19th Ward Schools Committee
7:00 pm, 7 June 2022
Present by Zoom: John Boutet, Jane Braband, Douglas and Charlotte Giebel, Lee Loomis, Josie McCleary, Phyllis Moss, Jay and Dan Ross, Jennifer Taylor
Dr. Phyllis Moss, chair of the committee, began the meeting by having the participants introduce themselves.
Calendar of Meetings Phyllis reported on her efforts to coordinate the various groups addressing assistance for the Rochester Public Schools. She then gave a summary of the meetings she has attended, most recently the Parent Outreach Initiative/Mobilization for Public Education that demonstrated while the School Board was considering its budgetary planning. She expressed concern that systemic racism needs to be more fully addressed as it impacts the effectiveness of the education in our public schools. She questioned whether “bias training” or “cultural sensitivity training” adequately addresses the racism impeding the success of our city schools. Phyllis also reported meeting with Karen Emerson who encouraged Phyllis to continue to chair our committee. Phyllis is eager for our committee to develop a strategic plan, building upon the programs currently running: 1) the tutoring program that Lee Loomis has spearheaded at Walter Cooper Academy (School 10); and 2) the spelling bee program.
Community Groups Addressing Public School Education Issues- John Boutet sent an e-mail earlier on Tuesday, June 7, identifying various groups addressing public school education issues: 1) Parent Outreach Initiative/Mobilization for Public Education (mentioned above); 2) AQE/Citizen Action Education Committee, headed by Jalil Muntaqim, which John indicated has been working hard to a energize parents and other education groups to work together to demand proper funding of our RCSD schools and to make sure our students are safe at school; 3) Willie W. Lightfoot & Frederic Douglas Recreation Centers, lead by Community Center Manager, Carmen Jones, who loves her job and is enthusiastic about educational matters.
New York State Educational Funding John Boutet also reported on the latest committee meetings in Albany to address school funding. He indicated that legislation to adopt school busing to include up to a half mile from the school was not passed, partly because of concern over school safety promoted to the agenda by the recent assault on the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
Tutoring: Lee Loomis reported a productive meeting with Michelle White, community coordinator for School 10, with plans laid for tutoring in the coming school year. Jane Braband reported she has been able to meet with first graders in School 10 to provide tutoring and will continue to do so for the remainder the school year. If getting into the schools continues to be a challenge, Charlotte suggested offering tutoring at the Arnett Library. A request for someone to spearhead that effort will be addressed at our next meeting.
Rochester Coalition for Public Education Meeting: John Boutet mentioned the next meeting is to be held this Friday, June 10.
SWCC Education Committee Meeting: The next meeting will be Wednesday June 22nd.
Our next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, July 5 at 7:00 pm.
The meeting adjourned at 8:14 p.m.