March 2023

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Dear Rochester City School District Families,

Last month, I presented to the Board of Education the preliminary 2023-2024 draft budget with Shawn Farr, the District’s Chief Financial Officer. In this presentation, we outlined the revenue, expenses, key assumptions, and next steps in the budget process. I encourage you to visit the budget webpage at www.rcsdk12.org/budget, where you can view key budget dates, access presentations, and review past budget information.

We want your involvement in our budget process. Learn more at our Community Budget Seminar, where we will share an overview of how funding is allocated to provide equitable resources for all students in the RCSD. This event will take place at Central Office on Tuesday, March 14, at 5:30 pm.

Communication between home and school is integral in supporting students and helping them find success. The next opportunity to schedule parent-teacher conferences is next week. As we are halfway into the third quarter of the school year, now is a good time to check in with your children’s teachers.

March is Women’s History Month, and I want to acknowledge all of our students who will be participating in a celebration at our monthly Board of Education business meeting on Thursday, March 23. We have talented students all across the District, and I hope you will join me in congratulating them on their achievements.

In honor of Women’s History Month, I want to recognize two important women in my life. My mother, who inspired me to be an educator, and my wife, who has been a teacher in our District for more than 23 years. They both have my utmost respect, love, and admiration. I hope you also take the time this month to honor the important women in your lives and acknowledge their impact on you.


Dr. Carmine Peluso

Superintendent of Schools

Early Dismissal on March 3

REMINDER! Friday, March 3 is a half-day for students – check dismissal times here.

Driver’s Education is Now Available to RCSD Students!

Driver’s Education is instrumental in preparing students for the real world and providing them access to post-secondary and career opportunities. As an initiative through the Career and Technical Education Department, classes are now being offered at various high schools across the District. Classes are offered throughout the school day, after-school, or on the weekend depending on each school’s needs. In addition, the District is planning to offer Driver’s Education classes to scholars over the summer. If you are interested in learning more about Driver’s Education classes in the RCSD, please complete the form here.

Learn About the RCSD Budget Process

Families, we want your involvement in the RCSD budget process. Learn more at our Community Budget Seminar, where you will receive an overview of how funding is allocated to provide equitable resources for all students in the RCSD. This event will take place at Central Office, 131 W. Broad Street, on Tuesday, March 14, at 5:30 pm.

To learn more about the RCSD budget, visit www.rcsdk12.org/budget. If you would like to attend and need an interpreter, please send an email to boardofeducation@rcsdk12.org with the language you are requesting – Arabic, Nepali, Somali, or Spanish – no later than Monday. March 6.

Last Chance to Find the Perfect Summer Job! Applications close on March 31, so apply now! Summer of Opportunity is an employment program for youth, ages 14-20, who are still in middle school, high school, or a high school equivalency program (TASC). The program is designed to provide work readiness training and employment opportunities to youth while making a direct connection to success in school. Visit www.Rocsummeryouth.com for more information.

Students will need the following after they have applied:

  • Current Work Permit
  • Official Report Card
  • Photo ID
  • Social Security Card

Work Permit applications are processed and issued at your child’s school – see www.rcsdk12.org/workpermit for more information.

Get College Ready

If you need help preparing your child for college and beyond, then look no further – visit www.rcsdk12.org/collegeready today! This website is a one-stop shop designed to help support students with the whole college process, with information on community events, college applications, scholarships, and more. Check back regularly, as this information is continually updated.

Consider applying to a Historically Black College and University (HBCU)! They consistently outperform non-HBCUs in student experience, affordability, and after-college preparedness for Black students. Many HBCUs use the Common Black College Application, which allows students to apply to many schools using a single application – it saves time and reduces the need to fill out multiple forms!

Also, if you haven’t checked out Naviance with your child, ask them about it! There are many great college and career-readiness activities to help prepare students in grades 7 -12 for the next step in their educational journey. As always, students should reach out to their school counselor for assistance. For a complete list of school counselors by school, click here.

High School Juniors Take the SAT for Free

Did you know that SAT exams help open up scholarship opportunities for students and prepare them for college? On Wednesday, March 22, students in 11th grade will have the opportunity to take the SAT exam, free of charge, during the school day.

We encourage students to take advantage of the free personalized practice tests through Khan Academy, which can be found here. Students who have early and frequent exposure to practice exams tend to fare better on the SAT.

For more information, please contact your child’s school counselor. Contact information for each school is available at www.rcsdk12.org/schools.

Scholarships to Help Pay for College

There are many scholarships available to help students and families pay for college, and now is the time to apply! Visit www.rcsdk12.org/collegeready for a list of scholarship opportunities, resources, and how-to videos to help with the application process. As always, students can also connect with their school counselors for assistance.

Credit Earning Opportunity

If you have a student in grades 9 – 12 who is looking for the opportunity to earn an additional elective credit, take a Dual Credit course in preparation for college, or schedule time to complete an Online Credit Recovery (OCR) class, then sign them up for Innovation Academy!

Innovation Academy is a virtual learning program that allows students to complete an Initial, OCR, or Dual Credit course outside of the traditional school day. The program has the flexibility of asynchronous learning while you complete your work at a guided pace with the support of certified RCSD content teachers. Classes are scheduled on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays in an assigned Zoom meeting room. To learn more about the courses being offered this school year, including registration, please connect with your school counselor. If you have any questions not related to registration, reach out to our Innovation Academy Program Director, Katherine Orem, at Katherine.Orem@rcsdk12.org.

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Spring Athletics

It is time to register for spring sports! The Freshman, JV, and Varsity seasons begin on March 13 and the modified season begins on March 27. Families of students interested in playing a spring sport need to register through FamilyID. Registration is open now. The deadline to register is two weeks after the official season begins, so act today!

Athletic event schedules for RCSD high schools can be found on the Rochester City Athletic Conference webpage.

Women's History Month Celebration

On Thursday, March 23, the RCSD and Board of Education will present the Women’s History Month Celebration: Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories. Each year, high academic women scholars who demonstrate outstanding leadership and community service are recognized as recipients of the Susan B. Anthony Award. Please join us for a reception at 4:30 pm, with the program beginning at 5:00 pm.

RCSD Parent University Sessions in March

Parent University is proud to offer many courses throughout the month of March around Restorative Practices, unlocking your child’s hidden potential, and exploration and play with your family.

Parent University is a series of free programs and events meant to educate and empower parents within our District and the Rochester community. RTS bus passes, childcare, and interpretation services are available for participating families for any session with advanced notice via phone (324-9999) or via online registration.

Visit www.rcsdk12.org/parentuniversity today or see our flyer to learn more about each session and enroll you and your family in one or more events happening now through June.

Our Restorative Practice series kicks off on Tuesday, March 7, beginning at 11:00 am at the David Gantt R-Center.

Register Now | Learn more about Parent University

March Parent Group Meetings

Parent Leadership Advisory Council (PLAC)

Attention all parents and caregivers of RCSD students – we want you to become a member of PLAC – join today here. While the general membership meetings occur quarterly, with the next one on May 17, you are also invited to attend the monthly leadership team meeting on March 8 at 6:00 pm. Visit www.rcsdk12.org/plac for more information.

Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC)

All parents and caregivers of RCSD students with an IEP or 504 plan are invited to join SEPAC. Monthly meetings provide an opportunity for parents to meet other parents, RCSD staff, and community partners. Additionally, if you would like to be more involved, you can apply to be a SEPAC Parent Representative. The next meeting is Monday, March 13, at 6:00 pm. Email rcsdsepac@gmail.com for the Zoom link, meeting information, and additional information about SEPAC.

Bilingual Education Council (BEC)

BEC is made up of parents, community organizations, students, teachers, and administrators of the RCSD who have demonstrated their concern for the development of bilingual education. This group advises the Superintendent on matters related to bilingual education, including curriculum, instructional materials, and cultural issues. The next meeting is Tuesday, March 14, at 5:00 pm, at the Trenton and Pamela Jackson R-Center, 485 North Clinton Avenue, 14605. For more information, email bec@rcsdk12.org.

Multilingual Parent Advisory Council

All parents and guardians of students who are learning English as a new language are encouraged to attend a monthly MPAC meeting. The purpose of MPAC is to encourage and support parental involvement and participation in English Language Learners’ programming and academic achievement. The next meeting is Monday, March 20, at 3:30 pm, at the Office of Adult and Career Education Services (OACES), 30 Hart Street, 14605. Email mpac@rcsdk12.org for more information.

Do you want to make a lasting impact on your school community? Get valuable insights on how to build connections and advocate effectively for the success of all children. Hear from a panel of educators and community members, including Superintendent Dr. Carmine Peluso, who will share their knowledge and best practices for providing families a voice in their children’s education. Take the first step and be a part of the conversation taking place at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, March 22, at East High School. Click here to learn more and register for this free event.

Did you know that if you are a custodial caregiver of a student in the RCSD then you could be receiving text messages from us? All you need is a mobile number on file to opt in to this feature. If you do not have a mobile number on file, simply reach out to your child’s school to update your contact information. For more information about SMS texting or how to opt in or out of receiving messages, visit www.rcsdk12.org/text.

School Closings for Inclement Weather

In the event of a school closure or delayed opening due to inclement weather or other emergency condition, the District notifies all families via robocall and email. Announcements are also shared with local television and radio stations and posted on the District’s website and social media pages.

What's on the Menu?

Check out the March breakfast and lunch menus for elementary, middle, and high school students here.

Miss a Newsletter?

All of our 2022-23 family newsletters are posted on the District's website here.