ROCHESTER N.Y. (WROC) – The Rochester city school district held a community wide conversation to discuss plans of closing 11 schools and five buildings.
RCSD Superintendent Carmine Peluso says this idea comes as a way to maneuver through a time of declining enrollment and decreasing birth rates in the area.
Parents, students, and staff members of these schools shared the emotional ties they have with the schools and pleaded with the district to find a different solution.
According to the district they’re currently set up to handle more than 37,000 students; only 21,711 students are enrolled.
Many members of the community shared their understanding of the need to close but say the closures would create more problems.
“If school 10 was to close, what school am I supposed to send my daughter to? I walk her to school every single day,” said one parent.
Teachers and staff voiced their concerns saying if there are no students then there are no jobs for teachers –rather than closing teachers suggested the schools merge. However, Samson Hall, a parent within the district, thought the merger was just as bad of an idea.
” We’ve seen enough problems already with the amount of students and the crowding, classroom sizes. What I don’t want to see is more students in the classrooms potentially causing more problems by disrupting and not allowing students who are there to learn, to actually learn,” said Hall.
His daughter Zola Hall agreed
“We don’t know the types of kids that are going to come here and if they’re going to cause problems because of the rivalry between the schools then that’s going to be another huge problem,” she said.
Charlotte student Infinity Hernandez says she’s attached to the school.
“I’ve had all my siblings go here, I have made a connection myself with the students, the staff, the adults here and it’s made a big impact on me emotionally, physically, and I found a family at my school,” said Hernandez.
As the meeting came to a close the board president Cynthia Elliot emphasized that everyone’s concerns were heard.
“This board has to make some difficult choices and while we may not agree, we certainly will take into consideration what you have spoken about this evening and its tough,” said Elliot.
There will be a second board meeting on Saturday October 14th 11 A.M. at the Wilson Foundation Academy.
The board is scheduled to vote Thursday October 19th.
For a list of the schools and buildings to close in the plan click here.