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Parents talk with Rochester Public Schools about overcrowding issue

Rochester Public Schools held a listening post to discuss updates and answer questions for local parents.

Posted: Nov 30, 2017 7:58 PM
Updated: Dec 1, 2017 6:35 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - Overcrowded classrooms was a big concern for parents attending Thursday afternoon's Listening Post. 

One parent brought up George W. Gibbs Elementary School, saying the school is already at capacity and could get worse with the construction of a new apartment building near by. 

Superintendent Michael Munoz said he is aware of the ongoing construction in Rochester and thinks another school will be built. 

"I can tell you ... some of the land we're looking at is in North West...for potentional new building," he said. 

Munoz said while he believes a new school could be built, no official decision has been made. 

"We will have to go to the voters to approve the increase in property tax to build," he said. 

He said if and when a new school is built, there should be little to no increase in taxes as two other schools, Century High shcool and
Riverside Elementary School, will be paid off by then. 

But before going to taxpayers, alternative options like how to better use current buildings are being discussed. 

Munoz said once a decision to build a school is made, it is about a 2 year process until kids can walk in the door. He also said there is no yet concensus on what grades the school will hold. 

But parents are concerned about how the schools are addressing overcrowdedness now. 

Munoz said there are some temporary fixes in place like adding additional prechool classrooms at Hoover Elementary School and making boundary adjustments. 

Parents also asked questions about the school calendar year, Spanish learning programs, and how to deal with kids wih behavioral challenges. 

Superintendent Michael Munoz said two options of possible of the school year will be released to parents on December 5th. They will then have the opportunity to give feedback before it goes to the school board for a decision.

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