lesli myers-small

James Brown / WXXI News

More Rochester City School District students than previously announced will participate in hybrid learning, Superintendent Lesli Myers-Small announced Wednesday on Twitter. 

“For the sake of equity and opportunity to that of elementary students, I have asked my team to work on a plan that could bring those students who selected hybrid learning in grades 7-12 back into our buildings for two days of in-person learning in early 2021,” Myers-Small tweeted.

Rochester City School District

Rochester City School District Superintendent Lesli Myers-Small laid out a plan Thursday night to reopen school buildings for city school students. All students have attended classes remotely so far this school year.

Students would have the option to attend school in person a few days a week and continue remotely on the other days. It would start with elementary school students with middle and high school students  phased in later. The plan is subject to change due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

We talk with Rochester City School District Superintendent Lesli Myers-Small and Rochester Teachers Association President Adam Urbanski about the latest news from the district.

Myers-Small announced Thursday that RCSD students with disabilities who are in specialized programs will have the option of returning to the classroom in-person four days a week, beginning in January.

We discuss the plan, the surveys the district and the RTA sent to teachers, students, and families to help make the decision, and what they expect in the months ahead. Our guests:


Rochester City School District students with disabilities who are in specialized programs will return to school buildings in January, four days a week. The announcement was made in a statement from Superintendent Lesli Myers-Small Thursday.

“We must continue to provide meaningful instruction during this pandemic. While we would love to bring all of our students back into school buildings, this is the smartest decision to ensure the health and safety of students, their families, and our staff,” said Myers-Small. 

The Rochester City School District is looking to implement substantial budget cuts to deal with the current financial situation.

Superintendent Lesli Myers-Small outlined the changes during an update she provided to the Board of Education’s Finance Committee on Tuesday evening.

Myers-Small outlined what the district says is a conservative approach to spending and talked about a structural budget deficit projected at $59.3 million during this fiscal year and a budget gap for the 2021-22 school year projected at $74 million.

Rochester City School District/Zoom

The first of five forums to be held by the Rochester City School District on its reopening plan for the upcoming school year had to be abruptly canceled soon after it started on Saturday after it was bombarded by a series of racist and obscene comments.

The comments were typed into the chat function of the open Zoom call and there were also comments scrawled on the PowerPoint presentation that District Superintendent Lesli Myers-Small had started the session with.

There was a big change announced Thursday regarding the start of the upcoming school year for the Rochester City School District - all classes will be held remotely for at least the first ten weeks of the school year.

Originally, like a lot of districts, RCSD was going to use a hybrid model -- a combination of in-class and remote learning. For RCSD, that hybrid model would have been used for Pre-K through 4th grade; students in 5th  through 12th grades would have continued with distance learning unless they were in specialized programs.

Emily Hunt for WXXI News

When she was an undergraduate college student, Lesli Myers-Small said she considered going to medical school.

But the superintendent of the Rochester City School District never imagined she would have to understand so much about health and medicine in her career in education.

"It's been challenging," Myers-Small said about preparing for a new school year in the midst of a global health pandemic that is filled with uncertainties.

Rochester City School District

Rochester City School Superintendent Lesli Myers-Small introduced a hybrid plan Thursday for reopening district buildings. Last school year, all students finished the year learning remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A return-to-school plan from all districts was ordered by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

A new survey from the Rochester City School District asks students, parents and staff their concerns and questions about reopening schools. 

“The survey was released to help better understand the concerns and/or questions individuals have regarding the reopening of schools this fall,” a statement from the district said.

The feedback is expected to be used along with guidance from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and national, state and local health officials.