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What's next for the RCSD?


In a system wracked by uncertainty and instability, there are more questions than ever about the Rochester school district's future. Among the most recent developments:

• Mayor Lovely Warren has continued her push for a change in the district's governance. Last week she released a video supporting an idea that the local state Regents had discussed, to have the state take control of the district for up to five years. Some local legislators and the state teachers union oppose it, though, so it's not likely to go anywhere.

• Rochester-area state Assembly member Harry Bronson, who opposes a state take-over, said he's working on legislation that would "clearly articulate" the school board's responsibilities; encourage the development of community schools, with more involvement by outside agencies; and create a Children's Advisory Council.

• Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia and the local Regents are said to be still trying to come up with a proposal related to the district's governance, something that the state legislature could accept. But the legislative session ends on June 19, and the next one doesn't begin until January 2020.

• Distinguished Educator Jaime Aquino, who wrote the report that helped to galvanize community concern about the district's problems, announced that he's leaving the district this week.

• The school board and administration have completed their revised improvement plan, which is based on Aquino's recommendations. Board President Van White says the district will meet Elia's June 6 deadline.

• Interim Superintendent Daniel Lowengard is preparing to hand the district over to new Superintendent Terry Dade. Dade, whose official start date isn't until July 1, is already spending time in Rochester. And he's planning a July retreat with board members to define their respective roles.