Education Department show Syracuse City schools had their highest graduation rates in a decade.  The data shows 64.5% of students that entered in 2015 graduated High School. 

Toby Craner / WAER News

A program that’s encouraging youth to exercise and eat healthy in Syracuse City Schools is about to expand from five to seven schools.  The Growing Healthy Hearts program also emphasizes the need for mental preparation and treating others with kindness.  American Heart Association Local Director Franklin Fry explains how characters that students earn are visually reinforcing the lessons in school.

Scott Willis / WAER-FM 88.3

Fifth graders at Delaware Elementary School paraded down their hallways Thursday holding signs with anti-tobacco messages and chanting "Be Smart!  Don't Start!"  Thursday was the Great American Smokeout, which encourages tobacco users to take those first steps toward quitting.

Time is starting to run out for Central New York parents who haven’t vaccinated their children if they’re attending school next week.  A new state law requires ALL students to be vaccinated, or to have their first dose of vaccines during the first 14 days of school.  Religious exemptions are no longer allowed, but students can get a medical exemption if they're immunocompromised or allergic to vaccine components. 

Scott Willis / WAER News

Members of the Syracuse Youth Advisory Council have spent the past few months researching issues and concerns facing their peers, and today, they made their final presentations to common councilors.  Students in grades 9 to 12 apply for the 11 spots, and have the chance to try and influence change.  One group focused on the lack of diversity among the school district’s teachers and other leaders.  ITC student Donovan Collins doesn’t see many teachers who look like him or can relate to him.

City of Syracuse

The statistics about poverty in the Syracuse City School District are well known, but students' needs and the effects of poverty aren't always completely understood. Reggie Kelley started Rise Above Poverty to bring greater awareness to the basic necessities students don’t have and the stigma that they face for not having those items. 

John Smith / WAER News

On a recent Saturday morning about 300 people filled a cafeteria at Corcoran High School.  They stand around tables in solidarity to show their concern for black and brown students and join together in song.

file photo / WAER News

Syracuse Schools Superintendent Jaime Alicea is working with the state education department to figure out the best path forward for three struggling schools.  State officials say Danforth Middle, Dr. King, and Westside Academy at Blodgett middle school face independent receivership or an internal overhaul. 

Scott Willis / WAER News

The Syracuse City School District has reached an agreement with city government to hire  – and pay for – police officers to serve as School Resource Officers.