Families are getting the first chance to see where they may be going to school in the future as a result of boundary changes at the district level, as well as provide a little feedback on what they think.
Rochester Public Schools is altering its boundaries since it's in the process of adding a new elementary school, a new middle school, and rebuilding two existing elementary schools. The new boundary changes will take effect at the start of the 2022-23 school year.
The district has contracted with a firm, Cooperative Strategies, and created a committee to spearhead the changes. As of Tuesday, the district revealed a website that allows the public to see what schools they would be assigned to based on their addresses within the district.
"That will be a fun tool for the public to take a look at, and to really dial in on their own address," said RPS Finance Director John Carlson. "We really want people to engage with that tool and provide feedback so we can keep moving forward in this process."
The process is by no means finished, which is clear enough from the website itself. In fact, rather than create and request feedback on a single version of changes, the committee created three different scenarios. Once someone types their address into the website, they can see what schools they would go to under the current boundaries as well as all three of the proposed alternatives.
In addition to the website showing the different possibilities, the district has released a survey to gain feedback from the public. Within the survey, participants can watch videos describing each of the proposed boundary changes.
Readjusting school boundaries is a complex process. The district's website lists 16 elementary schools alone, not counting the new Overland Elementary, which is still under construction.
The videos in the survey show how some populations currently assigned to a given school would subsequently be assigned a different school. They show what the socioeconomic makeup of the schools would be under the new changes and how close each school would be to capacity. It also explains what percentage of students would be within the boundaries of their closest schools.
In some cases, whole programs would move. In the video showing the second proposal, the narrator explains how the Montessori program would move from its current home at Franklin Elementary to Churchill-Hoover Elementary.