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Protestors Criticize New York District's Parent-Engagement Efforts

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A group of parents and activists concerned about the Rochester City School District's parent-engagement efforts marched to the home of the city's school board president Tuesday to hand-deliver a letter outlining their complaints. 

Members of the group, Facing Race, Embracing Equity, detailed three incidents to the Democrat & Chronicle that they believe indicate the New York district is failing to communicate and cultivate positive relationships with parents. According to its website, Facing Race, Embracing Equity is a wide-ranging effort to educate and engage the local community about racial concepts and disparities. 

In one of the incidents, according to news reports, Alisa Rogers, a grandmother and guardian of a student at School 45, is facing an arrest warrant on trespassing charges after she went to the school and picked up her grandson without following sign-in procedures. She also reportedly had a confrontation with a staff member at the school.

District officials told the Democrat & Chronicle that Rogers had violated the school's code of conduct on many occasions, including the day of the incident. A district spokesman said the school system will try to find a resolution to the situation and that Rogers may return to the school as long as she follows the rules.

While Rochester Board of Education President Van White was not home when protestors arrived, he told the newspaper that he is willing to meet with members of the group.

Meanwhile, several of the recommendations made by a special committee on parent engagement were adopted by the board for the 2014-15 school year, including restoring the parent school choice expo and adding more parent-engagement workers. The district's Parent Advisory Council will create a parents' bill of rights as well.

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