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Summer of Discovery: SMART Athletes Program at Monroe Upper School

(August 9, 2023) Learning during the summer months should be fun, motivating, and engaging.  That is why the Rochester City School District is proud to celebrate its Summer of Discovery and the learning programs that are being offered to students from July 5, 2023 – August 17, 2023. 

One particular program is the SMART Athletes program, which provides student-athletes a jump-start to their NCAA eligibility upon graduation.  Students entering 9th grade in September can complete courses in public speaking, living environment, driver’s education, and Algebra 1.  Additionally, student-athletes participate in a training block where they work out in a weight room and practice on a playing field or in a gym with physical education teachers.  The program helps promote a connection between academics and athletics and ensures students are college ready. 

“I come here early in the morning and take public speaking classes because when I get to the bigger stage and platform, people are going to be asking me a lot of questions, and I have to be ready,” said Styhles McKenzie-Baker, a junior at James Monroe Upper School who already has two offers from colleges to play football. 

“I am getting ahead in all of my classes,” said Landon McKnight, a senior at James Monroe Upper School.  He already has an offer from a college to play football.  “I have 23.5 credits, so I can focus on football during my senior year, get bigger in the weight room, and focus on my craft.”

In the SMART program, students are introduced to careers in sports beyond the playing field, including coaching, officiating, training, and safety.  A cohort of students has already earned credits on their path to an advanced Regents diploma.

Media Story:
RCSD's SMART Program Promotes Academics and Athletics (News 8)