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POUGHKEEPSIE – Poughkeepsie City School District Superintendent Dr. Eric Jay Rosser and City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison, co-chairs of the Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet, presented to the New York State Board of Regents about the cabinet at the Regents meeting on February 15.
Dr. Rosser and Mayor Rolison formed the cabinet to develop a shared vision and cradle-to-career path for child growth in the city. Across the country, Children’s Cabinets are used by localities to bring together school districts, government agencies, child-serving community organizations and other local stakeholders to improve their ability to collaborate and coordinate youth supports and services.
The development of the Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet is benefiting from the resources of The Local Children’s Cabinet Network, a national initiative of the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Education Redesign Lab (EdRedesign), The Forum for Youth Investment and the Children’s Funding Project. Both the city and school district have committed staff resources as well.
Joining Dr. Rosser and Mayor Rolison for the presentation were Paul Reville, founder and director of the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s EdRedesign Lab, and Cabinet co-founders and consultants James Watson and Kylynn Grier. Watson and Grier, along with Rob Watson Jr., Director for Partnerships and Community Impact at the EdRedesign Lab, were instrumental in the creation of the cabinet.
At the Board of Regents meeting, the Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet team addressed:
• The creation and structure of the cabinet
• Findings about educational inequity nationally
• Major achievements and emerging initiatives of the Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet
• Key considerations for New York
“We are honored the Poughkeepsie City School District, as part of the Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet, had the opportunity to share what is being done to help support our students by this group of community leaders. It is exciting that what we are doing here could be used as a model to help children across the state,” Dr. Rosser said.
“We greatly appreciated the chance to convey to the Regents this unique story about how this cabinet came together and is working collaboratively to make a big difference in the lives of our children and community, ” said Mayor Rolison.
“If we are committed to ensuring full and equitable opportunities for all students, an entire community must come together to provide an environment for children where they feel welcome, supported, and safe to grow and learn,” Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. said. “When I visited the Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet I was so impressed with the collaboration at every level. I wanted to share this inspiring work with my colleagues on the Board as a model for creating an ecosystem of success for small cities with big city challenges.”
“The level of engagement the Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet has achieved in its city is empowering and transformative in its scope,” State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa said. “We must build a foundation of caring, civility, and respect for all of our students. It is up to all of us –government and school leaders, community representatives, families, and students – to work together to lift up all students.”
The Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet has launched two working groups –Early Childhood and Out-of-School Enrichment and Learning – that will be issuing reports in the upcoming weeks. These reports will present recommendations for implementation in areas that include data collection; addressing coverage gaps; public policy; fiscal allocations; programmatic innovations; and new approaches to family and community engagement.