Created: 05/06/2014 5:16 PM WHEC.com
By: Berkeley Brean
Improve or else. The state came down hard on East High School and now it is decision time for the superintendent. We could find out what happens to East and its rich history Tuesday night.
Superintendent Bolgen Vargas has several options. He could close the school and send students somewhere else. The superintendent says that’s not really an option.
Vargas could phase the school out and replace it with a new school with a new principal and teachers. That hasn’t worked well in the past.
Another option is to let a SUNY school take over. News10NBC checked and no SUNY schools have applied.
East High School could be converted into a charter school, but state law says a charter school that big needs to keep the existing contract with teachers. News10NBC talked with charter school leaders. They don’t like that.
That leaves the option of an educational partnership organization or EPO. Only one EPO applied. It is called Turnaround. They guarantee 100 percent attendance and 100 percent graduation.
John Taylor, Executive Director, Turnaround, said, “Our goal would be to really change the perception of what students are expected to do at East.”
Turnaround also said its enrollment would be 1,000. So that means 800 current East High School students would get sent somewhere else.
The head of the Rochester Teacher's Association (RTA) thinks the superintendent should ask for more time.
Adam Urbanski, RTA President, said, “The real trick lies in having a real choice and you can't have a real choice if you only have one applicant.”
News10NBC asked to talk to the superintendent Tuesday. The district says he was busy going over his proposal. He delivers it at 6:30 p.m.