Most school districts in Monroe County are starting class the Tuesday or Wednesday after Labor Day. Here are some of the prominent changes this year in Monroe County schools.
In Rush-Henrietta, nearly every student will see something new when they return to school this month. This is the year that a reconfiguration of nearly every building and the addition of full-day kindergarten, two years in the making, takes effect.
The Crane, Fyle, Leary and Winslow school buildings will all be K-3, with all students, including kindergarteners, going to school for six hours. The Sherman and Vollmer buildings will be grades 4-6, Burger and Roth will be grades 7-9 and the high school will be grades 10-12, with the standalone Ninth Grade Academy eliminated.
Some construction work will continue through September, but district architect David Kaye said in a letter to parents that 99 percent of the work is done.
The project cost about $19 million, paid for with district reserves.
The most immediate benefit is the establishment of full-day kindergarten; Rush-Henrietta had been one of the few districts in the state not to offer it.
It also fixes a district-wide space crunch; allows for more counseling and non-academic activities for younger students; and creates more opportunities for sports and extracurriculars for older students.
Greece Arcadia Middle School had a capital project thrust upon it in March, when the roof was damaged during the windstorm. It now has found problems with the fireproofing beneath that roof, though it’s not clear whether the windstorm was the cause.
The beginning of school was temporarily in jeopardy, but the district has announced the school will open as planned, with the eighth-graders who had occupied that second-floor space being moved to the high school for part of the day, on the same campus.
Openings and closings
There is one new school opening in 2017-18: Exploration Elementary Charter School for Science and Technology, serving students in grades K-1 in its first year.
It will focus on STEM, and to that end has developed a partnership with the Rochester Museum and Science Center. The school is part of the Education Success Network, which also includes Discovery Charter School, EnCompass: Resources for Learning and the Norman Howard School.
Exploration will move into 1001 Lake Ave., near Maplewood Park. That had been the home of Nazareth Elementary, which moves this year to 311 Flower City Park, the former Sacred Heart Cathedral School building.
Two schools in Rochester have closed for good. Rochester Career Mentoring Charter School lost its state charter after five years of operation; Martin Anderson School 1 near Cobb’s Hill Park was closed in connection with the Rochester City School District’s Facilities Modernization Program.
School 19 partnership
This is the first full year for the partnership between Rochester’s School 19 and the College at Geneseo.
It is the second such partnership between an RCSD school and a local college, though it is not as ambitious as the one between East High School and the University of Rochester. It builds on several years of informal collaboration between School 19 teachers and Geneseo’s Ella Cline Shear School of Education.
Two Geneseo education professors will be at the school part-time, and Geneseo teaching students will greatly increase their field work there.