The Rochester Board of Education has recently appointed Dr. Carmine Peluso as the Superintendent of Schools, effective immediately. Peluso has been serving as Interim Superintendent since September 1, 2022.
Dr. Peluso’s commitment and dedication to education span more than two decades. As a teacher, assistant principal, principal, chief of schools, deputy superintendent, and now Superintendent, he understands, firsthand, all facets of education, management and leadership.
“I entered the interim role with a desire to bring stability and calm during a tumultuous time in our District. I have experienced several changes in leadership and know the impact it has on every level of the organization,” said Superintendent Dr. Carmine Peluso.
“My goal since coming to this District has been to effect positive change and increase educational opportunities for all students. I love this District and am inspired by the commitment and support our team gives to students, families, and one another.”
Board President Cynthia Elliott said she wants the community to know that Dr. Peluso is the best candidate to serve as Superintendent. “In less than six months as interim, Dr. Peluso has successfully negotiated a tentative contract with the RTA, delivered a portfolio of schools to form part of the Phase three FMP (Facilities Modernization Project) process, and is prioritizing increasing enrollment and creating a renewed focus on improving student outcomes in our District.”, she said. “The Board determined that maintaining stability in District leadership with a homegrown Superintendent was in the best interest of the RCSD, and decided to forgo the Superintendent search.
As interim, Dr. Peluso prioritized three key initiatives – a new contract with the Rochester Teachers Association (RTA), approval of the school site selection for the $475M Facilities Modernization Project and a comprehensive campaign for student recruitment and enrollment.
The tentative RCSD/RTA contract strengthens the collaboration and partnership between teachers and the District and places additional focus on improved teaching and learning. It also helps the District recruit and retain staff, provides opportunities for increased professional learning, and ensures staff availability at dismissal to help keep students safe.
“Teachers are the backbone of this District,” Peluso said. “This negotiation process provided the forum for extensive conversations with RTA leadership that outlined our shared vision and priorities for the future of this District. I am confident that when this agreement is finalized it will pave the way for a strong relationship moving forward.” RTA President Adam Urbanski praised the pact as “good for students and fair to teachers.”
The FMP is a multi-phase capital initiative that funds the upgrades, renovations, and modernizations of school buildings. Phase 3 includes $475 million dollars, approved by the State of New York, for the District to improve learning spaces, update athletic facilities with state-of-the-art amenities and expand areas in schools that nurture student expression.
Peluso said the modernizing of RCSD facilities is critical to delivering high-quality instruction and fulfilling the district’s promise to provide diverse learning opportunities that prepare students for college and career.
Comprehensive Campaign for Student Recruitment and Enrollment, is an effort to disrupt declining enrollment.
School of Choice, the lottery process for students entering Kindergarten, 7th, and 9th grades, has transitioned to a more convenient digital enrollment with a greater focus on student and family engagement.
High schools are being showcased to highlight the unique programming available to students entering 9th grade via a digital magazine available on the RCSD website at www.rcsdk12.org/rcsd.
The targeted multimedia campaign including TV, radio, billboards, social media and streaming ads will begin with the lottery process and continue throughout next year to help increase enrollment.