In a significant decision, the Rochester City School District (RCSD) Board of Education voted to move forward with a reconfiguration plan that includes closing 11 schools and five buildings. Despite some parents expressing disappointment that the vote was not delayed, the board decided to proceed with the plan to streamline and enhance the educational experience within the district.
The reconfiguration plan includes several key elements to improve educational services and foster a more efficient system. Notably, School No. 29 and students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in specialized classrooms at RISE will continue to learn together. Additionally, students from School No. 2 will be offered the opportunity to join School No. 25. A special lottery will be initiated in December for School No. 2 students who opt not to transfer to School No. 25.
The 11 schools marked for closure are as follows:
- Clara Barton School No. 2
- Dr. Walter Cooper Academy School No. 10
- Adlai E. Stevenson School No. 29
- Andrew J. Townson School No. 39
- RISE Community School No. 106
- Wilson Foundation Academy
- Dr. Alice Holloway Young School of Excellence
- Franklin Lower School
- Monroe Lower School
- Franklin Upper School
- Northeast College Preparatory High School
In addition to the school closures, the following buildings will also be shut down:
- School No. 20
- School No. 29
- School No. 39
- School No. 44
- School No. 106
Superintendent Dr. Carmine Peluso, acknowledging the complexities and challenges of the decision, commented, “The decision to close schools was undeniably complex and challenging. It was not a choice made lightly; rather, it was made with a heavy heart and a deep sense of responsibility. We are determined to transform this District to create better opportunities for our students and prepare them for a promising future.”
Mixed Reactions among Parents
The decision to close schools within the Rochester City School District comes after a prolonged period of scrutiny and reflection, as the district grapples with budgetary constraints and the need to optimize resources to ensure that students receive the highest quality education. The decision has, understandably, generated mixed reactions among parents, students, and the broader Rochester community. While some express disappointment that the vote was not delayed to allow further consideration, others recognize the need for change and are hopeful that this reconfiguration plan will bring about a brighter future.
The Goal is to Enhance Educational Experience
Furthermore, the special lottery for School No. 2 students who choose not to join School No. 25 reflects a recognition of the importance of choice and flexibility in the educational system. This approach empowers families to make decisions that align with their children’s educational needs. As the reconfiguration plan moves forward, the Rochester City School District will be closely monitoring its impact and gathering feedback from stakeholders. The ultimate goal is to enhance the educational experience for all students and better prepare them for the challenges and opportunities that await in the future.
While the closure of schools is undoubtedly a difficult and emotional decision, the Rochester City School District aims to use this transition as an opportunity to reshape and improve the educational landscape for the benefit of the entire community. Time will reveal the true impact of this reconfiguration plan, and the hope is that it will indeed pave the way for a more promising and successful future for Rochester’s students.