Minutes of the May 13th, 2015 meeting of

The 19th Ward Community Association Schools Committee

Attendees: Mary Adams, John Boutet, John Laing, Dan Ross, Jay Ross, Sarah Yaworski

Guests: none

Approval of April minutes

Oops, I forgot.

Spelling Bee review

Thanks to Debbie for chairing this event. Unfortunately, Debbie is resigning from the board will not be chair next year. We need to find another volunteer to chair the 6th annual spelling bee, and to co-ordinate with the fraternity. The change made to the process to determine only the first place finisher sped up the event significantly (4 hours to 2 hours) and should be used again next year. The students faced the audience but it was felt that there wasn’t any risk of cheating. In the future we could have the brothers sit in the first few rows directly in front of the spellers. The use of the Scripps list was another good change. The fraternity should choose the brother with the clearest enunciation to pronounce the words. Thanks to Sarah for finding a way to make the doors quieter – it removed what had been a distraction.

There will be a debrief session with Tate and Rashi sometime this summer to document the process used this year.

Schools 16 and 44 status/activities

Kindergarten, but not first grade will be placed at school 44 this fall, so the perseverance of Beverly and John B in particular led to a desired ending. Using this information and the return of school 16 to Post Ave in 2018, John L constructed a chart to represent a potential transition plan, which could facilitate a discussion with RCSD. John L needs to contact the principals to get data on the number of strands in each grade. John L is to invite Adele Bovard and Barb Goldammer to our June meeting to discuss the operational issues in a transition to a neighborhood/community school.

Mary had met with both principals and they independently suggested a design with pre-K-5 at 16, and 6-8 at 44. There are some issues with this proposal, mostly around the closure of school 44 building.

John B prepared a letter to be sent to residents of the 19th ward who have school age children to inform them of the move of school 16 and to ask for input on the design requirements for the building. After some discussion it was agreed that John B would take the revised form to Coffee and Conversation the next day to give to Willie Robinson for distribution. The revised document is attached. A separate document will be developed to send to parents concerning the status and future of 44.

The renovation plans have not yet been made for school 16. This gives us time to get input from folks.

Plans for Square Fair

We hope to have school 16 open for bathrooms and a place to show more information on 19th ward schools. Matt Laniak has been asked about the use of the school and we expect a positive response. We will also have space in the 19th ward booth and John B was to check and confirm. Anyone with time is encouraged to spend some time explaining our story.

Feedback from GS4A (good schools for all)

The turnout for the recent meeting of this group was significant (200) and the amount of work accomplished by the subcommittees was high. The data indicates that the maximum percentage of children in poverty in a school is 40% of that school is to be successful. John L was to see if we can find the % of elementary aged children in poverty in the cachement area for school 16.

In the session on summer learning opportunities groups mentioned that they had volunteers go through a training program for those interacting with students. John L felt that we should incorporate some from of training/background checking to assure that we don’t put us the 19thwca in a vulnerable situation. Dan agreed to evaluate one of the training programs that is used by another partner of RCSD. We will continue this discussion at our next meeting.

New Business


Next Meeting Wednesday, June 10th at 7 pm in the 19th ward association office.

Flier Prepaired for distribution:

  • Did you know School 16 on Post Avenue will be reopened as a fully renovated neighborhood/community school?

  • Do you want to have input on the renovations?

  • Do you know the renovated school will reopen as early as 2018?

Take this opportunity to find out what this could mean for your child!

The 19th Ward Schools Committee is working to restore our schools to the neighborhood anchors they once were. They need to be educational beacons that attract parents to the neighborhood and make them want to stay here! Your participation is key. We want to contact all parents in the neighborhood to invite them to participate in the planning and revitalization of our schools

At Square Fair this June 6th 2015, part of School 16 will be open to display the facility studies that have been done in preparation for renovation planning. Visitors can ask questions and sign up for planning sessions. We hope you will be able to join us at School 16 on the west end of Aberdeen Square and take part in our school revival.

If you have questions contact John Laing a href="mailto:jlaing1@rochester.rr.com">jlaing1@rochester.rr.com>

You can also review the work the community has been doing to champion our schools by looking at: http://www.location19.org/group/sw-education-forum

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