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New STEM Charter School in the Works for Rochester

Iglesia Services, Inc.

A former Rochester City School graduate could be opening a new charter school in the area.

Karen Iglesia, President and CEO of Iglesia Services, Incorporated, graduated from the District and has been providing tutoring services to city school students for the past 17 years. Iglesia is also the Founder of the proposed Infinite Horizons Charter School. She says the dismal graduation right now for Black and Hispanic males in Rochester city schools is the driving force behind her decision to apply for a charter.

"I don't not believe in charter schools, but I was a proponent that we don't want to take money away from city schools, we don't want to take resources,” says Iglesia. “But when we are at this point right now, something has to be done," Iglesia says.

The focus of the charter would be on STEM learning: science, technology, engineering and math. Iglesia says the school will also offer an arts program including piano lessons and on-site dance classes. She says students will be exposed to traditional sports such as basketball and football as well as non-traditional urban school athletics like lacrosse and rugby. Modern etiquette classes and courses on banking will also be part of the curriculum.

“We're in a new mind-set right now so when we say etiquette it's everything,” Iglesia says. “One of the things that's required, all our kids must use a knife and a fork for breakfast, lunch, and supper. Kids don't scoop things up [or] eat things with their hands,” says Iglesia.

If approved by the New York State Board of Regents, Infinite Horizons Charter School will open its doors September 2014. Iglesia says Kindergarten, 1st and 6th grades will be offered the first year the school is open. She says focusing on early-childhood education is priority in addition to reaching students at the start of middle school. Some researchers find that for most students, the process of dropping out begins during the middle school years.