Rochester Community School Board approves restructuring plan

Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 11:16 PM EDT
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ROCHESTER, Ind. (WNDU) - The Rochester Community School Board has approved a restructuring plan that’s aimed at addressing a lack of space in one of the elementary schools.

With this plan, Pre-K through 1st grade will be in Columbia Elementary, 2nd through 4th grade in Riddle, 5th through 7th in the middle school, and 8th through 12th grade in the high school.

“We have such wonderful teachers in the district. We have an administrative team that cares. We are highly structured in our social, emotional deployment and what that means to students,” Rochester Community Schools Superintendent Jana Vance said.

One of the main reasons for the reorganization being the lack of learning space currently in Columbia Elementary.

“This is a great place to work, and it’s just been a blessing to be here, but ever since I’ve been here, we’ve had space issues,” Columbia Elementary Principal Jason Snyder said.

Snyder says the student population is growing, which has forced the school to do things like create workspaces in the hallway and sometimes have more than one class in a classroom.

With the restructuring, the number of kids in the building will go down and ultimately free up some space.

“I think that if we have more space in this building available to the teachers and students that it’s an all-around win for them,” Snyder said.

This plan will also allow 8th graders taking high school courses to not have to switch buildings during the day.

While some parents have concerns about what these changes will look like next school year, Vance is hopeful for the benefits to come.

“I think the teachers are overwhelmed now, but I think moving forward they’re going to see this brings structure and curriculum alignment but also students who are ready to learn at a different level than what we’ve seen before. A lot of changes. It’s exciting, but I know we have the team to do it,” Vance said.

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