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Hundreds came out to a town hall meeting Wednesday night about the future of Rochester's East High School.
Parents, teachers, faculty and staff met to discuss the options given to the district by the state under the goal of improving academic progress.
The options include closing the school and relocating students, phasing out the school and replacing it with a new school, having an educational partnership organization take over administration of the school, converting East to a private school or allowing SUNY to provide the education.
Many of the people who spoke during this state mandated town hall told superintendent Bolgen Vargas what East High means to them.
"East High has a 111-year history. We estimate 20,000 living alumni," said alumnae Kari Bittner.
Pedro Mateo's son is a 9th grader at this school and he wants him to finish where he started.
"We find that the academic, we're not going to find it in other schools. He takes IT, let's say as an example, and there's no other school that he can join and do the stuff he does here," Mateo said.
Students acknowledge the school has issues, but some said it's not all bad all the time.
"If we set some more standards for the students, it would be good, because in one of my classes, on a good day we have 12 students and the roster has 25," said one student.
Principal Anibal Soler said that over the past few years, the school has consistently graduated a little more than 40 percent of its class. According to the state, that needs to change, and Vargas has several options given by the state on how to do that.
"The one I would prefer to see is that nothing significant changes with the school's name and the school's legacy. I think it's a good opportunity to maybe revisit some things that we can do better as a school system," Soler said.
Vargas said advice from parents and students will factor into the district's final decision.
"Many of the staff have said to us that they need more support from central office, probably things that are getting in the way, that we need to work together in a more aggressive way to turn this school around," Vargas said.
A public hearing will be held April 10.
- See more at: http://rochester.twcnews.com/content/news/722079/school-community-meets-about-future-of-east-high/#sthash.S1GCSkSs.dpuf