• Introducing our new schools!

School Naming in the RCSD

  • On February 13, 2024, the Rochester City School District Board of Education voted to name/ rename seven of its schools starting in September 2024, as part of Invest in Tomorrow.

    Launched in November 2023, Invest in Tomorrow is the District’s vision for the future as it begins implementation of the comprehensive school reconfiguration plan, which includes the creation of four new middle schools and one new high school. Middle schools (7-8) will focus on preparing students academically and emotionally for high school, promoting athletics through physical fitness, sportsmanship, and personal growth, and providing programs and nurturing spaces, so every student can thrive. Beginning in the 2024-25 school year, the District will implement a new grade structure for elementary (PreK-6) and high schools (9-12).

    The community provided input on the naming of five new schools, and the Board of Education has voted to rename Dr. Louis A. Cerulli School No. 34 and Charles Carroll School No. 46 to continue the District’s journey to remove the names of slaveowners and segregationists. 

    The Rochester Board of Education will consider a name change for John James Audubon School No. 33 at a public hearing in June 2024.

    New Middle Schools

    Dr. Freddie Thomas Middle School, 625 Scio Street 

    • Dr. Freddie Thomas excelled in numerous fields throughout his lifetime. Hailing from Virginia, he pursued studies at Virginia State University, Wagner College, Albany Medical School, and the University of Rochester. Notably, he made significant contributions to biological research at the Eastman Kodak Company and the University of Rochester. 

    Andrew Langston Middle School, 1 Edgerton Park  

    • Andrew Langston, the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Monroe County Broadcasting Company and WDKX-FM, dedicated six years to navigating the complexities of FCC regulations to secure FM frequency 103.9 for his radio station. WDKX finally commenced broadcasting on April 6, 1974, marking a significant milestone as one of the earliest black-owned radio stations in New York. 

    Thurgood Marshall Middle School, 4115 Lake Avenue 

    • Thurgood Marshall was an American civil rights lawyer and jurist. He served as an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1967 to 1991, becoming the first African American justice on the Court. 

    Loretta Johnson Middle School, 200 Genesee Street 

    • A longtime Rochester school administrator, Loretta Johnson became the first woman to lead the District as Interim Superintendent from 1994 to 1995. Ms. Johnson came to Rochester in 1969 and taught elementary school. ‘

    New High School

    Padilla High School at the Franklin Campus, 950 Norton Street

    • One of the earliest migrants to reach Rochester was the Padilla Family, led by patriarch Ramon. He began his new life in Rochester working for American Home Foods, a major employer of Puerto Ricans. The Padilla family included Mr. and Mrs. Padilla and their ten children, several of whom have held positions within the District and are pillars of the Rochester community.

    Renaming of Existing Elementary Schools

    Ida B. Wells-Barnett Elementary School, 530 Lexington Avenue 
    (formerly Dr. Louis A. Cerulli School No. 34)

    • A prominent journalist, activist, and researcher in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Ida B. Wells-Barnett spearheaded a vigorous campaign against lynching in the United States. She embraced the women’s club movement throughout her lifetime, urging women to participate in clubs where they could take charge and wield influence. 

    Austin Steward Elementary School, 250 Newcastle Road (formerly Charles Carroll School No. 46)

    • An African American abolitionist and author, Austin Steward escaped slavery around age 21 and settled in Rochester, NY. He started a successful business in Rochester, a meat market and general store. Mr. Steward championed economic, political, and social equality through his writings and lectures. 

    “The naming of these schools honors remarkable individuals and helps to shape a brighter future,” said Dr. Carmine Peluso, Superintendent of Schools.  “The community input we received reflects our commitment to foster an environment where everyone feels valued, seen, and heard.”

    The new school names were submitted to the State Education Department by March 1, 2024.