Tonight is the last of three presentations on the Rochester Schools Modernization Program – the District's billion-dollar renovation and reconfiguration plan. If you're interested where the District's heading in the next decade – and want to ask questions or have input – it's worth checking out. The meeting is at 6 p.m. at School #8, 1180 St. Paul.
Basically, the District is heading toward K-8 and 9-12 schools because it believes the middle school model has failed.
You can find out more about the District's plans at http://www.rcsdk12.org/rsmp
(People who attended last week's meeting were told the questions and answers asked at the meeting would be posted there - and that people would be able to post more questions and get answers - but I don't see any of that at the moment.) You can also see the proposed master plan for the first phase of construction, which would affect Schools 5, 12, 17, 28, 50, 58, Charlotte, Jefferson, Monroe, East, Edison and Franklin
. (And of course Schools 2 and 6
, which the District is proposing shutting down to use as "swing schools.")
The master plan is on line at http://bit.ly/gAIKOf
One thing that came up at last week's meeting is that not all elementary schools can or will be turned into K-8 schools. Schools 22 and 36
, for example, may be too old to be renovated. And Tom Roger, program director for the modernization program, said that "a handful of schools" – either because of their buildings or their sites – are not able to be changed to K-8 schools at a reasonable cost. The example he gave was School 23
No closings are being recommended now, because the District needs all the space during the construction, Roger said. But at the end of the project, the District will have to decide whether certain buildings -- such as School 2
3 -- "get surplused" or can be used to accommodate special programs.
So even if your school is NOT part of Phase I, it might be worth asking what's in store down the road. And don't forget to come share what you learn with the rest of us!