SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Schenectady City School District is creating unique student pathways to not only engage with students to help them find their passions while also increasing graduation rates. Lynne Rutnik is the Deputy Superintendent for Schenectady City Schools, and she says that the whole district is excited about the Multi-Tiered System of Support.

“Schenectady City School District is really on the forefront of what we’re calling a redesign of their schools and secondary schools,” she said. “And we believe wholeheartedly what the superintendent is saying, that there should not be a one size fits all approach.”

The Multi-Tiered System of Support program has been rolled out at 29 schools so far and focuses on each student and their needs instead of creating just one curriculum for all students. This was implemented to recover from academic losses and low test scores during the pandemic. 

Just within the last year, Schenectady was among the districts with an increase of students graduating by ten percent or more. Through community partnerships like Proctors and government agencies, students can complete internships and work in fields that they are interested in. whether it’s STEM for science and math or the arts.

“We needed to go above and beyond what we were doing right now. And that has led to a redesign of our secondary schools,” she said. “To make sure that we’re meeting with students, where they are, greeting them, and finding out what it is that they’re passionate about. Just opening up and giving them their choice.”

As a next step, the administration wants to get more student input by creating a superintendent advisory council with student representatives from 5th through 12th grade. They will also have student representatives present at the school board of education meetings to ensure that more student voices are at the table.