PORT CHESTER, N.Y. -- State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Assemblyman Steven Otis, D-Rye, visited Port Chester Middle School on Wednesday, Nov. 18, to see a public school Community Schools model in action.
Port Chester Middle School, like all of the Port Chester schools, has adopted the Community Schools model, which is designed to help remove obstacles that can keep children from attending school.
The school provides medical and dental services to students, and extends the school day through enrichment in the arts, academic instruction and support, food services, and athletic activities.
Speaker Heastie and Assemblyman Otis’ afternoon began at the school’s Open Door Medical Center, which serves the majority of the students. They then visited several classrooms where the after school activities are held.
The extended day is managed in a partnership between the Port Chester School District and the Port Chester Carver Center, a community based organization. With a large immigrant and the highest English Language Learner population in Westchester, that is also the 6th highest in New York state, extending the school day with high quality support programs was vital.
After the tour, Speaker Heastie and Assemblyman Otis chaired a roundtable with educators, leaders from several child-centered organizations, school board members and parents from Port Chester and nearby school districts to discuss the many issues facing schools. Topics included the Annual Professional Performance Review, NYS standardized testing opt-outs, unfunded mandates, children of poverty, children of immigrant families, high stakes testing, and school funding including the tax levy cap, Foundation Aid, and the Gap Elimination Adjustment.