Rise & Shine: State launches another round of grants for school integration, improvement efforts

Good morning!

Just months into the Trump presidency, the U.S. Department of Education moved to end a grant program that aimed to help improve schools by integrating them. By contrast, New York State, which pioneered a similar initiative, is expanding its program. State leaders announced Tuesday that it will roll out the Socioeconomic Integration Pilot Program in up to 30 more districts across New York.

Also, the city education department is releasing more information about how accessible its high schools are. Many families struggle to find a school that can accommodate students with physical disabilities. And, read about what it was like to be on the school bus that was crushed in the recent terrorist attack in Lower Manhattan.

ANOTHER ROUND New York State education officials will offer another round of grants for districts where leaders want to pursue integration plans as a school improvement strategy. The first pilot grants helped spur a district-wide integration plan in District 1 on the Lower East Side. Chalkbeat

NEW DATA New York City students with physical disabilities have few options when it comes to accessible high schools. The education department has begun to release more information about its buildings to help families learn about whether schools have ramps, handrails and other accessibility features. Chalkbeat

SURVIVOR The student who returned to class the day after a terrorist crashed into his school bus was 16-year-old Noah Salz. He, and his family, recounted that day. New York Times

FITTING IN A student who has struggled with her gender identity has found a place where she fits in: Brooklyn High School for Leadership and Community Service, a transfer school for students who have fallen behind academically. New York Times

BACK OFF Opinion: A parent of a Medgar Evers student says the city’s plan to change admissions there will “mess with the longstanding success” of the selective school. New York Daily News

CLOSE CALL Police responded to a Staten Island school after a student posed with a gun in the school bathroom and posted the photo on social media. Staten Island Advance

COUNTERPOINT Parents and students are upset after a military veteran spoke at a Staten Island school and handed out fliers that some considered anti-military. NY1

SCHOOL CLIMATE District 29 in Queens had the most fights reported by students in surveys. New York Post

GOING HOME After losing a political push to expand charters in Massachusetts and being placed under investigation for its campaign, the advocacy group Families for Excellent Schools is turning its attention back to New York. Politico

SAFETY FIRST A petition to require schools to carry EpiPens has gathered thousands of signatures after a boy died after his family says his daycare served him a grilled cheese sandwich, even though he was allergic to dairy. PIX11

SPEAKING UP Opinion: Claims that yeshivas don’t provide a secular education aren’t true, writes Rabbi David Niederman. New York Daily News