Five 4-year olds from West Irondequoit will attend pre-school at Rochester's School # 50 this fall.
West Irondeqouit school superintendent Jeff Crane says we have a moral imperative to come up with opportunities for all kids to have safe and positive learning environments that are diverse.
"Why would we think that the educational institutions should be so different than the society for which students will prepare themselves and confront?"
Crane said there is not only support throughout the district for the concept of integrated learning programs, there is a waiting list.
"I even have some parents of 3-year-olds who have called to say, 'My child is too young, but if this happens again next year, please call us back.' "
Crane spoke Thursday night at a town hall style meeting sponsored by the Great Schools 4 All Coalition.
Several area educators have expressed an interest in establishing interdistrict magnet schools that would be open to students throughout Monroe County.
Rochester school board president Van White said this model would be a good fit for the military academy he is proposing and which a special advisory committee found support for in the community. The academy would open with 75 ninth graders and grow to a 7th through 12th grade school in several years with 450 students.
A survey earlier this year found that the vast majority of parents in both the city and suburbs want more diversity in schools.