Residents share their concerns with Rochester Public Schools Attendance Options Redesign

Parents Share Concerns at RPS Board Meeting

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(ABC 6 News) – It’s been a hot topic since November after the Rochester public school board announced their 10-point proposal to cut costs.

This came after the district’s failed tech referendum, leaving them with tough decisions to be made.

Tonight, they continued to address their concerns last month about the proposal.

Including the potential closures of Pinewood Elementary, Riverside Elementary, and Mighty Oaks Early Learning School.

“When I came into work on Nov. 27, I felt blindsided in a way that I couldn’t have imagined,” Pinewood 4th grade teacher Heidi Dube said.

Many in attendance tonight represented the schools up for potential closure, hoping the school board would change their mind.

“There are times that change isn’t good and I feel like this is one of those times,” Pinewood Elementary student Macy Dube said.

Many are concerned with the impacts these changes would have on students.

“They don’t fear change, what they fear is loss, loss of their home away from home, as some of these kids spend more waking hours at school during the school week than they do with their own families,” Heidi Dube said.

Other schools would be affected as well. Lincoln K-8 would move into the former Riverside building, Churchill would become a K-5 school and Hoover would serve only early childhood students.

A part of the proposal that had one man emotional was for Longfellow Elementary to do away with the 45-15 calendar and adopt a traditional school calendar.

“I would like to draw your attention to the recent parent survey conducted by the Longfellow PTA, 100% of participants are in favor of keeping our schedule. This level of unanimous support is rare and speaks volumes about the positive impact our current schedule has on the Longfellow community. An overwhelming 84% of respondents are willing to pay for busing to maintain our schedule,” Mike Skillern said.

With many concerned, RPS will now move forward with hosting information sessions for those who want to learn more about the proposal and continue to make their voices heard.

The schedule is as follows:

Virtual sessions will be held using Google Meets, and in-person sessions will take place in the board room of the Edison Building at 615 7th Street SW. The times and dates of those sessions are as follows: 

  • Wednesday, Dec. 13, 12-1 p.m.: Virtual Session
  • Wednesday, Dec. 13, 7-8:30 p.m.: In-Person session
  • Thursday, Dec. 14, 12-1 p.m.: Virtual Session
  • Thursday, Dec. 14: 7-8:30 p.m.: In-Person session 
  • Monday, Dec. 18, 12-1 p.m.: Virtual Session 
  • Monday, Dec. 18, 7-8:30 p.m.: In-Person Session 
  • Tuesday, Dec. 19, 12-1 p.m.: Virtual Session
  • Tuesday, Dec. 19, 7-8:30 p.m.: In-Person Session