‘We are tired of all this turnover’: Parents speak out at first RCSD board meeting since superintendent’s departure announced

RCSD’s first board meeting since superintendent’s departure announced

RSCD's first board meeting since superintendent's departure announced

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Thursday night was the first meeting of the Rochester City School District Board of Education since Superintendent Dr. Carmine Peluso announced he’ll be taking a job to lead Churchville-Chili schools.

Despite claims by Teachers Association President Adam Urbanski that the school board, or members of it, forced Peluso to leave the Rochester district, board President Cynthia Elliott says she doesn’t blame the board.

Bret Vetter: Would you place the blame for his departure on the board?
Cynthia Elliott, RCSD Board of Education president: No, I’m not going to place the blame on the board. He’s got people who support him. The leadership supports him.

Elliott did acknowledge the board has been dealing with some growing pains.

“We want to make sure we stay in our lane as a board. Some of us — in learning — have not stayed in our lane, and that’s because people are new.”

At the first school board meeting since the announcement was made on Tuesday, parents and student advocates like Maria Gonzalez expressed frustration with the decision.

“It’s sad that he has to go. I’m glad that he’s found a new job for his benefit. But you know, like I said, I’m here to represent the students,” Gonzalez said.

Speaking directly to the board, one parent said she is tired of the turnover.

“We are exhausted. We are tired of all of this turnover. We are tired of this dysfunctional board. We are tired of decisions being made that directly affect us and our children,” said Catherine Bauroth, vice president of Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC).

According to Elliott, the board is aware of their concerns and says that the selection process for a new superintendent will take time.

“We are going to talk about an interim superintendent at this point. and then we will figure out the rest as we go along. We have not established a timeline at this point,” Elliott said.

Moving forward, Elliot says that the school board intends on carrying the student initiatives Peluso set into motion in place.