ROCHESTER N.Y. (WROC) — Moments before the meeting started staff members of School #2 came in chanting “Keep School Two in School Two!”
Third-grade teacher Rachael Feltman stepped away from the crowd to share why they say closing their school isn’t in the best interest of their students.
“Our fear is that our children are going to be absorbed into schools where they’re unfamiliar, causing trauma to their wellbeing and disrupting their lives,” said Feltman.
Commissioner Camille Simmons said she moved to vote against the plan because of these concerns and those expressed by others.
“I’m not comfortable. I’m just not comfortable right now and so I have to just go with that and I’m just going to say it’s going to be a no for me this evening,” said Simmons.
Others say while they heard the concerns of the students, teachers, and parents they ultimately supported the plan to close 11 schools in the district. A majority of the board members agree it’s needed due to a significant decline in student enrollment.
“I’m going to vote to support this, my vote is a yes to support this plan,” said Commissioner Adams.
“A reconfiguration plan can’t just reconfigure our schools. Our resources as a district should be expended as close to the classroom as possible and that is what improves student outcomes. so, the vote from me tonight is going to be a yes,” Commissioner Maloy explained.
Following the vote Superintendent Carmine Peluso released a statement saying “It was not a choice made lightly; rather it was made with a heavy heart and a deep sense of responsibility. We are determined to transform the district to create better opportunities for our students and prepare them for a promising future.”
District leaders said they will work to make sure this is a smooth transition for students and faculty who are affected.