Special lottery for RCSD school placement starts Friday

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The Rochester City School District’s special lottery for schools affected by the reconfiguration — under which 11 schools and five buildings are to close — will begin on Friday, Dec. 1. the lottery will run through Jan. 5.

“The special lottery affects K-5 students in closing schools, 9-11 students at Franklin and Northeast, and many of our seventh graders,” Superintendent Carmine Peluso said during Thursday’s Board of Education meeting. The students and schools affected are detailed at https://www.rcsdk12.org/speciallottery

A PowerSchool Parent Portal is needed to participate in the special lottery. To learn how to create an account and link children to the account, go to www.rcsdk12.org/parentportal.

“Please know that exceptions will be made for students in highly specialized education programs in all zones and bilingual programs in the south zone. Those families will be contacted separately,” Peluso said.

He added that students who do not take part in the special lottery will be placed in schools closest to their homes where space is available, after the selection process is complete.

To help families make their choices, Peluso said he has requested that all elementary schools host open houses for families in the impacted schools. “This is an opportunity for parents to tour new schools in their zone, so as they begin to make choices for schools in their zone, they have opportunity to visit those schools, see those schools, ask questions – and that’s really important, so I know they’re making as much of an informed decision as possible,” Peluso said.

Open houses are set as follows:

School 46: Dec. 7, 5:30 p.m.

School 33: Dec. 11, 4 p.m.

School 28: Dec. 12, 5 p.m.

School 9: Dec. 13, 2 p.m.

School 45: Dec. 13, 5 p.m.

School 22: Dec. 14, 5 p.m.

School 50: Dec. 18, 4 p.m.

School 52: Dec. 19, 4 p.m.

School 8: Dec. 20, 3 p.m.

School 17: Dec. 13, 4 p.m.

School 34: Dec. 13, 4 p.m.

School 42: Dec. 13, 5 p.m.

School 54: Dec. 14, 4 p.m.

School 5: Dec. 19, 4 p.m.

School 7: Dec. 20, 4 p.m.

School 12: Dec. 11, 4 p.m.

School 23: Dec. 12, 5 p.m.

School 4: Dec. 13, 5 p.m.

School 16: Dec. 14, 5 p.m.

School 19: Dec. 18. 5 p.m.

School 35: Dec. 19, 5 p.m.

School 53: Dec. 20, 5 p.m.

Peluso said the lottery is the first part of what he calls “Invest in Tomorrow,” a vision for the district’s future. According to a release from the district, “It will align the number of buildings with the student enrollment and provide access to extracurricular activities and resources for social and emotional well-being at all schools.  Moreover, it will strengthen relationships with students and families.”

“I’m hoping that with this campaign and other campaigns that it is going to draw our people back from charter schools and other schools, such that they will be able to see the great work that we’re doing,” Board of Education President Cynthia Elliott said after Peluso’s presentation. “We didn’t do a good job before, and that’s why they left. But I want every child in every charter school back in this district, I don’t even make any bones about that. But we’ve got to do it right.”