SW Education Committee, Monday February 4th, 2013 Meeting at Arnett Library

The Meeting convened at 6:10 pm.
Present:  John Boutet, Ken Chandler, Charlotte Giebel, Kathy King, John Laing, Steven Rebholz, Sarah Yaworsky

John Laing read the letter from District about sending out our School 16 survey.  They wanted minor changes in the wording to better reflect the current state of School 16 on Post Avenue.  Those changes were made and we are go to have the survey sent out to parents of School 16 parents!

Kathy King gave us and update on the School 16 survey:

  • To date,155 people have responded to the survey regarding the closing of School 16.  One-third are people with children currently at School 16, or whose children attended School 16 in the past. The remainder are community members.
  • A large majority of people believe it is important to have the School 16 building on Post Avenue renovated and reopened.  Many people commented that it is important to have a neighborhood or community school in the heart of the 19th Ward. As well, most would like to see the building available for use by community groups in the evening and weekends.
  • A large majority of people thought that School 16 should include kindergarten through 6th grade, while less than one-quarter thought the school should include kindergarten through 8th grade.  Most people wanted a pre-kindergarten program offered at School 16.  Having children bussed to school was viewed as important to most people.
  • Surveys are currently being distributed to all parents of current School 16 students.  The final results of the survey will be available by February 15th.   

We discussed the Bolgen Vargas's Guest essay: Aligning dollars and priorities for the Rochester School District from the February 2nd D&C and also the Ralph Spezio Essay in January 30th City Newspaper by describing "A better model for neighborhood schools".

We were delighted to have Steven Rebolz of SWBR Architects with us.  He is working on architectural plans for the Facilities Modernization project for the District.  John Boutet gave Steve a copy of the School 10 and School 16 Proposal For Rochester's 19th Ward  proposal and suggested he look it over to see if it is feasible.   Later we discussed a variation on that proposal which tries to avoid the reluctance to bring back School 16 to post Avenue with just "Band Aids" to permit a quick return this fall.  This proposal is now posted as A way of reopening School 16 while fixing 3rd floor hot room problems on Location19.   That proposal considers bringing back only K-4 this fall so that the 3rd floor rooms are free for renovation. Terry Costich is another contact in that same department.  Steve suggested we check with Tom Keysa  ( thomas.keysa@rcsdk12.org ) to see what capital improvement money is available and to see what School 16 maintenance money had been allocated last spring.  Is it still available or did it get reallocated when the building was closed last spring?  He thought 250,000K might have been available but $2M would not have been in short term fixes budget.  Looking on line he thought the May 2012 budget showed a total of $381,000 available.

The meeting adjourned at 7:45pm.

Minutes submitted by John Boutet and Kathy King

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