Riverhead Area School Info and state designations

Two overlapping stories:

The Launch of a New Project: RASi

Wilderside Ltd., Kimberly Wilder, and some local parents have launched a new project called: Riverhead Area School Info or RASi. This project will draw attention to the strengths and weaknesses of local public and private schools; support families who have chosen alternative education; and try to make everything better and happier for students in the Town of Riverhead and its surrounds. The beginnings of our website is at riverheadrasi.wordpress.com . Or, contact us at: RiverheadRasi@gmail.com (Or, contact Kimberly Wilder).

We will post more in the next few days about ideas for improving some of the Riverhead Central School District schools, especially Roanoke Avenue and Pulaski.

Discussion about what it means that NY State has labeled
some Riverhead schools as needing help

Three public schools in the Riverhead Central School District have been given designations by the New York State Education Department which mean that the schools are not doing well. The consequences are that the school must develop plans to improve fast; the school district will receive grants from the state; and…if the designation continues…could mean that students in those schools can choose to go to better performing schools in the district. (More on that in upcoming stories and research here and at the RASi website.)

RASi is disappointed with newspaper coverage of this story.

The Riverhead Local wrote a story about this situation — ie: New York State labeling three schools as “Improvement” schools. Yet, the Riverhead Local focused on that fact that the designation gave state aid to our district, and did little to explain that the designations reveal big problems. Nor, did the Riverhead Local explain that it could mean families might have the right to choose alternative schools if they are in the low performing schools.

The Riverhead News-Review also covered the story. The News-Review story explained the situation a little more clearly. They quoted a district official as saying, “We’re hoping that we make strides and we escape the notation that is here.” Though, The News-Review also failed to let parents know that the failures of the school district and the local schools may give parents rights about choosing alternative school choices.

It should also be noted that, as many people may feel “trapped” in a poorly performing school, there is already a kind of choice through the district. Riverhead Central School District students may attend the Riverhead Charter School free of charge. riverheadcharterschool.org (Though, there is a specific application process, some deadlines, and a lottery. You could check in with the Riverhead Charter School and/or follow research and updates from RASi.)

At the elementary level, where Riverhead Central School District has four different schools, parents have another possible option. Roanoke Avenue is designated a “Comprehensive Improvement School” that needs help. If your child goes there, you could write to the school board and ask them if your child can switch to a higher performing school. Depending on the state process and status right now, Riverhead Central School District might decide to say yes or be forced to say yes. It is a strategy for parents can try now.

Of course, parents can always choose options such as: Private School, Homeschool, or diving in to your local public school politics and/or the district politics to make waves and/or volunteer!

Background:

Riverhead Central School District
School which have been labeled as needing help

Roanoke Avenue Elementary School
Comprehensive Support and Improvement school

Riverhead Middle School
Comprehensive Support and Improvement school

Pulaski Street School (an intermediary school)
Targeted Support and Improvement school

Elementary School Ratings:

According to various school rating organizations, the elementary schools in Riverhead Central School District have various levels of success. The ratings do not match up perfectly. Though, the nonprofit Great Schools https://www.greatschools.org/ put the ratings at:

Aquebogue Elementary: 7 out 10 (10 being highest)

Riley Elementary: 5 out 10

Phillips Elementary: 2 out of 10

Roanoke Elementary: 1 out of 10

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Thank you for your concern for our local schools, our local children, and your child’s school success!
More information and suggestion to come.

Please contact RASi to join the discussion (and don’t forget to share your hopes and dreams with teachers and administrators!

RiverheadRasi@gmail.com

Riverhead Area School Info / RASi is a project of Wilderside, Ltd.

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