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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 19, 2007

Schumer Announces $3 Million Coming To Yonkers Public Schools

Yonkers Public Schools Will Use Federal Funds to Establish School-Wide Smaller Learning Communities in Four High Schools

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced today a grant totaling $3 million to be used over three years has been awarded to Yonkers Public Schools by the U.S. Department of Education under the Smaller Learning Communities Program. The federal funds will be used to establish school-wide smaller learning communities (SLCs) in four of its five large comprehensive high schools: Gorton, Lincoln, Roosevelt and Saunders.


"This is great news for families in the Yonkers Public School District," Schumer said. "Research has shown us the indisputable benefits of having smaller learning environments, which is a huge challenge in some of our larger school districts. These critical federal funds will allow Yonkers students to experience these important educational benefits, despite the size of their student body. I will continue to fight for these much-needed funds to ensure that students in schools across the state are receiving the best instruction we have to offer.”


“We’re getting back to what we know works well in our public schools,” said Mayor Phil Amicone.  “Universal pre-K programs, kindergarten through eighth grade primary schools, and smaller more focused learning environments in our high schools, all of which are designed to give our students the best possible chance at success.  This grant will go a long way toward helping us achieve that goal and will truly benefit the public school students in Yonkers.”


Yonkers Public Schools will use these federal funds to establish school-wide smaller learning communities (SLCs) in four of its five large comprehensive high schools: Gorton, Lincoln, Roosevelt and Saunders. Funds will be used to develop freshman academies as well as career-themed academies in each high school, with extensive student academic supports that range from technology-based programs to after school, summer school, and Saturday academies to ensure each student achieves grade-level proficiency by the end of the 10th grade. Full-time SLC facilitators and design and data teams will work together toward aligning curriculum to State and college readiness standards.


To support all students, especially at-risk students, the schools will create the “R4A4 Zone”—an umbrella for tutoring, after school and Saturday programs, and the development of parent focus groups. To increase the current 7% of students in Advanced Placement courses, the district will develop comprehensive recruitment, preparation and support. Each theme-based academy will also provide students access to dual credit opportunities and opportunities for participation in the International Baccalaureate program.


The Smaller Learning Community Grant Program is designed to encourage large high schools to undertake research-based strategies in developing and implementing smaller learning environments. Local educational agencies are eligible to apply on behalf of an individual large high school or a group of large high schools.


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