Dozens of Syracuse parents filled the cafeteria inside Henninger High School on Tuesday night, sharing their concerns about the district's schools.
"I'm really interested in limiting the amount of testing that's going on," said Bryan Fay, a dad of two children in the district.
Many parents felt the forum could lead to improvements within all the schools. "I think we're facing a lot of socioeconomic issues in the City of Syracuse," said Patrice Chang, a mother of three. "They're not going to resolve them on their own. And so, as a collective, we have to come together to make a difference."
The meeting was organized by Parents for Public Schools in Syracuse, Inc. Tuesday night's meeting was the group's first forum of the year, following an informal survey conducted to gauge areas of concern within the district.
From its survey, the group concluded that communication and class size were of greatest importance. The meeting discussed the survey results, but was designed to go beyond them.
"Instead of moving to one of the close suburbs, we need to all band together, and offer solutions and suggestions to the board members," said Susan Fahey Glisson, President of Parents for Public Schools in Syracuse, Inc.
Syracuse City School District Superintendent Sharon Contreras and four members of the Board of Education were at the meeting. The members were Pat Body, Max Ruckdeschel, Michelle Mignano, and Bill Bullen. They were there only to listen, and did not offer comment.
Superintendent Contreras said she is on the same page as parents, but that getting everything they want is a challenge. "I'm just energized tonight that so many parents came out," said Contreras. "And I'm going to be working with the Board of Education and Parents for Public Schools to help parents understand these very complex issues."