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Rochester, MBN (KROC AM News) - The Rochester School Board is scheduled to make a decision at Tuesday’s meeting on the future of Friedell Middle School.

The board must decide if Friedell will remain as a district-wide option school.

Administration is recommending the school close at the end of the 2021-2022 academic year and be repurposed for two programs: Rochester Academy for Independent Living and gymnastics, both for high school and community education. In its briefing to the board, administration says “Keeping Friedell open commits the District to extra staffing and overhead costs at an estimated cost of $1.38 million per year because the District is not able to consolidate down from six sites to five sites.” 

The board is also being asked to approve the purchase of 1500 HP EliteBooks for the district’s teachers. The recommendation notes, “Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it would be helpful for all teachers to have access to a new mobile laptop should the District need to switch between in-person, hybrid, or full distance learning during the 2020-2021 school year.”  The cost is $1,150 per device for a total of $1,725,000. Funding for the new laptops is expected to come from the Federal Coronavirus Relief Fund. The fund was recently tapped to pay for 4500 Chromebooks for students and staff.

Also up for a vote is an extension of the employment contract for Superintendent Michael Munoz, who has been with the district since 2011. The extension would run through June 30, 2022. Approval would give Munoz an annual salary of $228,300 during the extension period.

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