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Rochester

RCSD Committee Meets to Review East High School Proposal

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Rochester: RCSD Committee Meets to Review East High School Proposal
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Rochester City School District leaders are considering an organization's proposal to manage East High School after the school's failed academic improvement.

The proposal from an Educational Partnership Organization, or EPO, was in front of a committee Tuesday night at the school district's Central Office Building.

Contracting with an EPO is just one of five options the New York State Education Department is offering to the district to restructure East High.

School leaders said an EPO is an organization that serves as superintendent for a particular school.

"School Turnaround" is a national program that aims to help failing schools and in the proposal, it says it would make sure 100 percent of students graduate with a regional diploma and 100 percent of students would be accepted either into a two- or a four-year college or a trade school.

School Turnaround said it would hold a re-interviewing and re-hiring process with teachers and bring in a new principal. It then said it would put in place a series of strategies to train those teachers to be leaders; all of this in a three-year span.

Committee members raised a number of questions concerning safety, job security, how they will get parents involved, how to improve attendance, and what will the schedule for each grade look like.

Board member and Finance Committee Chair Willa Powell said she is concerned that the proposal said it will only have 1,000 students in the school.

"My concern is, which thousand students?” Powell said. “Are they going to be ‘dumping’ kids into other high schools?"

Most committee members said they just want to know how the organization exactly plans to turn East High around completely in three years.

"I just hope us voicing our concerns, I'm coming here for the students, that we get something that benefits the students,” committee member and East High School student Ana Santiago said. “These kids, they need help and we're just here to make sure that happens."

Superintendent Bolgen Vargas will present his plan for the East High School at a meeting on May 6. An evaluation of the EPO proposal is due to the State Education Department by May 15.

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