New York City is sending fewer latecomer students to renewal schools. Latecomer students are students, who oftentimes pose extra challenges for schools. In other words, they are difficult to serve. The number of latecomer students sent to schools in the city's turnaround program has reduced by 19% over the last three years, according to new report from the education department.
This comes a few months after Chancellor Carmen Farina announced that the city plans on cutting the number of students who are sent to renewal schools.
Students who are affected by the move includes: those who struggle with homelessness, students with special needs, and newly arriving immigrants.
“Renewal officials and Superintendents will balance the number of latecomer students with enhanced efforts in progress at Renewal Schools,” Education Department Spokesperson Devora Kaye said. She added that education department will provide assistance to make sure those schools admit more students during normal admission process.
The city's education department will come up with the best way to refer latecomer students to renewal schools such as extended day learning, community school services, small group tutoring opportunities, and course specific offering.
By providing these services, city's Renewal Schools will be able to attract more students as well as community partners. Aside from this, New York City Education Department is also thinking of sending some latecomer students to younger grades, according to Kaye.
Following this announcement, a few schools like Automotive High School, and Boys and Girls High School in Brooklyn have temporarily stopped sending latecomer students to Renewal Schools.
Nearly all the renewal schools face the challenge of declining number of students. Eighty of the ninety Renewal Schools have seen their enrollment significantly decline over the past two years, according to a recent report by the Independent Budget Office.
Renewal Schools typically serve students who post below average test scores. The vast majority of these students include: English language learners, students who experience homelessness, Hispanic Students, and Black students.
Boys and Girls High School enrollment, for instance, has declined from more than 2000 students to 500 students in less than five years. This is a major challenge that has left the institution with less with less funding but many students with special needs.
When Chancellor Carmen Farina and Mayor Bill De Blasio came to office they abolished the Bloomberg's idea of focusing on identifying and shutting down less performing schools. Rather, they decided to support these schools in order to turn them around.
The city's Renewal Schools Program is a great bet on that approach. The program designated several low performing schools with social support, additional funding and community support.
So far, some critics have deemed this program as a failure since a number of them haven't achieved there performance target. That does not matter. The most important thing is to see these schools getting better. City Renewal Schools have improved, according to Manhattan Institute report. They are now better than they'd have been. However, the program is not cheap. They cost over $200 million in 2016, according to the Independent Budget Office.