Sun staff reports
Rome Catholic School will return its former location at 800 Cypress St. beginning with the 2019-2020 school year.
The move will take place after the close of the school year, during the months of July and August.
“It’s very exciting,” said RCS Principal Nancy E. Wilson, who is an alumna of RCS. She said it will be a “busy, busy summer.”
RCS is dedicated to the education of students in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade. The school has a long history of empowering children to grow and develop to their potential in a family-centered, faith-based, community-service environment.
In 2016, RCS moved to 400 Floyd Ave., the former St. Peter’s Elementary School. The 2019-2020 school year will bring an expansion of the school’s Universal Pre-K 3-year-old and Pre-K 4-year-old classes. “Universal” means the classes are funded by New York State. RCS is looking toward accepting more Universal pre-kindergarten students from the grant-based program at the Rome City School District’s Early Childhood Program.
This growth creates a need for more classroom space and therefore will fuel RCS’ return to Cypress Street. The downstairs academic wing will hold the pre-K; upstairs will be kindergarten to sixth grade.
The Cypress Street location brings with it added parking for events, the space to divide RCS’ combined first- through sixth-grade classes as the need arises, and ample areas for outdoor play and learning for all of the students. Currently, RCS’ kindergarten stands alone; there are combined classes for first and second grade, third and fourth, and fifth and sixth.
RCS encourages any interested families to contact the school at 315-336-6190 to arrange a tour of the current location to experience the faith-filled family atmosphere, or to get an application to attend. The school is accepting applications for kindergarten through sixth grade.
Any families interested in Pre-K 3 or Pre-K 4 should contact Rome City School District’s Early Childhood Program. If you have already registered, you will receive a phone call with more information from Rome City School District. If you have not registered, there is still time. UPK students must apply with RCSD first. When RCS has received the names of accepted UPK students from the district, the application process will continue at Rome Catholic.
This is RCS’ third year on Floyd Avenue, Wilson said. The move will help RCSD preserve its pre-K 3-year-old program, she said.
The Floyd Avenue site has eight main classrooms and a couple of smaller ones; Cypress Street has 10 classrooms on the main floor and 10 on the upper floor, plus a larger library and a bigger gym.
RCS has 101 students, with the principal, eight classroom teachers, four teaching assistants, five special classes (music, art, physical education, Spanish, and library), a secretary, and a custodian. Rome City School District provides a cafeteria worker and a nurse, and that will continue at Cypress.
Wilson estimates the new student population will be 205-210, so RCS will be looking to hire six more teachers and six more assistants.
The Cypress Street site originally was Rome Catholic High School. In 2004, it became Rome Catholic School, with pre-K through 12th grade. But in the 2013-14 school year, the seventh- through 12th-grade portion closed and the only classes that remained there were pre-K through sixth grade.
The numbers dwindled, so the diocese rented that building to the public school system and moved RCS to Floyd Avenue in 2016. Now, RCS is happy to be going back to Cypress, Wilson said.
This year, the Cypress Street site is empty, although RCS held a festival there last weekend.