The RCSD school board assembled the 22-person advisory committee in February, including military officials, teachers, administrators, students, and community members, to create, review, and submit recommendations to the district regarding the feasibility of such a school, within 60 days.
During an announcement Tuesday, the group said the committee found most community members would be in favor of opening the school.
“The first military high school in Rochester, New York is not only feasible, but desirable,” committee member Lt. Col. Ulises Miranda III stated.
According to Miranda, the survey found 70 percent of community members supported the school; 24 percent opposed it, and five percent weren’t sure about opening the school.
Miranda said the school would be a military-style school, with a stand-alone program, and the district would partner with the U.S. Army, as well as apply for a National Defense Cadet Corps, in order to streamline the program.
There would be 75 ninth grade students in the school’s first year, which would then grow to a full enrollment of 450 students in grades seven through 12 by the end of four years.
However, some parents and community members questioned Tuesday, whether the district could afford to open another school, and said they wondered whether the school would create a pipeline for students to head into the military.
Yet, according to RCSD school board president Van White, ultimately, it’s the district’s responsibility to help make a difference in students’ lives.
“We’re saying it makes sense,” White stated. “It is our fiduciary, our spiritual obligation, to our children to attempt to do something that might make a difference in their lives.”
The advisory committee has not yet named a location for the school, and should the program to be approved by the school board, officials said it would take at least a year to plan the new program.