Getting back in synch at LyncX Academy

Getting back in synch at LyncX Academy

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Professional Boxer – Willie “EL Mongoose” Monroe, Jr. speaks at the Marshall Campus [Photo provided by Principal Walter Larkin Jr]

January 9, 2015

Recently, there has been increased attention paid to suspensions within the RCSD – and what can be done.  This week I had the chance to see for myself when I was invited to the LyncX Academy at the Marshall Campus.

Democrat and chronicle/Suspension rates schools/

Democrat and chronicle/suspension rates another hurdle city-schools/

Democrat and chronicle/2014/11/17/report puts spotlight-suspensions/

As explained to me by Principal Walter Larkin Jr, the LyncX LTS Program serves students grades 7-12 who have committed severe violations of the RCSD student code of conduct and been suspended from their home school. Fundamentally, Larkin emphasizes that his students are usually not succeeding in school and life. In addition to academic support, Larkin’s mission is to provide missing “social emotional skills and tools.” To help kids who have lost their way get back in synch.

During my two days there, I met some kids with undeniable issues. One had brought a knife into school in his backpack. A girl was accused of stealing IPhones and wallets. A boy was in a gang fight. Others smelled and acted like they had smoked before school. The list goes on.LinkcX

But I also saw good things. At LyncX, the students are actually better behaved than at their home schools. I had a distinct sense that many had gotten in trouble—“acted out”—as the proverbial cry for help, an admission they are having problems. And at LyncX they get help. In every classroom, I saw teachers working one-on-one with students whose behavioral issues and academic failures were inseparable but not hopeless.

Most memorably, one girl helped teach the class deep breathing exercises she had learned in anger management counseling. A group of six girls took it upon themselves to organize their own “peace circle,” each sharing a concern and giving advice.

No doubt many of the kids I met will boomerang back at forth between LyncX and their home school. But for some, LyncX might just be what it takes them to get back on track.

SEE ALSO

Helping restore East through restorative classroom practices

 

About The Author

dkramer3@naz.edu

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, and the CITY.  My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.

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