Why READY?

Nearly half of children in the City of Rochester live in poverty, the second highest in the nation.

Currently, only about 10%–or fewer than 3,000—of Rochester’s K-12 students attend a quality school.

Rochester ranks third poorest among the 75 largest US metropolitan areas.

Access to the few quality schools in Rochester is racially segregated: white students are more than twice as likely to be in a quality school than their Black and Latino peers.

Students with disabilities, low-income students, and limited English proficient students are all disproportionately under­ enrolled in quality schools citywide.

The vast majority of teachers at both district and charter schools are White – 77% and 78% respectively in SY18 and SY19. During that same period, only 12% of teachers in RCSD and 14% of teachers in charter schools were Black, while 56% of students in RCSD and 67% of students in charter schools were Black.

The overwhelming majority of children attend a school that consistently performs below statewide averages across multiple measures. including student proficiency in English and math, performance on Regents exams, graduation rates, student absenteeism and teacher certification.

While there have been numerous strong but piecemeal attempts to solve these challenges in the past, there has never been a cohesive, citywide vision and plan to address systemic inequities in Rochester’s K-12 education system.

 

READY is advancing community-driven, innovative strategies that will create and support new schools that provide students with knowledge and tools to pursue their passions, realize their full potential, and better their community and society.

We are READY!

How We Work

Inform & Activate Community

First and foremost, READY’s work is grounded in the vision of the Rochester community. The need for READY emerged from a two-year community engagement process and will continue to always stay connected to what our parents want for their children. Our work is centered on informing and activating parents to identify solutions and hold elected leaders accountable for education equity in Rochester. This work includes: 

READY School Finder

Launching in Fall 2023, the READY School Finder will provide a tool for parents and community members to [insert SF language]

READY Parent Action Academy

Piloting in Fall 2023, READY will train a core group of parent leaders in the current state of education in Rochester, how education decisions get made by elected leaders, and how they can get involved in creating the schools they want for their children.

Parent Advisory Council

Launching in Spring 2024 as a convening of parent leaders who will advise the READY Leadership Team on issues of concern to Rochester’s students and families.   They will also promote broad parent and community involvement in decisions regarding school performance and outcomes.

Strategic Investments to Support Great Schools

Guided by our community work, READY uses research-based approaches to increase the number of quality schools available to Rochester families. We’re building a robust ecosystem of support around schools with informed and activated families, diverse and effective educators, and a supportive policy landscape. To cultivate this ecosystem and support great schools, READY builds community partnerships, aligns resources and makes strategic investments*.

Parent Power

Engage and inform families to accelerate and sustain Rochester’s educational improvement efforts

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Talent Pipelines

Develop a sustainable pipeline of educators to serve students in Rochester, with an emphasis on educators of color and educators with local ties

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Supportive Policy

Champion policies that promote equity and support the growth and sustainability of great schools

Parent Power

Engage and inform families to accelerate and sustain Rochester’s educational improvement efforts

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Talent Pipelines

Develop a sustainable pipeline of educators to serve students in Rochester, with an emphasis on educators of color and educators with local ties

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Supportive Policy

Champion policies that promote equity and support the growth and sustainability of great schools

Great Schools

Invest in the growth of quality schools that reflect what parents want for their children

These goals and objectives are aligned with the community-driven priorities and focus areas articulated in Our Schools, Our Vision.

Prospective grantees may be invited to apply if their work aligns to our key areas of focus. READY

does not accept unsolicited grant opportunities. Grants are provided on a rolling basis.