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No home-school guarantee for RCSD 

Rochester schools Superintendent Bolgen Vargas’s announcement last weekend that children who live within a half-mile of their neighborhood elementary school are guaranteed placement in that school — the “Home School Guarantee” — may have been misleading. The announcement comes with some conditions, and no new policy has been approved. | The district’s Parent Preference-Managed Choice policy, which was last revised in 2008, does not provide guarantees regarding student placement, according to school board President Malik Evans and board member Willa Powell. | The policy offers preference to students meeting the proximity requirement for 60 percent of the available seats in their neighborhood school. Evans said he would not have used the word “guarantee.” | Vargas has also assured families with children entering kindergarten from one of the district’s school-based pre-k programs that they will have priority for placement in that school after families who live within a half-mile of the school. | Mayor Tom Richards immediately praised Vargas’s announcement, but it’s unclear if Richards understood that Vargas was merely talking up a pre-existing policy. | City Hall has long received complaints from parents reluctant to buy a house in the city without assurance about which school their child will attend.

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