East High School committee meets to more closely discuss options to save school

Updated: 04/22/2014 11:56 PM
Created: 04/22/2014 11:44 PM WHEC.com
By: Amanda Ciavarri

East High School committee members met on Tuesday night to more closely discuss an option to keep the school running in Rochester after the state demanded changes.

One of the options includes hiring an education partnership organization, or an EPO, to run the school. This means that a not-for-profit would come in and take over the school, acting as a superintendent.

“Dr. Vargas would continue to be our Superintendent for the balance of our schools. If the board and the state approved this than the EPO would be the superintendent of East High School,” said Rochester City School Board President Van White.

One board got one application from an EPO called School Turnaround which has taken over schools in cities like Buffalo. The company would make changes to the teaching staff, add more AP and college credit courses and increase school safety.

School Turnaround officials say with the changes they promise a 100% graduation rate, and 100% of graduates will be accepted into college or a trade school. The company says if they don’t achieve these goals within a certain time frame, then they will refund the costs of the programs.

But parents in the audience say the problems need more than an EPO, they need permanent change.

It needs to be a collaborative effort between the teachers, administration and the parents. Until we have those three working in sync nothing is going to happen. We are going to keep spinning our wheels. Until we have real accountability from the superintendent all the way on down, we are still going to have the same issues,” said Ronald Hall, a parent.

The committee will make a recommendation to the school board, but they do not make any final decisions. The committee will meet again next week to talk about some questions that came up in the meeting. 

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