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Rochester, MN Education Overview

Residents have multiple choices for top schools

By Kevin Litwin on September 15, 2015

A boy and man bike on a trail in Rochester, MN
Michael D. Tedesco

Schools in Rochester deserve high marks for the academic curricula they offer and their talented teachers. Residents have education options such as a high-achieving Rochester Public Schools system, an excellent Rochester Catholic Schools district, and more than a dozen higher education institutions located within the city limits.

Rochester Public Schools

More than 17,000 students attend Rochester Public Schools, a district comprising 16 elementary, four middle and three high schools, and one alternative learning center. The city is divided into three public high school attendance zones: Century, John Marshall and Mayo, and the entire school system has 70 administrators and nearly 3,000 employees that include 1,375 teachers. More than 75 percent of those RPS teachers have an advanced degree.

Rochester Catholic Schools

A unified school system called Rochester Catholic Schools features three elementary schools and one high school, with the RCS district made up of students who attend grades preK through 12. An RCS Preschool gets youngsters off to a good academic start, then the three schools that accommodate grades pre-K through 8 are Holy Spirit Catholic School, St. Francis of Assisi School and St. John the Evangelist/St. Pius X School. Lourdes High School, founded in 1877, currently has about 440 students and a 12:1 student-teacher ratio. The campus offers amenities like a 140-seat chapel, 600-seat auditorium and a 1,500-seat gymnasium that includes multi-purpose fitness and weight rooms. Lourdes High is home to the Golden Eagles sports teams.

Colleges and Universities

Students in Rochester are lucky to have a variety of college and higher education options that range from technical schools to community college to four-year universities. Choices throughout Rochester include branches of Augsburg College, Cardinal Stritch University, the College of St. Scholastica (located in downtown Rochester’s new Minnesota BioBusiness Center), Crossroads College (a four-year Christian college), Kaplan University, Mayo Medical Center (research and graduate programs), Minnesota School of Business-Rochester, National American University, Rochester Community & Technical College, St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, University Center Rochester, University of Minnesota Rochester (solely focused on health sciences-based academics) and Winona State University.

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