Minutes of the December 3rd, 2014 meeting of

The 19th Ward Community Association Schools Committee

Attendees: John Boutet, John Laing, Dan Ross, Jay Ross, Beverly Usher, Sarah Yaworski

Guest: LaShay Harris

Approval of November minutes


Volunteer status from convention

Bruce Pollock (FREE) has sent e-mails to 5 people who signed up to volunteer at convention. Thanks to all who solicited volunteers. We need to determine that we have all the volunteers.

School 16 status

The bill has not yet been signed by the Governor. However the district funded a preliminary study of school 16. A copy was made available to the committee. We need to find parents in the community to join us in providing input to the construction board, as there are items missing from the present study. When you are reading the study, please make notations of questions or concerns that you have. Superintendant Vargas is still supporting the project.

School 44 position

John B. introduced Beverly Usher, a delegate and a grandparent of a student at school 44. She is concerned about the plan to close school 44. Beverly has made parents aware of the proposed closure and increased the attendance at PTO meetings from 3 to 29 to 69.  She has contacted Wade Norwood, NYS regent and her pastor to solicit his support.  She has prepared a notice for a pair of meetings in January to communicate to the parents.   She is planning two meetings, one at 10 am and the other at 6 pm to allow as many parents as possible to attend.  The committee agreed to support her in her efforts to save school 44.

Position on Charter school

Michael Sherry of the Rochester prep charter school asked the 19wca for a letter supporting their move to 432 Chili Ave from their present location at 1020 Maple St.  The school has 330 students in grades 5-8.  LaShay asked us to make a recommendation for the association.  Among the factors considered were: the school is moving, not starting fresh; schools 10, 16, and 44 were slated to be closed due to the lower enrollment caused by charter schools; the 19WCA has lobbied to maintain schools 10 and 16 and are supporting efforts to save 44; good relationships have been established with RCSD senior team; the fact that school 16 has been closed for an extended time creates a need for a neighborhood school; and we need continued support from Vargas to complete the schools 16 renovation.  In the end we agreed that we could not provide Rochester Prep with a letter of support for their proposed move. The following note was sent to LaShay to send to Michael Sherry.

The 19th Ward Community Association cannot provide you with a letter of support for the move of your school to Chili Ave.

Next Meeting Wednesday, January 14th at 7 pm in the 19th Ward Association office.

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