Minutes of the March 19th meeting of

The 19th Ward Community Association Schools Committee

Attendees: John Boutet, John Laing, Deb Leary, Dan Ross, Jay Ross, Sarah Yowarski

Approval of Minutes from February Meeting


Spelling Bee

The fourth annual 19th Ward Spelling Bee will be held Saturday, March 29. The students will assemble at school 19 before 10:30 or at the Goergen Athletic Center at 11 am, then be taken to lunch at the fraternity house and finally the spelling bee itself at 1 in the Hubbell Auditorium in Hutchison Hall. This is the largest building you can see from the Elmwood Ave bridge. The fraternity is getting trophies and bags of supplies for the competitors. Dana Miller will emcee the proceedings, Vice President, Senior Advisor to the President, and University Dean 
Paul J. Burgett will address the students, and Bolgen Vargas and Van White will bring greetings from the district and the board. Invitations will be sent to other board members and the principals of the schools. There will be a press release from the 19wca and the Rochester Area Community Foundation (attached).

Thanks to all the volunteers for helping with the practice sessions at the Arnett library.

There will be a meeting to review this year’s spelling bee in the next couple of weeks. If you want to attend or have comments please contact John L.

School 16 Activity night

This will provide an opportunity to recruit volunteers from the school parents. John L will attend

Volunteer Status

The schools have all been visited and asked to provide specific volunteer opportunities in the classrooms. If you are aware of any people who would like to volunteer, have them contact John L

FMP Update

The recent article in the D&C raised concerns about the timing of the renovation to 16 and the other 19th ward schools. The fact that the bill has not yet passed through Albany is distressing. Two actions from this are to consider another survey, this one of the parents of children in day care centers in the 19th ward to determine what they want in the renovated school and to invite Tom Richards to a meeting in the next couple of months. We should invite the 19wca executive committee or delegates’ council to the meeting. We should also solicit information from school 17 who have experienced the renovation process.

Coffee and Conversation schedule

The 3/18 C&C was cancelled and replaced by a board meeting concerning feedback from the study groups that the board had chartered. The board was in favor of many of the recommendations which can be found on the website (http://www.rcsdk12.org/cms/lib04/NY01001156/Centricity/Domain/20/Re...)

New Business

We had a discussion on the effectiveness of the preK programs. Dan provided the following information. Below is a link to The Children's Institute ongoing evaluation of the City's Pre-K program.  The 2012-2013 Annual Report Abstract provides a fairly succinct and readable summary of the findings--the other material is a little dense but rewarding if you plow through it.  I would summarize the most important findings as:

  • Using generally recognized standards the Rochester program is very good compared to other ones in the US or several foreign countries.

  • Kids in pre-k gain more in a number of areas than would be expected just based on their maturation.

  • There is a lot of summer loss.

  • Despite the gains of pre-k, city kids start out so disadvantaged that they are often not ready for kindergarten.  This is getting worse over time.


The next meeting of the SWCC education committee is March 26 at 6 pm at the Flint St. rec center. The first part of the meeting will be on Facing Racism.

Van White will be reviewing the book Reign of Error Tuesday March 28 at 12:00 in the Rundle library Books Sandwiched in series. This will be in the Kate Gleason Auditorium.

John B reported that school 44 will have extended day next year which will provide an opportunity for McQuaid students to volunteer.

Minutes submitted by John Laing

Next Meeting Wednesday, April 9th at 7 pm in the 19th ward association office.

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