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Board, families await Vargas’ proposal

Rochester, N.Y. -- What will happen to East High School? It's a question that's been on the minds of faculty, staff, students, parents and school leaders for months.

"I don't think it's good to close our school," said Shamar McCray, a junior at East High.

Tuesday night, Superintendent Bolgen Vargas will give his formal opinion on the subject. Vargas is scheduled to deliver his thoughts to the city school board Tuesday at the district's central office at 6:30 p.m.

The State Education Department gave the Rochester City School District the following options to revamp poor academic standing at East High:

-Close it and relocate its program

-Phase out the school, replacing it with a new one

-Enter a contract with an educational partnership organization (EPO) to assume administrative control

-Convert to a charter school

-Allow a SUNY school to educate students at the school

Last month, an EPO known as School Turnaround gave a public presentation of its plan for East High.

"They've got to change something," said Gary Thomas Sr., whose son attends East. "I don't think what they're doing now is working that well."

The board could approve the School Turnaround proposal, go with the superintendent's plan, request changes to either, or make another recommendation, according to a spokesman for the district.

Vargas has stated previously that the school will not close. The State Education Department will make the final decision and could choose a different decision altogether.

The district will have to submit its plan by May 15. A change would then be implemented by September, according to the district.

Vargas would not speak with 13WHAM News about his proposal prior the board meeting. School Turnaround did not return a message for comment.

 
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