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RCSD superintendent asks for independent review of reopening plans


Rochester city schools Superintendent Leslie Myers-Small is asking for an independent review of the district's plan to reopen school buildings.

In a letter to Jo Anne Antonacci, Monroe BOCES District Superintendent and Chair of the Finger Lakes Reopening Schools Safely Task Force, Myers-Small said the district has worked closely with the Monroe County Health department and other experts on the reopening plan. The superintendent hopes an independent review of its reopening plan will provide further assurances of its safety.

A few hundred students in the district have already resumed in person instruction and it has planned for more to come back to the classroom in February. But the district recently received pushback on the plan from the Rochester Teachers Association.  Adam Urbanski, the union's president, has urged the district to pause in-person instruction until there is a comprehensive plan for instruction and until teachers have the opportunity to be fully vaccinated.

Myers-Small has said that with every other district in the county already having reopened, she is worried about a call by the Rochester Teachers Association to keep city schools closed when its students face significant educational disparities.

Randy Gorbman is the news director at WXXI News, a media partner of CITY. He can be reached at