Rochester Community School District Planning November Bond Election

The Rochester Community School District has begun work, starting with this press release statement, to ensure voters are well informed about its “zero increase” bond election scheduled for November 3.

School Superintendent Robert Shaner said that the bond proposal will enable the school district to continue implementing its long-range plan for upgrading and renovating school facilities, technology, and infrastructure. “We will be able to make significant improvements across the school district with no increase in the current tax rate,” said Shaner.

The Rochester Community Schools Board of Education unanimously approved the bond proposal. The $185 million, five-year proposal, will appear on the November 3, 2015 election ballot.

“We are excited about this opportunity to further develop and enhance our school district’s technology and infrastructure needs without raising the current tax rate,” said Board of Education President Jennifer Berwick. “By addressing a host of critical and deferred needs, we will take good care of the community’s investment in its schools and better position our students for the future.”

A bond proposition supports the school district’s strategic plan. “The decision to move forward with preparing a bond proposition is just the beginning of the overall process,” said Shaner. “We are committed to continually enhancing the quality of education while being good stewards of the taxpayer’s dollars.”

In December 2014, a community stakeholder group was assembled in order to:

1) Evaluate the state of the district’s technology and facility infrastructure; and

2) Provide a capital planning assessment that would address critical and deferred needs and property enhancements.

Overarching themes were developed by the group and fell into the following focus areas: School Safety, Building Systems, Athletics and Fine Arts, Programs, Classrooms, and Technology.

Taking these focus areas into consideration, consultants performed a close examination of the current status of the technology and infrastructure elements throughout the district to inform the committee. This became the springboard for the group to begin to categorize and prioritize project areas.

The community stakeholder group did an outstanding job identifying and detailing critical needs for the district in terms of technology and infrastructure,” said Shaner. “We are grateful to have concerned and dedicated community members who are willing to put the needs of our children’s education first.”

Jennifer Berwick said the Board of Education members believe that the bond proposal will assure that students continue to receive a quality education in facilities that are safe, secure, and up-to-date.

“The district will work to make sure voters understand the bond proposal and how it will benefit the schools and the Rochester community,” said Shaner. “We will use school messenger, host community informational meetings, and work with the news media to make sure residents understand how the November proposal will benefit our students and everyone else in the community. We will also post detailed information about the bond proposal on our website: www.rochester.k12.mi.us.”

About Sarah Hovis

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