Parents, teachers, and members of the community all questioning Superintendent Bolgen Vargas about his 10 year facilities plan.
Sara Oliveiri teaches in the district and her son is a student. She likes the idea of modernizing the buildings, "there are buildings that seventh and eighth grade schools are teaching in that don't have chalkboards and it's a science class that requires a lab," said Oliveiri. However, she doesn't want to lose successful programs with the proposed consolidation of two schools, "we need to look at the whole picture," said Oliveiri, "what are the outcomes of doing this, what are the benefits, are we going to be able to hold on to the good programs that we have, and by merging schools what is that going to look like."
Community activist Lynnette Robinson doesn't wand the district to forget about improving student performance while working on the plan for the facilities, "the major focus should be on educating the child no matter where they are educated," said Robinson. She wants the district to find ways to improve learning in the current buildings, "if it cant be upgraded immediately at least the child should have some books to read and they should maybe have homework, books, to take home to study with," explained Robinson.
John Boutet's daughter graduated from the district and he doesn't want to see community schools become a thing of the past with the proposed closings, "I think it's important for the population as a whole in Rochester to have community schools, neighborhood schools, where all the kids are given a good education," explained Boutet.
Superintendent Vargas will take all the concerns into consideration as he works to create a final draft to present to the school board. He will hold seven more public meetings before he submits the final draft of his plan to the school board.
The next public meetings will be held on November 13th from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., and November 14th from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.