Nancy Rivera and her two sons got an unexpected wake up call Thursday morning. New Rochester City School Superintendent Jean-Claude Brizard knocked on the door, introduced himself and walked 10-year old
Brizard spent most of the morning shadowing students. He got off the bus at School 16 and had breakfast with sixth graders. Then he met with students learning the English language at
Ibrahima Bah is a senior at
Brizard says recent graduation rates are unacceptable. Between 2002 to 2006, he says half of the city's high schoolers dropped out. "I say work with us. Ask us. Ask the teachers. Ask the hard questions. Ask us what our kids are learning and how can we support the teachers. Parents have to become partners," said Brizard.
Nancy Rivera knows the odds are against her sons when it comes to finishing high school.
but she's still hopeful. "I want my son to be doctor or lawyer."
And if Superintendent Brizard has his way - all the kids in the school district will have the education to make their dreams come true.