April 2023

Big picture

Dear Rochester City School District Families,

Next week is spring recess, which means that when we return to school on April 10, we will be heading into the last quarter of the school year.

April marks the beginning of the New York State grades 3-8 assessments in English Language Arts (ELA), mathematics, and science. Students have been taking these annual assessments for more than a decade, and they serve as a tool for teachers to learn about their students’ growth and help them plan instruction. Please encourage your children to get a good night’s sleep so they are ready and prepared to relax and do their best!

I hope you have the opportunity to enjoy time with family and friends next week and that our students use the time to recharge for the last weeks of the school year.


Dr. Carmine Peluso

Superintendent of Schools

Spring Recess

Reminder! Spring recess is next week and that means no school for students Monday, April 3 – Friday, April 7, 2023. All RCSD facilities are closed on Friday, April 7.

Planning ahead:

  • Monday, May 1, and Tuesday, May 16, are Superintendent’s Conference Days: No School for Students
  • Monday, May 15, is the last half-day for students (check dismissal times here)
  • Monday, May 29: All Facilities Closed for Memorial Day

2023-24 Calendar Approved

The school calendar for the 2023-24 school year was approved by the Board of Education on March 23 and is available on the District website here.

Big picture

Summer Expo is Coming!

Families of students in grades K – 8, make this summer one your child will remember. Enroll them in free, fun, engaging activities and programs in July and August at our Summer Expo on Saturday, April 15, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm at John Williams School No. 5, 555 North Plymouth Avenue.

Families can learn about and register for summer programs across the city centered around enrichment, exploration, play, and creativity at schools, R-Centers, and community agencies. We hope to see you there!

New York State Grades 3-8 Assessments

Beginning in April, the District will administer the New York State ELA, mathematics, and science assessments to students in grades 3 - 8. A letter was mailed home to the families of these students with additional information and a detailed schedule, which can be found here.

2023 - 2024 Budget Season

We hope that many of you attended our Community Budget Seminar on March 14. If you were not able to attend, visit www.rcsdk12.org/budget to watch the recording.

Budget deliberations begin in April and end on May 3, with the special Board meeting to adopt the budget on Tuesday, May 9. Please see a list of important dates below and visit the budget webpage to learn more.

  • Wednesday, April 12: Traditional Public Budget Hearing
  • Thursday, April 20: 1st Budget Deliberation Session
  • Wednesday, April 26: 2nd Budget Deliberation Session
  • Wednesday, May 3: 3rd Budget Deliberation Session
  • Tuesday, May 9: Special Board Meeting for Budget Adoption
  • Wednesday, May 10: Summary of 2023-24 RCSD Budget Transmittal and Final 2023-24 Budget due to City Hall

Code of Conduct Public Hearing

The Rochester Board of Education is hosting a public hearing to discuss proposed changes to the District’s Code of Conduct Policy (Policy 1400) on Thursday, April 27, at 5:30 pm, at Central Office, 131 West Broad Street, Conference Room 3A/B.

Interested persons may sign up to speak or submit written comments by noon on the day of the public hearing by emailing publichearing@rcsdk12.org or calling the Rochester Board of Education at 585-262-8525. Anyone wishing to sign up to speak on the Code of Conduct must provide the following information: Name, Telephone Number, and Affiliation. Any interested persons who want to sign up to speak AND need a translator should sign up by April 19, 2023.

Speakers who would like to address the Board virtually must state this when they sign up in order to receive Zoom accommodation. Prior to the meeting, an email will be sent with a Zoom link to those participating virtually.

All materials related to this public hearing will be accessible on the District’s BoardDocs page. Viewers may access a live stream of the public hearing on the District’s YouTube and Facebook accounts and on the website at www.rcsdk12.org/rcsdtv. More information can be found at www.rcsdk12.org/cocpublichearing.

Important Changes with Medicaid, Child Health Plus, and Essential Plan

Families who currently have health insurance through Medicaid, Child Health Plus, and the Essential Plan will need to renew their coverage in the coming year. To prepare for this change, you should take action now by making sure NY State of Health has the correct contact information for every member of your family that is on Medicaid, Child Health Plus, and the Essential Plan. You can update your information by calling 1-855-355-5777. NY State of Health will begin sending renewal notices to enrollees of these programs soon, so please act now!

It is also important to open and respond to all mail from Medicaid, Child Health Plus, and the Essential Plan over the next year to avoid losing your healthcare coverage. We also encourage you to sign up to receive text alerts from NY State of Health by texting “START” to 1-866-988-0327. We want to make sure you have the information you need to protect coverage for your child and other members of your family.

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.

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.

RCSD Parent University Sessions in April

Parent University is proud to offer many courses throughout April around parent resources for supporting their scholars with disabilities, strategies for 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 online registration.

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

Our Academic Habits of Families that Support Student Success Series kicks off on Tuesday, April 11, beginning at 11:00 am, at the Fredrick Douglass R-Center, 999 South Avenue.

Register Now | Learn more about Parent University

April 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 next monthly leadership team meeting on Wednesday, April 12, at 6:00 pm.

The PLAC general membership meeting on May 17 at 6:00 pm will be in person. Vote for where you think it should be held here!

Visit www.rcsdk12.org/plac for more information and email plac@rdsdk12.org with any questions you may have. Help expand the parent voice at the District level!

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, April 17, 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, April 11, 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 (MPAC)

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, April 17, 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.

Spring Athletics

Support our RCSD student-athletes! Check out the athletic event schedules for RCSD high schools on the Rochester City Athletic Conference webpage.

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.

What's on the Menu?

The April breakfast and lunch menus for elementary, middle, and high school students will be posted here before students return from spring recess on Monday, April 10.

Miss a Newsletter?

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