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The fate of East High

Rochester, N.Y. -- Students, parents, teachers and even alumni gathered to hear the principal and city school superintendent talk about what will happen to East High School.

Principal Anibal Soler said this meeting is supposed to clear up that misconception about the school's future.

"The hope is that it may still carry the East High name, different look and different feel," Soler said.

Citing a 42 percent graduation rate and 79 percent attendance rate, the New York State Department of Education is demanding changes. Either the school must close, phase out, allow a state university to help, or convent to a charter school.

Morgan Ward graduated from East High in 2010. She attended Wednesday's meeting to support a plan to keep her alma matter open in some form.

"It made such a difference for me growing up," she said. "My little cousin is in seventh grade. It makes me sad to not go here and have that opportunity.

Ward said she isn't convinced the options given by the state will help matters, and neither is the school principal.

Soler insisted the school is making progress and blamed what he called the state's changing standards.

"We never dipped down in the graduation rates," Soler said. "We've stayed around 42 percent. In my first couple of years, we took a bump."

But at the meeting, students, parents and teachers wanted more action and answers, and Soler said he understands that.

The district has until April 30 to submit a final detailed plan based on the options the New York State Department of Education has provided.

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Washington Times