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EXCLUSIVE: Hartford superintendent talks to FOX61 ahead of restructuring vote

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HARTFORD --  On Monday afternoon, FOX61 sat down with Hartford Schools Superintendent Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez to discuss her restructuring proposal for the district.

"It is my job to make sure that we create conditions to support not one student, not one class, not one school -- the entire district," said Torres-Rodriguez.

The superintendent's proposal would close down Batchelder and Simpson-Waverly at the end of the school year. Capitol Community College Magnet and Culinary Arts Academy would close by 2020.

A handful of other schools would be restructured or consolidated. Torres-Rodriguez says district enrollment is down 15 percent over the last four years.

Most pre-K through 8 schools would become pre-K through 5, with four dedicated middle schools.

Torres-Rodriguez said the change will allow for more teacher collaboration, offer more club and elective options, and give students a streamlined path from pre-K through graduation. The superintendent said it will save the district an estimated $15 million a year.

"I'm a product of the district," said Torres-Rodriguez. "I know what our students can achieve."

The Hartford Board of Education will vote on the proposal on Tuesday.

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