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East High changes on the way

Rochester, N.Y. -- The question isn't if, but when.

East High School, the city's largest school, has failed to meet state academic standards and must undergo a major change, according to district leaders.

A letter sent from the New York State Education Department called for either closure of East, phasing out, conversion to a charter school, or college takeover, according to Superintendent Bolgen Vargas.

Attendance is among the largest problems at East. Only 79 percent of students regularly attend school, according to district records.

The graduation rate for East is 42.2 percent, though the target rate is roughly 60 percent.

"We are exploring all the options available to us that will involve engaging all the parents, students, staff and stakeholders," said Vargas.

Vargas and school board President Van White said a meeting with parents will take place April 10 at 6:30 p.m. at East High.

School leaders said they do not intend to close East and relocate students, but everything else is under consideration. East High is in the midst of a $24 million renovation, according to a district spokesman.

A final plan must be submitted to the state by April 30.

 
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