EL Education Credentialing Portfolio

Since opening its doors to the community in 2001, Genesee Community Charter School (GCCS) at the Rochester Museum & Science Center has been a proud member of the EL Education Network. In that time, GCCS has set out to do exactly what charter schools were intended to do, create greater flexibility for innovation within public education. GCCS offers a unique program that sets us apart from other schools in our region. In addition to our diverse population, place-based curriculum, community culture, and arts integration, GCCS is designed to make an impact beyond the walls of our school. We are a community school by name and by action with the expectation we contribute to a better world.

At GCCS, we believe that the community is our classroom. From Kindergarten throughout their career at GCCS, students are immersed in Rochester’s development through time. Students learn from experts in the field rather than from textbooks and place their fingertips on primary source documents to feel their “history heartbeat.” Students develop a deep investment in who has walked the streets before them and therefore feel compelled to give back before they leave GCCS.

Students create authentic products for the community such as an online teacher’s guide for the Sam Patch, a local vessel that tours the Erie Canal through the Rochester area. In 2018, sixth grade students spent several months working with a local artist and community advocate to develop murals for neighborhoods in the Rochester community. As a museum school, our community is also committed to collaborating with the Rochester Museum and Science Center. In 2017, first graders highlighted several members of the Haudenosaunee who live in Rochester today in panels that were permanently installed in the Native Peoples exhibit in the museum. Currently, our fourth and fifth grade teachers and a focus group of students are advising designers on a permanent exhibit focused on women’s rights throughout history.

GCCS defines “community” broadly and therefore, our school serves the EL Education Network and organizations in the Rochester region. Every few years, Genesee Community Charter School organizes a Site Seminar to invite teachers and leaders from around the country to observe classrooms in action and attend teacher-created workshops to learn more about our curriculum, instructional strategies, and culture-building techniques. Additionally, we have hosted schools from countries around the world including India, China, and Canada within this charter term. We also collaborate with St. John Fisher College to host Classroom Management courses for education students and we have also partnered with University of Rochester Medical Center’s Pediatric Residency Department to provide tours to the resident doctors as part of their study to learn more about the Rochester community.

The most exciting and significant community collaborative effort is the relationship with Roberto Clemente School #8 in the Rochester City School District. GCCS was awarded a 3-year, $500,000 Federal Dissemination Grant to pilot EL Education's K-2 Reading Foundational Skills Curriculum and work with School #8 in a collegial partnership. This three-year partnership created a life-long relationship between a district and charter school. The cultures and student literacy at both schools benefited from this dissemination grant and plans are underway to keep the partnership sustainable beyond the funding.

Our small school may seem small, however, the impact of our work ripples beyond the walls of GCCS. We are leaving a lasting impact the Rochester community, the EL Education network, and the global education community as a progressive and innovative school to learn from. Welcome to our community.

The work embodied in this portfolio demonstrates our commitment to: rigorous academics and achievement; authentic, high-quality student work; and the development of engaged and ethical students who go on to make change in the world beyond GCCS. This short video created by EL Education best demonstrates what it means to be a student at Genesee Community Charter School.

Revisiting Rochester video

We are proud to share this credentialing portfolio with our EL Education Network and with a wider audience that is seeking to help students "get smart to do good." We hope this portfolio inspires you to rethink what is possible in public education and we welcome your feedback.

EL Education Implementation Reviews

Implementation reviews provide feedback on progress towards our annual work plans.
GCCS 2018-19 IR.pdf

EL Education Implementation Review 2019

GCCS Credentialing Data Profile

This spreadsheet contains data on all three dimensions of student achievement as defined by EL Education: Mastery of Knowledge and Skills; Character; and High Quality Work. This profile is meant to provide an "at a glance" look at each dimension, but please refer to each page on this website for a more in-depth analysis of our progress towards each dimension.
GCCS Credentialing Data Profile

School Mission

The Genesee Community Charter School (GCCS) provides a rich educational experience that values intellectual rigor, respect for diversity, and community responsibility. Our local history-based and globally-connected program immerses our diverse population of children in investigation and discovery, extensively using the cultural and natural resources of our community. We nurture children’s natural abilities to be:

  • reflective questioners,
  • articulate communicators,
  • critical thinkers,
  • and skilled problem solvers,

enabling them to reach exemplary standards.

Student Performance Data

Successful student performance on NYS test and iReady tests shows academic impact relative to local schools and state-wide averages.

Performance on NYS and iReady tests demonstrates the positive academic impact our program has on aggregate and disaggregate student groups.

Accolades & Honors

  • EL Education Credentialed School
  • EL Education Mentor School
  • The Partnership for 21st Century Skills Exemplar School
  • Klingenstein Teacher Award (2016)
  • Silverberg Leadership Award (2015)
  • New York State Reward School (2015)
  • U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School (2014)