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RIT to help develop charter school in Rochester

Rochester Business Journal
September 11, 2013

Rochester Institute of Technology will partner with Uncommon Schools to develop a charter high school in Rochester, on that has a focus on increasing the number of students who receive bachelor's degrees from colleges.

RIT officials announced the partnership on Wednesday, detailing plans to open the school with a 60-student ninth grade in 2014. The population of the high school would eventually grow to 500 students in grades 9 through 12. Students would come from Uncommon Schools' four Rochester Prep schools, which have close to 1,000 students in grades kindergarten through 8.

The partnership was made possible with a donation from longtime RIT trustee Ronald Zarrella, who is providing the funding necessary to support the development and delivery of RIT's contributions to the partnership. Zarella has been involved in programs promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics, serving on the national board of FIRST Robotics for 15 years.

RIT President William Destler said the partnership will look beyond the goal of raising high school graduation rates.

“Universities can’t afford not to be involved in the preparation of K-12 students for college, otherwise we risk losing our pipeline of future students," Destler said. "Universities such as RIT must step up with resources and support to bridge this gap, ensuring that students not only graduate high school, not only go on to college, but graduate with a college degree and the tools for a successful career. RIT’s board of trustees is fully supportive of this principle and enthusiastically supports the partnership.”

(c) 2013 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

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