More time. That’s what Rochester Superintendent Bolgen Vargas says the district needs in order to put in place a successful school turn-around plan for East High School. However, Vargas did present a plan to school board members Tuesday night to phase out East and replace it with a new school. That option was one of five given to the district by the State Education Department.
Vargas says while the plan presented Tuesday includes year-long programs at the new school, more neighborhood students, and stronger family engagement, he doesn’t want this option to be the final plan submitted to the state.
"We do have organizations like Johns Hopkins University that are interested if given enough time to put together a proposal," said Vargas. "There are other organizations that want to help us, they do understand the sense of urgency, but in order to execute a plan well we need more time," Vargas said.
Vargas has asked the State Education Department for an extension on its May 15th deadline. He's also asked for an additional year to plan and execute the phase out and replace model. As of now, the District is expected to submit its final proposal by May 15th. The plan would need to be implemented this fall.
Also, The University of Rochester has submitted a letter indicating that it may be interested in managing East High School. The U of R has sent a letter to the NY State Education Commissioner about that idea, but the university would want an extension until February for a final decision so that it would manage the school beginning in the 2015-16 school year.
During the 2014-15 academic year, the U of R would start some initiatives to increase learning opportunities for students at East High.