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RCSD changes last day of class

Rochester, N.Y. Parents in the Rochester City School District received surprising news Wednesday.

The last day of classes was originally scheduled on Thursday, June 26. But in a letter emailed to parents, Superintendent Dr. Vargas said the last day will now be Wednesday, June 25.

Dr. Vargas cited that many staff members in elementary, and kindergarten through 8th grade schools have asked to use Thursday as a non-instructional day to close their classrooms.

His decision has parents frustrated. Many took to social media and group pages to share their frustration. Parents like Lisa Button who says this was too short a notice.

Why is this happening now when its something thats been scheduled, and many schools have planned for this, months in advance, says Button. Now were being told a week before that the dates changed. Its rough on families with childcare. They have plans, they have things in place, and they have to reschedule their whole life.

Parents say they understand teachers need the time but question the thought process behind the decision.

The district says parents should expect a robocall to remind them of the change.

Below is the full email Superintendent Dr. Vargas sent to parents:

Many staff members in elementary and K-8 schools have asked to use Thursday, June 26th currently the last day of school for studentsas a non-instructional day to close up their classrooms. They have noted that high school students will not be in school, because June 25th is the last day of Regents exams.

Recognizing the hard work that our teachers, staff members and students at all grade levels are doing to improve student achievement, I have decided to grant this request.
Next Wednesday, June 25th, will be the last day of instruction for all Rochester students. Thursday, June 26th will be the last day of school for teachers and staff members who work on a 10-month schedule. All students and staff should attend school through their last day to finish the year on a strong instructional note.

I encourage our high-school students to spend their time over the next seven days to prepare for their Regents exams and do their best. Our elementary students will benefit from classroom instruction through next Wednesday. After that, all students should use our summer programs and summer reading to continue learning in July and August, preparing for a strong start to the next school year.

Last year at this time, I noted that Rochester students received the least instructional time of any children in Monroe County. This year, I am pleased to say that is no longer true. By eliminating early-dismissal Wednesdays, requiring buses to arrive before school starts and extending the day in some schools, our students no longer receive the least amount of instruction.

It is vital that we use our instructional time to help students improve academic achievement. With that in mind, I did not make this decision lightly. But it is also important to recognize the hard work our school communities are doing, and the desire of staff for time to close their classrooms in an orderly fashion.

We will send a Robocall next week as a reminder of this change. In the meantime, I ask our staff and students to stay focused on their work as you look forward to the beginning of summer break next week.

Sincerely,
Bolgen Vargas
Superintendent of Schools

 
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