Rochester school on the brink of closure; Board working to save it

Rochester schools on the brink of closure; school board looks at ways to save it (WHAM PHOTO)

Rochester, N.Y. -- A Rochester elementary school is on the brink of closure. This, as a new national study released Tuesday, found Rochester schools are one of the worst when it comes to academic growth.

Kodak Park School 41 was placed under receivership status by the state board of education because of a slipping academic performance. The Rochester City School Board of Commissioners met in a special meeting Tuesday night to figure out a way to keep School 41 from closing.

The board came to an agreement that closing is not an option. President Van White told 13WHAM that the board is leaning towards closing the school altogether next summer and reopening with a new curriculum and academic concept. The plan would prevent the schools 500 students from having to disperse to different schools within the district.

If that option sticks, Superintendent Barbara Deane-Williams says she and her district staff will have three months to revamp and turnover the school before the next academic year. She said it will be fast, but it can be done.

A parent told 13WHAM that she supports the decision as long as more parents step to help it become more successful.

"Us parents are the ones that get our kids up for school everyday," said parent and PTO Vice President Angela Rivera. "We make sure it's important for them to go to school everyday and to get their education but people send their kids to school and are not apart of the planning. It's a downfall."

"I think the Commissioner will know that we've had a transparent conversation and I think the best option is to close and reopen to a school that will really serve our students well," said President Van White.

President White says if the school were to close and reopen, the board will make a final decision and consult with state education leaders by March.

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