RCSD outlines reorganization plan: 11 schools to close, some to reopen under new name
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — After a more than 40% drop in enrollment over the past 20 years, the Rochester City School District superintendent has a plan to reorganize the district. He presented that plan Tuesday night.
Superintendent Carmine Peluso presented the reorganization plan that would go into effect next September, if approved.
He says the move will align with new grade structure approved by the Board of Education last year, with all schools organized as pre-K to 6th grade, 7-8th grade, and 9-12th grade.
“Right now we have eight different, nine different configurations; that gets confusing — when does my kid go to what school, when do I transition? We’re trying to make this as easy as for our families to be pre-K-6, 7-8 and 9-12 structure for the most part as a district so that we can provide them with high-quality opportunities,” Peluso said.
But Peluso’s plan also includes closing 11 schools, along with five buildings.
“Some of my school closures had to happen because I needed those facilities for 7-8 buildings or a 9-12 building. So those schools close, but those buildings will still be in operation. Building closure, we no longer need that building for students,” Peluso said.
Obviously, this will impact a lot of students and staff.
Peluso is recommending students in K-5 stay in their schools if they’re not closing. Most 7th graders will go to a 7-8 school in their zone. And students in closing schools will participate in a special lottery.
Declining enrollment is a driving factor.
“Our K-12 enrollment is 19,590 for ’23-’24, that is what we are projecting. You go ten years down the line, 2032-2033, we are projecting if we continue on this trend if we don’t address this, we are going to be a district of 14,000 students,” Peluso said.
So why all these changes now?
Marsha Augustin: There was some pushback with the previous superintendent when a reconfiguration plan was pushed. It seems the board is more open to this plan; can you tell me why?
Cynthia Elliott, Board of Education president: I think because we have more information to be able to make the right decision.
There is also a recommendation for school zoning, which means kids will have to attend a school based on where they live. But they can submit a request if they would like to attend a particular school.
Building closures: schools 20, 29, 39, 44, 106
School closures: (elementary) 2, 10, 29, 39, 106, Wilson Foundation; (middle) Franklin Lower, Monroe Lower; (high school) Franklin NE Zone, NE College Prep
— Students in K-5 remain in their schools if not closing.
— 7th graders in Northwest, East Lower, School of the Arts and World of Inquiry will remain
— All other 7th graders will attend a 7-8 school in their zone
— Students in closing schools (2, 3, 10, 29, 39, 106, Franklin Upper, NE College Prep) will participate in a special lottery
— Students with multiple disabilities (GEM) will move to school 45
–NorthSTAR Program students will move to the Franklin Campus
Elementary schools (citywide, PK-6)
— School 25 will move into 190 Reynolds St.
— School 53 will move into Dr. Walter Cooper Campus
Middle schools (7-8)
— New middle school at 200 Genesee St.
— Charlotte Campus
— East EPO
— Freddie Thomas Campus
— Jefferson Campus
High school (9-12)
— Rochester Early College High School will move into Dr. Alice Holloway-Young Campus
— New high school at the Franklin Campus