RCSD Superintendent proposes closing some schools, reconfiguring others

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — There could be some major changes to schools in the Rochester City School District: Closing schools, and reconfiguring others.

These are only recommendations introduced by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lesli Myers-Small. She said these recommendations have to be voted on before any changes can be made.

During Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting, she introduced her recommendations for the next school year. Myers-Small says enrollment continues to go down. Right now there are just under 24,000 students enrolled. That’s down more than 4,000 students from just five years ago.

"This plan really is about benefits to students, and we want to ensure that there is an equitable program for each student in the Rochester City School District. We want our students to attend a school that has a plethora of opportunities. We also want to make sure that there are consistent transition points and not those nine different configurations that exist in the Rochester City School District," Myers-Small said.

She went on to say of all the schools in the city, 12 schools are in receivership, while only 14 are in good standings. Part of her recommendations call for the closure of the following schools:

  • School 7 (Virgil Grissom School ): The RISE Community School No. 106: Would relocate to the current School No. 7 campus, which is located on Dewey Avenue.
  • School 19 (Dr. Charles T. Lunsford School): Adlai E. Stevenson School No. 29 would relocate to the building on Seward Street. The GEM program at School 29 would also be relocated.
  • Andrew J. Townson School No. 39: Students would merge with students from Nathaniel Hawthorne School No. 25.
  • Flower City School No. 54: Montessori Academy School No. 53 would be relocated to this building.
  • Leadership Academy for Young Men in Charlotte

Leadership Academy for Young Men in Charlotte. Others include schools Number 54, and 7.

Again, these are just recommendations. Nothing set in stone.

"We will have a meeting at the schools that are going to be potentially impacted, and we will meet with not only staff and students, but also the school community to get feedback, and to see what type of recommendations that those different stakeholders have," Myers-Small said.

Read her full plans below (mobile users, click here):

RCSD Proposed School Changes by News10NBC on Scribd

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The Rochester Teachers Association weighed in on the suggestion Wednesday evening.

Union president Adam Urbanski said the move would be detrimental to students, their families and school staff.

"I think it’s laying the groundwork for more crowded classrooms and more layoffs of teachers," Urbanski said. "There’s no question that that’s what they’re trying to do — at a time where they’ve got more money than they know what to do with — so this is not done for financial reasons and it doesn’t make any sense educationally, so I don’t understand. Why are they making an already bad situation even worse?"

A public hearing is planned for next month to get additional input for more meetings that will be held early next year.