RSCD hosts community forum ahead of planned school reorganization

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Parents gathered for the second community meeting this week hosted by Rochester City School to give people the opportunity to voice their feedback over the district’s plan to reorganize and close 11 schools.

Parents like Crissy Miller, who has a student that attends School 29, said today’s forum comes too little, too late.

“If they would have done a little bit better than maybe we would have been like okay. Let’s plan something different,” Miller said.

Students at School 29 are among those who will be in a lottery and placed in a different school at the end of this academic school year.

Miller said that parents should have been at the table before any decision to close schools was made.

“Ya know, they are making the decision for our children. But we are the parents. We make the decisions for our children, not them. So, they need to actually go back to the table and do things better,” Miller said.

At Saturday’s meeting, Rochester City School District Board of Education President Cynthia Elliot sympathized with parents but made it clear that reorganizing schools is a necessity.

“We have low enrollment that’s essentially it. Ya know, overall the district at one point had enrollments of 37,000 and now down to about 21,000,” Elliot said.

Enrollment numbers that the district officials expect to drop even more in the coming years.

“It is projected that in the year 2030, 2032, that the enrollment will get to as low as 14,000,” Elliot said.

Despite the projections, Miller said that she hopes district officials will reconsider before voting on finalizing the plan.

“So, they need to actually delay their votes so everybody can come to the table as one, as parents, community members, staff, and children,” Miller said.

The school board will vote on the reorganization plan on October 19.