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RCSD superintendent asks for independent review to assure families about reopening plans


The superintendent of the Rochester City School District, Lesli Myers-Small, is asking for an independent review of the district's plan to reopen school buildings.

Myers-Small made the request Friday to Jo Anne Antonacci, Monroe BOCES superintendent and chair of the Finger Lakes Reopening Schools Safely Task Force.

Myers-Small's request is in connection with the upcoming plan to phase-in a return to the classroom for some city school students.

The district got some pushback on the plan recently from the teacher's union. Rochester Teachers Association President Adam Urbanski has urged the district to pause in-person instruction until there is a comprehensive plan for instruction and until teachers have the opportunity to be fully vaccinated.

In her letter to the task force chair, Myers-Small said the district has worked closely with the Monroe County Health department and other experts on the reopening plan. The superintendent hopes an independent review of its reopening plan will provide further assurances of its safety.

Myers-Small said that with every other district in the county already having reopened, she is worried about a call by the Rochester Teachers Association to keep city schools closed when its students face significant educational disparities.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.