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Rochester Board of Education

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. 

Former Urban League CEO William Clark has joined the Rochester Board of Education. 

Clark was CEO of the Urban League of Greater Rochester for 38 years. He replaces Natalie Sheppard, who left the board for a position at the Monroe County Board of Elections in August.

David Andretta / CITY

Natalie Sheppard is leaving the Rochester Board of Education to join the Monroe County Board of Elections.

Board President Van White said Sheppard informed the board of her decision on Thursday. She joins the Board of Elections as a deputy to new Democratic Commissioner Jackie Ortiz. White expects a resignation letter from Sheppard sometime Friday.

Sheppard’s resignation leaves an opening on the school board that White said needs to be filled in about a month.

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.

The state education department has approved a continued relationship between the University of Rochester and the Rochester City School District. 

The university has run East High School in partnership with the district for the last five years. The Rochester Board of Education, in a split vote, approved an extension a few months ago. 

James Brown / WXXI

On Thursday, Rochester residents are expected to have their first chance to talk to Shelley Jallow, the state-appointed monitor for the city school district.

Jallow was appointed last month as part of a deal with the state to bail out the district in April. The district was short more than $30 million and was running low on options for funding, until the state stepped in. Jallow told the board last week that one of her chief concerns center’s on the district’s strategic planning. 

James Brown

The Rochester City School Board adopted a budget Thursday night for the upcoming school year. The plan was designed to bridge an $87 million budget gap. It passed by a 6-1 vote with Commissioner Beatriz LeBron voting no. 

The plan cuts more than 300 teaching and staffing positions, and closes five elementary schools. One of those school will be converted into a Pre-K center and another into a middle school, among numerous other changes.

NYS Comptroller's Audit of the Rochester City School District

About six years ago, Rochester’s Board of Education received a presentation from former Superintendent Bolgen Vargas, and then-Chief Financial Officer William Ansbrow. 

Ansbrow said: “If ‘this’ continues, the district’s finances will hit rock bottom within three to five years.” 

Rochester Board of Education President Van White said he was “blindsided” by the resignation of superintendent Terry Dade. 

White said the board learned of Dade’s desire to leave the district on Wednesday shortly before it became public. Dade cited conflict with the board as the reason for his departure. He’s leaving on July 23, to run Cornwall’s school district downstate.

Rochester City School District

A plan to lay off 341 Rochester City School staffers and close two schools was announced Tuesday night.

Superintendent Terry Dade had to revise his budget proposal after New York state kept education funding flat year to year. But costs went up and added about $24 million to the district's budget deficit which was about $60 million.

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